Posts Tagged With: ghee

Halwa

Omani Dessert

HALWA

INGREDIENTS

¾ cup corn flour or tapioca flour
1 cup water
2 tablespoons ghee (2 more tablespoons later)
6 tablespoons chopped almonds or cashews or combination
1¾ cups sugar
¼ teaspoon cardamom
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon rose water
8 saffron threads
1¾ cups water
¾ teaspoon toasted sesame seeds (¼ teaspoon more later)
½ tablespoon ghee
¼ teaspoon toasted sesame seeds.

SPECIAL UTENSIL

8″ x 8″ casserole dish

Serves 12. Takes 30 minutes if served warm or 1 hour if served cool.

PREPARATION

Add flour to mixing bowl. Gradually add 1 cup water, blending all the time. Add 2 tablespoons ghee, and almonds to pan. Sauté at medium-high for 3 minutes or until nuts start to brown. Stir frequently. Drain. Set aside.

Add sugar, cardamom, nutmeg, rose water, saffron, and 1¾ cups water to pot. Bring to boil using high heat. Boil for 5 minutes until sugar completely dissolves. Stir slowly and just enough to prevent burning. Reduce heat to low. Stir gently and constantly as you add in the flour/water mix. Let simmer until mixture thickens as starts to pull away from the sides of the pot. Fold in sautéed almonds and ¾ teaspoon toasted sesame seeds.

Grease casserole dish with ½ tablespoon ghee. Gently pour the setting mixture into casserole dish. Sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon toasted sesame seeds. Serve warm into cups or let cool until it sets.

TIDBITS

1) Halwa can remain on the kitchen table. It can also fly up to the ceiling. This is because it can, locally, turn the Earth’s gravitational field on and off. NASA is studying halwa intensively.

 

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

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Bariis Iskukaris – Spicy Rice and Meat From Somalia

Somali Entree

BARIIS ISKUKARIS
(Spicy Rice and Meat)

INGREDIENTS

1 cup basmati rice
½” ginger root
2 garlic cloves
1 medium onion
1 large tomato
3 cardamom seeds
3 cloves
¾ pound lamb, beef, goat, or chicken
2½ tablespoons ghee or vegetable oil
1 cinnamon stick
¼ teaspoon coriander
¼ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon salt
½ tablespoon vegetable seasoning
1½ cups water
½ teaspoon saffron threads

Serves 4. Takes 1 hour 40 minutes.

PREPARATION

Cook rice according to instructions on package. While rice cooks, grate ginger root. Mince garlic cloves and onion. Dice tomato. Grind cardamom seeds and cloves into powder. Cut meat into ½” cubes. Add ghee, garlic, onion, cardamom, cinnamon stick, and cloves to pan. Sauté for 5 minutes at medium-high heat or until garlic and onion soften. Stir frequently.

Add meat cubes, coriander, cumin, ginger, salt, and vegetable seasoning. Cook at medium heat for 5 minutes or until meat browns. Stir frequently. Add tomato. Cover and cook at medium heat for 10 minutes or until a sauce is obtained. Stir occasionally.

Add 1½ cups water. Bring to boil using high heat. Stir enough to prevent burning. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes or until meat is tender and most of the water has been absorbed. Stir occasionally. Add saffron. Cover, and simmer at low heat for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. Remove cinnamon stick. Add rice to plate. Ladle spicy meat mix onto rice.

TIDBITS

1) Food left on a burner can burn within minutes or at the most, within a day. Bears take two weeks to three months to hibernate. It’s a certainty that any food bears left on the stove at the start of their Big Sleep will have turned into ashes by the time they stirred. There’s no evolutionary future for a species that habitually burns its food. That’s why we descended from apes.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

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Biryani From Pakistan

Pakistani Entree

BIRYANI

INGREDIENTS

2 medium onions
1 pound lamb or chicken
2 green chiles
1 garlic clove
¾” ginger root
1 large tomato
3 cardamom seeds
3 cloves
1½” cinnamon stick
¾ teaspoon garam masala
3 peppercorns
1 teaspoon red chile flakes or ½ teaspoon cayenne
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon turmeric
6 tablespoons ghee or butter
1¼ cups basmati rice
2½ cups water
1 bay leaf
½ teaspoon saffron or  ¾ teaspoon safflower
¼ cup warm water
½ cup fresh mint leaves

SPECIAL UTENSILS

blender or food processor
mandoline
sonic obliterator

Serves 6. Takes 1 hour 30 minutes.

