Veg*n Cooking and Other Random Musings: J&B Do Indian - Take 3: Whole Wheat Veggie Samosas and Garbanzo Bean, Cabbage, and Potato Curry

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

J&B Do Indian - Take 3: Whole Wheat Veggie Samosas and Garbanzo Bean, Cabbage, and Potato Curry

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

Samosa dough:
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
pinch salt

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!


jessy said...

sorry you didn't love all the indian deliciousness! they look really great! i think dan & i might have to make some samosas again soon. reading about yours made me crave some all over again! mmmmmmmmm! the potato curry sounds so good - i always forget that cabbage is an option for curry. got to remember that!

that stinks that your weekend wasn't baking free. baking can be really time consuming. with cooking, prepping, and clean-up - it can really suck up your day! i wouldn't want to make much of a dinner after spending that much time in the kitchen either! i hope next weekend is baking free for you!

can't wait to hear about the successes! hope you're having a super stellar week, Jennifer!

Heather @ SGF said...

Those samosas look really good. Hmm. Maybe we could exchange that room in my house (and access to the year-round tomatoes) for some of that cooking...

Alice (in Veganland) said...

well, at least you can now be relatively sure that you don't like Indian food... It's a pity though. I think that curry needed some rice, but I would also say that Indian food is more strong than spicy...
I'm looking forward to your next post on yumminess!

Courtney said...

Oh no! I am sorry your Indian food didn't go to well...have you ever had dal? Dal is the reason I *love* Indian food...I swear I could eat it at every meal and never get sick of it! It is SO good! I am not a huge fan of curry either--I totally get what you are saying about it being too much flavor--but dal is typically not a curry flavor. It is full of cumin and coriander and turmeric and deliciousness! Red lentil dal is quick and easy, but there are lots of different dals you can make/use.

I am also sorry you didn't get a baking free weekend! I love to bake, but it can get to be a bit much around this time of year--it is easy to get a little sick of it. But I am sure everyone will truly appreciate all of your wonderful baked goods. You are sweet to test everything out and make the gift baskets :o)


Bianca said...

Don't like Indian food? That's cool, I'll take your leftovers! Judging by the recipes, it all sounds delicious. I heart samosas.

Lisa (Show Me Vegan) said...

lots of cooking and cleaning certainly can be exhausting! I'm looking at a super busy weekend with 3 potlucks in 2 days, and probably won't get the chance to make any other "fun" dishes. Whew! The holidays are definitely a busy time. Hope you have a good week!

Catherine said...

I think turmeric is an acquired taste. I used to HATE stuff with yellow curry powder in it, but now I love, love, love it all! Indian curries can be green or red, too -- try out another color and see if that helps! Samosas are to die for. Have you made a tamarind sauce to dip them in?

VeganCowGirl said...

Hey J! Sorry that the Indian flavours didn't rock it for you. Blah. I hate it when I make a meal that I am not totally sold on.

If you like Thai than totally go with the thai curries. I adore (x1000) Thai curry - the real trick for the authentic flavour is the Lime Leaves. After trying them for the first time last month, I swear by them now and even used them in my mexi meal last night.
Be well!

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

Ooh, I love Indian food! Sorry about your dipping sauce.

spelled with a K said...

samosas and potato curry, two of my favorites of any cuisine.

I will definitely be tucking this recipe away for next spring's potato harvest. Sadly I used up the last of my spuds over thanksgiving.

Di Hickman said...

Well I'm the opposite, not keen on thai but LOVE LOVE LOVE Indian! Spicier the better (our samosa recipe has more chili's than yours lol). Though have you tried masala's? Usually the creamier the curry the milder they are as the fat breaks up the heat in the spices. Hence the raita offered in restaurants if a curry is too hot. Plus masala can be vegan, I make a mean tofu masala, mmmmm.
Indian cuisine varies A LOT depending on the area of India it was created so don't give up completely! Like I said try a masala, or a korma (coconutty)

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

Jessy - Its alright, I think there are some cuisines that just aren't "for" some people - I think Indian is that cuisine for me, the flavors are just too strong.

I was hoping it would be baking free, then I realized that I hadn't planned anything for the recipient allergic to chocolate and caffeine, time is getting short, so I needed to try some things out. Next weekend isn't shaping up to be baking free, sadly, but I am not planning on crazy cooking adventures either, we will be eating simply, and tried and true recipes. But the following weekend might be free if I have everything tested that I need to.

I am, I hope you are too Jessy. I'll be posting about the baked goods tomorrow and Friday (if time allows).

Heather - Hahahaha, you give quite the offer, we may just have to take you up on that. We could do book swaps too. But you get to do all the bread making, fair? :-)

Alice - I wanted to try a few different things before writing it off. We really did try to like it. I think the curry would have been better with something to tone the flavor down as well.

Courtney - Dal was actually the first thing we had. Red Lentil Dal to be exact, it wasn't too bad, we cut the spices called for in half, but it was still a little strong.

I thought I liked to bake until I took this task on! :-) No, I do enjoy baking, this project has just been quite a bit of work, and I haven't had much of a weekend for awhile. I think everyone will like the baskets and I enjoy all this baking a hell of a lot more than I like going to places like the mall!

Bianca - Hahahaha, I'd happily send you the leftovers.

Lisa - Oh my goodness, you are going to be exhausted by the time your weekend is over! The holidays are fun, but they have a way of wearing you out as well.

Catherine - Turmeric is alright in small doses, but I agree it IS an acquired taste. The curry powder I used was the yellow kind. I liked the samosas a lot, but the curry not so much. I haven't tried a tamarind sauce, I will keep my eyes peeled for it.

Vegan Cow Girl - We can't like everything, eh? I love me some Thai food, they have a flavor profile that isn't too overpowering and their food has lots of chiles in it. Yummy chiles. Some vendors at the farmer's market sold kafir lime leaves this summer. I will make sure to pick some up next year to try in a Thai curry!

Melliser - It's alright, I didn't really know what kind of flavor profile I was looking for, it just turned out pretty bad,

Spelled with a K - Oh no! You had tons of potatoes, but I understand the holidays have a way of requiring the use of mass quantities of the spuds.

Di Hickman - Hahaha. Spicy is no problem for me, I am a chile freak, the spicier the pepper, the better in my book. It was flavor that was the problem, it was a little to intense for me.

I am interested in the korma, I have been wanting to work with coconut milk, thank you for the suggestions.

Heather @ SGF said...

That works. I can handle the bread-making :)

T said...

I have trouble getting indian cuisine just right as well. But on those occasions when you hit the nail on the head, its so worth it! Have you tried garam masala? I like it a lot in samosas.

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

Heather - Well then I think we've got ourselves a pretty good deal (though I am wondering if we would make out better in this deal than you all). Does this mean we get to come with you guys to sunny California? We don't take up much space, I promise! ;-)

T - I'm glad I'm not the only one who has had difficulty! I have tried garam masala in a dal or saag or something. It was pretty strong in that, but I can see it being good in samosas, I might have to try that.

Heather @ SGF said...

Absolutely! Pack a suitcase, we leave next weekend :)

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

Sweet, California here we come! ;-)

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