Monday, May 7, 2007

Feeding the Beast

I've really been craving vegetables lately. It must be the change of seasons has me craving freshness or something, but I just have not been able to get enough. Add to that my insane craving for something with Indian flavors, and you have tonight's dinner. It began with a cauliflower. I wanted to do something with cauliflower, but I didn't want to run to the store. A quick go-through of my authentic Indian cookbook revealed plenty of exotic ingredients that I don't have on hand (nigella seeds, asofetoeda, black mustard seeds to name a few). So I picked up an Indian cookbook that I think I only have ever used once.

New Indian Home Cooking by Madhu Gadia, M.S., R.D. is something I received in a cookbook swap. While the recipes seem mostly authentic to me, they are of the low-fat variety, so I seldom pick up this book. (Not that low-fat is bad, just tends to be a bit bland to me.) But the extremely simple recipe for Phul Gobhi Salad caught my eye right away. Translated, it simply means stir-fried salad. And that intrigued me.

The only problem I had with it was that there was no Indian flavor to it. It was simply vegetables, stir-fried with salt, pepper, and vegetable oil. I wanted Indian. So instead of following the recipe precisely, I added about a teaspoon of cumin seeds to my hot oil. I toasted those up a bit before tossing in my veggies, and the result was lip-smacking. I barely cooked them, they were still slightly crunchy, but oh were they good. With some homemade whole wheat pita bread and cantaloupe, it was a more than satisfying veggie dinner.
I didn't quite use the veggies in the recipe. My blend consisted of cauliflower, red bell pepper, onions, carrots, asparagus, and green peas. It was perfect- but I bet zucchini would have made it even better. Another book to check off my list and just many, many more to go.

I also just realized that this great big bowl of veggies is full of antioxidants and such, so that means this is a perfect candidate for Sweetnick's ARF/5-A-Day Tuesday challenge. I almost always make a qualifying food AFTER she's posted the weekly round-up. Be sure to head over there and check out all the other heart-healthy submissions this week.


Claire said...

OH, I bet the zucchini would just top it off! Do you think curry powder would work to make it more Indian tasting? You could even do a curry-yogurt sauce. Hmmmm...make me think!

Erika said...

Well, afterwards I was thinking that this needed a tomato flavor- so if I were to do it again, at the very end I think I would add a can of diced tomatoes and then some curry powder or garam masala would be good too.

Cate said...

Haven't had Indian food in ages, but now you have ME craving it, thankyouverymuch. ;)