The Indian Family Heritage is very similar to mine – The Italian Family:
Parents are born and raised to drive the children crazy!
Here’s an idea —- to keep the family coming back Sunday after Sunday — join me for our weekly “cuisine” food festival around the world>
This week will be dining on traditional Indian food.
Indian cuisine has a wide variety of different regional foods Each region has it’s own different twist to the traditional Indian dishes. That depends on the area’s climate, soil, religion, culture, ethnic groups and the availability of spices, vegetables,and herbs.
There are over 35 regional cuisines in India. Some of the most common regions to our modern culture are Delhi, Punjab,and Bengal.
All of our parent’s goal was
1: to always keep us all together — in my Family that meant – my brother, sister, Aunts Uncles and 47 first cousins. PLUS – when we all got married — our children were added to the mix.
2. AH — Marriage —- after or sometimes even before education in the Indian and the Italian family —- it was and still is all about MARRIAGE, MARRIAGE,ANDMARRIAGE — AGAIN AND AGAIN, AND AGAIN.
SO – AS WITH MY ITALIAN BACKGROUND — THE INDIAN FAMILY – WHETHER IN THE HOMELAND OR HERE IN THE USA – Food is one of the main components of “togetherness” Food feeds the soul, warms the heart and put’s smiles of everyone’s face.
SO- As with my Italian background — the Indian family Background – whether in the homeland or here in the USA —- keeping the family close in paramount…
There are a number of different regional Indian cuisines — we are going to integrate a few of those together for our Sunday dinner.
Food – cooking style – fresh ingredients and always eating together on SUNDAY!
The hold onto the children – the drive is called the “guilt” – of always mom saying – “I miss you, at least you can spend one day a week with the family” — Believe me — it works!!! AH – SUNDAY…………………..
SO — the guilt always brings us all back….. to SUNDAY DINNER.
So let’s make it a welcoming ritual, loving, different, happy and most of all delouse.
The Indian girls grow up in their mother’s kitchen – learning how to cook and ultimately being as good a cook as their mom’s for their families. Their goals as does mine becomes — keeping the family together and we become masters of the “guilt”…
The cooking starts early Sunday morning – and believe me — from my experience – it is an all-day affair. Again – very similar in my Indian friend’s homes.
Let’s start with the basics staples of Indian food that is a part of their Family gathering – Sunday _meals:
GARAM MASALA –
Garam Masala – Is an Indian spice blend. I will give you the basic recipe – but Indian families historically have their own personal family blend. Remember that this blend is used for a variety of dishes – vegetables, mutton – (lamb or goat), chicken, fish, pasta, eggs,gravy,and even drinks.
Garam Masala is a spicy, hot, very aromatic blend of spices.
Making it yourself is much better than store bought and surprisingly very simple.
1/4 cup cloves
1 crushed nutmeg
5 cinnamon sticks
10 bay leaves
3-star anise flowerets
1/4 cup whole pepper seeds
2 tablespoons Mase
2 tablespoons cumin
Blend up in a blender to an excellent consistency
— and you are ready for us.
Garam Masala is done —- to keep fresh tasting – store in either a sealed glass jar or a sealed plastic bag.
One of my absolute favorites to enjoy with not only Indian cuisine – but for all meals – because it is rich in flavor, light,and buttery is—- NAAN Bread
This is eaten with most Indian meals. It is like a good Tuscan Bread is to the Italians, French Beget is to the French, plum pudding to the British and Soda Bread is to the Irish:
You can find Naan in any grocery store — but if you would like to make this delouse flatbread — I have a wonderful recipe.”
Generally as in Indian restaurants or in Indian households – this is made in a clay oven called the Tandoori oven: The bread is cooked at 900 degrees to cook in seconds.
NAAN BREAD –
3 cups of flour
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 and 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg beaten
1 teaspoon of yeast
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons oil
In mixing bowl – flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and beaten egg, milk, oil.
In separate bowl
one package of active yeast and warm water
. Now cover with a damp cloth for twenty minutes. It will rise and double or more in size.
