Saturday, November 11, 2006

Snow Flower

We have been working on a lot of frozen desserts and chocolate desserts at ACE and Cidade de Goa. While studying chocolate, the students at ACE were interested in the way that the Aztecs and Mayans first consumed chocolate as a beverage with cilies and spice. We made a baked Alaska with chile flavored chocolate on a chocolate cake covered with cinnamon meringue. The chocolate used in India is very sweet. I wanted to introduce the students to a more bitter, pure chocolate flavor to use for our creation. I brought some chocolates from San Francisco to Goa for the purpose of holding chocolate tastings for Indian chefs, culinary students and gastronomic enthusiasts. I brought mostly plain dark chocolate and a few flavored chocolates like chocolate and chile pepper, chocolate with coffee and cocoa nibs, and chocolate flavored with absinthe. I brought Scharffen Berger Jamaica ā l'ancienne and 68% Cacao Kumasi Sambirano chocolate bars, some estate grown, vintage Valhrona chocolates, some chocolate I picked up in Paris, and a few more kilos of different types of chocolate. We used a combination of some of these chocolates for our Baked Aztec. We came up with a few different names for this creation that was modeled after something I once made that was called the Taj Mahal. We finally came up with Snow Flower.

tune: Snow Flower by Ananda Shankar from his 1971 self titled album.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Utterly Butterly Delicious

Dabeli and "Indian Pizzas" in Mumbai. These Indian 'za's and subs are way tastier than these and these. Probably because this cook grills his tomatoes for a long time before adding the rest of the ingredients, then tops off his Bombay hoaggies and pies with more chopped tomatoes, this time uncooked. Not to mention the fresh bread that is delivered to his stall every morning by the bicycle pao wala. He also said he uses a good dabeli masala he gets from his brother. Also, he grills the bread w/ Amul butter. The filling is like a slightly sweet version of Pao Bhaji.

Here is a recipe I adapted from a great little cookbook I picked up in Bombay called "Street Foods of India" to create the dabeli filling.
1 KG Potatoes, boiled,peeled, diced
1 C Desi Ghee
20 g Sugar
25 ml Tamarind pulp
25 g Pomegranate seed
25 g Chopped roasted peanuts
400 g Tomatoes, diced
120 g Onion, finely chopped
6 Green chiles, chopped fine
1 1/2 T Ginger, minced
1 1/2 t Tumeric powder
1 t Red chile powder
2t Garlic paste
2t Ginger paste
1 C Water
3/4 C Amul butter (or annato butter)
3t Pao Bhaji Masala (recipe below)
1 C Cilantro, chopped
3 T Lemon Juice
12 Bread Rolls (Pao), cut horizontally
-Heat ghee in a tawa or heavy bottomed frying pan. Fry tomatoes for 3-4 minutes over med heat until the juices reduce and flavors concentrate. Add onions, green chiles, minced ginger and tumeric powder. Stir fry for 4-5 minutes over medium heat.
-Add Potatoes, red chile powder and plenty of salt. Continue to cook over low heat mashing and stirring for 6-7 minutes.
-Add the garlic and ginger pastes, diluted in 1 C water.
-Add masala powder, cilantro and lemon juice. Stir well.
- Coat the bread roll halves with Amul butter and a little garlic paste and place, face down on the griddle to lightly brown.

*Pao Bhaji Masala
Red chili powder 1.5 tsp
Coriander powder 2 tsp
Turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
Garam masala 1 tsp
Cumin (jeera)seeds 1/2 tsp
Amchur (mango powder) 1 tsp
Cloves, 5
Hing (Asafoateda), 1 small grain or powder
Black Salt pinch
Salt to taste
Toast Cumin seeds and grind to powder with cloves. Mix together all spices
Tomatoes grilling for pao bhaji at Chowpatty Beach, Mumbai

Meet Amul's mascot, the Utterly Butterly Amul Girl, famous for her witty comments on current affairs across the globe.

The Amul company started as a cooperative of dairy farmers from the Kheda District of Gujrat in 1946 in an attempt to eliminate the middleman and ensure that profits go directly to the farmers. The co-op is now owned by over 2 million individual dairy farmers in Gujrat. This system ensures small scale production while enabling the farmers to market and distribute collectively.

Tune: Butter by A Tribe Called Quest