Hi! Wing It Vegan is currently on its annual hiatus. It might take me a while to reply to comments, messages, emails, love letters, hate mail, and all that good stuff. I had to turn on that hateful word-verification thingie for comments due to too much spam - it is rather annoying, sorry about that! Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, March 22, 2010

E.A.T World: India (Butter Tofu, Aloo Phujia, and Peshwari Naan)


(The giveaway is at the bottom of this post. Don't alert the media or quit your job though, this is just a very tiny gift. It's minuscule. It's almost invisible. Really, you will have to squint to see it.)

I like Indian food! I like Indian food! Who knew? I have always been scared of all the spices and the heat factor of most Indian dishes, and the fact that I am not a fan of coriander didn't help at all. Well, somebody slap me for being such a philistine!

As you can see, my E.A.T World entries won't be posted in alphabetical order anymore. Our travels make it difficult to organize any kind of meal plan and it will be easier for me to just wing-it.

Anyway, because I am so new to Indian cuisine I have been relying on other people's recipes instead of creating my own. Like this awesome recipe for Butter Chicken from allrecipes.com:

E.A.T World: India, Butter Tofu

This recipe was perfect for a newbie like me! Instead of chicken I used tofu chunks, and instead of heavy cream I used a combo of coconut milk and oat milk. Knowing my wimpiness when it comes to too much heat, I reduced the amount of cayenne pepper significantly.

Get a little closer, don't be shy...

E.A.T World: India, Butter Tofu

I also made an awesome potato dish (with the cayenne toned down again) from allrecipes.com called Aloo Phujia. The saucy rice stuff on the side is Mushroom Korma which I made after reading 1,258 chicken korma recipes. I was really winging it with that one.

E.A.T World: India, Aloo Phujia and Mushroom Korma... ish

And then I made the Aloo Phujia again, but instead of cooking the potatoes in oil, I tried Earth Balance, and I also added some mustard seeds. Awesomeness!

E.A.T World: India, Aloo Phujia (with mustard seeds)

OK, now it's time for my latest addiction! Ladies and gentlemen and all creatures of the universe, I give you... Peshwari Naan!

E.A.T World: India, Peshwari Naan Filling

*Drool* This stuff is IT! I could eat Peshwari Naan every day for the rest of my life! And to think that I never would have had the pleasure of stuffing myself senseless with this if my buddy the Wabbit hadn't passed on her addiction to me (Thanks buddy!). The filling is a delicious concoction of ground almonds, coconut, sugar and apple. It's supposed to have raisins instead of sugar, but raisins and I are sworn enemies.

For the dough I used this recipe (quartered) minus the egg, and instead of garlic I used black onion seeds, AKA kalonji. For the filling I used this recipe minus the evil raisins, and instead of applesauce I used fresh pureed apple. The step by step pictures were very helpful! We don't have a gas stove so I cooked them on a cast iron skillet.

If you're thinking about making your own naan, you should definitely get yourself some black onion seeds! I have a feeling that naan would be much like plain pita without them. Those little seeds can be very elusive though! I checked the international foods isle at two standard grocery stores, and I looked all over our local Whole Foods but they were nowhere to be found. Luck was on my side and I was fortunate enough to find an excellent India Market not ten minutes from here! Joy! They are not expensive (I paid $2.49 per each 7oz bag) but they are not too easy to find.

E.A.T World: India, Black Onion Seeds
Kalonji/black onion seeds

Finally, I made some Mango Lassi which is a colorful drink made with mangoes, yogurt (I used this kind) and milk or water. Meh. What was I thinking? I don't really like yogurt! It would probably be more compatible with my taste buds if instead of yogurt it had a few tablespoons of coconut milk.

This has been my favorite gastronomic adventure so far! I probably never would have found out that I love Indian food if it wasn't for E.A.T! This is the most smitten I have been with this challenge since it started back in January. *smitten kitten*

Now about that giveaway. Instead of pointing and laughing at those of you who cannot find black onion seeds/kalonji locally, I am giving away two bags! Interested? Anyone can enter! You don't have to do anything special, no twittering or facebooking or standing on your head while you do the Macarena, every comment left on this post gets an entry. Unless you don't want the seeds, of course. But then again if you don't want them you can always nominate another blogger, and if Mr. Random Number Generator picks you, the seeds go to your nominee.


Mr. Randomator will pick two winners on March 31st (some time after Mr. Wing-It and I check into our hotel) and each winner will get one 7oz bag of Kalonji. I will mail them as soon as possible from wherever Mr. Wing-It and I might be that week.

P.S: Do you like my new blog header? All the widgets from the sidebar disappeared for some reason and I had to add them all again, including the blog links. They will get there, I have to add them all one by one! :)

27 comments :

  1. Becks~not a rabbitMarch 22, 2010 at 1:19 PM

    My Peshwari Naan addiction is contagious and seems to have claimed another victim! *Mwahaha ha ha!*

    Without black onion seeds 'bread of narnia' would just be 'bread'. I'm going to put BOS in every savory bread I make from now on ~ I'm obsessed!

