(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:
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…
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.
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!
OK, now it’s time for my latest addiction! Ladies and gentlemen and all creatures of the universe, I give you… Peshwari Naan!
*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.
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! :)