PREPARATION

Slice onions ⅛” thick using mandoline or knife. Cut lamb into 2″ cubes. Seed and dice green chiles. Use food processor to turn garlic cloves and ginger root into a paste. Puree tomato in blender.

Add green chile, onion, cloves, cardamom seeds, cinnamon, garam masala, peppercorns, red chile flakes, salt, turmeric, and ghee to large pan. Sauté at medium-high heat or until onion softens and browns. Stir frequently. Add garlic/ginger paste. Sauté at medium heat for 5 minutes or until garlic/onion paste becomes fragrant. Stir frequently. Add tomato. Cook at medium heat for 3 minutes. Add lamb. Cook at medium heat for 5 minutes or until lamb starts to brown. Stir occasionally. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir enough to prevent burning.

While lamb simmers, add rice, 2½ cups water, and bay leaf to pot. Bring to boil using high heat for 15 minutes or until rice is al dente. Stir occasionally and add water as necessary to avoid burning the rice. Remove bay leaf. Drain and set aside. Add saffron and ¼ cup warm water to small mixing bowl. Stir, Add rice and saffron/water mixture. Cover and simmer at low-medium heat for 30 minutes or until rice is tender. Stir occasionally. Remove cinnamon stick.

While lamb/rice/saffron simmers, dice mint leaves. Garnish dish with mint leaves. Use sonic obliterator on any guest who crosses you in any way at anytime during preparation or serving.

TIDBITS

1) Pakistan is home to the ATM at the highest elevation in the world, 15,397.

2) The highest polo stadium on Earth is also in Pakistan. at 12,140 feet.

3) This means you can leave the stadium after a particularly exciting match and still have to climb up over a half mile to withdraw some cash. So, It really is best to come prepared with enough money for post-game activities.

4) Over half of the world’s hand-sewn soccer balls come from Pakistan. The British rulers of Pakistan, during the time of the Raj, loved to play soccer. But it took forever to ship soccer balls from Britain to Pakistan. The rest of the trip was by train. By the time, the soccer balls got to the soccer pitches, everybody would have gone home months ago. So, the British soccer officials asked the local businesses to make soccer balls. They produced fantastic leather spheres. Now, the British could play soccer whenever they wanted. The local businesses burgeoned. Now Pakistan dominates the hand-sewn market.

5) This is just one consequence of global imperialism.

6) Pakistan’s national anthem has been rated as one the best in the world. Well done, Pakistan.

7) On the other hand, two Pakistani brothers created the world’s first computer virus. Boo.

8) In 2011, Pakistani officials arrested a monkey crossing its border with India. I don’t know the charges. I’d really like to know the charges. No passport?

9) The national fruit is the mango.

9) One of the two national languages of Pakistan is Urdu. Only 7% of the population speak it. The most used non-English language is Punjabi.

10) Okay, suppose you’ve just withdrawn some rupees from the word’s highest-up ATM and you wish to buy some mangos at the local market. How would you say it? You would tell the merchant, “Iha aba kina hai?”

11) There, you have one fewer thing to worry about should you ever travel to Pakistan.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

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Tibet Yak Butter Tea

Tibetan Appetizer

YAK BUTTER TEA

INGREDIENTS

3½ cups water
2 tablespoons loose-leaf black tea or 6 black-tea bags
2 tablespoons yak ghee, yak butter*, or cow butter
½ cup whole milk
¼ teaspoon salt

* = Yak butter can be found in Tibet and nowhere else apparently, not even online. Yak ghee, however, can be purchased on line. I really tried to find yak butter. There are yaks farm in Colorado, Montana, and Wyoming. You can order yak meat from them or even an entire yak. Simply drive to a yak farm and buy the animal.. Somehow put the yak in your van or pickup truck. (I recommend against using the tiny Honda FitTM for this purpose.) Drive the yak back to your humble abode. Milk the yak. (You did buy a female yak, didn’t you?) Put the yak milk in your food processor. Blend until the yak milk separates into yak butter and yak buttermilk. Easy peasy. Drink the yak buttermilk as is or use it to make yak-buttermilk pancakes.

