my only day off is saturday. i still rise at 5 just like any other day. today it was raining, which is the perfect weather to spend in the kitchen. i started pressure cooking those soaked garbanzos as i woke up, figured out what i would make, checked the spice rack & went off to the grocer.
i chose 4 indian recipes from different regions in india.
the first, since i was craving garbanzo beans, is from bengal-kala channa subzi. you must soak those beans a long time, pressure cook a long time, maybe even wait till the next day to eat it after it’s made. these beans are incredibly difficult to soften. i would also increase the spices. show me the curry is very tame. i needed to cook this twice as long as the recipe stated. keep veggie broth nearby to moisten if it dries.
the next one is from kashmir-dum aloo. it’s usually fried but this is the healthy version. again, adjust spices & keep moist w/veggie broth. these are VERY spicy. adjust to your palate.
then i wanted to do a meat dish, so i chose another bengali dish (i wanted a fish curry that bakes in the oven cause i’m limited on fry pans) bengali fish curry. this was my favorite, although not very spicy. i really love the cashews in this. i used cod & snapper-about a pound and a quarter. the fish is marinated in dijon mustard-very interesting. nice served over rice. very easy to prepare.
then i wanted to do a bread cause i have a tawa (flat pan for making indian breads) & i don’t use it enough. spinach paratha was created for kids. it’s a way to get them to eat spinach. i wanted some spinach in my meal & did not want to do the same old palak paneer. these turned out more like chappathi than paratha-more dense-but pretty nice. takes practice.
i couldn’t find garam masala at the store, so i dug out my vintage punjabi indian mom cookbook
you can almost hear the chorus as you look at it. looked up basic garam masala.
had them all on my shelf.
all you have to do is put them in a coffee grinder. seriously-this makes a HUGE difference in the flavor. whole spices also keep much longer on the shelf. part of a smart kitchen. grind away. don’t bother washing out the grinder cause your coffee in there tastes even better with a little spice.
this was a massive undertaking. i am very slow in the kitchen, so it took 4 hours. you have to really check out the spice listings. there are things you can only get at an indian grocery & can NOT be left out because it changes the flavor too much-mace & hing are examples. hing or asafoetida is incredibly strong & must be kept in a tight glass container. mace is like indian nutmeg.
of course i have a lot of leftovers. i’m going to take the chappathi flour & stuff with leftover potatoes, make a cilantro yogurt to dip, deep-fry into samosas! woo-hoo! i don’t have to leave my house for authentic indian food! i got an indian buffet in my kitchen 🙂