Stuffed Peppers featuring Quinoa and Ground Meat

You can substitute the ground beef with whatever ground meat you like.  (Or for vegetarian, switch to lentils that you’ve soaked and cooked to where they still have texture, but are soft.)  I still had some CSA ground beef in my freezer, so I used that.  As always, I’m leery of meat that came from a multitude of animals, some no doubt not in the picture of health prior to arriving on the cutting room floor.  But, use what works for you.

stuffed peppers, quinoa, ground meat, gluten-free

A portion of the mix that would end up within the bell peppers. That large piece of tree ear to the left was torn apart to make smaller fragments.

I chose to go with quinoa, because I really don’t like rice all that much in my stuffed peppers.  It very much says, “tasteless, mushy filler” to me.  (You will notice that all my previous stuffed pepper recipes have been entirely grain-free! — I used veggies for tasty AND nutritious “fillers”.)  I’m really picky about rice — the rice I like is Asian sticky rice, or Thai brown rice, or those Indian basmati rices.   (Or wild rice, but that’s another species entirely.)   What I prefer about the rices I like is their textures – sticky, or at least, solid — as well as some inherent flavor that Western rice seems to lack.  Let’s not speak about soggy risotto!  And I’ve never cared for the generic rice that typically gets stuffed into stuffed peppers — this may just be me.  Perhaps I’d like rice-stuffed peppers if I used sushi rice instead?  I don’t know yet, but I’ve decided to experiment instead with quinoa.  Quinoa holds onto texture well, and has a pleasantly “nutty” flavor,  and that was a given before I began this experiment.

recipe, bell pepper, quinoa, stuffed pepper, ground meat, lentil

Oven-Ready Stuffed Pepper. This ended up in the largest bell pepper I had to hand. While this experiment using quinoa is so far a one-shot — I’d say it’s a success here.

Quinoa is so versatile, and cooks up readily in a rice cooker.  It has a pretty good nutritional profile, and as it turned out, worked very well in the following recipe.

stuffed peppers, quinoa, tree ears, ground beef, recipe

The quinoa portion of the stuffing, just pulled out of the rice cooker.

Feel free to adapt any or all of the extra flavor profile I used.  Garlic scapes are highly seasonal, and tree ears are not readily available — even my local Asian market stopped carrying them, and I had to resort to ordering them from Amazon last winter.  In a one pound package that as it turns out, will probably take me about five years to consume!  I will note a few tree ear fungi go a LONG way.  But they are far less expensive than the pricey dried Porcini which are also a tasty alternative.

stuffed peppers, recipe, ground meat, quinoa

Prepping up the ground beef portion. With this high quality CSA beef, there was very little excess fat to remove. Note the chopped garlic scapes.

I added the turmeric / ground pepper for nutritional reasons — I’ve been eating severely unhealthily in the last two or three months, due to time constraints (at least compared to my general eating habits).  You can taste a mild turmeric flavoring, but it is not overpowering.  Of course, this recipe could go towards a full-tilt Indian-style flavor panel if you choose, even if quinoa is not in and of itself used much (or at all) on the Indian subcontinent.

quinoa, stuffed pepper, gluten free, ground meat

Stuffed pepper: Quinoa, ground beef, seasonings, a little cheese, baked 40 minutes at 350 F.


Quinoa and Ground Meat-Stuffed Peppers

Prep time:  I do this while the quinoa is cooking.
Cook Time:  about 30-40 minutes for the quinoa and the skillet; plus 25-40 for the baking
Rest Time:  5 minutes
Serves: Approximately 4 stuffed bell peppers — one per person

For the Quinoa:

3/4 cup quinoa
1 and 1/2 cups water, chicken broth, or veggie broth.  I used broth from a boxed package of “organic chicken bone broth”, although making my own is my preferred route.
Two or three dried tree ears (tree fungi), or perhaps 5 dried porchini — broken up.  Optional, but adds a nice change.

Put into rice cooker and let ‘er rip.  I use the brown rice setting.  I let the cooking soften the dried mushroom matter, but you can pre-soften them in warm water first.

