The Indian Food Thread

SoapMakingForum

Help Support SoapMakingForum:

IrishLass

Staff member
Admin
Moderator
Joined
Feb 11, 2008
Messages
17,281
Reaction score
11,086
Location
Right here, silly!
Okay, all you Indian food lovers, here's our thread! Everybody join in and contribute! :-o

One of my favorite dishes from our favorite Indian restaurant is their Palak Paneer. After many tries at trying to duplicate it at home (by much guessing and tasting and guessing and tasting and scouring through the internet), this is what I came up with. To us, it tastes very, very close to the one we enjoy at the restaurant- not 100% exact, but close enough for us to scarf it down with gusto, lol. It might seem long and complicated, but looks can be deceiving. It's so easy and quick once everything has been prepped:

Ingredients:

1 tbsp. ghee (for sautéing the onions/spices, etc.)
20 oz. frozen spinach, thawed
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. grated fresh ginger
2 dry red chili peppers, whole
1 c. finely chopped onion
4 sprigs fresh cilantro, chopped
8 oz. can crushed tomatoes
8 oz. block of paneer (Indian cheese)
2 tbsp. ghee (to cook paneer/cheese in)
1/2 c. plain yoghurt (lowfat or full-fat)
1/2 c. heavy cream
1 c. lowfat buttermilk
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. ground turmeric
3 tsp. curry powder (I'm partial to Penzey's Sweet Curry Powder)
1 tsp. garam masala
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper (or to taste)


Directions (prep):

1- In a small prep bowl, add the cumin, coriander, turmeric, curry powder, gram masala, cayenne, and salt. Set aside.
2- In a separate small prep bowl, add the minced garlic and grated ginger. Set aside.
3- In a separate small prep bowl, add the chopped cilantro. Set aside.
4- In a medium bowl, add the yoghurt, buttermilk, and heavy cream. Whisk until smooth. Set aside.

Directions (cook):

A- In a medium-sized Dutch oven or pot heat 1 tbsp. ghee over med-high heat until shimmering. Turn heat to medium and add onions, cooking until soft and golden (about 8 to 10 minutes).
B- To the pot, add the prep bowl of dried spices, the prep bowl of garlic/ginger and the 2 whole chili peppers. Cook over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes until very fragrant.
C- Add the crushed tomatoes. Cook for about 3 minutes or so, and then add the bowl of yoghurt, buttermilk and heavy cream, cooking and stirring on medium until heated through.
D- Add the thawed spinach and cook until heated through (about 3 minutes). Remove from heat.
E- In 2 batches, puree the spinach mixture in a food processor for about 15 pulses or so until it is of a consistency you like. Pour back into the pot and cover to keep warm while you prepare the paneer.....
F- Cut the paneer into cubes.
G- Heat the 2 tbsp. of ghee on med-high heat in a frying pan until shimmering. Turn heat down to medium and add paneer, cooking and stirring off and on until just barely golden. Watch very closely so it does not burn, which it will do in the blink of an eye if you're not careful.
H- Drain cooked paneer on paper towels and add to the palak (spinach mixture). Heat through, add the chopped cilantro, and serve.

How do you folks make yours (inquiring minds want to know!)?


IrishLass :)
 

not_ally

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2014
Messages
2,939
Reaction score
1,690
Location
Los Angeles
OK, this is going to take a bit of research, IL. To my consternation, after I promised you a good cilantro chutney recipe I could not find mine! And the ones that I did find when I searched - even from good sources - included stuff that I would not use or omitted things that I wouild.

Also, I need to watch my mom carefully and see what she does when she cooks. She has always been an amazing cook, and we have all taken it for granted, our whole lives. She is starting to get dementia now, so I want to start collecting memories (and good recipes!). Thank you for starting the thread, it will be better for me than you all, in the end.
 
Last edited:

doriettefarm

Lifetime Supporter
Joined
May 12, 2010
Messages
1,342
Reaction score
1,123
Location
Alabama
IrishLass - that recipe looks so yummy! It's giving me flashbacks of the best aloo palak I've ever tasted. Also wanted to let you know that I made some liquid soap this weekend using your glycerin method and it turned out great so mucho thanks!

Here's my contribution to the recipe thread. My hubs made it last week with okra and tomatoes from our garden . . . big thumbs up. He also added some boiled potatoes after cooking the okra but you could also serve over rice.

