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May 2014 COTM - My Bombay Kitchen: Soups/Eggs/Salads

Greetings all!

Please use this thread to post your reviews of the following:

Soups Pg. 73-82
Eggs Pg. 83-92
Salads Pg. 211-220

Remember to review the thread in order to ensure you reply to the original post on any recipe you are reviewing to make sure all the comments are grouped together.

As per usual the Chowhound Team would like me to remind you that verbatim copying of recipes is a violation of the author's copyright. Any posts with copied recipes will be removed.

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  1. Mother's Italian Eggs p. 58-59 - aka Devilled eggs with Cilantro, Lime, Honey and green chiles

    Easy to put together, once all the ingredients were in-house. Since we're spice wimps I used a chunk of very mild Anaheim green chile in the filling.

    I thought these were wonderful. Turns out my husband doesn't like fresh cilantro. At all. This was one of the few times he's asked me to not repeat a recipe.

    Any suggestions for cilantro alternative (not thyme, either) for any other recipes?

    2 Replies
    1. re: MidwesternerTT

      I've been making these eggs for years, and never add cilantro (weirdly, as I love the stuff). I think maybe thinly sliced green onion could work. What I love most is that slight crunch of the minced pepper. I also sometimes add a bit of cumin.

      1. re: MidwesternerTT

        Cilantro isn't my favorite either. I often substitute celery leaves.

      2. Mulligatawny, p81

        I'm going to like this cookbook. This was a good start.

        This was good, simple,and worked for a weeknight dinner. Mine had quite a bit of kick to it. I used Serrano chilies and would definitely tone it back if I were cooking for someone who didn't like a lot of chili. The recipe calls for 5 green chiles and the author indicates that Serrano and jalapeno aren't really the right choice; however, that was all my local grocery had and I didn't have time to shop around tonight. She recommends green chiles from an Indian grocer or farmer's market or fresh red chile de arbol.

        The recipe is quite easy. You toast the spices (white poppy seed, basmati rice, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, stick cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns, and turmeric). You grind the spices and then grind with cilantro, chiles, almonds, garlic, ginger, and a little water to make a paste. I ground the spices in a coffee grinder and then used an immersion blender to grind the wet mix. This wasn't a particularly smart choice as I sprayed the mix up into one of my eyes (not good with chile). She mentions a wet grinder. Anyone have one of these?

        You brown onion in oil, add the masala and cook a few minutes, and then add chopped chicken thighs, water or chicken stock (I used stock), and cook for about 30 minutes. She gives you the option of using fresh grated coconut or canned coconut milk. I used canned coconut milk which is added at the end.

        I served it over her "perfect plain rice" with some lime as she suggested.

        One question for those of you who more experienced with spice mixtures ... with the spices, she included 1 T of basmati rice which gets toasted and ground with the masala. What does the toasted rice do? Does it thicken it up or add flavor?

        I'm really looking forward to trying more things from this book.

        1. Beet Salad, pg. 214

          Beets are enhanced by Worcestershire sauce, hmmm, really. Yep it works. this is a simple enough salad--cut beets, sliced sweet onion, tossed with a dressing of oil, vinegar, and Worcestershire, serve on greens with a few extra slices of onion on top. My onion wasn't quite as sweet as it could have been (one really does want a very sweet onion here) but otherwise very tasty. Our meal that night also included some whipped yogurt, which went very well with the salad.

          4 Replies
          1. re: qianning

            Agree the beet salad pg. 214 is easy. And emphasize the need for a very mild/sweet onion (ours was a bit too pungent, even when thinly shaved). We had it on fresh spinach tonight, as a side with chicken.

            1. re: MidwesternerTT

              Beet Salad, p. 214. (Moving my report from the vegetable thread where I incorrectly posted it!)

              Another easy-prep, colorful side dish/salad, lightly-sweet and very fresh-tasting. Sliced or chopped cooked beets (I oven-roasted mine) are mixed with thinly-sliced "sweet" onion (I used a red one) and combined with a dressing of olive oil and sherry vinegar (cane or malt vinegar are also suggested) plus some salt. The "secret ingredient" is Worcestershire sauce and it provides a slightly smoky, spicy background that complements the sweetness of the other ingredients. I also had leftovers which I will serve tonight to my beet-loving daughter. I will also make some cucumber raita (p. 225) tonight to serve with it to provide even more savory flavors. As the author says, "Is there anyone who doesn't love [raita] ?"

            2. re: qianning

              Beet Salad, p. 214

              Agree: very nice little beet salad. Worcestershire--who knew?

              I made a tiny salad with leftover roasted beets, thinly sliced Vidalias, and sherry vinegar along with OO, salt, and a shake of Worcestershire.

            3. Cucumber and Ginger Salad, p. 218

              I made this to go with the fish in coconut milk. It's quick, simple, and refreshing. Halved and thinly sliced cucumber is dressed with lime juice and salt. Chopped ginger is mixed in. I microplaned some frozen ginger without peeling it. Using the microplane seemed to help it mix evenly into the salad. Shredded mint is listed as optional. I included it and it seemed like a nice addition to a very simple salad.

              1. Cabbage Salad with LIme and Mint - p. 214 - Closeup photo attached. An excellent combination that will get made again here. ETA - beautiful colors, as well as tasty. I made it without the fresh cilantro/corriander (intentional), or chiles (oops) but I did use a good amount fresh mint from my garden and the paper-thin slices of red onion, separated into rings. I also (intentionally) omitted the optional 1- 3 T. of olive oil. My cabbage was cut with a knife to "shred" it - maybe not at all what was intended for "finely shredded", however it worked well for us. The recipe lists salt & sugar to taste as optional. For my quarter-recipe I used juice of one lime, two quick shakes of salt around the bowl and 1/4 tsp. of Splenda.