    Your curries look amazing. I have not been brave enough to make a korma from scratch yet, and always fall back on stuff from jars.

    And those potatoes look amazing! Feed me, Seymour?

    I'm so glad that you love Indian noms! And very jealous of that stash of black onion seeds in the last picture ;)

    Can you mail me a Peshwari Naan please? *Hungry*

    ReplyDelete
  2. Your butter chicken looks awesome! I wanted to make something similar for a long time. Thanks for all the inspiration!

    Indian cuisine is amy all time favourite. I could eat it every day. Last week we've had two Indian meals alone. And kalonji, I love that stuff, I always have it around (so don't include me in the give away :)). Today I made some Turkish flat bread with it.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I really need to crawl out from under the rock I live in (shudder at the thought).

    I have never heard of butter chicken, peshwari naan, or kalonji.

    I'll have to take a peek at the recipes -- see if my peeps will eat any of it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love Indian food and yours looks mouth-watering. I've never heard of black onion seeds, but as soon as I read your post I immediately wanted some. Who wouldn't? Now if the random gods don't look favorably upon me I'll be forced to go out and find some.

    I noticed your new header right away. It's cool, and really appropriate for someone who travels a lot.

    ReplyDelete
  5. That butter tofu looks amazing! I ADORE Indian food and I'm just going to have to make this asap! I think the naan looks fantastic too--I loved naan before I stopped eating wheat. Yum!

    The new header looks great. Love the snapshots! :D And as for the seeds, but of course I'd love to try them, and make all those recipes that much more authentic!

    PS--just took a look at the Travels section (don't know why I hadn't noticed before)--that pic of you at the Grand Canyon is hilarious! And the prairie dog is pretty darned cute, too. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Becks - The Bread of Narnia addiction will keep spreading and claiming tons of victims! The korma wasn't very authentic, so maybe it was kormish sauce? Your love of Indian food made me want to try it, so this obsession is all your fault, buddy! :D

    Mihl - What a coinkidink! I made a second batch of naan with kalonji just yesterday! Indian cuisine might just be my all time favorite from now on. I can't believe it took me so long to try it!!

    Lisa - If it makes you feel any better I had never heard of most of these things until about a week ago. I hope your peeps are willing to try some Indian goodies! :)

    Andrea - Thank you! Say a little prayer for the kalonji gods! I wish I could have bought more bags so everyone's odds of winning would increase, but we're all maxed out on spcace in the car. Glad you like the new header! :)

    Ricki - Thank you! If anyone can figure out how to make naan with no wheat... or yeast... that's you! :D The Grand Canyon was eating me alive! Hee hee! Hopefully this year we will take lots of new cute prairie dog pictures. You just reminded me that I should probably enable comments on those stand-alone pages and just treat them like normal blog posts.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love the new header!!! And I totally want some black onion seeds! And thank you for not having me do ridiculous stuff to enter, I've stopped entering most contest because of it....annoying to me.

    ReplyDelete
  8. So glad you discovered Indian food! I love Indian food but also mostly discovered it in my search for new vegan flavors. I also like it mostly when I cook Indian "style" at home myself because I can't handle the spice, but I love curries and coconut milk-y stuff.
    That naan looks like the greatest thing to ever grace the planet and I want to make it and stuff myself with it endlessly for the rest of my life. But I'd use the raisins...sorry. So in order to do this I need onion seeds!
    Thanks for sharing all these wonderful recipes! You've combined my two favorite things in the world, food and travel! Maybe I'll try and participate in this series in an upcoming blogpost. Vegan Argentina!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Your new header is lovely! I've really enjoyed reading your blog these past few weeks, and this post was really a treat! You've inspired me to move on to Indian food, after a couple of months of cooking Ethiopian dishes regularly. Nice work!

    I'll pass on the giveaway, because I like to visit my buddy at the Indian grocery nearby. I hadn't been introduced to kalonji yet, so thanks for the tip!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Gina - Thank you! No ridiculous stuff necessary... altough I did forget to say that you must wear a red clown nose to enter... too much? :P

    Gaby - Indian food lovers of the world unite! Coconut milky stuff is awesome, I wish there was somewhere I could buy coconut milk by the gallon. The raisins make the peshwari naan look so much prettier, I wish my taste buds would just like them. I hope you have lots of fun with this series if you do decide to participate! Argentina? Are you going to make vegan dulce de leche? *Hint hint* :)

    Thank you, Danielle! I'm glad you've enjoyed my ramblings. Ethiopian food is something that I have yet to tackle, but I'll get there! I hope you enjoy your Indian food... and kalonji! :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. All of this looks totally fabulous! I've been thinking about an India post too, and this is major inspiration :)

    I love naan, but I've never attempted making it. I even have a bag of those kalonji seeds on my spice shelf, which I've used exactly once. The "butter chicken" tofu looks mouth-watering good, and I really love mango lassi, though I don't use vegan yogurt much at all.

