About These Recipes

Recipe Roundup

Random spice-Punx (updated randomly)

  • "I’ve never been a believer that infants should only eat bland, tasteless food items from jars or even items that are only steamed and mashed without any seasoning. My son, Alex, who is 8-months old, is a great lover of Indian, Middle Eastern and Mexican foods. As I write this post, he is having the dish I am about to write about now – Butternut Squash – Indian Style."
  • "Chipotle Black Bean Sandwich Spread I had some black beans in the fridge that needed used up, so I threw together a little spread that's just basically black beans, garlic, scallions, chipotle pepper and hot sauce, and various spices. I think cumin, oregano, paprika, garlic and onion powders, salt, pepper, and Spike. Oh, and some nutritional yeast ("nooch"). And a little water to thin it out. It had a bit of heat, which was nice with the crunchy veggies. The bread is a sourdough loaf from Panera, because I'm lazy and we were nearby.we were nearby."
  • “Luckily, i did manage to scrounge up enough fruit to try two new things for me. one was a green mango chutney, based on a recipe from madhur jaffrey's "quick and easy indian cookery". green mangoes were combined with green chilis, fresh ginger, orange peel and a bunch o' spices to make a sweetish, spicy compote. as i rather like the colour of the chartreuse mango flesh, i tried not to use anything that would interfere with the colour, but i still wanted to add maximum flavour to this indian condiment. as i cut down the traditional cooking time considerably, the ginger still retained quite a bit of bite, as did the mango. i could (and did) eat spoonfuls of this without anything, but i can imagine it alongside my next indian meal, or even as an exotic condiment to a well roasted chicken.”
  • "So, what made these so amazing? The combination of the nutty red Bhutanese rice, red lentils, fragrant cumin seeds and hot pepper flakes was aromatic and tasty. But, then, adding the bright green and spicy Cilantro sauce really heightened the flavors and made this dish a wonder. I love this sauce. It would be a great match with Indian and Thai curries and Mexican dishes. With its wonderful flavor, it could make the simplest food into a delectable meal - rice, tofu, and steamed veggies with this sauce - delish! Serve it as a dip with tortilla chips. Don't like cilantro? Kornfeld says mint makes a delicious substitute."
  • "Kharee/Curry leaves can be confusing for newbies to Indian cuisine. First off, they are NOT the basis for curry powder. At least I knew this much… Because I hadn’t done my research first, I expected the leaves to be dried, like bay leaves. So when I asked our Indian grocer where they were–he said in the fridge and I was flummoxed. Not just by the fact that they are refrigerated, but by not being able to find the fridge… They smelled so wonderful as I cooked my dal that I did a premature happy dance. But then! I went and let them cook too long! Even if you are smart enough not to dry them, you cannot overcook curry leaves or they will still lose their flavor. I cooked them for about 45 minutes (because I am easily distracted) and consequently, the dal lost all spice flavors and basically tasted like chalk. But hey, it was fun sniffing it while it cooked! "
  • "Masala – may not be as exciting word as Spice, but it is nonetheless one that tells me my potatoes will always be flavoured and anyone who knows Meera knows how much she loves her potatoes. Masala also conveys a riot of colourful curry powders, of simmering smells, of changing shapes and textures. Masala means a fun mix, a medley, a motley blend of delicious differences."
  • "All the spices in curry are really what work for me. It helps that it’s nourishing and not particularly artery-clogging but really what it all comes down to is the spices..."
  • "I found my recipe for SHF while running on the treadmill - too hot to be running outside, ya know? On the back page of this month's Food and Wine magazine was a trio of fruit based granitas. Each of them had a spicy twist that made them all sound terribly interesting. I chose to make the Honeydew Granita. The recipe called for a touch of cinnamon to be added but I twisted it up and added a pinch of ground ginger. It worked really well with the granita, which couldn't have been easier. Sure, you have to flake the granita every 20 minutes or so with a fork...but you're inside in the AC anyway so whats a few minutes standing in front of the freezer with the door open?"
  • "What better than “MOM’s Chicken” for the comeback. I call this Mom’s chicken because I have not seen or heard any one make a chicken curry like this and every single person who ever ate this promptly fell in love with it. And believe me I am not lying at all...."
  • “Achaari Chicken is chicken prepared with Indian pickling spices. It takes on a taste similar to a mago or mixed vegetable achaar (pickle). It's very simple to make, but tastes like you spent a long time preparing the gravy! Last time I made it, I had enough left over for another meal, so I decided to experiment and see how it would hold up if I froze it for another day. I'm pleased to say it came out just as good as the day I cooked it! “