For the ground meat:  

1/2 lb ground beef or whatever.
Cooking oil (I used grapeseed oil).
5 Garlic scapes, chopped (these are seasonal — sub with a shallot or two, or perhaps half an onion.
2 teaspoons soy sauce (I like San J’s low sodium-gluten free soy).
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Optional red pepper flakes, to taste
Salt and pepper to taste

Let cooking oil heat, and add the meat, breaking it up and browning it, cooking it through.  Use a spoon to remove/discard grease, if any.  Add the seasonings and continue to mix.

When the quinoa is cooked, add in the quinoa and mix.

The stuffed peppers:  

Approximately 4 bell peppers (this will depend on bell pepper size.  Aim for peppers with flat bottoms if you plan to bake the peppers on their bottoms.
The stuffing mix, as made above.
Optional chunks of cheese, preferably meltable.  Say, a couple ounces.  (I had some spare cheddar to hand that needed using up)
1 – 2 teaspoons of butter.  (Kerrygold this time.)

Pre-heat the oven to 350 F.

Clean, and using a paring knife, cut  out the stem and leave a hole large enough to scoop out the seeds and excess ribbing.

Add the stuffing, occasionally putting in a chunk of cheese at whim.  Fill in gaps with the stuffing.   Fill to the top.  Add a dab of butter to the top of each of these — less than half a teaspoon — to keep the exposed surface of the stuffing from drying out.

Cook for 25-40 minutes in the oven.   This will depend on the size of the peppers, and on how au dente you like your peppers.  I prefer mine on the crispy side, but I know in this I am a minority.  However, I did get distracted, and mine began to roast up a little — they were still quite good!  (Maybe, for stuffed roasted peppers, this is the best way to do them??)

Quinoa, Stuffed Peppers, ground meat, turmeric

Deep Diving Down! (I ended up eating two of these for dinner last night, as I was far too tired to make any sides. Don’t ask….)

This post has been linked to Fiesta Friday, an awesome repository of great real-food meal ideas.  Guest  hosts are Jhuls and Colleen this week.

This post has also been linked to Real Food Friday, another great way to find healthy and fun real food recipes, as opposed to food-oid substances.


PS: No, I’ve never eaten congee yet.  But I worry about its sogginess — maybe the rice they use for that would redeem the food for me; I do like other non-rice soggy foods!


Posted in Cooking, Meats | Tagged , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Dining Out: Pasha’s Moroccan Lounge

Note:  I’ve been tremendously busy of late, so this is my first post in quite a while.  There’s been a lot of 11-hour work days, and tying up of loose ends — as mentioned before, I’m retiring soon — and it happens to be NEXT WEEK, but there’s a LOT to do until I do — as it were.  I want to make the transition as smooth as possible for my co-worker as I can, because they’re short-handed at the moment.  Unfortunately at the moment I seem to have absolutely no energy after work — even on the 8-hour days — and I don’t sleep well at night.   Meanwhile,  I continue to build my retirement house as mentioned in earlier posts.    With a GOOD kitchen that I’d actually be willing to photograph for public consumption!

The below is a review of a Moroccan eatery I visited prior to attending the 60th wedding anniversary party of my uncle and aunt, back in June.

Pasha’s Moroccan Lounge, 644 Center Point Way, Gaithersburg, Maryland, 20878.

Recently, I ate lunch here.

Pasha's Moroccan Lounge, Dining out, hummus, lamb, lentil soup, Gaithersburg MD, Maryland

Pasha’s Moroccan Lounge. I note outdoor seating to the right.

I drove down on a Friday to Rockville, Maryland, to celebrate my uncle and aunt’s 60th wedding anniversary — the occasion was to be celebrated at their home Saturday evening, but I wanted to be rested by the time I drove there, so I took a hotel room for two nights — the Friday night before, and the evening after.

This left the idea of finding an appetizing lunch venue in the area wide open.

