Real Foods of India Pt. 4

You are checking out Part 4 of the Real Foods of India cooking series.

Indian cuisine has opened my eyes to a different world of flavor. Whether you’re cooking for meat lovers or vegetarians, Northern or Southern Indians, there is a cuisine for everyone.

Throughout the 4 part series I’ve focused on recipes I learned while attending the Real Foods of India cooking class at the Milestone Culinary Arts Center. Minal Jhaveri, from Gourmet Journey, was a wonderful host and taught us some amazing vegetarian dishes. The great thing about these dishes is the versatility. You can use the base of the recipes to get you started, but feel free to sub out the different ingredients for more of your favorites. Check out the tips for each dish to help you along the way.

Last week I covered Saag Paneer and Saffron & Nuts Pulav and now I’m down to the final two dishes. These are the ultimate in Indian comfort food; flavorful, hearty, and absolutely delicious. So give these recipes a try and feel free to tell me your favorite Indian meals!


Samosa Puffs

The samosa is a lightly spiced, puffed pastry, stuffed with potatoes and peas. It can be served as an accompaniment to the meal or as an appetizer.

Serves: 4-6
Preparation Time: 15-20 min
Cooking Time: 20 min

Ingredients

  • 1 red potato
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 tsp coriander-cumin powder or coriander powder
  • 2 tsp chat masala
  • 1/2 tsp salt (optional)
  • 1 tsp amchur powder (dried mango powder) or lemon juice
  • 1 puff pastry sheet or 2 uncooked flour tortillas
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, minced
  • 1 serrano chili, minced (optional)

Method

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Dice the potato into small pieces and boil. Boil the frozen peas or heat in microwave for 2-3 min.

Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl, add the potatoes and peas, and mix together using a potato masher. Set aside.

Cut the sheet of Puff Pastry into 3-4 inch squares. Put 1-2 tbsp of stuffing onto each square. Fold edges to form a small triangle. Gently press down the sides to seal.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

If using uncooked flour tortillas or fresh tortillas:

  • Cut tortilla into 4 triangular halves
  • Fill with stuffing and fold to form a small triangle
  • Stick sides with sticky paste (see below)
  • Heat vegetable oil in a wok or a deep pan
  • Deep-fry the samosa to a golden brown color

Sticky Paste:

  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp water

Mix together in a small bowl until it feels sticky

Tip:

  • In most Indian homes and restaurants you’ll find a bowl of dry roasted fennel seeds. Chew on a few seeds after dinner to help freshen your breathe, and aid in digestion.

Shrikhand

Saffron pudding made with yogurt, served with a meal or as dessert.

Serves: 3

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups plain yogurt *Tip
  • 1/2 cup regular sour cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 7-8 (approx) strands of saffron
  • pinch of cardamom powder
  • 1-2 whole cardamoms or 10-15 cardamom seeds *Tip
  • 1 tsp sliced almonds
  • 1 tsp crushed unsalted pistachios

Method:

Tie up the yogurt in a piece of cheesecloth, or a thin cloth, for 5-6 hours to drain out the water. *Tip

Mix the yogurt, sour cream, and sugar in a large bowl to form a smooth mixture.

Crush saffron strands in a little water, remove, then add to the yogurt mixture. Add whole cardamom and cardamom powder, stir well.

Garnish with pistachios and almonds. Roast the almonds for a few minutes before combining to add an extra layer of flavor.

Serve cold.

Tips:

  • Do not use fat free or low fat yogurt due to excess water content
  • Crush the cardamom with a rolling pin to bring out more flavor
  • Yogurt must be drained for at least 2 hours (5-6 hours for the best result)
  • Fresh fruit makes a delicious accompaniment

Restaurant & Grocery (Dallas area)

*What’s your favorite Indian food restaurant and Market?



Neon Indian is an Indie/Electronic band out of Texas and Brooklyn. I love their song “Deadbeat Summer” and it fits this balmy summer day perfectly!

Click on the numbers to view Parts 12, and 3 of Real Foods from India.

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