EAT THE WORLD: INDIA

INDIA! We are finally cooking INDIA for EAT THE WORLD! So exciting! I love Indian food, and I don't get enough of it here in South Florida. Will, my Traveling Ninja, has NEVER eaten Indian food. Boy, was I excited to get him to have a taste of this country! 

But before we get into the meal, I have to share with you how we came across India. My grandmother from England in currently visiting us. She is such a fantastic fan of my blog and my pictures, and always shares it on her Facebook (yep, grannies on FB), so I wanted to be able to let her get a chance to get in to the action. I let her chose the country we were going to cook next, and her choice was India! So this past Saturday, we all sat down at my parents house, and cooked India. The TN did a great job with a lot of the ingredients, and my mom helped a lot when we needed all hands on deck - this meal was certainly more complicated than I thought it might be! Indian food has always been one of my favorite foods, and I have missed it since moving to the States, as you don't find it often in the area I live. I also want to go to India one day! 

EAT THE WORLD: INDIA

For this episode of EAT THE WORLD, we made Onion Bhajis (my nan's choice) and Chicken Korma, my mom and I's favorite Indian dish. India doesn't have a national dish really, as there are so many variations in meals depending on region etc. I opted to pick my favorite dish, just because I love it so much. Now, if you've had Indian food before, you'll know no Indian meal is complete without a delicious serving of Naan bread. Instead of cooking this myself, we ended up ordering it from a restaurant in West Palm Beach. Grocery stores in the US do sell naan bread but I wanted something completely fresh and more authentic. I was also pleasantly surprised when I managed to locate ALL the spices I needed for my chicken korma and onion bhajis in Publix. Yeah Publix! 

RECIPE FOR ONION BHAJI

Recipe from Frugal Feeding, 10-12 bhajis

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 white onion, finely sliced
  • 1 red onion, finely sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, mashed
  • 1 thumb of ginger, finely chopped
  • 1/2 Tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 Tsp garam masala
  • 1 Tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 Tsp ground cumin
  • 100g gram flour
  • 60-80ml water
  • vegetable oil
  • Salt

DIRECTIONS

  1. Place the onions in a mixing bowl, making sure to separate all the slices.
  2. Add all the spices, garlic, ginger, flour, salt and mix. 
  3. Add 1 Tbsp of oil and 60 ml water and mix. Add more water if needed, ensuring the batter adequately coats the onion
  4. Heat 4-5 Tbsp of oil in a pan over medium heat. 
  5. Take small amounts of the mixture and place into the oil. Fry until golden brown on each side

 

RECIPE FOR CHICKEN KORMA

Recipe from The Wanderlust Kitchen, serves 6+

INGREDIENTS

For the Marinade:

  • 3 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

For the Sauce:

  • 2 white onions, peeled and quartered
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 4 tsp curry powder
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground coriander seed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 large tomatoes, diced
  • 2 tbs ginger root, grated
  • 1/2 cup ground almonds
  • 1 cup unsweetened canned coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 cup plain low-fat yoghurt
  • 1/2 small red chili, de-seeded and minced
  • 1 tbs brown sugar (packed

DIRECTIONS

  1. Drizzle oil onto the chicken, and sprinkle with the garam masala, curry powder, salt and pepper. Massage into the meat, cover, and leave to marinate for two hours or overnight. 
  2. Once marinated, grill the chicken for 5-6 minutes per side, or until cooked through.
  3. For the sauce, place the onions, garlic, and 1 cup of water in the bowl of a blender. Puree until it is smooth.
  4. Measure the spices (curry powder, turmeric, garam masala, cinnamon, ground coriander seed, salt, black pepper, ground cardamom, nutmeg, ground cloves and cumin) into a small bowl. 
  5. Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the pureed onion mixture once the oil is shimmering. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly, until mixture darkens in color. 
  6. Add tomatoes, ginger, ground almonds, coconut milk, yogurt, red chili, spices and brown sugar. Stir well.
  7. Turn the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. 
  8. Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and add to the mixture. 
  9. Simmer for 15 minutes
  10. Serve with basmati rice and naan bread. 

 

THE TRAVELING GINGER VERDICT:

I really enjoyed cooking this dish although it was also stressful. The smells from all the spices were wonderful! I have really missed eating Indian food in the States. I know that Indian restaurants are more common in certain parts of the States, particularly in the bigger cities, but here in Jupiter, we have to drive at least 30 minutes to find the nearest one, and its pretty expensive! It was a lot of fun to mess up my mom's kitchen and house with all the wonderful fragrances and spices.

Now, I'm sure your just waiting to hear how I stuffed this one up! And I totally did. I was pleasantly and enthusiastically surprised how easily I found all the spices for the Korma. I had even looked up an Indian grocery store as a back up plan. I was also highly stressed because we were cooking for my parents and my grandmother too! UNDER PRESSURE! So when I found ALL the ingredients I needed in one store, I thought I was golden.... Guess. What. I wasn't. After the several hours it took us to make this dish, I felt it didn't taste right. It was missing that coconut taste. The dish was spicier than what I was used to at our favorite Indian restaurants. Way spicier. About half way through I jumped up and got my list of ingredients and realized I had made a huge mistake - I had accidentally bought almond milk instead of coconut milk! One day I will get it right! This did not faze my grandmother or the TN though because they are both self-confessed coconut haters. Lame. I will have to try this recipe again another time with the correct kind of milk! It was super spicy without it, but my Dad had three helpings. Instead of posting my own verdict (because I stuffed up) I will post their commentary below:

THE TG MOM: It would be better with some sour cream

(No jokes, my mom launched up after the first bite and got some sour cream from the fridge... Clearly she was missing that coconut taste - sorry Mom!)

THE TG DAD: He didn't provide a quote, but demolished 3 helpings, and a serving of left overs the following day - I say thats a win! 

THE TG NAN: Also had seconds!!! 

THE TRAVELING NINJA VERDICT: 

The Traveling Ninja seriously delayed this post by failing to provide his quote in a prompt manner... Upon my 50th request this was his response:

Hey, you want my quote? Well.... It's NAAN of your business

.....

RATING: 7.2 /10

MOVIE PARING: BARFI!

Wow, what a movie choice from the Traveling Ninja! This was my favorite movie so far in this challenge. And I know that he picked it with me in mind, because of my background in Educational Psychology. Barfi is a young man who is speech and hearing impaired, but he is full of charm, charisma, jokes and many pranks! He falls in love with a beautiful girl called Shruti. Despite having feelings for him too, Shruti concedes to societal and parental pressure and marries the "proper" choice. At the same time, Barfi befriends a young girl called Jhilmal, who has autism. And I will not spoil the rest of the plot! This movie is BEAUTIFUL! I fell in love with the cinematography and the themes of light that permeate the entire thing. It's interesting because some children with Autism have issues (or enjoyment) of light in general, and are sensitive to these kinds of environmental factors that we often fail to even notice. ANYWAY, the film is directed and produced beautifully, and the characters are amazing. I fell in love with them! So further evidence that the Traveling Ninja should always, always, ALWAYS pick our movies! 

Have you been to India or love Indian food?

Tell me in the comment section below :)