SPECIAL UTENSILS

stool (If you’re milking a yak.)
colander (If you’re using loose tea.)
blender
sonic obliterator

Serves 5. Takes 15 minutes.
.
PREPARATION

Add water to 1st pot. Bring water to boil using high heat. Add black tea. Reduce heat to low. Simmer for 3 minutes. Stir enough times to prevent burning. While tea simmers, build a financial empire. Remove tea leaves or tea bags from tea. Add tea, yak butter or ghee, milk, and salt to blender. Blend on low speed for 3 minutes. Serve the tea right away. Zap un-appreciative guests with your sonic obliterator. You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life.

TIDBITS

1) This dish is truly difficult to assemble and make. How difficult, you ask?

2) You have to go to a yak farm in west-central America to even find yaks.

3) Suppose you don’t want to buy a yak and take it home. (As suggested earlier in the recipe.)

4) You could ask the yak ranchers if you could milk the yaks right there.

5) They might refuse. They might charge you a lot for milking privileges. They might let you do it for free if they’re in the mood for a laugh and it has been a plumb stressful week of yak ranching.

6) Suppose you get some yak milk. Good. Now you have to transport it back home and that’s likely to be a long drive. And you’ll need to keep that milk cold all the way back or it’ll go bad.

7) The distance from my home to the Colorado yak ranch is 1,155 miles. That would take me 16.5 hours.

8) I wouldn’t risk using a cooler for such a lengthy venture. I think it’s likely the milk would still get warm and go bad in a cooler.

9) I’d be ticked off beyond measure if I drove 16.5 hours to get to the ranch, got laughed at the ranch hands while I milked the yaks, and took the same time to get back home only to find the yak milk went bad.

10) Nothing’s worse than spoiled yak milk

11) Best to put a refrigerator in your care. Plug the fridge into the cigarette lighter. Could you get enough electricity from the cigarette lighter to power the refrigerator? Even if you could, how many miles to the gallon would your get? Two?

12) You could try taking a portable electric generator with you. Could such a generator power your fridge all the way back from Colorado, where you were laughed at while milking yak cows? Doubtful.

13) It’s simpler to fly to Lhasa, Tibet, then buy some yak butter there. As of today, I can fly round trip from near my home to Lhasa, Tibet for $867 with each flight taking 50 hours, a scant 27 hours each way for a scant $1,344.

14) Then buy a really, really tight container, one that doesn’t let heat in at all. Pack the container with ice. Mail it from Lhasa. Pick package up at home. Is this at possible?

15) Don’t know. That’s why I ordered some yak ghee.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: cuisine, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Kuwaiti Machboos

Kuwaiti Entree

MACHBOOS

INGREDIENTS

1 green chile
2 garlic cloves
2 inches ginger root
2½ pounds boneless chicken, thighs or breasts
½ teaspoon cardamom
½ teaspoon coriander
¼ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon turmeric
3 cups chicken stock
2 cups basmati rice
1 gram saffron (This is expensive. Get a sonic obliterator to protect it.)
2 tablespoons raisins
2 tablespoons slivered almonds
3 tablespoons ghee or vegetable oil
2 medium onions
1 large tomato
1 bay leaf
4 inches cinnamon sticks
3 cloves
2 dried lemons

SPECIAL UTENSILS

food processor
sonic obliterator (To protect your saffron.)

Serves 5. Takes 1 hour 10 minutes.

PREPARATION

Slice chile in half lengthways. Seed chile. Add garlic cloves and ginger root to food processor. Chop until garlic and ginger becomes paste. Add chicken, cardamom, coriander, paprika, pepper, and turmeric to mixing bowl. Mix with hands until chicken pieces are well coated.

