Saturday, January 12, 2008

Potato Carrot Pakoras, Curried Black Eyed Peas, Brown Basmati Rice, Chutneys

Dinner 1/12 by Amy

• Potato Carrot Pakoras

• Curried Black Eyed Peas

• Brown Basmati Rice

• Chutneys

Tonight's dinner was inspired by a comment to this blog where someone asked if we make Indian food. These recipes come from the pages of "The Spice Box" by Manju Shivraj Singh. An excellent book of vegetarian Indian recipes which is well-worn in our kitchen. Since this was my first cook shift back, I thought I'd be making chapati and dessert as well, but time just snuck away from me. Perhaps next time!

The pakoras were made with chickpea flour mixed with lots of spices including dried mint leaves from our garden and a fresh blend of homemade garam masala. I added some carrots (which Dan is managing to preserve in the garden through the winter!), potatoes and onions to the batter so they had some nutrients and weren't just fried deliciousness. :D We used some pear chutney and peach chutney as condiments to dip them in. They were made a couple of years ago with fruit from our neighbor's trees that they happily shared.

This was the first time I've tried the Curried Black Eyed Peas recipe. It involved boiling the black eyed peas in water with a little bit of vinegar. Then frying some cumin seeds in a pan, adding onions, garlic, tumeric, ground coriander, tomato sauce, salt and sorghum. After it started to bubble, I turned off the heat and stirred in garam masala. Brown basmati with some cumin sprinkled on top rounded out the meal.


Suzanne said...

Looks yummy! It's a goal of mine to learn how to cook more authentic indian food. Or as authentic as one can make it in suburban philadelphia. I'm gonna link to your blog on mine!

Jyotsna said...

That looks great. The kids and I live in the south, and one of the things we do on new years day is cook black eyed peas for "good luck". We make black eyed pea subzi too.

I have never put vinegar in the peas. Is that for a fast softening? Hmmmm.

Tonight we had a savory Andhra kitchidi with urad dal and basmati rice, with a little chana dal tossed in.

I washed 2 cups of rice along with 1 1/2 cups of urad dal (black dal) and allowed that to soak for 15 minutes. Meanwhile I took a heavy pan and put 2 tsps of ghee, and 1 tsp of cumin seeds. I let it brown and then added 1/4 tsp of black pepper (you can add pepper corn instead if you like it). Then a half pinki worth of fresh ginger, grated or cut up very small. After it sizzled, I poured off the water from the soaking rice and lentils and poured the combo into the pan to mix with the spice.

Then the whole mixture was moved into the rice cooker, I added about a palms full of dry unsweetened coconut shredded and then I cooked it twice (with lid on).

If you have a pressure cooker, you can cook it that way, saves energy and time!

My kids were all over me trying to see what I was making, asking for samples ect.

I also made a cabbage curry (black mustard seeds, cumin seeds, corriender/cumin powder,
turmeric powder, chili powder and three whole red chilis, ginger powder and a tsp of chana dal to roast with the spices. I added two tomatoes to that once the seeds popped, then added the cut up cabbage and let it cook on high for about 10 minutes. After that I lowered it to medium - low and poured about a half of cup of water into the pan, covered, then turned on simmer. I added salt when it was cooked, and a pinch of hing.

We ate it with our hands, India style, and the kids had me getting up and down to get them more. When I scaped the rice cooker to get the last bit, the kids were fussing that I didn't make enough. Next time I will double both recipes! We usually have some stonyfarms plain yogurt afterwards to cool things off.

Let me know if you try it! Very lovely on a winter night.