Saturday, June 2, 2012

An Indian food conundrum


No one is surprised that Indian food is amongst my favorites. You know, besides Thai food and Mexican and pizza and burgers and just about everything in the between. Whatever. I like food.

I’ve tried multiple times to make Indian food at home. The recipes always seem simple. Just chicken or beans, plenty of veggies all generally served over rice. Said recipes use ingredients that I am fairly familiar with, stuff like turmeric and cumin and I even found garam masala at my local grocery store. Yet, every time I tried to make something at home it never quite hit the spot. Something is…just…off…

I attempted again this week to make vegetable korma. Again, it seemed so simple! Just a bunch of spices and veg! What could go wrong? A lot apparently. I was left with my Indian food craving unsatisfied. Then I cried. Ok, not really, but I was still sad!

The weekend came and I still hadn’t filled my Indian food craving. What’s a girl to do? Uh, go get Indian food, duh! Luckily, I was off on Saturday and did just that! It was amazing! Plus, I got to hang out with a few friends I hadn’t seen in a while. Success! Their vegetable korma was awesome, as usual! Ugh, why can’t I get this right???

After all the Indian food surely I was done for the day, right? Wrong. I wanted needed to make these Korean BBQ Beef Taco’s. They spoke to me. I know I say this all the time, that food “speaks” to me through the Internet, but really, I swear, it does. It says “make me eat me now now now!” So I did just that. They did not disappoint. No worries, I would never leave you hanging. The post is coming!

Back to my Indian food conundrum. I finally talked to one of the unit clerks at work who is from India. Jackpot! Surely she will know why my vegetable korma is beyond terrible!

And of course, she did. She says my spices are no good. Surprise surprise. Being the completely lovely person that she is she said she will bring some spices and I will see a difference. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Why am I going through all this if I didn’t like the recipe? Because you might. You might have better spices or just really like the way this tastes. What I will say as positives for this recipe is that it doesn’t use anything too crazy. It’s mostly veg, rice, spices, and some coconut milk. I added chicken instead of beans because I felt like it; you can make it however you prefer. The recipe is pretty healthy too and makes plenty for leftovers for later in the week or lunches.

Cube the chicken and dice onion and garlic. Cook all in a large pan on medium for a few minutes, until chicken is browned on the outside and onions and garlic are softened. Add all the spices, let this toast for a minute or so. This allows the oils in the spices to come through. I was super excited because I got to use the curry powder I got in India! To bad it was gross :(
Add all the veg to the rest of the mixture and stir. Place the lid on and let this cook for 10 minutes.


 Once the vegetables are finished cooking and the chicken is cooked through add the coconut milk. Mmm, coconut milk. So good.


While all this is going on, don't forget to cook the rice! If you start it at the beginning then it will be done by the time dinner is ready!


Once the coconut milk is added, let it boil for a 1-3 minutes on high. There should be some sauce, but it should be thick, not running. Cooking on high makes this happen. At least, it did for me. I can't promise anything for you. I'm just hoping you like it!


Serve over rice!

Good luck! 

Vegetable Korma

Serves 4-6 people

1 medium onion, diced

4 gloves garlic, peeled and minced (or micro-grated as I prefer because I’m soooo lazy when it comes to mincing garlic)

2 carrots, peeled and diced

1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced

½ head of Cauliflower, cut into around 1” pieces

1 15 oz can diced Tomatoes, drained (or 2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced)

½ c frozen peas

1 tbsp Cumin

1 tbsp Turmeric

1 tbsp Curry powder

1 tbsp Coriander (I used way less because I think coriander is disgusting, but that’s a discussion for another time)

1 tsp Garam Masala

½ tsp Chili powder (adjust to personal taste)

1 15oz can Lite Coconut milk

1 15 oz can Chickpeas, drained and rinsed OR 1 chicken breast, cubed

1.       Cube chicken into small bit sized pieces and cook in a large pan on medium. While chicken is browning dice onions and garlic. Add to the pan.

2.       Give the onions and garlic a few minutes to start to soften and add the remaining veg, except the peas. Put the lid on and let it cook for around 10 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes as done. Add the peas.

3.       Add all the spices. Stir the mixture to coat evenly. Add the coconut milk. The dish should have a little sauce to it, but not be runny. Cook on high for 1-3 minutes until desired consistency is reached.

4.       Server over basmati or jasmine rice.

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