Tag Archives: july 4th

Ideas for July 4th – Part 3

Spices for grilled lamb - cumin, red chili flakes and garam masala

It took a while to decide what recipe to feature in part 3. It wasn’t for lack of options but rather too many options. Since I’d already covered chicken and beef, I thought it was time for lamb!

This is an easy recipe and was inspired by what a chef friend made for a cooking class at Whole Foods. While there are many variations you can make to the recipe, one thing to note is that lamb and cumin are a great couple. They are similar but different. They both share an earthy flavor and the smoky sweetness of the cumin contrasts nicely with the gaminess of the lamb. So I ( usually try to keep the two together!

And what will I be making for the Fourth of July? I’ve decided on the lamb. Paired with an Oregon or California Pinot Noir. Maybe I’ll even remember to take a photo of the grilled lamb!

Mixing the marinade with olive oil


  • 2 lb rack of lamb (with at least 8 lamb chops)


  • 2 heaped teaspoons whole cumin (you can substitute cumin powder)
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes (or red chili powder)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil


  • Grind the cumin and red chili flakes.
  • Mix with the remaining marinade ingredients. Taste and add more salt as necessary.
  • If you have one big rack of lamb, cut it into portions of 3-4 chops each.
  • Rub the marinade all over each rack.
  • Grill on high till all sides are seared.
  • Reduce and move to indirect heat for another 5-10 minutes or till meat is done medium rare.

Lamb marinade

Happy Fourth of July everyone and be safe!

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Filed under Holiday, India, Recipe

Ideas for July 4th – part 2

Sauce / Marinade

Whatever the weather, there’s always a line at my favorite taco truck (for Seattleites, it’s the one on 45th in Wallingford). The truck is much bigger now and they now have different people working there who don’t speak to me in Spanish. But the tacos still taste great. And the tortas too. They have tamales on the menu but they’re usually sold out.  They have three sauces that are supposedly mild, medium and hot. I love the green sauce.

This post is inspired by the Taco Truck tacos with the green sauce. These tacos are easy, won’t break the bank and are a great idea for a small group.

Serves 6


  • 2 lbs steak (recommend skirt, flank or hanger)
  • 1 pack of 12 corn tortillas (I like these)
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 cup cilantro, thick stems discarded

Marinade / Sauce

  • 1 jalapeno (pickled or fresh), seeds removed
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • ¼  cup water

Optional toppings

  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 avocado, sliced

Sprouted corn tortillas


  1. Blend all the marinade ingredients together along with ¾ cup cilantro and ¼ of the onion. The sauce should be fairly thick. Taste for salt and lime and add more if necessary.  I don’t measure ingredients too closely when I make this sauce. So feel free to experiment and get it tasting perfect for you.
  2. Remove about ½ the sauce to use as marinade. If necessary, dilute the rest with another ¼ cup of water and set aside to use as sauce.
  3. Remove excess fat from the meat. Rub the marinade all over the meat and refrigerate for 1-2 hours. Hanger steak is the tougher of the three cuts and would benefit from marinating longer.
  4. Grill the meat to medium rare and thinly slice across the grain.
  5. While the meat is grilling, finely dice the remaining onion and heat the tortillas on the grill.
  6. Assemble your taco with a few slices of meat, some onion, cilantro, optional toppings and drizzle some sauce over everything.

Cilantro / jalapeno sauce

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Filed under America, Holiday, Mexico, Recipe

Ideas for July 4th – Part 1

July 4th is still a few days away but I’m already thinking of what food to take with me to the party! One of the things that I love most about the US is the diversity of cultures and how better to celebrate July 4th than to include other cuisines?!

So from now till Friday, I’ll share a recipe idea a day. Maybe you’ll help me decide which one of the three to actually make.

The recipe for today is, perhaps predictably, Tandoori chicken! If you have one of our Tandoori chicken kits, I hope you’ll use it! If not, here’s a simplified recipe. You’ll note that the recipe does not call for food coloring. I think the tandoori chicken looks great with just all natural ingredients!

Picture taken by Christopher Bachmann Photography for Veena's Market


  • 2 lbs Chicken drumsticks, skin removed
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced


  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, ground
  • 1/4 teaspoon clove, ground
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 4 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil


  1. Mix together all the marinade ingredients in a large glass or plastic bowl the night before. Taste and add more salt / lemon juice as necessary.
  2. Make gashes in the meat deep enough to reach the bone – 2 or 3 per drumstick.
  3. Add the chicken to the bowl and rub the marinade all around the meat making sure to get marinade into the gashes as well.
  4. Cover and leave overnight.
  5. Heat grill to medium high. Remove excess marinade from the meat before grilling. You can use the remaining marinade to baste with. Also grill the sliced onions and bell pepper.
  6. Serve the drumsticks with a side of vegetables.
  7. Enjoy with an ice cold beer!

Picture taken by Christopher Bachmann Photography for Veena's Market


Filed under America, Holiday, India