  • "It was 2 am after a long day of traveling, and ten days without anything even remotely indian-flavored. Call it a craving, call it crazy; I don’t know what to call it. I wanted mustard seed, curry leaf and cumin, and I wanted it quick! *Quick Fix Rasam Noodle Soup* for desperate late-night cravings...."
  • "I was thinking of curry all day today and I don't even know why. I had real cravings for vegetables slow-cooked in a creamy, aromatic sauce. Lofty suggested we treat ourselves and have takeout for a change, but neither of us really fancied that. It's expensive, more often than not it's poor quality food and it means that you lose out on the fun of cooking. And on a Friday night I can think of nothing more relaxing than spending hours in the kitchen. - Honestly, I do! I've not lost it. If I have the time and the ingredients I will gladly spend a few hours on a dinner. - Luckily for us, we had all the ingredients you need for a curry and I was very much up to experimenting with herbs and spices. So, rather than following a recipe, I decided to design my own dish. And, after a few days of mess-ups, I'm glad to say that the experiment was a success?"
  • “Samosa Heaven~ …on my way back was wooed by a pile of fresh looking Samosas whispering sweet nothings to my empty belly. All of the Samosas you find along the streets are slightly different, varying greatly in shape, size, ingredients, and levels of spiciness, but not much in price: always cheap. This would be my first of many that day, probably the spiciest I had in India, and the best up to that point. As I ate it I made my way back up towards the hotel, and though I was fifteen minutes late, the only thing keeping me from walking all the way back to get another was that I wasn't sure if my tongue could take another one.”
  • "Lacking the crucial star anise, but clutching an assortment of other seeds and pods in my palm, I turned for help to the Spice Goddess who presides over my cookbook shelf, Madhur Jaffrey. O, joy! O, bliss! There, in my copy of her World Vegetarian cookbook, was a recipe for Masala Chai! And I had all the requisite spices!"
  • "...But anyway, the other night, I saw this post about a chicken korma recipe. Chicken korma is one of my favorite Indian dishes, so I thought I’d give it a try. However, I didn’t have any chicken and it was nearly 11pm, so I didn’t feel like running to the store. Why was I making Indian food at 11 at night? Because I saw the recipe and wanted to try it of course. I did have tofu, that I had drained a few days earlier (for the soba stir fry) but hadn’t used. So, I needed to cook that up. A brief note about tofu: I really don’t know how to cook it. It was only recently that I saw Alton Brown do a show on tofu that I realized “drain” meant to put the tofu between two plates, pile heavy cans on top, and leave it for a few hours….So, I really had no idea how to incorporate this tofu into the dish. Here’s what I did. Then, I added maybe 1/4 cup water and let all the spices simmer together. After a few minutes, when most of the water had evaporated, I added the diced tofu and stirred it around so it got coated and warm. I think I would have liked to have gotten the outsides crispy, but I don’t think you can do that with everything else in the pan. Maybe I should have done the tofu first? Broiled it? No idea...."
  • “Pendant des années, j’ai réalisé des idlys peu ordinaires (de vilaines langues diront complètement loupés !). J’obtenais une sorte de steak de soja de taille démesurée, bien compact, que j’agrémentais d’épices, herbes, noix et légumes râpés, selon mon envie du jour. Une bonne recette sauf que mon méga Idlys… n’avait rien à voir avec les Idlys Indiens….”
  • "For tonight's dinner we turned to an excellent cookbook we haven't had out in a while: Dakshin - Vegetarian Cuisine From South India by Chandra Padmanabhan. Some of the recipes in here are a little involved and/or require ingredients that are hard to find (at least around here), but we've also found many good ones that aren't that difficult to make. Like this Lemon Rice..."
  • "All the flights were grounded so our guests couldn't leave and no restaurants were open! Fortunately, we had tons of leftover samosas from the cocktail hour portion of our wedding reception so Lavin and I decided to knock on the doors of our guests' hotel rooms, delivering samosas to keep everyone's tummy's happy! It was such a silly weekend and a wedding I'm sure no one will forget. These "samosas" are not the traditional type but an adaptation I created when I felt the craving for one but didn't want to eat wheat. I've instead put the traditional samosa fillings (or innards as Rob would say) inside of a tortilla and pan fried it on both sides - like you would a quesadilla. Hence the reason for my clever title..."
  • “I got these pink peppercorn chocolate last week at Tower Market in SF (which I guess now it's technically a Mollie Stone) and I'm totally hooked. The pink peppercorn definitely added a nice spicy, floral flavor to it….”

