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CREATIVE NEPALI COOKING WITH TULSI REGMI
 

Introduction

Appetizers Meat Poultry Seafood Vegetarian
Soups Rice& Rotis Achars  Marinades Desserts/Beverages Momo














 



ACHARS AND CHUTNEYS

Chili Achar (Fresh Chilies with Herbs and Spices)
Tomato Achar (Roasted Tomatoes Cooked with Herbs and Spices)
Garlic Chili Achar (Fresh Chilies with Garlic)
Ginger Chili Achar (Fresh Chilies with Ginger)
Radish Achar (Daikon Radish Marinated with Chilies)
Cucumber Achar (Cucumber Marinated in Herbs and Spices)
Tomato Shrimp Achar (Roasted Tomatoes and Dried Shrimp with Herb and Spices)
Mango Chutney
(Ripe Mango Cooked with Herbs and Spices)
Himalayan Chutney
(Mixed Fruits Cooked with Herb and Spices)
Potato Achar
(Potato Marinated in Herbs and Spices)
MOMO Achar
(Sesame-Tomato Achar for MOMOs)
Spiced Gundruk (Spicy Fermented Vegetables)
Gundruk Sadheko (Fermented Vegetables Marinated in Spices)
 

Chili Achar
(Fresh Chilies with Herbs and Spices)

INGREDIENTS:
1 cup fresh hot red chilies
1 cup fresh hot green chilies
1/2 cup mint leaves
10 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
2 tablespoons mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon timur (Szechwan pepper)
2 tablespoons tamarind paste 
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons lime juice
Pinch of asafetida
3 tablespoons oil
Salt to taste

In a pan, toast sesame seeds, cumin and mustard seeds.  Spread out on a paper towel to cool down.  Grind to a powder.  In a blender, combine chilies, ground mixture of sesame, cumin, and mustard seeds, mint leaves, garlic, timur, tamarind, sugar, lime jest and juice, asafetida, oil and salt; blend into a paste with a desired texture. If desired hot and sour, increase the amount of tamarind paste. 
Store in sterilized jar and refrigerate.
 
 

Tomato Achar 

INGREDIENTS:
4 large ripe tomatoes or 2 cups ripe cherry tomatoes
5 fresh hot red chilies, minced
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon timur
1/4 teaspoon asafetida
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon mint leaves, chopped (optional)
1 tablespoon cooking oil
Salt to taste 

Garnish:
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon fenugreek
10 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Roast tomatoes in oven for about 30 minutes, or until charred.  Remove charred skin and reserve flesh in a bowl.  In a sauce pan, heat oil.  Add cumin and mustard seeds; fry for 30 seconds or so.  Add chilies, garlic, ginger, timur, asafetida, lime juice and salt; stir for a minute.  In a blender, combine roasted tomatoes, chopped cilantro and mint, if used, and spice mixture; process to form smooth paste-like mixture (can be made chunkier, if desired).  Transfer into a large bowl.  For garnish, in a non-stick pan heat one tablespoon of oil, splitter fenugreek until it turns dark.  Add slices of garlic and fry till light brown.  Pour the garlic-oil mixture and chopped cilantro over the tomato mixture.  Mix well and refrigerate for at least two hours before serving. 


Garlic Chili Achar 

INGREDIENTS:
1.5 cups garlic cloves, peeled
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup mustard seeds
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon timur (Szechwan pepper)
2 tablespoons hot chili paste
2 tablespoons tamarind paste
5 tablespoons mustard oil, or good olive oil
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of asafetida
Salt to taste 

Garnish:
1 tablespoon mustard oil, or olive oil
1 teaspoon fenugreek
10 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
10 dry red chilies
1 tablespoon mint leaves, minced

In a pan, toast sesame seeds, cumin, coriander and mustard seeds.  Spread out on a paper towel to cool down.  Grind to a powder.  In boiling salted water, blanch garlic cloves for about five minutes to soften and remove intense garlic rawness.  Strain garlic cloves from the blanching water and place in a bowl filled with ice to prevent from being further cooked.  After ice bath, drain and reserve in a clean bowl.  Slowly dry-roast sesame, mustard, cumin, and coriander seeds until toasted.  In a blender, mix all the ground toasted seeds, timur, chili and tamarind paste, oil, black pepper, asafetida, and salt into a thick pickle paste.  Pour the pickling mixture into the blanched garlic; mix well.  For garnish, in a non-stick pan heat one tablespoon of oil, splitter fenugreek and dry red chilies until it turns dark.  Add slices of garlic and fry till light brown.  Pour the garlic-oil mixture and minced mint over the garlic pickle.  Mix well and put in airtight jar.  Allow one week for the marination of garlic cloves in the pickling mixture within the jar before serving.    


