In December 2015 I went to India with my best friend and colleague, and it was probably one of the loveliest trips, and certainly one of the most delicious. But years before this, I had a colleague come and visit me here in the US, and she taught me something I will never forget: How to make an authentic Indian meal. I remember savoring every last bite and have loved Indian food ever since.
And now, with the brilliance of YouTube, you can truly learn how to make any type of dish, step by step, with awesome accuracy and authenticity. But unlike baking, where you need to be precise, I love cooking Indian, because you can be everything but – and this is more my style! We hosted our friends over for a lovely Indian meal recently, and then yesterday I made another curry!
You start off with fresh ginger, fresh garlic and fresh chili peppers. If you love hot and if you love garlic, and ginger, then not only are you getting some super super-foods into your body, but also legit deliciousness!
I don’t chop finely, because you will eventually BLEND this all up in a Nutribullet or any type of Vitamix-like blender you have. If you are afraid of the hotness maybe go with less chili peppers, but for us – this is perfection.
I started off by sauteing the above. Then I added chopped red onions. The more the merrier. You can use any onions you wish. I enjoy the red ones, but have used regular onions as well in the past.
After this cooks for a few minutes, I added diced tomatoes (three cans) to the above. I let this cook for a few minutes, and then added the following SPICES: cumin powder, coriander powder, garlic powder, turmeric powder, salt, garam masala powder, red chili powder. All of these powders I either had, or purchased from a local Indian store (Kalyaan Market here in Jacksonville.)
After this cooked for a few minutes, I took it OFF the heat, and scooped into my blender. I blended this up, and it made the smoothest consistency sauce/curry.
Once the whole pot of veggies and spices was blended, I put back into the pot, put back on the heat and added one can of chick peas and cubed paneer. Paneer is Indian cottage cheese, except it looks and is nothing like the cottage cheese we are used to. It’s looks like extra extra extra firm tofu and absolutely my most favorite grub to add to this curry. I also purchased the paneer at the Indian store, as Publix did not have any except some in Amy’s Indian frozen meals.
Lastly, I made myself a bowl with a side of Jasmine rice and some coconut oil (on the rice). It was heaven and perfection and so delicious and I can’t wait to have it again!
Here is a photo of the same dish I made the other day, except for this one, I added two bags of spinach as well. Check out that GREEN color, it’s so beautiful, and tastes so delicious.
Indian food is extremely comforting to me. It is fun to make, and the spices blend so well with all any vegetables or meats or poultry. You can add lamb to the curry, or add cauliflower, or mushrooms, or potatoes, or chicken. Truly anything and everything. I personally like the idea that this creamy lovely spicy hot sauce/curry, is made up of just vegetables, and spices (not flour or anything extremely heavy carb). To reduce the hot spice, you can add a bit of heavy whipping creme towards the end. Also, any addition of coconut oil, makes the dish sweeter.
Here is a little financial breakdown of the cost of the ingredients:
coriander powder – $4.49 (big!)
ginger & garlic powder – $4.49 (big!)
garam masala powder – $4.99 (bag! big!)
fresh ginger – $0.48 (size of half hand)
paneer – $9.99
chili peppers – $0.20 (large handful)
diced tomatoes can – $0.69/can
red onions – $1.79/bag
garlic – $0.99 (for three)
chili powder – $1.19
olive oil – $3.99 or
sesame organic oil – $3.99
fresh leaf spinach – $2.98
Jasmine Rice $4.79 (1 million servings :))
As you can see, it can be a fairly cost effective meal or cost effective for multiple meals, especially since once you invest in the spices, they can last a whole year plus, depending on how often you cook with them! If you add lamb or an animal protein, the cost goes up, but you can even make this vegetarian or even vegan and keep the costs really down!
Cheers to YUM and trying something new!