As it seemingly has become a tradition in this household, tonight was Indian night. This recipe was pulled from Lord Krishna’s Cuisine, a thick tome of an Indian cookbook. It was very easy(another pattern?). I sauteed whole spices and ginger, then browned pieces of cauliflower and potatoes, then added quartered tomatoes and another mix of spices, covered and steamed, until tender. Ambre thought the cauliflower was perfectly cooked and was better than Wegmans dish that inspired her to choose this recipe. My third revision of my Roti recipe worked great as well, less water, better workability. Overall, a welcome success from the first recipe we chose in this cookbook.
Tonight I made a new Indian recipe – vegetable korma. My inspiration came from our recently purchased thali dish set. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to use the dishes since we are waging a war of attrition against the poor quality stickers that won’t come off of them. I again prepared roti, but this time with salt and a blend of flours (whole wheat and all-purpose). I made some simple basmati rice with a few cumin seeds sprinkled in (even though Ambre no longer eats rice after her trip to the Philippines). It was a good excuse to use my fancy Japanese rice cooker that usually just sits on the shelf and serves as a clock.
The korma consisted of a blend of Indian spices, toasted to bring out the flavor, and bite size pieces of cauliflower, broccoli, and green beans. The recipe calls for paneer, ginger, green chile, and a few other vegetables that I didn’t incorporate this time around. All of the veggies got tied together with a milk and cornstarch “gravy.” Next time, I won’t use green beans since I didn’t think they complemented the other veggies well. And Ambre said the crushed coriander seeds were too coarse for her liking so I will try to find coriander powder or find another way of grinding the seeds. Overall, the korma was very authentic-tasting and it felt like we were eating dinner on a different continent, far removed from most American cuisine. Success!
Inspired by some Indian and Malay dinners Ambre and I had in South Africa, I took on the task of recreating the South Asian unleavened bread Roti (aka Chapati). Using a type of Indian whole wheat flour, some water, salt, and a very hot skillet I produced the beautiful and tasty examples you see below. As for the Bisibelebhath, it was late and to save time we heated up a packet of pre made, shelf stable, Indian side dish from MTR. It was surprisingly good! Ambre may have found a new love.
This is a recipe that I got when Ambre took me to CulinAerie for their Exotic Indian Date Night Cooking Class. The original recipe is courtesy of an Indian chef named Rupen Rao. It’s one of Ambre’s favorite dishes and she requested it specifically.
The ‘Pulao’ in Royal Pulao is synonymous with the more commonly known pilaf. The key to the flavor of the dish is whole cardamon pods. Cardamom is highly underused in American cuisine but quite common in India. They even have cardamon cream-filled cookies similar to Oreo’s! It is the third most expensive spice by weight but its flavor is quite strong, we only used 2 pods.
Sauteed cloves, cardamom seeds, and bay leaves in clarified butter. Then added thinly sliced onions cooking them without much stirring until brown. Next, added chopped pistachios(or ‘pista’ as they call them in India), cashews, golden raisins, and garam masala. Sauteed them for a minute or two then added rinsed Basmati plus water and salt. Super Delicious – we also steamed some butternut squash as a side just for the heck of it.