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Creamy Wild Salmon, from Raghavan Iyer’s new cookbook, “Indian Cooking Unfolded.”

Lucy Schaeffer • Workman Publishing Co., Inc.,

Recipes from Raghavan Iyer's "Indian Cooking Unfolded”

  • September 25, 2013 - 1:05 PM

poppadums with chile-spiked onion spread √

Makes enough dip for 6 poppadums.

Note: Poppadums are lentil wafers, usually found in the Asian products aisle of the supermarket. “In season, try incorporating unripe mango into the spread for a more sour experience (my favorite) that also cuts down on the heat from the chiles,” writes Raghavan Iyer in “Indian Cooking Unfolded.”

6 to 12 uncooked (and sun-dried) lentil wafers, each at least 6 inches in diameter

For spread:

• 1/2 c. finely chopped red onion

• 1 medium-size tomato, cored and finely chopped

• 1/4 c. finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems

1 or 2 fresh green serrano chiles (stems discarded), finely chopped (do not remove seeds)

• 1/2 tsp. coarse kosher or sea salt

Directions

To prepare poppadums: If using a gas stove, set flame of a burner to medium-high. Holding 1 poppadum with a pair of tongs, flip it back and forth over the open flame until bumps start to appear on the surface and poppadum turns light brown, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remember to shift tongs in order to toast the part initially covered by them. Repeat with remaining poppadum and set aside to cool.

If using an electric stove, place a rack as close as possible to the broiler’s heating element and preheat broiler to high. Toast poppadums until bumps appear on the surface or poppadum turns light brown, about 1 to 2 minutes. There is no need to turn them. Set aside to cool. The poppadums will turn crisp and brittle as they cool, and can be stored in airtight plastic zip-top bags at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

To prepare spread: In a medium bowl, combine onion, tomato, cilantro and chiles. Just before serving, stir in salt.

To serve: Place 6 poppadums on a large pretty platter. Evenly divide the onion topping among them, spreading it over the surface of each, and serve.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 42 Fat 0 g Sodium 150 mg

Carbohydrates 8 g Saturated fat 0 g Calcium 11 mg

Protein 3 g Cholesterol 0 mg Dietary fiber 2 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 vegetable.

sweet corn with toasted coconut √

Serves 4 to 6 as a side dish.

Note: From “Indian Cooking Unfolded.”

• 1 tbsp. coriander seeds

• 2 to 3 dried cayenne chiles, stems discarded

• 1/4 c. dried unsweetened coconut shreds

• 2 tbsp. canola oil

• 1 tsp. black or yellow mustard seeds

• 1 small onion, finely chopped

• 4 c. sweet corn kernels, fresh or frozen

• 1 medium-size tomato, cored and finely chopped

• 1 tsp. coarse kosher or sea salt

Directions

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the skillet is hot, usually after 2 to 4 minutes, add coriander seeds and chiles. The seeds will start to crackle a bit and turn reddish-brown and chiles will blacken slightly, after 1 to 2 minutes. Quickly add the coconut and keep stirring constantly as the coconut will start to brown and smell nutty almost instantly and impart a slightly oily sheen. Transfer spicy coconut to a small bowl or plate to cool.

Pour oil into the hot skillet. It will instantly appear to shimmer. Add mustard seeds, cover the skillet and cook until the seeds have stopped popping (not unlike popcorn), about 30 seconds. Immediately add onion and stir-fry until light brown, about 2 minutes.

Add corn and 1/2 cup of water. Stir once or twice and cover the skillet. Reduce heat to medium and let the corn cook gently, stirring occasionally, until it is still juicy sweet when tasted and not overly cooked, 5 to 7 minutes.

Meanwhile, transfer cooled coconut to a spice grinder (or coffee grinder) and grind it to the consistency of slightly coarse black pepper. Add ground coconut spice blend to the corn along with the tomato and salt. Let it all simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the tomato is warmed through, about 1 minute. Serve warm.

