Roti (Indian Flat Bread)

Sujre made roti to go with the Indian Chicken Curry she made. The word Roti is a generic word for “bread” in India and South East Asia. The roti “bread” is not like what we are used to know … this roti is flat and shaped rounded.

Sujre prepared the dough on the morning before she came to the cooking class. So we did not get to see how she made the dough. However, she told us that she used the Golden Temple Whole Wheat Flour (known as Duram Atta). Duram Atta is a finely stone-ground, whole-wheat flour that uses the entire brown wheat kernel. This low gluten flour kneads easier and cooks quickly. Besides this roti, Atta is also used to make other roti variants such as paratha, chapati and puri breads.

The dough is made up by adding only water, a pinch of salt and a teaspoon of oil to the flour. The dough is set aside for 30 minutes to rest before it is used to make the roti. After resting, break the dough and roll them into golf ball sized portions.

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On a floured surface, Sujre rolled the dough out very thinly, like 1-2 mm thick. She used an Indian rolling pin which is smaller and has narrower ends. She moved the rolling pin in circular motion while rolling which creates a perfect rounded shape. She made it look so simple.

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Well, we did try our hands rolling it, but many of us ended up with really odd shapes. We did have fun trying to do it nevertheless. It is not easy.

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Indian Curry Chicken

Sujre is new addition to the Gilmore Church Park community kitchen. As far as I know, she is the first member of East Indian ethnic in this cooking club I attend. This is good because this means that we will now have East Indian cooking demonstrations too. True enough, Sujre made an Indian Curry Chicken and two different types of bread to go with it. I am blogging on the Curry Chicken today and will blog on the bread the next two days.

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The Indian Curry Chicken was excellent. It has a hint of sourness from the yogurt. The roti (Indian flat bread) is a perfect complement for dipping the curry sauce. This dish is flavourful with the usage of Garam Masala spices but not spicy hot.

I had never really figured out the differences between East Indian curries vs South East Asian curries. I think they are:

  • East Indians uses yogurt to make the curry gravy while SE Asians uses coconut milk
  • East Indians uses tomatoes as an ingredient while SE Asian does not
  • SE Asian curries are almost always spicy hot while East Indian ones are not always so

What do you think … is my perception correct? Can you identify other differences?

Anyway, here is the recipe for Sujre’s Indian Curry Chicken.

Ingredients

Marinate ingredients:

  • 1 whole chicken, cut up, remove skin
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste
  • 1 tablespoon ginger paste
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • a pinch of saffron

Other ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon Garam Masala
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 fresh tomatoes, crushed or 1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 fresh onions, finely chopped or 3 to 4 tablespoons fried onions
  • 2 potatoes, peeled, cut into 1″ chunk and fried
  • a bunch of cilantro

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Garam Masala is basically a mixture of ground up spices. It is usually made up of green cardamon, brown cardamon, cinnamon stick, black pepper, clove and cumin. For convenience, you may just buy pre-packed Garam Masala. However, Sujre showed us the real way to do it with the real raw ingredients.

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Chow Mien

Yvonne made a Chinese Fried Noodles (Chow Mien) in the Caring Place Community Kitchen due to the popularity of this dish in another community kitchen which I did not attend.

It looked like a daunting task to make this noodle because Yvonne used a lot of ingredients. But, when making it at home, you can simplify the recipe by using your favourite meat or seafood and vegetables.

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Yvonne served the Chow Mien in the wok itself because we could’nt find a platter big enough to hold the noodles.

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Ingredients

  • 2 packets of Chinese instant noodles
  • 2 sweet peppers, sliced
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 2 inches of ginger, sliced
  • 3 to 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 to 4 shallots, sliced
  • 10 large button mushrooms, cleaned with paper towel and sliced
  • 2 carrots, sliced into match sticks
  • a bunch of green onions, cut into 1 inch length
  • a bunch of cilantro, chopped, save some for garnishing
  • some bean sprouts
  • 1 packet of large prawns, with shell removed
  • fried shallots for garnishing
  • toasted sesame seeds for garnishing
  • chicken stock

Marinates and Sauces

  • Soy sauce
  • Oyster sauce
  • Mirin or rice wine
  • Fish sauce
  • Corn starch
  • Salt and Pepper

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Szechuan Pork Chop

Yvonne’s second dish is Szechuan Pork Chop or more likely as Spice Salt Pork Chop. Yvonne got a great deal from a grocery store which offers buy one get one free pork chop. She made a big platter of Pork Chops.

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The Pork Chops were served over Fusilli pasta and fried skewered sweet peppers and steamed brocolli. The drippings from the baking of the Pork Chops made a great sauce for the pasta.

