Friday, March 23, 2012

Hearty Korean Platter!

I first tasted korean fare at a friend's place. She tried some recipes from a korean recipe book. After having that lunch that day, I was so inspired by the korean cuisine that I immediately noted down the recipes. I have made the dishes a number of times now, and finally get to post it at my favourite place. 


I made a few changes to the original recipes to suit my taste buds and according to the ingredients available here in Munich. The extensive use of sesame, garlic and soya sauce obviously adds a great flavour to the dishes. I haven't used any salt in the dishes, as the salty taste of soya sauce is just perfect.


Hobak Chon (Rice wrapped in Salad leaves)

original recipe calls for pumpkin leaves but I used Savoy cabbage, one can also use chinakohl or pak choi.

1/2 cup - cooked rice
savoy cabbage 1 cup - mixed herbs, finely chopped (I used dill, parsley and chives)
1 tbsp - finely chopped onions
2 1/2 tbsp - sesame oil
1 tsp - sesame seeds roasted
2 -3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp - soya sauce (I used light soya sauce)
1 - green chili, finely chopped

Method

  1. Wash the savoy cabbage. Cut into long, broad stripes (5-6 cm broad, 15-20 cm long). Slightly blanch the cabbage stripes and pat dry the leaves with a kitchen towel or in a salad spinner. 
  2. Mix together the finely chopped herbs, onions, sesame oil, sesame seeds, garlic, green chili and soya sauce. Keep aside.

Sambal Oelek Paste

For this chili paste I used sambal oelek but one can also make the sauce with pureed fresh red chillies. 


2 tsp - sesame oil
1 tsp - roasted sesame seeds
2 tsp - honey
4 tsp - light soya sauce
2 big cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 1/2 tbsp - sambal oelek

Add all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Keep aside.




Kong Chorim (Buttered Beans)


130 grams - french beans
a blob of butter
3/4 tsp - roasted sesame seeds
5-10 pieces - whole black pepper
1 tsp - light soya sauce

  1. Wash the beans and chop off the tops and the tails. Blanch for 3 minutes. Drain the water. 
  2. Heat a non stick pan, add the butter and the black pepper. Add the blanched beans and cover the lid. Cook for approx 10 minutes, or until the beans are soft. Do not forget to stir the beans occasionally. 
  3. Sprinkle the roasted sesame seeds before serving. 

Oyi Seng Tshe ( Spicy Sesame Cucumber Salad)
I used zucchini instead of cucumber.

1 - zucchini, very thinly sliced
1 - green chili, finely chopped
1 tbsp - sesame oil
1 tbsp - roasted sesame seeds
2 big cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp - light soya sauce
1 tbsp - coriander leaves, finely chopped
1 tbsp - dill, finely chopped
a pinch of salt
pepper to taste


Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.


Place all the prepared dishes on the table. Take the savoy cabbage strip, place some rice in the centre of the cabbage strip. Add the Sambal oelek paste (according to your taste) on the rice and top it up with some mixed herbs. Roll the salad leaf from both the ends and enjoy this with the buttered beans and Zucchini salad.


It's hearty fare indeed. Both my hubby and I, enjoyed the meal on a beautiful sunny spring afternoon. And, yes, we ended up the meal with a cup of korean green tea ( a gift by the same friend who introduced me to this cuisine)


Mashikeh- mogoseyo - that's Korean for "enjoy your meal"!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Almond Saffron Drink/Badam Kesar ka Sharbat

With Holi, the indian festival of colours just round the corner, I thought about making Thandai - but after pondering over it for a while, I thought I should do something different this year for Holi. So the next idea was to make this rich almond-saffron drink or badam-kesar ka sharbat.


As the name suggests, the star ingredients of this drink are almonds and saffron. I like to use saffron very generously (I am a bit of a Saffron afficionado), but of course you can reduce the quantity of saffron if you are not fond of an intense saffron aroma.


The shelf life of this syrup at room temperature is around a month, if you live in a warm country then I would suggest to put the syrup in the refrigerator.

Ingredients

100 grams - almonds, soaked overnight
1170 grams - sugar
1 1/2 cup - water + to make almond milk
3/4 tsp - cardamom powder
1/2 gram - saffron 
1 tsp + 1/2 tsp - rose water

Method
  1. Blanch the almonds. Grind the blanched almonds using some water. Sieve/press through a muslin cloth and extract the liquid and keep aside. Do not throw the leftover/residue.
  2. Put the residue back into the mixer and grind using little water and sieve/press again. Repeat this process one more time.
  3. Soak the saffron in 1/2 tsp of rose water and keep for half an hour.
  4. Add the suagr and 1 1/2 cup of water in a deep vessel and cook on high flame, until the sugar dissolves. Remove the dirt if any with the help of a spoon. 
  5. Add the almond milk and let it come to a boil(be careful as it will splutter a lot) Reduce the heat to medium and cook for approx 3-4 minutes. Remove the vessel from the heat.
  6. After 5-7 minutes, add the soaked saffron, cardamom powder and 1 tsp of rose water and mix. Cover the vessel and let it cool.
  7. Store in glass jars when completely cool.
  8. To serve: Add 2 tsp of sharbat or according to your taste (if you want it sweeter or less sweet), to 250 ml of chilled milk. Give it a whiz in the blender and serve. Alternately, whiz 2 tsp of sharbat, a little vanilla icecream and some soda in a blender and serve immediately. Tastes simply awesome.
Note

If you notice sugar crystals in the sugar syrup, first transfer the non crystallised part into another glass jar and than add a little hot water to the remaining syrup. Let it cool completely before storing in a glass jar.


Enjoy!

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