Monthly Archives: November 2013

Turkey Kathi Roll

kathi dishThis is one of my favorite ground turkey dishes.  Kathi is a type of street-food originating from Kolkata, India. Its original form was a kathi kabab enclosed in a paratha – an unleavened bread made with layers of dough and ghee or cooking oil. Today, pretty much any filling rolled up in any kind of Indian flatbread is called a kati roll.

Little red Thai chilies make this dish come alive. The heat of chili peppers mixes well with Garam Masala, a traditional Indian blend of ground spices that include peppers, cloves, cinnamon, cumin and cardamom, to fully flavor the turkey.  I make my version for medium heat but can easily see scaling it to higher heat for the right group of people.  Potato and peas provide a nice balance to the spice and extends this dish as stand-alone if you choose not have a wrapper at all.  It’s an easy one-skillet dish that is perfect for weeknights.  If you like less heat, you can tone it down by serving yogurt with it or using fewer Thai chili peppers.

kathi cookingRather than making the traditional Indian flatbread, Roti, I go on a limb and mix ethnicities, serving the filling in corn tortillas.  Yes, corn tortillas.  May sound odd, but they’re pre-made, fat-free and gluten-free, making this Indian-Mexican mix a flavorful, healthier version.  If you prefer to keep the dish authentically Indian, you can also use store-bought Naan as a substitute or make your own wrapping using this Roti recipe.

kathi spice

Turkey Kathi Roll


1.5 pounds ground dark meat turkey

3 tablespoons canola or safflower oil

1 large onion chopped

1 ½ tablespoons ground turmeric

1 ½ tablespoons garam masala

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon cumin

1 tablespoon Kosher salt

2 gloves of garlic, minced

1 inch piece of ginger peeled and sliced

5 Thai chilies

½ cup chicken broth

1 cup peeled, boiled russet potatoes – about ¾ of a potato

1 cup of frozen green peas – defrosted

½ cup chopped cilantro

Ground black peppercorns to taste

12 corn tortillas

Boil peeled potato until soft, and fork through to separate into small pieces.  In a skillet over medium flame, heat the oil and add onion, garlic, ginger, turmeric, garam masala, cumin, chili powder, and chilies and sauté until the onion is soft. Add ground turkey to skillet and mix through to brown.  Then add potato, peas and chicken broth to skillet.  Mix through, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Add cilantro and mix through.  Discard ginger. Warm tortillas, naan or roti to serve.


Serves 6.


Baked Mini Potato Latkes

latkes dish

With Chanukah falling the night before the big feast of Thanksgiving, I thought it might be a good idea to balance the our stomachs and celebrate the Festival of Lights with baked mini potato latkes.

Potato latkes have become the ceremonious food served during Chanukah to symbolize the one day’s worth of oil that miraculously lasted 8 days to keep the Temple lit. So traditionally we eat fried foods like latkes and jelly donuts to celebrate.

But with Chanukah falling at the same time as Thanksgiving I wondered, how much heavy food do we really need to consume in one weekend?  Some traditionalists will say fried latkes are necessary, and that is fine.  Freshly fried potato latkes are wonderful. Especially when served with sour cream and/or apple sauce. But for those who want to celebrate but do not want the added oil needed for frying, this recipe enables you to eat and serve crispy potato latkes, using just 4.5 tablespoons of oil for a batch of about 50 mini latkes.

latkes 1Mini, non-stick, muffin tins provide the vessel for making this recipe and keeping the latkes uniform and making them crispy. The latkes are baked at high heat in a 400° oven.  The sides and bottom crisp up nicely.  The top of the latkes, do not crisp up as much, even though the recipe calls for turning the latkes over, but with the rest of the crispiness, they taste great and have a good crunch. I use Einkorn flour to bind, rather than the traditional Matzo Meal, so that gluten-sensitive people can still enjoy. You can double this recipe or even cut it in half if you want to make fewer latkes. And, you can make these latkes in advance and freeze them, heating the thawed latkes in a 400° oven for 8 minutes.   