Use sonic obliterator to zap intruder trying to steal your saffron. Add chicken stock, rice, and saffron to pot. Simmer on low for 30 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. Add almonds and raisins to mixing bowl. Add enough warm water to cover almonds and raisins.

While chicken stock/rice simmers, mince onions and tomato. Add ghee, onion, and tomato to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat or until onion softens. Stir frequently. Cut dried lemons in half. Add coated chicken, bay leaf, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and dried lemon halves. Cook at medium-high heat for 10 minutes. Stir frequently. Add chile, garlic/ginger paste, and tomato. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and simmer for 15 minutes or until chicken is done. Stir occasionally.

Drain water from almonds and raisins. Remove and discard bay leaf and cinnamon sticks. Remove chicken and set aside. Add rice to plates, then onion/garlic/spices remaining in pan, and then chicken. Garnish with almonds and raisins.

TIDBITS

1) The United States Paranormal Force (USPF) is based out of Casper, Wyoming.

2) This was totally secret until tidbit 1) which kinda let the cat out of the bag. Ok, totally out of the bag. It was all an accident. I was looking for a substitute for goat meat for one of my recipes. My search engine said, “Did you mean ghosts?” No, I did not. But the search engine already had the bit between its teeth, giving me a link to the USPF’s website.

3) How did this happen? Last April, Lieutenant Amos Keeto of the USPF sent an email with the title, “Ghosts or Goats, Better Adjunct to the Potentially Revived Star Wars Defense Initiative?

4) Unfortunately, Keeto clicked on the “Send to All Option” Everyone who had a Yahoo account received this email. Fortunately, the sheer volume of recipients flagged this email as spam and never made it to your inbox. Unfortunately, you could have read it had you been scrutinizing every post in your trash folder before emptying it. Fortunately, none of you do. But the search engines did. And the search algorithms waited and waited until someone, me, asked for goat-meat substitute.

5) Military goats have a long and illustrious heritage. In 1775, a wild goat, apparently a Tory, carried the colors for a Welsh regiment during the British assault on Bunker Hill. Another Welsh goat, Taffy IV, fought in World War I, participating in four major battles. Taffy died in 1915 and was awarded the British War Medal, and the Victory Medal.

6) Clearly goats, especially Welsh ones, can be awesome instruments or war when properly led. So, the Air Force reasoned how much more fiercesome would flying goats would be dealing death from the sky. “Baa, baa,” would become a byword for terror.

7) However, the USAF eventually concluded that they would never get goats to fly at Mach 1, the speed of sound, much less fly at all.

8) Then in August, 1990, Major Keeto, feverish from drinking buttermilk past its expiration date, had a vision. He saw a friendly ghost change into a fiendish one able to make entire battalions retreat with blood-chilling baas or boos as they often seem to sound like.

9) The newly-formed USPF brass began recruiting local ghosts. At first the ghosts couldn’t do more than 300 miles an hour. But with a year of the training that makes America’s Paranomal Force the envy of the world, the ethereal specters could fly at Mach 1 and terrify the enemy with terrifying boos. Hence, Mach boos or Machboos.. In honor of this achievement, the cadets at Casper, Wyoming renamed their favorite chicken/rice dish to Machboos. Machboos has become a well-liked entree in Kuwait as well. Now you know.

Chef Paul

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: cuisine, history, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Chicken Vindaloo

Indian Entree

CHICKEN VINDALOO

INGREDIENTS – MARINADEchickenvindaloo

3 garlic cloves
1½” ginger root
3 medium tomatoes
¾ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
4 teaspoons garam masala
1 teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
½ tablespoon turmeric
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons white vinegar (2 more tablespoons later)

INGREDIENTS – OTHER

2 pounds boneless chicken thighs
2 medium potatoes
3 medium onions
2 tablespoons ghee or vegetable oil
2 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons white vinegar

SPECIAL UTENSIL

blender

Serves 6. Takes 3 hours.

PREPARATION

Add all marinade ingredients to blender. Blend on medium setting until smooth. This is the marinade. Cut chicken thighs into 1″ squares. Add marinade and chicken squares to large mixing bowl. Mix until chicken is well coated. Cover and marinate in refrigerator for 2 hours.

