Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Lost in the Translation

My husband works with a wonderful man named "V" who is from India. "V" recently met and married a very lovely young woman. Unfortunately, although we wanted to, we could not attend their wedding in India. We had them over for dinner last Saturday and I made some Indian fare. I am pretty confident about following recipes. The thing that really puzzles me about Indian food is trying to figure out what region it is from and what goes with what. I try to put in searches like Southern Indian food but it is not always fruitful. There is also a lot of blogs that have a not so traditional take on recipes. But I wouldn't know the difference. Certainly I can not be the only one lost in the translation with Indian food. Oh well, it all tasted pretty good anyway, especially the raita.

If you have not seen or tasted a curry leaf I urge you to go to your local Indian Grocer and buy one. Spend some time with it. Smell it, toast it, get to know it. It is one tastey amazingly addictive leaf. I fell in love with it the first time I tried it. I can't imagine having missed out on that flavor.


2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup rice flour
1/4 cup chopped green chilies
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup yogurt
10 curry leaves, cut into small pieces
2 teaspoons cumin seeds

Mix all the dry ingredients together and then add the wet ingredients to the dry. Add water little by little to form a loose dough. Cover and set aside for a couple hour. Add some more water to the dough so that it becomes a consistency that is pourable.

Laddle a 1/4 cup of batter onto a very hot griddle. Using the back of a spoon, working quickly, spread the batter out into a round circle. The circle should be about 5 to 6 inches in diameter.

Note: If you are use to making crepes, that is exactly how to work this batter. The consistency of the dosa is more like a corn tortilla than a crepe.

Carrot Raita

11/2 cups grated carrots
2 tablespoons grated ginger
1 small onion, chopped
1 chopped green chili
1 tablespoon ghee
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
pinch of asafoetida
10 curry leaves

1 tablespoon desicated coconut
1 1/2 cups yogurt

Grate carrot and set aside. In a skillet heat ghee add the mustard seeds and let them sputter (stand back), Add cumin seeds, asafoetida and curry leaves. Fry for 20 seconds. Add ginger, green chili and onions. Fry for five minutes. Add turmeric to carrots and add to the frying pan. Frying until carrot wilts. Cool this mixture on a plate.

In a larger bowl stif the yogurt until the lumps disappear. Add the cooled carrot mixture to the yogurt. Chill.

Butternut Squash Curry

3 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash
1 large tomato (about 1 cup chopped)
2 medium onions, chopped
1 tablespoon sugar
2 dried red chilis chopped
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon corriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
10 cloves of garlic
10 curry leaves
3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Heat oil in a large pot. Add mustard seeds and let them sputter. Add cumin seeds, dried red chilies, garlic and curry leaves. Fry until light brown. Add chopped onions and fry until transparent. Add squash, tomatoes, turmeric and salt. Let cook on low for about 20 minutes.

Add chili powder, coriander, sugar and mix well. Add 3/4 cup water, cover and cook on low until squash is fork tender.

Note: I served this with rice and the above recipes.


Mary said...

It looks like you were able to make a terrific meal for the newly weds. Have you tried to make contact with some of the Indian gals who blog? They could probably answet your questions.

Katy ~ said...

I have to agree with Mary. I have several absolutely beautiful and charming Indian ladies who follow my blog. Their recipes are beautiful and delicious. And any time I've had a question, I've always received a warm welcome and response.

The meal you prepared sounds delicious and I am positive that it was well received and appreciated.

Grace said...

i must admit that even though indian food still doesn't appeal to me in the slightest, the food you prepared is gorgeous. i haven't given up yet, though!

kat said...

Looks like you did a beautiful job. You are brave making Indian food for someone from India!

Screamin' Mama said...

I love Indian food but so intimidating to make. I'll have to try some of your recipes soon. Looked delish!

Barbara Bakes said...

Looks like a great feast!. I'm going to have to check out a curry leaf now.

Ingrid said...

What India food I've had I haven't particularly liked. I tip my hat off to you Lori for even attempting to make authentic Indian cuisine. You even researched it that alone should get you major points!

Murasaki Shikibu said...

It was very daring of you to make 'Indian' for an Indian couple. Good for you. :)