Okra with Tomatoes/Mayai Wara Bhinda (from Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian cookbook)

1/4 cup peanut or canola oil
1lb fresh okra, tops & tails removed then cut into 1/4 thick rounds
3 medium tomatoes (12oz), peeled and chopped
2 medium garlic cloves, peeled and mashed to a pulp
2Tbsp fresh lime juice
1/2tsp ground coriander
1/2tsp ground cumin
1/8tsp ground turmeric
1/4tsp cayenne
3/4tsp salt (or to taste)
fresh ground black pepper (to taste)

Put the oil in a large, preferably nonstick frying pan and set over medium-high heat. When hot, put in the cut okra. Stir and fry for 7-10 mins. When the okra starts to brown, turn the heat down to med and cook, stirring, another 3-4 mins. The okra will have browned a bit more. Turn the heat down to low and cook 2-3 mins, or until the okra is almost tender. Now put in all the remaining ingredients. Stir gently and cook on low heat for 4-5 mins, or until all flavors have melded and the tomatoes have dried a little. Check for salt, adding more if you need it.

Serves 3-4
 

kumudini

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2015
Messages
824
Reaction score
404
IL, I used to make my own paneer fresh and actually used a recipe that I came up with, it involves fresh spinach and no ghee or heavy cream and no paneer being fried( fresh one doesn't need frying). But it was **** good, even kids used to say kumudini auntie makes the best Palak paneer. Am I teasing? May be, here's my recipe:
Base:

Fresh spinach 1 lb
Large red onion 1 sliced
Ginger 1" piece chopped
Garlic 3 cloves
Olive oil 2 tbsp

Coming together:

Olive oil 2 tbsp
Kala jeera 2 tsp
Red onion 1/2 of a large one fine diced
Green chili peppers 2-4, sliced lengthwise
Salt to taste
Cayenne pepper powder 1 tsp
Turmeric 1/4 tsp
Coriander powder 2 tsp
Cumin powder 1 tsp
Garam Masala 1 tsp
Tomato 2 large, finely chopped/ puréed
Puréed base
Fresh Paneer cubed - to your heart's desire.

Method:
Heat olive oil in a large pan
Add ginger and garlic pieces and sauté till fragrant
Add sliced onion and sauté till translucent
Add washed spinach and close with lid. Cook for 10 min.

Let cool and grind to smooth paste.

Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a pan and add kala jeera, let splutter a bit.
Add onion and green chili and salt and sauté till golden brown.
Add spice powders and sauté for 30 seconds.
Then add chopped tomato and let cook on a med low heat until raw smell is gone and you start to see oil droplets on surface.
Add the spinach paste and let cook for 5 min on low heat.
Add paneer cubes and cook for few more min.
IL, for you specifically, add a bunch of chopped cilantro and enjoy.

ETA: I never used heavy cream in this because the yumminess of spinach and onion tame the heat enough that even kids could handle. But if you need to, by all means use cream or go easy on the spices.
 
Last edited:

kumudini

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2015
Messages
824
Reaction score
404
Off the cuff, the green chutney is a mixture of fresh mint, cilantro, green chili, grated coconut, roasted peanuts and salt with lime juice added at the last, adjusting the amount to taste.
The Indian kind of mixer and grinder or the high powered blenders like blendtec/ vitamix do a fine job grinding it up, although the non Indian ones might need a little added water to blend smoothly.

A large bunch each of mint and cilantro
2-3 Thai green chili
2 tbsp grated fresh coconut ( the kind you could find in freezers in Indian grocers)
2 tbsp roasted and skinned peanuts
Salt to taste
Lime juice to taste.

This should most definitely do it.
 

not_ally

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2014
Messages
2,939
Reaction score
1,690
Location
Los Angeles
Ok, this is the first recipe I have ever tried to create. It took a really long time to remember/type and still seems as if an insane person came up with it, I am sure there are tons of missing steps. But it is easy and really good, and the process of trying to remember/type it up was fun for me. I am 100% sure that if anyone is ever brave enough to try it there will be questions, so please ask.

I will add more reliable recipes from my mom (the actual Indian food expert) later :)

Masala Shrimp


Ingredients:


3 TB vegetable oil (actually not sure how much, exactly, just make sure the onions are caramelized in step one, then add oil if necessary after putting in the shrimp and ginger in step two.)


