In my experience, you either love Indian food, or you just can't take the heat. Personally, I love, Love, LOVE the heat (pretty good for a white girl, right?!) and the exotic Indian spices filling my house with the hint of this distant and beautiful country is truly trans-formative. Today's Sunday lunch features, Indian Fish Curry, Pindi Chole (Chick Peas) and Tandori Naan.
India's cooking traditions date back about 5,000 years and vary widely from region to region. Vegetarianism is widely practiced through out the country and reflects a long history of spice trade as well religious, spiritual and cultural beliefs. Staples, ingredients and spices typical to India include but are not limited to: rice, red lentils, pigeon peas, chick peas, tomatoes, potatoes, chilli pepper, cumin, turmeric, ginger, coriander, cloves, cardamom and nutmeg.
Tandori Naan, a lovely Indian bread accompanied the meal. I have made it from scratch before, but it hasn't been nearly as good as the store-bought brand I like best: Fabulous Flats, which is available in most supermarkets
Pindi Chole (Chick Peas) -(Recipe's original source unknown)
- 1 can chick peas
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 1/2 inch piece of ginger, 3/4 shredded finely for garnish
- 2-3 Tbsp. oil
- 2 onions, chopped
- 2 tsp. garlic, freshly crushed
- 2 green chilies, sliced (I used 1)
- 3 medium sized tomatoes, chopped
- 2 tsp. ground coriander
- 1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
- 1//2 tsp. red chili powder (or to taste)
- Salt to taste
- 1/2 tsp. garam masala
- finely chopped coriander leaves
- Finely chop ginger. Heat oil and saute onions until golden, then add garlic and chopped ginger and green chilies. Saute for 5 minutes.
- Add tomatoes, coriander, cumin, turmeric and chili powder and saute over low heat until the oil separates.
- Add chick peas, about a cup of water, salt and half the coriander leaves. Simmer, uncovered until the liquid has been absorbed (but do not dry out)
- Add a pinch of garam masala and serve pindi chole sprinkled with remaining coriander leaves and shredded ginger.
Indian Fish Curry
- 1 1/2 lbs. white fish (I used Talapia)
- 2 medium onions
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp. ginger, minced
- 4 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 2/3 cup of water
- Salt to taste
- 1 tsp. white cumin seeds or powder (I used powder)
- 1 tsp. turmeric powder
- 1 tsp. garam masala powder
- Cut the fish into medium sized pieces.
- Heat the ghee (clarified butter) in a frying pan and fry the fish pieces gently for 5 minutes. Drain the fish on kitchen paper towels and set aside.
- Chop one onion finely and grate the other one.
- Add the chopped onion to the ghee in the pan and fry until golden.
- Add all spices and cook stirring for 10 minutes
- Now add the grated onion, garlic, ginger and tomato puree. Fry the mixture until the ghee starts to separate.
- Add the water and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil. Add friend fish pieces. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Serve over hot rice or roti.
Final Assessment: We all loved this meal! It was hot, spicy, light and beautiful to look at. A perfect Sunday lunch that I'll definitely make again.