Papa Kazmi Pure Cookbook Review

I have been intrigued by Indian cuisine ever sine my first visit to an Indian restaurant waaaaay back in university. So I was delighted (and a bit intimidated) when I was contacted by a member of the Pure Family to ask if I would be interested in reviewing the new English version of Papa Kazmi Pure Cookbook. I needn’t have been intimidated; it felt like Papa was right there with me while I was cooking!

Papa Kazmi Pure Cookbook

A big “Thank You!” to the Pure Family for providing me with the Papa Kazmi Pure Cookbook e-book. As always, opinions expressed here are my own. If you’re interested, you can read more about my disclosure policy.

The Papa Kazmi Pure Cookbook is filled with fascinating stories about Papa and his family! As an immigrant to the Netherlands, I am always interested in how other immigrants have ended up here. Papa’s story in the Netherlands began similarly to my own – he fell in love with a young Dutch lady on the beach in Scheveningen, then moved here to be with her!

There are five chapters in the Papa Kazmi Pure Cookbook, each dedicated to a theme: classic, day off, events, family and Hills & Mills. I found the page order in the e-book a bit odd at first until I realized that it was also a printed book, and meant to be seen two pages at a time. Once I figured that out, the layout made a whole lot more sense.

Thankfully for me, one of those chapters is dedicated to the ingredients, complete with drawings of the raw herbs and spices, fruits, basic ingredients and special equipment needed for the recipes. I loved this addition, given my complete lack of knowledge of ingredients in Indian cuisine!

Papa Kazmi Pure Cookbook Review

I was pleasantly surprised to find that I was able to find nearly all of the ingredients at my local small-town grocery store. There were just three items I couldn’t find: cardamon pods, kalonji seeds, and rosewater. I ordered these online from Pit & Pit. I was also pleasantly surprised that Pit & Pit shipped everything wrapped only in paper, rather than plastic bubble wrap or styrofoam peanuts!

While going through the book, I bookmarked no less than half of the recipes as ones I wanted to try! I narrowed down the list to these four; I couldn’t pick any fewer.

Papa Kazmi Pure Cookbook Review - Chai Tea
Chai Latte

Papa Kazmi’s Chai Tea was delicious! Now that I have all the ingredients, I will be making this regularly. The recipe calls for Assam tea, but I used some black tea that I already had. I used the main recipe, but there’s a long list of alterations to the spice mix that I would like to try.

Papa Kazmi Pure Cookbook Review - Aloo Kebab
Aloo Kebab

RB and I found the Aloo Kebab a little to peppery for our liking, but we loved the texture – the outsides were crispy and the insides soft and potato-y. I will absolutely make these again with just a bit less pepper.

Papa Kazmi Pure Cookbook Review - Chicken Korma with Naan
Chicken Korma with Naan

I was most nervous about making the Chicken Korma and Naan, but it was the one that I was happiest with in the end. It couldn’t have been better!

Papa Kazmi Pure Cookbook Review - Raw Coconut Chia Kheer
Raw Coconut Chia Kheer

The Raw Coconut Chia Kheer was such an easy little vegan dessert to throw together. And if you’ve been reading the blog for a little bit, you know how much I love coconut!

I will definitely be trying more of the recipes from the Papa Kazmi Pure Cookbook, especially now that I have a spice rack filled with the right spices! If you’re curious about making Indian food at home, I would definitely recommend trying this cookbook.

 

How to make your own Granola

Making my own cereal was never a big deal for me since my grandma, Sybil made her own and taught me how to do it. We called it Sybil Cereal, and it’s still a staple at our house. So when I came across this granola recipe with two of my favourite things, coconut and maple syrup, I couldn’t resist trying it. It’s become a new staple in my breakfast rotation!

The beautiful thing about granola (and cereal) recipes is that they’re super adaptable. Don’t like sunflower seeds? Use a seed you do like! Don’t like raisins? What about dried apricots? Don’t like coconut? We can’t be friends anymore.

