Lentil Cauliflower Curry

IMG_0059.JPG

This month’s movie for Food ‘n Flix couldn’t have come at a better time for me. The Lunchbox is a movie set in Mumbai, India. A lunchbox delivery service starts delivering the wrong lunchbox to the wrong man. They begin sharing notes through the lunch boxes.

I have given up meat for Lent. I’m including fish and other seafoods in Lent – the reason being to make more vegetable heavy dishes. I use Lent as my annual exercise in self-control. Given I’ve been dreaming about buckets of bacon and eating meat, clearly this is a good exercise for me.

Because so much of Indian food is vegetarian, this movie really came at a good month for me.

Ila learns that her husband has no idea that he isn’t getting the food she was making for him when he comments on her cauliflower – needless to say, she did not make him cauliflower.

tlbx00001

Though Ila may not have made her husband cauliflower, I figured I would make my boyfriend cauliflower.

I love curries in general. For such a simple meal to make, curries are packed with flavor.

This month Culinary Adventures with Cam is hosting the film. There’s just a little bit of time left if you decide to join us. If you don’t make it this month, next month we’re watching A Walk In The Clouds!

Lentil Cauliflower Curry

Ingredients
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 onion, chopped
1 chunk ginger root, minced
1 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp crushed red chili pepper
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped
1 1/2 cups dried lentils
4 cups water
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. In a pot heat over medium-high heat, heat the coconut oil. Add the onion and cook for 2 minutes.
  2. Once the onion is translucent, add the ginger, turmeric, curry powder, cumin, cinnamon, coriander, and crush red chili pepper. Cook for about 30 seconds, until fragrant.
  3. If your pan is getting dry, add some oil. Add the carrots and sweet potato to the pot and cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the lentils and water. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook for 15 minutes over low heat.
  5. Then add the cauliflower florets. Cover and cook for 20 more minutes over low heat.
  • serves 2

Food n' Flix: Eat Pray Love ROUNDUP

Advertisements

Curried Tomato Soup

IMG_9984

I rung in the new year with several goals for myself, one of which involves blogging at least once a week. I don’t know what it is that keeps me from doing this more regularly.

My first dinner of 2016 was grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup. This soup wasn’t just canned Campbell’s (which I’m not slamming!) but a curried tomato soup. It was a very warm way to start 2016 (it’s cold out!) and was a simple start to the new year.

Curried Tomato Soup

Ingredients
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 medium red onion, sliced
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp red chile flakes
1 14-oz can of whole tomatoes
3 tbsp coconut milk

Directions

  1. In a large pot melt the butter. Add the onion and salt and cook for 10 minutes, until the onions soften up.
  2. Stir in the spices and stir for 30 seconds.
  3. Stir in the tomatoes and the liquid in the cans with the juices and 3 cups of water. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Puree with a hand blender until smooth.
  5. Stir in the coconut milk

* serves 2
* This recipe is being shared with Beth Fish Reads’s Weekend Cooking.

Quick-Fried Prawns with Spices

IMG_9554

Have you noticed my banner has changed in the last few months? While I will always technically be a student of the law, I decided to make it a bit more accurate. I’ve had a busy few weeks, that aren’t over yet. It’s been trial after trial and this week I got my first not guilty. Being a criminal defense attorney, generally the verdicts come back guilty, so this is a huge victory. And as my tiredness from trial wears off this week, the next one starts Monday.

But in between court and trials and suits and high heels that hurt my feet, I’ve still found time to cook.

Anyway – this month at Belleau Kitchen’s Random Recipes we were instructed to randomly pick a book off our shelf, open it to a random page, and cook that recipe. My random number generator landed me on one of my favorite cookbooks, Best Ever Indian Cookbook. I got this book years ago, before Borders closed down, off the sale table for $9.99. I never realized it would provide me so many delicious foods.

51N73hgmUaL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

I’ve cooked out of it a lot. In fact, it’s been the book chosen by Random Recipes before too.

Anywho, this shrimp dish was in the Soups and Appetizers section and it was suggested in the book to serve it with naan. I didn’t end up doing that. I served the shrimp as the main dish and I served it over basmati rice. It was a light meal, but it was all I really needed today. I made a few alterations with the spices because I didn’t have cardamom pods or black mustard seeds.