While chicken marinates, peel potatoes. Cut potatoes into ½” cubes. Mince onions. Add ghee and onion to large pot. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Stir frequently. Add marinated chicken. Cook for 5 minutes on medium-high heat. Stir occasionally. Add potatoes, chicken broth, and 2 tablespoons white vinegar. Bring to boil using high heat. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 50 minutes or until potato is tender. Goes well with rice.

TIDBITS

1) After 75 years and invoking Crown Really Official Secrets (CROS), I can finally tell the heroic story of Mrs. Linda Voo.

2) It was 1941. The Battle of Britain was over. The Nazi air fleet had failed in its attempt to bomb the British people into submission. It was time to take the war to the German aggressors. But how? The British army was minuscule compared to Germany’s and had no way to land on the continent. Aha, by air! The British Air Royal Force, BARF, would attack the Hun’s war factories by air.

3) Though there was that delay when Winston Churchill secured the regisnation of the dyslexic Sir Orbert Abcon from the War Nimistry. It took over a month to correct the names he misspelled. Later that year, the newly renamed RAF commenced a massive bombing campaign of Berlin and the industrial centers of the Ruhr Valley.

4) What the bombers actually destroyed were a modern-art school–amazingly still thriving in Hitler’s Germany, but then again the Fuhrer was a frustrated art student and who knew he cottoned to modern art?–and two-dozen pig farms–the German war machine loved pork.

5) Take a deep breath to recover from the run-on sentence of the previous tidbit.

6) The continued futility of the RAF’s bombing campaign went on for months. Then in November, 1941, Lieutenant Nigel Voo failed to come back from a raid. The squadron was supposed to blow up a ball-bearing plant in Hamburg. Instead the heroic Voo and his crew were shot down after dropping bombs on nearby Anfurt’s annual ParcheesiTM tournament.

7) This tragedy enraged his wife, Linda, a tea lady at Biggins Hill airbase. She threw her teapot to the ground and shouted at the airmen, “You bloody idiots. You couldn’t find your way to a cod-and-chips store if you were standing in front of it. The Three Blind Mice have nothing on you lot.”

“Well now, see here, Mrs. Voo, those are unkind words, they are. We get lost, we do. It’s tough reading a map and trying to see landmarks especially at night,” said the squadron leader.

“Too right, you get lost, you ninnies. Why don’t you ask for directions?”

“Well, mum, we’re men. We don’t like to ask for directions. I mean they’re the enemy and were are flying thousands of feet above the ground. We couldn’t ask even if we wanted.”

“‘Tis bloody possible. I’ll show the likes of you.”

8) And she did. She flew in the lead plane. Whenever the squadron got lost, Mrs. Voo bungee jumped out the plane and asked a local farmer for directions. Sure, there was a war of annihilation going on, but German farmers always act courteous to any lady who drops in. The RAF’s bombers never missed a target what with Mrs. Voo and a thousand others like her flying with them . Germany was doomed.

9) Mrs. Voo’s code name was the anagram, Vindaloo. The British government even created an entree in India with that name just to provide cover.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: cuisine, history, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ethiopian Beef Stew (Siga Wat)

Ethiopian Entree

SIGA WAT
(beef stew)

INGREDIENTSSigaWat-

1½ pounds, chuck or other cut of beef
4 garlic cloves
2 onions
3 tablespoons ghee or vegetable oil
1½ cups water
2 tablespoons Berbere spice mix
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons tomato paste
4 eggs
2 Roma tomatoes

PREPARATION

Cut chuck into 1″ cubes. Dice garlic and onion. Add onion garlic, and ghee to large pot. Sauté on medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Stir frequently. Reduce heat to low. Add chuck cubes, water, Berbere spice mix, ginger, paprika, salt, and tomato paste. Cover and simmer for 40 minutes or until meat is tender. Stir occasionally.

