Showing posts with label Indian. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Indian. Show all posts

Aug 5, 2011

FNF - koftas with pomegranate glaze and indian potatoes

 Food Network Friday

Our next challenge for Tami's Food Network Friday is Aarti's Ground Lamb Kofta Kebabas with Pomegranate Glaze. If you haven't jumped on the FNF wagon, you should give them a try - they are loads of fun!

Making vegan ground meat concoctions gluten-free can be a challenge because I love to use vital wheat gluten to bind the mixture. Aarti's recipe is basically ground lamb meat-lollipops. She glazes them with pomegranate molasses and grills them. Her accompaniment is a mashed potato cake with Indian spices. 

Since we are in the middle of a move and have a gluten-sensitive daughter, I needed to make this dish simple and without seitan. I made a mushroom-nut-black-eyed-pea mixture for the lamb kebabas.  All I needed to do was saute the mushrooms with onion, nuts and garlic, deglazed it with Marsala wine and added loads of fresh herbs. Since we are leaving a huge garden behind, this recipe received a bunch of those herbs: basil, mint, parsley, oregano. I then roasted the kebab-balls glazed with the pomegranate molasses.

I skipped the riata completely but subbed a Fig-Pomegranate Salad.

These alterations were the simplest way to convert this dish to fast and gluten-free. This is our interpretation of Aarti, who is herself interpreting Indian. 

This worked out very well and we enjoyed the dish. The kids found the potatoes the tastiest. I toasted some fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, and garlic in a few tablespoons of oil. I then added some smoked paprika and tossed it with the potatoes. I roasted them and the kids gobbled them all up. 
Indian Roasted Potatoes!

A hint for roasting potatoes: Add some veg broth on the bottom of the pan with the sliced potatoes, cover it with a foil, and bake on 450 until the potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes. When the potatoes are tender, uncover and broil, turning a few times, until they are crispy.

May 13, 2011

FNF - pretzel-fried steak

Food Network Friday!

This month's veganized version for Food Network Friday, brought to you by Tami Noyes, is Aarti Sequeria's Pretzel-Fried Steak. She is the latest Food Network Star who is introducing Indian meals to Food Network's fans, but with a twist. This recipe, however, is not so unusual - it just sounds that way. The only real Indian aspect is the fenugreek in the flour mixture and the mango-chutney gravy. The pretzel is unusual, but not in an Indian way. 

This is a country-fried steak, using ground pretzels as the coating instead of flour. Although I didn't find that the coating made too much difference in the crunch department, it was unique and the family loved it. Of course, the family loves it when I deep fry anything, be it kale or seitan.

Aarti calls for eggs in her recipe. I used to freak out about the coating adhering to the seitan or tofu during frying, but since last year, I have had the honor of frying a bunch of stuff - in fact, more so than I had in all my life total - and I can say with certainty that it is as easy as coating the ingredient in a non-dairy milk, sans eggs. 

In other words: flour, nondairy milk, coating. Simple. No need for anything complicated like flax meal (although it wouldn't hurt health wise!) or fresh cashew milk (as I previously claimed). Coat and let it sit for 15 minutes. Fry. Eat.

The gravy was good, but I was really craving the cream gravy.

I couldn't get away by not making mashed potatoes, but I did wind up making Aarti's side dish of Greens n' Beans, which is a recipe of greens coated with a cilantro pesto. I changed things up a bit by using parsley instead cilantro and substituting Brussels sprouts, green beans and oyster mushrooms for the kale and beans. So, almost everything got swapped.

As for the beef, I used a pressed tofu and a seitan recipe I am experimenting with. I did keep the whole experience gluten free, which is why I also made the tofu. Gluten Free pretzels can taste like twigs or like pretzels. After eating our way through Whole Foods' snack section, the family chose Glutino. This is a delicious, albeit expensive, brand.

Food Network Friday is open to anyone who would like to join in the fun, so get over to Tami's site and get cooking!

