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On 9 Dec 2005 at 13:37, Bruno wrote:

> phaedrus,
>   this may be a duplicate entry because i do not know if you got the
>   first one I sent.
>   I would appreciate it if you can get me a recipe on how to make
>   homemade italian capicola?
>   thank you for your time,
>   bruno

Hello Bruno,

The below recipe is the only one that I could find.


Capicola - Dry Cured Ingredients For 25 Lbs. 

1 lb. salt 3 ozs. powdered dextrose 1 oz. Prague Powder No. 2 

Lean boneless pork butts that are 3-4 lbs. apiece and well-trimmed 
should be used. The internal temperature of the butts should be 
chilled to 34-36 degrees F. before use. About 25 lbs. 

Rub all the pork butts very well with the above dry cure mix. Lay 
down a layer of this cure mixture in the container; place the first 
layer of pork butts inside. Leftover cure then is sprinkled in 
between each layer, and butts are placed into the cooler at 36-46 
degrees F. for not less than 25 days. After 10-12 days, the pork 
butts should be over hauled; the top ones placed on the bottom, 
and the bottom ones placed on top. Be sure you have additional 
spice-cure mixture ready to lay down in between each layer. After 
25 days, the pork butts are removed from the cooler and washed 
lightly. Allow to drain; then rub with Spanish paprika and red 
ground pepper. The pepper to be rubbed in depends on individual
preference. The pork butts are then stuffed into beef bungs. After
stuffing, there will be many air pockets; be sure you pin prick 
these air pockets to allow the entrapped air to escape. Hang on
smokesticks, properly space. 

Pork butts are placed in a preheated smokehouse at 90 degrees F. 
with the dampers wide open to dry the casings. Hold at this 
temperature for 10 hours. During this period, you may close
dampers to 1/4 open after the casings are dry, applying a light 
smoke; continue to smoke for another 15-20 hours at 90 degrees F. 
Butts then are removed from the smoker and dipped in hot boiling 
water momentarily to shrink the casing onto the capicola. Then 
place in dry room at 70-75 degrees F. with a relative humidity o
f 65-75%.
Capicola must be held in dry room not less than 20 days before using.

Creme de Cocoa

On 9 Dec 2005 at 17:54, kim wrote:

> Hi, 
>   Im looking for a recipie for cream de cocoa liqueur that I can make
>   at home. Could you help me please. By the way your website is great.
>   Thanks 
>   Kim 

Hi Kim,

See below.


Creme de cocoa
Categories: Liqueurs  
Yield: 1 Servings 

1 c Powdered cocoa 
1 ts Cloves 
3 c 80 proof vodka 
1 c Water 
2 c White sugar 

Make sure that you use powdered cocoa for this instead of chocolate 
drink mix. Pour the cocoa into a mixing bowl, slowly add the water,
mixing with a spoon until you have a thick paste. Stir carefully 
and make sure you do not have any lumps. Pour vodka into mixing jar, 
add the cocoa syrup mixture. Add the powdered cloves and the white 
sugar. Shake vigorously until the sugar is dissolved. Cover, let 
mixture sit for a week. strain through fine strainer into bottle. 
More sugar may be added if you want a heavier liqueur. Shake until 
the sugar is dissolved and then let the mixture rest overnight. 
It will not be necessary to strain again. 
Creme de Cacao 

1 pint (2 cups) chocolate syrup
1 pint (2 cups) white corn syrup
1 quart (4 cups) high proof vodka
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract

Mix chocolate syrup, corn syrup, vodka and vanilla. Makes 2 quarts.
Homemade Chocolate Liqueur

    1.50 c Sugar
    0.75 c Water
    3.00 c Vodka
    5.00 tb Unsweetened cocoa
    1.00 ea Vanilla bean, split

Combine sugar and water in small saucepan; cook over medium heat,
stirring occasionally, until mixture boils. Reduce heat to low; 
simmer, stirring occasionally, until sugar has completely dissolved.
Remove from heat; cool to room temperature. Measure 1 cup of the 
mixture; combine with vodka, cocoa and vanilla bean in clean 2-quart
glass container. Cover tightly; keep in cool dark place for 14 days,
shaking thoroughly every 2 days. Strain liqueur through dampened 
coffee filter paper into clean glass container. (Change filter paper 
in mid-process or, if necessary, let drip overnight as cocoa residue
is very thick.) Repeat straining process if residue remains. Remove
vanilla bean. Cover tightly; let liqueur age in cool, dark place for 
at least 1 month. About 1 quart. 
From: Hershey's Chocolate Treasury 

