Indian Dinner: Coconut Vegetables

This dish was the one I was responsible for, and, as usual, I made a ton of it. We ended up eating this for lunch for a week and sharing some with my parents. Luckily for us, it was really good!

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Here is what you need:

  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 4 carrots
  • a bunch of yellow or green beans
  • 4-5 potatoes
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 can of full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tsp of ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • salt to taste

Here is what you do:

  1. Chop the broccoli, carrots, beans and potatoes to bite-size pieces.
  2. In a large saucepan, add 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Add the vegetables and bring down to medium heat. Let simmer until the vegetables are cooked.
  3. Add the coconut milk and salt, and stir. Let simmer gently.
  4. In a small sauce pan, add the oil on low heat. Add the minced garlic and stir well until it begins to brown. Add the the coriander and turmeric and mix well.
  5. Add the spice mix to the vegetables and give it a quick stir.

As you can see this recipe is very easy and can be adapted to fit what vegetables are available in your kitchen. The coconut milk adds so much richness and creaminess to the mix and goes perfectly well with the potatoes.

Don’t skip the different sauce pan for the spices as this really gives out a strong and clear flavour to the entire dish. If you were to just dump the spices into the mix, the taste would be milder, but really, that would be a shame!

Let me know if you try this out!

Indian Dinner: Okra and Onions

Last summer, we tried planting some okras in our vegetable patch. It was not a very successful endeavor as they were completely overcrowded by and in the shadow of  our tomato plants. Nonetheless, we were able to harvest two fat okra. Excitedly, my boyfriend tried raw okra for the first time and solemnly declared: “It is like eating a slug.”

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Not very appetizing, but quite honest. Okras do have a slimy texture which makes them, in my opinion, difficult to cook as we are not used to it. Being a staple vegetable of Indian and other Asian cuisine, I really wanted to make them work.

So, it was with some anxiety that I tried stir-frying them with onions. The result: scrumptious!

Here is what you need:

  • around 20 fresh okras (I would say this amounts to 10 oz, or 280g)
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tbs coconut oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • salt to taste

Here is what you do:

  1. Wash each okra and gently scrub them to remove any dirt. Slice off the head, and then cut each okra diagonally in two or three pieces. Set aside.
  2. Remove the outer onion skin and cut lengthwise. Slice in thin strips.
  3. In a saucepan, heat the coconut oil on medium heat and add the mustard and cumin seeds. Stir a little before adding the garlic. Mix until the garlic is lightly brown.
  4. Add the okra and onion and stir for a few minutes. Add the garam masala and mix well. Let cook until the okras and onions are tender.

The result is very tender okras, without too much slime. What I loved most about this dish was that the okra and mustard seeds pop with every bite which adds a nice texture.

This dish really made peace between okras and us, and I have to say, they are a lot less scary once cooked and well seasoned.

Let me know what’s your favourite okra recipe!

Indian Dinner: Mixed Bean Curry

When my amazing sister-in-law learned about the Indian dinner, she wanted to participate as well. She made a super mixed bean curry, that was just perfectly seasoned.

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We had pre-cooked some mixed beans: adzuki beans, pinto beans, yellow peas, green lentils and chickpeas. This made making this dish easier, but you can also use any canned beans if this is more available.

Here is what you need:

Onion Garnish:

  • 1 chopped red onion
  • the juice of two limes

Main dish:

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 ginger piece (about 1 inch)
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp sriracha or chilli powder
  • 2 chopped tomatoes
  • 400g beans of your choice

Here is what you do:

  1. Prepare the onion garnish: mix the chopped onion and lime juice, and set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, heat the oil on medium heat. Add the onion and ginger and stir until the onion is translucent and fragrant. Add the spices and stir well.
  3. Add the chopped tomatoes and beans and mix well.
  4. Once everything is cooked, take off the heat and add the onion garnish. Serve immediately.

As you can see, once all the ingredients are prepared, this dish is very simple to prepare. However, the flavours are really amazing! The onion garnish really give a fresh flavour and a nice crunch. The beans are creamy and soft, and oh-so comforting.

Let me know if you give this a try, and I’ll let my sister-in-law know what you think!

Indian Dinner: Cashew Basmati Rice

When we decided that we would do an Indian dinner, my boyfriend really wanted to have his own dish to showcase his amazing cooking skills. After some thinking, he chose to make some basmati rice. My mom makes a really nice turmeric rice with raisins and cashew nuts. However, when he asked for the recipe, we ended up with two huge boxes of already made rice in our fridge.

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So, we had to find our own recipe, and here’s what we came up with!

Here’s what you need for 8 people:

  • 2 cups of basmati rice
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 3 kaffir lemon leaves
  • 1/2 cup cashew nuts
  • 1/2 turmeric powder
  • salt to taste
  • 4 cups of hot water
  • the juice of 1/2 lemon
  • cilantro to garnish

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Wash the rice, rubbing it slightly in water and changing it often until the water runs clear. Change the water one last time and let the rice sit in water for 30 minutes. Drain and put aside.
  2. In a large saucepan set on medium heat, melt the coconut oil and add the mustard seeds and the cashew nuts. Stir until the cashews are golden.
  3. Add the turmeric. Quickly stir, and then add the rice and salt. Add the hot water and lemon juice and stir. Bring to a boil and let boil for two minutes. Add the kaffir leaves (push them through the rice), cover and put on low heat for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and let sit until all the water has soaked in (around 5 minutes).
  4. Stir the rice and garnish with coriander leaves before serving.

This rice is the bomb! It is so soft and rich. The kaffir leaves really had a fresh and fragrant flavour, while the cashews add a nice bite to the mix.

It is also very good the next day when you pan fry it on low heat. The bottom layer of rice becomes crispy while the top stays soft. This rice is perfect with any Indian rice, but also to add a little bit of fun to any vegetable dish.

Let me know if you try it out!

Dinner Party: Indian Style!

A colleague of mine told me about her dinner parties: every few months she meets with friends for a theme dinner. I really loved this idea, and so, I contacted a few friends to do the same thing. For our first try, we decided on Indian food.

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Friday night prep!

The concept is simple: we decided that the person receiving was in charge of the main dish. The others can bring the appetizers, the desserts or the beverages.

I was really excited to try out Indian recipes because I usually make my own “Indian” dishes, but I have to say that beside red lentil dahl, I can’t say I have much experience. We had to research and adapt some recipes out, but everything turned out amazingly delicious.

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We didn’t have an Indian tablecloth, but amazing food to share!

We decided to prepare some onion okra stir fry, cashew basmati rice, chickpea curry and coconut vegetables. Yum! My friends brought some naan bread, onion flat bread, samosas and green peas in an amazing sauce. For dessert, we had some saffron-almond cookies and coconut balls. We also had some chai tea with the dessert.

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Yum!

Amazing! The food was perfect; everything went well together. It was so good! I’m so thankful that I have no talent for proportions because I still have a ton of food for my lunches this week. Quite extraordinary!

I will post the recipes out this week, so get your spices ready!