    It's cool to see you're now a friend of Indian food :) Of all the big cooking traditions, Indian is the area where I most feel like I've no idea what I'm doing, but I always love the simple Indian meals I can make. And some of my favorite restaurant moments have been at Indian places, which often have awesome vegan options. Great post!!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Holy tofu! The butter chicken looks terrific. Wow! This post made me drool. And a giveaway, what fun. I like the new header too.

    ReplyDelete
  13. p.s. - and i love the new header!

    ReplyDelete
  14. you cooked up some serious indian awesomeness, River. nice! dan was always hesitant with indian eats as well - the spices never sat well with him as they were too strong, but when i make it at home he's a happy camper 'cause i season lightly and he loves it the most. in thinking about it now we haven't had indian yummies in forever. we need to soon! your butter tofu looks wonderful, the naa = perfect, that's one serious mango lassi, and i'm digg'n the phujia and korma, too! soooooo much deliciousness - mmmmmmmmmm!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Mike - Thank you! Naan is so easy to make and so good with those little seeds! I hope you get to make some soon! My Indian meals will probably all be pretty simple too. There are so many new (for me!) ingredients that I saw while I was reasearching Indian food that it's quite overwhelming, but I will tackle them one by one! :)

    Krys - Thanks! You make me drool all the time so consider this payback time! Hee hee! :D

    Jessy - It sounds like both Dan and I are spice wimps! Welcome to the club, Dan! Mwahaha! That's the nice thing about learing how to cook my own Indian meals, I can adjust the heat and spices to my personal level of wimpiness. :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Butter tofu--what a fantastic idea! I love Indian food in any shape or form (well, meatless, of course), but I haven't tried tofu instead of chicken yet. And the naan does look to die for. I'm such a sucker for it but have yet to make it at home. Now I just must!

    ReplyDelete
  17. So happy that you discovered Indian cuisine. It is honestly one of my very favourites. We probably eat Indian at least once a week. Everything looks so beautiful! And I love your new header! Very professional looking.
    Oh, and I really dig that apron! How fancy.

    ReplyDelete
  18. OMG! I love love Indian food and I don't think I have ever seen any as scrumptious as you have made! I am in complete envy of your creativity and skill. Will you be my personal chef please please?! Awesome job!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I never thought I would love Indian food either! I too was afraid to try it because of the spiciness, although I have to admit I usually tone it down a tad! The Aloo Phujia looks especially good. If the rest of my potatoes weren't moldy I would totally make that tonight :)

    ReplyDelete
  20. Jes - The tofu worked great! I got it nice and crusty first, and then I added it to the sauce. Definitely make your own naan! I wish I had some right now... this hotel room DOES have a tiny kitchen area... *naughty face* :)

    Shelly - Thank you! Ha! You noticed the Wing-it apron! I was wondering who the first person to notice it was going to be! :D

    Jessica - Thank you! I will gladly be your personal chef... will you eat the stuff that I burn but don't blog about? :P

    Stacey - The potatoes were probably my favorite dish... well... I don't know, it's hard to pick one favorite. Poor moldy potatoes! I hate it when that happens! Welcome to the spice-wimp club! The club just keeps growing and growing! :D

    ReplyDelete
  21. Yum. that all looks delish as always River.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I love your blog but have never commented. I'd love a chance to win those seeds! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  23. Andria - Thank you! I'm glad you decided to come out from the lurking shadows! :D
    You were just *this late* for the giveaway, but don't despair, I will probably do another giveaway like this when Mr. Kook and I go back home in a couple of months. Maybe I'll throw in some turmeric and some other Indian goodies too! :)

    ReplyDelete
  24. You have inspired me to try my hand at some Indian food too. I do love spicy though, but often times it doesn't like me! LOL Thanks for the inspiring post!

    jessyburke88@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  25. Jessica - YAY! I hope you love it too! I just had some more butter tofu and some improvised Indian style potatoes for dinner. Yep. I am obsessed! :)

    ReplyDelete
  26. Wow--I must get my hands on some kalonji. I am very spoiled that there is a little indian market just a stone's throw across the street and they carry the Swad brand so hopefully they have this..very excited to try it!

    I'm not a big yogurt fan either but find the mango So Delicious coconut yogurt to be exactly what I remember non-vegan mango lassi tasting like (except so much better 'cause it's coconut, right?!).

    ReplyDelete
  27. Ooo, I looove Indian food! This post is exciting. And I'm really digging the new look.

    ReplyDelete