Granola

Ingredients

3 cups rolled oats
1 cup slivered almonds
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup coconut
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup vegetable oil
dash salt
1 cup raisins

Directions

Preheat oven to 120 C (250F)

Combine oats, nuts, seeds, coconut and brown sugar in a large bowl.

How to make your own Granloa

Combine maple syrup, oil and salt in a separate bowl. I usually just use a measuring cup, since it’s easier to pour with than a bowl.

How to make your own Granloa

Pour the liquid mixture into the dry mixture and mix.

How to make your own Granola

Pour onto a baking sheet. Spread it around into an even layer.

How to make your own Granola

Cook 1 hour 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes or so.

How to make your own Granola

Remove from the oven and let cool. Resist the urge to snack.

How to make your own Granola

Stir in raisins until evenly distributed.

How to make your own Granola

Transfer to airtight container.

How to make your own Granola

Enjoy!

How to make your own Granola

Teppanyaki

Wednesday night R and I went for dinner with two of his friends to an awesome Teppanyaki Restaurant in Hoofddorp called Senbazuru. Our chef was hilarious and helpful, telling us which sauces we were supposed to use with each dish (if any). I would definitely recommend going, just know that it wasn’t cheap like most restaurants here.

During the noodle course, the chef rolled up the fried egg and started shooting it in my direction. He then told me I was going to help him by catching one of the pieces in my mouth! R’s friend knew this was coming and was kind enough to film it for me. It took me 3 tries, and unfortunately the successful attempt was not captured on film.

The funny thing about the location of this restaurant is its proximity to the ski hill. Yes, I said ski hill! R was highly embarrased that I wanted to take photos, but I did! It’s an artificial surface with a T-bar lift. And the craziest part – it was busy on a Wednesday evening in September! I guess it’s all the people getting ready for the ski season.

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Biscuit experiment

As I mentioned in my previous post, I made biscuits! I call it an experiment because I tried to mesh Joy the baker’s two recipes, Cheddar Black Pepper Biscuits and Brown Sugar Bacon Biscuits, while converting everything to metric and/or weight and substituting where I couldn’t find the right ingredients.

First I combined 700mL of all purpose flour and one package of baking powder.

Then I crushed 6 sugar cubes and added them to the mix.

Crushed sugar cubes

 Finally I added a dash of salt and a generous helping of pepper and stirred it all together.

Look at all that pepper!

Then I added a about 3/4 cup of butter and mushed it all up with my hands and did my best to make it the consistency of couscous. There are no more pictures until the final mix because my hands were covered in dough! I then added about 400mL of shredded cheese and mixed, then 400mL of milk, and mixed it all together. I forgot to add an egg…

We’ll see what happens!

I covered a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and plopped spoonfuls of batter onto it.

R’s oven/microwave combo only went to 250 degrees, so I put them in on a combination of oven and microwave, and they turned out a little chewy, but not too bad. Especially considering how bad they could have been, given all the guessing I did!

I think an egg would have made these a bit fluffier

I must mention that the last bunch I put in caused the aluminum to catch on fire – not surprising since it was in a microwave oven.  I just couldn’t believe it didn’t happen sooner.

When that happened, we had a conversation that went something like this:

R – Everything okay?
Me – I just set your oven on fire
R – Ha ha ha, very funny
Me – Yeah, I’m not joking. But it’s out now, so it’s okay. Don’t worry.

How to make your own Rice Crackers

I was in the mood for a crunchy snack while I was at the grocery store, so I picked up a package of crispy rice crackers. I was a little shocked and dismayed by how much package was involved for these small little chips.

So I went on a little internet hunt for some crispy rice cracker recipes!

