Writer, chef and business woman Anupy Singla invited me to Williams Sonoma to taste her Vegan Indian Cooking. Very intrigued, but intimated by Indian cooking, I was thrilled to learn it is simpler than it seems plus some other interesting tidbits.
1. Indian people do not eat Naan, the buttery bread we all eat at Indian restaurants. Naan requires a 900-degree oven which nobody, especially in India, has.
2. Roti is the bread that they commonly eat in India.
3. Roti stuffed with potatoes or cauliflower and spices is a Parantha.
4. Roti's are much healthier (and vegan) than Naan.
5. The key essential Indian spices are: Garam Masala, Coriander, Red Chile, Turmeric, Cumin, Salt and Pepper
6. Anupy told me she was woken every morning at 4:30 a.m. as a child to practice yoga on the roof in India.
Anupy taught us how to make these delicious Paranthas. To be honest I was initially overwhelmed by the foreign ingredient list, but everything is available at Whole Foods or the Indian Markets on Devon Street in Chicago. Buy Vegan Indian Cooking for more detailed information and many other tasty vegan recipes.
POTATO STUFFED BREAD (ALOO KA PARANTHA)
4 medium potatoes, boiled, peeled and mashed
1 tablespoon oil
1 heaping teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon red child powder
1 teaspoon mango powder
1 small yellow or red onion, peeled and minced
2-3 Thai, serrano or cayenne chiles, chopped
1 teaspoon garam masala
2 teaspoons coarse seas salt
1/4 cup dried fenugreek leaves (lightly crushed)
BASIC ROTI DOUGH
3 cups chapati flour
1 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon oil (optional)
Blend dough ingredients together in a food processor or by hand in a deep bowl until a ball forms. Set aside.
Put mash potatoes in a bowl. In a heavy pain heat oil and add turmeric, cumin and cook and 30 seconds. Add onion and cook for 2 minutes stirring occasionally. Add this mixture to the potatoes, along with the green chiles, red chile and mango powders, garam masala, salt and fenugreek leaves. Mix everything together.
Begin rolling out the roti dough. Pull of a piece about the size of a golf ball and mold into a ball, flatten it and roll onto floured surface until it is about 5 inches in diameter. Add a dollop, a heaping teaspoon, of the spicy potato filling right in the middle. Fold in all sides so they meet in the middle and dip in flour. Roll it out until it is think and circular about 10 inches in diameter.
Heat a heavy frying pan over medium heat. When hot place the piranha in the pant and heat for 30 seconds, until it is firm enough to flip. Cook for 30 seconds on the opposite side. Lightly oil each side and cook until both sides are brown slightly. Serve immediately.
Do you ever cook Indian food?
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