Indian Night Cooking Club

We had our Indian Night on September 17th at Tamera and Vernon’s house. I had posted the recipes a few days ago but never wrote an introduction post, so here it is. And yes I know it is now December, almost 3 months after Indian Night. It took a while to get all the recipes together, and then it took a few days for me to decide if I wanted to expand my knee blog to include everything. WordPress certainly makes it easier to publish certain things though I’m not sure of the format yet. Maybe I should have more pages instead of categories…

Anyway, the attendees were Marty and Connie, Robert and Rae, Patti and John, Tamera and Vernon, and Kelly and me. We had a great time and there was, as always, way to much food. But it was all fantastic and most of the recipes follow.

unknown recipe from indian night

I’m finally typing this up! I can’t remember what this was called. The printout isn’t titled. Marty/Connie, can you refresh my memory?

??
Resource: Unknown

Ingredients:
1 medium-sized eggplant
3 medium onions, chopped
3 medium tomatoes, chopped
1/2 tsp garlic
minced pieces of ginger
1 chili jalapeno
1/2 tsp amchur
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1-1/2 tsp salt

Put the eggplant as is into the oven at 350 degrees until it’s done. (The eggplant is ready when the skin is all wrinkled and water seeps out of it.)
Scrape out any burnt skin, mash softened eggplant till soft, then keep aside.
Put oil in a skillet and heat till its just short of smoking. Add the onions to the oil and cook until they become translucent.
Add the salt, amchur, coriander powder, garlic, ginger, tomatoes and chili. Stir fry for 2-3 minutes.
Add mashed eggplant, stir, add 1/4 cup water.
Stir, cook covered until oil separates.
Pour into serving bowl, garnish with chopped coriander.

Samosas

Indian Samosas (Stuffed Savory Deep-Fried Pastry Cones), Makes 24
Resource: “Madhur Jaffrey’s World-of-the-East Vegetarian Cooking”

Pastry:
1-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose white flour
1/4 tsp salt
4 tbsp soft, unsalted butter

Stuffing:
4 medium-sized potatoes, boiled unpeeled and cooled
4 tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium-sized onion, peeled and minced
1 cup shelled fresh or defrosted frozen peas
1 tbsp peeled and grated fresh ginger
1 fresh hot green chili, minced
3 tbsp finely minced Chinese parsley
1-1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ground roasted cumin seeds
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tbsp lemon juice or 1 tbsp lemon juice and 1 tbsp amchoor
1 tsp anardana (dried pomegranate seeds)

Oil for frying
Extra flour for dusting

Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Add the softened butter and rub it in with your hands so that the flour resembles fine bread crumbs. Add warm water, a tablespoon at a time, and begin to gather the flour into a ball. You will need 5 tablespoons of water. Form a ball and begin to knead it. Knead well for about 10-15 minutes or until dough is very soft and pliable. (If you have a food processor, put the steel blade in place and empty the sifted flour and salt into a container. Add the softened butter and turn on the machine. When you have a bread-crumb consistency, begin to add about 5 tablespoons of water slowly through the funnel. Stop when the dough forms a ball. Take out the ball and knead it for 5-10 minutes or until it is very soft and pliable.) Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it sit for an hour in the refrigerator. The dough can be made a day in advance and refrigerated.

Make the stuffing. Peel the potatoes and dice them into roughly 1/4-inch pieces. Heat the 4 tablespoons oil in a 10-12″ skillet over a medium flame. Put in the onion, stirring and frying until it turns a light-brown color. Add the peas, the ginger, green chili, Chinese parsley, and 3 tablespoons of water. Cover, lower heat and simmer very gently until peas are cooked. Stir every now and then and add additional water, a tablespoon at a time, if the skillet seems dried out. Now put in the diced potatoes, salt, coriander, garam masala, roasted ground cumin, cayenne pepper, lemon juice (or lemon juice and amchoor), and anardana. Keep heat on low and mix the spices with the potatoes. Continue cooking gently, stirring frequently, for 3-4 minutes. Check salt and lemon juice. Turn off heat and leave potato mixture to cool.

Take the dough out of the refrigerator and knead again. Divide dough into 12 equal balls. Keep balls covered with plastic wrap.

Place a small bowl of water on your work surface. Lightly flour on a pastry board.
1. Flatten one of the dough balls on it and roll it out into a round about 6″ in diameter.
2. Now cut the round in half with a sharp knife.
3. Pick up one half and form a cone, making a 1/4″ overlapping seam.
4. Using a little water, from the nearby bowl to create the seam.
5. Fill the cone with a heaping tablespoon of the stuffing. Close the top of the cone by sticking the open edges of the triangle together, again with the help of a little water. This seam should also be 1/4″ wide.
6. Press the top seam again and, if possible, “flute” it with your fingers. Put the samosa on a platter in a cool spot. Make all 24 samosas this way.

Heat oil for deep frying (about 2-1/2″ deep) in a wok or other wide utensil over medium-low flame. When the oil is hot, drop in the samosas, as many as will lie in a single layer. Fry them slowly until they are golden brown, turning them over when one side seems done. When the second side of the samosas has turned a golden color, remove them from the oil with a slotted spoon and place them on a paper-towel-lined platter. Do all samosas this way.