Being as Google as a search engine is my friend, I surfed around to see where I’d like to toy with my gustatory appetite.  The anniversary dinner at my uncle and aunt’s was going to be catered, so I didn’t want to go overboard at lunch; nor did I want to stop eating entirely until dinner (the other guests would like something left to eat, too….)

Moroccan hit the button.  Well, so did a few sushi options in town, but I weighed budget in on this, and the online menu for the Moroccan place sounded fairly diverse.  (Near my own home, I have a nearby Lebanese restaurant, and a few sushi establishments, but nothing specifically Moroccan.  Yep, Moroccan won!)

Google Maps and I, however, are not quite as friendly and in rapport as the actual search engine, apparently.  I switched to Waze when the wild goose chase Google Maps tried to send me on annoyed me enough, and thus arrived at Pasha’s in short order.

The restaurant is in a mall-like complex of stores and restaurants.  On entering, I noted a well-stocked bar — that’s apparently the lounge part of the name.  (No pork on the menu, I noted.)  The decor is comfortable.

Being as I knew in a few short hours (it was 1 pm at this point, maybe later as Google Maps had thoroughly annoyed me by now) I was going to be having a catered dinner, I only ordered an appetizer and a cup of soup.  I DO want to come back and try (and review!) a full-fledged dinner.  There were a lot of appealing ideas on the menu here.

Pasha's Moroccan Lounge, Dining Out, pita, hummus, lamb, cucumber

In the center of a volcano of hummus, create a pile of well-seasoned and warm lamb. (If you are vegetarian, there are plenty of vegetarian choices as well.)

I ordered Humi Lamb — essentially this is hummus served with cucumber slices, and far more pita bread triangles than necessary, with the lamb served shredded and warm over the top of the hummus.  I loved this, even if I only ate about a third of the pita bread triangles.  (I do eat a low-gluten  food plan — but seriously even gluten-addicts don’t need this ratio of pita to hummus!)

I also ordered their vegetarian Lentil Soup.  Excellent!  Nicely seasoned, and truly this hit the (soup) pot.

Pasha's Moroccan Lounge, Gaithersburg Maryland, lentil soup

Moroccan Lentil Soup! Very tasty!

From the lounge area — I just ordered water.

The photos aren’t the best.  After I got seated, an extended family of eight or so people got seated next to me, and I got embarrassed about photographing my food, and so didn’t take second shots.  Silly me!  Apparently that entire family, about ten minutes later, were on their phones not  remotely paying the slightest attention even to each other!!!

Rating:  3.95 out of 5 — and this rating would almost certainly go up should I get a second chance here, to try an actual entree.  (Just from menu-drooling…)



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Vegetarian Borscht

While beet soup (Eastern European Borscht) is sometimes made with beef broth/stock, this one is made with a veggie broth.  And, since I didn’t have the regular purple beets in my fridge, the color on this one will not be the intense purple you might be used to, but it will be the red of the tomato sauce.  Never the matter — use the beets you desire!

borscht, recipe, beets, soup, cabbage

Borscht, served with sour cream. Add fresh shredded parsley for even more interest.

This week, I’m co-hosting Angie’s Fiesta Friday 119 with  Ahila @ A Taste of Sri Lankan Cuisine.  If you are not sure what a link party is, it’s a way to network with people of common interest — in this case, tasty home-made food and recipes — and if you blog yourself, it’s a way to increase interested visitors dropping by,  who are curious about new foods — just as you’ll likely be curious about their creations!  I’ve found some great chefs and cooks to Follow this way.

At any rate, check out Fiesta Friday!

borscht, recipe, beets, soup, cabbage

A bunch of veggies — note golden beets and what I call “target” beets!

Anyhow, what I like about this recipe is you can prep up everything except the cabbage fairly quickly, toss it in the slow cooker, head to work, and come home, finish up the cabbage slicing, toss that in, and a half hour later, you are ready to eat.

borscht, recipe, beets, soup, cabbage

To the veggies, add the tomato sauce and broth (and spices), and just stir around a bit before leaving the slow cooker to do its thing.

borscht, recipe, beets, soup, cabbage

Green/white cabbage, or red/purple cabbage — again, what was to hand! (But I did finally get the purple in!!!)

