Monday, June 27, 2011

Chana Masala

I have really been loving Thai food lately, but have yet to learn how to make it. Indian food is a close second and there seems to be more recipes for Indian food in the blogosphere. I found this recipe for Chana Masala and thought it was genius that it uses coconut milk (a staple in Thai food). Then I realized that coconut milk is a common dairy substitute for vegans and most chana masalas do not use coconut milk. But I actually seem to think this meal tastes a lot better with the lovely, subtle island taste of coconut milk. 

(If you'd like another lovely option for Chana Masala without coconut milk, click here.)


2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 onions sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon ginger
2 15 oz. cans diced tomatoes*
1 can coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 handful fresh coriander
1/4 teaspoon garam masala
juice of 1/2 a lemon

*I only had tomatoes with diced green chiles and it worked just fine.


Thinly slice the onions and place into a deep frying pan with olive oil. Place over medium heat for about 10 minutes, or until they cook down. 

Add ginger and garlic and cook for a few more minutes. Add tomatoes, pepper flakes, cumin, ground coriander, turmeric, and fennel seeds. Let simmer for about a minute, then add chick peas. Stir them in, then add the coconut milk. 

Stir all ingredients together and let simmer for about 20 minutes, or until much of the liquid has boiled out. Be sure to stir every 5-10 minutes, so nothing sticks. 

After much of the liquid has bubbled away, add fresh chopped coriander and garam masala. Squeeze lemon juice onto the mixture and add salt to taste.

Serve immediately with rice or flatbread.

Enjoy some grub!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Chick Pea Salad

I have a special place in my heart for Mediterranean food as my grandmother often makes it for large family gatherings. (She perfected her skills after living in Baghdad and Beirut for 20+ years.) I love the simple salads and side dishes this food genre has to offer. And I love the nutritional and filling nature of chick peas. And who doesn't love feta cheese? Lots of love here in this dish. :)


2 cans chick peas, drained, rinsed and patted dry
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 Tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
olive oil
Juice of one lemon
1/3 cup feta cheese
salt and pepper to taste


Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. In a bowl, mix chick peas, garlic, and mint and drizzle with olive oil. Mix to coat. Lay mixture in a single layer on a baking sheet.

Bake for 8-10 minutes. Remove mixture from oven, and let cool slightly. Transfer chick peas to a serving bowl and add lemon juice, feta cheese and salt and pepper.


Friday, June 10, 2011

Strawberry Bread

I have always been a huge fan of strawberries. I am so happy that summer is here and strawberries are widely available. This recipe for strawberry bread ironically uses frozen strawberries which is wonderful because it means you can enjoy the fabulous fruit year-round!!!


1 cup oil
2 cups sugar
4 eggs, beaten
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 10-oz. packages frozen strawberries, thawed, with the juice (reserve 1/2 cup for topping)


Mix oil, sugar and eggs. Add flour, baking soda, salt, and strawberries with juice. Mix well until thoroughly blended. Pour into 2 loaf pans, greased and sugared or lined with wax paper. Bake for 335 degrees for 1 hour. (Check at 50 minutes for doneness.) Serve warm or cold slices topped with butter and reserved berries. Sinfully delightful.