Samosas may be served at room temperature or they may be served warm. Samosas may be made ahead of time (up to a day), refrigerated neatly in flat plastic containers, and then reheated in a 350 degree oven. If you wish to freeze samosas, fry them partially, drain them, and freeze them in a single layer in flat plastic containers. When you wish to eat them, defrost and fry them a second time.

Generally, samosas are served with a tart, spicy chutney like Tamarind-Mint Chutney (see below).

Tamarind-Mint Chutney (fairly typical sweet-and-sour for dipping samosas), Makes 1 cup
Resource: “Madhur Jaffrey’s World-of-the-East Vegetarian Cooking”

1 heaping tbsp chopped fresh Chinese parsley
1 heaping tbsp chopped mint
2 tbsp chopped gur (jaggery) or dark brown sugar
A 3/4″ cube of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
1/4 tsp pounded or ground kala namak (black salt)
2/3 cup tamarind paste
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground, roasted cumin seeds

Put the Chinese parsley, mint, gur, ginger, kala namak and 4 tablespoons of water into the container of an electric blender or food processor. Blend until you have a smooth paste. Mix contents of the blender with the tamarind paste (use a nonmetallic or stainless-steel bowl). Add all the remaining ingredients. Mix well and keep covered in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Naan

Naan, 14 pieces
Resource: Unknown

Ingredients:
1/4 oz. active dry yeast
4 tbsp white sugar
1 cup warm water
1 beaten egg
3 tbsp milk
2 tsp salt
4-1/2 cup bread flour
1/4 cup melted butter

Preparation:
In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Proof until frothy. Stir in sugar, milk, egg, salt, and enough flour to make soft dough. Knead for 6-8 minutes on a lightly floured surface, or until smooth. Place dough in well oiled bowl, cover with damp cloth, and set aside to rise. Let it rise until dough has doubled in volume.
Pinch off small amounts of dough into 12-14 pieces. Roll into balls and allow to rise again.
While the dough is rising, preheat grill to high.
At grill side, roll one ball of dough into a thin circle. Lightly oil grill. Place dough on grill and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until puffy and lightly browned. Brush uncooked side with butter, and turn over. Brush cooked side with butter, and cook until done, another 2-4 minutes. Remove from grill and continue cooking until all naan has been prepared.

Vegetable Jalfrazi

Vegetable Jalfrazi, 4-5 servings
Resource: Unknown

Ingredients:
1 large onion
2 green peppers
2 large tomatoes
1/2 lb. broccoli
1/2 lb. cauliflower
4 tbsp margarine
1 tsp red chili powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 ginger
3 cloves garlic
2 tbsp white vinegar
2 tbsp tomato puree
1-1/2 tsp salt

Preparation:
Chop onion, cut green peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, and cauliflower into 1″ cubes.
Melt margarine and saute onion.
Add all remaining vegetables and stir-fry for about 5 minutes over medium heat.
Add the spices and vinegar.
Stir in the tomato puree, and simmer for about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and fresh-ground pepper.

Crunchy Thai Salada

Crunchy Thai Salad
Resource: Jamie Oliver: “The Naked Chef Takes Off”

Any combination of the following ingredients is great:
sprouts
finely sliced green and red bell peppers
baby spinach
finely sliced and seeded red or green chillies
argula
sliced scallions
peeled, gutted, and sliced cucumbers
finely sliced Chinese or Savoy cabbage
whole sugar snap peas
fresh herbs like mint, basil, and cilantro

Top with Thai Dressing (see below) and sprinkle with some lightly toasted cashews or sesame seeds. If you want to make this more substantial, toss in some cooked and chilled egg noodles.

Thai Dressing
Resource: Jamie Oliver: “The Naked Chef Takes Off”

4 tbsp fresh lime juice
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp sesame seed oil
1 tbsp soy sauce
a good pinch of brown sugar
1 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 clove garlic, finely sliced
1 fresh red chili, seeded and finely sliced
1 large handful of fresh cilantro and basil, chopped

(I usually double for 4 people so there’s plenty for the meal and leftovers.)

Mango & Lime Sorbet

Mango & Lime Sorbet (serves 4)
Resource: “Cookshelf Thai: An Ultimate Collection of Step-by-Step Recipes”

6 tbsp superfine sugar
scant 1/2 cup water
finely grated rind of 3 limes
9 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp creamed coconut
2 large, ripe mangoes
curls of toasted fresh coconut, to decorate

Place the sugar, water, and lime rind in a small pan and heat gently, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Boil rapidly for 2 minutes to reduce slightly, then remove from the heat and strain into a bowl. Stir in the creamed coconut to dissolve and allow to cool.

Halve the mangoes, remove the pits, and peel thinly. Chop the flesh roughly and place in a food processor with the lime juice. Process to a smooth puree.

Pour the cooled syrup into the mango puree, mixing evenly. Pour into a freezer container and freeze for 1 hour, or until slushy in texture. (Alternatively, use an electric ice-cream maker.)

Remove the container from the freezer and beat with an electric mixer to break up the ice crystals. Refreeze for a further hour, then remove from the freezer and beat again until smooth.

Cover the container, return to the freezer, and freeze until firm. To serve, remove from the freezer and leave at room temperature for about 15 minutes before scooping. Scatter with toasted coconut to serve.

(COOK’S TIP: If you prefer, canned mangoes in syrup can be used to make the sorbet. Omit the sugar and water, and infuse the lime rind in the canned syrup instead.)