Ginger Chili Achar 

INGREDIENTS:
1.5 cups ginger root, peeled and pulverized
1/2 cup mustard seeds
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon timur (Szechwan pepper)
2 tablespoons hot chili paste
2 tablespoons tamarind paste
1 tablespoon garlic paste
5 tablespoons mustard oil, or good olive oil
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of asafetida
Salt to taste 

Garnish:
1 tablespoon mustard oil, or olive oil
1 teaspoon fenugreek
10 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
10 dry red chilies
1 tablespoon mint leaves, minced
 

Dry-roast mustard, cumin, and coriander seeds until toasted.  In a blender, mix all the toasted seeds, timur, chili, tamarind and garlic pastes, oil, black pepper, asafetida, and salt into a thick pickle paste.  Add the pulverized ginger into the pickling mixture; blend into a smooth thick pickled ginger paste.  For garnish, in a non-stick pan heat one tablespoon of oil, splitter fenugreek and dry red chilies until it turns dark.  Add slices of garlic and fry till light brown.  Pour the chili-oil mixture and minced mint over the garlic pickle.  Mix well and put in airtight jar. 


Radish Achar 

INGREDIENTS:
2 lb. daikon radish, sliced 1/4-in thick into 2-in lengths
1/2 cup ground mustard seeds
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon timur (Szechwan pepper)
2 tablespoons hot chili paste
5 tablespoons mustard oil
Pinch of asafetida
Salt to taste

In a large bowl, combine daikon with one tablespoon of salt and let rest for at least four hours.  This process accomplishes the extraction of water from daikon.  Press daikon pieces between palms to squeeze water as much as possible.  Reserve in a bowl.  To this, add ground musturd, paprika, timur, chili paste, mustard oil, asafetida and salt.  Be careful in adding excessive amount of salt as daikon had already been blanched in salt.  Mix all ingredients thoroughly.  Put the daikon mixture in a sterilized jar; close lid and allow to rest in a warm place for at least three days for fermentation before serving.  Refrigerate to store. 


Cucumber Achar 

INGREDIENTS:
4 cups cucumber, pealed, seeded, and sliced 1/4-in thick into 2-in lengths
1 tablespoon coarse salt for the dewatering of cucumber
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon timur (Szechwan pepper)
1 tablespoon hot chili paste
1 tablespoon garlic paste
2 tablespoons tamarind paste
3 tablespoons mustard oil, or good olive oil
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of asafetida
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped, for garnish 

In a large bowl, mix cucumber slices and salt.  Let it rest for at least two hours to extract water from cucumber.  Cucumber will have released a good amount of liquid; drain.  Dry-roast sesame, cumin, and coriander seeds until toasted.  In a blender, mix all the toasted seeds, timur, chili, tamarind and garlic pastes, oil, black pepper, asafetida, and salt into a thick pickle paste.  Pour the pickling mixture into dewatered cucumber slices; mix thoroughly.  For garnish, sprinkle chopped cilantro.  Refrigerate in a sterilized jar.


Tomato Shrimp Achar 

PICKLING INGREDIENTS:
2 cups roasted tomatoes, peeled, and chopped
1/2 cup roasted red pepper, chopped
5 fresh red chilies, minced
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
1 tablespoon shrimp paste
2 tablespoons tamarind paste
1 tablespoon mint leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon roasted mustard seeds
1 teaspoon timur (szechwan pepper)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Salt to taste 

Garnish:
1/2 cup small dried shrimp, rehydrated in water and drained
3 tablespoons mustard oil, or olive oil
10 dried red chilies 

In a blender combine all pickling ingredients to form smooth paste-like mixture (can be made chunkier, if desired).  Transfer into a large bowl.  For garnish, in a non-stick pan heat oil; splitter dried red chilies until they turns dark.  Add rehydrated shrimp and fry till crisp.  Pour the shrimp-oil mixture over the tomato mixture.  Mix well and refrigerate for at least two hours before serving. 


Mango Chutney

INGREDIENTS:
3 cups ripe mango, cut into small chunks
3 tablespoons tamarind paste
1 cup brown sugar
5 fresh red chilies, minced
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon timur (Szechwan pepper)
1/4 teaspoon asafetida
1 tablespoon cooking oil
Salt to taste 

In a sauce pan, heat oil; splitter cumin seeds until dark brown.  Add chilies, garlic, ginger, timur, asafetida, and salt.  Fry for a minute or so.  Add mango chunks, tamarind paste and brown sugar.  Mix all ingredients well and allow simmering in low heat for about 30 minutes, or until mango chunks are tender.  Remove from heat and let rest to cool.  Puree the mango mixture into a smooth paste-like mixture.  Put in a sterilized, air tight jar and refrigerate. 


Himalayan Chutney

INGREDIENTS:
2 cups ripe mango, cut into small chunks
2 cups ripe papaya, cut into small chunks
1/2 sultana raisins
1 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon hot chili powder
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
1 teaspoon whole timur (Szechwan pepper)
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
10 cloves
1/4 teaspoon asafetida
Salt to taste 

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients; mix well.  In a large sauce pan, add all combined ingredients and cook in low heat for about 30 minutes, or until mango and papaya chunks are cooked tender.  Adjust seasoning and remove from heat.  Let rest to cool.  To store, put in a sterilized air tight jar and refrigerate. 