Prep time:  30 minutes total
Cook time: 7-8.5 hours in a crock pot
Rest time: Naw.
Serves:   4 bowls, probably 7-8 cups. 


  • 4-5 medium beets, any type.  Skin and chop coarsely
  • 4 ounces sliced carrot
  • 4 ounces celery stalk, chopped coarsely
  • 1 bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 onion, preferably large, peeled and halved
  • 12 ounce can or jar of tomato sauce
  • 2  cups veggie broth, low sodium
  • 1 teaspoon smoked ground paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste (I didn’t add any salt)
  • 2-3 cups cabbage, sliced thin and then diced.  Red or white.
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • for optional garnish:  a dollop of sour cream, and/or several sprigs of fresh parsley, to be plated into the individual bowls.

Combine all the ingredients up through the “salt and pepper to taste” in a crock pot.  Set the timer for 6 to 8 hours on LOW — I used 8 hours, and then go away or whatever.  Ten hours later I came back from work,and my crock pot was in “warm” mode.

Using an immersion blender (or you can use your food processor, but I find that messier if I have to do that), blend the cooked ingredients as far as you prefer.  I didn’t want a full puree, so I stopped before that.

Add the cabbage and vinegar, and stir a bit.

Allow to cook in the crock pot another 30 minutes, on HIGH this time.

Remove and serve, adding a dollop of sour cream if you do dairy, and perhaps some fresh parsley (which I didn’t have to hand).  Eat, enjoy!

borscht, recipe, beets, soup, cabbage

Here, the borscht has been pureed to semi-chunky, then the cabbage and vinegar were added. The slow cooker ran another 30 minutes after this.

This dish stores well in the fridge, and re-heats fine in the microwave.  Or heated back up on the range, if you’d prefer.




Posted in Cooking, Soups & Stews, Vegan, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Korean Beef Bulgogi BBQ

I figured doing this as a stand-alone recipe will put me in good stead when I post the challenge recipe, coming later this week.  More on that, later.  This week, however.

For now, though, I will be making Beef Bulgogi, mostly following a recipe of Jin Joo’s (Korean Beef Bulgogi BBQ).   I didn’t change much, other than lessening the amount of sugar (which is something I always do when I tackle a recipe), and accidentally misreading the amount of roasted sesame seeds as tablespoons instead of teaspoons… ACK!  Actually, not a big deal in this case.  (I can think of worse ingredients to mis-fire over…)

grilled, Korean, bulgogi, beef

I did cut the recipe in half — I’d bought 0.58 pounds of rib eye sliced thin for bulgogi at the Korean grocery, H-Mart (smallest package I could find, as I normally don’t buy non-grass-finished beef, lamb or goat), Sunday morning on my way back from my rather awesome 45th High School Reunion which happened to be held about ten minutes from the store.  I also nabbed the pre-roasted sesame seeds at the same time — life’s been busy, and if I can save time without sacrificing quality, so be it.

That meat is indeed sliced thin!  I’m guessing anywhere from 1/8th to 1/16th inch thick, something I’m not really up to speed on doing.  If you do decide to cut the meat yourself (ie, no nearby Korean grocery), put it in the freezer long enough to partially freeze it.  And use a GOOD knife, and just aim for good enough…

recipe, beef, bulgogi, korean, grill

Super thin slices at H-Mart!!

recipe, beef, bulgogi, korean, grill

Marinating the beef bulgogi

Since the name includes the word “BBQ”, and since it has stopped raining out there — this is indeed going on my grill!

Prep Time:  15 minutes to prep the marinate.  Say an average 2 hours for marinating.  Get your grill going in there as appropriate, as well as cut up any other veggies desired.
Cook Time: Maybe ten minutes?  Charcoal grills need to be monitored. 
Rest Time:  5 minutes.  maybe.
Serves: 1, with that half pound of meat.  Add hearty sides and perhaps some rice and kimchi.  
NOTE:  I am cooking this to reserve a portion for a challenge recipe to be posted later this week.

