Friday, June 1, 2012

A Colorful Indian Feast

I've hijacked today's Friday Favorites to share one of my favorite foods or cuisines rather, Indian. I received this cookbook for Christmas and I haven't spent enough time with it yet. Not only is it beautiful—most recipes are printed on colored newsprint!—but it holds over 1000 recipes. As we were eating tasty dosas at an Indian restaurant in Vancouver, I vowed to cook from it more when we got home.
The fresh spices, herbs, and condiments make the dishes irresistible. I love a spicy curry, tangy mint chutney, and refreshing raita to cool the palette. Shopping at an Indian market in your area can help you find those exotic spices or ingredients your supermarket doesn't carry. We picked up store-bought papadum, since the husband loves the super thin lentil cracker. Plus it was convenient and I didn't have time to make the paratha recipe I was eyeing.
The South Indian potatoes and spinach (to the left) had much more flavor than I thought it would. It was savory, yet had a hint of sweetness from the coconut. I'll definitely be making this dish again soon.
Just look at that vibrant green chutney! I love all the textures here too. Serve the spicy cauliflower, potatoes and spinach, and condiments with brown rice and papadum or these yogurt flatbreads. A lentil dal would be a great addition too.

Cucumber raita
1.5 c plain yogurt
1 small cucumber, seeded, diced small
juice of half a lemon
1/2 tsp cumin, toasted and ground
2 T cilantro, minced
1/4 of a red onion, diced small
dash of pepper

Combine all ingredients, stir well, and refrigerate until ready to eat.

Coconut cilantro chutney
Adapted from India Cookbook
1 large bunch cilantro, rinsed, with stems
1/2 c shredded coconut, unsweetened
1 jalapeño, minced
1/2 tsp cumin, toasted and ground
1/2 tsp sea salt
juice of 2 limes
juice of 1 lemon
1/4-1/2 c of water (or coconut water)

Toss the cilantro, coconut, jalapeño, cumin, sea salt, lime, and lemon juice into a food processor. Add the water little-by-little until you reach the consistency you like. Refrigerate and eat (on everything!).

South Indian potatoes and spinach
Adapted from India Cookbook
2 T coconut oil
1 small onion, white or red, diced
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 red potatoes, diced small
1 T ginger, grated
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp sea salt
5-6 c spinach, chopped
1/4 c shredded coconut, unsweetened
lemon wedges for garnish

Heat the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the onions, cooking until transparent. Then add the mustard seeds, stirring, until they begin to pop. Mix in the potatoes, cooking for five minutes. They should be almost fully cooked. Add the ginger, garlic, and salt. Cook for a minute before tossing in the spinach and coconut. Cover with a lid and cook until the spinach starts to wilt. If you need to add the spinach in batches, go right ahead. I would stir every minute to help the spinach wilt. Remove from heat when all the spinach is wilted and serve with lemon wedges.

Spicy cauliflower
1 T coconut oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds, whole
1 tsp coriander, ground
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp yellow curry powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 head of cauliflower
1 T ginger, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 jalapeño, minced (to taste)
3 medium tomatoes, diced small
1 T lemon juice
Cilantro to garnish

Heat the coconut oil. Add the whole cumin seeds, stirring until fragrant. Add the coriander, gram masala, curry powder, and sea salt. Stir well. Add the ginger, garlic, and jalapeño. Cook for a minute. Add the tomatoes, and cover. Cook for 8-10 minutes. The cauliflower should be cooked and the tomatoes should have cooked down to a thick paste. Remove from heat, stir in the lemon juice, and garnish with cilantro.


talley said...

I love Indian but rarely cook it at home. These recipes look delicious, can't wait to try next week. I also just might have to buy the book...and add it to my ever-growing stack of cookbooks

Mike said...

I'm tempted as well to get the cookbook.