Mar 6, 2013 6:21 PM by Jennifer English

Indian-style tomato, onion & paneeer bruschetta

The 5th Tucson Festival of Books is happening this weekend and once again the Culinary stage will be the most delicious place to be.

I love being the Moderator of the culinary seminars and this year we have an All-Star lineup of culinary legends sharing recipes, cooking tips, doing cooking demonstrations, tastings and signing their books. If you love food and cooking, collecting cookbooks and learning from the best in the world this is your chance. For the full schedule and list of culinary authors go to

One of the seminars I am most excited about welcomes Vancouver BC Chef and Authoress
This simple delicious recipe is a bright winner.

Indian-style Tomato, Onion & Paneeer Bruschetta

1?/3 cup cooking oil
1? tsp black mustard seeds or
2 tsp cumin seeds (optional)
2 lbs red onions, halved
and then sliced
? 1Tbsp chopped garlic
(? medium cloves)
2 lbs tomatoes
(?5 to 6 to ? large), chopped
1? tsp turmeric
2 tsp salt
1? tsp crushed cayenne pepper
1/2 to 3/4 cup chopped cilantro
? 1lb paneer (indian cheese)
? 1baguette, sliced in rounds and toasted (optional)

Heat oil in a frying pan on medium for 1 minute. Add mustard (or cumin)
seeds, stir and wait until you hear the first popping sound (or allow
cumin seeds to sizzle for 30 seconds). Immediately add onions and sauté
for 5 to 8 minutes, or until golden along the edges.
Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute, or until light golden brown. Stir in
tomatoes, then add turmeric, salt and cayenne. Stir well and sauté for
4 to5 minutes, or until tomatoes are warmed through but not mushy and
sauce-like. Stir in cilantro.
If you have made your own paneer, chances are that it will be in a
round. A pound of paneer will result in fourteen, 2 inch x 2-inch pieces,
¼ to ½ inch high. Not all these pieces will be square, and they don't have
to be. Store-bought paneer is easy to cut into squares, but the shape and
size of the paneer pieces don't matter as long as you personally like the
shape and can serve the pieces easily. Just be sure your paneer is firm.
If your paneer is crumbly or soft, or you wish to serve the masala with a
baguette, crumble paneer with your hands or chop it into small pieces.
Indian-style Tomato, Onion
and Paneer Bruschetta

Chickpeas in Star Anise and Date Masala

three 15-oz cans chickpeas
(or 1 1 /2 cup raw chickpeas,
soaked overnight and boiled)
2 black cardamom pods
1 /3 to 1 /2 cup cooking oil
1 1 /2 cups chopped onion
(1 medium-large)
2 Tbsp chopped garlic
(6 medium cloves)
2 1 /2 Tbsp tomato paste
6 fresh or dried dates,
pitted and chopped
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp salt (or 1 tsp if
chickpeas are salted)
1 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1 tsp black pepper (optional)
1 /4 to 1 /3 tsp ground star
anise or 2 whole star anise
1 /2 cup water

Drain chickpeas and set aside. With a knife, lightly crack the cardamom
pods. With your fingers, peel back the shell to release the black seeds and
collect them in a small bowl. Discard the shells. With a rolling pin or a
mortar and pestle, crush the cardamom seeds (or leave them whole if you
don't mind biting into them). Set aside.
Heat oil in a medium pot on medium-high for 45 seconds. Add onion
and sauté for 6 to 7 minutes, or until browned. Stir in garlic and sauté for
1 minute, or until browned. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in tomato
paste. Add dates, cumin, salt, cayenne, black pepper, star anise and cardamom
seeds and sauté for 2 minutes. Stir in chickpeas and water and
heat for 3 to 4 minutes, until masala is well mixed with chickpeas. Turn
off the heat and serve immediately.


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