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Yvonne also made a sweet potato and yam soup as dessert. I love dessert soup.

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Ingredients

  • 2 pounds of pork chop
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seed oil
  • 2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons spice salt
  • 2 teaspoons corn starch
  • 2 teaspoons ‘Sar Geong Fern’
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup Mirin
  • 2 tablespoons pineapple juice
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 inch of ginger, minced
  • salt, pepper and sugar to taste
  • juice from half a lemon

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Skewered Chicken

Yvonne made two dishes in the South Arm Community Kitchen. Yvonne is an experienced cook. She worked in many places before like Pizza place, factory which supplied food concentrates to restaurants, etc. She also attended cooking schools in her early days in Vancouver. She is a lady with many talents.

One of Yvonne’s dishes is Skewered Chicken. She served the Skewered Chicken on Fusilli pasta and accompanied with Skewered Sweet Peppers which has been briefly fried.

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Yvonne is a person who emphasized on presentation. She presented her dishes with garnishes using cucumber, tomatoes, blood orange and lemon. It certainly made the dish more appealing.

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs of skinless and boneless chicken thighs
  • 1 bunch of fresh rosemary or substitute with 1 teaspoon of dried rosemary
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablepoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon Mirin or rice wine
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons of cornstarch

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Oven-fried Parmesan Chickens

Jean’s second dish is a very kids friendly dish. It is Oven-fried Parmesan Chicken. I know, Arkensen will absolutely loves this dish as he loves fried chicken and Parmesan cheese.

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The Oven-fried Parmesan Chicken is a wonderful dish for picnic. Its not messy and transports well after the chicken is chilled and kept in an insulated container with ice packs. You may even use this to make chicken burgers with some mayonnaise, sliced tomatoes, shredded lettuces and sliced onions.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup refrigerated or frozen egg product, thawed, or 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup fat-free milk or milk of your preference
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup fine dry bread crumbs
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 5 pounds meaty chicken pieces, skinned (breast halves, thighs, and drumsticks)
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • Snipped fresh oregano (optional)

Jean used boneless and skinless chicken thigh which is more flavourful and moist.

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Swiss Pepper Steak

Jean started off her Gilmore Park Church community kitchen with two meat dishes. She made Swiss Pepper Steak and Oven-fried Parmesan Chicken.

Jean is a good leader by showing a good example in leading the cooking class. I noticed that many of the members of the cooking clubs are very humble and quite shy to show off their cooking skills. It is always a challenging task to fill up the schedule of who to demonstrate in the coming cooking class in the beginning of every session. Nevertheless, the schedule has been filled up to April and its a good start.

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Well, back to Jean’s dishes. The Swiss Pepper Steak is a great one pot dish which is even better when eaten the next day for the flavour to mellow. It uses the less expensive cut of meat as the long and slow simmering will break down the tissue of the tougher cut of meat.

Ingredients

  • 2 to 3 lbs of large round steak or sirloin steak, cut into chunks
  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 large red pepper, sliced
  • 3 celery sticks, sliced
  • 8 white button mushrooms, sliced
  • flour for dredging

Sauce

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • pinch of sugar
  • 3 heaping teaspoons of chopped garlic

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Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

While Minoo was making the Clam Chowder, Jean was busy preparing her Pineapple Upside-Down Cake. Both of them have to do their demonstration at the same time because the cake needed one hour to bake while the Clam Chowder needed time for simmering.

I had to run back and forth to both stations to take the photos of the processes. It was a quite a busy morning for me.

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The Pineapple Upside-Down Cake was very pretty when it was turned upside down onto a plate. It is certainly a great recipe for potluck.

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Ingredients

  • 1 398ml can sliced pineapple
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 7 maraschino cherries
  • 2/3 cup shortening
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups unbleached flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

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Clam Chowder

Minoo started the cooking class in Caring Place for year 2007 with a popular soup, Clam Chowder. Minoo’s recipe is a simplified version which uses Cream of Mushroom Soup to gives the Clam Chowder its creaminess.

Minoo’s recipe is perfect at this time of the year. Vancouver had been unseasonably cold these days with quite a few days of snow storms and sub-zero temperatures. What is better than a hot bowl of soup in this cold winter?

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Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 can whole baby clams
  • 2 cans cream of mushroom soup, low sodium preferred
  • 2 teaspoons Mrs. Dash seasoning (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon dried parleys or you may use some fresh chopped parsleys
  • a pinch of dried thyme
  • a pinch of dried marjarom
  • salt and pepper to taste

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