Monday, July 14, 2008
I was the lucky recipient of Aapplemint's Pay It Forward gift pack, full of Indian goodies. Read on for chronicles of my Indian adventure. Since it is a pay it forward contest, I have a little prize pack of my own to give away, with some of my favorite treats. It includes glazes, teas, spices, Indian and Japanese treats and gourmet candies. If you are the lucky recipient, it will be your job to pay it forward with your own prize pack. If this sounds like a great opportunity to try new things, then leave me a comment on this post by July 28th with your email address and/or a link to your blog. I will pick one winner randomly (probably out of a hat) and notify you by July 30th.
Here are the contents of the Indian prize pack I recieved:
~ musst chips in aloo chaat flavor- addictively spiced potato crisps
~ salt and pepper banana chips - tasty strangely like potato - good but it made me wonder if they were really bananas or in fact plantains
~ nutties - yumm...I love cashews and these ones were candied then smothered in chocolate
~ 5 star crunchy bar - chocolatety, chewy, crunchy, malty
~ candied fennel seeds - my absolute favorite - I've never seen these outside of Indian restaurants - If any Baltimore locals know of a source for me I'd be endlessly thankful - I'm addicted!
~ fennel seeds - lovely licorice flavor
~ tumeric powder - yellow and bright
~ chili powder - the hottest I've ever had
~ garam masala - my favorite Indian flavor
~ homemade curry powder - wow
~ whole black mustard seeds - great texture and bite
~ whole cloves - they remind me of fall in picturesque New England towns - of mulled cider and glazed ham and pumpkin pie
~ tandoori paste - for tender flavorful grilled meats
I was inspired to create my own Indian feast using all those fabulous spices. This included some homemade naan, spiced chicken and lamb dishes and a lovely veggie side. The meal was complete with a silky smooth dessert. This is how I imagine India tastes.
1 1/4 cups organic whole milk
1 package active dry yeast
1 egg, beaten
3 Tbsp melted butter or ghee
3/4 cup plain yogurt
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp crushed garlic
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp coarsely crushed black pepper
2 tsp black sesame or nigella seeds
Microwave the milk until warm but not hot. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine milk and yeast and let sit until frothy. Add beaten egg, butter and yogurt, mix well to combine. Add remainder of ingredients and mix to form a soft dough. If it is too sticky, add additional all purpose flour. Knead on medium speed for 2 minutes. Put in an oiled bowl and let rise until doubled in size (a couple of hours).
Preheat oven to 400 with a baking dish of water on the bottom rack. Divide the dough into 10 portions. Use the tips of your fingers to shape the dough into a dimpled tear drop on parchment or a silpat on top of a cookie sheet. You will be able to bake 2 or 3 at once, depending on the size of your cookie sheets. On the very top shelf (don't worry they won't burn), bake for 8 minutes or until golden, then flip and bake another 6 minutes. Repeat until you've used all the dough. Before serving, toast on the grill over high heat, slather with butter and sprinkle with garlic powder.
Aloo Gobi with peas
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
1/2 onion, diced
8 oz. cubed potatoes
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
2 1/2 tsp garam masala
1 ripe tomato, chopped
1 medium head of cauliflower, cut into florets
1 inch slice of ginger
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 cup filtered water
1 cup frozen sweet peas
1 Tbsp butter
Heat oil and mustard seeds in a covered deep sided skillet over medium heat until seeds begin to pop. Add potatoes and onions and cook until they just begin to brown (about 10 min). Add spices and cook one minute until fragrant. Add tomatoes and cauliflower, toss until evenly coated with spices. Add ginger, sugar, salt, pepper and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer for 12 minutes. Add peas. Simmer another 3 minutes or until all vegetables are tender and warm. Stir in butter.
Per chicken quarter (bone in, skin removed):
1/4 cup yogurt
1 Tbsp tandoori paste
Mix together yogurt and tandoori paste. Coat chicken with paste and let sit in fridge for at least 2 hours. Grill over indirect heat until cooked through, about 20 minutes.
Lamb Tenderloin with Indian Spices
2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 Tbsp brown sugar
3/4 lb. lamb tenderloin
Combine spices. Massage into lamb. Let sit for 1-2 hours in the fridge. Grill over high heat until seared on the outside, medium rare inside.
One of my favorite parts about Indian food is the use of creamy yogurt to cut the heat of spicy curries. I love mango lassies, and I've been meaning to try making homemade tapioca pudding for a while. This dessert combines those two treats to invoke the sweet flavors of India.
Mango Tapioca Pudding with Chai Whipped Cream
Mango Lassie Tapioca Pudding
1/2 cup small pearl tapioca
2 cups water
1 1/3 cups mango puree, strained
1/3 cup full fat yogurt
1 1/3 cup whole milk
1 Tbsp anise extract
1/2 tsp freshly ground green cardamom
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla paste or seeds from half a vanilla bean
Soak tapioca in water overnight.
Drain tapioca. Add to a medium heavy saucepan with all other ingredients. Cook over medium heat until thickened and tapioca is translucent. Cool to room temperature, then spoon into glasses, cover with plastic wrap and chill. To serve, top with chai whipped cream, kiwi slices and candied fennel seeds.
Chai Whipped Cream
I have a nifty whipped cream dispenser that makes life easy. If you don't have one, this can easily be made by whipping cream about halfway, slowly adding spices and syrup, then beating until stiff peaks are achieved.
2 Tbsp cinnamon dolce syrup (you can buy this at any Starbucks - or substitute your own cinnamon syrup)
1 1/2 Tbsp good quality powdered chai
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
Swirl syrup and chai together in the base of a whipped cream dispenser, until chai has dissolved. Add whipped cream and swirl to mix. Charge dispenser as directed.