1 lb shrimp, unshelled and butterflied.


1 small onion, diced fine.


1 jalapeno pepper, including seeds (I use three but I am Indian.), diced fine.


1 inch cube ginger, grated.


1/2 TB turmeric powder.


1 Tspn cayenne powder.



1 Tspn salt (actually, I am not sure how much exactly, I always oversalt so went under and you can add).


Process:

De-shell/butterfly shrimp. Marinate in 1 TB vegetable oil, 1/2 TB turmeric, 1 Tspn cayenne, 1 Tspn salt. Mix it all up well with your hands, they are going to be pretty yellow afterwards. No need to marinate for long, 20 ms or so. Wash your hand well so that the cayenne doesn’t burn your eyes if you touch them by mistake. I actually put some veg. oil into my hands, oil them up, and then wash them off w/soap, that is the best way to remove the chili compounds.


Dice onion into small bits


Fry onion in 2 TB veg oil on medium high until caramelized/uniformly brown. Increase heat if necessary to get brown.


Add chili and fry/stir until tender (2 ms on medium?).



Add marinated shrimp. Cook on medium until shrimp is almost done.



Add shredded ginger and cook for two more minutes on high, or until shrimp is done. Opinions vary here, traditionally we cook the hell out of them, until they have absorbed most all of the spices and are almost kind of chewy. Westerners generally prefer them much more tender.
 
Last edited:

kumudini

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2015
Messages
824
Reaction score
404
I'm glad I brought up cilantro in that other thread. Here we are, talking about Indian food. It makes me happy in a way. As an avid cook, I look through recipes wherever I see them and find that Indian food doesn't get the coverage it deserves in main stream media. I have seen some blatant denial in the form of a Samosa recipe copy, termed potato dumplings. I knew that people love the food. Yesterday we took hubby's niece who is visiting to an Indian restaurant that's new to us. All the tables there were filled with non Indians. I don't understand why Indian cuisine doesn't get mentioned except very rarely. I love good food, no matter the origins. But if I make a Chinese fried rice, I say so. And I don't call my hummus as chick pea chutney.
OMG, is this a rant? I will stop. I just love that we have this thread now. Hope all the food lovers get something out of it.
B, please work on getting your mom's recipes, for yourself. Mom's cooking is comfort, in more ways than you ever realize. I'm glad I have most of my mother's as I used to cook under her guidance during my teen years.
 

snappyllama

Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2014
Messages
3,910
Reaction score
3,040
Location
Near Charlotte NC
Chicken Tikka Masala

This is a recipe I got off of Allrecipes.com. I follow it mostly exactly (reducing the salt and cumin to what I wrote here), except that I sometimes cook the chicken on the stove top if it's not grilling weather. It's not nearly as good as I've had at some restaurants, but it's passable. :)

1 cup yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
4 long skewers
1 tablespoon butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro


Directions
1.In a large bowl, combine yogurt, lemon juice, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, black pepper, ginger, and 2 teaspoons salt. Stir in chicken, cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour.

2. Preheat a grill for high heat.

3. Lightly oil the grill grate. Thread chicken onto skewers, and discard marinade. Grill until juices run clear, about 5 minutes on each side.

4. Melt butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic and jalapeno for 1 minute.

5. Season with paprika, and a little salt (to taste). Stir in tomato sauce and cream.

6. Simmer on low heat until sauce thickens, about 20 minutes.

7. Add grilled chicken, and simmer for 10 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter, and garnish with fresh cilantro.
 
Last edited:

kumudini

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2015
Messages
824
Reaction score
404
Snappy, your recipe needs garlic along with ginger, ground cloves in the spice mix and onions in the sauce. The onion, ginger and garlic are like the trinity of Indian cooking and onions need to almost disappear without ever getting burnt, that's when you get the authentic Indian taste.

ETA: also some coriander powder in the marinade. Thought I mentioned it
 
Last edited:

snappyllama

Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2014
Messages
3,910
Reaction score
3,040
Location
Near Charlotte NC
Snappy, your recipe needs garlic along with ginger, ground cloves in the spice mix and onions in the sauce. The onion, ginger and garlic are like the trinity of Indian cooking and onions need to almost disappear without ever getting burnt, that's when you get the authentic Indian taste.

