Monday, October 22, 2018

Vegetarian Indian Style Butter Chicken

Recently, I have discovered so many things about the Indian culture. As rich as it is, it is also exotic and filled with an array of uniqueness that goes beyond what I can put into words. At least today. One of the things that I love about India is the food. And because the population is so large, their cuisine varies upon region. Utilizing agriculture and farming, most dishes are plant-based and/or vegetarian with the exception of a few. India offers quite a few staples, with one of them being butter chicken.

I decided to create a plant-based, vegetarian rendition of this classic dish. Originating from New Delhi, this North Indian classic uses dahi, garam masala, ginger, garlic, cardamom, fenugreek, cinnamon, black salt, and black pepper. To give it more of a vibrant flavor, you can add some lemon juice to it. To thicken the sauce, you can also add some butter or even some curd. I decided to add all of the above. As it took a little bit of time, everything was executed very well. I added a lot of butter to this dish, as I didn't have any ghee at my disposal.


When originally creating this dish, I was thinking of using another plant-based alternative from Gardein, but instead went with the Gardein Chick'n Strips. I decided to cook the sauce in a regular standard pan before adding the Chick'n Strips. This chicken is not only soy-free, it is dairy-free and certified kosher. I decided to cook the entire dish on low-to-medium heat as the plant-based chicken alternative was completely thawed out in the refrigerator.

Before plating, I made sure that the chicken had a good texture. When I originally added this to the pan with the sauce, it was soft with a modestly slimy texture. It is crucial that it is firm when it is cooked. After stirring multiple times to check, I knew that my cooking was done for the evening.

As I plated the food, I decided to garnish it with some homemade curd I made. I was very happy with the way it turned out. I am looking forward to making this again, only trying another vegetarian and/or vegan, plant-based chicken alternative. If you are a vegetarian looking to enjoy one of the greatest dishes from Bharat, this is it. From my home to your home, Namaste.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Thank you Sumit for making my birthday amazing

I literally have the greatest boyfriend in the world. I first met Sumit several months ago. We had an immediate connection. He is literally fascinating on every level, as he is a polymath, a renaissance man. When I speak to him, it is as if I am speaking to someone who has lived over 5,000 years. In spite of being intelligent, starting college at just 16 years old, I found myself compatible with him in many ways that go beyond intellect.

As our love continues to grow, I can honestly admit that he is the one I want to grow old with, as he is someone I can see myself with for the rest of my life. He inspires me everyday and he makes me the happiest I have ever been in years.

Today, he took the initiative to surprise me with this cake. This birthday cake uses an image of me which I took several months ago for him. I wrote on my hand, showing my love and appreciation for him.

As the image is made out of edible sugar, the cake itself is an impressive dynamic of flavors. It is a vanilla pineapple cream cake with several layers, glammed with gold icing that is a mango flavored buttercream which is garnished with maraschino cherries and edible pearls. And of course the "Happy Birthday" d├ęcor was added to show it's a birthday cake. One candle was placed in the heart on my hand.

I love you so much Sumit. Thank you for making my day brighter and better. Words cannot express how deeply touched and moved I am. You are truly the love of my life.

Monday, October 1, 2018

First Dinner of October 2018

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you will know that I am always innovative in the kitchen and if you know me already, you know how much I love to cook. Tonight is no exception. As today is the first day of October, I decided to treat myself to a classic yet amplified version of the classic veggie burger utilizing organic baby arugula, red onion, and homemade thousand island dressing (which consists of buttermilk, a little bit of mayonnaise and some ketchup) on a homemade sweet pineapple roll which I toasted using only butter.

The veggie burgers were beer battered with butter before I placed them on the other side of the bun, which was also toasted. I wanted something a little extra to this vegetarian comfort food so I took the liberties of adding some classic veggie bacon which was also beer battered in butter.

Amazing right?

And that is not all. To cheese it up, I used mozzarella and butter in a hot pan followed by a teaspoon of cream to melt the cheese down before drenching both the bacon and burger in it (the cheese that is). I added some of the cheese to the bottom bun for good measure and to make it that much more appealing. Who doesn't love cheese?

I didn't add anything else to the veggie burgers, but did enjoy them with Perrier mineral water. This is 100% vegetarian. You could create a vegan version of this using plant-based cheese and sauces instead of dairy.