AN EAST INDIAN DINNER FEAST


Each year, I have an insatiable, almost unreasonable, craving for East Indian Curries.  It usually begins in the Fall, and continues on until early Spring....so that gives a good 5-8 curry dinners, at least.   Erin, of My Asperger Girls Adventures did this lovely post on Indian flat bread called Dosa's.  Once I saw that recipe, my East Indian Craving went through the roof!  It reminded me of the Dosa's that our son Jarrod made when he was here visiting...., check out his wonderful guest post, for some great inspiring East Indian Recipes. So it is with huge thanks to Erin, for her fabulous recipe and easy to follow instructions.  For her recipe, please check here.
The only thing I did different was to use Whole Fermented Keifer milk instead of yogurt. Wow, did this batter ever bubble...almost twice the size, and incredibly tasty!  I also used Red Split Lentils...but will be on the search for Urad Dahl soon.
Now, I should mention....this is going to be a very long post.  I have four recipes in one post.  The dishes I made were variations, with a few changes, to the dishes I made last year, but thought I would post  all the changes/variations here in one post.
For optimum flavor, if you want an East Indian Meal...I would recommend making all of these dishes for a delicious East Indian Feast.  Plus, what a lovely couple of hours to spend in the kitchen, it was fun!  You will want to plan this feast a couple of days ahead, first to make the Dosa batter, and second, to make Yogurt Cheese.  I always drip my yogurt for 48 hours.  Usually I make a whole tub of yogurt to drip - it is so versatile for many different recipes.
Now, a word about curry. If you have read my blog, you know what a  lover I am of Cartwright's Curry Seasoning .  Seriously...it does not get any better, hands down, the best Curry Seasoning I have ever had.
However.....this time, I did decide to do my own Curry Spice blend.  I will be completely honest here....it does not match up to Cartwright's Curry Powder, no how, no way....but, dang it was tasty.  I made this spice blend on pure speculation.....a guess here, a guess there, so by all means, adjust to suit your own sweet taste buds.  Once this dinner was assembled, with all the other ingredients, and all the other dishes, it came together beautifully in terms of Curry Flavor.  By the way...we are total wimps when it comes to heat - so again,  adjust the heat to suit your own taste.  The FEAST begins.........
CURRY SPICE BLEND:
1 tsp. Fenugreek Seeds
1/2 tsp. Mustard Seeds
1 Bay Leaf
4 Cardamon pods
pinch of dried crushed Chilies
For the first five spices, I ground them up fine in a coffee grinder.  Transfer to a bowl, and add the remaining spices:
1 tsp. Turmeric Powder
2 tsp. Garam Masala
1 rounded tsp. ground Cumin
Mix up the spices until combined and set aside.
Next is the Red Lentil Curry Dahl, - it does not photograph well, but tastes divine!
Red Lentil Curry Dahl:
1 Tblsp. Grape Seed Oil, and 1 Tblsp. Butter
2 1/2 cups water
1 1/4 cups Red Split Lentils
1 onion, chopped small
salt and pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Bayleaf
2 1/2 tsp. Curry Spice Blend
1 Tblsp. Fresh minced Ginger
In a medium saucepan, add the grape seed oil and butter on medium heat.  To the pan, add the onion, salt and pepper, sauteing to sweat out.  Add the curry spice, ginger, and garlic cloves, sauteing about two minutes until very fragrant.  Then add the lentils, water, Bay leaf and bring to a boil.  Put a lid on the pan, turning down to simmer for about 15-18 minutes.  Then remove the lid, and simmer another 15 minutes, stirring fairly frequently, until the lentils have turned mushy and the liquid has evaporated.  Taste for seasonings.  I then put this in the refrigerator, to continue on with the other recipes, and reheated once dinner was almost ready.
Next is the simple recipe for delicious Raiti:
RAITI:
1 cup of plain organic yogurt
2 green onions finely minced
4-5 Tblsp. of finely minced cucumber (de-seeded, skin on)
3 Tblsp. finely minced Fresh Cilantro
Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl, then refrigerate until dinner is served.  You can add a fresh squeeze of lime or lemon juice, but I liked mine without it.
Next up:  Curried Vegetables:
Curried Vegetables:
1/2 of a large head of Cauliflower, cut into pieces
40 fresh green beans
1/2 a large Red onion, sliced
salt to taste
1 Tblsp. Grape Seed oil, and 1 Tblsp. butter
1 tsp. Spice blend, plus 1 tsp. Garam Masala
2 Tblsp. finely minced fresh Ginger
2 finely minced garlic cloves
3 heaping Tblsp. Yogurt Cheese
1/2 cup of finely minced Cilantro
To a large saucepan, add the cauliflower with enough water to cover.  Bring to a boil, and add salt, lid on turning down to medium.  Cook about 8-10 minutes until tender.  Then add the green beans, cooking for 2 more minutes.  Drain the vegetables in a colander and set aside.  Heat up a saute pan on medium heat, with the Grape Seed oil and butter.  To the pan add the sliced red onions and saute until translucent.  Season with salt, then add in the fresh ginger, garlic, spices, continue to saute until fragrant.  Turn the heat to a low simmer.  Add in the Yogurt cheese, stirring well to melt.
Then add in the cooked cauliflower and green beans, tossing well to coat.  At this point, I transfered the vegetables and sauce to a casserole dish to refrigerate, and heat up in the oven, once it got closer to dinner time.
Now, the Chicken Curry:
Chicken Curry:
2 large chicken breast skinless and boneless, cut into bite sized pieces
2 Tblsp. Grape Seed Oil
1 onion, sliced
1 Anaheim Pepper, remove the seeds and rib, then slice thinly
5 minced garlic cloves
2 Tblsp. finely minced ginger
3 tomatoes
1/2 cup of water
the remainder of the spice blend
1/2 cup of finely minced fresh Cilantro
Heat up a frying pan on medium heat with the Grape Seed Oil.  To the pan, add in the sliced onion, and Anaheim Pepper, sauteing to soften.  Season with salt.  Saute about 12-15 minutes until the onions begin to caramelize.
Then add in the curry spice, garlic, and ginger, sauteing about two minutes until fragrant.  Then add the tomatoes and 1/2 cup of water, cooking for about five minutes.
Add the chicken, stirring to combine, put a lid on the pan and turn down to a  simmer, cooking for 10 minutes.  Then remove the lid and continue cooking, stirring once in a while for another 10 minutes.  At this point, check for seasonings, keep on a low simmer and heat up a non-stick pan to make your Dosas.  The Dosas only take a few minutes, so they were the last recipe I cooked.
When the Dosas are cooked, add the fresh Cilantro to the curry chicken and remove from the heat.  Serve the Dosa's with a layer of Dahl, a layer of Curry Chicken, and a spread of Raiti.  Serve along side the Curried vegetables.  Time to dig in, devour and enjoy!
Thanks again Erin, we had happy tummy's in this house tonight!  🙂

Ina Gawne
author

8 comments on “AN EAST INDIAN DINNER FEAST”

  1. Waw, Ina! what a feast for the eyes & the senses too! You have made a real feast!!
    I am gobsmacked here! Stunned too! Waw!! Great job! Every dish looks equally attractive & ooh so tasty! 🙂 !!!!

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October 24, 2011
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