Tuesday, April 10, 2007

More Indian Food!

Our family always eats out on Easter Sunday, so I didn’t get to make an Easter dinner. But the Friday before, I only worked a half day and asked Chase to come eat Indian food with me. Chase and I have really been enjoying eating Indian, so I’ve been trying to learn as much as I can about the cuisine. I’ve determined we prefer South Indian spices, and Maddhur Jaffrey’s World Vegetarian has been a good resource. Chase has been going to a local South Indian restaurant, Swad, where most patrons don’t use silverware. I learned that the custom is to eat with your right hand, and drink and take food with your left hand. Also, to truly enjoy the meal the foods must be eaten together, not separately. We mix up our foods, but we still use forks and spoons!

I made Mulligatawny Soup (veganized) from this recipe, Pilaf with Peas & Almonds (without ghee), Broccoli Au Saag from World Vegetarian, and Carrot Halwa. The Mulligatawny Soup was excellent on its own, and even better when mixed with the rice. I know the list of ingredients is really long, but it was ready in an hour, and I highly recommend it. Ms. Jaffrey says that broccoli is uncommon in India, but americanized Indians have embraced it, as they should! Chase picked out my fresh spinach from the Asian market, so I didn’t notice until I got it out to wash that I got roots and leaves! It was filthy and my sink looked like a sandy beach after I cleaned the whole bunch, and it was the best spinach I’ve ever had.

Here’s the soup….

….. and here’s the rice and broccoli. I just bought pita bread to have with it because naan and paratha has so many calories.

I don’t remember where I got the recipe for Carrot Halwa, but it doesn’t matter because it was ICK, ICK, ICK! It was so sweet it hurt my teeth! I’ve never made it before, so perhaps it didn’t turn out right, but look - it looks like a bowl of corn syrup.

Of course I couldn’t bring myself to toss it, so I put it in a colander and ran cold water over it to remove as much sugar syrup as possible. After that it was tolerable and I could add a tiny bit to leftover Pilaf. I also added it to salads.

Another night I made a raw salad with broccoli, tomatoes, and zucchini. I sprinkled it with leftover Indian spices and didn’t even need dressing to thoroughly enjoy it.

I did eat foods other than Indian. I made more sautéed cabbage, with onions, mushrooms, and asparagus.

I made a green bean stirfry with Esme Sauce, the sauce so many bloggers (Jess) have raved about. The Esme recipe seemed asian to me, although I know it’s been posted as a pasta sauce. I loved it on my stirfry.

I made one treat, something to give Chase on Easter – Banana Oat Bundles from Vive. I was bad and added chocolate chips. They were awesome!

Even though my new mandolin hurt me the first time I used it, I absolutely love it. My favorite use is for fresh ginger -- a big hunk of ginger that keeps my fingers far from the blade, and paper thin slices that are easy to mince.

If you haven’t voted yet, check out all your favorite vegan food blogs (or nominate your own blog!) on the Blogger’s Choice Awards. I had so much fun voting for all my blogger buds! All of you deserve to win because you are all the best!


laura k said...

It's funny that you talk about the way Indians eat their food with their right hands. Bob and I were trying to do that tonight with our aloo gobi, and we had quite a time tearing off pieces of roti one-handed! I think it's really neat, though, to try it without utensils like they do. Your food looks delicious and it is inspiring me to branch out and explore more Indian dishes!

bazu said...

As usual, you rock! So much good food. And I love the way you rescued the carrot halva- that second interpretation does seem a lot more yummy.

KleoPatra said...

i had NO idea about the "proper" way to eat that Indian food, Diann! Very cool info... i'll try to remember that next time i go for some veg Indian food for sure!

Glad to know yer not shying away from the mandolin and that yer enjoying it since yer injury (OUCH!)!

I would've totally done what you did about the banana oat bundles. MORE CHIPS!! :o)

I've never been a fan of Halwa/Halvah... not huge on sesame in general though.

And what you said at the bottom, YOU are the best... i love visiting yer blog. Thanks for sharing great stuff here... pix, info, opinions, love it all.

erica said...

Ooh, I missed the last post due to constructionitis (tiling in the internet enabled room). Soo, let's see: Mandolins scare me as I cut my thumb really badly on one working at the Dairy Queen so many years ago, but I really want one anyway. I love indian food, it's in my top two food groups, indian and thai :) Everything looks delicious.