Nutrition information per serving of 6:

Calories 170 Fat 9 g Sodium 310 mg

Carbohydrates 23 g Saturated fat 2 g Calcium 19 mg

Protein 4 g Cholesterol 0 mg Dietary fiber 4 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1½ bread/starch, 2 fat.

slumdog martini √

Serves 4.

Note: From “Indian Cooking Unfolded.”

• 1/4 c. sugar

• 2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh ginger

• 1 tsp. cumin seeds

• 1/2 c. firmly packed fresh mint leaves, divided

2 fresh green serrano chiles, stems discarded, coarsely chopped (do not remove seeds), divided

• 1/2 tsp. coarse kosher or sea salt, divided

• 2 c. crushed ice cubes, divided

• 1/4 c. freshly squeezed lime juice, divided

• 1 c. premium gin or vodka, divided

Directions

Chill 4 martini glasses in the freezer.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar with 1/4 cup of water. Stir in ginger. Bring mixture to a boil, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat, strain syrup through a fine-mesh strainer into a small bowl. Chill mixture in the refrigerator as you get the remaining ingredients ready.

Heat a small skillet over medium-high heat. Once skillet is hot, usually after 2 to 4 minutes, add cumin seeds and toast them, shaking skillet every few seconds, until they turn an even reddish-brown and smell incredibly nutty, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Immediately transfer seeds to a small heatproof bowl to cool.

Place 1/8 cup of mint leaves, a quarter of the chiles, 1/4 teaspoon of toasted cumin seeds and 1/8 teaspoon of salt in a cocktail shaker. Using a pestle or something you can use to pound, pummel the mélange to release the essential oils until mint and chile break down a bit (not necessarily until it becomes pulpy), 1 to 2 minutes. Scoop in 1/2 cup ice cubes and pour in 1 tablespoon of the ginger syrup, 1 tablespoon of lime juice and 1/4 cup of vodka or gin. Screw the cocktail shaker’s lid in place and shake to thoroughly mix the martini. Strain into a prepared martini glass.

Repeat with remaining ingredients and glasses, and serve immediately.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 180 Fat 0 g Sodium 225 mg

Carbohydrates 14 g Saturated fat 0 g Calcium 5 mg

Protein 0 g Cholesterol 0 mg Dietary fiber 0 g

Alcohol 19 g

creamy wild salmon with kale √

Serves 4.

From “Indian Cooking Unfolded.”

1/2 tsp. ground turmeric, divided

1 1/2 lbs. skinless, boneless wild salmon fillet in a single piece

• 1/4 c. cider vinegar

4 dried red cayenne chiles (like chile de arbol), stems discarded and ground (do not remove seeds) or 1 tsp. ground cayenne pepper

1 tsp. coarse kosher or sea salt

• 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

• 1 medium-size bunch fresh kale

• 2 tbsp. canola oil

6 large cloves garlic, either thinly sliced or finely chopped

1 can (13.5 to 15 oz.) unsweetened coconut milk

Directions

Sprinkle about 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric on one side of the salmon fillet and press it into the fish. Turn the fish over and repeat with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric. Set the salmon aside as you ­prepare the spice paste.

In a small bowl, combine vinegar, chiles, salt and nutmeg to make a slurry. Set the slurry aside.

Fill a medium-size bowl with cold water. Take a leaf of kale, cut along both sides of the tough rib, and discard the rib. Slice the leaf in half lengthwise. Repeat with remaining leaves. Stack the leaf halves, about 6 at a time, one on top of the other, and roll them into a tight log. Thinly slice the log crosswise; you will end up with long, slender shreds. Dunk shreds into bowl of water to rinse off any grit, then scoop the shreds out and drain them in a colander. Repeat once or twice if kale does not appear clean.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once oil appears to shimmer, add turmeric-smeared fillet to the skillet and cook until the underside turns light brown, about 2 minutes. Turn salmon over and repeat on the second side, about 2 minutes. Transfer fish to a plate. Add garlic to the skillet and stir-fry it until light brown and aromatic, about 1 minute.

