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.

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Ideas? Would like to hear from you!