Thursday, April 8, 2010

Indian Food Galore

Today's post is inspired by my best buddy and probably only reader of this blog who encouraged me to post again, thoroughly, so a normal human can read, learn, and crave the food I eat. This is a special post because I actually made two things and took detailed pics!

Since getting married, I've been eating Indian food primarily. We eat mostly Kerala style food, but love to go out for north indian food and even make things like butter chicken or paneer at home once in a while. I've been cooking daily for about a month, and finally i've reached a point where I feel like everything is starting to taste the same, and I just can't handle my food anymore. Unfortunately, when you become a wife or a mother or really the chef of the house you can't just drop everything and never make food. I had to get over my rut and continue cooking. I'm not sure what direction to take...if I should buy more packaged spice blends, eat out more for creativity, or what. All I know is I have to make dinner for one picky eat and one vegetarian.

So my picky eater lovessss black eyed peas curry. I've never even heard of this thing until i met him. My mother doesn't approve of simple foods like this that is made out of a can, but my husband reallyyy loves it. It's a basic curry. The first picture shows most of the ingredients for most curries. I forgot to show the green chillies, black eyed peas, milk, and yogurt that I used. First dice/mince up the ginger and garlic. Slice the onions and get the tomatoes ready by dicing it too. I used about an inch of ginger, 3 cloves of garlic, one small red onion, and half a beefsteak tomato. Next, heat up the oil and splutter some mustard seeds in it. Then you saute the onions in the oil for a couple minutes, add the green chillie, ginger and garlic. When everything is brownish, add the tomatoes (picture 3). I let the tomatoes dissolve a little and then add the spices. First add 2 tblspn of coriander, 1 tbsp of chilli powder, and half a teaspoon of turmeric. Roast the spices with the heat. Next add a can of black eyed peas without the water. Add about half the can of water and let it simmer down. Also add salt, black pepper and garam masala. Once it looks curry-ish, I realized mine is reallyy HOTHOTHOT, so I had to add some milk and yogurt to it. Do this to your own liking. The end result should look like this:

I'm having a hard time arranging the pictures on this post, but I hope you can follow it. :( Sorry. So the next recipe is not really a recipe. It's one of my experiments that came about by eating at someone's house this weekend and trying out a spice blend. In the picture below you can see the main ingredients, excluding the milk: paneer, Sara's butter chicken mix, and peas. i was going for muttar paneer. This is a super easy dish if you can find something like this gravy. Sara's is a kerala company so you would have to go to a Malayalee store to get it, but I'm sure u can make the same thing with either Patak's or Parampara Butter Chicken Masala. But if you have a vegetarian among you just make sure there is not chicken broth or fats added to the mix. This gravy requires you to marinate the chicken/paneer in a premade mix. Then fry it in some oil and add the bigger packet of gravy. i only used half the packet for 200 g of paneer. you also have to add about 200 ml of milk. It turns out really good, not like restaurant butter chicken though. Its more of the south indian style of chicken. after letting it simmer for a bit when im almost done with it, I added a couple handfuls of frozen peas. My mom usually uses dried green peas, but I lovee the taste of fresh peas. Then i turn off the heat, and cover it so the peas get cooked through without getting overly cooked. It will look like the last picture! Yummy! I wish I could plate my dishes properly for you guys, but I cook during the day when my husband is at work and don't make rice or eat any of the food until dinner. I hope you enjoyed today's post! Eat well!

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