Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Secret to Easy Indian Food - Cumin, Coriander, Turmeric, Onion, Garlic, Ginger

Red kidney bean curry with cauliflower

For years, I found Asian food way too intimidating to experiment with at home. I have always loved going out for Indian, Vietnamese, Japanese, and especially Thai food, but my palette never has been able to identify all of the flavors so I wouldn't know where to begin. I was inspired by my absolute favorite food blogger Deb of Smitten Kitchen and noticed a common theme in all of her and most other approachable Indian recipes. They all start with sauteing the herbs first along with the garlic, onion, and ginger to maximize their flavor before adding additional ingredients. These 6 simple things make for the foundation of so many delicious healthy and plant based dishes you wouldn't believe what you can do. Deb has a page dedicated to recipes from a cumin junkie and they are all wonderful. The indian spiced cauliflower and potatoes is remarkably filling for an all vegetable dish and I find meat-eaters never complain when it's served as a main course. I made one of my all time favorites last night, the red kidney bean curry that I love to add any vegetables I have on hand to. It calls for cumin seed in addition to cumin, but I've never had it on hand and the dish always comes out delicious. You'll notice it involves sauteing the spices right away when the tomato sauce is added and yum yum is that a fragrant wonderful experience! I made it last night with cauliflower and jalapeno as a sub for the green chilies, poured it over rice, and it re-heats into perfect hot lunch the next day. Remember to use glass travel containers whenever lunch is being heated to avoid chemicals leeching into the food!

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