Giving SHRIMP a Naughty Reputation...


     "Come to me. Make sweet love to me," a woman's voice bleated from the television screen.

           Those two words buzzed at the back of my mind as I worked on my stuff' from 'my corner' of the NC kitchen. Sweet love. Sweet love. Why not spicy love? Sour love? Tangy-hot salty love? Love that is simply sweet is not nearly so alluring. Not to me. (Now Ruthie...)

          Love is a powerful and vital element at the spicy NC Kitchen. It is not safe, not predictable... potentially electric... Today, I decided then, we would focus on hot love. Tangy love. From the city with the fiery reputation....

              Nevertheless, it was the sacred Soap Opera Hour at the NC, when our Trobee is transfixed by an assortment of characters and events that completely contradict her 'Harley chick' persona.

           "Today " I announced at the show's end, when she was left breathless with suspense, "we're going to finalize the 'hot shrimp recipe'." From Stef Patag of Rice and Noodles.

          "Yesss!" She flew to the freezer and pulled out the bag of frozen shrimp that had been waiting for our spicy affections for nearly a month. "l forgot already what this dish is called."

          "Madras Shrimp."

          "Oh, OK." she muttered as she pulled out our large skillet. But I knew the name hadn't stuck -- she would probably forget it completely within minutes.

          Yet it was important that Trobee, of all people, did remember. The name 'Madras' when linked to a food item is charged with meaning. Wicked for some, gorgeous-glorious for others (in a punishing sort of way), and most definitely NOT sweet and NOT nice....

       "Madras is a city in the south of India, famous all over the world for being super-spicy-hot," I told her. "So when you see Madras in the name of a dish, like on a recipe or a menu, it will be hot. Or at least try to be."



The first thing Trobee and I had decided to do during our first attempt at the recipe was use Sriracha sauce instead of the tomato puree. We tend to avoid recipes that call for a tiny amount of tomato paste (a lot of Indian recipes do). We just don't want to open a can of tomato paste just for one lousy tablespoon, we don't normally have fresh tomatoes on hand, it seems like messy extra work to puree one anyway... and hey, we think Sriracha works just great! (Ahem. Where was I?)

Since this was Madras Shrimp, we substituted with Sriracha without guilt.

Sriracha sauce can be found in any Asian grocer or regular supermarket. Consisting of little more than red chillies and vinegar, I've also heard it referred to as Chinese ketchup. Just look for the rooster.

*     *     *

"What else?" I asked Trobee. "What else should we tell Our People about this dish?"

"Tell them." she said,"this recipe really isn't that hot. I mean, it is, but most people I know would be able to eat it."

Mashrimpies "Even using Sriracha for the tomato puree? Let me try it again...." Yum. Pow. Burst of flavor that complements the textured mouthfeel of shrimp oh so well. But not scorching. No watery eyes, no tingly tongue.

"Yeah. You're right, Tro. Ruthie will have to have some then. She'll love it!"

"But not Trina."

We grinned the way people do when they're discussing cute children.

"No, not Trina."

*     *     *

To prove her point that this recipe is hot-yet-still-approachable (like her, I added), she fed some to her spice-fussy boyfriend, Jeremy (having used 1 Tb of Sriracha sauce).

"He totally demolished it," she said. "Didn't leave me any. The kid is a total sally [her slanderous term for not being able to handle spice-heat], but he loved it."

"So what would you do to make it hotter for yourself?"