Now, I think I’ll stop blabbering on. I could go on forever right now.

random

Quick-Fried Prawns with Spices

Ingredients
1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 inch ginger, grated
2 cloves garlic, grated
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground mustard
1 tsp ground cardamom
4 tbsp butter
1/2 cup coconut milk
salt and pepper, to taste
3 tbsp cilantro, chopped

Directions

1. Combine the ginger, garlic, chili powder, turmeric, mustard, and cardamom in a bowl. Add the shrimp and toss to coat. Set aside temporarily.

2. Heat a wok until hot. Add butter and swirl until melted.

3. Add the shrimp and spices and stir-fry for 2 minutes, until they begin to turn pink,

4. Stir in the coconut milk and simmer for 3-4 minutes, until the shrimp are cooked all the way through. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Sprinkle with coriander and serve.

* serves 4
* besides Random Recipes, this is also shared with Foodie Friday

Sweet and Sour Balti Chicken

IMG_9150I haven’t shared an actual recipe in awhile! In a month things should be different, but I’m expecting this next month to be pretty sparse in terms of updates from me.

This recipe comes from my favorite cookbook, or one of my favorite cookbooks . . . Best Ever Indian Cookbook. I got this at Border’s back when the greatest bookstore on earth was still in existence. You know, I haven’t found a bookstore I like since Border’s went defunct. I liked the organization a lot. But, anyway, I got this book for $9.99 off the clearance table there. Everything in the book, I’ve enjoyed.

I was skeptical about this dish, because while I’ve had Chinese sweet and sour chicken, what on earth is sweet and sour Indian chicken? I don’t even know if this is a thing, but this sauce was a combination of mango chutney which I got at Trader Joe’s, tomato paste, garlic, and plain yogurt. I mean, is this even a thing? Whether or not anyone has ever heard of this before, you should try it, because it’s really good. I served it with some cauliflower which I spiced with cumin and turmeric and basmati rice.

Sweet and Sour Balti Chicken

Ingredients
3 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp plain Greek yogurt
1 1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp crushed crush
2 tbsp mango chutney (either store bought or homemade)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white sugar
4 tbsp vegetable oil
1 1/2 lb chicken breast, cubed
2/3 cup water
2 jalapenos, minced
2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
2 tbsp heavy cream

Directions

1. Mix the tomato paste, yogurt, garam masala, chili powder, garlic, mango chutney, salt, and sugar in a small bowl. Mix well.

2. Heat the oil in a skillet. Once hot, lower the heat and add the yogurt mixture. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Add the chicken pieces into the sauce and stir until they are well coated.

4. Stir in the water. Continue cooking for 6 minutes, until the chicken is fully cooked.

5. Add the jalapeno, cilantro, and heavy cream. Cook for 2 more minutes over low heat.

* serves 4
* shared with Wednesday Whatsits & Cast Party Wednesday

 

Chicken Broccoli Curry and Spiced Roasted Beets

IMG_8651

When I made the beet and potato salad I had intentionally roasted more beets than I needed for that dish. I had read somewhere that it was a good idea to roast the beets all at once, even if you didn’t intend to use them right away. Honestly, I have no idea if it made a difference, but it did make making this meal super easy since the beets were already roasted.

Yesterday was a very long, tiring day. I went on a prison tour with my class. It was about a 3 hour long tour of a local prison. While obviously touring prison isn’t as stressful as being in prison, the entire experience was exhausting. I’m so glad I got the opportunity to see it though, because with my future career path it’s crucial that I’m aware of everything. I’d like to go visit other prisons in the future.

But anyway, when I got home yesterday afternoon I was exhausted. I passed out for about 2 hours after it.

By the time dinner came around I wasn’t really feeling hungry (especially because I had a very late lunch after the tour,) but I wanted to make sure I ate dinner so I didn’t wake up at midnight with the gnawing in my stomach that would result in me chowing down on things in the kitchen which I shouldn’t be chowing on. For under 600 calories, this meal was better than cracking the Nutella at midnight. I mean, the Nutella would have tasted delicious.. But.. You know.