latkes pan 2

Baked Mini Potato Latkes


2.5 lbs russet potatoes, skins on

4 small onions, peeled, quartered

2 large eggs

1/4 cup Einkorn flour

1/2 tablespoon ground black pepper

1/2 tablespoon kosher salt plus more to taste

4 .5 tablespoons canola or safflower oil

In a food processor with the shredder disc in place, shred the potatoes and place in a colander in the sink to drain the liquid.  Remove the shredder attachment and add the chopped blade to the processor and chop the onions until them are really fine.  Add the potatoes, onions to a mixing bowl large enough for the colander to fit, then add eggs, flour, salt and pepper and mix through.  I use my hands.  Place the mixture into the colander and the colander into the bowl so that the mixture keeps draining as you make the batches.  This is optional but I find it helps drain the potatoes really well.  If you don’t do this, you can always just spill it out as needed.  This will help them to crisp up better.

Pre-heat oven to 400°.  Place rack in middle of oven.  Using a pastry brush, brush a 24-count non-stick mini-muffin pan with oil.  Fill each individual muffin tin 3/4 way high, brush tops with oil on pastry brush.  Bake 10 minutes, then turn each latke over and bake another 8 minutes. If making full batch, repeat with next batch.

Makes approximately 50 mini baked latkes


Lentil Soup with Mushrooms and Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

lentil soup with seeds 2As the days get shorter and the temperature gets colder, this lentil soup is the perfect antidote to warm your soul.  Lentils are a super food — this perfect lean grain is a great source of protein and fiber that’s wonderful for weight loss.  Lentils, being legumes, have also been shown to reduce the risk the breast cancer. In this recipe, portabella mushrooms and spinach round out the soup to make it chock full of vegetables and satisfying.  Red wine vinegar is added at the end to cut a bit of the starchiness of the lentils. The spinach is added to the soup in individual bowls and steamed by the heat of the soup when mixed in.  This keeps the bright green color of the spinach and it keeps some of its form and more of its flavor.  Toasted pumpkin seeds are added last to the individual soup bowls for the perfect amount of crunch and flavor.

lentil soup with spinachWhen making this soup, I use store-bought low-sodium chicken stock.  I usually buy organic, free-range chicken stock. You can substitute beef stock or vegetable stock or make your own. I like a chunky soup so I use 8 cups of liquid; but feel free to add a couple more cups of stock if you prefer a thinner soup.  If you are using low-sodium stock and prefer to add more, you may need to add more salt. This soup freezes very well, and if you prefer, you can add the spinach to the pot and then freeze the soup with the spinach.  Pumpkin seeds are added upon serving.

lentil soup in pot

Lentil Soup with Mushrooms and Toasted Pumpkin Seeds


2 cups green lentils

2 large portabella mushroom caps

4 carrots diced

4 stalk of celery diced

1 large onion (or 2 small) diced

2 large garlic cloves or 4 small ones, peeled and minced

2 Roma tomatoes diced

3 tablespoons of olive oil

1 cup red wine

6 cups low sodium chicken stock

1 cup water

1 teaspoon Herbs de Provence

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary chopped

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon ground back pepper

2 tablespoons kosher salt

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

6 oz fresh baby spinach leaves

11/2 tablespoons toasted pumpkin seeds per serving

Serves 8

Add carrots, celery onion tomatoes garlic olive oil and 1 tablespoon salt to Dutch oven over medium heat – sauté 5 minutes until soft, add portabella mushrooms sauté 2 minutes, add lentils and red wine mix through to coat mushrooms, lentils and rest of vegetables.  Add stock and water, bay leaf, Herbs de Provence, black pepper, cayenne, pepper, remaining salt and rosemary.  Cover and simmer until lentils are soft and coked through about 45 minutes. Turn of flame and add red wine vinegar and mix through.  In a separate pan, toast pumpkin seeds.  Ladle soup into bowls, top with 1 oz of spinach, mix through to cook spinach.  Add pumpkin seeds to top and mix through.