Chole (Indian Chickpea Curry)

Chole is a North Indian chick pea dish. The base is a tomato gravy and to this you add either canned chick peas or if you prefer dried ones which you have soaked overnight. In this recipe we will be using canned chick peas. Like most Indian curries you can adjust the spice so that the dish is spicy or mild depending on your taste. This recipe will make the Chole on the milder side.

Ingredients

  • 1 can chick peas
  • 2 medium sized tomatoes diced
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 1 medium sized onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic diced
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • ¼ tsp sugar
  • ¾ tbsp salt
  • ½ tsp ginger paste
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • pinch asafetida powder
  • ½ tsp red chilli powder
  • ¼ tsp coriander powder
  • ¼ tsp cumin powder
  • ¼ tsp garam masala
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 1 cup water

** Please note: In this recipe I am using a pressure cooker. If you do not have one, you may also just use a pot.

Directions

  1. In your pressure cooker/pot heat 3 tablespoons of oil.
  2. Once the oil is sufficiently heated, add ½ teaspoon of cumin seeds.
  3. Allow the cumin seeds to sizzle in the oil. Once they have turned golden brown, add a pinch of asafetida powder. Follow this by adding ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder.
  4. Add the onions and sauté until they have turned golden brown. Follow by adding the garlic. You do not need to sauté the garlic, as overcooked garlic tends to loose its flavour.
  5. Add the tomatoes in and allow the mixture to simmer on medium heat until the tomatoes have melted and the mixture is fairly uniform. Follow by adding 1 teaspoon of tomato paste and mixing.
  6. Add in the chick peas.
  7. At this point we can add all the spices – salt, ginger paste, red chilli powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, garam masala and a pinch of sugar. Mix thoroughly.
  8. Add in 1 cup of water.
  9. At this point –
    • If you are using a pressure cooker put the lid on securely and turn the stove on high. Different pressure cookers behave differently in terms of how they release steam. In my pressure cooker, the pressure is released in the form of a “whistle” (steam shooting out), intermittently. In some pressure cookers, when the pressure is at maximum, the steam is continuously released – so basically the “whistle” does not stop. To simplify things, just cook the Chole in the pressure cooker for 10 minutes.
    • If you are using a pot, leave the stove on medium heat and put the lid half on (if you put the lid on securely, it will boil over). Allow the Chole to simmer for 20 minutes.
  10. At this point if you are using a pressure cooker make sure you wait until all the pressure is released before opening. This is very important. If you have some chopped cilantro, you may add it as a garnish. Serve with basmati rice, naan, roti… whatever you desire!

Enjoy!

Chicken with Tomato Sauce (Kotopoulo Kokkinisto in Greek)

This dish is a guaranteed family favourite! It is made with only a few simple and healthy ingredients and takes less than an hour to make. It is absolutely delicious and one of our favourite comfort foods. We grew up on this dish and we hope you enjoy it as much as we do. This dish is usually served with rice but feel free to substitute the rice for pasta if you prefer.

  • Chicken legs and thighs (about 8 pieces altogether)
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic finely minced
  • 3-4 tomatoes chopped (or 1 cup of tomato sauce)
  • 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • ½ glass of wine (Eva’s uses white wine in this recipe but you could also use red wine)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup of rice

Before you begin to prepare the dish, wash the chicken thoroughly; remove the skin and season with salt and pepper. Allow to stand for about an hour. In a large pot over medium-high heat, add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and place the chicken in the pot and cover with the lid. Cook the chicken for a few minutes, turning the chicken over a couple of times. Add the wine, garlic, onion, and 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Cover with the lid and allow the chicken to simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Then add the tomatoes to the chicken, and turn the heat to low. Allow the chicken to simmer with the lid on for 45 minutes.

In the meantime prepare the rice. Use 2 cups of water for every 1 cup of rice and be sure to wash the rice thoroughly. Bring the water to a boil, add the rice, some salt, a dash of olive oil and cover with a lid. Lower the heat and allow the rice to cook for about 15-20 minutes.

To serve, place one cup of rice on the plate and add a couple of pieces of chicken. Pour a large spoonful of the sauce over the rice and chicken and serve with your favourite side dish.

Greek Baklava Rolls (Baklavadakia)

Baklava is one of the most popular Greek desserts known around the world, but there are also many different ways of preparing this wonderful and decedent sweet. In this video recipe, Eva shows us how to prepare baklava rolls. The ingredients are the same as the traditional baklava recipe, but here the phyllo is rolled and cut into individual pieces.

