The best thing about being Indian is the food. That, and knowing that every time you see another Indian ANYWHERE you know you’re both thinking, “OMG Indian Indian Indian Indian Indian.”
I rarely ever make Indian food even though I could probably eat it every day if I had to. I think it’s because any time my mom or dad makes it at home they never use precise measurements and that bugs me a LOT. I guess I’m not comfortable yet with just throwing in pinches of this spice and that spice. And I’m extremely anal-retentive. Plus, all the jars in our house are labeled in Telugu so even if I’m helping make something I have no idea what it is (unless its something obvi like cinnamon sticks).
I thnk every Indian person has a spice dish like this. Look at me being more creative with my pictures (that’s a scarf that I put the spice tray on haha):
One of the really great things about Indian food is that it doesn’t rely on butter/oil/sugar/salt to make it taste good. The combination of all the spices that are used is more than enough to give a vibrant flavor We almost never use cream when we cook at home and it still tastes amazing! And if you DO need the food to be creamier, you can always use homemade yogurt, which I don’t know how to make so I’m just leaving it out entirely.
I am almost certain I could be vegetarian if I could eat Indian food more often (I could also do it if all I ate was cereal- which, I pretty much did for freshman year in college because I was stupid. I think you can get marasmus from that). In fact, I think that vegetarian Indian dishes taste much better. The texture of meat, in my opinion, doesn’t add anything to the food. It’s def all about the LEGUMES! I love beans of almost any sort: butter beans and kidney beans are my favorites though. Today I really wanted to make Rajma, which is a kidney bean curry. I have only had this a few times because it’s not South Indian at ALL so we never make it at home. But I had all these extra cans of kidney beans in my pantry so I decided to see if I could whip something up. I’ve had these cans lying around for awhile so hopefully they are still good…they weren’t bulging so at least no botulism risks! And I have all these random Indian spices that my parents use to cook food for me every time they come over, which is a LOT!! I love having roommates that only live with me for 2-4 days a month!
I really hope I don’t smell up a mile radius of my kitchen with this recipe but at least it’s a GOOD smell right? On a side note, I’m going to do another entry with SOUTH INDIAN food sometime soon. I’m going to try to make sense of what my parents do when they’re cooking and come up with a recipe!!
http://www.happytummyblog.com/2009/04/09/rajma-kidney-bean-curry/. This only took me 10 minutes to make!
Recipe: Rajma (Kidney Bean Curry)
Serves 2 as an entree or 4 as a side
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 green chili, minced
- 1 Tbsp. ginger, minced
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup pureed tomatoes
- 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 1 tsp. coriander powder
- 1 tsp. cumin powder
- 1 tsp. turmeric powder
- 1 tsp. garam masala
- Salt to taste
- 1 15 oz. can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
Sauté onion, garlic, green chili and ginger over medium heat until softened. Add minced onions, garlic, green chili and ginger. Add water, pureed tomatoes, tomato paste, spices, and salt and stir to mix well. Add kidney beans and stir to coat. Let curry simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until it is thick and creamy. Serve with basmati rice and/or naan.