Fusion Cooking

Fusion cooking is basically combining two cuisines to create a unique dish.
Indian spice techniques can be easily adapted, to boost flavor, to your everyday meals.

Vegetarian Chili Con Carne

The all American favorite dish Chili is an excellent one-pot dish to enjoy on a dull winter day.

Here is my version of vegetarian Chili, made with textured vegetable protein (TVP), also known as textured soy protein. TVP is not tofu. It is, however, made from soy. It's also quick to cook and a great source of vegetable protein without all the fat.

TVP comes in small dry chunks or in a finely grounded form. It is flavorless but when you rehydrate it and add your own flavors, it makes a great protein-filled addition to many dishes that call for ground meat. This is available in health stores. It is a perfect way to add soy to your diet. Please do not be intimidated by the long list of ingredients and spices used in this recipe. It is an excellent one-pot meal brimming with nutrients and flavor.

1 tablespoon cumin seeds
5 red chilies
1 tablespoon black pepper
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion ( medium) (diced)
8 garlic cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
2 cups textured vegetable protein (TVP)
2 cups boiling water
1 19 oz red kidney beans
1 19 oz black bean can
1 green bell pepper (diced)
1 yellow bell pepper (diced)
2 cups salsa
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon fresh cilantro (chopped)
2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt (or as per taste)
2 cups cheese (Low fat cheddar)
1 bunch green onions (chopped)

1. Dry roast cumin seeds, red chili powder and black pepper in a small pan for 4-5 minutes. Remove from pan.

2. After it has cooled down completely grind it in a small spice grinder (A coffee grinder reserved only for spices) Keep aside.

3. In a bowl, add 2 cups of boiling water to TVP. Cover and keep aside

4. In a thick-bottomed pan, heat oil. Add garlic and sauté for 2 minutes. Add cloves, cinnamon sticks and onions. Stir for a minute.

5. Throw in the TVP, kidney beans, black beans, bell pepper, salsa, tomato paste, oregano, basil, cilantro and 2 cups of water.

6. Bring it to boil and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes.

7. Finally add 1cup cheese. Taste and then add salt if required.

8. Cook for 5 more minutes.

Garnish with the remaining cheese and green onions and serve piping hot with corn bread or garlic bread.

Hema's Hints:

1. This chili freezes well.
2. You can make a hearty chili soup by adding 4 cups of vegetable broth
3. You may serve this chili con carne in bell pepper for a gourmet presentation

Servings: 8
Serving size: 2 cups
Category: Main Entrée

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Italian pasta tastes great with spaghetti sauce, pesto sauce or cheese sauce. To add variety to cooking, I have replaced the sauce by a spice seasonings and vegetables. It is a perfect blend of Indian flavors and Italian pasta.

2 cups bow tie pasta
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2-3 green chilies ( minced)
1 onion ( chopped)
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
¼ cup peanuts (unsalted)
1 tomato (chopped)
½ cup peas
1 tablespoon lime juice
¼ cup cilantro
1 tsp coconut (optional)
½ tsp sugar
Salt to taste
Pomegranate seeds for garnish

Cook pasta as per package directions and drain. Keep aside. Heat oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds and wait till it sizzles. Add green chilies and stir for a minute. Add onions and stir for 2 minutes. Mix in the turmeric.

Add peanuts, peas, tomatoes and pasta. Stir well to coat the pasta and vegetables with spice infused oil. Finally add cilantro, coconut (optional) sugar, salt. Mix well and serve warm with the final garnish of pomegranate seeds.

Serves : 4
Serving size: 2 cups

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Scones are very popular in Scotland and England. Typically, scones are enjoyed with tea, they are also enjoyed at breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, and especially for snacks. The texture of Scones is in between a cookie and a cake. I have added Saffron and cardamom for more flavor.

1/8 teaspoon saffron threads
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
5-6 cardamom pods
¼ cup dried cranberries
7-8 almonds
¼ cup oil
¾ cup buttermilk
Sugar for garnish

Soak saffron threads in a teaspoon of hot milk. Keep aside.

Remove fragrant seeds from cardamom pods. Discard skin. Crush the seeds in a mortar and pestle. Keep aside.

In a large mixing bowl, add flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt cardamom powder, cranberries, almonds and saffron. Mix well.

In a glass add buttermilk and oil. Stir it and add to the dry mix. Mix it very gently to form a dough.

On a greased baking sheet, lay the dough in a 8 inch circle. With a greased knife make wedges of this dough. (but do not separate it out). Sprinkle with a spoon of sugar and bake it in the oven for 15 minutes at 400 degrees

Serves: 3
Serving : 2