Saturday, December 20, 2008


I love Indian food. I tried it for the first time several years ago when I was hanging out at a friend's house - his dad is Indian. But the person who really made me love it is my sister's husband. He's an amazing cook, and he really knows how to make any Indian dish. I love eating over there.
Seriously, is there any region whose food I don't love? No. No, I don't think there is.

Mmm... Rico made the most amazing black tea... this was so good. But since we get out at 11:30pm and I have to get up at 5:45am, I had only one sip and then took it home. I had it the next day, cold - it was fantastic!
Black Tea
4 c water, 1.5 c milk, 14 cardamon pods, 6 whole cloves, 1 in. piece fresh ginger, 3 cinnamon sticks, 2T honey, 2T black tea, 2 T vanilla
Boil 10 min, strain
(see photos below)
Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl and mae a well in the middle. Dissolve fresh yeaast in 1/2 c of warm water. Mix the water and yogurt in a bowl. Pour this, plus yeast mixture, into the center of the flour and knead, adding water if necessary to form soft dough. Knead the dough again and cover and leave for 2 hours.
We grilled these, but they can be baked similarly to pitas if you want them to puff up a litle bit.
Tomato Chutney
Um. Yeah. So I'm blanking again on which dish is which. Whoops. I seem to have photos of additional dishes, but not the recipes...
Mix tomatoes, creamed ginger, creamed garlic, minced cilantro, chile powder, sugar and salt. Simmer until a saucy consistency is reached. No oil is required for cooking. Remove from fire, cool and serve. Sprinkle with minced mint.

Tandoori Chicken
Blend half the plain yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, ground cardamon, ground cumin, ground cinnamon, nutmeg, ground ginger, ground mace, ground aniseed, saffron, red chili powder, red pepper flakes, black salt, pepper, salt, orange food coloring, and yellow food coloring. Can be either mixed by hand or in a blender. Fold in remaining yogurt, and reserve 1/4 c for basting. Add chicken to marinade (remove skin). Reserve. Grill chicken until done, basting occasionally with yogurt mixture then butter. Serve with onion and cilantro.

Aloo Gobi
Fry potato in oil until golden and tender. Reserve some of the oil used to fry the potato and begin pan roasting the cauliflower (add small amounts of water to steam near the end of cooking). When the cauliflower is tender, return the potatoes to the pan. Add the minced ginger, minced garlic, turmeric, cayenne, ground cumin, and ground coriander. Cook to heat the potatoes through. Add small amounts of water to prevent sticking.
Remove from the heat and stir in the yogurt and chopped cilantro. Adjust the seasoning with salt.

Lamb Curry
Toast whole cumin in oil. When brown, add minced onion and minced tomato and cook to brown. Add yogurt, chili powder, coriander, turmeric, and garam marsala, and simmer for 2 minutes. Add 1 in. cubes of lamb and continue simmering until cooked, about 15 min. Add water as necessary. Add onion gravy, and simmer 10 minutes more.
Onion Gravy: sliced onion, sliced tomato, yogurt, cream, cashews, cumin, cardamom pods, whole clove, ground cinnamon, ground mace, ground coriander, turmeric, chili powder, paprika, and salt.

This is a lentil dish. I love lentils. But I don't know the recipe. Sorry!

Oh, and everything is served over basmati rice. I buy all my rice and noodles at ethnic grocery stores - I feel like finding those in every city or suburb is the key to finding quality food at reasonable prices. I love me some Trader Joe's and Aldi, but I love exploring Indian and Asian grocery stores. Next step is Mexican and African grocery stores. I've located them, but I haven't had as much of a reason to go into them - I'm more likely to make Indian or other Asian dishes at home.

Lessons Learned:
There are a lot of things I have learned to really enjoy over the past year, both because of and before culinary school. One of those is tea. Coffee. Alcohol. I realize this could just be because as we get older, we are earning more money (hopefully) and therefore have more disposable income to buy better quality... Mmmm. Tea. Sitting in a sushi restaurant, waiting for my food to be ready, I love to sip on hot green tea. It's just so good.

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