I mashed a bunch of recipes together (including the Homemade Senbei Japanese Rice Crackers at Ivy’s Feast, Crispy Rice Crackers at Tess’s Japanese Kitchen and Homemade Rice Crackers with Nori at Tes at Home) and came out with a really simple recipe. Plus, they go really great with my cousin’s Hummus dip! I am hoping to experiment by adding some different flavours like cheese and bbq, and maybe trying to make crispy quinoa crackers, but I’m taking baby steps with this.

I also came across these Best Snackers (and Breeze) ever on Making Love in the Kitchen. They weren’t really the type of rice cracker I was looking for, but I’m keen to make these. Plus, if I can really substitute quinoa in these, I’m a happy girl. I love quinoa!

But for now, my version of Rice Crackers.

Ingredients

3/4 cups rice flour
3/4 cups cooked Japanese rice
2 tbsp vegetable oil
0.5 tsp salt
4 tbsp cup water
2 tbsp sesame seeds

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400.
Combine the rice flour, rice, vegetable oil and salt in a food processor. Pulse until finely ground.

Rice Crackers
Fine ground rice, flour, oil and salt

While the processor is on, add the water.

Rice Crackers
The water made the dough very sticky

Transfer to a bowl and add the sesame seeds. Knead to combine.

Make 3/4 inch balls of dough. Cover with rice flour and press with the bottom of a glass or bowl.  I found they were best when they were about 1/8 inch thick, and needed a lot of rice flour to keep from sticking!

Ricke Crackers

Rice Crackers
The engineer in me hates that these aren’t uniform

Bake for 5-7 minutes on each side or until slightly brown.

I was pleasantly surprised how delicious these were!! I figure these are healthier than the store bought ones (though I haven’t confirmed this yet) and they produced zero waste, thanks to the bulk food store and my homemade drawstring bags! I call that a big success!

Rice Crackers
Next time I’ll remember to put white crackers in a coloured bowl!

Make your own rice crackers

I love soup!

I’m not much of a cook, but I’m learning through my move to zero waste that I really like experimenting in the kitchen. I cruise the internet for interesting recipes to experiment with. I was looking for some yummy chocolate cupcakes when I came across Joy the Baker. I ended up using a different recipe for the cupcakes, but fell in love with her beautiful photographs and decided I needed to try many of her recipes.  She was also the reason I was able to put the Quinoa Breakfast together!

Tonight I tried her Curried Sweet Potato Soup with Goat Cheese Biscuits.

The sprinkle of goat cheese in the soup is incredible!

As she says, the soup is not particularly Curry-y, but is full of flavour! I loved it! And the goat cheese biscuits are my new favourite biscuit. They’re easy, and delicious, and did I mention easy?

I now label all of the leftovers of my creations with a china maker. It means I know what I’ve got in the fridge, but then it wipes right off when the container is empty!

Butternut Squash Curry

I picked up a copy of the Inspired magazine from my local Sobeys last week because there was a beautiful looking pumpkin curry on the front. Now that I know that they have an online version, I will be checking that out, rather than taking the paper copy. It`s less waste!

A few missing and forgotten items from the grocery store let me to make this butternut squash version instead!

1/2 medium sweet onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp freshly grated ginger
1 medium butternut squash, diced
4 tbsp curry powder
salt and pepper
3 tbsp tomato paste
1 1/2 cups broth
Raisins
Slivered Almonds

Using a food processor, puree the onion and garlic into a paste. I used the mini food processor that came with my immersion blender.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the onion-garlic paste and ginger. Cook until most of the moisture evaporates.

Stir in the pumpkin, curry powder, salt and pepper and cook for 1 minute. Mix in the tomato paste and cook another 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the broth, cover and keep to a low simmer.  Cook until the pumpkin is tender and the sauce has thickened slightly, approximately 15 minutes.

Serve with Basmati Rice. Garnish each bowl with raisins and almonds.

I went a bit overboard with the raisins.

The recipe called for pumpkin (none at the store), chickpeas (the can I thought I had was gone) and cilantro (kicking myself that I forgot to buy it). I think the chickpeas and cilantro would have made this yummy dish even better!