Cost Breakdown

seitan, tofu: $5
flour (GF), pretzel (GF), soy milk: $3
spices, seasonings: $1
potatoes: $3
chutney, onion, stock: $2
Brussels sprouts, mushroom, green beans: $7
parsley, almonds, oil: $3
Total to make 6 servings:


Jan 19, 2011

indian potato skins with curry of greens

Indian Night

I have been enjoying the Indian Nights on the menu, but this is the last official "Indian Night." Next week the Indian gets back onto Asian Night. Not that I've become an expert at Indian food, but the last weeks have certainly given me a wonderful taste for the different flavors and techniques that Indian fare favors. Besides the cooking, I think I've read at least a dozen cookbooks on the subject and I think I need to digest the info.

Tonight's meal is a fusion of sorts - Potato Skins with Curry of Greens. The potatoes are first cooked then broiled to get them crispy. Then they are topped with the curried greens. I used a combination of cilantro, kale, chard and collards. This came out very well and even the kids enjoyed it - some more than others depending on the offending green.

I served the meal with brown rice and sauteed mushrooms with Indian spices.

The curry paste was the most difficult part of this meal, and even that wasn't difficult, so all in all this was a successful meal: tasty, quick and easy.

Cost Breakdown

herbs, spices: $1
chilies, raisins, tomato: $1
nondairy milk: $.50
greens, mushrooms: $4
rice: $1
potatoes: $4
Total to make 6 servings:

Dec 25, 2010

indian rasam and cauliflower with creamy sauce

Indian Night

Rasam is a light Indian soup made with dal, tamarind and diced tomatoes. The dal (split legumes) is cooked  in lots of water and is seasoned with the sour tamarind and spices. When the dal is cooked well, it is whipped so it falls apart and sinks to the bottom of the pot. Tradition holds that you serve the clear, spicy, flavorful broth to guests and the 'dregs' are eaten by the family.

In our family everyone had some of both by stirring up the soup before serving.

The Cauliflower in Creamy Sauce is adapted from a recipe in Flavors of India, a nice little vegetarian Indian cookbook. This was divine. And oh so quick! While the cauliflower is steaming the sauce is made and then poured over the tender cauliflower. That's it. We all loved this version of a sauced cauliflower and it goes on our 'Make Again' list.

I also made the Saffron Rice right out of the same cookbook. I should have followed by instincts to use the amount of water to make the rice as I usually do, but instead I followed my rule of making something from a recipe as the author wrote it. Hence, I got overcooked rice. What a shame. The taste was great and the kids liked it, but you know mushy rice when you eat it.

The simplest way to cook white rice is to combine it with the water (1 c rice to 1 1/2 c water), bring to a boil, cover, reduce to simmer for 5-10 (Max!) minutes, turn it off and let it hang out on the back of the stove for another 15 minutes, covered. Fluff it with a fork and serve.

Cost Breakdown:

dal: $.50
spices, tomato, tamarind: $1.50
rice, saffron: $1
plant milk, cashews: $2
cauliflower: $4
Total to make 5 servings:

Dec 14, 2010

indian garlic mixed dal + roti + cabbage and potatoes

Indian Night

Indian Night is back, and let me tell you, the more experience you have making Indian, the easier, the faster and the tastier it becomes. I made Garlic Mixed Dal - a great way to use up bits of lentils and dal you have hanging around - and Roti - everyday Indian bread - from scratch. It sounds more impressive than it actually is. And since the winter/late fall CSA is bringing lots cabbage as well, I can see the trickling of it, one in last week's box, one in this week's, an Indian Potato and Cabbage Saute was perfect.

When I make Indian I try to make one dal (legumes), one vegetable and one starch. I have some Indian pickles in the fridge and chutneys that I either make or buy (they keep very well) and it makes the meal plan and the cooking much simpler. Not only that, but the meal is complete. Indian meals can be very balanced and I love that.

Prep all your vegetables and spices before you start to cook, it make it more expeditious that way.

The roti is the simplest of the Indian breads - whole wheat flour, salt and water - but, I spruced it up a bit by brushing on some garlic oil after they were done cooking. They are kneaded, rolled into a flat round (if you can get them to roll in a round shape) and cooked on a dry skillet until spotted and a little puffy.

The cabbage and potatoes are cooked with Indian spices - mango powder, garam masala and cumin - and the dal is mixed lentils (1 cup's worth) cooked with 4 c water. Right before serving you season it with spices and garlic cooked in some coconut oil. 

If you are interested in a written recipe, just let me know!

