Category Archives: Ethnic Cooking

Mothers Day 1966

There is nothing quite like the loss of a same sex parent to make you sit up and take stock.  I am thinking about the similarities and strengths I inherited from my mother, as my siblings and I grieve her loss.  This gem arrived in the mail recently from one of my 4 sisters who was going through the last of our mother’s papers.

Yes, a little worse for the wear but it has every right to be as its been floating around for quite some time.  Dragged from one house to another, and from apartment to retirement home. It is interesting what one saves.

When I was in first grade (gasp!) we made this lovely little number.  I had a Great Aunt who, with her husband, was a missionary in India and one of our favorite meals was an Americanized curry and rice dish our mother inherited from her.

In looking at the posts that I have done so far, I realize that a good portion of them are about Indian food and cooking. That love affair started early!  My memory of this dish was that she used her beloved ground beef.  A credit to her efforts to keep us interested and satisfied with her cooking.

Weeknight Cooking — A Quick Indian Meal

Sometime you need that tasty, quick, healthy meal in under 20 minutes.  The following dish meets that criteria and  if you have rice or a grain (millet, couscous, etc.) that is ready to go, it can be done in under 10.   Trader Joes carries brown or white rice that is either frozen or shelf stable that is more than acceptable and makes for an important freezer or pantry item.

Here is what you do:  find the Jyoti brand Buttermilk Dumplings either at Whole Foods, Weavers Way Co-op in Mt. Airy, or an Indian grocery.  Another pantry must in our house.

I started using this product when my husband was doing the Atkins diet years ago.  The carbs and calories are amazingly low and the flavor and satisfaction is very high.  If you eat half the can yourself, you are only taking in 130 calories and 13 carbohydrates!

Open can; dump contents in a pot.  Scour frig for leftover meat and veggies.  Or go to the freezer for the must have frozen peas; throw in the mix.

As you can see I had some leftover chicken and sauteed zucchini.  A note to the spice wimps out there (me), taste for spice level.  I inevitably need to add some plain yogurt to tone down the heat.  Buttermilk, sour cream, crème fraiche,  or plain milk will also work.

Other additions that would be delicious:  shredded cabbage, cooked cubed potatoes, cooked carrots, and any other meat or vegetable that you and your family loves.   This would also be perfect as a vegetarian meal.

Depending on the appetites of the people being served and the amount of your additions, this serves 3 to 4 people.    Enjoy!

 More information:

If you love cooking Indian food, pop over to my post on the subject.  You’ll find sources for ingredients, recommended cookbooks and recipes online.



Best Food Blogs from Around the World

If you love food from around the world, you may interested in taking a look at Saveur’s listing of their 55 Great Global Food Blogs.  As much time as I’ve spent surfing food websites, I was only aware of a handful of them.  I am especially excited about the cook’s cottage from India, She Simmers from Thailand and rachel eats from Italy.  Enjoy!

Worldwide Feast: 55 Great Global Food Blogs

Here at, we spend lots of time reading food blogs — and it’s no surprise that we’ve found smart, gastronomically-inclined bloggers in virtually every country on earth. These writers are committed to celebrating regional recipes, restaurants, techniques, and ingredients; we draw on their sites as culinary guides to everyday life in specific places all over the globe. (We’re also moved by how many region-specific sites are written by expats who maintain a connection with their homeland through food: Korean cooks living in Australia, Greek cooks living in the Netherlands, Indian cooks living in Peru, and more.) These 55 blogs comprise our must-read list in the international food blogging community, but surely there are more. Share your favorites with us in the comments. — The Editors”

Indian Lemon Rice

Every time I try my hand at cooking Indian food, I am surprised at how delicious and within  reach it is.  For more on my ponderings about Indian cuisine and local resources click here.

The outline of this recipe came from Chez Cayenne, a great blog billed as “recipes from  a spicy vegetarian kitchen.”  I’ve simplified the ingredients, but the results are delicious and the perfect accompaniment to all sorts of meals, Indian or not.

Indian Lemon Rice:

  • 2 cups cooked basmati rice (though I also like using Trader Joe’s brown Jasmine rice)
  • 2 teaspoons olive or grapeseed oil
  • 2 tablespoons cashews, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon tumeric
  • 4 fresh or frozen curry leaves, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Cook rice as directed on the package.

  1. Heat oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat.  Add curry leaves and fry for 5 to 10 seconds until crisp and fragrant; remove.
  2. Saute the cashews in remaining oil, stirring for about five minutes, until toasted.
  3. Add the mustard seeds, salt, cumin seeds, red pepper flakes and turmeric.  Cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Add spice, curry leaves, and lemon juice to the hot cooked rice and let sit covered for 5 minutes for the flavors and fragrance to blend.
  5. Heat olive oil to medium in a small skillet and add fresh peppers if using. Cook for 2 minutes and add mustard seeds, salt, cumin seeds, turmeric and curry leaves. Cook for 2 minutes. Stir this mixture into the rice and add lemon juice.
  6. Adjust the salt and lemon juice to taste.