Chicken Broccoli Curry
(source)

Ingredients
1 boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into cubes
1/2 tbsp curry powder
1/2 tbsp peanut oil
1 head broccoli, cut into florets
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tbsp ginger, peeled and grated
1 cup coconut milk
1 1/2 tbsp red curry paste
3/4 tsp cornstarch mixed with 1 tbsp cold water

Directions

1. In a small bowl toss together the curry powder and the chicken breast cubes, making sure the chicken is well seasoned.

2. In a skillet heat the peanut oil. Add the chicken breast pieces into the skillet and cook until no longer pink. Remove from the skillet.

3. Add the broccoli, garlic, and ginger into the skillet. Cook for several minutes. Add the coconut milk and simmer for 7 minutes. Add the curry paste and stir to combine. Stir the chicken back into the skillet. Bring to a slight boil and add the cornstarch. Boil for a minute and then reduce the heat and simmer for 2 minutes.

* serves 2

Spiced Roasted Beets

Ingredients
2 beets, peeled and roasted and cut into cubes
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp ground mustard
1/4 tsp coriander seed
1/4 tsp cumin seed
1/4 tsp garlic powder
2 tbsp plain yogurt
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tbsp lime juice

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Toss together the roasted beets and the rest of the ingredients. Make sure the beets are evenly coated with the spices.

3. Place in a casserole dish and bake for 15 minutes. Though the beets are already roasted, getting them hot and baking them into spices makes them all the tastier.

* serves 2
* shared with Weekend Cooking

Chicken with Spicy Onions

IMG_8623

This is a different curry than I’ve ever tasted before. It was pretty easy also.

This dish was made for two reasons (or three actually):

1. I like curry.
2. I watched the Food ‘n Flix movie of the month, Today’s Special. This month the movie is being sponsored by Kahakai Kitchen. Today’s Special is a movie about a trained French chef who takes over his family’s Indian restaurant, Tandoori Palace.
3. The random cookbook I grabbed off my shelf this month for Random Recipes was Best Ever Indian Cookbook. I got it on sale at Border’s (back when they existed) and use it quite frequently. I hadn’t made this dish before, it was the recipe I randomly opened the book to. It’s one I definitely would make again.

Since I watched Today’s Special and picked my random cookbook on the same day, it seemed to make sense to use the recipe for two different food round-ups since it was an Indian recipe and I was going to make Indian food for the movie.

This recipe called for a lot of onion. I love onions, so that was not a problem. The sauce was delicious. It wasn’t quite the same flavor of curry I usually have. It was slightly sweeter.

In other news, I realized I forgot to participate in Food ‘n Flix last month. That makes me sad.

Chicken with Spicy Onions
(from Best Ever Indian Cookbook)

Ingredients
2 chicken thighs, bone in
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp chili powder
pinch of salt
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 small onions, finely chopped
3 cups cilantro, coarsely chopped
1 inch piece fresh ginger, shredded
1 jalapeno, finely chopped
2 1/2 tsp plain yogurt
2 1/2 tsp heavy cream
1/4 tsp cornstarch

Directions

1. Rub the chicken thighs with turmeric, chili powder, and salt. Heat the oil in a cast iron skillet and fry until both sides of the chicken are sealed. At this point you don’t need to cook the chicken all the way through. Remove and set on a plate.

2. In the remaining oil add 3/4 of the onions, most of the cilantro, half of the ginger, and half of the jalapeno. Fry until the onions are translucent.

3. Return the chicken to the skillet. Mix well and cover and cook over low heat for 15 minutes.

4. In a small dish stir together the yogurt, cream, and cornstarch. Stir the yogurt mixture into the chicken.

5. Cook on low heat for several minutes. Add the remaining onions, jalapeno, ginger, and cilantro. Cook for several more minutes.

6. Serve over rice if you desire.

* serves 2
* Besides Random Recipes and Food ‘n Flix, this dish is being shared with Weekend Cooking

Black Pepper Chicken

This month over at Food ‘n Flix we’re watching a movie called The Mistress of Spices hosted by Camilla. Tilo owns a spice shop and was trained in India, honing her natural skills of being able to read people. Tilo now lives in the Bay Area, selling spices to people – being able to pick out what they need for certain situations.