"Add more Sriracha," she said. "More pepper. If it was for me."


photos by Trobee

graphic by Mo Digital

Madras Shrimp

  • 2 tsp oil
  • ½ tsp black mustard seeds
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2-1 tsp coarse-ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • 1 ½ tsp garlic paste or minced garlic
  • ¼ cup water or broth
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1-2 TB Sriracha sauce (or tomato puree)
  • 1/3 tsp salt
  • 3/4 lb. shrimp (This was exactly half of our frozen bag)
  1. In a large skillet, heat the oil until it is sizzle-hot. Add the black mustard seeds and saute until they quit popping.
  2. Add the onion, followed by the garlic.
  3. Next add the coriander powder, pepper, and turmeric. Cook the mixture until the garlic is light brown and the onion pieces are soft and translucent.
  4. Now add the water or broth, Sriracha sauce (or tomato puree), lemon juice and salt. Cook for about a minute on medium heat.
  5. Add the shrimp and stir to evenly cover the little guys in sauce. Cook for another 10 minutes, or until the shrimp is cooked through. Done.

Click here to see Stef's original recipe and scrumptious photo

ZUCCHINI and APPLE Sitting In A Tree


   "It's OK if a recipe doesn't work out," I said to Trina. "Really. I told you this when you first started here. This whole NC thing is about discovery, man. Not correctness."

          "I know, but... it must be something I did..."

          "Oh stop. Stop it. There is no wasted moment when we cook. It's constant learning. I mean, just from that recipe alone we learned more about zucchini."

          And now we had a lone zucchini lurking in the fridge, ready-to-go had we choosen to finalize the former so-so recipe.

          Zucchini. It had been Trina's idea to cook with it. Her zucchini-enthusiasm had made me slap-happy, for Ruthie and Trobee have let on in the past that they are less-than-enchanted by the squash-like vegetable.

          A challenge awaited for Trina and I at the NC. I was ready -- carpe zucchini. As for our Trina, well, her 'cooking self-esteem' was still a bit bruised. "Now what should we try?" She sifted through generic recipes on the internet.

Zucchini2           "What the NC needs now," I said,"is a salad-type thing. How does this one sound to you? Zucchini cut up into matchsticks and tossed with chopped apple, toasted almonds, zest of an orange...."

          Trina bit.

          "Good. Let's try it," said I. "And if it doesn't turn out, it's OK! Really."

          Did I see her roll her eyes? No. Not Trina.


Time to try out some spices. Design a spice wardrobe for the elements: zucchini, apple, walnuts, orange zest...

"Cardamom, you think?"


"No, Trina. 'Yes' or 'no'."

"Yes. How much should we add?"

Hmm. The last thing you want in a dish is an overpowering sense of cardamom. It's like going too heavy with a wondrous perfume. (Better to wear no perfume than too much.)

"Ok. Here's what were gonna do with the cardamom. We'll dry-roast the other whole spices, then add the seeds from a cardamom pod when its grinding time We'll start with half of a pod's seeds."

Our final product uses all the seeds from a green cardamom pod. Note: the black cardamom pod variety will not work here.

*     *     *

I knew Ruthie's approval would be a shoo-in. This salad screams 'Ruthie'.

"Oooh, yum!" Ruthie declared. "This is GOOD." She continued to verbally approve while stealing bites. "To be honest, I'm not usually too crazy about zucchini."

Oh really.

What would Trobee think of our salad-y creation? I really couldn't guess. The zucchini, the sweet-aromatic spicing style, the walnuts...

"So whaddya think, Trobee?" I asked after our first attempt. "Is it a salad worth playing with?" Worthy, in short, for the NC to work on.


"I mean, we haven't quite perfected it."

"It's great. I could definitely bring this to a potluck, barbecue, family reunion, whatever. Mmmm! I think I'll stop eating now."

"No worries. The dressing is all nonfat yogurt. " I would try soy yogurt next.

"No shit, hey."

*     *     *

"Orange zest. That's like the grated peel, right?"

I nodded. Using the zest of a citrus fruit allows the fruity flavor to shine out, without the juiciness or tang.

Trina had forgotten how to zest. (Sounds bad, doesn't it?"

"You just kinda lightly scrape it off, maybe with a fork. We actually have a zester; it cost like six bucks. Just use the claw things and scrape. Little colored peel bits will fall like snowflakes...."

