A Slice Of Gujarat, Served With Nostalgia And Love

A Slice Of Gujarat, Served With Nostalgia And Love

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first_imgAs a child in Raleigh, N.C., Priti Chitnis Gress yearned for the all-American burgers and pizzas instead of the traditional food being cooked in her home. She recalls, “My parents preferred very spicy, or ‘hot’ Indian dishes and they didn’t make exceptions for the children. My mother would sprinkle sugar over dal and rice in an attempt to get me to eat it, but it hardly worked.”  Today Gress, who is an editor, is an accomplished home cook and the author of Flavorful India: Treasured Recipes from a Gujarati Family (Hippocrene Books) – a tribute to her mother Suvashini’s Gujarati cooking.The Chitins family often entertained American friends and neighbors with home cooked food and Gress recalls, “Often dressed in a sari, my mother attracted attention from Americans at work or at church, and she introduced many native Southerners to Gujarati cooking. Her friends loved coming over to watch her cook and even better, enjoy a meal with us afterwards. For guests, she would often prepare chicken curry, rice, rotlis (chappati), and a great variety of vegetables. Southerners love fried okra, for example, and they raved about my mom’s bhinda.The book is a glimpse of Gujarati home cooking, something most Indian restaurants don’t serve and few Americans know anything about. “Gujarat cuisine offers so many delicious vegetarian options, and readers should know there is much more to Indian cooking than naan and tandoori chicken,” she says. One normally assumes Gujarati cooking to be all vegetarian, but in her book she also celebrates the non-vegetarian cooking of the Muslim and Christian Gujarati communities.Gress, who lives with husband Jay in Hoboken, NJ, definitely doesn’t cook a full Indian dinner very night, but a couple of times a week: “My cooking is a little different than my mom’s as I’ve been influenced by several years of New York City’s Indian take-out offerings. I tend to like dishes a little richer and creamier.” She believes that even novices can cook the dishes and shows how easy it is to shop for ingredients and cook Gujarati food in the US, even with work pressures: “I wanted to find that balance between slaving in the kitchen over a good meal and spending time enjoying it with my family.” Coconut-Cashew-Raisin Potato PattiesMakes 15 to 20 pattiesHere is another variation of these patties. Serve them with Tamarind Chutney(adding in dates)   · 4 medium-size potatoes, boiled, peeled and mashed       1 teaspoon sesame seeds       2 cups all-purpose flour        1 teaspoon sugar   · 1 tablespoon powdered coconut    · 6 to 9 cashew nuts, finely ground   · 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated ginger    · 10 to 12 raisins, finely chopped   · 1/2 teaspoon finely minced green chili pepper    · 1 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro       1 teaspoon garam masala         1/2 cup oilDivide the mashed potatoes into 2 equal portions. Combine the first portion with 1 cup of the flour. Combine the second portion with the coconut, ginger,green chilli, garam masala, sesame seeds, sugar cashews, raisins, cilantro andlemon juice. Mix thoroughly.With the potato-flour mixture, make fifteen to twenty small balls. Flatten each ball with your hand or a rolling pin to make a patty. Place 1 tablespoon of the other potato mixture on each patty. Pull the edges of the patty around the“stuffing” to form a 1-to 2- inch ball. Oil your hands and flatten each ball into a2- to 3-inch patty with your palm.Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Coat each patty with the remainingFlour, shake off the excess, and pan-fry for 1 to 2 minutes on each side, or untilgolden brown.Tamarind ChutneyMakes 1/4 to 1/2 cup of chutneyTamarind Chutney is generally sweet but can be made spicier with the addition of more red pepper or minced green chili. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for one to two weeks.· 2 tablespoons tamarind paste * 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper * 1/4 teaspoon salt · 1 teaspoon brown sugar Optional ingredients:1 tablespoon finely chopped golden raisins1 date, finely chopped1/2 to 1 green chili, stemmed and minced2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantroCombine all the ingredients, including any desired optional ingredients with 1tablespoon water. Mix well. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons additional water for a more liquid chutney. Related Itemslast_img

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Waterhouse veteran McCallum retires

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Jamaica can top medal table in Rio – Blake

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Jennifer Ellison-Brown: The best training methods

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Nadal on course in Monte Carlo

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