Sunday, December 19, 2010

Indian Food Extravaganza

I love Indian food! The spices and flavors warm you to your really is comfort food for me.  The problem is trying to convince my family of that, they are a little bit pickier with different flavors.  So, I was off to find at least something with those flavors that at least my husband would eat. So, last night we had a feast, I ate most of it, but at least my husband ate the chicken and rice...that's a start. ;) Oh, and the naan bread, as well, so he got 3 out of 5, I guess that's passing. :)

I am in no way fantastic at cooking Indian food, so this is not authentic...I'm just an American girl trying to replicate flavors that I've had at the Indian restaurants in town...that's my warning. :) 

Clockwise from top left: Saag Aloo on top of basmati rice, Naan, Pakoras, and Indian-spiced Chicken Kebabs

For the Saag Aloo recipe, I started with this recipe, then changed it based on what I had in the house and my personal taste.

Saag Aloo
1 10oz package frozen spinach
2 cups cubed potatoes, cooked and drained.
3 tablespoons canola oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 medium onion, finely diced (I didn't have enough onion in my house, so I used 1/4 cup dried onions rehydrated in a 1/4 cup water...and it worked amazingly well!)
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

3 tablespoons So Delicious coconut milk or other non-dairy milk

Cook spinach according to package directions, then puree until smooth in a blender or food processor.  Heat oil over medium heat; add garlic and onion.  Cook until soft.  Stir in turmeric and cook for a couple more minutes.  Add in the spinach and potatoes and stir well.  Add salt, garam masala, chili powder, cayenne pepper, and milk. Heat on low for a few minutes, then serve.

With the Naan, I started with this recipe, converted it and made some cooking adjustments.

Gluten-free Naan
1/2 cup warm water
1 teaspoon yeast
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour or this one
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup canola oil

gf flour for dusting
oil for brushing

Mix together warm water, yeast, and sugar, and let sit 5-10 minutes, or until nice and foamy.  In a separate bowl mix together the flour and salt, pour yeast mixture and oil in with the flour and mix well.  Separate dough into six small balls (or less if you want larger pieces of Naan).  Roll out to about 1/8-1/4" thick on parchment paper, cover and allow to rest for 20-30 minutes.  Place a pizza stone on the bottom rack of oven and preheat oven to 500F. Take 1-2 pieces at a time and oil the tops and place in oven (while still on parchment paper), after 2-3 minutes, flip over, removing the parchment paper, and allow to cook for another 2 minutes.

If you would like garlic naan, simply add 1-2 cloves of mince garlic to the dough.

Pakoras are like a vegetable fritter using gram (garbanzo bean) flour. The best thing about them?  They are naturally conversion needed!  (This is why I love ethnic food!)  I found this recipe, but once again modified it to work better for me.

Vegetable of choice (I used diced potatoes, diced sweet potatoes, and onions cut into strips, but you could use about any vegetable)
1 1/2 cups garbanzo bean flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1- 1 1/4 cup water
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
canola oil for deep-frying

Mix together all of the dry ingredients (except cilantro leaves).  Pour in water, adding just enough to make a very thick batter (I used 1 cup).  Add the cilantro and mix well.  Add in a few of your vegetables coating well, remove from batter with spoon and drop into oil heated to 350-375F. I like to have clumps of 3-4 potato cubes, or 3-4 onions together to give it more substance.  Cook until golden brown, turning once. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

The chicken kebabs I found as I was reading through Indian cookbooks on Amazon...I really love being able to look inside books before I buy them, because then I find the good cookbooks, like this one.  I did change the cooking method, but I give her all the credit for the's excellent!  Oh, and of course, I modified it for our diet. :)

Indian Spiced Chicken Kebabs
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cubed
skewers (I used my metal ones, if you use bamboo make sure to soak them for at least 30min)

3 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic (~ 2 cloves)
juice of one lime (~ 2 tablespoons)
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
3/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoon So Delicious Plain Coconut Yogurt

Mix together all of marinade ingredients.  Add chicken cubes and toss to cover, place in a large ziploc bag and refrigerate for 1 hour, or up to one day.

Preheat broiler to high, and also the broiler pan.  Allow chicken to come to room temp (I took my chicken out while I was making my naan bread, by the time I was ready to cook it, it was ready, too).

Thread chicken onto skewers and place on preheated broiler pan.  Cook for 6-8 minutes, turning once halfway through.


  1. Everything looks so delicious! Indian food is my favorite, and I'm just starting to cook with So Delicious coconut milk, kefir, and yogurt. Everything I've tried has come out great. I can't wait to try your Saag Aloo and Chicken Kebabs!

  2. What do your kids eat if they don't like what you make? We go through a lot of hot dogs here. I think it looks delicious but the kids wouldn't touch it.

  3. On a good night, they will at least try the meat that we're having (in this case, the chicken kebabs). I did end up making them hot dogs this night, because it wasn't a good night...but Damon did eat the Naan bread, and Dominic usually eats the rice. I also have fresh fruit on the table, too (bananas and clementines right now), so they can eat those if they don't like what I cooked, and that usually works out pretty well.

  4. .. if you don't have a pizza stone for the Naan - then what ?