Delectable recipes from Sophie Rahman

June 28, 2011 |  by  |  Chef Demos

Last Sunday, Sophie Rahman showed us how to make three tasty Indian dishes using fresh ingredients from the market along with an array of exotic flavors.  Here are the recipes! Sophie will be back at the Montavilla Farmers Market on July 10 to teach a class on Indian cooking. Students will shop the market to choose fresh produce, then return to Sophie’s kitchen to prepare a selection of simple, flavorful dishes. Contact Sophie if you would like to enroll in the class.

Beet Thoren (Beets with Coconut)

  • 4 fresh medium beets (about 1 lb)
  • 2 garlic cloves crushed
  • ¾ cup grated unsweetened coconut
  • 1 fresh green chili, split lengthwise
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 2 dried red chilies
  • 10-12 fresh kari leaves
  • 1 tablespoon uncooked long-grain rice

Ground masala:

  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric

Keep each of the ingredients prepared and measured as they will be added in rapid succession.

  1. Peel the beets and grate them using a food processor fitted with the coarse shredding disk, or on the coarse side of a box grater.   Set aside.
  2. In a bowl combine the coconut, garlic, green chili, ground masala, and salt with about ¼ cup water for form a moist ball.  Set aside.
  3. In a large wok heat the oil over medium high heat.  Add the mustard seeds and cover.  When the seeds have popped toss in the dried red chilies and kari leaves.  After the leaves crackle for a few seconds put in the rice and stir for about 5 seconds or until rice turns opaque white.  Add the grated beets and stir thoroughly.  Reduce the heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally until the beets become soft.  Add the coconut mixture and continue cooking for another 5 minutes.  Remove from the heat and check the salt.

Serves 6.

Gujarati Carrot Salad

  • 12 oz carrots, trimmed peeled and coarsely grated
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons lemon or lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons raisins (soaked in hot water for 2 – 3 hours) optional
  • 1 tablespoon black mustard seeds

In a bowl, toss the grated carrots with the salt. Put the oil in a very small pan and set over medium heat.  When the oil is very hot, put in the mustard seeds.  As soon as the mustard seeds begin to pop – this takes just a few seconds, pour the contents of the pan – oil and seeds – over the carrots. Add the lemon juice and toss.  You may serve this at room temperature or cold.

Serves 4 – 6

Alurbhaja (Potatoes with Panch Phoron*)

These can be eaten hot or at room temperature – they are great for picnics – as a filling in pitta pockets with sliced tomatoes and lettuce.   The spice blend helps to ‘pickle’ the potatoes and keeps them from spoiling.

  • 2 tablespoons mustard oil or canola oil
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 dried red chiles
  • 1 ½  lb boiling potatoes, boiled, peeled and cut into 1” cubes
  • 1 ½ tsp salt or to taste
  • 2 tbs chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon panch phoron *(See recipe below)
  • 2 onions finely chopped
  • 1 – 2 fresh green chiles such as Serrano, thinly sliced (for less heat remove pith & seeds)
  1. In a large non-stick fry-pan over medium heat, warm the oil.  When hot, add the dried chiles and fry, stirring, until they are very dark, almost black, about I minute.  Add the panch phoron and let the spices sizzle until they turn several shades darker about 30 seconds.  Add the onions, fresh chiles and turmeric and cook stirring until the onions are lightly fried and golden about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the potatoes and salt, mix well and cook until the potatoes are heated through.  Check and correct the seasonings and fold in the cilantro.  Serve hot, at room temperature, or cold.

Serves 6

Panch Phoron (5 Seeds)

  • 1 tablespoon brown or black mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon nigella seeds
  • 1 tablespoon fenugreek seeds

Combine all together in an airtight jar. If stored in a cool dark place these spices can be kept for up to a year.

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