Indian Eggplant Pickle

On 11 Dec 2005 at 21:39, Krishna wrote:
> Dear Phaedrus,
> Hello again!
> Once, my husband and I bought a jar of Patak's sweet eggplant relish.
> It was so fantastic and I would like to make something like it at
> home. I remember that it said sweet in the title, but we disagree if
> it said relish, or pickle on the label. I am pretty sure that it said
> relish, but that is a totally un-Indian term so by power of reasoning
> I would deduct that it was actually an Indian pickle.
> On Patak's website I could only find a brinjal pickle, but it did not
> say that it was sweet.
> Can you find any Indian sweet eggplant pickle/relish recipes?
> Thanks!
> Krishna 

Hi Krishna,

It seems that the Patak's product is labeled both ways - sometimes as pickle and sometimes as relish:

"Pataks Brinjal (eggplant) Pickle  
Pickle made from ground eggplant and spiced with garlic, ginger 
and spices. Enjoyed with rice and pappadums. Also known as Pataks 
Brinjal (eggplant) Relish (sweet & spicy) Medium." 

Picture of the jar here:

I shop Indian

Recipe for Brinjal Eggplant Pickle below. This recipe is for the hot. You may have to adjust the amounts of the hot red chili powder lower and the sugar higher to get the taste of the medium sweet & spicy relish.


Brinjal Eggplant Pickle

1 1/2  kg eggplants (brinjal)  
4  ounces ginger (5 inch)  
6  ounces garlic cloves (3 North American large pods or 6 small pods)  
5  ounces hot red chili powder  
1  tablespoon turmeric powder  
2  tablespoons black mustard seeds, powdered  
1 1/2  tablespoons fenugreek seeds, roasted and powdered  
2  tablespoons cumin seeds, roasted and powdered  
3/4  cup salt  
1  cup sugar  
1 1/2  cups prepared mustard oil(Indian grocory store) or vegetable oil  
1 1/2  tablespoons tamarind pulp or tamarind paste  
 curry leaves, from indian grocory store (optional)  
1 1/4  cups vinegar  

Julianne or dice small brinjal-eggplant. 
Layer brinjal with salt alternately. Let stand 4-5 hours till water
seperates from vegetable. 
Squeeze in handfuls brinjal till water is removed. Keep in seperate 
Grind ginger and garlic in some of the vinager to paste. 
Heat oil till smoke starts rising. Fry brinjals two hand fulls at 
a time. Drain with slotted spoon and set aside. Wait for water to
evaporate from oil, till the bubbles stop before frying another lot 
of brinjal. 
Add and fry garlic and ginger paste for 5 minutes. 
Add dry spices, fry 2 minutes. 
Add vinager and tamrind, mix well for 1 minute. 
Add curry leaves and sugar, mix well. 
Add brinjal mix well and cook 1-2 minutes. 
Cool and bottle. 

72 servings 6 cups   
6 hours 30 minutes prep 


On 11 Dec 2005 at 11:45, Jodi wrote:

> I lived in Singapore for awhile and would often go to food courts with
> many different ethnic food hawkers.  A really tasty dish from one of
> the Indian hawkers was Murtabak, which is a bread, kind of like roti
> prata, with a ground meat filling (beef? I'm thinking, may have been
> mutton), with grilled onions, curry and other spices.  The meat was
> enfolded inside the bread and then dipped into a curry sauce.  I
> searched your archives and came across the Indonesian "Martabak" but
> that was a sweet bread -- I'm looking for a savory version along with
> the curry sauce recipe.  Any help you can give me would be greatly
> appreciated.  Thanks!
> Jodi 

Hi Jodi,

See below for two recipes.


