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Tag Archives: Appetizer

Twin paths to a delectable tofu

Tofu, a food that resembles paneer or cheese, is formed by curdling soy milk with a coagulant, usually edible gypsum or nigari. Tofu has been in use from 200 B.C. when a zealous cook stumbled upon tofu by chance when he added nigari (magnesium chloride, found in ocean water) to flavor the soy milk. This reminded me of the origin of dulce de leche – seems to me that a lot of tasty foods were created more by accident than design 🙂

Tofu is available in soft(silken) and firm varieties. Soft tofu is easy to blend, and is used in a lot of vegan desserts and soups, whereas firm tofu retains shapes well, and is used in stir-fry, grilling and baking. Tofu is rich in protein, and hence a good source of protein for vegetarians and more so for vegans. It is also widely believed that the spread of Buddhism, which preached strict vegetarianism helped the spread and popularity of tofu. The health benefits of tofu are enormous, including but not limited to its cardiovascular protection and anti-cancer properties. While there are a lot of benefits to tofu, it contains goitrogens which interfere with the functioning of thyroid glands. You might want to go easy on tofu, if you have (or suspect) thyroid issues.

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Posted by on April 9, 2008 in Chinese, Cooking

 

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Chilli Paneer

We are a set of 4 desis in almost adjacent houses, and we meet on various occassions, at the drop of a hat – if there is none, we create one. To cut a long story short, we have forged great friendships over the years and I am really grateful for having such great friends/neighbors. Couple of weeks ago, we decided to meet for a farewell dinner for my friend’s mom who was visiting them from Chennai. It was my turn to host and I decided on the cuisine and menu too – it was to be Chinese, or rather Desi-chinese – every true-blooded Desi that I know loves Desi-chinese and am yet to find one who doesn’t. This was to be a potluck pary and Gobi Manchurian, Chilli Paneer, Hakka Noodles and Veg. Fried Rice were on the menu. I chose to make Chilli Paneer.

This dish, a deadly combination of paneer cooked in desi-chinese style, is something that I have always liked and wanted to make. This party provided the perfect opportunity to try it out. Tarla Dalal has a great recipe for chilli paneer and I also found Sig’s Chilli Chicken recipe quite interesting. I kind of married the two and made my own recipe – don’t we all do that?
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Posted by on March 26, 2008 in Cooking, Desi Chinese

 

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Bruschetta

Bruschetta is a great way to use up left-over bread. A quick dish to put together, with few ingredients, most of them already in your pantry, cooking cannot get easier and simpler than this. This is a very versatile dish – can be an appetizing starter to an elaborate Italian dinner or can just accompany a soup for a hearty and light supper.
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Posted by on August 18, 2007 in Cooking, Italian

 

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