While beef and spices simmer, boil 4 eggs. Remove eggs and let them cool. Peel eggs and cut egg one into 4 slices. Cut tomatoes into 6 slices each. Top stew with egg and tomato. This dish goes on injera (See recipe.) or on pita bread.

TIDBITS

1) Ghee is clarified butter.

2) Ghee makers make ghee. They have been making ghee for centuries. Not the same people, of course, successive generations take over.

3) Ghee makers make it on their knee, in a tree, for a fee, not for free oh gee, you see, for me, for we, for a bee, mais oui. hee, hee. The clarified butter industry is an ebullient one.

4) Indeed, people are so happy when making ghee, they sing with glee. And they form formidable glee clubs, and enter competitions. Every year an Ethiopian glee club wins the International Glee Competition, held in Östersund, Sweden.

5) Swedish ghee makers, of course, are avid readers of Dr. Seuss. They’ve also all devoured War and Peace by Tolstoy. Go figure.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: cuisine, humor, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Syrian Chicken Casserole (fatti dejaj)

Syrian Entree

FATTI DEJAJ
(chicken casserole)

INGREDIENTS – MAINFattiDejaj-

1 cup rice
2 cups chicken stock (additional ⅔ cup later)
3 chicken breasts
2 garlic cloves
1 bay leaf
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt
⅔ cup chicken stock
3 pita loaves or rounds
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1½ tablespoons lemon juice
¼ cup tahini
2 cups plain yogurt
1½ tablespoon ghee or butter
1 cup almonds, cashews, pistachios, or combination (slivered or halves)
½ tablespoon parsley

SPECIAL UTENSILS

2 casserole dishes

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Add rice and 2 cups chicken stock to rice cooker or pot. Cook rice according to instructions on package. While rice cooks, cut chicken into 1″ cubes. Mince garlic cloves. Add chicken cubes, garlic, bay leaf, pepper, salt, and ⅔ cup chicken stock to first casserole dish. Coat chicken cubes thoroughly. Bake at 450 degrees for 45minutes. Stir every 15 minutes to keep chicken from drying out. Remove bay leaf.

While chicken bakes, cut pita rounds into 1″ squares. Add pita squares and oil to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until pita squares turn golden brown. Place pita squares on paper towels.

Add lemon juice, tahini, and yogurt to mixing bowl. Mix gently with spoon. Add ghee and nuts to pan. Toast them on medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until they start turning golden brown. Stir constantly.

Add sautéed pitas squares to second casserole dish. Smooth with fork. Add rice. Smooth with fork. Add lemon juice/tahini/yogurt sauce. Smooth gently with fork. Add chicken cubes. Smooth with, oh what the heck, spoon. Sprinkle sautéed nuts and parsley over chicken cubes.

Serve to guests who darn well better appreciate all the effort you made preparing this wonderful dish.

TIDBITS

1) Syrian has many people.

2) People have bones in them.

3) There are enough bones in the human body to enable a person to stand up with enough bones leftover for arms and hands.

4) Arms and hands are used to drink root beer from glass mugs.

5) Root beer tastes like good childhood memories.

6) There is a man in Syria called Ryan.

7) Ryan drank root beer. He had a good childhood.

8) He’s old now, but as a child was very well liked.

9) People used to greet each other with, “Is Ryan healthy?” or “Is Ryan happy?” or “Is Ryan drinking root beer?” or even, “Is Ryan doing his econometrics homework?”

10) This happened so often that when the region became independent of France in 1946 people naturally wanted to call their country “Isryan.”

11) However, Ryan, a perpetually modest man, demurred.

12) But the people persisted. Isryan. Stamps with Isryan were printed.

13) Ryan demurred.

14) Fortunately, the World Anagramist Society met in Damascus a scant two weeks after independence.

15) They suggested Syrian for the name of the country. The people were contented. “As long as ‘Is Ryan’ in their somehow. Ryan was happy as well. He could pretend the country wasn’t named after him.

16) Remarkably, it took until 2002, the year the Angels finally won the World Series, for people to realize than Syrian sounds more like someone from Syria than a country. So after consulting Ryan and getting his permission, the people held a referendum and changed the country’s name to Syria.

