Crab cakes

We were grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s this weekend and decided to get crab meat. It’s usually very expensive and that made us think twice. But our daughter wanted to try it since she had read about crab cakes in a story recently and wanted to try them. Also, I had the Red Lobster commercial playing in my head, I guess…. which tempted me. It’s all good…. we all need to succumb to our cravings from time to time, right?

After he got back from work last evening, my hubby dear declared, “I am going cook some deliciously evil crab cakes… you guys will be left licking your fingers”. I rolled my eyes and walked to my daughter’s room to check on her homework. Soon all of us were at the dining table, drawn by the smells from the kitchen. I must admit we were left licking our plates indeed!!

Here’s the recipe for all of you to enjoy. It’s slightly different from the standard recipe…. our take on it. I hope all of you like it 🙂

Ingredients:

Crab meat – 16 oz. can
Scallions – 1 small bunch, finely chopped
Mayo – 2 tsps
Mustard sauce – 1 tsp
Garlic – 3 to 4 cloves, chopped
Green chillies – 2 (deseeded, finely chopped)
Bread crumbs – 3/4 cup
Egg – 1, beaten
Juice from half a lemon
Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl. Roll into small balls and flatten into cakes. Heat oil in a pan and shallow fry the crab cakes till they are golden brown on both sides.

Serve along with dip of your choice or just try them as it is. They are delectable…. enjoy!!

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Daikon radish raita

The other day my hubby picked up some daikon radish from the Chinese market. It makes a good salad, he said, which made me think that I could use it in a raita. “Raita” is an Indian side dish used as an accompaniment to the main course, usually paired with pulav, biryani or sabzi-naan. It is a yogurt based salad which could be made from onions, tomatoes, carrots or cucumber. My experiment turned out to be delicious.

Here’s what I did. I whisked some yogurt (about a cup) in a bowl and thinned it with water for the right consistency. Then I added grated ginger, some chopped green chilies and coriander leaves to it. I spiced this up with cumin powder and some pepper. To balance the flavors I added some sugar and seasoned it with salt. Then I grated the daikon radish, about 3/4 cup, and added it to the yogurt mixture. To brighten things up, in went a handful of fresh pomegranate seeds. Doesn’t this sound mouth-watering? Crispy, crunchy, fresh and cool. It went perfectly well with our dinner last night of vegetable stew and brown rice.

Raita is really versatile. You can use finely chopped cucumber with roasted and crushed peanuts, or chopped onions and tomatoes and even boiled and mashed pumpkin. I always make raita with different vegetables depending on which ones are in my refrigerator and my family just loves it 🙂 Let me know if you try it.

Bengali fish in mustard sauce

Last night’s dinner was fish in mustard sauce and steamed white rice. My family loves it, it’s hearty and fairly easy to cook. It is a simple yet traditional Indian meal. The mustard sauce can be prepped in advance. It stays in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

Fish cooked in mustard sauce is a traditional fish curry from Bengal, a state in Eastern India. Bengalis are crazy about this and everyone probably has their own version. This is my husband’s recipe which he has perfected with memories from his mom’s cooking and adding his own twist. You have to be a mustard lover to relish this as it can be quiet pungent. So here you go…

Ingredients:

Fish (preferably steak cut) – 4-5 pieces

Black mustard seeds (small) – 3 tbsp.

Tumeric powder- 2 tsp

Red chilly powder – 1/2 tsp

Grated coconut – 1/2 cup

Green chillies – 2-3

Diced onion – 1/2 cup

Plain yogurt – 2 tbsp

Mustard oil (substitute with vegetable oil)

Sugar – 1 tbsp

Juice from one lemon

Chopped coriander leaves to garnish

Salt to taste

Preparation:

Soak the mustard seeds in water for 30 minutes or so. Coat the fish pieces with some salt, tumeric powder, red chilly powder and half of the lemon juice and set aside.

Sauce:

For preparing the sauce, grind the following in a food processor- the soaked mustard seeds, diced onion, coconut, green chilies, yogurt and sugar. You could add some water if the mixture is too thick.

Cooking:

– Saute the fish lightly in vegetable oil and set aside. You could skip this step if you want cut down the oil in the recipe.

– If you are using mustard oil, heat it in a pan till it starts smoking. Turn off the heat and let it cool for a while. Then heat it again and add the mustard sauce to it. Let this sauce cook for about 10 mins. Add some water if it thickens too much and keep stirring. Add salt for seasoning.

– Now add the fish to the sauce and let it cook for another 10 mins.

– Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and remaining lemon juice. Serve with steamed white rice.

Hope you like this…. and let me know if you try it. Enjoy, and stay “khush”!!

The smell of mustard is in the air...

Sunday night dinner

Dinner last night on Sunday was amazing. We wanted to cook something simple, yet nutritious. So here’s what we had…. Roasted butternut squash soup, mixed-green salad with home-made dressing and small oven-roasted red peppers and beans. To go with all this, Moscato wine, can’t go wrong with that.