Cost Breakdown

lentils/dal: $1
spices, onion, garlic: $2
cabbage, potato: $4
whole wheat flour: $1
Total to make 6 servings:

Nov 8, 2010

native foods (MoFo 5)

Native Foods is the brain child of Tanya Petrovna, who opened the first Native Foods in 1994. She will be opening the seventh very soon! That is impressive; a vegan restaurant that will be celebrating another grand opening. What is more impressive, though, is the food. I am literally licking the plate that I served the Azteca Ensalada on - that Mango-Lime Dressing rocks!

Another impressive feat is the preparation of her tempeh. While she actually makes the tempeh on the premises, my store-bought version did not suffer any using her technique. Delicious! If you are one of those tempeh-phobes this is the recipe for you. If after having tempeh this way you don't like it, then you never will and you may fearlessly throw in the proverbial towel. 

To the recipes...

Let's face it, nachos are good. Most any nachos. But these Native Nachos are great! Chef Tanya shares her Native Chi's recipe that go on this and the taco 'meat' is TVP. You can freely use seitan ground, however, or omit it at will and double the beans. Nothing processed. Even the cashew sour cream I have on there is very easy to make. THIS is one loaded nacho plate and go ahead and customize it to your palate.

Now for that salad I was drooling over in the beginning - assorted greens with tomato, onion, jicama or apple or asian pear, cucumbers, cilantro, mango, raisin, pumpkin seeds, quinoa (superfood!) and that outrageous Mango-Lime Dressing and you not only have a complete meal but a little piece of heaven.

The last item on our tasting menu is the Gandhi Bowl - two kinds of rice, steamed greens, curry sauce and that tempeh of hers - blackened. Cajun-meets-Asian. Another out-of-the-park dish. She is batting a thousand.

The only real criticism I have is that she is inundating the east coast with her restaurants and is leaving the mid and west coast to suffer without her culinary contributions. Pure selfishness.

Cost Breakdown:

chips: $3 
cheeze, cashew sour cream: $3
TVP, beans: $4
tomato, onion, olive, pepper: $3
Total to make apps for 8:

greens: $4
Asian pear, tomato, cuke, mango: $4
mango, lime, oil, cilantro: $2
raisin, pumpkin: $1
quinoa: $1
Total to make 4 servings:

rice: $1.50
curry, coconut milk: $2
tempeh: $3
greens, cauliflower: $3
Total to make 5 servings:

Native Nachos

Ensalada Azteca

Gandhi Bowl

Oct 17, 2010

malai kofta

Indian Night

An awesome Indian dish is Malai Kofta. Kofta means "balls" (as in meatballs) and Malai means "cream." Neither of these would lend themselves to veganism and I haven't found a vegan version anywhere.

The kofta can be made with meat or vegetables or beans or cheese. The kofta in Malai Kofta uses paneer, a homemade cheese.

So, let's veganize it!

The sauce is a tomato based gravy with a little cream and some spices, but nothing all that complicated.  In  order to achieve the creaminess that cream brings to the Malai party, I used cashew cream and cashew butter and a few Tablespoons of Earth Balance to up the richness of the sauce.

I made the koftas using chickpeas and fresh herbs. I pan fried them a little and then finished them in the oven.

Although this meal was very successful in terms of flavor, it does not have quite the flavor that cream lends to the original. While there are some dishes that I truly try to achieve authenticity with, this particular one tasted so good that I am not bummed by not hitting the target exactly. It most certainly resembles Malai Kofta, but since I am not using dairy cream, the taste is slightly different. So, if you are not expecting exact replication, this is a total knockout.

For the greens I made the Spinach and Kale Bhaji out of Flavors of India.

Cost Breakdown
cashew: $2
tomato: $3
spices: $1
chickpeas: $2 
herbs: $2
kale, spinach: $4
garlic, onion: $1
Total to feed a family of 6:

Oct 2, 2010

west indian

Indian Night

Back when we lived in Austin, a most favorite place to eat at was a little hole in the wall, a 'fast food' Indian place, called Swad. If you live in Austin and you haven't been, you must go! The prices are reasonable (just review your receipt as some mistakes are made) and food is outstanding.

One dish we would always get was the Ragda Patties, which is a Gujarati Indian dish. The dish consists of potato patties with a mint-cilantro middles served with a thick legume gravy. So tonight's meal was based on the Gujarati cuisine.

