delicious indian food

Ever since I first tried it, I’ve loved Indian food. If I had to choose a favourite spice, it would have to be garam masala. In Taiwan, there was one Indian restaurant that a lot of the foreigners visited regularly, myself included. It wasn’t the cheapest, but it was very, very good.

Cooking Indian, however, is a time-consuming task – luckily it’s rewarding! We’ve prepared an Indian spread a couple of times and it’s always gone over very well (especially when we got it to ourselves). Here are the recipes we’ve cobbled together and given our stamp of approval. Chris also found and tweaked a home-made na’an recipe, as there is no such thing as ready-made na’an in Argentina. It works really well, looks and tastes pretty close to the real thing – close enough for me!

Chana Masala

Usually when I make Indian, even though I try and have all of the spices, I have to substitute. This happens more often than not here, as the good spice places are a good hour away. For this recipe, for example, I just used plain cumin instead of cumin seed (though I recommend trying to find it, I found it once and it affects the taste).

1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
3/4 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
3 tbsp butter
1 tbsp ground coriander
2 tsp cumin seed
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp turmeric
2 tsp roasted cumin seed, ground
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp paprika
14 oz can plum tomatoes
3 c cooked chick peas
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp salt
1 fresh green chili pepper, finely chopped

Sauté the onion, garlic, and ginger in the butter until soft. Add all the spices and lemon juice and fry over a low heat for 1-2 minutes, stirring all the time. Add the tomatoes, roughly chopped, together with their juice. Add the cooked chickpeas. Cook for 30 minutes over medium heat. Add the garam masala, salt, and chili pepper. Stir well and serve.

Serve hot (ideally with coconut rice and mango chutney). This dish improves with time and is always more flavourful the following day (I find this is true with a lot of Indian food).

Variation: Small pieces of vegetables such as potatoes, fresh tomatoes, or cauliflower may be added.

Indian Daal with Spinach

1.5 c red lentils
3.5 c water
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 lb spinach, rinsed and chopped
2 tbsp butter
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp mustard seed
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 c coconut milk

Rinse the lentils and soak them for 20 minutes (not more, they will absorb too much water that way and end up really watery). In a large saucepan, bring the water to a boil and stir in salt, lentils, turmeric and chili powder. Cover everything and return it all to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in the spinach and cook for 5 more minutes or until lentils are soft. Add more water if necessary, though I have never found extra water is needed. While lentils are simmering, melt butter and saute onions in a small saucepan over medium heat with cumin and mustard seeds, stirring often. Cook until the onions are transparent, and then add them to lentils. Stir in garam masala and coconut milk and cook until heated through.

Butter Chicken (from Accidental Hedonist)

Marinade

1.5 lb. boneless, skinless chicken, cut into pieces
1 c plain yogurt
1.5 tsp Chili Powder
1.5 tsp garam masala
1 tsp Coriander Powder
1 tbsp garlic paste
1 tbsp ginger paste
juice from one lemon (about 4 tbsp)
1 tsp salt

Gravy

4 tbsp butter
1 c chopped onion
1 tbsp ginger paste
1 tbsp garlic paste
2 c tomato puree
1/4 c cream
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp Coriander Powder
1 tsp Red Chili Powder
4 tsp clover honey (optional)

In a large glass bowl, mix together the yogurt, chili powder, garam masala, coriander, garlic paste, ginger paste, lemon juice, and salt. Add the chicken to the yogurt melange, coating thoroughly. Cover the glass bowl and place it in the refrigerator. Allow the chicken to marinate for a minimum of 3 hours, the longer the better

Pre-heat the oven to 300 degrees. Place marinated chicken in a glass baking dish and place in oven for 15 minutes. (I totally forgot to do this last time and it turned out fine. It helps reduce the amount of sauce – if you skip this, you end up with a vat of sauce and some chicken.)