*     *     *

I presented Trobee with the finalized dish. "Yum," she declared. She kept eating. "To be honest, I'm not normally too crazy about zucchini."

Oh really.

"But it seems totally different to me now! It's really good in this dish with the apple, spiced up like this! I don't know, maybe I just like it eaten cold..."

"And the spices?"

"The spices are PER-fect. Wouldn't change anything. Tell Trina she did a great great job."

"Roger that."


photos by Trina and Trobee

Zucchini-Apple Bliss Salad

  • 1 zucchini, cut into matchstick-size strips
  • 1 red apple
  • ¼ cup golden raisins
  • ¼ cup walnut pieces or almond slivers, dry-roasted
  • ½ cup plain nonfat or soy yogurt
  • ¾ tsp sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • A few pinches of orange zest
  • Seeds from one green cardamom pod


    • 1 tsp cumin seeds
    • 2 tsp coriander seeds
    • ½ tsp asafetida
    • ¼ tsp fennel seeds
  1. Dry roast the masala until the cumin seeds have darkened a few shades. Whizz into a powder with the cardamom seeds in your coffee grinder. Set aside.
  2. Chop the apple into ½ inch pieces and place them in a medium-large mixing bowl with the zucchini pieces.
  3. Add the masala and the remaining ingredients to the bowl and mix well. Refrigerate for at least one hour. Done.

MANGOES and RUM: Ignite For Fun


     "Listen up and tell me if this sounds good," I told Trobee. " I have an email here from a chef who works at a martini bar in Portland, Oregon. Chris Rames, his name is. Ready? OK." I turned to the e-mail and began to read. "It's his recipe for Pineapple Madagascar. Picture it. Pineapple cut into five big chunks. He then rolls the pineapple pieces in -- get this --green peppercorns!"

          "Green peppercorns?"

          "Oh yes. Then, he takes those peppercorned pieces and rolls them in sugar."

          "Crazy!" Trobee murmured. "What next?"

           "Well, now he’s got some butter melting in a pan."


           "He takes the coated fruit chunks, and sizzles them up in the butter. He cooks them till they are golden brown on all sides. Are you with me?"

            She was.

            "And when they’re all lovely and ready and glistening, he removes them ever so gently and places them on a plate. Now comes the interesting part. He gets out some rum…"


             "Yes. Rum. And he deglazes the pan with it. Haha! I love what he says here: ‘Ignite for fun!’... That would be fun. Too bad you’re accident-prone."

              "Yeah no shit, huh? Now what?"

              "Ok, so now a warm syrup is made with the rum and fresh orange juice. I'm not done. Chris gets out a naked scoop of vanilla ice-cream –"

              "Ice-cream! No way!"

              "--and he serves the coated fruit and the piping-hot syrup with the cold cold ice-cream. Now. Doesn’t that just... light your fire?"

             She was lit. "Lets do it!"

           "Oh we will. But we’re going to try this with a mango. We’ll just try it out and see what happens."


"So what’s the difference between green peppercorns and black peppercorns? I forgot."

Mmnc_1 "Green peppercorns are, like, an unknown legend in their time. I don’t know why they’re not more popular. You know how fruit is green when it’s not yet ripe? The same with these guys. They are picked when they are not yet ripe so they are much milder then black and have a separate wisp of herbal-fruity flavor. It’s very cool. I don’t see them much in Indian recipes either, but they are grown in India as well as Madagascar--"

"So you're supposed to coat them...." Trobee muttered."Peppercorns and fruit. l don't know, Court."

"Green peppercorns," I corrected. I couldn't imagine it either, but it really had me curious. It's not often I come across a recipe that features green peppercorns.

*     *     *

Chris calls for unsalted butter in the recipe. (Ghee could also be used with the same effect.) Butter that is 'unsalted' is able to fry longer without burning, but since it didn't have to fry for long anyway, I wondered if regular butter could be used. This may seem like fussy dithering to those with an everready supply of ghee, but many folks would have to specifically go out and buy a package of unsalted butter just for a couple of tablespoons.

Mm So of course the NC has done it both ways, beginning with regular butter.

"Regular butter works just fine!" Trobee proudly declared from the stove. "Doesn't burn or nothin'!"