Gujarati is a western Indian fare, predominantly vegetarian and mostly overlooked; North and South India tend to be in the spotlight, while the west goes on about its merry way. What a treat to miss!

The ragda patties I made were delicious - it literally took me back to Swad. David thought so, too, and Kate loved it (although she was one when we lived there, so she couldn't recall the flavors), but neither of the other two liked Indian food back then and were themselves too young to remember even if they had.

The other dish I made was a green bean dish with Muthias. Muthias are little dough patties made of chickpea and wheat flour that are simmered in the green bean sauce.

I am completing the how-to on this meal since my pictures didn't turn out blurry. Yay! Indian food is made so fast that there is little time to focus properly unless you have a plan. I had a plan this time and will be posting the recipes and the pictures.

Cost Breakdown:
green beans:$2
flours: $1
chillies, ginger, curry leaves, mint, cilantro; $4
spices, seeds, sugar, lemon, tamarind: $2
peas: $1
potatoes: $3

Sep 23, 2010

north indian

Indian Night

As soon as my kids got wind that I was making Indian (again) they asked: are you going to make the same things again?

Are you kidding me??

There is a whole country of food to make!

But, it does seem, at least to kids before they tasted it, that indeed, Mom did make the same things again: legumes, potatoes and rice. It was only after they tasted it that the light bulb went off - this is totally different than last week's Indian.

It was either my cooking skills or South Indian's penchant for sour, because they enjoyed the tonight's North Indian more. 

Tonight I made a split red lentil (masoor dal) Dal with spinach and tomatoes, Chana Masala, chickpeas with gravy - one of the only vegan items on an Indian restaurant menu, and Alu Matar, a potato and peas dish. 

The Alu Matar recipe I got out of Flavors Of India by Shanta Nimbark Sacharoff. I met this lady in San Francisco where she has an Indian shop. Her cookbook is excellent and the recipes are easy. This is the book I have used before and while it does not have all the recipes that one can drool over in a restaurant, it is a great place to start. If you are looking for a good, simple Indian cookbook, look no further.

The chickpeas in the dish above need to be cooked fresh since the cooking broth is important in the preparation. Believe me, I've tried making Chana Masala on more than a few occasions since it is Cat's favorite dish, with little success until tonight.

Cost Breakdown:
onion, garlic: $1
spices, herbs: $1
tomatoes, peppers: $3.50
potatoes: $1.50
peas, lentil, chickpea: $3
spinach: $1
rice: $.50
Total to feed a family of 6:

Sep 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:

Aug 5, 2010

indian-spiced rice

Another fridge cleaner! When you have freshly roasted and ground spices, fresh stir-fried vegetables and gremolata, you can't really go wrong.

I don't usually make Indian food at home because we live so close to a great Indian restaurant, and one of the best things about going to Indian restaurants is the variety. Realistically, am I going to cook four different curries and make 2 different breads as well as a whole bunch of other wonderful Indian dishes for a weeknight meal? And it is the variety I love - as well as the food, naturally. 

But today I felt the need to make something Indian inspired (maybe it's because of Top Chef last night). It had to be fast though, I'm still cleaning. I am hosting a couple of Literature Groups for my kids over the next year and I need it to be spic and span, otherwise I can feel my Mom shaking her head.

So I toasted some fenugreek seeds, yellow mustard seeds, coriander seeds, cumin seeds and ground them up. I cooked the rice with this spice mixture, adding a chopped tomato, turmeric and paprika. 

When the rice was almost done cooking (and brown rice takes a while), I stir-fried sunflower seeds (remove from pan and set aside), 1/2 onion, 1 corn (kernels removed) and zucchini, diced (these takes longer to get color so make sure it has before adding...), a 1/4 of a red cabbage, chopped. Quickly stir-fry after adding the cabbage so it stays crisp tender.

Add the rice to the veggies and sunflower seeds, squirt it with thejuice of 1/2 lime, adjust seasoning and serve with the gremolata.

1/2 c cilantro, minced
2 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
zest of 1 lime
salt and pepper

Mix all the ingredients and mince everything together or process all in a machine. 

Cost Breakdown:
zucchini: $1
cabbage: $1
corn, onion, garlic: $1
brown basmati rice: $1
tomato: $1
cilantro, lime, spices: $2
Total to feed a family of 5: