Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Aarti Party-regular food, infused with Indian flavor!

Well I have a new favorite Food Network tv show.  Its called Aarti Party!  Aarti Sequeira is an Indian girl, who was the winner of the show 'The Next Food Network Star'.  She is so cute, and I can't help but smile when I watch her cook.
There are so many of her recipes that I am dying to try, but so far I've only cooked a few.  I have cooked 'Pretzel fried steak-with mango onion gravy', and 'Greens and beans'.  I gotta say, they were amazing!  The flavors were so different and wild that it was like getting a slap in the face every time I took a bite.  And when I say slap in the face, I mean that in a good way!
Here are the recipes:

Greens and Beans


  • 1/2 cup plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large bunch kale, leaves stripped off stems
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • 1/4 cup whole, skinned almonds
  • 2 cups loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves and soft stems
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 (15-ounce) can great Northern beans, drained and rinsed


Warm 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering.
Meanwhile, wash the kale but don't dry the leaves too much. Rip the leaves into smaller pieces if you wish, but I like leaving them whole. Add the kale to the skillet - watch out, it will splutter. Toss with tongs and immediately cover and lower the heat.
Meanwhile, make the cilantro pesto. In a small food processor, whizz up the garlic, almonds, cilantro, salt, pepper, remaining 1/2 cup olive oil, and water until smooth.
Remove the lid and check the kale; the leaves should be tender. Add the beans and cilantro pesto and toss. Taste and adjust seasonings, and then cook another 5 minutes until warmed through. Serve and feel good about all the greens you're eating!
Pretzel Fried Steak with mango onion gravy



  • 2 cups pretzels (I use the gluten-free kind)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup flour (I use gluten-free baking flour)
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves, ground up in your hand (optional)*
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • cube steaks

Mango-Onion Gravy:

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 small onion, minced (about 1/3 cup)
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 cups chicken or beef stock
  • 2 tablespoons sweet mango chutney
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • Canola oil, for frying
  • *available at Indian stores or online


Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F.
For the steaks: Process the pretzels in a food processor until fine. Grab 3 shallow bowls. In one, whisk together the eggs and milk. In another, mix together the flour, salt, pepper, dried fenugreek leaves, paprika, ground coriander, and ground cumin. Pour the pretzel crumbs into the last bowl. Save 2 tablespoons of the flavored flour for the gravy.
Make yourself an assembly line: dip 1 steak on both sides in the flavored flour, making sure it's well coated, but dust off the excess. Then dip it quickly in the egg and lift, allowing the excess to drainback into the bowl. Finally, dunk both sides in the pretzel crumbs. Repeat with remaining steaks. Place the coated steaks on a sheet tray fitted with a cooling rack and let the steaks rest for 15 minutes to let the coating adhere to the meat.
For the gravy: Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat and add the onions and a pinch salt. Sweat until the onions are translucent and softened. Add the reserved 2 tablespoons of flavored flour and cook a few minutes until the flour no longer smells raw. Add the stock, mango chutney, and soy sauce. Stir, so that no lumps form, and bring to a boil. Cook until the sauce thickens to a gravy consistency, 5 to 10 minutes. Taste and re-season, if necessary.
In a large cast iron skillet, add enough oil to come up the sides by 1-inch. Heat it over medium heat until shimmering; you'll know the oil is hot enough when a pinch of flour sizzles upon contact with the oil. Line a sheet tray with paper towels and place a cooling rackon top.
Gently lay the steaks into the oil; you may have to do this in batches. Cook each side until golden, about 3 minutes. When both sides are cooked, lay the steaks on the paper towel-lined sheet tray and pop into the oven to keep warm while you do the next batch.
Serve the steaks with gravy spooned over the top.

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