In large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Sautee the onions until translucent. Add the ginger and garlic paste and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the tomato puree and cream. Add the garam masala, coriander, and chili powder. Add the chicken and allow to cook for 10-12 minutes. At this point, add the honey if you’re so inclined.

Punjabi Cabbage (courtesty of my friend Julia)

1/2 onion, roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
2.5cm (1 inch) piece of ginger, chopped
2 green chillies, seeded and chopped
4 tbsp oil
1tsp cumin seeds
1tsp ground turmeric
500 g (1lb oz) green cabbage, finely shredded
1tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2 tsp ground cumin
1tsp ground coriander
1/4 chili powder
1 tbsp unsalted butter

Put the onion, garlic, ginger and chili in a food processor and chop until finely chopped but not a paste, or chop together with a knife.

Heat th oil n a Karhai or heavy-based frying pan over low heat and fry the onion mixture until softened but not browned. Add the cumin seeds and turmeric to the pan and stir for 1 minute. Mix in the cabbage, stirring thoroughly until all the leaves are coated in the yellow paste. Add the salt, pepper, ground cumin, coriander and chili powder. Stir to coat the cabbage, then cook for 10 minutes with the pan partially covered, stirring occasionally until the cabbage is soft. i the cabbage becomes too dry and starts sticking to the pan, add 1-2 tbsp water. Stir in the butter and season with salt, to taste.

Na’an bread

2.5 c flour
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp salt
2 eggs
100 g yoghurt (~1/2 c)
1/2 c milk
1.5 tbsp oil

Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl, then add the wet ones, mixing everything together. Knead the dough (you’ll probably need a little extra flour when doing this, it helps to have someone else to help with that). Make the dough into a ball and let it sit for about 30 minutes. cut it into 12 pieces and roll them out. Heat the oil in a frying pan (or better yet, in a griddle) and cook the dough until there are golden circles on it and it appears to be cooked all the way through (though it should still be soft), flipping (only once) after a few minutes. You will probably need to reapply the oil once or twice (after two sets, in our experience).

And since I love Indian so much, I’ll even throw in this sixth recipe for no charge at all! It’s for Aloo Ghobi – spiced cauliflower. To be honest, I like it, but it was never my favourite in restaurants (probably because it doesn’t have a sauce!), but this recipe kicks ass. I like it better than any Aloo Ghobi I’ve tried before. Enjoy!

Aloo Ghobi

1 medium head cauliflower, broken into florets (1.5lb)
4 medium ordinary potatos, diced into 3/4″ cubes (1lb)
1 medium onion, halved and sliced thin
1 14oz can of diced tomatos, drained

1/2″ ginger root, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground corriander
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp ground tumeric
1 tsp ground chili

2 tsp Kosher salt, or 1 tsp table salt
1 tsp sugar

Heat oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot with a lid. When oil is very hot, add mustard seed and tumeric and cook for 30 seconds. Add the onion and ginger and cook until the onions start to become soft (about 2 minutes). Add the remaining spices and cook until the oil becomes darker orange and the spices become aromatic (about 1 minute). Add the sugar and salt, then the potatos and cauliflower and cook, stirring, for about 4 minutes. Add the tomatos, mix, cover and cook on medium-low heat for 20 minutes or until cauliflower and potatos are tender. If (more like when, this is a pretty dry dish) the pan becomes dry, add a few tbsp of water.

5 responses to “delicious indian food

  1. Pingback: Indian Cooking » Blog Archive » delicious indian food

  2. Pingback: Cooking Recipes » Blog Archive » delicious indian food

  3. My name is Jackie

    i love Indian food, please tell me how to use dry Turmeric in my food , ? should i sook it first because it so hard, the dry ones.

    can i use dry turmeric to boil tea??

    Thank you
    Jackie

  4. Hi Jackie,

    I don’t know how to work with dry tumeric, I’ve only used the powdered spice. Sorry!

  5. dry turmeric?? if its sun dried, then just go ahead and grind it to a fine powder in a spice grinder( coffee grinder works just as well)…then u can use the turmeric powder.

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