But later, after she had cooked up the recipe several times, having tried it both ways: "Tell Our People to use ghee or 'unsalted butter' if they've got it --it's way easier and faster. Butter works okay,though, if that's all they have."

*     *     *

"Now, Trobee... don't grind these peppercorns into a powder. Or even flakes. Just crush `em open. They should still be chunky." Retain most of their spherical shape.


"Think of them like little flavor-capsules. We want them to release their good stuff into our food, so we've got to--"

"No, no, I know all that. So why not just coarse-grind the pepper?" Like usual. With our pepper mill. Why bother doing anything else with the spice Trobee has been intimate with for years and years.

"It's an effect we want, I'm thinking. A crunchy burst--" Mmrum

"Ok, so how? Do I have to use that pisto...pesto..."

"You could use the mortar and pestle...if you can find it. Or you can just do the pulse-stop pulse-stop thing with the coffee grinder." Less control over the grindage, but faster and easier.

"So.. a coarse-grind then."

"Ah, no. I think we want more here from our peppercorns. We want some chunkage."

Trobee shrugged. "Ok..."

*     *     *

Before long, it was showtime. The coated mango pieces were glistening, and ready to go. The vanilla ice cream practically quivered in anticipation.

"Ok, here goes..." The mango pieces were arranged on the ice cream, the heated rum syrup was drizzled on top. We were dazzled.

"Wow, look at that."

"I want a bite. Bite. Bite. Now." She brought over the celestial dessert.

I closed my eyes, not certain what to expect.

"Now that...is almost erotic," said I. Mamma-mia.

Trobee took a taste. And a few others. "Oh my god, Courty! That's out of control! That...crunchy heat... with the slippery-smooth frozenness..."

There were others lurking about in the NC Kitchen that day. The dessert was quickly seized upon -- with declarations of appreciation.

Mm_1 photos by Trina and Trobee

graphic by Mo Digital

Mango Madagascar

  • 1 semi-firm mango, peeled and chopped into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 Tb green peppercorns, crushed open (Trina uses 2 tsp)
  • 3 Tb sugar
  • 1 Tb butter
  • 1 Tb white rum (we used a mini-bottle)
  • 2 Tb freshly squeezed orange juice
  • vanilla ice cream
  1. Roll the mango cubes in the crushed green peppercorns, followed by the sugar.
  2. In a medium skillet, melt the butter and place the mango cubes in the pan. Let the cubes fry until they are golden-brown.
  3. Remove the mango pieces from the pan (use tongs if you have em) and set them aside. In the same pan, add the rum and orange juice and let it simmer until the liquid forms a syrup consistency.
  4. Place a scoop of ice cream in a small dish. Top it with the mango pieces and the syrup.

* Trobee likes her mangoes on the tart n' tangy side for this recipe. She chose mangoes that were almost-ripe, with patches of green -- just soft enough to slice into.

*     *     *

~Original recipe~

Pineapple Madagascar

Chris Rames: "This recipe is one of my personal favourites.  I am a Chef in Portland, Oregon.  I use this recipes in my kitchen at Olive or Twist." 

one serving,  Feeds two.


5   Large chunks fresh pineapple,  1 cubic inch each, at least
1   Tablespoon crushed green peppercorns
3   Tablespoons sugar
2   Tablespoons unsalted butter
1   Tablespoon white rum
2   Tablespoons orange juice, fresh squeezed and un-pastuerised is best
1   Scoop vanilla ice cream


Melt butter in saute pan at med heat.

Roll all 5 chunks of Pineapple in the green eppercorns.  Once all side are coated roll the chunks in the sugar until all sides are coated.

Place the coated chunks in the butter and cook unitl soft and golden brown on all sides.

Remove chunks from pan with tongs, and place on plate.

Deglaze pan with rum, Ignite for fun.

Add orange juice.  Reduce to desired syrup consistansy.

Place Ice cream scoop in seperate ramekin.  Place ramekin of ice cream on plate across from Pineapple .


Pour the sauce over the pineapple chunks.

Place two of the small inner leaves of the Pineapple in the dish with the ice cream.


This recipe uses about 1/4 of a fresh pineapple.

~ Chef Chris Rames,  GCR


"We’re not done with this one yet, Trobee," said I.

"We’re not?"

