Monday, August 31, 2009

Dosas with potato filling, and tofu lemon ch*ck*n

Holy heavenly fusion! Everybody should eat so well on a Monday night. Here we have:

1) The lemon "chicken" from Bryanna Clark Grogan's Authentic Chinese Cuisine;

2) The "stuffed rice pancakes," very loosely based on the very inept and disgraceful recipe in a book called Vegetarian, whose author(s) is/are anonymous, in the Practical Cookery series, which I bought on sale a few years ago for its beautiful illustrations, but whose recipes leave something to be desired;

3) Something I'll call "deconstructed guacamole," by me.

So the deal is, I can't give away Bryanna's recipe because I couldn't find it online, but it essentially involves marinating tofu slices in her breast of tofu "chicken" marinade, then re-marinating them in a mixture of soy sauce and dry sherry, then dredging them in cornstarch, pan-frying, and re-cooking in a special lemony sauce…my only criticism was that the tofu pieces lost their crispiness in the lemony sauce, and next time (like tomorrow, it was that good), I'm going to try making the sauce separately and simply pouring it on top of the fried tofu pieces.

However, I am taking control of the "Practical Cookery" recipe, because it lists a lot of weirdly proportioned ingredients such as three fresh chillies to one pound of potatoes, in addition to 3 dried chillies—if they mean chillies like jalapenos, I'm the compleat chilli-head but this is way too hot for human consumption, plus 2/3 cup oil for basically two large potatoes—practically an equal oil/potato ratio—it can't be real. Plus the picture is of something entirely other than what you can cook even marginally following the recipe (though it is a truly lovely picture)…you get my meaning. The following is my recipe, and it is essentially an Indian pierogi (bow down and worship because it is fantastically delicious):

Dosas stuffed with potato filling
Serves 4

¼ cup urad dal flour
¾ cup rice flour
¾ tsp salt
oil for frying

1 pound potatoes, peeled and diced
2 tbsp oil
1 jalapeno chilli
½ tsp tumeric
1 tsp salt
1 tsp yellow mustard seeds
1 tsp dried red chillies
2 tbsp lemon juice

For the dosas:
Mix the urad dal flour, rice flour, and salt together, and add enough warm water to make a thin batter. Set aside overnight to "ferment"—I'm not sure exactly what this means, but the taste and texture did change considerably after this step.

Heat about 1 tsp oil in a large non-stick skillet, and drop about ¼ cup of the batter into the hot oil. Tilt the skillet to spread the mixture. Cook over medium heat for about 2 minutes, then flip and cook the other side for a further two minutes or so, until the pancake is cooked through and browned in places. Repeat with the remaining batter, and keep the cooked dosas warm in a 200F oven.

For the filling:
Steam or boil the potatoes until just tender. Drain and mash lightly with a fork. Heat the oil in a saucepan and fry the mustard seeds, chillies, turmeric, and salt, for about two minutes. Pour this mixture, with the lemon juice, over the mashed potatoes and mix well.

Spoon potato filling on one half of each of the dosas and fold the other half over it. Transfer to a warmed serving dish and serve hot.

The guacamole I leave to you to figure out. Suffice it to say that there was enough garlic in it to compensate fully for its non-appearance in the other dishes.

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