Ack, I cannot believe I left that out. editing... it's in my recipe, but I typoed it.
 

snappyllama

Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2014
Messages
3,910
Reaction score
3,040
Location
Near Charlotte NC
Snappy, your recipe needs garlic along with ginger, ground cloves in the spice mix and onions in the sauce. The onion, ginger and garlic are like the trinity of Indian cooking and onions need to almost disappear without ever getting burnt, that's when you get the authentic Indian taste.

ETA: also some coriander powder in the marinade. Thought I mentioned it
How much onion and cloves should I put in? I've never added that before, but trust your judgement. I knew it was missing something!
 

kumudini

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2015
Messages
824
Reaction score
404
Sorry if I took too long Snappy, but I would add a cup of finely chopped onion, this would go in with jalapeños, garlic and salt to be sautéed until they become a golden brown mush. Also I would add a tbsp of coriander powder, a pinch of ground cloves and a tbsp of ginger garlic paste in the marinade. Can't believe I'm tweaking a chicken recipe for you, but I've seen my mom do it and still see my friends doing it. They marinate overnight in the fridge and 'grill' under the broiler.You can look up Paneer Tikka Masala on Bhavana's kitchen channel on you tube, you will get a better idea. Hope this helps you make something you'll love.
 
Last edited:

not_ally

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2014
Messages
2,939
Reaction score
1,690
Location
Los Angeles
As an aside, the one way where people go wrong when cooking Indian is not caramelizing the onions enough when that is required, I think. It is hard for them to believe that they are really supposed to be dark, dark brown, almost black, but it is really an important taste component. Although a pain to do it evenly. Indian food is a little bit of a pain to cook generally, so much adding, stirring, adding, stirring. I posted the shrimp one b/c it is not so much like that, it is pretty quick and easy (except for caramelizing the darn onions :))

As w/garlic in Western foods (or generally really), it took years for me to wait enough time to add the garlic, I don't know why I did not accept that it changes the taste/makes it slightly bitter when it is over cooked.
 
Last edited:

kumudini

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2015
Messages
824
Reaction score
404
i will give those tips a shot, thanks! I love Indian food so much and really want to make something at least semi-authentic at home. :)
Also, I heard coconut goes really well with ahem, chicken. So may be you can replace heavy cream with light coconut milk. I know, too many tweaks, but it's not soap and your food is going to end up great.
 

not_ally

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2014
Messages
2,939
Reaction score
1,690
Location
Los Angeles
Snappy, do you have Madhur Jaffrey's basic recipe book, I think it is called Taste of India? It is really good. I will shamefacedly admit that I never watched my mom cook when I was growing up, I just ate the delicious food. After I left home I missed it so much that I had to teach myself to cook, like you have. It was a little easier b/c I grew up eating it every day so knew exactly what it was supposed to taste like and maybe had a better sense of what was missing when I went wrong. But I really learned how to cook Indian from that book.

They are mostly North Indian recipes - my family is from the South, so I *still* have to watch my mom for the veggie recipes at which South Indian cuisine excels. The shrimp recipe is actually a traditional one that she makes originating in Kerala, where we are from, it is a coastal state where seafood used to be cheap - it is not any more - so even poor people (which we were until the last couple generations) have a long tradition of good seafood cooking/cuisine.

Anyway, that is a really good book, she is pretty good about tailoring recipes in a way that they can be made w/stuff that you can find in most places.
 
Last edited:

snappyllama

Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2014
Messages
3,910
Reaction score
3,040
Location
Near Charlotte NC
The cookbook is now in my Amazon cart. Thanks for the suggestion! :)

In high school, my friends and I used to go to Indian restaurants in Houston. The group would order one of everything to try it all out... a smorgasbord we could actually afford. My kids grew up devouring Chicken Korma as toddlers and eventually ordering Vindaloo (medium spicy, please) when they were in elementary school. When we moved to Colorado, I so missed being able to get good food so we starting trying to make our own. Eventually we found a good Northern Indian restaurant nearby.

