Parenthood is an exciting, confusing, rewarding, infuriating, isolating, and community-building experience. Through writing about my experiences and reactions to parenting-related articles, I aim to foster a sense of inquiry and inclusion rather than to promote any sort of ideal or philosophy. After all, most of us are just flying by the seat of our pants, doing what works and what feels right.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Indian Food Kick

I have been on an Indian food kick, which means that I've been attempting to make it since it's quite expensive.  Bonus: when we make it at home, Calvin is more likely to try it than when we are at a restaurant in the most distracting of all distracting environments.

I have discovered a couple of recipes that Calvin seems to very much enjoy (as long as I keep the hot peppers moderated).

I might as well mention that I"ve put these on my Pinterest Page, which I use less to find things and more as a bulletin board for online recipes.

Saag Paneer, the famous spinach and cheese dish that is the perfect balance of creamy and spicy, courtesy of the Food Network.
Saag paneer recipe.  I made it without the paneer since we had none and used a pound of fresh spinach (brought to a boil and drained) rather than frozen, and it still came out well.  Word to the wise -- it doesn't taste great when it's still hot.  This recipe really shines a few hours later.

This particular recipe calls for yogurt.  I used full fat FAGE yogurt, and I should also mention that I omitted the paneer (cheese) altogether.  You can use potatoes, too, to make a dish that is called "aloo saag."  In addition, I used a pound of fresh spinach cooked for 2 minutes in hot water rather than frozen.  I then used an immersion blender to make it smooth.

Note: this recipe tastes wayyyyyy better after it has settled for a few hours.  I would recommend making it ahead of time.

Red Bean Curry from the Smitten Kitchen

red kidney bean curry by smitten, via Flickr

This recipe is probably my current favorite DIY Indian dish because it really does come close to tasting like what you might have at a restaurant, or even better.

I use red beans made from scratch in the crockpot.  Ideally, the beans would soak for 6-8 hours and then cook in a crockpot overnight with onions and salt.  They don't need much more time than that.  If using black beans instead of red beans with a crock pot, then I cook them for 24 hours.

I serve both of these recipes over rice.  Sometimes I use basmati rice when I have it on hand, but otherwise, I use long grain brown rice.  The trick is really how the rice is prepared.

Lindsay's rice that is fit to serve with Indian dishes:
1 cup rice (basmati or brown long grain rice)
       If using basmati rice, then use 1 3/4 cup water.
       If using brown rice, then use 2 cups water.
10 or so cumin seeds
1 tbsp butter or olive oil or a combination thereof
1/2 tsp  - 1 tsp salt

Cover in a pan, cook until rice is done (approx 10 min for basmati and 40 min for brown rice).  Optional:  Add 5-10 safron fronds, stir in.  Set aside and fluff 3 minutes later.

These recipes have broken up an otherwise monotonous menu plan of black beans, kale, and some kind of grain, whether it be quinoa or rice or noodles.  It's nice to mix things up a bit, isn't it?  I know Calvin likes it, but let's be honest: so do I.