Thursday, April 29, 2010

Nepal = Fail

I was so excited to cook from Nepal. Mate and Shawn spent their time in Nepal with Summer and Beau. Summer went to LSU with Mate and Shawn and she and her husband are now missionaries in Kathmandu. I was kind of jealous that Summer got to play with Mate and talk to her every day, but I got over it. Hopefully, I will get to see Summer and Beau at El Gato in July...we really like them.
Anyway...I asked Summer for some recipes that natives eat and she helped me out. We had our friend, Chuck over for dinner since Rhonda was out of town (we need to make sure he does not starve while she is away). And, it was one liked the same thing - except the egg rolls and dessert. I was kinda bummed with the way Nepal turned out (no offense, Summer). Here is what I made:

Kathmandu Spring Rolls (yes, I homemade egg rolls) - Chuck gave these a 4.5, Bob gave these a 4.75 and I gave them a 5.
spring roll wraps, 1 cup chopped onion, 1 cup chopped celery, 1 cup grated carrot, 1/2 cup chopped scallions, 3 tbsp cilantro, 1 tsp turmeric, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1 tbsp curry powder, 1 tsp chili powder, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tbsp sesame oil

- Combine all filling ingredients and mix well.
- Spread out wrap and moisten edges with water.
- Spread mixture across middle of wrap. Fold both edges over mixture and roll over.
- Heat a bunch of oil (this has to be low in Weight Watchers Points!) and deep fry spring rolls until golden brown. (I got to use my asparagus steamer for the first time...a basket dipped in oil)
- Drain excess oil on a towel. Serve warm

Achaar - I did not know what to do with this. Summer said it is like salsa and you can serve it on your lentils if you would like. We used it like Duck Sauce on our egg rolls. Bob and Chuck gave it a 4.
1 lb chopped tomatoes, 3 - 4 diced green chilies, 1/2 onion - chopped, 1 tsp turmeric

- Heat some olive oil and saute vegetables. Add turmeric and a little salt.
- Cover and cook a few minutes (gotta love the measuring the crazy Nepalese missionaries do!).
- Uncover and mash. Recover and cook a few more minutes.

Vegetables - Not sure if these have a better name, but this is the one I was given. Bob and Chuck both gave this a 4. I did not think they had much flavor.
1 chopped onion, 2 chopped potatoes, some green beans, 4 chopped carrots, 1 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp masala (please note that the only things I was given measurements for were the onion and the spices...maybe I used too many of the other veggies)
- Heat enough oil to saute the onion.
- Add potatoes, green beans, carrots and spices.
- Cook until tender.

Dahl Bat - Summer says this is one of the main dishes in Nepal. I liked this, but Bob gave this a 1.5 and Chuck gave it a 2.25. Maybe the Nepalese people make it better than I did. (I think Bob could not get over the way this looked!)
1 cup lentils, 1 chopped onion, 1 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp masala, 1 tsp salt

- Wash the lentils. Soak in warm water for about an hour.
- Saute onion in oil. Add lentils, turmeric and masala.
- After a few minutes, add enough water to cover the lentils.
- Add salt, cover and cook until done (Summer had to let me know these are done when they get mushy).

Chicken Bhutua - Since I did not think the boys could make a meal of vegetables and lentils, I decided to make some meat for them. This got a 4 from Bob and a 4.25 from Chuck. Chuck took all of the leftovers home.
1 1/2 lb chicken, 5 minced garlic cloves, 1 inch ginger - minced, 3 red chilies - minced, 1 tbsp cumin, 1 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp chili powder, 1 tbsp olive oil (recipe calls for musturd oil...I could not find that), 1 cup green onions - cut 1" in length, 4 tbsp olive oil (or musturd oil if you can find it), 1 tsp pepper, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 5 cloves, 1 tsp fenugreek
- Combine chicken, 1 tbsp oil, turmeric, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper. Toss to coat.
- Heat 4 tbsp oil. Add fenugreek until they turn dark. Add cloves and fry for 15 seconds. Add chicken and brown.
- Add garlic, ginger and red chilies. Stir fry chicken on medium heat until cooked through (if it seems dry, add a little water).
- When chicken is done, add green onions and cinnamon, mix and heat through.

Gulab Jamun - Milkballs in Syrup. We all loved these and did not have any left. Summer says this is a popular dessert in Nepal (along with plain yogurt and fruit...we opted not to have that!). Mine looked a little funny and had a funny texture, but they sure were yummy!
3 cups sugar, 7 cups water, 2 tsp cardamom, 1 tsp turmeric, 2 cups powdered milk, 2/3 cup flour, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- Make a syrup by boiling sugar and water until sugar dissolves.
- Turn off heat and add cardamom and turmeric. Set syrup aside on stove.
- Mix by hand in a bowl powdered milk, flour and baking soda. Gradually add in cream and mix to form a soft dough.
- Make into walnut sized balls, set aside and cover with a damp cloth.
- Heat 4 cups of vegetable oil. Add milk balls a few at a time in a basket (again, using the asparagus steamer!). Fry to an even dark brown, shaking basket continuously. When browned, drain excess oil off. Dip each ball into the syrup and transfer to a serving dish.
- Boil syrup again for 15 minutes and pour over milk balls.

Next time, I will just have Summer cook for me.


  1. wow, im very impressed with your Nepali meal. good job, girl! cant believe you made galub jam.. and dhal bhat! tell Bob he has to give dhal bhat a second chance.. its really yummy! you guys should check out Kathmandu Cafe on Patton in downtown Aville.

  2. p.s. your dhal bhat definitely looks different :)

  3. mate...your dhal bat looks...interesting. but i would eat your spring rolls. and i had an interesting experience with achaar at a person's house in india...i was told it was very mild but i am pretty sure that i was breathing fire...i still have pains in my mouth from it!