Tikka Masala with Cauliflower

curry3This meal is vegan and gluten free. If you’re looking for a way to either reduce meat or dairy consumption – this is perfect. It’s packed full of flavor and the cauliflower gives it texture. You can make it quite spicy – I kept it on the mild side since I’m the only one in the family that likes really spicy food.

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Ingredients:
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium white onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, diced
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 16 oz can tomato sauce
1 16 oz can full fat coconut milk
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, packed loose
1 medium head cauliflower, cut into small pieces

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In a large skillet over medium heat, drizzle the oil and place the onions and garlic. Allow to cook for a couple of minutes. Then add in all the spices and mix together well, coating the onions. Cook for another 5 minutes or so, stirring constantly. Place the onions and spices in a blender with about a half cup of tomato sauce, enough to give them some liquid.

Blend together until smooth, and carefully slow back into the pan. Add the rest of the tomato sauce and the coconut milk. Sprinkle the cilantro in the pan and stir until everything is mixed.

Add the cauliflower into the pan, and reduce the heat to low -high. Cover the pan and allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve hot.

curry4To make hotter, adding both diced jalapenos to the onions, and increasing the cayenne will work well.

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Crockpot Butter Chicken

crockpotbutterchickenI love butter chicken, so I’ve made it a bit healthier – and put it in the crockpot, so it’s really easy to make and fills the house with a delightful aroma. This to me is one of the best comfort foods.

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Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 white onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 1/2″ pieces
1 14.5 oz can coconut milk
1 6 oz can tomato paste
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
2 teaspoons garam masala
1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon turmeric

cooked rice, or other gluten free grain, for serving

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In a skillet over medium low heat cook the onions and garlic in the olive oil with the curry powder until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes, then place into the crockpot.

Next add the tomato paste and coconut milk into the crockpot along with the rest of the spices and stir until lightly mixed. Add the chicken, and stir in well. Allow to cook on low heat for 4.5-5 hours. Serve along with rice or other grain of choice. Enjoy!

Curried Potatoes

Curried Potatoes

These potatoes make a great side dish for many different types of dishes. I served them with a pork dish tonight – but they can bring a real nice kick of flavor to the table with a variety of different styles of dishes.

Ingredients:
2 large russet potatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

currypotatoes2Boil the potatoes in a pot of water with some salt until they are softened,  remove drain them from the water and allow them to cool until you’re able to safely handle them. Slice them up into bite sized pieces.

In a skillet over medium heat add the olive oil and allow it to heat up. Place the cumin and mustard seeds in the skillet and cook them for a minute or two – then add the rest of the spices and lemon juice. Stir the potatoes in and cover them in the spices. Turn the heat down to low and allow to cook for 7-10 minutes. Serve hot. Serves 3-4 as a side. Enjoy!

 

Sweet Potato and Spinach Curry

Sweet Potato and Spinach CurryThis curry is full of fresh spinach, sweet potatoes, and spices. I love making a dish like this early in the week because it reheats well for lunches if there are leftovers. Curry is very versatile – the combinations you can make with it are endless, and can be very healthy like this bowl. I also love the way the spices make the house smell, it’s very inviting to me.

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 large sweet onion, diced
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon fresh ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 large sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2″ cubes
4 cups fresh spinach
15 oz diced tomatoes
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

rice or grain of choice

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After preparing the sweet potatoes, steam them for 10-15 minutes.

In a large skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil and onion. Add the curry powder, ground cumin, cinnamon, turmeric, cayenne, fresh ginger, and sea salt. Cook for about 5 minutes. Next add the spinach, you may need to add it a cup or two at a time, allowing it to wilt. If more liquid is needed, add a teaspoon of olive oil.

After all the spinach has been added and wilted add the diced tomatoes, water, and fresh lemon juice.  Next, add the sweet potatoes to the skillet, and reduce the heat to low and allow to cook for about 10 minutes.

Serve over rice or other gluten free grain of choice. Makes 4 large servings.

