Kashmiri Dum Aloo

kashmiri-dum-aloo

This is a classic potato curry with a beautiful red color with a spice that will warm you through a cold Kashmiri winter, but as I mentioned on the podcast, this turned out just a little spicier than I intended – and I say this as a person that can take some heat. Kashmiri chili is not that spicy in theory (meaning everything I’ve read on the web and in cookbooks), but in practice I’ve found it a little spicier than these claims, especially in a dish like this where you’re using a lot of it, so adjust the to your taste. Alternately, you can use a mixture of paprika and cayenne – paprika will give it that smokiness and the same lovely color, and cayenne can take the heat to the level you want.

Kashmiri Dum Aloo

Adapted from Veg Recipes of India

  • 2 pounds red potatoes
  • salt
  • oil (ideally mustard oil, which when using you will need to bring to a smoking point to kill the raw flavor and then reduce the heat back down. Canola oil is fine too, you just won’t have quite the same flavor)
  • 1 inch ginger, grated
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, grated
  • Whole spices: 1 cinnamon stick, 6 cloves, 2 black cardamom, 2 green cardamom
  • Ground spices: 2-4 teaspoons kashmiri chili (or a mixture of paprika and cayenne that you can adjust to your spice level), 1 tablespoon ground fennel, 2 teaspoons ground cumin, few turns of fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup yogurt, whipped smooth

Peel the potatoes, cut them into large, even-sized chunks, and in a pot cover them with generously salted water. Bring water to a boil, and boil until potatoes are 1/2 to 2/3 done. Drain and dry on a towel, and poke some hole in each with a fork.

In a pan, heat 1/2 inch of oil, and fry the potatoes in batches, turning, until they are lightly golden. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate.

Now make the curry: pour out all but 2-3 tablespoons of the oil, and heat the ginger and garlic pastes, stirring, for a minute or two. Add whole spices, and stir until fragrant. Add ground spices and stir for just a minute, then add yogurt and 2 cups water. Mix well.

Bring to a low boil, then reduce heat to medium low. Add the potatoes back into the pot, mix gently, then cover and cook for 10-15 minutes, until potatoes are fully cooked and the sauce has started to thicken.

Serve hot with rice or naan.

Listen to the episode! Fiction Kitchen Episode 30: Fanaa

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Fanaa

This is the scene that I love that I can’t shut up about. -C

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Referenced

Tasty Time

Main Episode

Intro music clip: “Chand Sifarish”, music by Jatin-Lalit, lyrics by Prasoon Joshi, vocals by Shaan and Kailash Kher. Available for purchase here.
Outro music clip: “Des Rangila”, music by Jatin-Lalit, lyrics by Prasoon Joshi, main vocals by Mahalaxmi Iyer. Available for purchase here.

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Jakku Ration Bread

sw green bread h
There was really only one food scene in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” (I mean, people were drinking and assumedly eating at Moz’ place, but we didn’t see anything closely) and it was of dear Rey rehydrating her measly rations, obtained by trading the few items she was able to salvage in the heat and sands of Jakku. We see her tear open the ration packet and empty the powder into a wooden bowl of water, and then it instantly bubbles up and forms into a round loaf of green bread. She tears into it along with something else that in one shot looks like seaweed (whenever the blu ray come out, I’m totally going to freeze frame it). It probably didn’t taste very good, or maybe it didn’t even taste like anything. Poor Rey. This breaks my heart because food is more than for survival, but that’s all she knew it for, and had no pleasure in it. I shake my fist at you ( ≖᷆︵︣≖)ᕗ, mysterious parents (or parent), who abandoned her to a life without good (enjoyable) food and at least the occasional home-cooked meal.

To make this bread I thought first of green, and then what would be nutritional (I did not want to use food coloring). Spinach came to mind, but also seaweed (because of whatever other food she was eating) and kale too. Really you just need to make a green puree and you can use various leafy greens for that; veggie and/or herb alike (like, basil would be delicious). Use what suits you! In my version I did include a few sheets of seaweed, but I omitted it from the recipe below just to keep it more straightforward.

sw bread pieces

Jakku Ration Bread

  • 5 oz. Fresh Spinach
  • 1/2 Cup Warm Water
  • 2 tsp. Active Dry Yeast
  • 1/2 tsp. Sugar
  • 3 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 2 tsp. Salt
  • 1 Tbsp. Butter, Melted

