IFR daily

Daily Indian food, as it's cooked in my kitchen. Sometimes, not-so-Indian. No frills. No props. Just good food. A phone blog.

Category: brunch

Toasted sandwich with fresh coconut

1 cup fresh shredded coconut
1 cup finely chopped white or red onions
2-3 Thai green chiles, chopped fine
3/4 tsp salt or to taste
1-2 tbsp fresh lemon juice or to taste
10 slices of white bread
Butter, enough for 10 slices of bread

Pull out that neglected sandwich maker and pre-heat it.
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Mix all ingredients together, except bread and butter. Set aside.
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Butter one side of 10 slices of your favorite sliced bread. Whole wheat bread is more nutritious but white bread tastes best for these sandwiches.

Place about 1/3 cup of coconut-onion mixture onto the unbuttered side of a slice of bread. Place carefully in sandwich toaster, buttered side down.
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Spread the mixture evenly over the slice, leaving some margin on the edge. (If my butter looks unusually yellow, it’s because — gasp! — I ran out of butter and used ghee instead, albeit a little more sparingly than I would butter.
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Cover with another slice of bread, buttered side on the outside. Cover and toast for about 5 minutes or as long as it takes in your sandwich maker to make crispy golden sandwiches.
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The mixture will be very hot so allow some steam to escape before you chomp down into it. Serve hot!
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These are my favorite toasted sandwiches. My mother would make these for breakfast on Sunday mornings. I can eat them for any meal.

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Spinach and Red Pepper Frittata

2 tbsp oil
1 cup diced onion
2 red peppers
1/2 lb baby spinach, coarsely chopped or not
2 big cloves of garlic
2 hot green chiles
1/2 dried red chile (optional)
3 eggs
2/3 cup milk
1/2 cup grated Gruyère cheese
1/4 cup Parmagiano cheese
1/8 cup dill leaves, loosely packed and chopped
A few sprigs of cilantro, chopped
1 tsp salt
Few grinds of black peppercorns

Slice red peppers into strips and lightly caramelize them on a cast iron griddle.
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Mince together garlic and green chiles.
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Heat oil in a 12 inch saucepan. Add onions with a good pinch of salt and cook on medium heat until soft, 5-7 minutes. Add minced garlic and green chile mixture. Mix well and cook for a couple of minutes.

Beat eggs with milk and the rest of the salt and a few grinds of black peppercorn. If you like, crumble a dried red chile into the egg. It looks quite pretty.

Add caramelized red peppers.
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Add spinach.

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Cook on medium-high, stirring frequently, until spinach is wilted and the resulting mixture is not very wet.
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Spread the vegetable mixture evenly over the saucepan. Mix cheeses together and sprinkle evenly over the vegetables.
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Sprinkle chopped dill evenly over the cheese layer. Carefully pour beaten egg mixture into saucepan. Sprinkle evenly with chopped cilantro.
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Cook covered on medium-low until eggs are set, about 7-9 minutes.
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Cut into 8 wedges and serve immediately.

This is based on a recipe for a red pepper and spinach quiche from NYT. I made a frittata as my oven was otherwise occupied.

Papeta par ida

5-6 cups diced boiled red potatoes
8 eggs, whisked
2-3 tbsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
5-6 kadipatta, washed and dried
2-3 hot green chiles, chopped
1 tbsp grated ginger
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tbsp salt
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 tsp red chile powder

Lesson learned: use a saucepan that goes from stovetop to oven. Cooking on the stovetop, even with a lid on the saucepan, makes for a less moist dish as the eggs take a long time to set. Smaller quantities can be finished on the stovetop with no problems.

Preheat oven to 400F.
Heat the oil, on medium-high, in a large saucepan that can go from stovetop to oven. When it shimmers, add cumin seeds. Allow them to sizzle but take care not to burn them.
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Turn the heat down, add green chiles and kadipatta. Cover with a splatter guard or lid to avoid a mess on your stove.
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Add grated ginger and turmeric powder. Stir.
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Add diced potatoes. I peeled half and left the other half unpeeled. Add 1 tsp salt. Mix gently without breaking up potatoes.
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Sprinkle cilantro evenly over the surface.
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Add remaining salt to whisked eggs. Pour evenly over potato mixture. Make “holes” in the mixture by separating the potatoes in several spots, to allow the whisked eggs to quickly get to the bottom of the pan. Cook on medium-high for 4-5 minutes or until the edges of the eggs look set. Sprinkle with red chile powder.
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Transfer to your oven and bake for 8-10 minutes until eggs are cooked through. To check if they are cooked, cut a small slit in the center of the pan. If the eggs are still semi-solid or they run, bake for a few more minutes.
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Cut into wedges or squares and serve with toast or flatbread or just like that.

I took this to a neighborhood brunch potluck with my pudina-adrak chai. I tried to get them to say papeta par ida. Some tried. Others just called it a spicy Indian frittata. They will learn.