The word "khana" in Indian Khana Made Easy means food. So come on, let's explore and cook some easy Indian food together including gluten-free and vegan dishes.


Showing posts with label curry. Show all posts
Showing posts with label curry. Show all posts

August 2, 2010

"Just Moved In" Curry

The First Meal

Friday July 30th at 730AM - The movers came to our old house and began the hours long moving process. We thought it would take 4-5 hours. We packed everything ourselves except for the furniture. Hey, we not Super People. Anyways, long behold, 5 hours passed and we are not completely done. In fact, it was after 5 hours that the movers headed to the new house to transfer the stuff. Either they took their time or we had way more stuff than we calculated. Anyways, by the time the whole move was completed it was 10 hours and we were all tired and hungry. We tried to group the boxes in their respective rooms so we do not run around like headless chickens when it comes time to look for items. That night, we just decided to eat out since cooking was not an option.

The next night though my mom decided to make some curries so we could a nice home cooked meal. I realized you can eat out as much as you want but the meal can never be compared with what you make at home. The taste is too different. I point this out because the previous night we went to a vegetarian Indian restaurant (Chand Palace, Parsippany, NJ) and the cuisine and service was fine. Actually I haven't been there in years so it was a nice surprise to find the place more enjoyable this time around. My point is that some of the curries that I tried lacked certain ingredients (a little salt here and there). I started critiquing the items and realized that no matter where you go, you are bound to question the way it is made or the amount of ingredients used if it is not something you are used to.

On with the subject at hand, the "Just Moved In Curry" was prepared with the utensils and cookery we were able to unpack from the numerous kitchen boxes (as you may see in the pictures). My mom used a small pressure cooker to cook the curry. Mind you, you may use the pressure cooker when you are using fresh ingredients but if all you have are frozen veggies, then it is not needed. My mom used the bottom of the pressure cooker (the container part) to make the curry. When you are limited to ingredients available in your kitchen, you are really testing yourself on what you can make for dinner and you will be surprised at the results. Why you may wonder? You actually tend to cook better. At least that's what my mom figured out soon enough.

Garam Masala
Crushed tomatoes
Small boiled potatoes
Frozen vegetables
Salt to taste

Procedure (from what I recollect):

1) She started out by sauteing garam masala in the cooker with some oil. Then added crushed tomatoes and let them cook a bit.

2) Next add the frozen vegetables.  (Hint: Defrost the vegetables a bit before adding to the mixture.)

3) Add the boiled potatoes and cook everything together on simmer until it comes to a gravy consistency. Add salt for taste.

4) It should ultimately look like the picture below. I will add the exact measurements in a bit. Until then, please enjoy the story and the pictures which by the way I took with my phone since the camera was packed away.

I realized that in some cases, improvising makes the best dishes.

May 1, 2010

Spinach Nuggets...Beyond Appetizers!!

Remember Tater Tots from your high school lunches? What about spinach nuggets from fast food restaurants with some spicy dipping sauce. Did you ever think you could make an Indian curry out of them? Here's what my mom had to say. The following is our conversation between mother (M) and I, the daughter (D):

M: Traditionally, Koftas (dumplings) are made using the following method: you first grate vegetables like potatoes, long squash, plantains or even Paneer (Indian Cheese). Then mix the grated vegetable with bread crumbs or gram flour, and then make them into balls. Next you fry these balls and add them to the gravy which you also have to make.

D: What?? All this sounds like a long process. Isn't there a way to shorten this recipe and still eat healthy.

M: I'm glad you asked because there's a way out. You can use tater tots or spinach nuggets as the dry koftas. No more grating or mixing and making balls. All you have to make is the gravy, which is not that difficult.

D: Okay, how do you make it? Oh, maybe we can make this for our guests tonight.

M: That's a good idea. It makes 3-4 servings, so we will have enough.

Here's what you will need:

Ingredients for koftas:
  • 1 Packet Veggie Patch Spinach Nuggets - (12 pieces total)
Ingredients for the gravy:
  • 2 tbsp Cooking oil
  • 1 Medium Onion, finely chopped
  • ½ tbsp Ginger-garlic paste
  • ½ tbsp Garam Masala
  • ½ cup Red Pack Crushed Tomato puree
  • 1 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1 tbsp Cream cheese
  • 1 tbsp Regular Sour Cream
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Coriander, finely chopped
  • Salt to taste
***It's a good thing we have our Chaunk box (spice box) for some of the ingredients. It makes it easier to store them for cooking.

1) Bake the koftas in a toaster oven at 350°C for 20 minutes, alternately they can be toasted mildly on both sides in a non-stick pan.
2) Heat oil in a saucepan and sauté crushed onions until light golden brown. Add ginger garlic paste and sauté for 1-2 min. Then add turmeric, chili and garam masala powder and mix well.
3) Stir in crushed tomato / puree and mix well, add cream cheese & sour cream and mix it into the tomato mixture.
4) Next, add water to make the gravy to a soup like consistency and salt & boil the sauce. Evaporated milk (small can) can be used instead of cream cheese and sour cream to make the gravy.

5) Drop the nuggets into the sauce and continue to heat the curry to boil and remove and transfer into a serving dish.
6) Garnish with fresh coriander and serve the vegetable with rice or any type of bread.

***Quick Tip:
- To avoid koftas /nuggets from breaking, arrange them in the serving dish and pour hot gravy over them. Microwave for 3-5 minutes if needed.
- Fat-free or non-fat ingredients could be used to make a low-calorie dish.
- Mushroom and broccoli nuggets, Tater tots, or Ashoka's Hara Bhara Kebabs can also be substituted for spinach nuggets.