"Oh, no. These spicy little mango pieces deserve to be played around with a bit. Now I'm thinking that this dessert would be too strong for our Trina [I was right]. But how about this? Wouldn’t these coated mango pieces be really cool in a rice dish?"

Trobee shrugged.

Well I wanted to try it. I wanted a simply-spiced rice dish, and then fold in these coated mango chunks. It just might be good. Maybe. I put Trina on the project.

So when it was Trina's turn...

"Court, these mangoes are rock hard and it's all they had at the store! What do we do?"

Mmslices "No worries. We'll make them on Monday -- just put `em in a paper bag to speed up the ripening." They were perfectly ripe when we removed them.

"Wow. Y' know I never knew that 'Paper Bag Trick' before I started cooking here. I tried it out with my avocados last week, and it worked!"

*     *     *

It took several tries before the 'right rice' came along.. And when it did...

"Trina, my love. This is absolutely outstanding! I mean. I figured it would be good, but this...."

Rave reviews from the doubting Trobee. I myself was so addicted to Mango Madagascar Rice, I made it three times in two weeks. Mmrice 

photo by Trobee

Mango Madagascar Rice

  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp garlic paste or minced garlic
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth (water is OK, too)
  • 1/4 tsp ginger powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt, optional
  • One recipe of Mango Madagascar (mangoes only w/o ice cream)


    • 3 whole cloves
    • 2 green cardamom pods, bonked open
    • 1 inch cinnamon stick
    • 1 bay leaf
  1. In a medium skillet, heat the oil until it is sizzle-hot. Add the masala and saute for about 30 seconds. Add the garlic paste and cook until it turns light brown.
  2. Add the rice, salt, turmeric, and ginger powder and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Add the broth or water and bring it to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes or until the rice is cooked through.
  3. Add the mango pieces to the cooked rice followed by the syrup. Done.

*     *     *

We’re always scouting about for funky picnic items. Our most favorite Neighbor Lady brought us her mini-fruit pizzas to try. We gobbled up the lovely yummy things. Lightbulb moment.

"What if…?"

Mmpizzas photo by Trobee

Mini-Fruit Pizzas (starring Mango Madagascar)

  • one package of Pillsbury sugar cookie dough (18 oz.)
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese (we use 'whipped' or 'light')
  • 1/2 cup Cool Whip
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 recipe of Mango Madagascar (without the ice cream)
  • some assorted fresh fruit (We use strawberry slices and blueberries)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. Open the Pillsbury cookie dough package. With a butter knife, cut 1/2-inch slices down the roll as the package directs. Arrange the slices on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 8-12 minutes, or until they get golden brown.
  3. In a bowl, combine the cream cheese, Cool Whip, and powdered sugar. It should get nice and fluffy.
  4. While the cookies are cooling down from the oven, prepare the fruit for the topping. Generously spread the cream cheese mixture on the cookies. Top with the fruit. Chill for at least 15 minutes before serving. Done.

UPDATE: No butter?

I was shown your site by my friend Autumn a while back—you folks provided her with “Autumn’s Awesome Anytime Curry” a few months ago (which I have tried and loved). I put together the Madagascar recipe last night, and was thrilled, so thank you! I love both pineapple and mango, so I went ahead and used both in mine attempt. Sadly, I forgot the butter, but the fruit caramelized a bit, and was lovely. I made extra, so I will reheat it tonight and see how it is. And next time, I’ll use the butter.

~Cheers, Alex

Photo Gallery

  • www.flickr.com
    This is a Flickr badge showing photos in a set called Naughty Curry Recipe Pics. Make your own badge here.


  • if you dare...

