Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Incredible India

When I started my four simple goals this fall I set out to cook something new every week. It has been a very interesting and fun goal, but I must admit I failed last week. I came as close as buying a new ingredient though: fennel. The problem was that I didnt feel like cooking, so it had to wait till this week.

Yesterday I went to Asia mat (our local Asian food store), mostly to keep my friend company, and because we like to look at everything they have there... She got Samosa and sweet chili sauce, but Im not a big fan of that, so I kindly declined her dinner invitation. But then I saw some Indian naan bread, and my interest was sparked. Perhaps it helped that I was asked to share about India for the DTS class the next day. Some of them are going to India for outreach this year, and so did I a few years back. At home, with the naan bread and some coconut milk from Asia mat I was ready to make curry like Jamie Oliver would:

Jamie Olivers Curry

5 Tbs Oil
2 Tsp mustard seeds
1 Tbs fenugreek seeds
3 green chilies (I didnt have any so I used chili paste instead)
1 handful curry leaves
2 pieces fresh ginger (I didnt get that either and used dried ginger)
3 onions (and I used some garlic too)
1 Tsp chili powder
1 Tbs turmeric
6 chopped tomates (or one can)
1 can of coconut milk

800 g of whatever you have/like/want
I used potato, carrots, fennel, kale, leek, kohlrabi, celeriac

But what to do with all these ingredients???
1. Find all the spices (you can get them at your local Asian food store)
2. Chop all the vegetables (if you havent done this before it can feel a bit stressful if you cut as you go...)
3. Heat oil and add the mustard seeds. When they start jumping around like crazy add fenugreek, chili, curry leaves and ginger. Cook for a few minutes, remember to stir well.
4. Add onion and vegetables and cook for another 5 minutes. (I didnt read through the whole recipe first, such a silly thing to do, and added the vegetables as a number six on the list. I had to wait longer than necessary for my dinner to be done, but I dont think it changes the taste much.)
5. Add chili powder, turmeric and tomatoes. After a few minutes add some water and coconut milk and let it simmer till it its thicker/your vegetables are cooked.

I also really wanted some raita to go with it. I was sure I had a recipe in one of my many cookbooks, but I searched to no avail. Until I found this:

Soothing Yoghurt and Clove Sauce
(from Andreas Viestads book on spices)

1,5 dl plain yoghurt
1Tbs finely chopped shallots
1/2-1 Tsp freshly ground cloves

This one is a LOT easier:
1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl (add some sugar if you´d like).
2. Enjoy

A new dish! Apparently, cloves have a soothing effect, and so does yoghurt, so this really is the right condiment for a hot and spicy curry (the curry wasnt that spicy actually, at least not in my opinion) This sauce has an interesting taste to it, but I might have been a little too generous with the cloves, and failure to grind the cloves properly may or may not have resulted in not so soothing experiences...

The whole meal was successful, and accompanied with Ibsens "Hedda Gabler" it was a very good night. I am excited for our book club tomorrow. But first: another Christmas concert!

PS. Pictures wont be as frequent these days due to lack of daylight combined with a far from excellent camera.

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