Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Out of India

There are many times, when decision making in this house takes on a life of its own.

Here at the elegant Red Brick Ranchero, you have one Gemini sun Libra rising with a total of four planets in Gemini conversing with a Taurus sun Gemini rising with a total of two planets in Gemini and two in Taurus. So once Groom, the Taurus, makes his mind up…something inside makes him change it.

Makes him nuts.

While the Sybil of the family, me, is in the kitchen reading five cookbooks at the same time trying to make a decision about what to do for dinner and having an inner monologue with several of me as to how many dishes to cook.

And once the Taurus sun Gemini rising thinks he has helped to make the actual decision the Gemini sun Libra rising is off on another tangent, all the while Groom is, once again, highly pleased with his contribution to dinner.

The conversation goes like this:

Groom honey, what would you like for dinner.

Oh, I don’t know what do you want?

Well, I was thinking about doing something spicy, maybe curry.

It doesn’t matter to me, surprise me.

Does that mean you want spicy food tonight?

That would be great. I love spicy let’s have Mexican.

I was reading Maddhur Jaffrey’s cookbook and I thought about a curry.

Whatever you want to fix will be fine with me. Just surprise me. I love enchiladas.

Perfect. We’ll do vegetarian tonight. Potato Cauliflower Curry. Mushroom Bhaji..yum yum. This is going to be good.

Do they have enchiladas in India? Mushroom Bhaji, I like that, don't I?

Groom, you‘re brilliant. Excellent idea for dinner.

I don’t know how I do it.

Mushroom Bhaji

1 package white button mushrooms cut in halves, wiped with paper towel
2 onions, finely chopped
2 fresh medium tomatoes, grated
1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
4 fat cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp medium hot chili powder
Coarse salt to taste
Fresh cilantro, chopped for garnish

Heat two good swirls extra virgin olive oil in a pan and saute onions ginger and garlic until golden brown.

Add tomato, garam masala, salt, chili powder, ground cumin and saute 10 minutes.

Add mushroom and about a ¼ cup water.

Cook till the mushrooms are tender. If dry out, just add a bit more water and stir well.
Garnish with finely chopped cilantro.

Serves 3.

Potato and Cauliflower Curry Punjabi Style
adapted from Madhur Jaffrey's From Curries to Kebabs

1 cup chopped sweet yellow onion
2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
5 fat cloves garlic, chopped
Extra virgin olive oil
3 good sized Yukon gold potatoes, boiled, cooled, and cut into about 1 inch chunks
1 medium sized head cauliflower, cut florets into pieces slightly bigger than the potatoes
1 tsp whole cumin seeds
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup grated tomatoes
Crushed red pepper flakes to taste

Put the onion, ginger, garlic and 4 tbsp water in food processor or blender and blend until smooth.

Put enough olive oil into large Dutch oven to cover bottom, about a ¼ inch of oil and set over medium high heat. When oil shimmers, put in the potatoes and cauliflower. Fry, stirring until they are lightly browned ,remove with slotted spoon and set aside.

Add cumin seeds, then onion mix from the food processor. Stir for 3 to 4 minutes. Add coriander, cumin, turmeric and cayenne pepper and crushed red pepper flakes. Then add tomatoes and cook continuing to stir for another 5 minutes. Now add cauliflower and potatoes, 2-1/2 cups to 3 cups water, and salt to taste.

Let cook, covered til cauliflower is done, test after ten minutes.

Serves 4-5.


Jessy and her dog Winnie said...

This looks delicious! It looks like it has a lot of great flavors in it. I love ginger!

michelle @ TNS said...

man, i really need to get one of madhur jeffrey's books!

cook eat FRET said...

i never cook indian
why is that?

Jane Ferguson said...

Holy Cow! I just discovered your food blog because I was looking at peoples' profiles who put Mrs. Miniver down as one of their favorite movies. Your food, all of it, looks amazing. I collect great recipes, so I have bookmarked your blog and am going to start cooking up the favorites one by one. Love Indian and this looks incredible! The smells pop thru the page. . .