Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Indian Feast

For my second use-my-cookbooks meal, I decided to focus on Indian food, because I love Indian restaurant food but I've always been a little intimidated by the long ingredient lists in Indian cookbooks.  I made chana samosas from Vegan Yum Yum, vindaloo vegetables from Vegan Fire & Spice, and poppyseed dal from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, as well as some brown basmati rice.

I was a little intimidated by the samosa recipe because I thought the dough would be hard to work with; as it turned out, the dough recipe had enough oil in it that it was easy to roll out, but I had a hard time getting it to seal closed around the filling (one came open during frying).  The filling used more garbanzos than potatoes, and I found it a little dry; I'd stick with a traditional potato filling if I made these again.  They were a big hit with my husband, though, and I liked having an excuse to eat mango chutney.

The dal was the real star of this meal.  The recipe called for the black "urad dal", but I couldn't find any, so I used regular brown lentils instead.  After the lentils are cooked, they are combined with a mixture of ginger, cilantro, and poppyseeds that were fried in lots of margarine.  This was one of the best things I've tasted in some time, and was very simple to make.  I enjoyed the leftovers for both breakfast and lunch the next day.

The vindaloo vegetables were hearty and nutritious, but the flavor wasn't really anything to write home about.  If I make these again, I'll amp up the sauce with lots more curry powder and chiles.

Overall, it was fun to have an Indian feast without having to first grill a waiter about which items contain ghee, and I was pleased with myself for being able to cook such a feast in under 2 hours.

1 comment:

  1. Making samosas is another thing I tried quite recently, and I made them using a tortilla recipe! It worked quite well, and was so easy. If anyone is trying this, I cooked the tortillas on one side only, filled that side with filling, and wrapped them up to pop into the oven on an oiled jelly roll pan. Make sure you leave the dough thick enough (maybe 1/4 of an inch? not sure) that they hold up to being shaped. Also, when you're cooking the one side of the tortillas, be sure not to cook them too long so that they're still a little wet, so you can get the edges to bind together when you wrap up your samosas. :) For filling I think I mostly followed SusanV's Fat Free Vegan blog recipe for E's samosa wraps, just the filling part:


    PS. It might be okay to just use the raw tortillas, without cooking one side. I did that to make sure they were heated through enough, but it's possible baking them alone would be enough. I've not tried this yet.


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