I wish there was a spice shop like Tilo’s around. I would love to learn what spices are best for my current life situation – reduce my stress, make me a good lawyer, accomplish my goals… I need Tilo in my life to inspire me to use the right spices!

For this dish I focused on black pepper. I feel like pepper is something so commonly used, but easily overlooked. I use black pepper in almost everything I cook – more than salt actually. I love the spice it can add to a dish and how it can help emphasize the other flavors of the dish.

According to wikipedia, pepper originates in South East Asia and has been used in Indian cooking essentially forever. In fact, the peppercorns used to be known as “black-gold” and were used as a form of money. Look how rich I am! This dish is like eating gold!

Black pepper is now commonly used in cuisines all around the world. It’s one of the most used spices in my kitchen, so I need to remember to not neglect it and to value it for what it is.

Black Pepper Chicken

Ingredients
1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into cubes
1 tbsp plain yogurt
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1-inch fresh ginger root, skinned and minced
1 tbsp ground black peppercorns, coarsely ground
1/2 tsp red chili powder
1/8 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp ground mustard
pinch of red chili flakes
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin

Directions

1. Marinate the chicken in the yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, ginger, pepper, chili powder, turmeric, and salt. Let sit for 20 minutes in the refrigerator.

2. In a deep pan heat the vegetable oil, on high. Add the mustard and chili flakes. Fry for 15 seconds. Add the coriander and cumin, and stir for 35 seconds.

3. Add the marinated chicken to the pan, browning the chicken on each side. Lower the heat, cover with a lid, and cook for 15 minutes.

4. Serve over rice.

* serves 2
* Shared with Food ‘n Flix

Around the World in 52 Weeks: Eggplant Bharta and Peas

I’ve been the worst world traveler ever. I got sick last month and I totally fell off the cooking wagon completely, so my kitchen travels suffered. Out of this sick month though, I did only miss two of the meals I was supposed to cook (Brunei and Isle of Man). In the next two weeks I’ll be doubling up and making sure I get back on track. This was the one resolution this year that I really didn’t want to fail at, so my cold that turned to a sinus infection will not defeat me!

I’ll also be posting my most recent traveling dish on the usual Saturday. I just wanted to get back on track a little here.

So this dish is Pudina Chicken and Eggplant Bharta and Peas. As I’ve said many times, Indian food is one of my favorite cuisines. In facts, I actually have traveled to India.

It was truly one of the best experiences of my life. The only bad thing is that I got a little spoiled by good Indian food, authentic spices, fresh and delicious bananas, and even the lack of meat. I’m a little hesitant at home to make vegetarian Indian dishes because I feel like I need to use paneer, but I have no idea where to get that locally.

I know this meal is hardly authentic with the Pudina Chicken. When I was in India I didn’t eat chicken at all – everything was vegetable based or paneer based. Maybe I should have made a veg dish. Now I’m kicking myself. The pudina was good, but the bharta was better and is the recipe I’m sharing.

On another note, I’m always looking for ways to prepare vegetables I don’t like. Eggplant is that vegetable in this. I loved this preparation.

Eggplant Bharta and Peas
(source)

 Ingredients
1 eggplant
1/2 onion
1/2 cup frozen peas
3 garlic cloves
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
1/2 jalapeno
1/2 tsp ground mustard
1/4 lime
butter, as needed
oil, as needed
salt to taste

Directions

1.  Slice the eggplants in half lengthwise and spread with butter. Place the eggplants sliced-side down on a baking sheet. Roast the eggplants at 500 in the oven for about 30 minutes.

2. Place the onion, garlic, and jalapeno in a food processor and puree.

3. When the eggplant is finished roasting, use a spoon to scoop out the roasted innards. Discard the skin. Mash the eggplant until smooth.

4. In a medium saucepan heat some oil over medium-high heat and add the pureed vegetables and mustard powder. Cook until slightly browned.

5. Add the mashed eggplant and peas to the pan. Cook until warm, and then reduce temperature to low. Simmer for 10 minutes, or until the peas are fully cooked.

6. Before serving squeeze in lime juice.

7. Serve over rice.

* serves 2

I’d like to see people travel the globe with me.
Every Saturday I will be posting my recipe, as well as pictures to ethnic cuisines you have made and want to share.

