I love Indian food. All kinds.
I’ve attempted to make Indian before, but I think this might be the most successful I’ve ever been. It all started with a left-over, uncooked eggplant that has been sitting in our fruit bowl for the last week. Jay got it in his head that we should make baingan bharta, and who was I to disagree with him?
I had never made baingan bharta before, but after a quick search, it seemed like a pretty easy (and relatively few ingredient) dish to make.
But if this was going to be dinner (and clearly it was) baingan bharta would not be enough. So we started looking for recipes for chicken tikka masala, but ultimately decided that there were just too many ingredients and too much time involved. I decided that I would make the curry dish that we made in Cuba a few times, except use chicken instead of chick peas.
We took our shopping list and hit the Co-Op, where we knew we would be able to get all of the spices that we needed, and buy them in bulk - my favorite way to buy spices. We were also able to get everything else we needed, so shopping was easy.
When we got home, we got right to cooking.
For the baingan bharta, the first thing you have to do is cut the eggplant in half, put olive oil, salt and pepper on it, and then put it in the oven to roast for 30 minutes at 350. After 30 minutes, you take it out, flip them over, and put them back in the oven, with the broiler on, for another 10 minutes.
While all of this roasting was happening, we sweat out some onions and finely chopped hot peppers (we used Portuguese peppers, which we were told were about as hot as jalapenos). Once the eggplant was cooked, we peeled them, took out the seeds, and roughly chopped them up. Then the eggplant and some diced tomatoes went into the onions, that simmered together for about 5 minutes. Then we added in the garam masala (a common Indian spice mix), cinnamon, ginger, cumin, and salt. All of this got mixed in, and then you have to kind of mash it all together. We used a whisk for this step, although I think a potato masher would probably work a little bit better. Then it simmers together for another 5 minutes or so - and…DELICIOUS!
For the chicken curry, I sauteed an onion and a bell pepper, then added in the chicken until it was almost cooked. Then I added plain yogurt, curry powder, and salt, and let that cook together for a while. At first it got very watery from the yogurt, but then some of the liquid cooked out, and it was perfect.
We also made a cucumber raita, which is just chopped cucumber (seeds removed), plain yogurt, lime juice, and cumin.
We also had a salad with olives, sun dried tomatoes, parmesan cheese, basil, and mixed greens. It didn’t really go with the rest of the meal, but it was delicious nonetheless.
We had two different kinds of chutney, cilantro, naan (we bought frozen naan and it was really good), and rice. A delicious meal!
When we sat down, Silvano said “This is just like an Indian Thanksgiving!” And hence the title of this blog post. I’ve been cooking a lot more in my suite, and it’s been making things much more wonderful. I think JTerm will be the time that the most cooking happens. I want to make a lot of soup.
Have a good weekend!
- sunsurfsnowandfood posted this