Monday, January 3, 2011
Ever since a trip to London nearly eight years ago, we have been obsessed with Indian food. It is our favorite!! Everyone knows that England is famous for its Indian food. When we got back from that trip we tried tons of Indian places. We found a few good ones but I really committed to making my own Indian food at home. Tonight's inspiration came from Madhur Jaffrey's book, "Quick & Easy Indian Cooking." This is a great book if you want to try some Indian recipes. They really are quick and easy and she explains all of the different ingredients commonly used. It is not intimidating and it's totally accessible for a beginning or experienced cook.
I tried out the pressure cooker that my landlord was kind enough to lend to me, for the first time tonight. I was terrified that it would explode, so I think I had the heat a little too low, but after some tinkering I think I have it down now. The urad beans went in there with some tomato, onion, mustard seeds, cumin, mint and cilantro. I love the lentils and beans in general, but I love the flavor from Indian spices. Legumes are a good source of cheap protein and also fiber-something that most of us don't get enough of from our diets. The pressure cooker is pretty cool too, so I'll have to give it another whirl this week.
I should point out that I had nearly all of the ingredients on hand, except the shrimp and I did run out of cilantro, but I chose this menu based on what was hanging around. We love spicy and this cauliflower did not disappoint. Fresh jalapenos and cayenne gave it a nice little kick, some ginger, garlic and mustard seeds rounded out the flavors.
Shrimp is always really easy to make, because it takes no time at all to cook. Simply sauté in a pan and then add a sauce that includes, tomato paste, coconut milk (full fat, none of that lite nonsense), cilantro, cumin, more chile and cayenne, garam masala and some curry leaves. Done.
So there's my home made Indian feast. I prepped all of the ingredients for each dish, then cleaned up my little mess. The actual cooking time for each dish was no longer than 15 minutes. So in less time than it would take me to pick up takeout, I had my own version on the table.