My mom wasn't a very good cook, and I was a vegetarian as a teen so I didn't really to cook until I met DH. Between us now, we cover a recipe or two of the different types of food we used to take for granted being able to grab as takeout on the way home from work. Now if I could find a Tex-Mex, Cajun, Gulf-Coast seafood, or Texas BBQ restaurant nearby, I'd probably gain back 20 pounds.
 

vmakkers

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2015
Messages
184
Reaction score
118
Location
California
OK, this is going to take a bit of research, IL. To my consternation, after I promised you a good cilantro chutney recipe I could not find mine! And the ones that I did find when I searched - even from good sources - included stuff that I would not use or omitted things that I wouild.

Also, I need to watch my mom carefully and see what she does when she cooks. She has always been an amazing cook, and we have all taken it for granted, our whole lives. She is starting to get dementia now, so I want to start collecting memories (and good recipes!). Thank you for starting the thread, it will be better for me than you all, in the end.
Trust me, you wanna find out as much about her recipes as you can now. My dad passed away almost two years ago and I'm kicking myself everyday that I didn't write down or film all of his cooking things. Cooking was one of the passions that my dad and I shared and I wish I had asked him to write it all down sooner. He started writing some down but I still haven't had homemade potstickers since he passed. Potstickers were our thing together. He would hand roll out each little circle of dough and I would stuff and fold. My mom and sister always tried to help but they couldn't do it as nice as us.
It would make him so happy for me to spend the day with him just making potstickers.

Mingo (my dad) always told us that he put all his effort into making us amazing dinners because when he passed I would always remember the good food he made. He was right. Not a day goes by that I don't say **** IT MINGO! YOU SHOULDA WROTE THIS DOWN! I've resolved that since food is such a big part of my life and it brings me such joy to see people take a bite and just remember the memories associated with that meal. Kinda like that scene in Ratatouille when the critic remembers how his mom made it for him. It seriously makes me so warm and fuzzy inside if I can evoke those types of memories in people. It really makes spending 3 days prepping a duck for roasting worth it. I plan to write all the stuff down for my kids just in case I pass early. I was only 25, youngest sister 16, when my dad passed and it makes me worry that something will happen and my kids won't have enough time to learn all these things from me. I even started seasoning some cast iron for these future children of mine. Hopefully they will appreciate food and the memories it brings when I'm gone.
 

navigator9

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2014
Messages
2,713
Reaction score
3,092
Location
New England
OMG....Indian food is my favorite! I don't think there's a dish I don't like. One of the things I love at my favorite Indian restaurant is their" special naan". I don't even know what goes into it to make it special, but it is soooooo good, and perfect to soak up all the juices from whatever you're eating, cause you wouldn't want to miss one drop. When I cook Indian at home, I think I cook more Indian "style", because I don't really use recipes, just kind of wing it. One thing I did try a recipe for was my favorite dessert, gulab jamun. I got the recipe from an Indian friend, and they didn't come out so good, so I buy the box mix at the Indian grocery and they are wonderful. One of the Indian docs at work said they were better than his grandmother's! If you can't find the mix in a box, here is a recipe I found.
http://www.vegrecipesofindia.com/gulab-jamun-easy-gulab-jamun-recipe/
 

Aline

Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Feb 14, 2014
Messages
516
Reaction score
222
Location
Maui
I'm guessing you live in the US? I live in Hawaii but am from England, where there is at least one Indian restaurant in the smallest of towns. Indian food is so popular here that Chicken Tikka Masala is considered our 'national dish'. My family almost always goes to Indian restaurants for birthday & anniversaries, ever since I was a kid (English pubs being the other favorite).

I'm glad I brought up cilantro in that other thread. Here we are, talking about Indian food. It makes me happy in a way. As an avid cook, I look through recipes wherever I see them and find that Indian food doesn't get the coverage it deserves in main stream media. I have seen some blatant denial in the form of a Samosa recipe copy, termed potato dumplings. I knew that people love the food. Yesterday we took hubby's niece who is visiting to an Indian restaurant that's new to us. All the tables there were filled with non Indians. I don't understand why Indian cuisine doesn't get mentioned except very rarely. I love good food, no matter the origins. But if I make a Chinese fried rice, I say so. And I don't call my hummus as chick pea chutney.
OMG, is this a rant? I will stop. I just love that we have this thread now. Hope all the food lovers get something out of it.
B, please work on getting your mom's recipes, for yourself. Mom's cooking is comfort, in more ways than you ever realize. I'm glad I have most of my mother's as I used to cook under her guidance during my teen years.
 

Latest posts

Top