Sunday, January 8, 2012
Classic Indian Cooking
Last night, the hubby and I had a bit of an Indian cook-off. I made Chicken in Onion Tomato Gravy (Murgh Masala) from Julie Sahni's Classic Indian Cooking, a book we've owned for over a year and yet hadn't cooked from until last night. Ian made Saag Paneer using a recipe from FoodNetwork.com, courtesy of Aarti Sequeira.
It was a learning experience. I learned a technique called brown frying, which is a lot like caramelizing but in a lot more oil. Ian learned that he is fully capable of following a recipe, and he produced a better Saag Paneer than any I've ever had in a restaurant (it's not my favorite dish, so I'm not the best judge, but his--Aarti's--was pretty good) with no help at all. We learned that turmeric leaves yellow stains everywhere, especially when distributed through the spattering of oil.
It turns out, it's pretty easy to make Indian food at home. With Ms. Sahni's (and Ms. Sequeira's) guidance, it all turned out wonderfully, and since we love Indian food but have no Indian restaurant in town (until we move across the state in May... counting the days) we have a wonderful alternative. I have prepared a lightened version of Rogan Josh a few times from a light cookbook we picked up at Costco, most of whose recipes are woefully lacking in seasoning (thankfully an easy fix) and I've bought pre-packaged sauces that always disappoint, but now I don't have to worry about any of that. I might have to worry about some oil spattering, since it seems the heat levels are higher in some of these cooking methods than I'm used to (I cook with electricity... another thing I'm hoping to remedy soon), but since I've had turmeric, cardamom, and coriander in my pantry for a while now, I'm sure we'll soon be having Indian once a week.