Earthy, spicy Indian food – mmm…mmm…good!

Black Chickpea Curry from The Indian Slow Cooker
Black Chickpea Curry from The Indian Slow Cooker

Do you love the earthy, spicy texture and flavor of Indian food as I do? I used to run down to my corner on Devon Ave. in Chicago for delicious Indian food any day of the week I wanted some. These days the only way I can enjoy those dishes is when they come out of my own kitchen.

Enter: The Indian Slow Cooker by Anupy Singla. I hope to provide a full review of the book in my blog at some time in the near future, but here’s a little preview: if you love Indian food, aren’t near restaurants that serve authentic dishes and are busy – get the book! It’s one of the best cookbooks I have ever owned, and I own a lot of cookbooks.  It’s not a big book, but so far everything I have made has been delicious.

Pictured above is the Black Chickpea Curry I just made for dinner last evening. I wanted more for lunch today and ran into the store for a little broccoli. They wanted a lot of money for flowerets – usually the case if they lop off more of the plant. Right next to the flowerets they had full stalks for half the price.

I got the longer stalks and cut them into smaller pieces (about the size you’d see in cooked carrot rounds). I put the cut up pieces into the microwave with the flowerets, then arranged them under the flowerets on the plate.

And rice – you know you need to cook that nowadays with a 1:6 ratio of rice to water, right? Because of the arsenic? Someday I’ll write a post about that.

The other dish I made this week that just blew me away — also from The Indian Slow Cooker – was Palak Paneer (Spinach and “Cheese”). The book has a recipe for palak, Indian cheese, a very simple cheese. For my vegan dish, I used tofu after letting it sit in a brine solution for a couple of hours.

The other change I made was to slightly reduce the peppers. I love spicy food, but others around me are spice sensitive. By reducing the more fiery seasonings by half, everyone else was able to enjoy the dishes, and I just pumped it up a little on my plate.

Here are two pictures of the Palak Paneer, one with everything thrown into the pot (there’s a pound of spinach under that blanket of veggies and seasonings), the other the finished product:

Palak Paneer (Spinach & "Cheese") - all the ingredients in the pot ready to go.
Palak Paneer (Spinach & “Cheese”) – all the ingredients in the pot ready to go.
Palak Paneer - finished product.
Palak Paneer – finished product.

omg. It was so delicious! These dishes are examples of what I love most about the book – the recipes are so easy! You would never be tempted to open a package instead of making your own food. Everything goes into the crockpot early in the day and voila! A delicious dinner pops out several hours later.

And now I’m off to experiment more with vegan cheeses from Artisan Vegan Cheese by Myoko Schinner.

For more, visit my blog, vegetatingwithleslie.org, “Like” me on FaceBook/Vegetating with Leslie or follow me on Twitter, @vegwithleslie.

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