                This was a side, along with rice, for five spice chicken thighs, cooked stovetop with apricots, lemon butter, juice from half a lime, and a small amount of vermouth.
                A tasty meal.

                1 Reply
                1. re: MidwesternerTT

                  Cabbage Salad w/ Mint & Lime.

                  We enjoyed this one too. For some reason the "sweet" onions have not been at all sweet this spring, so I did salt my onion; and then omitted adding salt when tossing. Also, used a tiny (1/2-1 tsp) bit of veg oil in place of the optional olive oil. Included the cilantro and the mint and the green chile pepper. Served as a side with Kharia and naan it was a perfect bright note to the meal.

                2. Carrot and Raisin Salad, p. 216

                  This was a nice change from the sweet, mayo-based carrot salads I usually make, and is simple to prepare. I stayed pretty true to the recipe, with the exception of using minced habanero chiles as the green ones I bought weren't hot enough (maybe they were small jalapenos?). Anyway, shredded carrot is tossed with the chiles, raisins (I used golden), chopped fresh coriander, lime juice and honey. Grated coconut is optional, but my local Asian market carries it (and it tastes incredibly fresh) so I was able to add it to the mix. The ingredients can easily be adjusted to taste, but I found the recipe's proportions to be pretty much on the mark for me. And I really liked using the habanero in this (just chopped 1/2 of it or so) as I find they have more of a "fruity" heat than green chiles. This sweet/hot/tangy salad accompanied my dinner of grilled salmon and the Caramelized Fried Rice on page 168, and I will definitely be making it again this summer to pair with other grilled meats and fish.

                  1. Russian Salad - p. 213 - Note that LulusMom also has made this and reported it, over on the veggies section.

                    Russian Salad (p.213) - I made a half recipe of all the veggies, with the smallest amount of mayo/mustard (1/2 C. commercial mayo, plus 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice, and mixed with 1/2 tsp. Coleman's mustard, no cayenne), then used only 3/4 of that, total. Next time I'd use even less mayo dressing. I dressed the beets separately and spread them on top of the rest of the mixed/dressed veggies.

                    I already had the beets and green beans cooked, so this was an easy to make, colorful, side salad with our baked

                    1. Cabbage Salad with Lime and Mint (p. 214)

                      Loved this. Chock full of flavor and freshness. I made life easier by buying a bag of shredded cabbage. To this you add 1 sweet onion thinly sliced, 2-3 fresh green chilies, shredded mint leaves, chopped cilantro, a little olive oil, lime juice, salt and a smidgen of sugar (optional). Served this with the Fish Cakes and it was a perfect match. This recipe is a huge keeper.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: LulusMom

                        That is great to hear. I've been tempted by this recipe forever, can't think why I haven't made it yet! Well, I have been a bit cabbaged out after a long cold winter. But I was thinking about the fish cakes for this week and we haven't had cabbage in a few weeks, so ....

                        1. re: Westminstress

                          Go for it. Make your masher the day before though - it did save time (talking fish cakes here).

                          1. re: LulusMom

                            oh definitely. i was even thinking i might poach my fish a day ahead. if i did it on sunday, that would make monday night dinner really easy.

                            1. re: Westminstress

                              It would definitely help. Both of these things are easy, but there is a lot of chopping required between both of them. At least it felt like a lot to me yesterday.

                      2. Cucumber and Ginger Salad (p. 216)

                        Cucumbers are sliced and tossed with salt, lime juice, and finely minced ginger. Fresh mint and olive oil are optional (I opted for the mint but not the oil, as I was serving it with green curry leftovers, and the curry sauce is on the rich side). I think this would have been good except that I added too much ginger. I also elected to MP the ginger instead of finely mincing it. I think I should have followed the directions and minced the ginger with a knife. Anyway, the ginger was too intense the way I made it, but it has good potential, I will try again. The cucumbers dressed with just lime juice and salt were very good too.

                        1. Smoky Eggplant Salad, p. 218

                          This eggplant dish uses the trick of putting a hot coal inside a layer of onion to impart a smoky flavor to the eggplant. While I've heard of this before, I've never done it because if I have a grill going and hot coals, why not just cook the eggplant on the coals? Which is what this is supposed to imitate. I'm still not sure what the efficiency is supposed to be here. Since I was not grilling last night, I went out and lit some coals just so I could bring one in to do this "trick" with the eggplant.

                          Bottom line is, the trick works. Whether it actually saves you any trouble, I'll let you decide. As for the salad itself, the author has you cook the eggplant in the oven until completely soft, then scrape the pulp into a bowl. Mixed with this are diced onion, garlic, tomato (optional, but I used it), chiles, cilantro, salt, and lime juice. Also sugar is listed as optional and I omitted it.

                          You set the onion cup into the salad, put a hot coal in there, and pour ghee over it. It starts smoking. Cover and let sit, and the eggplant soaks up that smoke. Salad is intended to be served at room temperature.

                          While the onion/coal thing worked, and was kind of cool, I did not love this salad. It was fine. I wasn't a fan of the raw onion mixed with the eggplant - it just seemed to clash and there was too much of it (I used less than half of a Vidalia onion). So it was interesting, but there are many other eggplant dishes from India that I would rather eat.