Murtabak Recipe 

Murtabak is a wrapped roti canai filled with minced meat curry with eggs and onion.
Ingredients :
300 g		Minced meat (mutton/beef/chicken)
2 		Large onions, diced 1/2 cm
1 stalk		Celery, finely chopped
4		Green chilies, seeded and sliced
1 tablespoon	Meat curry powder
1 teaspoon	Chili powder
1/2 teaspoon	Turmeric
1 teaspoon	Garam masala
1/4 teaspoon	Pepper, freshly ground
2 cloves	Garlic, chopped
1 cm		Ginger
1/2 cup		Water
3 tablespoons	Ghee
4		Eggs, beaten
Salt to taste
Method :
Mix meat curry powder, chili powder, turmeric, garam masala and 
pepper with a little water to form a paste. 
Heat 2 tablespoons ghee in a frying pan. 
Fry the garlic and ginger till fragrant. 
Add blended spices above and fry for 3 minutes. 
Add meat and salt. 
Keep frying, add water, cover the pan. 
When the meat is cooked, add onion and green chilies slices. 
Reduce heat and simmer until the mixture dries. 
Allow it to cool. 
Season the beaten eggs with salt and pepper. 
Add meat and chopped celery. 
Mix well. Divide into 6 portions depending on the size of murtabak. 
Punch our dough. 
Divide dough into 6 parts. Flatten each ball thinly. 
Transfer it with a rolling pin to a hot greased griddle. 
Put a portion of the fillings in the middle of the flattened dough. 
Fold the sides and enclose the fillings by wrapping completely. 
Spread a little ghee and continue cooking. 
Turn it over and cook the other side. 
Keep frying and turning until both sides are crispy and golden in color. 

For dough: See Roti Canai recipe below
To serve:
Cut the murtabak into bite size and serve hot with curry, pickled 
onions or plain. 
Roti Canai Recipe 

Ingredients : 
600 g		Plain wheat flour
1 teaspoon	Salt
1 cup		Warm water or milk
1/2 cup		Ghee or margarine
1		Egg
1 teaspoon	Sugar

Method :
Sift the flour and salt together. 
Knead flour, egg, sugar and ghee with water/milk (a little at a time)
good enough to make a moderately soft dough or easy to handle. 
Leave for 2-3 hours or overnight. 
Divide dough into 8 equal parts. 
Shape it into balls. 
Flatten each ball with a rolling pin and fold in 1/2 teaspoon ghee. 
Roll up dough and twist it into a coil. Pressing one open end onto 
the top. 
Roll it again as thin as possible into a round shape. 
Beginning at one of the open ends, roll up dough tightly and coil 
it again as before. 
Roll out dough slowly onto lightly floured surface (to ensure air is 
not forced out). 
Heat a pan. 
Bake individually over a moderate heat. 
Turn it over and spread a little ghee on it until both sides are 
golden brown. 

To serve:
Serve roti canai with curry dhal or pickled onion. It can also be 
eaten with sugar. 

Singapore murtabak is spicy ground meat encased in roti (bread) and
browned on a griddle until crisp. 


3= cups flour, plus more for rolling
1 teaspoon salt
= cup plus 5 tablespoons melted ghee or margarine
1< cups warm milk
3 to 6 tablespoons vegetable oil

4 1-inch chunks fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
10 shallots (walnut size) or 2 large onions, peeled and sliced
6 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup Red Chile Paste
2= tablespoons fresh or frozen curry leaves
2= tablespoons Indian-style curry powder
1 medium onion, chopped
1 pound ground beef
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 stalks Chinese celery or regular celery, chopped (about 1/3 cup)
2 eggs
Ghee or vegetable oil for frying

Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Add 5 tablespoons of ghee 
and stir until the mixture looks crumbly. Slowly pour in the milk and 
mix with your hands. The dough will feel soft, spongy, and almost too
sticky. Knead the dough without adding extra flour until it pulls away
from the bowl and forms a smooth ball. Continue kneading until the 
dough feels just slightly sticky, about 10 minutes. Cut the dough into 
8 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, flatten it slightly, and rub 
it with ghee. Place the flattened balls on a tray. Cover the tray with 
a damp cloth and let the dough rest for at least 5 hours. (If you make
the dough the night before, cover the tray with plastic wrap and
refrigerate overnight.) Lightly oil a rolling pin and work surface with
ghee. Roll out one ball, stretching the dough into a paper-thin circle,
about 9 inches in diameter.
Lightly brush the dough with ghee and lightly sprinkle it with flour.
Starting at the bottom edge, roll up the circle jelly-roll style until
you have a long rope. Gently pull the ends to stretch it an inch longer.
Take one end and roll it clockwise into a coil until it reaches the
center of the rope. Roll the opposite end clockwise until the two coils
meet in the middle. Fold one coil over on top of the other. Press the 
two coils gently together into one thick round. Wrap it with plastic 
wrap and set it aside for 1 hour. Repeat with the remaining balls. 