17) If ever come across a stamp bearing the word “Isryan” save it, for goodness sake. It’s quite valuable.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: cuisine, history, humor, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nepali Pizza (chatamari)

Nepali Entree

NEPALI PIZZA
(chatamari)

INGREDIENTSchatamari-

1 cup black lentils (matpe beans)
3 cups water

1 cup water (about, check for consistency of batter as you add.)
½ cup ghee or butter (1 additional cup later.)
6 garlic cloves
½ tablespoon ginger
1 large onion
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 Roma tomatoes
2 chicken breasts or substitute with 1 egg per chatamari

INGREDIENTS – BASE

3 cups rice flour
1 cup ghee or butter
½ teaspoon salt

makes 12 chatamaris. Soaks overnight, then takes about 1½ hours.

SPECIAL UTENSIL

food processor

Soak black lentils in water overnight or until lentil skins become loose. Rinse lentils with water. Drain. Add lentils, 1 cup water, and ½ cup ghee to food processor. Blend until you get a smooth paste. Dice garlic, ginger, onion, and tomato. Thoroughly mince chicken. Add garlic, ginger, onion, pepper, salt, and oil to pan. Sauté on medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Add tomato, lower heat to medium and sauté for 1 minute.

Add rice flour, lentil paste, and salt to large mixing bowl. Mix with hands until you get a cake-like batter. Gradually add about 1 cup water until you get the right consistency. Add ghee to pan. Melt ghee using medium heat. Add 3 tablespoons ghee to the pan for the first chatamari and then add more later as necessary. Add ⅓ cup batter. Make base by spreading batter evenly and thinly with spatula until it’s 8″ in diameter. Cover base with equal amounts of minced chicken and sautéed garlicc/onion. Cook using medium heat for 3-to-5 minutes or until chicken/garlic/onion.is done. Chicken should be completely white. Cooking times tend to go down for each chatamari.

TIDBITS

1) There is no I in team or Nepal, but there is an I in victory and Nepali.

2) Nepali is an anagram for Alpine, which is cool. The Alps and Nepal are also cool from their tall mountains.

3) There is a lot of Snow, gratuitously capitalized, in the Alps and in Nepal.

4) Snow is an anagram for swon.

5) The plural form of swon is also swon, just like the plural of moose is moose.

6) The swon is the natural enemy of the moose.

7) The exciting swon festival is held every year or so in Crebano, Ruritania. Come early to see to the exploding cabbage competition.

8) If you are having trouble finding Ruritania on your map, may I suggest heading to Nepal for Holi, or the Festival of Colors, to celebrate the end of winter. However, it’s held in March and you’ll be in the Himalayan Mountains. It’s kinda like going to Wisconsin for your spring break. However, you do get paint yourself with various dyes. Again, like going to Madison, Wisconsin to see the Badgers play football. The one true difference between Nepal and Wisconsin is that the Nepali like to eat chatamari while the Wisconsinites prefer to munch on bratwursts. Your call.

9) If you happen to be Asia a month earlier, you might wish to see the Naked Man Festival in Japan. The best one is reportedly held in Okayama, although how they decided this is difficult to measure. The men, clad only in loincloths race toward Saldaji Temple to collect lucky sticks. I can just see a naked man saying, “Honestly officer, I’m not fleeing an enraged husband. I’m participating in the Naked Man Festival.” The officer will roll his eyes. “Like I haven’t heard that one before.”

10) After participating in the Naked Man Festival in Japan and having gotten drunk for two months, missed your flight home, and having your wallet and ID stolen, why not take in the Penis Festival held the first Sunday of April? People head to the Kanayama shrine to see giant penises, made, I hope, from paper maché or wood. Appreciate the many penis drawings and costumes.

11) Lovers or bamboo and buns will not want to miss the Cheng Chau Ben Festival held every May in Hong Kong. Contestants climb a giant bamboo covered in Chinese steamed buns. Um, okay, it’s not entirely clear whether the tower is covered in Chinese steamed buns or the climbers are covered in them. Either way, it’s pretty darn exciting. Anway, buns picked from the top of the bamboo tower or taken on the backs of the contestants to the top are consider luckier than ones at the bottom. People there go vegetarian during this festival. It’s not clear why. Maybe I would too if I had to climb a tall tower with steamed buns all over me.

