I received this really awesome vegetarian/Indian cookbook, Yamuna’s Table by Yamuna Devi, from my neighbor, a former member of Hare Krishna movement. She told me that the Krishnas are vegetarians, but don’t cook with onions or garlic. No garlic or onions! The reason for no garlic or onions is the belief that they increase passion and to some degree ignorance. As a substitute for these flavorful vegetables, Krishnas use asofoetida, which has a flavor of sauteed onion and garlic when cooked. You would think this would be bland food, although it is absolutely not! Check out this book and some creative recipes bursting with flavor.
I looked up Yamuna’s Table on Amazon and found used copies for $1.86 a copy. Get them while they last, it is a wonderful, vast cookbook with very creative and doable recipes!
For a party this past weekend, we made flaky citrus biscuits with a bit of a tart flavor to accompany the Avocado Chutney. Friends at the party kept asking me for the recipe.
Here it is!
Cookbook: Yamuna’s Table
Avocado Pate and Pistachio Chutney
Serve with vegetable crudités and Lime Biscuit Thins (recipe below)
1 1/8-inch-thick slice peeled fresh ginger
1/2 Serrano chili, seeded and chopped (or Jalapeño)
1/3 cup pistachio nuts
1/4 cup trimmed fresh parsley
2 Tbsp trimmed cilantro
Avocado or Olive Oil
3 smallish, ripe avocados, peeled and pitted
1 lb. Light or fat free cream cheese (kefir, Yogurt Cheese, or extra-firm tofu)
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp salt
In a food processor, drop in the ginger and chili while it is running until it is minced. Add the nuts and pulse to chop coarsely. Add the herbs (dried after washing) and continue to pulse until it is reduced to a powder. Transfer to a bowl.
For the Pâté pan, you can use a 6 cup glass loaf pan with 3 layers of wax paper extending over the sides slightly. Brush the paper with Olive Oil. Then puree the avocados in the food processor; add the remaining pâté ingredients and process until velvety smooth. Transfer half of the mixture to the pâté pan and then sprinkle half of the chutney mixture on top. Then fill over this layer with the rest of the pâté mixture. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing out any air bubbles so that it is air tight (air will cause avocados to brown). Refrigerate for at least 12 hours and up to 24 hours along with the remaining chutney. This process will make the pâté harden so that it appears to look like pâté. Smooth over the mixture with an oiled spatula and sprinkle with remaining chutney.
Lime Biscuit Thins
You can also use meyer lemons, blood oranges, tangerines, or key limes in substitution for the limes.
1/3 cup skim milk
2 tsp fresh lime juice
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp freshly grated lime zest
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) cold butter, cut into bits
Preheat the oven to 400F. Stir the milk and lime juice together in a small bowl and set aside for 15 minutes. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cayenne, and lime zest in a bowl and mix well. Add the butter bits and stir until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Pour in the milk mixture and blend with a fork just until soft dough forms. Divide into 2 balls.
Roll one ball of dough between two sheets of plastic wrap, lightly dust with flour, until 1/8 inch thick. Using a 2 inch biscuit cutter (or a small glass turned over), cut out rounds and arrange them on greased baking sheets. Gather the scraps, re-roll and cut into rounds. Repeat with the second ball.
Bake in the center of the oven until pale gold, about 10 minutes. Cool on racks. Keeps well for 2 weeks.