Over the weekend, since I wasn't able to get a loaf of ciabatta from Uprise for our usual soup and bread night (aka Saturday), I decided that it was the right time to try Indian food again. I've long been interested in Indian food as there is a lot of vegetarian fare and I understand it is spicy. However, our first two experiences with it were pretty bad.
I decided to try out a simple curry and veggie samosas. I've never seen an Indian samosa, I've only had Thai ones at a local restaurant, so I wasn't entirely sure what they were supposed to look like, hence why they are in many different shapes. I also decided to try out a curry as our main dish, as that is the type of Indian food I see most often around the blogosphere.
The verdict? The samosas were pretty good - the dipping sauce pictured below was horrible, so I won't bother with a recipe. I will say though, I like the Thai ones a lot better. And the curry - I think if you like Indian food, you would like this curry, but for us, it was just too strong. I know curries are normally served with rice or bread - which I imagine tones down some of the something that is so overpowering about the dish, but already having samosas too, I decided against pairing the curry with anything. In the end, I think we just don't really like Indian food. We were able to eat this meal and see the positive qualities it would have to someone who likes the combination of flavors used, but it just isn't for us. I love Thai food though, so I am interested in trying a Thai curry. We like spicy, but there is just a little too much flavor for either of us to handle.
Don't let that stop you from making these though, if you like Indian food, I think the curry would be very pleasing. And the samosas were really good, their filling was very flavorful, but not overwhelmingly so. I think I will make sure to have some sort of chutney or other dipping sauce that isn't icky next time I make samosas.
The local booty legend (aka revealing my sources):
no asterisk = grocery store
+ = local produce from The Root Cellar
++ = The Peace Nook (will denote whether product is local or just from the Nook)
* = farmer's market
** = CSA
*** = Container or Community Garden
**** = the non-profit buying club, Blue Planet or Purcell Mountain Farms
Whole Wheat Veggie Samosas
Makes about 12 samosas
1 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp safflower oil
1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
a pinch of salt
enough water to work dough
Combine ingredients in a bowl (I used my hands to get it all combined) and let rest for 30 minutes.
Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface until very thin. Cut into 12 even portions (I used a sharp knife, a pizza cutter would work well too).
4 small potatoes, boiled and drained +
1 carrot, peeled and chopped +
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced +
6 shiitake mushrooms, chopped +
1/2 cup peas + (not local but from a local store)
1/2 yellow onion, chopped +
4 cloves of garlic, minced +
1 tbsp curry powder
Heat a few tablespoons of water in a small skillet. Add the carrot, jalapeno, mushrooms, onion, and garlic. Cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add the peas and heat through. Drain any excess liquid.
Using a fork, mash the potatoes with the curry powder and salt. Stir in the rest of the veggies.
Spoon a tablespoon or more of the filling into each section of samosa dough. Apparently they are supposed to be triangular in shape, but I just rolled them up like eggrolls or burritos. Either way is fine.
In a large heavy pan, heat about 1/4-1/2 inch of safflower oil over medium high heat for about 3-4 minutes.
Carefully (I used tongs) place the samosas in the oil and fry for about 8-10 minutes and flip. Watch the other side, it doesn't normally take as long to get done. Drain on paper towels.
Garbanzo Bean, Cabbage, and Potato Curry
2 cups garbanzo beans (chickpeas), cooked
1/2 head cabbage, chopped +
4 small potatoes, cubed (I left the skin on) +
1 yellow onion, chopped +
4 cloves of garlic, minced +
1" ginger, minced
2 small tomatoes, chopped +
2 tbsp curry powder
dash salt and pepper
1/2 cup veggie broth
Heat a few tablespoons of water or safflower oil in a large skillet. Add the potatoes. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring a couple of times.
Add the cabbage, onion, garlic, and ginger. Cook for another 10-15 minutes.
Add the tomato, garbanzo beans, broth, and spices. Simmer for about 30 minutes.
I would recommend serving this with rice or naan.
I had also mentioned that I had planned on taking the weekend off from baking - well that kind of fell through. I am making baked goodie baskets for our families for the holidays and one of the recipients is allergic to caffeine and chocolate, so I needed to try out a couple of recipes for him. Not to mention, we had our holiday party yesterday, so I also had to bake another loaf of our Pumpkin-Walnut Bread. I've gotta tell ya, I am going to be very happy to be done with these. It has been fun, and improved my baking skill, but I've felt like I've spent the whole weekend working between baking multiple things a weekend and all the dishes that creates. I also haven't had time to play with many of the new dishes I've wanted to, and to be honest, there are times when I don't want to make dinner at all after baking and doing dishes for 10-12 hours. I am down to two recipes to test, and hopefully, if those go well, I will be able to take not this weekend, but the next, off of baking. Wahoo!
Needless to say, I had a couple of successes this weekend and will post about them later this week. I also made the time (though I was exhausted at the end of the day) to make a homemade enchilada sauce from scratch, which I will be using in a nice (easy!) dinner tonight.
'Til next time!