Korean Beef Bulgogi BBQ

  • 0.5 pounds thin-sliced beef — something tender with marbling.  Sirloin or ribeye should work.
  • Bulgogi Marinate
    • 1 tablespoon soy sauce — I used low sodium gluten-free tamari.
    • 1 tablespoon organic palm sugar
    • 1 tablespoon cheap sake (or use rice cooking wine, or to make this alcohol-free, use rice vinegar]
    • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
    • 1 tablespoon garlic paste, or minced garlic
    • 1 1/2 teaspoon  ground black pepper
    • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds.  Yes, I ended up with a tablespoon…
    • 2-3 teaspoons chopped green onion
    • 1/3-1/2 pear (I used Anjou, but I suspect if you can find Asian pears, they’d be more authentic) finely chopped pear.  Or, you can get out your immersion blender or food processor and puree it, which I was loathe to clean up after.  I did beat it up a bit with a pestle… Apparently, the acidity of the pear helps tenderize tougher meat.  (Hmm, I’m betting that in season, plums would work great!)
  • Extra veggies:  I opted to slice up some onion, bell pepper, and oyster mushrooms.  By tradition, these veggies don’t need to be added, according to Jin Joo — but I do like my veggies, so in a few went!   In my case:  1 small onion, 1/2 a medium bell pepper, and perhaps 3 ounces of mushroom.

You can use a skillet, a grill, or oven.

But first:

Make the marinate, combining all the marinate ingredients together (the second-tier items in the ingredient list).

Add the meat, using your hands to make sure marinate goes between all layers.  With really thin meat, yes, the slices will break apart.

Marinate at least 30 minutes, or overnight.  This will bring the flavors in through the meat, and if there is any toughness, acidic components will help to tenderize.  With particularly-tough meats, Jin Joo even suggests adding a splash of diet Coke — although I’ll note that regular soda hasn’t entered these portals for over a decade, much less “diet” variants.  I’d suggest a longer marination, or perhaps the addition of some more acidic fruit — she, for instance, has had success with kiwi.  Jin Joo suggests taste-testing your meat to see how it works, and that’s a great idea.

I marinated for two hours, refrigerated.  I had every confidence in my well-marbled rib eye.

While marinating, slice up your additional veggies — the ones I used are only suggestions.

I’ll test drive this the skillet route in the future, but for now on the barbie:

Get your grill going (I have a charcoal grill and I use a charcoal chimney.  It typically takes about 20-25 minutes for my chimney to catch and fire up nicely — a lot depends on ambient air flow patterns (aka “wind” or “breeze”).  If you use some other method, time yourself accordingly.)

When you are ready to start cooking, transfer your meat and any extra veggies over to foil, and build a pouch.  Or make a couple pouches if you are cooking for several people, and want to sprawl all over your grilling surface…  You can put it on/in foil already built in with holes, or just use aluminum wrap you can punch a few holes with the tines of a fork.  Provide a wide bottom “basin” so the meat and any veggies can cook through to done.

recipe, beef, bulgogi, korean, grill, oyster mushroom

The veggie component of this dish…


This post is linked to at the absolutely wonderful Fiesta Friday Link Party — and yours truly will be co-hosting next week’s link party…. DO check them out… and if you are also a food blogger, they’re a great way to get exposure.  Anyhow, this week’s co-hosts are:  Kaila @ GF Life 24/7 and Laurena @ Life Diet Health.




Posted in Asian & Asian Influenced, Cooking, Meats, Mushrooms | 10 Comments

Shad Roe, Watercress, and a Chicken Egg

I’ve done shad roe before on this blog here, but if you can find it fresh somewhere, buying a couple of lobes (two lobes per each female shad fish) during the season, which is ending about now, is worthwhile.  And I don’t mind serving it up again!

shad roe, recipe, breakfast, watercress, chicken egg

The watercress and the shad roe really, really complement each other!  And both are quintessentially SPRING!

