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Saturday, October 22, 2005 

This Blog Is Moving - Last Time :D

I've finally launched my new cooking multiblog, Curry Elvis Cooks, which is a combination of my 4 older cooking blogs, as well as several new food, drink, and gardening categories. The homepage is not up yet, and the new blog's template will be changing slowly. I hope you'll bear with me.

By the way, I will be maintaining my 4 older cooking blogs for archive purposes only: Curry Elvis Cooks, Cooking For One Or Two, Chili Monster/Hot Head, Vegetarian Fusion.

cheers,

curry elvis


Saturday, October 15, 2005 

Garden-Fresh Vegetables In Black Bean-Curry Paste on Rice



This is a delectable vegetarian hybrid of stir-fry and curry that tastes all the better for using garden-fresh and Farmers Market-bought vegetables. The delicious sauce that results from cooking fresh vegetables is impossible to describe properly. You'll have to taste for yourself. This dish tastes great on steamed rice, or with a stick of French micelle or baguette bread.

Ingredients
  • 1-2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 large portabello mushroom, thinly sliced.
  • 5-7 small shiitakes.
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning (dry mix of parsley, sage, rosemary, basil, thyme).
  • 1 tsp turmeric/haldi.
  • 1 tsp garam masala [optional]. This spice (which translates to "hot spice") is available mostly in East Indian/Pakistani groceries, although you can sometimes find it in West Indian markets or in the International section of larger supermarkets.
  • 1 tsp curry powder with ground green tea leaves.
  • 1 small red bell pepper, large dice (about an inch per side).
  • 1 small cubanelle style hot red pepper, cut in slivers of about 1 inch long.
  • 2 small onions, cut in 1/8ths.
  • 3 small white or red "new" potatoes (about 1.5-2 inches in length), skin on, boiled and cooled - preferably overnight.
  • 7-9 whole okra, tops trimmed.
  • 1-2 tbsp garlic black bean paste, diluted in 1/4 cup of water. Black bean paste can be purchase in Oriental markets and in the international section of larger supermarkets.
  • Salt and black pepper to taste.
  • 1/4 head of Boston or bib lettuce, stem removed, and torn into larger-than-bitesize pieces.
  • Steamed rice.
  • 1 stalk green onions, sliced finely on a bias [optional].

Preparation
  • Heat cooking oil on medium high in a non-stick frying pan.
  • Add the mushrooms and saute for 2 minutes.
  • Add the Italian seasoning, turmeric, garam masala, and curry powder. Reduce heat to medium, toss, and cook for 1 minute.
  • Add bell pepper, cubanelle pepper, and onions. Toss and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the potato and okra. Toss and cook for about 2 minutes.
  • Add the garlic black bean paste diluted in water. Reduce to medium low and let simmer for about 5 minutes. You want to cook off most of the water, but still have a bit of gravy. Just make sure you don't burn the mix, as the black bean paste is susceptible to it, and gets very bitter.
  • Add salt and black pepper to taste.
  • Increase heat temporarily to medium high, add lettuce pieces, toss liberally for no more than a minute, then turn off heat.

Presentation
Serve vegetables over rice. Garnish with green onions.

(c) Copyright 2005-present, Raj Kumar Dash, http://cookingforone-or-two.blogspot.com

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Thursday, October 06, 2005 

This URL Is Moving Pt 2 - New CurryElvis.com Domain

For any readers coming here for vegetarian food recipes and philosophy, I've decided to reinstate this blog, but as part of my brand new CurryElvis.com website. I'm still putting the site together at the time of this writing, but for technical reasons, I need to post this message before I switch the blog configuration. So the posts at this blog will be repeated over at http://www.curryelvis.com/blogs/vegetarian-fusion shortly after this post. Hope you enjoy my new food and drink site when its fully functional. (If you get a "page not found" message in your web browser, that's simply because I haven't finished setting up the blog/ site.)

Thanks,

curry elvis/ elvis parsley


Monday, September 26, 2005 

Change of URL: This Veggie Food Blog Is Moving

After a couple of weeks of trying to maintain 4 different cooking blogs, I've decided that instead of doing a poor job on all 4 blogs, I'll incorporate most of them into my Curry Elvis Cooks blog. From this point forward, I'll be posting all of my vegetarian-related entries over there. It is actually the first step towards a more sophisticated cooking website that I'm working on. I have big plans for the new website, but the fact is it'll take some time for all of them to manifest. When they do happen, however, I'm hoping they'll be a nice treat for you.

(c) Copyright 2005-present, Raj Kumar Dash, http://www.chameleonintegration.com/blogs/vegfusion

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Saturday, September 24, 2005 

My Own Top-Secret Veggie Burger

Lodge Logic Pre-Seasoned 10-1/2-Inch Round GriddleWhen I was a vegetarian for 3 years (it took me 8 years to get to that state), one thing I missed constantly was the texture of meat, especially burgers. The packaged, commercial veggie burgers were not only expensive but they just didn't cut it. That was around 1997. I have yet to taste a commercial veggie burger that had texture and taste to satisfy both vegetarians and meat-eaters. Well, there's one at a Canadian burger chain known as Harvey's. But their's is the only one. So, I had to create my own. It took me nearly 5 years of trying, but I managed it. Unfortunately, I never wrote down the exact recipe, and have never been able to make it exactly the same. Que sera sera.

The one time that I did turn out a great veggie burger was for a party that some friends were throwing. I was still a vegetarian at the time, and I thought hard about something appropriate, since most of the guests weren't vegetarians. Success. My burgers were so popular that night that I saw one guy, Willie, with a stack of 12 on his plate. After three hours of preparing and cooking, I'd only made 60 - 2 per expected guest. Willie told me how much he loved them, hence the tower on his plate. But he was in for a shock when I told him there wasn't any meat in the burgers. He actually wouldn't believe me at first.

What did I use? Now here's the part you aren't going to like. This recipe is still sort of a secret, so even though I'm going to give you ingredients, I'm not going to give you measurements. I'm also not going to give you precise instructions, but I will refer you to my mushroom fritters post, which you should follow as far as the cooking part goes.

  1. I used two types of mushrooms: button and canned shiitake. I diced both up very fine with a sharp chef's knife.
  2. I used chickpea flour (called "besan" in East Indian and West Indian groceries). You can also grind up dried chickpeas. Chickpea flour has a great binding agent, so it's perfect for veggie burgers, high in protein, tasty, and surprisingly under-utilized - apparently good with beer. It's used daily in India and other nearby South Asian countries, as well as in Italy.
  3. I also used grated raw potato, grated raw onion, grate cheese (mozarella and cheddar), salt and pepper, a bit of red chili flake, and ground cumin.
Still with me? Okay, now this recipe is really just a mutation of my great-grandmother's and grandmother's mushroom fritter. So the preparation and cooking instructions there apply. I suggest using a cast-iron frying pan or a cast-iron pancake griddle. Cast-iron holds heat well, so you can reduce heat down to low and still have items cooking for 20 minutes or more, especially if you cover the pan. And that is the basis of one more secret: follow my "grandma" recipe, but use cast-iron, turn the heat to low and let each batch of veggie burgers cook, covered, for about 25 minutes. Enjoy.

(c) Copyright 2005-present, Raj Kumar Dash, http://www.chameleonintegration.com/blogs/vegfusion

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