Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Cayenne Creek Cooking Club presents 'Vegetarian Snacks'

My dear neighbor, Rupali suggested that we start a neighborhood cooking club! I jumped on the idea, because of course I love to cook and try new foods. As it ends up, we all live on one of the 'Cayenne' streets, so we named ourselves the 'Cayenne Cooking Club'. Yes, like the tree, and actually I have several large Cayenne Pepper trees in my backyard, both of the male and female varieties.

Tapioca Pudding

1/3 cup sugar
3 T Minute brand Tapioca
2 3/4 cups milk
1 egg (well beaten)
1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Mix sugar, tapioca, milk and egg in saucepan. Let stand for 5 minutes. Cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally at first, then constantly towards the end, until it comes to a full boil (should take about 20 minutes). Remove from heat (pudding thickens as it cools). Stir in vanilla. Serve warm or chilled.

Vegetable Pizza Appetizer

4 tubes (8 oz each) refrigerated crescent rolls
16 oz cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons dill weed
4 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
2 cups chopped fresh broccoli
3 green onions, thinly sliced
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
Optional: olives, shredded cheese, and whatever else you can think of!

Unroll two tubes of crescent dough and press into each of two ungreased 15*10 baking pans; seal and seam perforations. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely on a wire rack.

In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, mayonnaise and dill until smooth. Spread over crusts. Sprinkle with vegetables, olives and cheese. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Cut into squares, makes 4 dozen bars.


1 cup chickpea flour

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

½ teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon garm masala

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1/2 to 3/4 cup water

1 quart oil for deep frying

Prepared vegetables (see variations) -- 2-3 cups


  1. In a large bowl, add the chickpea flour, coriander, chili powder, cumin, salt, tumeric, garlic, garam masala, water and 2 tablespoons of oil. Whisk the ingredients vigorously to incorporate air and make a fluffy, smooth batter. Alternatively, put all the batter ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth. Set aside and let the batter rest for about 20-30 minutes.
  2. Heat about 1-2 inches of oil in a heavy skillet or deep pot over medium-high flame to 365-375°F. Using a fork, dip the prepared vegetables into the batter to coat. Then drop into the hot oil and deep fry until lightly browned on all sides. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels and hold warm while you repeat with the remaining vegetables.
  3. Serve hot with mint chutney, cilantro chutney or tomato ketchup


· Vegetables for Pakora: eggplant sliced into thin rounds; par-cooked potatoes, sliced into thin rounds; cauliflower or broccoli broken into florets and blanched; peppers sliced into rings; okra sliced into rounds; chopped tomatoes. Use your imagination.

A cooking club is a fun way to get to know your neighbors! We live in a diverse city, with people from all around the world, and it is fascinating to see what is brought to the table. I will work on getting more of the recipe's from these amazing women, and will post more soon!