This is a really simple and quick recipe, which I consider a breakfast recipe.  The lobes are typically sold as a pair — so this serves two, which for me, meant two consecutive breakfasts.

4_25-shad roe breakfast-2

A shad roe lobe, raw. 

I do prefer to eat them for breakfast, but don’t let my preferences limit you.  They’d make a great item for dinner, perhaps with a side salad or a dish of oven (or grill) roasted veggies.  Or, f you find shad fillets, you could serve those on the side (note, they’ll be a bit on the bony side, but they still taste good).

recipe, shad roe, watercress, fried egg

They’re best not over cooked — perhaps served “medium rare” —  notice the inner creaminess of the roe in the photo.

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time:  6 minutes
Rest time:   not needed
Serves:  1 lobe and one chicken egg per person.

 Shad Roe with Watercress and Chicken Egg

  • 1 lobe of shad roe per person
  • 1 chicken egg per person
  • a handful of watercress per person, broken up into bite sized bits.
  • a little cooking oil or butter (I used butter)
  • salt and cracked pepper to taste

Separate lobes from each other gently.   You want to avoid rupturing the lobes before they are cooked.

Get the oil or butter hot in your skillet, about medium heat.

Add the shad roe.  It is helpful to use a splatter guard — some of the eggs will rupture and pop… and splatter a little.

At three minutes or when the lower side is turning brownish, flip.

Cook another three minutes also with the splatter guard.  Do not overcook — a nice creamy texture over a dried, less-tasteful texture, is desired.  Refer to the photo above.

For a sunny side up egg, or an over-easy egg, add the whole egg when you flip the roe.

Remove roe from skillet and slice as shown above.  Either also remove the egg, or flip the egg to cook while you plate the watercress and roe.

For a hard-cooked fried egg, add it while the roe cooks on the first side, and flip when you flip the roe in the skillet.

You can add salt and pepper to the egg and roe when you plate, or when you are cooking.  (I didn’t add salt, my personal preference.)  I plated the cress to the side, added some slices of roe, then the egg, and then the rest of the shad roe.

PS:  Yesterday I saw shad roe at my local health food store — those lobes were teensy, at least HALF the size of what I’ve photographed above!   If that’s  all you can find, you may want to have two per person.

This recipe is linked to at the awesome Fiesta Friday Link Party.  Co-hosts this week are Kaila @ GF Life 24/7 and Laurena @ Life Diet Health.


Posted in Breakfast, Cooking, Seafood | Tagged | 8 Comments

Black Japonica Rice with Cabbage, Endive and (Optional) Farmer’s Cheese

Black Japonica rice – I discovered it recently.  I bought a cup to investigate.  It is mostly purple-black.  It’s a short-grained rice.  You will find a photo of it, raw, at the end of this post.

black japonica rice, cabbage, endive, onion, recipe, farmers cheese

Purple cabbage, purple rice… now if I only had some purple beets!!

Prep Time:  20 minutes, much of which can be done while the rice cooks.
Cook Time:  The rice, about 40 minutes; additionally, maybe five more.
Rest Time:  Not needed.
Serves:  4 hearty main dishes; perhaps 8 as a side.

Japonica Rice with Cabbage, Endive and (Optional) Farmer’s Cheese

  • 1 cup japonica rice, rinsed around three times
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup low sodium boxed or home-made veggie broth.  (I didn’t have, so I used another cup of water with 2 teaspoons of miso paste)
  • 1/3rd  of a medium sized red cabbage, shredded.
  • 1 endive, ends chopped off, shredded.
  • 1 medium onion, minced.
  • Oil for sauteeing the onion, and optionally to add to rice as it cooks.  I used olive.  Butter or ghee would be good.
  • 2 teaspoons of minced garlic paste (or at least three cloves of crushed garlic).  Um, more as desired!
  • 1 tablespoon kasmiri curry paste This is optional, but I love the punch it gives, plus I have a bunch left over from an earlier creation!
  • Salt and ground pepper to taste — I’m happy with Trader Joe’s Rainbow Peppercorns, which arrive in their own personalized grinder.
  • Optional farmer’s cheese, about 1/4 a pound  (Cream cheese or goat cheese will also work. Omit if you don’t do dairy).
  • Decorate the top of the dish with fresh cilantro, or fresh watercress.

