Today was a wonderful day in New York City. An unseasonably warm day..no hat, scarves or gloves needed. I woke up this morning and started cooking my two dishes I was preparing for Kitchensurfing. Kitchensurfing is a brand new website, connecting chefs with clients and kitchen venues. If you’re a chef, sign up! If you’re looking for a chef for a cooking class or a catered event, the sight will be LIVE in a few weeks!
Today, they hosted a fabulous event whereby we chefs brought in a few dishes and professional photographers came in and took gorgeous pics of our delicious food, thereby allowing us to highlight our creations in the best possible light. I made a quiche with ham, spinach and fennel, accompanied by pickled fennel. (I was running late and didn’t have time to snap pics of this original creation, but I did remember to take a photo of the filling).
Once the photos from the photographers are available, I will update this posting.
The second dish I made is one of my Cookbook Recipes. This recipe comes from Madhur Jaffrey’s World Vegetarian. Although she is Indian and the majority of the recipes in this book are Indian, she does cover the globe. In this book, you will find recipes from everywhere – Syria, Turkey, Iran, China, Korea, Trinidad…just to name a few.
These are delicious Moong Bean Fritters (Moong Dal Bhajia) and was the first recipe I ever made from this book several years ago, when I was on one of my Vegetarian stints (I never did last more than 3 weeks) and I have since made this dish many times.
I just made a few changes to her recipe today, based on what I had in my pantry:
- 1 cup split and hulled yellow moong beans, soaked overnight
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 thumb sized piece of ginger
- 1/2 Habanero chile (2 Indian chiles are used in her recipe) (she also had cayenne pepper, but I made these mild for more mass appeal, because of my audience)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin (cumin seed in her recipe)
- 1 tablespoon dried cilantro (2 tablespoons fresh coriander in her recipe)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons hot water
- 10 curry leaves (my addition)
- 1/2 cup mustard oil (for frying)
Combine soaked, drained moong beans in a food processor, with the garlic, ginger and chile and process for a few minutes. Add the cumin, cilantro, baking powder, curry leaves and salt. Blend for another few minutes and transfer to a bowl.
Add water and batter will start to come together. However, this is a grainy batter.
Heat oil in a skillet. I use an ice cream scoop to drop batter into the hot oil. Once I release the batter into the hot oil, with my hand I flatten the fritter a little bit. Fry for a few minutes until browned on one side. It is very important not to try to flip the fritter until it is set. If it is not golden and crispy when you try to flip it, the bhajia will fall apart.
After you flip the bhajia, cook on the other side until browned and serve with your favorite chutney.
This and my quiche were a hit with the kitchensurfing crowd. I was also able to sample some delicious food by other local personal chefs and culinarians. I met so many engaging, interesting chefs doing some delicious, innovative food.
After a wonderful day networking with nice, creative people, I was in a great mood and since I was just a few blocks from one of my favorite spots, I could not leave without getting some Rice To Riches pudding. (see here for previous blog posting on this place). I am here in my Coconut Coma (with a little Rum Raisin) with Roasted Peaches and Toasted Coconut as I write this blog posting.
…and this was my wonderful Saturday on a beautiful, warm winter day…hope you day was just as enjoyable!
I can’t wait to get the photos from the photographers as they will be way better than the ones I have here…I try, but my photography skills are severely lacking…that’s why I stick to cooking!