Bring enough water to cover the spinach to a rapid boil & then put the spinach in. When the water comes back to a boil remove the pot from the heat & drain the spinach & rinse it under cold water. Put the leaves in a food processor & puree it. You should have about 3/4 Cup or so of spinach.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the 1/2 cup warm water, sugar, & yeast & let it sit for about 10 minutes to get foamy. Add the butter, salt, spinach puree, & 1 cup of the flour & mix on low, & then medium. Add the rest of the flour a little at a time until incorporated & then switch to the dough hook & knead it for about 5 minutes, until dough balls up around the hook. Remove the dough & form it into a ball. Lightly coat the dough with oil & then put it back in the mixing bowl & cover with a damp towel to rise for about 1 1/2 – 2 hours.

Grease your baking dishes (you can use a bread loaf pan, or if you have round baking dishes like large ramekins, that’d be great as the bread in the film was round). Punch the dough down & separate it evenly if you’re using more than one dish. Cover the dishes with the damp towel & let rise for another 45 minutes. If you’d like, brush the tops with melted butter & sprinkle with salt.

Heat your oven to 400ºF. Place a casserole dish of water on the bottom rack & then place the bread pans/dishes on the middle rack. Bake for about 40-45 minutes & then remove to cool slightly. Best served fresh & warm!

Listen to the episode! Fiction Kitchen Episode 29: Star Wars

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BB-8 Layered Drink

BB8 drink

Every droid had its own manifest personality, and most that he’d encountered were predictable to certain stereotypes–bossy, sullen, grumpy–within their respective programming. BB-8 was his own case, sometimes childlike, sometimes precocious, but every now and then Poe wondered if the droid wasn’t daydreaming, which was absurd, of course, because that would imply that BB-8 had an active imagination.

–”Poe”, Star Wars: Before the Awakening by Greg Rucka

          It’s Baby-8! The cutest little astromech! Companion to the resistance fighter pilot Poe Dameron, BB-8 rolled his way onto screen in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”, and continued rolling right into my heart! (haha, so corny, but he’s roly-poly and oh-so adorable!) Some day soon the little Sphero BB-8 will be mine (ง︡’-‘︠)ง . Two of my favorite scenes in TFA were with BB-8 and R2D2, especially when BB-8 first rolls up to R2D2, and it was as if BB-8 was in awe of meeting such a famous astromech (I mean, R2D2 has seen and done it all! He’s a hero just as much as any other character, and was with Anakin since the very beginning). It was almost like a passing of the torch to the new generation. It was precious and emotional and so meaningful–and they only speak in beeps and boops!

BB-8, secure in the astromech socket behind the cockpit of Poe’s X-wing, burbled a question. Plugged into the fighter, the droid’s binary-speak was automatically decoded and displayed on the console, but Poe didn’t actually need to read the translation to understand what the droid was asking.

–”Poe”, Star Wars: Before the Awakening by Greg Rucka

          There are many different combinations that you can use for this layered effect. I experimented with several and came up with the one below as the simplest and most visually appropriate for BB-8. Plus, it tastes like an orange creamsicle. I’ve included other suggestions at the end of the recipe though, just so you can have fun experimenting. They turn out great as well, I was just more partial the the soda and milk one. Basically, it’s science; you want to use drinks with varying densities–in this case determined by sugar content–so that the most dense remains at the bottom and the least dense floats on the top. But it’s not like oil and water separation; you need ice and slow pouring to make it work.

bb8 drink 2

BB-8 Layered Drink

  • Lots of Ice (enough to fill your glasses), at least semi crushed or chunked up a bit.
  • Orange Soda (I used Crush)
  • Coconut Almond Milk (or other similar milk)

Fill a clear glass with ice all the way to the top. Fill 1/3 of the glass with orange soda. Next, slowly pour the milk through the ice so that it doesn’t mix with the soda, but instead, sits on top (there will be a little bit of overlap, but it shouldn’t be too much). Serve with a purple straw, or grey if you can find it.

Alternatives:
Orange soda + Carrot Mango V-8 Splash (great color), then Gatorade Frost + Minutemaid Light Lemonade
SoBe Piña Colada, then Carrot Mango V-8 Splash

Listen to the episode! Fiction Kitchen Episode 29: Star Wars

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Wookiee Cookies

wookiee-cookies

I know “Wookiee Cookies” already existed, but I was unsatisfied. I wanted something snarlier. Something sweeter. Something furrier.