For the mixture

2 cups chopped almonds
¼ cup of sugar
1/3 cup of breadcrumbs
Zest of one orange (finely chopped)
2 to 3 tablespoons of cognac
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
Juice of half an orange

1 package of phyllo
½ cup of butter

For the syrup

1 8-ounce glass of sugar
2 glasses of water
1 cup of honey
Half an orange or lemon
2 sticks of cinnamon
A pinch of cloves
1 tablespoon of lemon juice

Combine the almonds, sugar, breadcrumbs, orange zest, cognac, cinnamon and orange juice together in a large bowl and mix well.

Melt the butter either in the microwave or on the stovetop and set aside. Remove the phyllo from the package and lay it flat on your countertop. Cover the phyllo with a slightly damp cloth.

Take out three sheets of phyllo and brush each phyllo with butter (stack each sheet on top of the other). Place a few large spoonfuls of the mixture along the bottom of the top sheet of phyllo and begin to roll the phyllo. Butter the edge of the sheet and continue to roll the phyllo as tightly as possible. Once you get to the end of the sheet, you will need to butter the edge as well.

Once you have finished rolling the phyllo, cut off the uneven edges (but don’t throw it away, just throw it into your remaining mixture).
Cut the roll into 2 inch pieces (cut either straight down or slightly angled). Butter the edges of each place and place on a greased baking sheet.

Repeat this same procedure until you have finished using all of the phyllo and mixture. You may wish to use more phyllo sheets (e.g. you could six sheets of phyllo and place a large amount of the mixture on your phyllo).

Once you have finished rolling the phyllo and placing the buttered rolls on your pan, butter the top of each roll. Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes at 325 degrees (this really depends on your oven; keep in mind that the baklava has to bake slowly at a low heat until golden brown).

To prepare the syrup which you will pour over the baklava, mix together the sugar, water, and honey together in a medium saucepan. Add the lemon (or orange), cloves, and cinnamon sticks and bring it to a boil. Let it boil for about 15-20 minutes. To see if the syrup is ready you can test it by placing a small drop of the syrup on your stove-top and feel it with your finger. If it has a nice body to it, it’s ready. Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to help it stay nice and smooth after it cools down.

When placing the syrup on your baklava, either the baklava or the mixture must be cool and the other hot. In this video, Eva is using a pre-prepared syrup mixture, but if you would like to see her making the syrup please watch our original baklava video).
Spoon out the slightly cooled syrup onto the warm baklava. Allow the baklava to sit for about 20 minutes, afterwards turn over the individual rolls to allow both sides to soak in the liquid. Allow the baklava to sit overnight before you serve. Enjoy!

Irene’s Kourabiedes (Kourabiethes) (Greek Butter Cookies)

Kourabiedes are a traditional Greek cookie made for special occasions like Christmas. They are butter cookies covered with icing sugar and are a favourite among Greeks. This recipe makes a huge amount of cookies (about 8 dozen), so feel free to cut the recipe in half or simply give them away to loved ones as gifts!

2 lbs of unsalted butter
1 lb of Crisko
1 cup of icing sugar
2 cups of sliced and toasted almonds
6 egg yolks
2 tablespoons of ouzo*
2 teaspoons of vanilla
2 tablespoons of baking powder
½ teaspoon of baking soda
10 cups of flour
½ cup of rose water
About 3-4 cups of icing sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Using an electric blender, cream the softened butters together. Blend for about 5 minutes as you scrape the sides of the bowl. Slowly add in the icing sugar followed by the toasted almonds (be sure to toast the almonds in the oven for about 6-7 minutes at a low heat before you begin making the cookies). As you continue to blend the mixture, add in the egg yolks. Add the ouzo and vanilla and continue to blend. Add the baking powder and baking soda to the mixture (be sure to mix it with a cup of flour before you slowly add it to the mixture). Slowly add the remaining flour and continue to mix with the electric blender. With your hands, knead the dough for a few minutes. You can tell the dough is ready when it no longer sticks to your hands as you knead it.

To shape the dough you may use a cookie cutter or simply shape the dough into small crescents and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in the oven at 300 degrees for 15 minutes.

Once the cookies have finished baking, remove from the oven and sprinkle the cookies with rose water. Allow the cookies to cool slightly and then roll each cookie in a bowl of icing sugar. Set on a decorative plate. Enjoy!

*in this video Irene uses ouzo, but you could use either cognac or brandy (Metaxa is usually used)