To prepare the rempah, grind the ginger, shallots, and garlic to a 
smooth paste in a blender or food processor. Add a tablespoon or more 
of water if needed to facilitate the blending. Heat the oil in a wok 
or saucepan. When hot, carefully add the Red Chile Paste and curry
leaves; fry over medium heat for 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until
the rempah is fragrant and has a deep mahogany-red colour and
porridge-like consistency, about 8 minutes. It is ready when reddish 
oil seeps out. Mix in the curry powder and onion. Lightly saute until 
the onion is limp. Raise the heat and add the beef, salt, and sugar.
Stir-fry, breaking up the lumps, until the meat is cooked but tender,
about 5 minutes; do not brown. Add the celery and stir-fry for a few
seconds. The mixture should be crumbly. Transfer it to a bowl and set
aside to cool. When cool, beat in the eggs. Place one bread round on 
a flat surface. With your fingertips spread it into an 8-inch circle. 
Put 3 heaping tablespoons of the meat mixture in the centre of the 
circle, leaving 2 inches of dough all around. Fold two opposite sides 
of dough into the centre, overlapping them by inch. Fold over the
remaining two sides to enclose the package. Press down gently to form 
a square. Lightly oil a griddle or frying pan. Put a murtabak fold 
side down on the griddle and fry over low heat until golden brown, 
about 5 minutes on each side. Repeat with the remaining dough and
filling. Serve hot. 

Note: Murtabak may be refrigerated; reheat in a 425 deg F oven for 
10 minutes or microwave at high power for 1 minute. They can also 
be frozen; thaw for 1 hour before reheating. 



On 13 Dec 2005 at 9:24, Krishna wrote:

> Dear Phaedrus,
> Thanks again! I was really happy to get this eggplant pickle recipe.
> We  have been talking about it for a few years now. One point I wanted
> to make  in it was that I am 100% sure that the recipe indicates to
> use mustard  oil, not prepared mustard. This oil has a very pungent
> taste, and can be  purchased in Indian grocery stores, but because of
> it's strong taste (and  heating qualies which can make someone unused
> to it to contract  diarhorrea) most western cooks would probably use
> regular vegetable oil.  Just thought that you'd like to know...
> Yesterday we ate a feast at a Bengali temple in a village called Radha
>  Kunda. Bengali cooking is really wonderful. A major cooking technique
> is  that they grind the spices into a wet paste on a special stone,
> and then  fry them along with the vegetables. One of the vegetable
> preperations that  was served yesterday was called Shukta. It is a wet
> vegetable preparation  which is bitter in taste. It may acquire it's
> bitter taste from karela  (bitter mellon), but I am not sure if it
> always has karela in it. It is  extremely good, although may be an
> aquired taste due to it's slightly  bitter nature. If you could find a
> few different Shukta recipes that would  be super!
> Thanks again!
> Krishna 

Hi Krishna,

Below are two quite different recipes.


Shukta ( Vegetable With Lentil):

Gourd (Bangla name lau): 1 lb 
Sugar: 1 tsp 
Lentil (Mug Dal):  1/2 cup 
Cooking oil: 2 tbsp 
Shelled peas: 1 cup 
Mustard seed: 1/2 tsp 
Ginger paste: 1/2 tsp 
Chopped coriander leaves: 2 tsp 
Turmeric powder: 1/2 tsp 
Salt: to test 

 Peel lau and cut into small cubes. In a frying pan roast Mug dal
 slightly. In a saucepan add lau, Mug dal, ginger, turmeric, salt 
 and 2 cups of water. Cover and cook.