Potato Achar

INGREDIENTS:
2 lbs. small red potatoes, washed
5 dried red chilies
5 fresh green chilies, julienned
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup toasted sesame seeds, ground
1/4 teaspoon asafetida
2 tablespoons lime juice
3 tablespoons mustard oil
1/2 cup water
Salt to taste

Boil potatoes until cooked.  Do not overcook.   Remove skin and cut into small pieces.  In a large bowl, combine chunked potatoes, turmeric, chili powder, ground sesame seeds, asafetida, lime juice, half of chopped cilantro, salt and water; mix thoroughly.   In a small pan heat mustard oil; add fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds and dried red chilies.  Fry until brown and then add julienned green chilies.  Take the oil mixture from heat and pour over potato mixture; mix thoroughly.  Add more water if potato achar seems too dry.  Garnish with remaining chopped cilantro.


MOMO Achar
(Sesame-Tomato Achar for MOMO)

INGREDIENTS:
2 large ripe tomatoes
1 cup sesame seeds
1 cup cilantro, chopped
5 fresh hot red chilies, minced
1 tablespoons garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon timur (Szechwan pepper)
1/4 teaspoon asafetida
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon lime jest
Salt to taste 

Roast tomatoes in oven for about 30 minutes, or until charred.  Remove charred skin and reserve flesh in a bowl.  In a pan, add sesame seeds, cumin and mustard seeds; stir continuously until seeds pop and are toasted.  Make sure that seeds are not burnt.  Grind the toasted seeds into a powder.  In a blender, combine roasted tomatoes, ground mixture of sesame seeds, chopped cilantro, chilies, garlic, ginger, timur, asafetida, lime jest and juice, and salt; process to form smooth mixture.  Add some water if the achar mixture is too thick.  Transfer into a bowl.  Serve with steaming MOMOs.
 

Spiced Gundruk
(Spicy Fermented Vegetables)

INGREDIENTS:
1 lb daikon radish, cut into thin 2-in long slices
1 lb nappa cabbage, cut into 2-in squares
lb carrot, cut into thin 2-in long slices
1 cup green onions, cut into 2-in lengths
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced ginger
2 tablespoons hot chili powder
2 tablespoons mild Kashmiri chili powder
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon timur peppercorns
(Szechwan pepper)
teaspoon asafetida
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup water
4 tablespoons coarse salt

In a large mixing bowl, combine nappa cabbage, daikon radish and carrot slices.  Add three tablespoons of salt; mix thoroughly.  Cover and let rest in a warm place for at least six hours.  Drain and rinse vegetables in a colander.  Return rinsed vegetables to the mixing bowl, and add chopped green onions, garlic, ginger, hot chili powder, Kashmiri chili powder, black peppercorns, timur peppercorns, asafetida, sugar, salt as required and water.  Toss well to combine vegetables with the spices.  Put the mixture into a large sterilized jar, gradually pressing down each layer as it is spooned in.  Cap the jar tightly and store in warm place for at least three days for fermentation.  Once the fermentation process is complete to your liking, refrigerate.  Serve with steamed rice.
 

Gundruk Sadheko
(Fermented Vegetables Marinated in Spices)  

For Gundruk:
INGREDIENTS:
1/2 lb mustard greens, cut in 2-in. length
1/2 lb daikon, thinly sliced and cut in 2-in. length
1/2 lb napa cabbage, cut in 2-in. length
1/2 lb spinach, torn into 2-in. pieces

Marinating:
3 cups freshly fermented gundruk
1 cup finely chopped red onions
1 cup finely chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon ginger, finely minced
1 tablespoon fresh red chilies, finely minced
2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons mustard oil (vegetable oil can also be used)
1/2 teaspoon timur
Pinch of asafetida
Salt and Pepper

Gundruk Preparation: In a large mixing bowl, add all vegetables; rinse and drain.  Spread out the vegetables evenly on a large tray and allow sun drying for a day, turning frequently, to reduce the moisture. The vegetables will have wilted a bit. Collect and put in a large bowl. Pack the vegetables into a large, thick sterilized jar and compact as much as possible. Tighten the lid and let stand for two days in a warm place. After the two-day period has elapsed, open the lid and pour out the liquid ponding on top of the vegetable mixture of the jar. Press down the mixture again and close the lid. Allow fermenting for another 3-5 days. At the end of the fermentation process, the vegetable will have developed acidic flavors.  Store in refrigerator. 

Grundruk Marination:  In a mixing bowl, combine three cups of freshly fermented gundruk and all the other marinating ingredients.  Toss well to incorporate all ingredients.  Cover and refrigerate before serving.  Serve it as a condiment.