Thursday, February 3, 2011


South Indian Curry, Coconut Cilantro Rice, Naan Bread

Naan Bread: puffed and delicious

Dinner Group. I was really hot and sweaty from cooking :)

I LOVE INDIAN FOOD! So much. It is just one of those things that brings a smile to your face. Warm, comforting, mouthwatering. I made a meal for my dinner group. I cooked up South Indian Vegetable Curry, Coconut Cilantro Rice, and Naan Bread.  They really liked it, and so did my roommates :)

South Indian Vegetable Curry

1 large onion, cut into 1-inch chunks (about 2 cups)
3 large garlic cloves, peeled
1 (2-inch-long 1-inch-diameter) piece peeled fresh ginger
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon garam masala
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 serrano chile, seeded, chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 cups vegetable broth
2 teaspoons (packed) golden brown sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice + 1 teaspoon grated lime peel
1 pound sweet potatoes (yams), peeled, cut into 1-inch cubes
12 ounces russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 large carrots, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch rounds
1 yellow squash, sliced
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 can coconut milk (15 ounces)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Puree first 8 ingredients in processor until paste forms. Cook in large pot over medium heat until aromatic, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Add tomato paste. Cook until mixture starts to darken and brown, stirring often, about 5 minutes longer. Add broth, brown sugar, and lime. Simmer 10 minutes, stirring often and scraping up browned bits. (This can be made 2 days ahead.) Cool, cover, and chill. Bring to simmer before continuing. Add sweet potatoes, russet potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper to mixture in pot. Stir in coconut milk. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to medium low. Cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally, about 25 minutes. Stir in yellow squash and cook for about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer curry to bowl. Garnish with cilantro and serve.

Coconut Cilantro Rice

3 cups basmati rice
3/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1 tablespoon finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh jalapeño including seeds (from 1 chile)
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups water
1 cup coconut milk
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups packed fresh cilantro sprigs
4 scallions, chopped (1 cup)

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Wash rice in several changes of cold water in a bowl until water is almost clear. Spread coconut in a shallow baking pan and toast in oven, stirring occasionally, until pale golden, 7 to 10 minutes. Cool completely. Cook ginger and jalapeño in 1 tablespoon oil in a 4-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring, until chile is softened, about 2 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in water, coconut milk, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil, covered. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, until rice is tender and water is absorbed, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, 5 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork and transfer to a large bowl. While rice cooks, pulse together coconut, cilantro, scallions, and remaining 2 tablespoons oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a food processor until finely chopped. Add cilantro mixture to cooked rice and stir gently until combined well.

Naan Bread

1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1/4 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 egg, beaten
2 teaspoons salt
4 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons minced garlic (optional)
1/4 cup butter, melted
garlic salt

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand about 10 minutes, until frothy. Stir in sugar, milk, egg, salt, and enough flour to make a soft dough. Knead for 6 to 8 minutes on a lightly floured surface, or until smooth. Place dough in a well oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and set aside to rise. Let it rise 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in volume. Punch down dough. Pinch off small handfuls of dough about the size of a golf ball. Roll into balls, and place on a tray. Cover with a towel, and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes. During the second rising, preheat grill to high heat. At grill side, roll one ball of dough out into a thin circle. Lightly oil grill. Place dough on grill, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until puffy and lightly browned. Brush uncooked side with butter, and turn over. Brush cooked side with butter, and cook until browned, another 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from grill, and continue the process until all the naan has been prepared.
You can also cook bread in the oven. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.  Place dough on a cookie sheet and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Brushed uncooked side with butter, and turn over. Brush cooked side with butter, and cook until browned, another 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from oven.
*Note: Naan bread does not necessarily have to puff up while cooking.
Before serving, brush warm bread with butter seasoned with garlic salt.

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