When lau is almost cooked add peas. Cook for 4-5 minutes. Add sugar 
and coriander leaves. Bring to boil.

In a frying pan, add mustard seeds to hot oil and stir quickly. 
Remove from heat. Pour cooked vegetables in the oil and bring to a 

Serve hot. Usually with plain rice.  
Garden Vegetable Stew with Almond Pesto and Fried Dumplings
"Badaam Shukta"

"Bengalis love this dish as much as Italians love minestrone. 
Although it is a traditional dish, there are numerous ways to 
prepare it. The best shuktas are filled with fresh seasonal 
vegetables. You can serve them almost crisp, as a garnish, or 
allow them to soak and soften for 5 minutes before serving. 
The final touch is a spoonful of smooth fresh herb pesto. 
You could use toasted cashews or walnuts instead of almonds
in the pesto and, to save calories, cottage cheese in place 
of cream. Serve with a dal, rice and fresh cheese dish for 
complementary nutrition."

Preparation and blanching time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
Serves: 6 to 8

1/2 cup sifted chickpea flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp cayenne powder or paprika
1 tsp dry roasted coarsly crushed cumin seeds
1/2 tsp melted butter or oil
about 1/3 cup water
ghee or vegetable oil for shallow frying

Combine the flour, salt, baking powder, spices in a mixing bowl. 
Add the butter/oil and stir to blend, then add the water - enough 
to make a light, cake-like batter. Heat the ghee or oil in a pan, 
and when hot but not smoking add the batter 1 tbsp at a time. 
Do 8 to 10 dumplings in the pan at a time; these should puff up. 
Turn as they cook to a crisp, golden brown. Drain after cooking, 
and keep warm in a warm oven (about 200, 250 degrees)

1/3 cup each trimmed fresh coriander and sweet basil, washed and 
patted dry (I used all basil, as I'm the only one who likes the 
fresh coriander)
1/3 cup toasted sliced almonds
3 tbsp olive oil
1/8 tsp each freshly ground pepper and salt
1/2 cup heavy cream or low-fat cottage cheese

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and 
puree until smooth. Cover and set aside - refrigerate if you're 
making this well in advance.

2 small green bitter melons, each about 2 ounces, or 20 dried 
bitter melon slices, 1/4 inches thick
(Note: I used 1 small bitter melon and 1 zucchini, as I didn't 
want to overwhelm my family with too unusual a flavor. It worked 
very nicely.)
3 tbsp ghee or unsalted butter
1/2 cassia or bay leaf
2 medium tomatoes, peeled and diced
2 medium waxy potatoes, 3/4 inch dice
3 1/2 cups vegetable stock or water (we're not vegetarians, I 
 used chicken stock)
1/2 small head cauliflower, broken into flowerets
2 small zucchini
1/2 cup fresh peas or black-eyed peas
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black mustard seed
1/4 tsp fennel seed
1/4 tsp fenugreek seed
1/8 tsp garam masala
2 tbsp fresh-chopped coriander or parsley

Blanch the fresh slices of bitter melon in salted boiling water. 
Boil for 4 minutes, then strain. Shake off water and pat the slices 
dry. Heat the ghee/butter to hot but not smoking, fry the slices of 
melon until reddish-brown. Remove the browned ones to drain, set aside.

If you are using the dried slices, drop them in the pan and toss with a
spoon, frying until crisp. They will brown very quickly, in about 30
seconds. Remove to drain.

Add the cassia/bay leaf and tomatoes to the remaining hot oil and fry
for about 3 minutes. Add potatoes and stock/water, bring to a boil.
Cover, reduce the heat to a simmer, cook for 15 minutes.

Add the cauliflower and zucchini, simmer for 10 more minutes. Add the
peas, turmeric, ground coriander and salt. Simmer for another 10
minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Remove the pan from the
heat, add the fried bitter melon and set aside, covered.

Combine the remaining dry spices and add to a hot, dry skillet. dry
roast the spices slowly over low heat until the fenugreek seeds turn a
golden-brown. Grind to a coarse powder in a coffee mill or

Before serving, stir in the spices and fresh chopped coriander/parsley.
Spoon into bowls, add a few dumplings and a generous spoonful of the


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