Pour spice slurry into the skillet and stir to mix with the garlic. Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about 2 minutes. Add kale shreds and stir to coat them evenly in the liquid. Pour 1/2 cup water into skillet and stir.

Lower heat to medium, cover skillet and stew the kale, stirring occasionally, until the shreds are tender, about 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in coconut milk. Let milk come to a boil, uncovered. Add seared salmon to the liquid, basting it to make sure it continues to poach. Cook, uncovered, scooping up the sauce and basting the fish occasionally, until it barely starts to flake, 3 to 5 minutes.

Transfer fish to a serving plate. Let the sauce boil, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until it thickens, 3 to 4 minutes. Pour sauce over the salmon and serve.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 465 Fat 33 g Sodium 560 mg Saturated fat 20 g

Carbohydrates 12 g Calcium 110 mg

Protein 32 g Cholesterol 74 mg Dietary fiber 3 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 vegetable, ½ other carb, 4 lean meat, 4 fat.

Roasted beet salad with golden raisin vinaigrette √

Serves 4.

From “Indian Cooking Unfolded.”

For salad:

1 1/2 lbs. beets with their green tops

• 2 tbsp. canola oil

1 tsp. black or yellow mustard seeds

3 pieces fresh ginger, each about the size and thickness of a 25-cent coin (no need to peel the skin), cut into matchstick-thin shreds

1 to 2 fresh green serrano chiles, stems discarded, finely chopped (do not remove seeds)

1 tsp. coarse kosher or sea salt

8 oz. mixed salad greens, such as mesclun

1 medium-size tomato, cored and finely chopped

For vinaigrette:

• 1 tsp. cumin seeds

• 1/4 c. canola oil

• 1/4 c. cider vinegar

• 1/2 c. golden raisins

1/4 c. firmly packed cilantro leaves and tender stems

3 pieces (about the size and thickness of a 25-cent coin) ginger, no need to peel the skin

1 fresh green serrano chile, stem discarded

Directions

To prepare beets: Twist off green tops of beets. Cut the tender ribs and leaves crosswise into thin slices and place them in a colander. Thoroughly rinse beet tops to rid them of gritty material. Transfer to a salad spinner and spin them dry.

Peel beets and cut them into 1-inch cubes. Rinse cubes well in a colander.

Heat oil in a medium-size saucepan over medium-high heat. Once oil appears to shimmer, add mustard seeds, cover pan and cook until seeds have stopped popping (not unlike popcorn), about 30 seconds. Add ginger and chiles and stir-fry until ginger is lightly browned and chiles are much more pungent, 1 to 2 minutes. Add beet greens, cubed beets and salt and stir well to coat them with the mustard seeds. Reduce heat to medium, cover pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until beets are tender when pierced with a fork, about 10 to 15 minutes.

To prepare vinaigrette: Heat a small skillet over medium-high heat. Once skillet is hot (when you hold your palm close to the bottom of the skillet you will feel the heat), usually after 2 to 4 minutes, add cumin seeds and toast them, shaking the pan every few seconds, until they start to crackle, turn reddish-brown and smell nutty, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Immediately transfer the cumin seeds to a blender. Pour oil and vinegar in the blender, along with raisins, cilantro, ginger and whole chile and blend them into a smooth purée that is light greenish brown and sweet, sour, pleasantly hot and highly aromatic.

To prepare salad: Place mixed salad greens in a large bowl. Pour vinaigrette over salad greens and toss to coat. Pile dressed greens onto a platter, spoon the still-warm beets and greens over them and serve.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 340 Fat 21 g Sodium 820 mg Saturated fat 2 g

Carbohydrates 35 g Calcium 206 mg

Protein 7 g Cholesterol 0 mg Dietary fiber 9 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 vegetable, 1 fruit, 1 bread/starch, 4 fat.

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