Anonymous said...

great food! the banana oat bundles totally get better with those chocolate chips yum!

Emmy said...

You know what? I don't think I've ever had Mulligatawny Soup! I've heard of it before but never tried it. It sounds great and I love the rich yellow color of it too.

What a bummer about the Carrot Halwa. WTG on recovering some of it to use in your pilaf so it wasn't a total loss :)

Amey said...

Hi Diann!
Oooh, I LOVE South Indian food. We got to go to India for 4 1/2 weeks a few years ago, and we had such an amazing trip. It really changed my life. South India was one of my favorite places - we went to Chennai & Pondicherry, in Tamil Nadu (South East India). The food was so fresh and delicious. We had tomato soup, samosas, dosas (YUM ALERT!)... And yes - you eat it all with your right hand - not a utensil in sight. This goes back to bathroom etiquette (all matters of which are done with the left hand). All the restaurants have a sink in the corner, so that you can wash your hands before and after eating. It takes a little while to get used to eating with one hand, but then it becomes quite comfortable. Traditionally, the food is all served in sweet little metal dishes, or - most traditionally - on a banana leaf. Oh! It makes me want to go back again... I really loved India so much.

Jackie said...

Wonderful, I have been looking for a decent Mulligatawny Soup recipe I can adapt as it is my favorite soup from when I was little. Just in time for my Winter as the evenings are now cold enough to enjoy soup.

You are doing so well with your Indian food you could open a restaurant.

Unknown said...

Everything looks yummy! Halva is hard to make, and there are a lot of different ways to make it. Good for you for rescuing the dish!

aTxVegn said...

Thanks, guys! Erica, I'm totally with you on the Indian and Thai food!

Emmy, I had never had the soup either. I almost left the apple out of it, but decided for once to follow a recipe exactly. But I did use sweet potato instead of white, and that helped with the nice color.

Jackie, the soup was really good. I hope you'll try it.

Amey, I can imagine you having the best time in India. What a great vacation for you. And dosas - Chase keeps telling me about this giant triangle shaped bread that he gets with his food at Swad. I'm going to have to learn to make that for him. I need to retire and start traveling.

Dori said...

The food looks great. I am just checking in all the blogs nominated for recognition, it is a great thing to see all the vegan cooking blogs.

MeloMeals said...

Everything looks awesome! ..... especially the soup.. I'm a huge fan of Indian food too..

Judy said...

Love the banana oat bundles. They're great with walnuts, too.

I'm like you in that I throw away nothing, and try to salvage everything. I usually find a way too, but I'm not sure I would have been able to save the carrot halwa. Smart move on the colander.

vko said...

Love that mulligatawny soup, something I have missed but now I can make it- can't wait!

Also love the vibrancy of the purple cabbage- gorgeous.

Anonymous said...

Is there a category for Most Creative Food Blog? Because you should be nominated... anywhere really. You inspire me a great deal, Diann :)

Anonymous said...

Way to save the Carrot Halwa! Your purple cabbage dish looks so colorful and pretty. I love that Chase picked out the best spinach you've ever had.

I'm going to have to try the banana oat bundles with chocolate chips. They look yummy.

scottishvegan said...

I love the colour of that soup! It looks amazing! I think I might have to try it! As always all your food looks gorgeous though!

Anonymous said...

Would you mind posting the recipe for the esme sauce? I tried to click on the link you provided, but it wouldn't display. It really sounds like something I would like.


aTxVegn said...

Anon - sorry about that link. It worked for me. But here is the recipe:

Esme’s Sauce
Serves two

2 Tbs Tahini
2 Tbs Miso (any, but sweet white is nice!)
2 Tbs Soy Sauce
2 Tbs Olive Oil
2 Tbs nutritional yeast or mustard
2 Tbs Lemon Juice or Vinegar
A few cloves of garlic (I left this out)
2 Tbs Mirin (optional)

*All amounts are approximate, play around!

Boil the pasta, drain it, put the pot back on the warm stove. Make the sauce in the hot empty pot, then add the hot pasta back to it. The heat of the pan and the pasta helps melt down the tahini and miso.

This is great with any green thrown in (I used spinach) or really any other vegetable you want. Enjoy!

from http://veganyumyum.com/2007/02/esmes-sauce/