Saturday, June 23, 2012

Italian to Indian

So living here in England I feel I should be taking advantage of Indian cuisine as it seems to be very popular.  I must admit my exposure to Indian food has been limited, but I have always been interested to try those seemingly exotic flavors.  Well, I happened to receive a quick curry base recipe from Pam, my Indian friend. I tried it and I love it.  (Even my food snob Italian husband likes it.)  I think the perception of curry is that is always has the curry spice in it....well according to Pam not so!  This dish has ingredients I am familiar with and believe it or not are all used in Italian cooking too, so no wonder an Italian would eat it. 

The secret to rice is to find a good quality brand and to rinse the grains well before cooking.  I find Tilda to be great.
I usually add salt to my rice but if you want to up the flavor try adding a cube of bouillon of your choice or half if you are worried about the salt.
For the base chop up two onions
Now you can use fresh ginger and chili if you have them or to speed things up I love these frozen cubes
I like a lot of flavor so I use 3-4 cubes of ginger and 3 cubes of chili...I know Trader Joes sells these in the US
Cook the onions down, after a bit you should add chopped garlic, but today I was out of garlic!  I know my mother in law was shocked and told my husband that we should always have like 10 heads of garlic on hand...because what can you cook WITHOUT garlic?!  So I used a cube of alio and prezzemelo, if you don't know this, check out my previous post
Add your fresh or frozen cubes of garlic and chili, cook down about 2 minutes
Here is where the recipe gets interesting, just throw in on hand beans, veg or I am using chickpeas, but you could put in chicken or bell peppers, whatever you like!
After cooking your beans, veg or protein almost to the level of "doneness" you like (is that even a word?) Add a tin of chopped tomatoes and keep cooking a I like to add one more cube of ginger.
The best part is the chili, garlic and ginger give so much flavor you really don't need much salt or just a bit of finishing salt....serve over rice....probably this took me 15-20 minutes...Pam recommends to serve with fresh coriander on top, but that might be pushing my luck with my picky half

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