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Homemade Tahini Paste

tahiniI’m going to be making some hummus in the next few days so I wanted to get my tahini made beforehand. Tahini is great for many other things as well – it goes great for salad dressings, other dips,  and falafel to name a few. It’s very easy to make and costs much less to make it at home than it does to buy at the store, and you aren’t getting any of the preservatives.

tahini3Ingredients:
2 cups white sesame seeds (about 10 oz)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt

Preheat the oven to 350F and spread the seeds on a baking sheet. Gently stir them every few minutes and let them become lightly golden, about 15 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow them to completely cool. Place in a food processor with the salt and start to blend. Slowly add the olive oil to the seeds and keep blending. (I have to stop every 30 seconds or so to scrape the sides with a spatula, my food processor isn’t the best.) Blend until the tahini has become creamy. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

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Curry with Chickpea Dumplings

Chickpea Dumplings with CurryThis is another favorite curry dish of mine that I’ve been wanting to share for awhile. These dumplings are wonderful and easy to make. I’ve tried to keep the dish as healthy as possible and the dumplings steam themselves in the curry – which allows them to soak up some of that wonderful flavor, and is much healthier than frying. I’ve served this on a jasmine rice today, however I’ve served it on quinoa or other grains that I’ve had leftover.

chickpeadumplings3Ingredients:
1 cup chickpea flour
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided into 2
28 oz crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon turmeric
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 tablespoon curry powder
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

rice, or other grain of choice

chickpeadumplings2In a large skillet over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the garlic, and half of the onion. Saute for 5 minutes,  then add the turmeric, cumin, mustard seeds, coriander and curry powder. Stir together for a couple of minutes and add in the crushed tomatoes and fresh ginger. Bring to a slow boil, stirring occasionally and reduce the heat to medium low. Cook and allow to thicken for 10-12 minutes.

While the curry is cooking, mix together the chickpea flour,  Greek yogurt, the other half of the onion, paprika, salt, and the other 2 tablespoons of oil. Scoop out 8 equal portions and carefully place them in the curry. Cover and allow them to steam for 10 minutes. Turn them over and allow them to steam for another 5 minutes.  Serve on top of your gluten free grain and enjoy! Serves 4.

 

*By substituting the Greek yogurt for soy yogurt, this easily becomes a vegan dish.

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Mild Red Lentil Dal

mild red lentil dalOne of those lazy Sunday afternoons where you want to relax and take it easy. I made Dal for dinner, its a dish that can be made so many different ways depending on how you like it. I made this for family – including picky eaters. Lentils you say? I went with red lentils on this to make it look more appealing, and used very mild spices to introduce Indian style food to people who haven’t tried it before. I’ll share some of my other Dal recipes soon!

milddal3Ingredients:
1 cup red lentils
1 1/2 cups diced tomatoes (fresh or canned works)
1/2 cup water (reduce to 1/4 if using canned diced tomatoes)
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon turmeric
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
3-4 tablespoons fresh cilantro, for topping

milddal1In a large skillet add the lentils, salt and a bit of water, enough to cover them by about a 1/2 inch. Bring to a simmer over medium high heat, then reduce to low and cover. Allow the lentils to simmer for 10 minutes. Uncover and stir, lightly smashing about half of the lentils.

Add in the fresh ginger, garlic, turmeric, and cumin along with the tomatoes, heavy cream and water. Mix together well, cover and let simmer over low heat for 30 minutes. Serve on top of rice or other gluten free grain of choice. Serves 4. Enjoy!

 

Palak Kofta

palak koftaKofta is something that can be made so many ways, with so many things. They are typically a meatball of sorts – however this dish is vegetarian. This was a fun dish to make and we really enjoyed it – and it was a bit different from the other Indian style dishes I make. There was a whole 12 ounces of spinach used to make the kofta – making it a delicious way to get more veggies in my diet.

curry5Ingredients:
For the Koftas:
12 ounces fresh spinach (frozen works as well)
1/2 cup chickpea flour (besan)
1/2 white onion, finely diced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
1 teaspoon red chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
up to 1/3 cup water

For the sauce:
3/4 cup milk
1/2 white onion, diced
1 medium tomato, pureed or 1/4 cup tomato sauce
2 teaspoons coriander
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
1 teaspoon garam masala powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

curry2If you’re using fresh spinach – coarsely chop it up and add it and the diced onions into a food processor and combine well. It’s too hard to make into balls otherwise. For frozen spinach, warm it and squeeze all the water out and combine.

