Friday, June 18, 2010

ticket to India

We had the coolest okra ever. LOOK!


So obviously it is awesome because it is

1. Purple, but it is also
2. Gigantic!


I decided to head to India for dinner, via the recipe for Okra Supreme in the fabulous Lord Krishna’s Cuisine. She had you cut up the okra, which initially made me worry it would become less awesome, but no, it just got STARRIER!


The recipe was super simple: just heat up some butter or oil in a skillet, throw in the okra, cook until almost done, and then add these delicious guys:


Lotsa the coriander, a little bit of everyone else.

Once again, I was scared that the cooked okra might no longer be awesome cause it was now no longer purple. Fortunately, it was now DELICIOUS!


The spices made this awesome smoky crust on the okra mmmmmmmmmmm it was so good. And totally devoid of sliminess, a problem some people claim okra has. The cookbook’s writer did say to THOROUGHLY dry the okra after washing it, as it prevents that very issue.


The other India-inspired dish was this Cooking Light recipe for samosas which I spotted in this month’s issues and thought yay! Lacking some of the ingredients (a common theme of late) and wanting to include potato (because what is a freaking samosa without potato?!) I ad libbed.

Samosas, adapted from Cooking Light

2 t peanut oil
1/2  cup  diced potato
1/4 cup  thinly sliced green onion
1 tablespoon  minced ginger 
2 small cloves garlic, minced
2 T jarred tomato sauce       
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp paprika
1/2 cup fresh green peas
2 tsp water
3/4 cup drained canned chickpeas
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 T fresh lime juice
12 sheets phyllo dough
1 T butter, melted

Heat oil in a small skillet on medium. Add potato and cook 3 minutes, stirring often. Add onions, ginger, and garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add tomato sauce and spices; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add peas, water, and chickpeas; cook 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in parsley and juice. Cool.

Roll out one phyllo sheet. Spray with cooking spray. Place another phyllo sheet on top of it, then spray again. Fold both of the sheets in half from top to bottom. Put 2 tablespoons filling one inch from the bottom of your rectangle. Fold the bottom corner over your filling to make a triangle; fold the triangle under itself until you have reached the end of the phyllo sheet. Brush the edge lightly with butter and fold it under; put it seam side down on a greased baking sheet. Brush the top with melted butter. Repeat procedure with remaining 10 phyllo sheets, cooking spray, filling, and butter. Bake at 400° for 10 minutes or until crisp and golden.

After trial and (a fair amount of) error I have resigned myself to the fact that even though it is tedious, the way to make recipes like this, where you are adding precisely measured ingredients in rapid succession to a hot pan that can burn things quickly is just to METICULOUSLY PREP so literally you just dump your ingredients in. My veggies:


The filling, which was super gorgey and delicious. The recipe was just written by one of the Cooking Light staff dietiticians, but it really did taste like something you would get at an Indian restaurant. I loved the mustard seeds in there- one of my fave ingredients!


Just lookit those gorgeous fresh peas :D And, uh, the potato was integral. What were they thinking, leaving it out?!

So once my filling had cooled, per their instructions, I assembled my samosa-prep station. We have from left to right, the magazine with the recipe; the filling in the pan; my little container with the melted butter for brushing; cooking spray for spraying; and my baking sheet for baking. Further to the left was my phyllo dough, which I covered with a damp kitchen towel while I worked with it a piece at a time, which keeps it from drying out.


Ah, yes, the cow on the wall? That was my grandma’s and we got it :D I really love having it in the kitchen. Also, I feel like I am honoring India’s culture and religion by making this delicious vegetarian meal with a sacred cow overlooking everything.

My final platter of beautiful samosas, hot and crisped and with a spicy and savory and totally delicious filling that made me feel transported across the world:


That condiment in the center is this delicious, kind of East-Meets-West item.


Sweet, tangy, blissful.

I also slathered some of it on:


Because what is Indian food without basmati?!


Anne @ Food Loving Polar Bear said...

Indian food without basmati is nothing. I love it! :)

Heather (Where's the Beach) said...

I have not had samosas in ages. Yum. May need to remedy the situation. Thanks for the recipe!

Kelsey said...

im so impressed that u made that!!! everything looks so fresh in the pot, you can almost taste the spices just looking at it! mmm and basmati is definitely needed.. but even without id say thats the best homemade indian food ive ever seen <3 WOW.

Megan D said...

I've never see okra like that! Those samosas look wonderful, very impressive!

Hannah said...

I love that cow! I've only ever had okra once (it's definitely not common in Australia) and must admit the sliminess got to me a bit. I'll have to try again, because yours does look delicious!

(And Indian food without basmati is like a day without chocolate... sad.)

KC said...

Those samosas looks great! I have enjoyed experimenting with Indian food, but haven't tried to make those yet. I'll put this one on my list.

Lauren said...

OH MY GOSH can you pleeeeease come cook for me????! So impressed lady!!!


Kaz said...

Oh, that looks so good!

I'm glad you added back the potato in your recipe. I love potatoes. :D I definitely want to try this recipe, thank you!