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a basic curry paste – and a curry January 21, 2009

Posted by marksun in beans, curry, tofu, vegetarian.
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This is the basis of a curry using a prepared curry powder from Down To Earth (health food store) or any other curry powder (not the McCormick Yellow Indian Curry – which I don’t care for much).  It’s a variant of another curry I make (see Bola’s curry).  

Curry Paste
large onion
1″ piece ginger root  
clove garlic
1/8 C or so of curry powder

Preparation…  puree onion, ginger and garlic in a food processor or blender.  In a small bowl combine with the curry powder.  

A tofu and potato and bean  curry

This is an example.  You can make a curry out of any ingredients you like that you have around the house. Tonight I had a block of tofu, one irish potato, and about 2 cups of cooked pinto beans  in the refridge.

Cut up the tofu into half inch blocks, and the potato about the same.

I microwaved the potato to cook it – 3 minutes.

Heat about 1/8 to 1/4 C of olive oil (depending on how much you’re making) in a skillet on med heat – add a little of the curry paste  as a heat indicator – when it sizzles a little, add the rest of the curry paste. You want enough oil so all of the curry paste is in contact with a thin film of oil in the pan.  Heat gently to let the onions soften a bit, then add the potatoes and tofu and cook with the curry paste for a minute or two.  Add the beans and any bean broth, or a bit of water to keep things moist and make a little gravy.  

Sprinkle on a little salt.

Serve on hot rice with  mango chutney,  yogurt, or sour cream, with fresh lettuc, or other salad vegetables.

Variants – some chopped cabbage would be great in the curry, or chicken, or fresh  shrimp.  Important. Add the ingredients in a sequence with the idea being that all ingredients end up cooked at the time you remove the pan from the stove.


Portuguese Bean Soup November 12, 2008

Posted by marksun in beans, friends recipes, soup.
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I got this recipe from Aunty Janet in Sept 87.   To be honest, it’s been quite a while since I made it so you’ll have to adjust the proportions some to your situation.  For example, my notes say “whole garlic”, not 3-4 cloves.  I have no idea what she meant now, although I suppose I could ask my cousins who I know have a variant of this recipe.  You’re going to want to use a large pot for this recipe which will make enough as a good side dish for a party.

  1. 1 lb dry pink beans
  2. 2 ham hocks
  3. 2 C tomato sause
  4. 3-4 garlic cloves crushed then minced
  5. portugues sasuage cut into small pieces
  6. 2 round onions, chopped
  7. 1 bunch celery chopped
  8. large cabbage head  chopped
  9. 1 C elbow macaroni

Cookbeans 1 1/2 to 2 hours in a big pot with the ham hocks  (or use a pressure cooker for the beans).  Cut up the ham hocks into small pieces.  Add the remaining  ingredients except cabbage and macaroni,  add water to cover and simmer about 10 minutes, then add the cabbage and macaroni and simmer for another 20 – 30 minutes to reduce the vegetables until tender.

Add water to keep the broth at a constant consistency.   This is a thick soup but you want there to be as much broth as the other ingredients.  Before serving remove the ham bones and gristle, and mix thoroughly.

Mung Bean Curry November 12, 2008

Posted by marksun in beans, curry, friends recipes, vegetarian.
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I got this from George Hudes maybe around 1979…

  1. 1 C dried mung beans washed
  2. 2 C water
  3. 1 t tumeric
  4. 1/4 t salt
  5. 1/4 t hot red pepper
  6. 1/4 C melted butter
  7. 1 large onion sliced length wise, pole to pole, 3/16 inch thick, exactly
  8. 1 t cumin seeds
  9. 1 T fine chopped coriander / or just ground coriander

Combine 1-5 in a pot and bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium low and when at a simmer, cover and cook until beans are soft and water is gone.  If it gets dry and still not done, add water.

After a half hour or about the time the beans are done, saute the onion and spices in a skillet until the onions are well cooked,  translucent and tender – I don’t care for crispy onions in this dish.   Then combine with beans.

Serve with rice, raw or cooked tofu, with chutney, and sour cream or yogurt.

We may never know where george got this, including george, but onions and these spices are the basis for many variations of indian curry – see curry ala bola on this site…

Hummus November 12, 2008

Posted by marksun in beans, pressure cooker.
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This is again a basic recipe that will get you into the ballpark.  Dried beans are cheaper than cooked, but then you have to use time and energy to cook them so, well, your choice.

1 lb dried garbanzo beans
Tahini – sesame butter (like peanut butter made of sesame seeds)
lemons or lemon juice
olive oil 

I use a pressure cooker to cook the beans.  Soak dried beans first, about 1 hour or longer – even several hours.   Otherwise, buy canned beans and skip all this cooking part.

– pressure cooker method – 

Add the beans and water to cover + bring up to pressure on medium high heat until the steam starts hissing from the pressure cooker.  drop the heat to medium and continue to cook at pressure (keeps on hissing) for 9 minutes.  turn off the heat and let cool down by itself – 20 minutes or so.  DO NOT try to remove the lid until there is zero pressure in the pot.  If you touch the pressure cap and steam comes out, there is still pressure!

A 2 C batch of Tahini

2 C beans 
3T of tahini
2 big garlic cloves
juice of 1 lemon or 1 T wine vinegar
1/3 C olive oil
1/4 t salt to taste… 
Add all to a blender or food processor and blend into a fine paste.  If it looks dry, add a little water or olive oil .  The proportions are not that important.