Place the spinach and onions in a medium sized bowl, and add the ginger, chili powder, cumin, and salt. Slowly add in the flour, and add water as needed until the spinach is lightly coated and is easy to work with. Heat a skillet with a bit of oil (I used about 3 tablespoons) and make balls out of the spinach mixture. It should make about 12 balls. Gently place them in the oil (I cooked 6 at a time) and leave sit on each side for about 1 minute, until it lightly browns. Carefully roll them – using a spoon is much easier than a spatula here – and cook each side for about a minute, until all sides are slightly browned.  Place the balls on a paper towel after cooking to remove excess oil.

curry1In a medium skillet over medium heat add 2 tablespoons olive oil and the onion. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add in the ginger, coriander, chili power, garam masala, and cumin. Cook together for 2-3 minutes and add the cup of water and the tomato puree. Cook for 7-10 minutes, letting the onion and tomato mixture absorb some of the water. Add in the milk and combine well. Next add in the spinach balls, cover the pan with a lid and turn the heat to low. Allow it to sit for 5 minutes. Serve with rice or naan bread – serves 4.

curry3A few notes – other gluten free flours will work in the kofta. Chickpea flour is what is commonly used – and I’ve used rice flours with good results.

For frozen spinach – I’d suggest using 16 oz – and allowing it to fully thaw (or even warm it a bit) before using.

I’d have typically used heavy cream – however I’m trying to make dinner here a bit healthier and swapped to milk with good results.

About the spices  – kofta is made in so many ways, you can easily substitute. I’ll always suggest fresh ginger over dried, and the garam masala and cumin are always  good beginner spices if you don’t want to invest in a lot of spices. I’ve said it before but once you get a few spices in your cupboard – dishes like this become easy to put together.

I enjoyed making this – however it did take me about 45 minutes or so to prepare. Relax and have fun!

Navratan Korma

navratankormaThis is a vegetarian Indian dish with a tomato cream sauce and packed full of vegetables. The curry is delicious, but doesn’t outshine the vegetables which are the star of this dish. Navratan means “9 jewels” so there’s basically 9 vegetables + nuts in the dish. This is also my mom’s favorite curry dish that she orders when we go out, and I like to make it at home once in awhile!

kormaIngredients:
3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1/2 an onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 medium potato, peeled and chopped
1 cup of carrots, chopped
1 cup cashews, chopped
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup fresh green beans, chopped
1 cup peas
1 cup tomato sauce
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 tablespoon garam masala
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup heavy cream
*you may want to add some water if you find it to be too thick*

korma2In a large skillet over medium heat, add the oil, onions, salt, coriander, turmeric, garam masala, cardamom and fresh ginger. Cook for 5-7 minutes. Add in all the vegetables, cashews and raisins and mix well with the onions and spices.Add in the tomato sauce and heavy cream. Stir together well. Cook for 15-20 minutes over medium low heat, until the vegetables are soft – the potatoes will take the longest.

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Serve with rice, gluten free naan bread, or other grain of choice. Serves 4-6.

*cardamom is fairly expensive spice wise and you can skip it. It really adds some great taste but you can skip it and add a bit more garam masala and ginger.

*Can also substitute in zucchini or cauliflower for some of the veggies.

Jeera Aloo

Jeera AlooThis is such a simple and delicious Indian dish. Jeera Aloo basically translates to cumin potatoes – my family had been asking me for potatoes so they got them, with a side of brussel sprouts. The combo really worked out too, who knew!

jeeraaloo3Ingredients:
5 medium potatoes peeled and cubed
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon amchoor (mango powder)
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

jeeraloo4Start with the peeling and dicing of the potatoes and get them in a large pot of boiling water with a little bit of salt. You want them to be tender, but still firm.  In a large skillet (I used my wok because they weren’t going to fit in the skillets I have) heat the oil for a couple of minutes then add the cumin seeds. Let the start to crack and brown a bit, then add the rest of the spices and the lemon juice. Cook together for about 5 minutes. I added about 2 tablespoons of water after that – then added in the potatoes.

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Coat the potatoes well into the spice for 4-5 minutes before serving. Serves 4-6.

*I had a hard time getting amchoor here. I ended up at our Indian grocery store to get it because my normal store didn’t carry it. It really has a unique flavor and I enjoyed it very much in this dish so I’d try to not skip it.