Cook the rice according to the package — mine said 1 part rice to two parts water (or liquid), plus an optional tablespoon of oil. I used 2 teaspoons of olive oil.   I used my rice maker, on the setting for brown rice.

Do the rest of the prep work while the rice cooks.

Blanch the cabbage and endive in boiling water for no longer than a minute.

Drain, rinse promptly with cold water until it’s all cold.

Saute the onion in oil until translucent.

When the rice is ready — mix all the ingredients listed above together in a large stovetop pot, reserving the watercress or the cilantro to add to the dish at the table.  Serve, or save for later.  Makes a great main, and also would work as a side dish.

black japonica rice, cabbage, endive, onion, recipe, farmers cheese


Don’t have (or like) cabbage or endive???  Investigate your refrigerator, and adapt!

black japonica rice, cabbage, endive, onion, recipe, farmers cheese

Here the rice is, rinsed and raw

This recipe is partying down at the Fiesta Friday Link Party, along with co-hosts Kaila @ GF Life 24/7 and Laurena @ Life Diet Health.   Come on over!

Posted in Cooking, Vegan, Vegetarian | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Kashmiri Masala/Curry Paste

Here’s the Kashmiri Curry Paste recipe I used for the Khatta Meat I posted the other day.  The recipe is adapted from The Curry Guy’s recipe.   My main adaptation was to change “vegetable oil” to “grapeseed oil”, because it is at least reasonably healthier.   I kept the volumes metric, as my measuring cup goes both ways.

kashmiri curry, kashmiri masala, kashmiri paste, Indian

Getting Jarred!  Should last a good while.

I’m going to be a bit slow for the short term.  My work schedule has been 11 hour days for a few too many days in a row, and this will also include tomorrow (a Saturday)

Prep Time:  About ten minutes.
Cook Time:  Less than 10 minutes.
Rest Time:  Not needed, but stores well in the fridge.
Serves:  A condiment. However many, but apparently a lot!

Kashmiri Masala / Curry Paste

  • 4 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 2 tablespoons fennel seeds
  • 4 tablespoons cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder  (I get heavy-handed with this one.)
  • 10 dried Kashmiri red chillies (more or less to taste).  I found these dried at my Indian market.
  • 2 tablespoon fenugreek seeds (I had fenugreek – methi – powder, not the seeds.  So I went with one heaping tablespoon fenugreek powder.)
  • 1 x 3cm cinnamon stick
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 100 ml water
  • 100 ml white wine vinegar.
  • 150 ml cooking oil (plus more if required) – I used grapeseed oil.
Heat a fry pan over medium high heat, until a drop of water sizzles nicely.
Add the whole spices from the list above, and roast until warm; just a few minutes will be fine. Move around with a spatula.  You don’t want them to burn, just to release their flavors.
Remove from heat, and allow to cool.  Grind in a coffee grinder (one you’ve dedicated to spices, not to coffee!), or get hard core and grind in a mortar and pestle.  The finer, the better.
Mix the freshly-ground spices  with all the pre-powdered spices.
Mix this resulting powder with the water, in a frying pan, and stir into a paste.  (No heat yet.)
Add the oil, and turn heat to medium high.
Continuously stir, and let the spices sizzle a little.  The oil should rise to the top.  This may take 30-60 seconds.
Remove from heat, and add the vinegar.  Stir.
kashmiri paste, kashmiri curry, kashmiri chili, Indian, condiment
Put the paste into a jar — I used a canning Mason jar — The Curry Guy notes that this mix should last up to 3 months in the fridge.   I hope so!
Posted in Asian & Asian Influenced, Condiments, Cooking, Vegetarian | 8 Comments