Thursday, March 3, 2011
March 1 aloo gobi with peas, basmati rice and chicken baked with bread crumbs and pumpkin seeds
March 2 roasted tomato/red pepper soup and grilled gouda and ham sandwiches
Do you ever crave a couple of things that don't really go together but you want to eat them both at the same time? Please tell me that I am not crazy and that other people will crave green curry chicken and corn chowder at the same meal.
I saw these beautiful cauliflower the other day and had to buy them. Normally, I would have just roasted them with a bit of olive oil, kosher salt and a pinch of curry powder like I always do but I am not allowed to fall back on those staple foods anymore and since I was going to cook the breaded, buttermilk chicken breasts from Supperworks again, I had to make sure that I made a dish to go with them that was a new thing.
I kept staring at the pretty cauliflower and all I could think of was aloo gobi but aloo gobi doesn't really go with breaded buttermilk chicken. I couldn't let it go so I decided that I would bring the aloo gobi to the chicken. I added some cumin seed and pumpkin seeds to the bread crumbs for the chicken and sliced them thin and served them alongside the aloo gobi and it was actually really good. The only thing that didn't work as well as I had hoped was the purple cauliflower. It turned dark purple grey and looked kind of muddy and not all that pretty - turmeric makes the potato and white cauliflower such a pretty yellow, but that turmeric turned the purple cauliflower into mud. It still tasted great but it wasn't all that pretty. I would have been better to make a cauliflower pickle out of it so it would retain that lovely colour.
Live and learn!
My recipe is adapted from The Food of India by Murdoch Books:
either 3 tbls of ghee or 2 tbls vegetable oil and 1 tbls of butter
1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
1/2 onion finely chopped
1/2 lb potato cubed (about 2 medium sized)
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 1/2 tsp garam masala
3 or 4 ripe tomatoes chopped (i only had the equivalent of 1 tomato in grape tomatoes so I used 4 canned plum tomatoes along with the fresh)
1" piece of fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 tsp sugar
water or chicken stock
Heat the oil, ghee or butter/oil mixture in a deep, heavy bottomed frying pan over med-low heat. Add the black mustard seeds and let sizzle around until they start to pop. At that point, add the onion and stir around for a few minutes until they start to colour. Add the garlic and ginger and stir for a minute. Add the potatoes and fry until lightly browned.
Add the turmeric, cumin, coriander and garam masala to the pan and stir to mix it all in and fry for a couple more minutes. Add the tomatoes and continue to stir until the spices are totally mixed in.
Add the cauliflower and stir well. Add 1/2 cup of water or chicken stock and a pinch of sugar, increase the heat to med and bring to a boil. Reduce back down to med-low, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes, add a cup of frozen peas and cover for another 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
Season with salt and pepper to taste. Uncover the pan and if the sauce is too runny, simmer for another minute or two before serving. I like to sprinkle fresh cilantro on top.