13) Meat lovers will want to savor the Pig Parade held in Malolos, Philippines in mid September. Watch pigs dressed in all sorts of costumes and wearing makeup. See if you agree with the judges’ decision of the best dressed pig. But win or lose, it doesn’t matter in this egalitarian contest as winners and losers alike get roasted for the magnificent feast.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: cuisine, humor, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Morog Polao (Bangladeshi chicken pilaf)

Bangladeshi Entree

MOROG POLAO
(Chicken pilaf)

INGREDIENTSMorogPolao-

4 chicken breasts
1 medium onion
1 ounce cashew nuts
4 large garlic cloves
1½ ounces ginger root
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1 teaspoon cardamom
¾ teaspoon chili
½ teaspoon coriander
¼ teaspoon mace
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon turmeric
½ tablespoon lemon juice
¼ cup milk
¼ cup plain yogurt

2 cups basmati rice
3½ cups water
2 bay leaves
1¾ cups water
1 cinnamon stick
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
½ cup ghee or butter
1 gram saffron (.035 ounce. Tiny but mighty, you bet.) or ½ teaspoon safflower

SPECIAL UTENSILS

spice grinder
sonic obliterator (essential for all sensitive chefs)

Takes about 3 hours. Serves 4.

PREPARATION

Cut each chicken breast in half. Dice onion. Put the following ingredients one at a time in spice grinder and grind until you get four different pastes: cashew nuts, garlic cloves, ginger root, and poppy seeds.

Add chicken, onion, ginger paste, cashew paste, garlic paste, poppy-seed paste, cardamom, chili, coriander, mace, nutmeg, salt, turmeric, lemon juice, milk, and yogurt to large mixing bowl. Mix by hand until chicken pieces are well coated with spices. Marinate in refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

While chicken marinates, add rice and 3½ cups water to large bowl. Let rice set in water for 30 minutes, then drain water. Add bay leaves, cinnamon stick, and 1 cup water to pot. Bring to boil using high heat. Boil for 5 minutes. Remove bay leaves and cinnamon stick with tongs. This is the spicy water.

Add marinated chicken and vegetable oil to pan. Sauté chicken on medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until chicken starts to brown. Stir occasionally. Remove from heat. Add ghee, saffron, and drained rice to second pan. Sauté rice for about 5 minutes or until rice starts to splutter. Stir constantly.

Add chicken, sautéed rice, and spicy water to large pot. Bring to boil using high heat. Stir occasionally. Reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer for 20 minutes or until rice is tender. Serve to adoring quests. Sonically obliterate the unappreciative; it just means more for those who like this entree. And besides, you don’t need negativity.

TIDBITS

1) The similarities between Bangladesh and Tennessee are astounding and many.

2) Morog Polao, this Bangladeshi entree, has four vowels, o, in it.

3) Tennessee has four vowels in it as well, e in this case.

4) Morog Polao is served at Bangladeshi weddings.

5) Food is also served at Tennessean festivals, including deep-fried ice cream and deep-fried Caesar’s salad.

6) Julius Caesar never made it to either Bangladesh or Tennessee.

7) Bangladesh is an anagram for bagel hands. Tennesseans eat bagels with their hands.

8) Tennessee is an anagram for seen teens.

9) Teenagers have been seen in Bangladesh and in Tennessee.

4) Uh oh!. We’ve already seen 4). I hope this is just a typo, not an indication that we are going back in time. In which case, my twelve-minute eggs will never get ready. I mean they’ve been cooking for eight minutes now and pretty soon they’ll be three-minute eggs because we’re going back in time. My gosh!

10) Ah! 10). We are not going back in time. It was just a typo.

11) Typos occur in both Bangladesh and Tennessee. If all these similarities can occur in two widely separated spots in the world, who’s to say involuntary time travel can’t happen? Watch your eggs.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: cuisine, food, humor, international, recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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