Pishima's blog

Spice Profile: Coriander

Coriander, also known as cilantro and dhania, is an essential ingredient in many different regional cuisines. Coriander is the common name for the plant Coriandrum sativum which is an annual herb native to Southern Europe, Northern Africa and Southwest Asia. All parts of the coriander plant are edible, however it is mainly the dried seeds and the leaves that are used commonly in cooking around the world.

Spiced Pan Fried Okra

As a child okra (also known as lady’s finger or bhindi) was always a struggle for me to eat. I would force it down with a wrinkled nose, disliking every aspect of the experience. I have now come to the conclusion that it wasn’t so much the vegetable that I was so averse to, but the way in which it was prepared. If you are not careful with your okra, it can make any dish into a slimy, gluey creation. Of course if that is what you are going for, and I have to believe that some people are going for that, then right on.

"Chickpea of the Sea" Salad Sandwiches

Continuing on with the summery picnic-y theme this week I am offering a recipe for a nice sandwich. I love this sandwich because it is packed with yummy protein and is quite healthy. If you are planning to take these delicious sandwiches on a picnic, I recommend either making the chickpea of the sea salad a little drier or assembling the sandwiches right before eating to avoid soggy sandwiches.

Spinach & Cheese Tart

As summer is rapidly (a little too rapidly here in Florida) approaching, it is nice to have some recipes on hand that can be served at room temperature. The main reasons for room temperature food being good for my family in the summer, are that it is often simply too hot for me to contemplate eating hot food, and long days at our local springs call for good picnic food that doesn’t have to be hot.

Cheesy Spinach and Corn Filo

I have had some filo* sitting in my freezer and thought it was time to use it up so, of course the first thing I thought to make was spanokopita, or Greek spinach filo pie. The only problem was that I didn’t quite have all of the ingredients to make a proper spanokopita. Sometimes in cooking, one must bring a certain amount of creativity in substituting ingredients out when needed, so I looked to see what I could make with ingredients that I had on hand.

Double Chocolate Walnut Cheesecake

I am not sure if I have told you before of my love of cheesecake. If not let me tell you...I LOVE CHEESECAKE! Since one can’t very well make a cheesecake ‘just because’, I often wait for a friend or family member’s birthday so that I can delight many people at one time with some cheesecake love.
Well, I also happen to have an extraordinary fondness for chocolate*. So naturally I was very excited to try and make a chocolate cheesecake for my little brother’s birthday...he is also very fond of cheesecake and chocolate.

Middle Eastern Round Bread (Pita)

Kurma's Pita Bread

Last Saturday my daughter’s school, The Bhaktivedanta Academy, held a fundraising dinner. Unfortunately, the caterer for the dinner was not able to make the pita breads so a few mothers, some friends, and one father got together to make a large amount of pita bread in a short amount of time.

Easy Pea-sy Pasta

Pasta, it can be a lifesaver on days where speed is of the essence in my meal preparation. Most children love pasta and although it’s not the stuff of health food dreams I’m totally okay with it on occasion. A nice green salad somewhat freshens up the meal, and if you can convince your child to eat some of the aforementioned nice green salad, then Hooray!

Spice Profile: Asafetida/Hing

Asafetida a.k.a. Hing, it stinks up your spice cupboard but is transformed with a little bit of cooking. I use hing often in my cooking and even have a special one for Ekadasi, the days I fast from grains, as many commercial powdered hing sold in shops are typically mixed with some sort of flour to make a milder powder. If you haven’t used hing before I highly suggest adding it to your spice cabinet. In my humble opinion, some dishes are just not right without a pinch of asafetida.

Veggie Tofu Wrap With Tahini Miso Sauce

Summer is quickly approaching and the temperature, where I live, is slowly creeping towards 90. As it gets hotter and more humid my tolerance for hot food goes down. When it’s above 90 degrees I often turn to sandwiches, wraps and salads--and this particular wrap is filled with yummy goodness. Also, lettuce is in season and makes a lovely addition to any wrap, sandwich or salad.

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