Now for my brainwave for the night! Instead of putting the rice and curry separately in the fridge, which I normally do. I put individually sized portions into some glass jars into the freezer. But first I labeled them with my china marker!

 These will make amazing lunches. I can`t wait to figure out what else I can put in jars and freeze!

Question:

Where do you find inspiration for new dishes?

-Mine are usually like this was – I see a picture of a cool thing and I figure out how to try it.

How to make your own Applesauce

After my small experiment with pear sauce, I decided it was time to try to make some applesauce to go with it, since it was a bit too strong of a flavour for my liking. My day started with a trip to Canadian Tire to get some jars to put the applesauce, and whatever else I decide to make for myself, into.

I opted for the 4 pack of 500mL wide mouth jars for two reasons. First, I didn’t want to buy 12, and 4 was the smallest number that they had.  Secondly, I figure wide mouth jars would be more versatile, if I wanted to put in, say meat or cheese when I go shopping, rather than in a plastic bag.

This recipe is very simple, and requires no special tools, but the applesauce is a bit chunky!

Applesauce

Ingredients

6 Apples
2 Cups Water
1 Lemon
Cinnamon

I bought six MacIntoshes (they’re my favourite) to practice with, which filled just over 3 jars.

Directions

Peel, cut and core the apples. If you’re lucky like me and have a food processor on hand, slicing the apples will make the process go that much faster.

How to make your own applesauce

 

How to make your own applesauce

How to make your own applesauce

Throw the apples into a large saucepan with the water, the juice from the lemon, a few lemon rind slices and a sprinkle of cinnamon.  You could also throw a cinnamon stick in there if you’ve got one.

How to make your own applesauce

Bring to a boil, and simmer for between 5 to 10 minutes, or until the apples are soft.

How to make your own applesauce.

How to make your own applesauce

 

Put the applesauce into sanitized jars, and store in the fridge or freezer.

How to make your own applesauce

I marked the type of sauce on the jar with a china marker. It’s come in handy for labeling food containers, as you’ll see.

Simple, delicious, easy and cheap!
Questions:
What is your favourite kind of apple?
– Obviously Macs, but I also like Granny Smith, but I read that they make terrible applesauce because they’re so tart!

Pearsauce?

My parents house has a pear tree that bears lots and lots of fruit. I don’t think I can describe just how many pears they have every fall. My mom discovered that often you can use pears in recipes that call for apples. So after making my new favourite breakfast, which calls for applesauce, I though I’d try to make some pearsauce!

I had a quart and a half of pears, that I washed, cut and cored. My mom had picked them straight from the tree, so there weren’t too many bruises, but they were very ripe, and I had to compost a fair amount.

Eeeewww, brown grossness that needs to be removed!

One tip: peel the pears before cutting them. I ended up having to pick out as many peels as I could find, and it was a messy job!

Bring about half a cup of water to a boil. Put the pears in, and add the juice from one lemon, and one or two peels of lemon rind.

Boiling pears

Let the pears boil for about 5 minutes or until soft.  Mash the pears with a potato masher, straining as necessary for consistency.  Put into jars and enjoy!

  

I think it looks just like applesauce!

I had this on my Breakfast Quinoa this morning, and it was delicious, though had a very strong pear taste. I think I’ll mix it with the applesauce I plan to make later today.

Best Sandwich Ever!

There is nothing I look forward to more at Thanksgiving than the turkey sandwich I get to make after it’s all over.  My mom sent me home with this container full of yumminess (that looks kind of gross) including turkey breast, stuffing, cranberries and congealed gravy.

Add it all to an end of day whole wheat bun from the Carousel Bakery at the St. Lawrence Market, and I get a delicious lunch!

Questions:

What’s your favourite kind of sandwich?
– Turkey!!  And the ham, apple, cheddar sandwiches from the coffee/sandwich shop at school, Common Ground. Fruit on a sandwich is amazing!