Tag Archives: Indian

Samosa Potato Salad

"This is the best potato salad I have ever had."

Everyone who tries it

samosa potato salad

This is what happens when a favorite Indian street food and a favorite picnic dish collide in my thoughts at 3 a.m. The amount of cayenne can be varied to alter the spiciness, but the 1/4 teaspoon called for in the recipe adds just enough for most tastes, while keeping the other flavors balanced. Use a good quality curry powder.

 

Ingredients:
3 lbs. small yellow potatoes, diced into bite-sized pieces
2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 C yellow onion, diced (about 1 medium onion)
4 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
1 3/4 tbsp curry powder
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tbsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp lime juice
1 1/4 C mayonnaise (use Vegenaise to make it vegan)
3/4 C fresh cilantro, chopped
1 C green peas, cooked

Directions:
In a large pot, boil potatoes in lightly salted water just until tender. Drain and set aside.

Return pan to medium heat; add olive oil. Add onions, ginger, curry, coriander, cumin, cayenne, and salt. Saute until onions are tender and spices are fragrant. Remove from heat. Add lime juice, mayonnaise, and cilantro.

Combine peas, potatoes, and onion mixture in a large bowl. Stir to combine. Chill for an hour before serving.

What I Ate Wednesday: Vegan MoFo #18

It has been a busy week. I feel like I’m running out of steam with creating recipes. It’s probably because I’m busy creating Halloween costumes and trying to figure out where I’m going to find a Dragonball Z Vegeta costume wig a week before Halloween. I’m probably going to end up shaping one myself from whatever I can find at the local costume shop. It’s a good thing my friend who moved to Germany left her giant can of AquaNet.

On to the foods!

Lentil Dal

I think I found a spot with great lighting at the Red Herring. No level adjustments needed on this baby. No adjustments needed to the flavors in this red lentil dal, either. It was served over brown rice with a lime wedge as you can see. I chose to double up the curry and have it with curried pumpkin soup. This warmed me up for at least an hour, the first time I felt warm all day. There’s usually a month delay between AC and heat in my university building, during which I can be found in my office working in a parka and fingerless gloves.

 

Black Bean Burger, red light version

Do not adjust your screens, you have not been transported to the red light district! You’re at the table with the red light at the Red Herring. This is the black bean patty, a Herring original and definitely the most interesting veggie or bean burger I’ve had. Here’s a better picture:

 

Black Bean Burger

The patty has many interesting ingredients, among them beets, black beans, and prunes. The chef tells me she makes her own A1-style sauce for the burger. Amazing. I had to restrain myself from having this one again today. This is MoFo, and we need variety! The soup is butternut squash.

 

Chipotle Bean and Rice Burrito

This Chipotle Burrito was a quick lunch on the way to Chicago. I was happy to discover they now serve brown rice as an option. I like mine with corn salsa and medium salsa. No guacamole this time, since I was eating it in the car and didn’t want to make a mess. It has a nice ethereal glow, doesn’t it?

 

Spicy Channa Aloo

I haven’t had Indian food at a restaurant in some time. This is channa aloo and vegetable pakoras (cauliflower) from Bombay Indian Restaurant. It was very hot. And the next day, the leftovers were hotter.

 

Get your veggies and fruits at Walgreens!

Let’s hear it for Walgreens, advertising fresh fruits and vegetables (to go!). This is probably the closest source of produce for a lot of people on campus.

 

General Tso's Tofu

I think you can probably General Tso-ify anything, and tofu is no exception. This is from Cravings Restaurant in Champaign.

 

Ground Nut Stew

Ground nut stew from the Red Herring was a tasty part of last week’s lunches. Lots of vegetables here, but the sweet potatoes were the highlight. And twice in two weeks, I’ve been served the ends of the English muffin bread… my favorite pieces!

 

Random Eating: Aug. 28 – Sep. 3

seitan fajitas

Seitan Fajitas: Simple Seitan from Veganomicon (similar recipe on Post Punk Kitchen), sauteed with taco seasonings (chili powder, paprika, cumin, onion, garlic), water, and vinegar. I was going for a chorizo-type flavor. It was very tasty, but I’m not sure about the texture of simmered seitan. I like it more chewy, like what you get from the Julie Hasson steaming method.

peaches and greens smoothie

It was still hot this week (it’s September already!) so I had a few smoothies. This is a Peaches and Greens Smoothie: coconut milk, agave nectar, kale, frozen bananas, frozen peaches.

ukranian borscht and waldorf salad

Lunch at work: red peppers and basic homemade hummus, grapes, waldorf salad (granny smith apples, black raisins, walnuts, cinnamon, low-fat Vegenaise), with Ukranian Borscht from Common Ground Co-Op.

portabella steak dinner

Portabella steak dinner: steak sauce-marinated mushrooms, yellow basmati rice, sauteed zucchini.

zaatar

This week I finally tried Za’atar. I am SO addicted! I’ve seen this many times at World Harvest foods, always sold in what seemed like very large bags, and wondered… who would need that much of a spice? Now I know.