After the yeast has sat mix all together with other ingredients.
Keep needing until a smooth large ball has formed. If necessary , so that dough is moist – add water in small amounts.
Separate dough ball into smaller balls around 3-4 inches in diameter. Roll each ball out to a thin disk.
Heat nonstick skillet up to high heat so that the pan is boiling.
Place disk in skillet one at a time. keep pressing down with a wooden spoon around the diameter of the dough. This will help the rising of small bubbles to form inside the top part of the center of the dough. When one side begins to have brown (cooked spots) flip over and repeat the process.
When each disk is cooked – spread butter or oil on for a richer flavor.
Indian Curry – Is commonly an excellent ingredient for the use of your homemade Garam Masala and to dip your homemade Naan in. It is also used as a main dish with proteins all which are called “curry” : Curry is eaten with Rice, Fish, Meat, poultry, shellfish, mutton, vegetables and alone as a spread or dips with Nann bread. Another common curry dish is A Lentil, vegetable dish which Lentils are a main staple in the Indian household – it is more commonly known as Dal .
Plain Bowls of Curry can have yogurt added or Turmeric, – when either of these is added and stirred in they will change the color of the curry… OR Curry simply as itself.
Simple Quick CURRY
1 Cinnamon Stick
3 cups of finely chopped or grated red onions
2 cups of tomato puree
1/4 cup oil
1/2 cup ginger paste
1/2 cup garlic paste
1 tablespoon turmeric
1 tablespoon coriander
1 tablespoon cumin
1 – 2 tablespoons Red Chili powder (depending on the desired level of spice flavor)
Salt to taste
In a heavy bottom skillet
medium heat – heat oil
add cinnamon stick, cloves,andcardamon. Let it cook for 3-4 minutes so that the oil can absurd those flavors.
add onions and stir constantly until caramelized and all liquid is absorbed.
Now – remove cinnamon stick – cloves and cardamom.
toensure no burning – add a small amount of water.
Keep stirring constantly throughout the cooking process — this dish has to be monitored at all times.
Add : ground turmeric, ground coriander, ground cumin, ground chili powder, and salt
Stir for 3-4 minutes.
Add – 2 cups of tomatoes puree
cook for ten minutes until puree is cooked through all flavors are married into one another.
You can judge your desired thickness by adding small amounts of water.
If you integrate chicken, vegetables or any other preteen – place in the curry and cook those added foods until cooked through.
Dal is vital to the Indian Diet. There are many varieties of Dal. It is a base of Lentils – green or brown, split peas, dried small beans – white, black, yellow or red.
Once you choose your bean base, the process is simple.
1 cup yellow lentils
2 cups water
1 cup of freshly chopped coriander
2 large chopped red onions
2 large chopped tomatoes
2 dried chili peppers
2 tablespoons turmeric powder
2 tablespoons cumin
2 tablespoons garlic paste (blend or grind – yourself to make the paste)
1 tablespoon ginger paste ” ” ” ”
4 tablespoons oil or Ghee (clarified butter)
salt to taste
Wash lentils until water runs clear
boil lentils in water
lower heat and simmer for twenty minutes or until lentils are soft
OPTIONAL – mash lentils with a potato masher, leaving remaining water still in the pot – or leave whole with remaining water.
I heavy skillet – on medium temp heat oil or ghee
add in – chili peppers, 1/2 of the coriander leaves,cumin, onions, ginger paste, garlic paste,turmeric powder, tomatoes,and salt,
cook for 4-5 minutes
Now add the boiled whole or mashed lentils with its warm water — bring to a boil again. Once boiling for 1 minute – turn off heat and add the remaining coriander leaves — ready to serve.
A number of food items can be added to the Dal — some more popular things are Mutton-goat or lamb and rice.
So there we have it — our Indian – Sunder Dinner – Family Gathering. I promise you that this will keep Sundays a family ritual. Include the family in the entire cooking experience and watch the love always stay with you all!