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Thai Style Peanut Sauce

  • 1/4 C peanut butter
  • 1 serrano chili pepper, carefully and finely minced (**)
  • 2 T Mae Ploy sweet chili sauce
  • 2 T soy sauce
  • 1 t brown sugar
  • 1 T sesame paste (Tahini)
  • 2 T sesame or vegetable oil
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 t ginger powder
  • 1/4 C yoghurt - plain, unsweetened
  1. Mix all ingredients, adding chili sauce, soy sauce, oil, and lime juice a bit at a time, and to taste, until the mixture is thin enough to pour.
  2. Make it thin, to marinate cucumber slices - medium thick, to use as salad dressing - or really thick, to use as dip for sourdough bread, or taco chips.
  3. The one rule is that you should make it in quantity, because it will be eaten in quantity.


Inspired by Season With Spice: Easy Thai Peanut Sauce - and limited by reality (and what I had in my kitchen).

(**) Follow Safety Precautions when you prepare this, please.

More New Spices

I ran out of dried mint a month ago, and I've been waiting to get another bag. I finally got the opportunity to visit my favorite Middle Eastern grocery, this week.


A huge bag of dried mint, for $3.00 ($20.00 worth, at a supermarket). Plus caraway, cardamom, and ginger root.

I'll buy spices in plastic bags, especially at these prices - but I hate storing spices in the bags, when I have this collection of empty spice jars. The jars are way more convenient to open, when I cook.

This is at least $50.00 at supermarket prices (except you can't get black caraway, anywhere). At Afghan Market in Concord, this was just over $10.00.

Unlike my last spice purchase, I know everything here. The black caraway is an essential in my chili and similar dishes - Cuban Style Black Beans, for instance. And the mint will go into a lot of dishes - including the Sesame Mint Rice.

A most satisfying afternoon shopping.

California Style Lime Peanut Bean Curry

This is similar to California style red beans - except the flavourings use a curry powder base, instead of chili powder - and the lime / peanut butter. And, it takes some from the Cuban style black beans - except the sour black beans use an orange, but the red beans are sweeter and use a lime.

Only rinse the beans twice, to make sure they are clean - then stash in refrigerator, in water, while you prepare the other ingredients. No soaking overnight - and no repeated rinsing, and removing all of the flavour.

  • 1 lb dried red beans
  • 2 - 3 carrots, well scrubbed and chopped, 1/4" sections
  • 3 - 4 cloves of garlic, chopped, 1//4" squares
  • 1 medium onion, chopped, 1/2" squares
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, chopped, 1/4" squares
  • 1 sweet pepper, chopped, 1/2" squares
  • 2 cubes / 2 t bouillon
  • 1/4 t cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 t coriander
  • 1/2 t cumin
  • 1 t curry powder
  • 1 t garam masala
  • 1 T ginger
  • 1/2 t paprika
  • 1/4 t tumeric
  • 1 6oz can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 C peanut butter
  • 1 lime, scrubbed and whole
  1. Rinse beans, twice, in large bowl. Let them sit in the refrigerator, in water, while you prepare the vegetables.
  2. When vegetables are ready, dump beans and water - un drained - into a large pot.
  3. Add vegetables, and enough water to make everything float.
  4. Bring water to a boil, and add spices. Do not add lime, peanut butter, or tomato sauce, yet.
  5. Reduce to simmer, cover, and let them cook. 2 hours gives me what I like. Sample beans and sauce, an hour after start.
  6. If the beans and spices make you sneeze, you have just enough spices. The peanut butter and tomato sauce will bring the spice level down.
  7. At 1 1/2 hours, the beans will be chewy. Add peanut butter, using a fork, stir until dissolved and mixed. Then add tomato sauce and the lime, stir again.
  8. When beans are soft enough to eat without chewing, they are ready.
  9. Turn off stove, uncover, let them sit until they are cool enough to enjoy.
  10. Serve over Bengali style sesame mint rice, with sourdough bread.
  11. Refrigerated over night, they are even more tasty.

California Style Red Beans

This is similar to Cuban style black beans - except the flavourings use a chili powder base, instead of curry powder.

Only rinse the beans twice, to make sure they are clean - then stash in refrigerator, in water, while you prepare the other ingredients. No soaking overnight - and no repeated rinsing, and removing all of the flavour.

  • 1 lb dried red beans
  • 1 - 2 carrots, well scrubbed and chopped, 1/4" sections
  • 2 - 3 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped, 1/2" squares
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 1 sweet pepper, chopped
  • 2 cubes / 2 t bouillon
  • 2 bay leaves, whole
  • 1/4 t cayenne pepper
  • 1 T chili powder
  • 1 t Kashmiri chili powder
  • 1/2 t cumin
  • 1/2 t mustard
  • 1/2 t paprika
  • 1/4 t tumeric
  • 1 6oz can tomato sauce


  1. Rinse beans, twice, in large bowl. Let them sit in the refrigerator, in water, while you prepare the vegetables.
  2. When vegetables are ready, dump beans and water - un drained - into a large pot.
  3. Add vegetables, and enough water to make everything float.
  4. Bring water to a boil, and add spices.
  5. Reduce to simmer, cover, and let them cook. 2 hours gives me what I like.
  6. When beans are soft enough to eat without chewing, they are ready.
  7. Turn off stove, uncover, let them sit until they are cool enough to enjoy.
  8. Serve over Bengali style sesame mint rice, with sourdough bread. Garnish / mix with mango salsa.
  9. Refrigerated over night, they are even more tasty.

