Happy Monday, everyone! I’ve been on an Indian food kick lately. I had never really eaten Indian food up until a year ago when my friend introduced me to it. I always stayed safe and ordered the Tandoori chicken, but more recently I’ve ventured out and tried new things. I went to dinner with friends last week at Qazis in Fremont and we all ordered vegan dinners: chana masala, aloo gobi and an eggplant dish that I cannot remember for the life of me. After I ate off of both my friends plate (sorry Maddy and Jessica), I decided I would go out on a limb and try to make Indian food. I remember seeing my friend’s Facebook status once say “After spending all this money on multiple spices and ingredients, I ended up ordering Indian food!” It had scared me away from trying to make it. I was surprised when I found a recipe that the spices didn’t seem that many or varying. Maybe it’s because I grew up in a Korean household, but I was not intimidated by the Indian spices.
I went with an Aloo Gobi recipe from allrecipes.com, and had quite the adventure in cooking. Dan and I went to our favorite co-op in Olympia last night to get some ingredients and spices, and he promised me he had turmeric at home. Turns out, he did not, so we had to make the recipe without it. Apparently Aloo Gobi is supposed to be very dry, though the ones I’ve had has always been a bit saucy with enough so you can dip your naan into it. Because I attempted follow directions given, I ended up burning one of Dan’s pans, badly. I had to put the potatoes in a new pan and lost all the cumin seeds and ginger. Things I learned from this experience? Follow directions and use the vegetable oil, don’t ignore all those articles about which oil to use for what. Olive oil is not an all-use oil. Also? Never trust your boyfriend to help you cook rice, especially when you grew up making it.
I was also attempting to recreate the basmati rice from Indian restaurants, a little too much water got added in, and we ended up with some very… sticky rice, definitely not like the normal rice that comes with dinner at restaurants. I thought that dinner had turned out to be a disaster. Surprisingly, the Aloo Gobi was not that bad, it was just, very dry, so it went well with the over-watered rice.
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed (I used Yukon)
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- salt to taste
- 1 cauliflower head
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro
Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Stir in the cumin seeds, garlic and ginger. Cook about 1 minute until garlic is lightly browned. Add the potatoes. Season with turmeric, paprika, cumin, garam masala, and salt. Cover and continue cooking 5 to 7 minutes stirring occasionally. I splashed in a bit of water to help it steam. (This is also about the time when the bottom of the pan started to burn and I had to change pans.)
Mix the cauliflower and cilantro into the saucepan. Reduce heat to low and cover. Stirring occasionally, continue cooking until potatoes and cauliflower are tender.
I ended up using almost twice the amount of seasoning as was called in the original recipe, but I think that’s because I have burned off all my taste buds on all the spicy food I eat.
So that was my first attempt at cooking Indian. I’m a sucker for pain though, and going to attempt Indian food again tonight. Let’s hope that Dan’s pans come out unscathed in this adventure!