Sunday, July 11, 2010

My best yet Indian dish

I. Love. Indian. Food. There, I finally found something to say worthy of one word sentences. Indian food is slow food, takes lots of time to make, but they believe that the more work that goes into a meal, the better it is for you.

Last Summer I met a new friend at the park who is from India. As we got to know each other a bit, she said she'd love to teach me how to make Indian food, which I've been trying to do all by myself for years now. What an amazing experience!! Her mother-in-law led the cooking tutorial and Anita whizzed around the kitchen doing this and that. Both of them flitted in and out of the kitchen to check on the kids (four between us) while I took as many notes as possible to not forget all that I learned. I have made this numerous times now, I can't even count, and it is hands down the best Indian food I know how to make. The following recipes are written separately, though they were combined in my notes as they made them simultaneously. However, true to Indian cooking tradition, the recipes are written experientially, just as you would do them, not with ingredients in a list, then directions.

Sauteeing the onion, and spices (unmixed)

Garbanzo Bean Curry
Puree three onions in food processor, set aside in separate bowl
Puree 6 garlic cloves, 1” ginger, 1 med. Hot chili (green long skinny), set aside in separate bowl
Puree one 14oz can undrained tomatos, set aside in separate bowl
In another bowl, microwave 3 cans chickpeas (undrained) for 5-8 minutes (cover, they pop!)
In large skillet put:
3 T oil
2T butter
Pureed onion
1t. sea salt
In small bowl mix:
½ t turmeric
1t. garam masala
1t. chili powder (can use American or Indian hot chili powder)
2t. sea salt
2T Punjabi Chhole Masala, also called Chana Masala. (don't skimp on this!)
After cooking onions for 10 minutes add garlic mixture, mix well, add spices, mix well, add tomatos. Cook at medium heat. With potato masher, mash chickpeas half way. Add to pot of onions and spices. Add 1c. water. Turn up heat to medium high 10-15 minutes. Add a little salt. Serve with puri, naan or rice.

Poori is that scrumptious soft, puffy flat bread that they serve at Indian restaurants. I never in a million years thought I'd actually learn how to make it!! This recipe lasts my family of three adults and two kids at least three meals. Anita used this bread to scoop up the curry, had no rice and used no utensils. We usually make rice and do a mixture of forks and bread scooping.

In large bowl combine 4c. all purpose flour, 1 c. wheat flour
Add 2 T. vegetable oil and 1/2 cup plain yoghurt, mix with your hands.
Add 1/2 c. warm (not hot) water and mix by hand.
Add 1t. oil to make it smooth, get on your hands and knees and knead vigorously in a bowl on the floor for several minutes until dough is firm. That's what my friend did, so I copy her.
Let sit for a while (doesn't matter, longer is probably better, or you can freeze it until ready to use). Then grab a little dough and roll out into flat rounds (or oblongs like mine). A skinny rolling pin is easier to work with and what my friend used.

Rolling out the purri

Oops, too thin.

That's better. 1.5mm is just about perfect.

Don't have the oil up too high or they'll fry hard as a rock.
Medium to Medium high heat is perfect.

This is my current favorite dinner to make and to eat. If you're feeling fiesty, run over to your nearest Indo-Asian Grocer and pick up some spices!! Or order them on-line. You'll be glad you did!!!


Priya said...

awesome recipe... u have a lovely visit mine when u have time :)

Becca said...

Thank you, Priya! I did and I love that your poori recipe is all wheat flour! What a great resource your blog is!