|The result.. to keep you reading..|
Part of this was certainly inspired by a recent trip to/mauling of my local indian grocery store. For those of you in Regina - go to India Food Centre on Vic for all of your subcontinent spice related needs. The owner (Tony, I think) is SO nice and really helpful. For those of us who didn't grow up with things like fenugreek seeds and asafoetida - the world of Indian cooking can be REALLY intimidating. But honestly - it's really no more complicated than Italian. Things like basil, thyme and rosemary are just more familiar. The recipes might seem long and intimidating but really they're pretty simple just with a bunch of ingredients. The good news? Most of the spices are really cheap. Especially if you go to your local indian/pakistani/desi grocery store. The bad news? If you want to go balls-to-the-wall with your Indian cooking you might need to turn your spice rack into a spice cupboard. But for what it's worth I got EVERYTHING I could think of from curry leaves to cardamom to black mustard seeds PLUS a giant bag of samosas and a small bag of terrifying looking chiles and it came to under $40. NOT BAD considering I practically assaulted the store with shopping. I now have 2 spice-rub-condiment shelves (spice-rub-condiment sounds unnecessarily naughty), a spice box, and an indian-jamaican-asian spice tub. I haz problem.
|the noodles of curry!!|
curry noodles!!! Obviously these might be tricksy to find. If you can't/can't be bothered - I guess the next best thing would be just cooking some linguine and then after draining it tossing it with some oil, curry powder and a little tiny bit of garlic powder.
2 tbsp oil - I used canola but anything light tasting (grapeseed, cornflower, etc) is fine.
a small pinch of fenugreek seeds.. much like a bayleaf to italian I find that fenugreek adds a certain je ne sais quoi to food. You can't really taste it when it's there but you notice when it isn't.
|spices n' stufffff|
1 onion, diced
1 potato, diced, cooked, cooled (I did this in the water I cooked the pasta in before hand and just scooped the little diced bits out... it should take about 10 mins to cook your potato, no more.. I did this while chopping and measuring the rest of this recipe out)
1 green chili, finely diced. Mine was purchased at the Indian store.. I bought a bag of terrifyingly bright coloured tiny peppers that are REALLY hot. So I only used half. But if you're using a jalapeno or something go with a full one.
2 cloves of garlic, finely finely minced/crushed
1 tbsp ginger, minced/grated
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp red chili powder. My indian expedition left me with 'kasmiri curry powder' which is apparently not as hot but gives a nice depth of flavour. Or so the helpful owner said. So far - two thumbs up.
1 tomato, diced
100 g of spinach. 100 g of spinach is almost ALL of one of those boxes of baby spinach you buy for making salads. In metric terms it's about 4 cups of dry, uncooked, fresh spinach. I know it looks like soooo much but for those who haven't cooked spinach before - it wilts like old Gil under pressure.
a couple tbsp greek yogurt/raita/sour cream for garnish. I used greek yogurt cuz I loves it and always have it around.
See? Not that bad. It looks really long but the only weird thing is the fenugreek seeds. And read up on these. They're bomb. Chili powder, turmeric, green chiles, and salt are all pretty standard. As are tomatoes, spinach and potatoes. But do yourself a favour and DON'T buy your spices at the grocery store. Take the time and find an ethnic store - cheaper, more, better, local. Win, win win, win.
other things you will need:
a pot to cook your pasta + potatoes in
a big frying pan/wok to cook the rest in.
- Cook your potato + pasta, run both under cold water and set aside.
- Heat your oil in your frying pan/wok over medium heat and add your fenugreek seeds. Cook for a minute or two and listen to the sizzle. Don't get burned. Add your onion and saute for a few minutes until they're translucent and just starting to show a little colour. Add your potatoes and cook for a minute or two. Let them fry up just a little bit. If you need to, add a splash more oil. The end result isn't oily at all but you want your potatoes to have a different texture from the rest.
- Add your garlic, ginger and chile and cook for another minute or two. This will start to smell nice.
- Add the turmeric, chili powder and salt. Stir well and cook for an additional minute.
- Add tomatoes and cook for another minute or two until they start to soften. Looks pretty good right?
So tasty, so pretty, and eerily, creepily healthy.
- FINALLY - add your spinach. If you have a lid handy - cover and cook for a couple minutes. If not just stir around. Don't over cook. This should only take 2 - 3 minute MAX to cook. Stir stir stir.
- Remove from heat and spoon into bowls. In the emptied wok toss your noodles for a minute or two until they're hot. Swirl them over your spinach-tomato-potato mush and top with a dollop of greek yogurt/raita/sour cream (don't if you're being all vegan-y).
- Eat. Enjoy. You're such a vegetarian now.