Wise Words

  • ”Raw jackfruit is a quintessential konkani ingredient. It is used as a star of the recipe like in this dish or as a subtle ingredient in a beans curry dish. Either way, it is found in every konkani kitchen. However, in my part of the world, the fresh ones are not available. I make do with the canned ones. I use the ones that preserved in water and salt only. No artificial preservatives. My rule of thumb for any canned veggies. The good thing about using them canned is you don’t have to struggle with cutting an actual raw jackfruit which is full off a sticky sap that no ordinary soap can get rid off. Plus, they are cooked half way through which makes it a snap to make dishes like these ones. Just rinse them REALLY good.”
  • "For years I have been telling friends that what the U.S. needs more than ANYTHING right now is an Indian fast-food chain. If I am going to be convinced by advertisers to slowly poison myself with grease then I would much rather do so at the hands of a warm samosa than a burger and fries. And what about those long drives across America? When we pull up to a gas-and-go we currently have a choice between tired old Subway and toxic McDonalds. We can’t find a warm nan filled with paneer tikka anywhere. Recently the Indian restaurant chain “Hot Breads” announced that it was trying to spread some of its love around the U.S...."
  • "Like many things of unassuming appearance and surprising worth, I first found tamarind in a strip mall. I was nineteen, a newly minted college freshman and a recent arrival to California, when a friend proposed dinner at Amber India, a well-regarded restaurant in nearby Mountain View. My palate was then untested by tandoors, chutneys, vindaloos, and the slow rumble of Indian spices, and needless to say, I did not expect to make their exotic acquaintance under a neon sign in a slab of shopping center on El Camino Real. You can well imagine my surprise when, at that table on the old King’s Highway, I lifted to my lips a forkful of aloo chat, cold cubes of cooked potato folded with cucumber, banana, and dark, shiny tamarind, a soft, saucy mouthful more transportive than any loud, glaring street outside. The old proverb may proffer that the best things in life are free, but that night I decided instead that the best things in this life—or some of them, anyway—are in strip malls. Old adages are nice, but they have nothing on the pulp-filled, pod-like fruit of the tamarind tree. In the eight or so years since that evening on El Camino, I have learned, of course, that tamarind isn’t native to roadside shopping centers, or even to India. Slow-growing, long-lived, and impressive in stature, the tamarind tree originally hails from east Africa, but it has long since taken root in tropical Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, the Indies, the Pacific Islands, and my kitchen, where it thrives despite the arid linoleum environment. Tangy, fruity, and sweetly sour, concentrated tamarind pulp is a natural in pad Thai or spooned into yogurt, and I’ve long suspected—but have not yet tested—its prowess in the realm of barbeque. It can be a condiment, glaze, dressing, or dip, and according to Brandon, it makes a mean sauce when spun together with roasted garlic, balsamic vinegar, lime juice, cilantro, and a salty dusting of Parmigiano Reggiano...."
  • "So are you wondering what is the difference between Greek yogurt and European and American yogurt? American yogurt comes in two different yet very similar varieties, Natural yogurt and Natural bio live yogurt. Both come in whole milk, and fat free varieties. The taste is milder and more watery in texture. I usually like to cook with it when making Indian dishes or need fruit mixed in. I also make a cucumber, garlic and dill sauce with it. Similar to Tzatziki(a Greek sauce). But Greek yogurt is a lot more flavorful and thicker. I enjoy eating it plain because it has a really nice flavor on its own. Similar to sour cream...."
  • "...Neo (from mexico), Julie (from US), and all my non-Indian friends like this. They or sometimes even their husbands want them to learn this....This is I think the simplest way to make this or for that matter any other vegetable indian style. This method was taught to me by Yasir’s badi mami from Kashmir. Badi mami (translated as ‘Big aunt’) loves to feed people, so incase you are trying to control your eating portions, do not sit next to her at the table. Dont say I didnt warn you, if you over-ate...."
  • “The cuisine of Kerala Muslims alias 'Mappila Cuisine' is also well known for its delicate blend of spiciness and subtle mix of ingredients. Traditional Mappila cuisine is spicy and wholesome and has a lot in common with other foods of Kerala with the base as rice. Malabar Pathiri is a special Mappila bread prepared with rice flour.They make different varieties of pathiri like steam cooked Meen Pathiri(made of Fish),shallow fried Kannan Pathiri (shaped as eye),Adukku Pathiri(made with layered rice& egg) ,Egg Dipped Pathiri,Meat Pathiri,Coconut Pathiri….and many more.Pathiri in all its dry varieties can be tried out as perfect accompaniments to the dense coloured meat preparations.The difference between various pathiris comes from the rice that they are ground from.Biriyani Rice & Ponni rice are mostly use for preparing Pathiri's in Kerala…”

Contact the NC

    at naughtycurry @ hotmail.com We'd love to see your original spice-recipes, funny stories, comments or whatever!


Some Buzz on the NC