Za’atar is a mixture of thyme, oregano, sumac, sesame seeds, salt, and other spices that you can mix with olive oil and use as a spread, dip, or condiment. I like it mixed with olive oil on bread. I sprinkled it on some spring mix salad. It’s also good with hummus.  I should make some chapatis for dipping.

channa masala with zaatar

Here is more za’atar, with basmati rice and channa masala.

mobile crockpot unit

Despite the 90 degree heat this week, I made a big hot crock pot of vegan chili to share with colleagues. Everyone liked it. I’ve made chili twice in the last two weeks, and I’m a little tired of it, so I think I’ll freeze the leftovers for later.

Indian Lentils + Coconut Makhani Sauce – Failed Ravioli = Soup

makhani lentil soup

There’s a best practice in debugging computer programs that recommends changing only one variable at a time in order to isolate the problem. I’ve also found this to be true when trying new ingredients, techniques, and combinations in cooking: try only one new thing at a time!

Failure to follow this rule resulted in some really bad ravioli last weekend. My vision was to combine Indian flavors in an Italian preparation: Indian-spiced lentils and carrots, stuffed into a chickpea flour ravioli, topped with a creamy makhani sauce made with coconut milk.

I’ve never made fresh pasta, or worked with chickpea flour. The result? Gummy, chewy, too-thick pasta with an odd, beany flavor. Not good.

At least the other components of the dish worked well on their own. These Indian-spiced French green lentils were simple to make and worked well as a side dish later in the week. The Coconut Makhani Sauce tasted like a warmly-spiced, slightly creamy tomato soup. They worked well together, too!

French lentilsLentils are fantastic. These are French green lentils, prior to cooking.

I’m offering the lentils and sauce as separate recipes. If you have other uses for one of the recipes, please share them!

Indian Spiced French Lentils

Ingredients:
1 tsp olive oil
1 1/4 cup french lentils, sorted and rinsed
2 cups vegetable broth
1 medium white onion, diced
1 large carrot, shredded (about 3/4 cup)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
2 black cardamom pods

Instructions:
In a saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, garlic, cinnamon, coriander, cumin and cardamom pods and sauté until tender. Add lentils and broth, and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes, or until lentils are tender. Do not overcook lentils, or they will become mushy. Cooking time will depend on the age of your lentils. Older lentils are generally more dry and may take longer to cook, or require a bit more water.

Serve with rice, or add to Coconut Makhani Sauce to create a soup.

Coconut Makhani Sauce

Ingredients:
1/4 cup Earth Balance, melted
1/4 cup ginger, finely minced
6-7 garlic cloves, pressed
2 black cardamom pods
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp celery seed, crushed
5  cups tomato sauce
1/8 tsp cayenne
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
Salt to taste
1 14 oz can coconut milk

Instructions:
Heat Earth Balance in a saucepan. Add cinnamon, cardamom pods, and mustard seed.

Once the seeds start to sizzle, add ginger, garlic, salt, and cayenne. Cook until small bubbles form on surface of the mixture.

Add tomato paste or tomato puree, cinnamon powder and celery seed.

Simmer the sauce for about 30 minutes, until reduced by about one third.

Just before serving, whisk in coconut milk and simmer for about 5 minutes.

Random Eats: Week of July 31

Tofu with Black Bean Garlic Sauce from Cravings Restaurant, Champaign, IL. We love the owner of this place. He will cook us anything. My favorite dish is the green beans with spicy lemongrass. Their szechuan chili oil dishes are served sizzling-hot in little iron kettles, and will make you cough from across the room, they are so extremely spicy.

