Saturday, May 14, 2011

Indian Food

Chris and I really like Indian food.  We love the flavors, the complexity, the spice!

This week, I had a mango, and wanted to make mango chutney.  So, I started thinking about what I could make with the mango chutney.  I have a list of regular Indian dishes that I make, but I felt like the chutney would be out of place among them, and I wanted to try something different!  I started browsing through my favorite Indian cookbook, and here's what I decided to make.  I usually make one main dish and a flat bread, or two main dishes, but this time I went for a whole meal!  It ended up great!

Spiced Black-Eyed Peas (Raungi)
Cumin and Coriander Potato Patties
Mango Chutney
Cucumber Mint Chutney
Indian Spice Flatbreads

A couple of tips I have for those who would like to try cooking Indian, but have never done it:
  • For the first couple of times, plan only one dish and rice
  • Leave an entire afternoon, or at least a couple of hours to prepare the dish.  There are lots of ingredients in Indian dishes, and usually lots of steps.  It is definitely a learning curve before you will be comfortable preparing an Indian meal!  (It's worth it, though, so keep with it!)
  • Prepare as much as you can before you start cooking: chop onions, grate ginger, press garlic, make a bowl with all the spices you need to add.  I usually go through the recipe and make a bowl for every step, so when I get to that point in the recipe, I just have to dump a bowl into the pan, not measure five different kinds of spices or chop up a bunch of veggies. 
  • Be careful with the spice!  If you like it really hot, go for it!  If you are not sure where you stand, I would at least cut the hot pepper in half.  I have stopped putting much, if any, hot peppers in the recipe when I cook them, and we add cayenne at the table so the babies can eat it and we can eat at the heat level we like. :-) 
  • Get this cookbook: Easy Indian Cookbook by Manju Malhi. It has been great to use!  It tells pretty accurately how long it will take to prepare the dishes, and has sample menus in the back if you need help pairing things together. 
The recipes I linked above are close to the ones in the book that I have. One or two are even by the author of the book I use!

So, do you like Indian food?  Later this week I will share our other favorite Indian recipes. 

What other exotic cuisines do you like to cook?  I am always looking for something new and exciting to make in the kitchen! 

1 comment:

  1. Hey Janet, do you ever make curry? I found a recipe for Curry on all recipes that has coconut milk. It is quite good. I have really grown to love Indian and Thai food over the last few years. At first I was hesitant as I grew up in a household where the spiciest we got was Italian dressing on our chicken. It has been a process for me, and I've really had to step out of my comfort zone!!!