Indian Recipes

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Lima Bean Masala (Indian Butter Bean Curry) Recipe

Lima beans, also known as butter beans, are legumes that are a great source of cholesterol-lowering fiber and protein. They have a wonderful buttery, starchy texture and are quite filling. At our home we make a lima bean curry that is eaten with paratha (flat Indian bread). The gravy used is the standard yogurt and caramelized onion combination flavored with Indian spices.

I used frozen lima beans in this dish. Frozen vegetables are picked at the peak of ripeness and are as close to fresh as you can get without growing them yourselves or finding a local supplier. I never use dried lima beans so no soaking is required with these. That means a faster cooking time, which is always nice.


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Sweet Lassi (Indian Yogurt Drink) Recipe

Lassi is an Indian yogurt drink. I often make it at home, but I've never quite been able to recreate the subtle tanginess of the drink. That is, until now. On our last trip to the local Indian restaurant, I asked the waitress about their preparation techniques, and she told me that they always add Bulgarian cultured buttermilk when making plain lassi. After that lunch, I stopped at the local Middle Eastern store, picked up a carton of buttermilk, and adjusted my recipe to her specifications. I've been making it this way ever since.

I use traditional Indian flavorings in my lassi, specifically elaichi ("cardamom" in Urdu) and rose water. My mother-in-law isn't a huge fan of rose flavoring, so I only added ¼ teaspoon of rose extract. You can add as much or as little as you'd like.


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Spicy Garlic Chutney Recipe

Spicy Garlic Chutney

03.12.10 by Jackie

Spicy garlic chutney is meant to knock your socks off. I used Anaheim peppers which are mildly hot; you can decide on the level of spiciness by using hotter peppers such as Serrano peppers. If you're really masochistic, habanero or scotch bonnets would work as well. On the other hand, if you're like me and can't handle spicy food, you could use green bell peppers instead. 

This Indian chutney is a great condiment for subtly flavored dishes such as fish en papillote, meat, Indian potato cutlets, basmati rice and dahl or even a piece of toast. It's also very healthy for you due to the large quantity of fresh garlic. We make this chutney very often, as it stores well in the refrigerator. The only no-no would be to serve it during a romantic dinner !!


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Kali Dal (Indian Black Lentils) Recipe

Kali Dal (Indian Black Lentils)

03.10.10 by Jackie

The flavor combination of kali dal ("black lentils" in Urdu) is simple: black lentils, ginger and a few chiles to enhance the flavors. In this case, simple is beautiful. The dal is finished with a hint of acidity and tartness with dried mango powder. It is both tasty and healthy, especially if you're on a vegetarian diet and need the protein.

Since I'm married to a vegetarian, I have had to educate myself about how to create nutritious meals that are meat-free. What I learned is that the basis of any well-balanced vegetarian meal is a starch and a legume. This isn't too surprising; almost every culture has a combination like this, be it rice and beans, rice and tofu or bread and chickpeas. I've personally come to really enjoy rice and dal, which is the Indian version of this combination. Black dal in particular have a wonderful earthy, complex flavor that is hard to describe and impossible to forget. At the very least, try them the next time you go to an Indian restaurant, or better yet, make them at home. It's definitely worth the effort.


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Jeera Aloo (Potato Curry) Recipe

Jeera Aloo (Potato Curry)

03.02.10 by Jackie

Jeera aloo masala is a potato dish made with a spicy cumin gravy. Turmeric powder gives the dish its bright yellow color, and along with the heat from the traditional garam masala, makes this dish the ultimate Indian comfort food.

I often make jeera aloo because it's a quick and easy vegetarian meal when I'm pressed for time. There are always potatoes and a container of ready-made garam masala in my house, so it's something I can throw together with almost no effort.

I think we all wish we could give our family healthy meals, but sometimes life intervenes and it's hard to find time to make wholesome food. Having a few recipes like jeera aloo in your culinary arsenal that you can whip up quickly and easily will help keep you from relying too much on high calorie takeout.


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