Kitchen Creations

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Trying something new

So, in an effort to look for some great vegetarian recipes, I've hit on quite a few really tasty looking Indian food recipes.  I love the combination of spices and vegetables in each of these.  The flavor really does just explode in your mouth.  I've also been searching out recipes that add something new.  I like to introduce my boys to new vegetables and fruits.  My older son is easy, he'll try anything and be polite about it.  My younger son, compete opposite.  He's not shy about making a face and spitting it back out.  We have a rule in our house called the "No thank you bite", courtesy of our friends Kristen and Andy.  You MUST take one bite to see if you like it and then if you don't you may say a polite, "No thank you".  However, sometimes it turns into a "Yes please" bite!  It's cut down on many a struggle with my youngest.  It simply goes without saying that you will have to try everything on your plate.  Other research has shown that between 20-30 exposures to certain flavors or foods help you develop a taste for them.  That's another point in favor of the "No thank you." bite!  I digress.  The new food I was introducing in this recipe was okra.  My husband helped me with the hype on this one by bringing in his botanical expertise.   Okra is part of the mallow family.  Some mallows grow in marshy areas.  Are you catching the draw here?  Inside mallow plants there is a slimy substance.  This slimy substance is taken from those mallows that grow in marshy areas and whipped.  The result........ anyone guess it yet?   That's right, MARSHMALLOW!  Well at that point my kids were on board, hugely.  Warning, okra tastes nothing like that fluffy, white stuff, but surprisingly my boys devoured it and asked for more. 

So, without further ado, I'll introduce you to our meal featuring the cousin of the marshmallow!

Vegetable Kashmiri   
(recipe from Complete Vegetarian published by Hermes House)
2 tsp. cumin seeds
8 black peppercorns
2 cardamom pods
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
3 Tbsp. oil
1 fresh green chili, chopped (I used a poblano)
1 medium onion, sliced
1 inch piece of fresh ginger root, grated
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 large potatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes (I recommend Yukon gold, they add a rich flavor)
1 medium head of cauliflower cut into florets
8 oz of okra (I could not find fresh so I used the next best thing, frozen)
2/3 cup plain yogurt
2/3 cup vegetable stock
1/4 cup toasted flaked almonds
Sprigs of fresh cilantro for garnish

1.)  Grind the cumin seeds, peppercorns and cardamom. 
I ground my spices in a small food processor.

2.)  Add the freshly ground spices to the cinnamon and nutmeg.
3.)  Heat oil in a large pan and saute the chili,onion and ginger for two minutes on medium-high.
Does it get any better than sauteed peppers, onions & spices?

4.)  Add the chili power, salt and ground spice mixture.  Cook for 2-3 minutes over gentle heat. Stir constantly to keep spices from sticking.
5.)  Stir in the potatoes, cover and cook for 10 minutes over low, stir occasionally.
6.)  Add the cauliflower and okra.  Cook for 5 minutes.

Frozen Okra on the top
7.)  Add the yogurt and stock.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer.  Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
8.)  Garnish with toasted almonds (this really makes the dish) and cilantro.
Don't skip these!  They add tons of crunch & flavor!

Click here for printable recipe

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