9.15.2010

south indian

Indian Night

There is a wonderful Indian restaurant near by us, and although we love to go and get fabulous Indian meals, they are not all vegan, as most Indian places aren't, and it costs $$ to eat out. With this in mind, I have decided to make Indian night and learn how to make Indian food. Eventually well enough that my family will be full of appreciation, I hope.

Indian food has been commonly, and more conveniently, divided into South Indian and North Indian, although each division itself has divisions of its own, as well as other varieties I am sure I am not even aware of. For the sake of simplicity, I will cover the more broad South and North cuisines.

The differences of the foods can be traced to the inhabitants. South India is mostly Hindu, therefore more inclined to stick to vegetarian foods, whereas the North was ruled by several Muslim kingdoms over the times, therefore there is more non-vegetarian in the cuisine. 

South Indians tend to like their foods sour, hence the use of tamarind, tomato and yogurt. They also cook with coconut oil not their counterpart's use of ghee, clarified butter. They use coconut to thicken their foods. This is where rasam, sambhar, dosa, idli and pickles are popular. Rice is a staple here as well.

North Indians cook with a lot of dairy, paneer, ghee and cream. Wheat is a staple food, hence the roti and naan and other common breads that are popular here. Cashews and poppy seeds are the thickening agents here. This is where koftas (meatballs), kebabs, tandoori and pakoras are home.

Naturally, there is no firm line between the cuisines, and there are as many variations of this simple list as there are Indian recipes, but this is a basic outline. Lots more information is compiled here.    

For my first forage, I headed to South India and made Potato Song (potatoes in tamarind sauce), Dal (lentils), Masala Beans (a dry green bean dish with lots of chillies) and a rice dish. 

Cost Breakdown:
dal: $3
potato: $2
green beans: $3
rice: $1
spices, herbs: $2
coconut, cashew, oil: $2
   Total to feed a family of 10:
$13.00



6 comments:

  1. I am astounded by the cost breakdown. What a great, inexpensive thing to do for a dinner party.

    ReplyDelete
  2. OMG lady! Where are the recipes to this amazing grub?!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've been anxious to try making Indian food at home. I bought a cookbook, got some spices (whole of course) and your post has reinspired me to stop procrastinating and start cooking!

    Rosemary @ Sprigs of Rosemary

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh, this meal gives me the shakes! South Indian food is my FAV!!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks y'all! I am still experimenting and learning. I'll pass on the recipes as I come to make them. As it is, the books I have are way too complicated and involved. I think there are simpler ways to make these meals and will keep you posted!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wow!!! This looks incredible! It is seriously one of my favorites. Thank you so much for posting this, it is bookmarked!

    ReplyDelete