I used the same butterscotch from our Harry Potter episode, mixed with peanut butter to make these super easy, no-bake hairballs of cookies.

Wookiee Cookies

  • 3+ tablespoons butterscotch (such as Popsugar’s easy homemade recipe)
  • 3+ tablespoons peanut butter
  • 3 large shredded wheat biscuits

In a large bowl, carefully break apart the shredded what biscuits so that they are completely broken up but there are still lots of long strands.

In a small bowl, mix together butterscotch and peanut butter. This amount should be enough to just barely hold the cookies together and keep them extra furry, you can increase the amount if you want them a little more stuck together and less delicate. Gently heat it 10 seconds at a time in the microwave until it is liquidy but not too hot to touch.

Mix the butterscotch-peanut-butter mixture with the shredded wheat. Form into clumps, and space on a wax-paper lined baking sheet to cool/harden to room temperature.

Listen to the episode! Fiction Kitchen Episode 29: Star Wars

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Pretzel Bread

Photo pending! I didn’t have a chance to snap one as I was whisking these out the door…

In Season 2 of Fargo, the Gerhardt’s kitchen is fascinating to me. It’s colored in icy, impersonal tones (I very much enjoy Tom and Lorenzo’s color theories) yet the racks of freshly baked bread are generally warm and inviting. The way they are used in the story is two-sided two, the offering of bread is at once maternal and threatening.

These loaves are drama-fraught, but pretty tasty, so if you’re feeling both violent and cozy this is a good recipe for you.

Pretzel Bread

Adapted from With Salt and Wit

  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 packet yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 to 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 quarts water
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

Heat milk until comfortably warm to touch (not hot, will kill yeast). Stir in butter, sugar, and yeast and let it proof for 10 minutes or so.

In a large bowl, measure out 2 1/2 cups flour and add salt. Pour the milk mixture into the bowl and mix until it starts to form a dough. Add more flour little by little until it comes together in a ball, then pour out onto a floured counter and knead for about 10 minutes, adding a little flour as necessary if it gets too sticky to handle. Transfer to an oiled bowl and cover with a tea towel. Let rise for 2 hours.

After 2 hours, punch down the dough, knead slightly and form into two equal sized balls.

Preheat oven to 400° Bring water and baking soda to a boil. One at a time, boil each of the balls for two minutes each side, and remove to an oiled baking sheet.

Brush with egg and slice crossways on the top of each loaf. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350° to continue baking for another 10-12 minutes until loaves are evenly browned. Remove to a wire rack to cool.

Listen to the episode! Fiction Kitchen Episode 27: Fargo

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Dark and Stormer

dark-and-stormer

Stormer was definitely my favorite Jem and the Holograms character as a kid – she’s a misfit (I’m a misfit), but she’s the nice misfit. She’s even better in the comic, the Kimber-Stormer storyline is the cutest, sweetest thing ever.

So of course I wanted to make a Stormer-inspired recipe. This is a super simple drink, a play on the Dark and Stormy, but with a blueberry-lime syrup, blue like her awesome glam hair and tropical like her Hungry like the Wolf look. It’s a lovely spicy mocktail, but feel free to spike it with a shot of rum.

Dark and Stormer

  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup demerara sugar (or sub brown sugar)
  • zest of 1 lime
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1/2 cup water
  • ginger beer
  • lime slices to garnish

In a small sauce pan, heat blueberries, sugar, lime zest, lime juice and water. Heat, stirring, until blueberries are burst and pretty much disintegrated.

Strain through a fine mesh sieve and cool. Add 2-3 tablespoons to a glass with ice, top with ginger beer, stir gently and garnish with a slice of lime.

Listen to the episode! Fiction Kitchen Episode 25: Jem and the Holograms

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Star Wars

Rey's Popsicle

May the force be with you! We talk about green bread and blue (er, gray) milk, ice princesses and emo sith. Be warned: major spoilers in this episode!


Edit: Shortly after recording this episode, catching up with Star Wars: Rebels, Diana discovered that Ahsoka now has white lightsabers! Woot!

Recipes

Referenced

Tasty Time

Main Episode

Intro music clip: “Star Wars” main theme by John Williams
Outro music clip: “Imperial March” by John Williams

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