Black Bean Garlic Tofu

Our regular Channa Masala, cooked on the stove instead of the crock pot, with added cubes of super firm tofu. After marinating in the sauce, the texture is very, very close to paneer. I foresee a lot of vegetable + indian tomato gravy + cubed tofu combinations in my future.

channa masala with tofu

Pita with Cashew Goat Cheese (Vegetarian Times), fresh basil, and local tomatoes. With some fruit and nuts, it was enough to fuel a 9-mile run.

tomato basil pita with vegan goat cheese

Very Red Berry Smoothie. Super thick, almost like a dessert. I think this one contained frozen dark sweet cherries, frozen mixed berries (blackberries, raspberries, blueberries), kale, golden flax meal, coconut milk, and a little cocoa powder.

red berry smoothie

I didn’t get a picture of the finished product for the ingredients below, but they became sauteed zucchini with Penzeys Greek Seasoning. Lance and I battled over the second helpings.

zucchini with greek seasoning

Finds: ZerGüt Peppetizer

“Finds” are products I like enough to recommend. I haven’t been paid to write about them, nor have I obtained them as free samples (unless specified).

ZerGüt Peppetizer is a chunky spread with a thick salsa-like consistency. It’s made from crushed roasted peppers, roasted eggplant, tomatoes, and onions. All pronounceable ingredients here. It is mild and not spicy (to my taste), and would probably not be considered “hot” to anyone except those used to very bland foods. The label indicates it is medium spicy, but I don’t think so. (It is also available in a “hot” version.)

Despite the eggplant, it’s not exactly baba ghanoush. The pepper flavors predominate. Everything tastes deliciously roasted.

I’ve used Peppetizer as a sandwich spread, mixed it with some Vegenaise to dress a pasta salad, and eaten it with crackers. It would be great on a veggie burger, or with falafel.

World Harvest (my favorite local ethnic food store) as well as some other stores, offer several brands of similar spreads, but this one is my favorite. Some others I’ve tried were too briny or had too much vinegar. ZerGüt Peppetizer’s predominant flavors are definitely peppers and eggplant.

If you’re looking for a break from traditional chip-and-dip offerings, pick up some ZerGüt Peppetizer and whole grain tortilla chips.

Samosas with Cilantro Chutney

samosas with cilantro chutney

These Vegetable Samosas from VegWeb.com were the first item to be devoured at Potluck #1 (of 3) this weekend. I made a large batch of filling, with curry powder instead of Korma sauce, so I might have to make some more dough.

The cilantro chutney (sometimes labeled coriander chutney if you’re looking for a pre-made version), is a quick recipe I created. Like many of the things I come up with, it’s a combination of 2 or 3 recipes I’ve seen on the web, adapted to whatever I have on hand, and rarely measured accurately since I always adjust things to our tastes.

Cilantro Chutney

Ingredients:
1/4 large white onion, roughly chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, roughly chopped, including seeds and ribs
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp mustard seed
juice of 1/2 lime
1 large bunch cilantro, ends of stems removed
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
In a food processor, combine onion, jalapeño, cumin, mustard seed, and lime juice. Pulse until chopped finely. Be careful not to breathe the aerated jalapeño juice!

Wash and dry cilantro, then chop into about 4 sections, breaking up stems so it will fit into your food processor. Don’t be afraid the use the stems… they have a lot of flavor. Add to food processor, and process until smooth. Drizzle in olive oil until well blended. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Crock Pot Channa Masala

PCRM’s 21-Day Vegan Kickstart begins tomorrow. I’m going to give it a try. I don’t feel like I’m “giving up” all the things I can’t have (or more accurately, that I choose not to have). I see it as an opportunity – for better health, to reduce my footprint on the world, and to discover new tastes. Many of the dishes I already love are vegan. Like this one, a family-favorite Indian dish. It’s easy to prepare in a slow cooker, and the chickpeas turn out perfectly.

If your slow cooker has a removable stoneware crock like mine does, you can even assemble it the night before and store the crock in the fridge, then pull it out in the morning and plug it in. Dinner will be waiting for you, and your house will smell amazing.

Crock Pot Channa Masala

1 29 oz (large) can chickpeas, undrained
1 28 oz (large) can crushed tomatoes
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 carrots, sliced
5-6 cloves garlic, crushed
1 inch piece fresh ginger, chopped
2 bay leaves
2 black cardamom pods
2 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp coriander
1 tbsp dried parsley flakes
2 tbsp garam masala
few dashes cayenne (or more to taste)

Combine all ingredients in crock pot. Cook on low for 8 hours, with the lid off for the last hour so it can thicken. Serve with hot cooked basmati rice or naan, and garnish with chopped fresh cilantro.