Proud to smell like curry: Roasted Potatoes and Yams

I am always paranoid; do my friends think I smell like curry? I am bound to smell like the food I cook especially when it emanates a strong aroma. So last week at the movie theater, when a friend asked me, “Did you have Indian food for dinner?” I almost died of embarrassment. Instead of running out of the theater, I looked at my friend straight in the eye and said, “That’s right, I just finished cooking the most amazing Aloo Gobi.” He replied “Wow! Can I come over and have some?” For just that one minute, I felt proud. Yes, I smell like curry.

Anyways, the next day I decided to take a break from cooking Indian food. I opted to roast the potatoes and yams that were in my pantry. At first my instinct was to cook Potato Patties or Salmon Masala Cakes, but my new dish was a refreshing change in flavor.

Roasted Potatoes and Yams
1 large yam
1 large potato
1 ½ tbsp of Roasted Garlic & Peppers Club House seasoning
3 cloves of garlic
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp of olive oil
salt to taste

garnish
lemon wedge
chopped coriander

1. Peel the potato and yam and then cut them into small pieces of the same size. Ensure that the pieces are same size, else you will end up with a combination of under and over cooked pieces.
2. Set your oven to 400ºF. Line a large baking tray with aluminum foil. Ensure you have a baking tray big enough that you are able to spread the vegetables in one layer. If the vegetables overlap, they will end up steaming and not crisp up.
3. Toss all ingredients in a bowl, and mix them well. Pour the tossed potato-yam mixture onto the baking tray and spread them around.
4. Roast for 20 – 30 minutes.

Chips in Greens: Corn Tortilla Bacon Salad

I feel guilty eating chips in bed. So when I came across this brunch salad with tortilla chips, I jumped out of bed. Brunch salad you ask? That’s what Jamie Oliver calls this salad. Why else would I be eating chips in bed.

Anyways back to the salad, when I made this for the first time, I was really apprehensive of the flavors and how things would come together. After tasting it I fell in love with the crunch of the tortilla chips, the salt of the bacon, and the sweet of the corn.

Corn Tortilla Bacon Salad – serves 4
adopted from Jamie Magazine
2 sweet corn cobs
2 ripe avocadoes
4 strips of bacon
2 baby lettuce
100g of spinach
30g of tortilla chips
2 tbsp of olive oil

dressing
2 tbsp plain yogurt
2 flat-leaf parsley sprigs, leaves picked
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tbsp of virgin olive oil
salt to taste
pepper to taste

1. Place a pan or a griddle with a lid, over medium – high heat and pour olive oil into it.
2. Place corn cobs onto the pan and cover it with the lid. The corn will blacken at the point of contact so turn it around every minute or so until it’s cooked all the way around.
3. Cut the avocado in half and pit it.
4. A few minutes before the corn is ready, place the avocado skin side up onto the pan. In a couple of minutes the avocado will char.
5. Remove the avocado and the corn from the griddle.
6. Add the bacon to the pan and cook it until it’s crisp.
7. Run a knife down the sides of the corn to slice off the kernels.
8. Rip the bacon into small pieces.
9. Mix all the dressing ingredients together.
10. Toss all the salad ingredients together in a bowl and drizzle with salad dressing.

My verdict: If you grill the bacon, avocado, and corn the night before, this is a quick recipe for work mornings.

Low on Patience: Mint Coriander Roasted Chicken

Sometimes being low on patience while cooking is a good thing; it results in a no fuss recipe. I came up with this marinate recipe while trying to think up of food to pack for Arvind to take to St John’s. A week later when he actually roasted the marinated chicken, he called to me to let me know that the chicken was yummy. Ironically that day was Valentine’s Day and Arvind is a good flirt!

Mint Coriander Roasted Chicken – serves 3
10 chicken drumsticks
3 tbsp of oil

marinate
25 sprigs of fresh coriander
5 sprigs of fresh mint, leaves picked
4 – 5 cloves of garlic
2 inch piece of fresh ginger
3 – 4 green chilies
6 tbsp yogurt
3 tbsp chickpea flour (besan)
2 tsp coriander powder
1½ tsp garam masala
½ tsp cardamom powder
½ tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp salt

1. Put all of the marinate ingredients into a blender and blend until you have a fine paste.
2. I like to skin the chicken drumsticks but you don’t have to. Cut slits into the chicken drumstick. Mix the marinate into the drumsticks and let it rest for at least 30 minutes.
3. Pre-heat the oven to 400ºF on broil.
4. Grease a baking tray with 1 tbsp of oil. Then place the marinated chicken onto the baking try and drizzle another tbsp of the oil onto the chicken.
5. Place the chicken into the oven. After 15 – 20 minutes, flip the chicken drumsticks and drizzle rest the oil onto the chicken. Remove from the oven after 15 – 20 minutes. Garnish with fresh lemon slices. Serve with rice and a side of yogurt.

Story of a new bride: Roasted Peanut Chutney

I am a North Indian girl married into a South Indian family. Our culture, language, cuisine are completely different. At first most of the food I ate at Arvind’s house felt foreign, but slowly I developed a taste for the new cuisine. This peanut chutney is one of my favorite things that my mother-in-law cooks.

Peanut Chutney – makes about 1 cup
1 cup of blanched unsalted peanuts
1 tbsp oil
2 green chilies
2 dried red chilies
2 tbsp size ball of tamarind
1 1/2 tsp salt

For tempering
2 tsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp urad dal
1 tsp mustard seeds
5 – 6 curry leaves
1 dried red chili

Add tamarind to a bowl with 1/2 cup of water. Let it sit so that the tamarind would dissolve into the water.

In a small pan add oil, peanuts, red chilies, and green chilies. Roast the peanuts to a light brown color and remove the pan from the stove. Let the mixture cool down. Take the tamarind mixture and mash the tamarind so that the water becomes tamarind flavoured. Sieve the mixture, reserve the water, and discard the tamarind pulp. Add the tamarind water, roasted peanut mixture, and salt to a blender and blend into a fine paste. Taste the sauce for seasoning and feel free to add more water or salt. Remove the sauce into a serving bowl.

In a small pan add oil for tempering. Once the oil heats up add the rest of the ingredients. Once the seeds start to pop, pour the flavoured oil over the peanut sauce. Serve cold.

My verdict: This is my favourite South Indian chutney. Thank you mother-in-law I mean mom!