– You must mention The Law Student’s Cookbook‘s Around The World In 52 Weeks in the entry you link. You can either use a link or use the banner.
– In your post you must  at least mention what cuisine the dish is.
– Email me your recipe at elizabeth@crabtech.net. Make sure to include:

* Your name or blog name
* The direct link to your post
* A picture of the dish or permission to pull a picture from the post

– Make sure to email me by Saturday at 12noon Pacific Standard Time

Balti Chicken Vindaloo

Though this is only the second dish I’ve made out of this cookbook, Best Ever Indian Cookbook by Baljerkar, Fernandez, Husain, and Kanani, it by far is becoming my favorite cookbook.

I never thought I would see the day when making an Indian dish could be done in the sparse amount of time I have between classes. I look for short, easy recipes 3 nights a week because I am swamped with class almost all day long. I was poking through this cookbook while doing my meal planning and I came upon the “Balti” section. I’ve never heard of Balti dishes before, so I was intrigued. The book describes Balti dishes as having been developed in England. Bali dishes are described as being “cooked and served in a single pan” needing o be served only with “a simple accompaniment, such as naan or bread.” Additionally, they are easy to cook, subtly spiced, and work well with a variety of protein bases.

I’m usually a butter chicken kind of girl, so this vindaloo dish stretched my typical curry experiences.

The only thing missing was some naan. I don’t know what I was thinking.

Balti Chicken Vindaloo
(From Best Ever Indian Cooking)

Ingredients
1 large potato
2/3 cup malt vinegar
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp paprika
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 1/4 cup water
8 oz boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 onions, sliced
1 tsp curry powder
2 jalapenos, chopped

Directions

1. Peel the potato. Cut into large, irregular shapes. Place in a bowl of water and set aside.

2. In a bowl, mix together the vinegar, coriander, cumin, chilli powder, turmeric, garlic powder, ginger, salt, paprika, tomato puree, and water. Pour the mixture over the chicken and set aside.

3. Heat the oil in a heavy pan and quickly fry the onions with the curry for 3-4 minutes.

4. Lower the heat and add the chicken mixture to the pan with the spices. Stir-fry for 2 minutes.

5. Drain the potato pieces and add to the pan. Cover with a lid and cook over medium to low heat for 5-7 minutes, until the sauce has thickened and the chicken and potatoes are cooked.

6. Stir in the chopped jalapenos and serve.

* serves 4
* Shared with Couscous & Consciousness‘s Cookbook Sundays and Not  Your Ordinary Recipes’s Foodie Fridays

Black-Eyed Peas and Eggplant Curry

I’ve said it over and over and over again – I love curry! I could make a resolution to only eat curries for a whole year and be happy as a clam. My boyfriend on the other hand isn’t a big curry lover, so I won’t make that resolution.

Anyway, this curry used ingredients I don’t typically use in my curries. Eggplant really just isn’t my favorite vegetable and black-eyed peas I rarely use (but I had some leftover from the black-eyed pea fritters I had made earlier.)

This dish though was fantastic. I served the curry over rice. YUM!

Black-Eyed Peas and Eggplant Curry
(source

Ingredients
1/2 eggplant
1/2 onion
1 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/8 tsp kosher salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp curry paste
1/2 tsp garam masala
2 tbsp red wine
1/2 cup black-eyed peas, frozen or canned
1/2 cup crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup vegetable broth

Directions

1. Trim the eggplant. Cut each into 1-inch pieces. Set aside. Half the onion and cut into strips. Set aside.

2. In a large saucepan heat the oil over medium-high heat for 1 minute. Add the eggplant and cook tossing for 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion, garlic, curry paste, and garam masala, stirring well. Cook for 10 minutes, until the onion is tender.

3. Increase the heat to medium-high. Add the wine and simmer, stirring often for about 5 minutes or until a thick stew is formed. Add the black-eyed peas, tomato, and broth and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

* serves 2
* 246 calories per serving
* This dish is being shared with Midnight Maniac Meatless Mondays , Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays, Tuesdays at the Table, and  Tasty Tuesday Party