Chole

aka Chana masala. Adapted from Padma Lakshmi, a repeat from an earlier recipe.

2 onions, quartered
1 bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped (I used red)
6 large firm, ripe tomatoes
2 tablespoons chopped ginger
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon Garam Masala
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder, or to taste
Salt, to taste
2 (15-ounce) cans chick peas or garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or to taste
1 to 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro, or to taste

Chop finely the onions, bell pepper, tomatoes and ginger root. In a pot set over medium heat, warm the (I used coconut) oil until hot. Add the onions and ginger and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant. Add the tomatoes and peppers and cook for 20 minutes. Add the Garam Masala and chili powder and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 more minutes. Add the salt and chick peas and cook, stirring, until heated through. Stir in the lemon juice and cilantro. Serve the curry over rice.

~Jessica

P.S. I also threw in some green and yellow squash for extra vegetables, and we threw in a dollop of peanut butter for added creaminess!

Yam lentil curry

Curried Lentils With Sweet Potatoes and Swiss Chard, Adapted from smitten kitchen from The New York Times.

coconut oil + butter
1 medium onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
fresh ginger root, grated
garam masala, curry powder, paprika
1 jalapeño pepper, minced (I had red pepper flakes)
1 L vegetable broth, or as needed
1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
300 g dried lentils
1 bay leaf
380 mL canned tomatoes
125 g frozen spinach
salt + black pepper
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Juice of 1/2 lime

IMAG5425.jpgSaute onions, garlic, and ginger in fat until fragrant. Add the pepper and spices. Add the broth and bay leaf. I added canned tomatoes here, cause I like a tomato-based curry. Boil lentils and potatoes in this for 20-30 minutes. Stir in greens if you have any, and lime juice. Taste. Add more water if lentils need more time. Season to taste. Garnish with cilantro.

~Jessica

The world’s best cuisines

According to…

CNN
10. United States
9. Mexico
8. Thailand
7. Greece
6. India
5. Japan
4. Spain
3. France
2. China
1. Italy

Lonely Planet
1. Thailand
2. Greece
3. China
4. France
5. Spain
6. Mexico
7. Italy
8. India
9. Japan
10. Indonesia & Malaysia

Rough Guides
10. Singapore
9. Mexico
8. Indonesia
7. France
6. China
5. Vietnam
4. Japan
3. India
2. Thailand
1. Italy

This subjective topic came up when I found some Europeans who did not consider French food to be all that special, but most Americans think French is haute cuisine. Do you agree? Bold countries made all three lists! =)

~Jessica

References
“THE BEST CUISINE IN THE WORLD – AS VOTED BY YOU”

“Which country has the best food?”

“The best countries for food”

Butter paneer masala

Adapted from Padhu’s Kitchen and Sanjeev Kapoor

Butter
2 Onions
Ginger-garlic paste
-250 g Tomatoes, chopped (I used 500 g)
200 g Paneer (I used smoked tofu)
50 g Cashew nuts, soaked in boiling water for 15 min, ground to a paste
Fenugreek leaves, dry (if you can find, I couldn’t)
Salt to taste
Garam masala, Coriander, Turmeric powder
Cinnamon, 2 Cloves,  1 Cardamom pod, Dried red chilies

Garnish
Fresh cream
Finely chopped cilantro leaves (wish I had!)

Heat butter, and saute cloves, cinnamon stick, red chilies, and cardamom. Stir-fry and brown the onions, then the ginger-garlic paste. Add the cashew paste. Add coriander powder, red chili powder, and tomatoes. Cook on high. Puree. Cook the paneer, and add it. Remove from heat and add cream.

~Jessica

Matar paneer

Matar / mutter paneer is my favorite Indian dish, mostly because I like the paneer, but also the peas’ bursts of flavor. Squeaky fun to chew paneer!

Adapted from Spice Up The Curry and Edible Garden

400 g green peas, boiled 2-3 min (I used frozen)
175 g paneer, cubed (I used smoked tofu instead)
1 lemon
ghee (if you have it, otherwise I used butter)
2 large onions
2.5 cm ginger, grated
1 garlic, minced
chopped, ripe tomatoes
2 small green chilies, chopped

Spices
1 pinch of kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves) — I didn’t have
garam masala, cumin, turmeric, red chili, coriander
salt to taste

Garnish
1 spoonful of cream
cilantro
50 g Cashews, soaked in water for 30 min.

Fry any spices (that you have whole) and chilis in oil/butter. Saute onion, ginger, garlic until fragrant. Season with salt. Add tomatoes. Add your powdered spices now and cook until the liquid evaporates. Grind soaked cashews into a paste with some water. Fry the paneer separately, then add this to the sauce with the peas and cashew paste. Add the cream and cilantro. Serve hot.

Smoked tofu is extra-firm and ideally smoked in tea leaves, but I don’t taste it much. Very similar to dry tofu, but lighter in flavor. Serving suggestions: Mater paneer masala can be served with roti, paratha, or naan; if served with plain rice, thin the sauce.

~Jessica

Chana masala

Chickpea (चना) curry, aka chole masala or channay or Chholay (काबुली चना)

Adapted from smitten kitchen

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 medium onions, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 fresh, hot green chili pepper, minced
ground coriander
ground cumin
ground cayenne pepper
ground turmeric
amchoor powder (I did not have)
paprika
Garam masala
500 g can of tomatoes with their juices, chopped small
150 mL water
480 g canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
salt
1/4 lemon (juiced) — I like it a bit less sour

IMAG3658.jpg

I threw in some extra veggies, then blended it a bit

~Jessica

Aloo gobi

Indian cauliflower and potatoes. Adapted from smitten kitchen and VahRehVah

1 head of cauliflower, cut into little florets
250 g Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
tomatoes, chopped (I only had canned “chili” beans)
some green peas
5 glugs of vegetable oil
salt
grated fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
minced fresh jalapeño (even green chili is not in season here)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
cumin seeds, garam masala, ground coriander, turmeric, cayenne/red chili powder
1/2 cup water
fresh cilantro (also not in season here!)

  1. Heat oil in a pan, saute cumin seeds and ginger-garlic paste for a minute, then add crushed tomato, onion, green chilli, turmeric, cook till it sizzles. Add the rest of spices mixed in the water, add potatoes, cauliflower, and salt. Fry for a few minutes.
  2. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for about 15 minutes until the vegetables are cooked.
  3. Serve hot with naan, chapati or roti.

IMAG3625.jpg

~Jessica