Cuban Style Black Beans

This is quick, and easy to fix.


Don't rinse the beans, any more than necessary.

Only rinse the beans twice, to make sure they are clean - then stash in refrigerator while you prepare the other ingredients. No soaking overnight - and no repeated rinsing, and removing all of the flavour. That may be the missing ingredient, that I have not found - until yesterday.

  • 1 lb dried black beans
  • 3 - 4 carrots, well scrubbed and chopped, 1/2" sections
  • 3 - 4 cloves of garlic, quartered
  • 1 medium onion, chopped, 1/2" squares
  • 1 orange, scrubbed and whole (opt)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
  • 1 sweet pepper, chopped
  • 2 cubes / 2 t bouillon
  • 2 bay leaves, whole
  • 1 t caraway seeds (black caraway is best)
  • 1/2 t cayenne pepper
  • 1 t cilantro
  • 1 t cumin
  • 1/2 t paprika
  • 1 6oz can tomato sauce (opt)


  1. Rinse beans, twice, in large bowl. Let them sit in the refrigerator, while you prepare the vegetables.
  2. When vegetables are ready, dump beans and water - un drained - into a large pot.
  3. Add orange (opt), vegetables, and enough water to make everything float.
  4. Bring water to a boil, and add spices.
  5. Reduce to simmer, cover, and let them cook. Most recipes claim 1 1/2 hours - I decided 2 hours gives me what I like.
  6. When beans are soft enough to eat without chewing, they are ready.
  7. Turn off stove, uncover, let them sit until they are cool enough to enjoy.
  8. Serve over Bengali style rice, with sourdough bread. Garnish / mix with mango salsa.
  9. Refrigerated over night, they are even more tasty.

New Spices

After some urging by friends, I tossed some of my older spices. This week, I ordered some new ones, to replace a few that I ran out of recently - and to try some different ones.

Sent by Mark & Reese at Season With Spice, using USPS Express Mail. 3 days after placing the order, I was taking the picture.

Now, to find some new recipes. I am familiar with coriander and mustard. And I have a few curry recipes. Garam Masala I am just learning - and the other two will be completely new.

So, Google is your friend, we'll see what happens.

Sesame Mint Rice, Bengali Style

The difference is in how you cook it. This is plain old white rice, see how more interesting it looks?


An online friend gave me a link to a video from a Bangladeshi cooking show (below), where they demonstrate how to cook Basmati rice.

Well, I speak not a word of Bengali, nor do I have any Basmati rice - but the technique used, in cooking the rice, interested me.
I've eaten lots of Chinese fried rice (wok cooked), this was the first time I tried frying it myself (in a deep pot, no less).
  • 2 C rice
  • 4 1/2 C water (3 1/2 C for the rice, 1 C for the vegs)
  • 1 t bouillon
  • 2 pods cardamom
  • 1/4 t cayenne pepper
  • 1 stick cinnamon or 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 4 cloves
  • 1/4 t coriander powder
  • 1/2 t curry powder
  • 1/2 t garam masala
  • 1 t ginger
  • 1 T mint
  • 1 T sesame seed
  • 1/4 t tumeric
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, diced (opt)
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/4 C yogurt - unflavoured, unsweetened

  1. Hear up a dutch oven, add cooking oil to cover the bottom.
  2. Saute garlic, 15 - 30 seconds, stirring constantly, just until it gives off an aroma.
  3. Add jalapeno, saute 10 - 15 seconds, stirring constantly.
  4. Add onion, saute until it starts to become transparent, stirring constantly.
  5. Remove veg mixture, save in bowl.
  6. Add more oil, to again cover the bottom of the pot, and add rice.
  7. Saute rice, 2 - 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until the rice stops sticking to the side of the pot. The rice will have an aroma, too.
  8. Add sesame seed, and mint, stir 30 - 60 seconds, until sesame seed starts to brown.
  9. Add herbs and spices. Make a hole in the rice, to expose the bottom of the pot - and pour the herbs and spices onto the bottom, so it heats up.
    • bouillon
    • cardamom
    • cayenne
    • cinnamon
    • cloves
    • coriander
    • curry
    • garam masala
    • ginger
    • tumeric
    Then stir just enough to mix well with the rice.
  10. Add vegetables back, stir.
  11. Add water, bring to boil, stirring occasionally.
  12. Add yogurt, stir.
  13. Reduce to simmer, cover, cook until visible water is gone, stirring occasionally.
  14. When visible water is gone, and you cannot hear boiling, stir once more, turn stove off, stir again, cover, and let it sit. Have faith, do not remove the lid to check. Let it sit for 10 - 15 minutes, then uncover.
  15. When rice is soft, you're done.
  16. Garnish / mix with chopped celery / cucumber / green onion / tomato.
You get flaky, soft rice, with a nutty flavour, and a hint of ginger and mint. It's not Basmati rice - that's a registered trademark - but it's not sticky like my previous Sesame Mint Rice.

In truth, the only things common between my recipe and the one in the video is "rice", onion, and probably tumeric (maybe cinnamon?). It was still educational, learning how to fry rice.

»http://www.youtube.com/v/XVyH9KZcctQ

http://recipes.nitecruzr.net/2015/05/sesame-mint-rice-basmati-style.html