Wednesday, March 27, 2013

IHCC: Good-bye Madhur!

It's hard to believe this IHCC session is over now. For a very long time, Jaffrey has been a frequent guest in my kitchen, but never as often as in these last six months, when we've had at least one Jaffrey meal each week. Tonight I planned a bit of a celebration in honor of this.

For a starter we had Green Soup (Hara shorva) from Indian Cooking (p177). A kind of Indian cream of pea soup, it turned out to be really simple to make and quite tasty. It takes a bit longer that what I would call quick, but is really simple, so that makes up for a bit of time.

First simmer a chopped potato and a chopped onion in chicken stock, along with a cube of ginger, ground coriander and ground cumin. When the veggies are done, fish out the ginger, then add some chopped coriander, a green chili, frozen peas, salt, lemon juice, and ground roasted cumin. Simmer till the peas are done, then blend. I used my staff mixer, but a regular blender would work fine. When you're about ready to serve, stir in some cream and heat through. That's all. Pretty and tasty.

For a main there was Squid or Scallops in Spinach-Tomato Curry Sauce (Samundar ki kari) from Quick & Easy Indian Cooking (p72). It was the picture of the squid that attracted me to this dish, since I haven't cooked them in quite a while now, but I have scallops in the freezer wanting to be used, so I chose that option. And it's another winner from the Quick&Easy book.

You starting by popping mustard seeds in hot oil, then adding garlic and ginger. When the garlic turns golden, stir in a spice paste of cayenne, turmeric, cumin, ground coriander, salt, pepper, grainy mustard, and water. (Be sure to read the information about choosing the mustard. You can use the same stuff for Pork or Lamb Vindaloo on p33, which is a super recipe and amazingly easy for delicious taste.) Then stir in some tomatoes (I deseeded and chopped fresh ones, rather than using canned), spinach, and water, and simmer for ten minutes. Add the scallops or squid; when they're done, stir in some coconut milk. Serve over rice or noodles. Yum!

And a celebration wouldn't be complete without dessert, so we finished up with Banana Halva (Kelay ka halva) from the same book (p124). This is a really easy dessert you could make any time you have some bananas getting a bit ripe. A half recipe made two nice servings.

Mash your bananas and fry them in ghee or vegetable oil until they are brown and very soft. Turn the heat down low and stir in a bit of sugar. Stir in chopped pistachios and walnuts. I spooned the halva into individual dishes and set them in the fridge to cool to room temp while we ate, then served them topped with a bit of crème frîache.

Now it's time to put away all my Jaffrey books that have been stacked or spread about the dining table for many months now, new friends on the left, old friends on the right.

This post is shared with this week's I Heart Cooking Clubs.


  1. I popped mustard seeds in hot oil this week too. Love that! Also love that you were able to make a multi course meal for a grand finale. Nice job!

  2. I just giggled when I read Michelle's comment. I've popped quite a few mustard seeds in hot oil myself ;)

    I have really enjoyed your enthusiasm while cooking with Madhur Jaffrey. You have always went all out, creating a wonderful meal full of flavor. I hope you'll join us when we cook Yotam Ottolenghi's recipes.

    That being said, I love how fresh and spring-like the pea soup is and I think your scallop dish looks absolutely stunning! I've always wanted to try halva. Seems like the perfect ending dessert.

  3. It looks like I'll have to spring for Quick and Easy Indian cooking! I have two of the books in your pile but it is obviously not enough. It sounds lovely.

  4. It looks like I'll have to spring for Quick and Easy Indian cooking! I have two of the books in your pile but it is obviously not enough. It sounds lovely.

  5. @Barbara, if you get the new Q&E edition, maybe I could bring mine along to compare next time your way?
    That and _Indian Cooking_ were two of the 10 or so cookbooks I brought here when we first moved (rest in storage for 6 months).
    I was disappointed to discover that one of the two cookbooks in the fat red one (you have that too?) is World-of-the-East Vegetarian, which was one of the first cookbooks I ever bought, but under a different title in UK. Grr... Now I've ordered the other book on its own and will try to find a good home for the red one.

  6. I made the green soup before and enjoyed it, and of course the rest of the meal looks delicious--a great way to end things. ;-)

    Hope you join in with Ottolenghi and keep the fun going. ;-)

  7. Love the look of that green soup, and that squid dish reminds me that I have some squid in the freezer that need to be used up - must try.

    Must say, I'm totally impressed with that stack of Madhur Jaffrey books you have!!

  8. Hi Kaye,
    You've made a lovely meal with MJ's recipes, the soup and the scallop looks delicious! And the dessert looks very yummy!
    I only have two of MJ's books and now am interested to add to my collection!