In keeping with the heart healthy theme for the month of February, here is another example of what I serve on the dinner table at least once or twice a week. An all vegetarian meal incorporating Indian spices and flavors. We enjoy all types of cuisines from around the world, but I’ll have to say we’re both partial to Indian cuisine. I try to add fish to our weekly menu too. There’s nothing quite like a fresh catch grilled, pan fried or barbecued.
As promised, here is another curry that will warm you up from head to toe. We are finally going to experience our first substantial snowfall of this season, (which is projected to be a blizzard), so what better way than to celebrate with a couple of hearty and robust curries. The paneer dish (Indian cheese) below was replicated from Naina’s Blog “Spice in the City”. Take a peek around her blog, it is simply amazing with an array of recipes all strikingly showcased. I especially liked the creaminess of this dish derived from the ground cashews with a dollop of sour cream. I made a few adjustments to her recipe, but if you’d like her full recipe, click here.
I’ve been blogging for just over a year and a half now and in that time, I’ve come to appreciate fellow bloggers from near and far. You could be following someone’s blog in Turkey, Spain or Argentina, but also blogs from folks who live on the same continent as yourself. There are just so many facets that make up the blogging world, but one that I’m most passionate about is continuing to learn about the various cuisines around the world and forging friendships via a common medium. I’ve come across so many amazing blogs (mine pales in comparison), it definitely is a learning curve when all is said and done. There are a few favorite Indian bloggers that I follow, and I’ve got to say, whenever a dish strikes my fancy, I bookmark it and try it out. Today, I’m featuring Indian vegetarian cuisine.
In the hopes of incorporating some more vegetarian meals in our diet, I set out to explain to hubby why we should be eating purely vegetarian at least 3-4 times a week. I hear his grunts, his moans and I ignore them. Don’t get me wrong, we do try to eat sensibly, fish, vegetables and often chicken or turkey. We try to stay away from red meat, but do indulge every so often. There’s nothing like a nice roast lamb, a good beef stew, a juicy steak and hubby’s favorite pork chops. There are a few vegetarian bloggers that come up with such a variety of dishes, it just blows me away. I’ve made a couple of vegetarian dishes today, including my surprise dessert at the end of this post.
The above was a Potato/Tomato and Mushroom Gratin. I just added spices as I went along, and it was super-perfect! I sauteed and caramelized the onions first, then added some garlic, oregano, Italian seasonings, fresh parsley, thyme, rosemary and some white wine. I added cherry tomatoes and layered the casserole with potatoes and alternated with a layer of the vegetable mixture. I baked it in the oven covered for 40 minutes, then added some grated Parmesan and rammed it under the broiler for a few seconds. It was a hit, hubby loves potatoes in anything, so this was a winner!
My next vegetarian dish is an old favorite – Spicy Okra in a rich tomato sauce
Spicy Okra in a rich tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 medium onions, sliced
- 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 long fresh green chillies, chopped
- 4 curry leaves
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon ground sweet paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 kg okra
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1/4 cup firmly packed fresh coriander leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
- Heat oil in large pan; cook onions, stirring until browned lightly. Add the seeds, cook, stirring until seeds start to pop. Add garlic, chillies, curry leaves, ground coriander, turmeric, paprika and ginger; cook, stirring until fragrant.
- Add okra, stir to coat in the spice mixture. Add water, paste, vinegar and sugar, boil, then immediately simmer covered about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally or until okra is tender. Just before serving, stir in coriander leaves and sprinkle with garam masala.
My last dish I will be presenting today is Secretly Healthy Fudge Bites. Would you believe it if I told you the ingredients included a can of black beans? I’ve made these a few times, and they definitely satisfy my inner chocolate cravings. Pitted dates, applesauce, Hershey’s cocoa powder and chocolate chips were among some of the other ingredients. I’ve frozen a secret stash for a rainy day :)). Just look at the chocolatey goodness with a light drizzle of chocolate ganache to down it all 🙂 The best part??? You cannot even taste the black beans. We had some friends around for dinner last night. Their wee 5 year old, asked for seconds, what a great way to get the healthy benefits in :))
I’m off to Fiesta Friday #60, hosted by the ever lovely and gracious Angie@TheNoviceGardener. This week her co-hosts are Tracy@ScratchitCook and Nancy@FeastingwithFriends. I’m very excited that Angie has worked hard to implement a self-hosted site for us, we can now, dance, mingle, drink, feast and party on till the wee hours. Thanks Tracy and Nancy, be sure to check out their creative blogs friends. Also, let’s be sure to welcome newcomers, comment on other blogs, enjoy each others creations and have a rollicking good time. Cheers friends 🙂