I made these last week for supper for two using the left over lamb from the first recipe in this series. It’s a simpler version of a pizza. Instead of laboring over pizza dough to create the base, you use store bought flatbread such as lavash. Top it with anything that suits your mood. Give it a whirl in the oven and serve it piping hot.
On a few odd occasions, I find I have to rustle up a quick lunch or dinner just for myself. Now here’s a confession – I do not enjoy cooking for myself as much as I do for others. So, often a stretch of imagination is necessary to avoid me from falling for the usual take away suspects! I thought I’d share some of my recent inventions when it comes to easy and quick meals. These can be modified to leave out anything you don’t have right at the moment in the kitchen and to include any other odd bits and pieces of vegetables, meat, etc that maybe lying around. It’s just a way of me trying to inspire you to open that refrigerator door and use anything in there that catches your fancy.
The first dish in this series is for a warming plate of rice made with harissa and tomato paste along with scrumptious meatballs topped off with creamy yoghurt and tart sumac.
I do cook Indian meals quite frequently (although this may not be reflected in the number of ‘Indian Food’ posts here). A hot meal of dal, roti and rice with maybe an additional side dish or meat curry has become a staple in our household.
India is a large country with very distinct cultures and cuisines in its different regions. This means that I still follow recipes once in a while when I feel like doing something different. A few days ago, when there was a request to make an Indian dinner for some family guests, I turned to the internet to look up some inspiration. What I found was a lovely recipe for ‘gosht dopiaza’ or meat with lots of onions – a very popular dish back home in restaurants. I thought I’d give it a try, of course, with heavy customisation. Once you’re comfortable making a curry of any sort, customising recipes to suit your tastes and what’s available becomes second nature.
Indian food is as diverse as its culture, regions and people. Each region has its own distinct cuisine that may be similar in some aspects and at the same time, completely different from each other. The cuisine of Kerala where my family is originally from relies heavily on seafood, vegetables and coconut. Given the large Christian minority in the state, meat also forms an important part of our food culture more so than any other state in India.
Though I’ve learned the basics of South Indian cooking from my mother who’s an excellent cook, I’ve been looking for ways to expand my repertoire of Indian recipes. I am now pretty comfortable with cooking up a few North Indian dishes as well thanks to my North Indian friends and excellent online resources.
In my quest for new Indian recipes, I chanced upon an Indian cookbook by Atul Kochhar titled, ‘Simple Indian: The Fresh Tastes of India’s New Cuisine’. It’s a collection of recipes from different parts of India and gives a refreshing insight into flavours from various regions of the country. A welcome change from the usual ‘rogan josh’, ‘butter chicken’ type recipes 😉 So far, I’ve tried a few recipes from this book and all have turned out really delicious. The only issue I had with one or two of them was with some of the instructions not being clear enough, especially, with things like the time required to cook something or whether the pan should be left covered or uncovered while cooking, etc. You’ll see what I mean when you read the method for the lamb curry.
Last weekend was a blur of rain, sun, cooking and catching up with friends. We had two very good friends over for dinner on Sunday. The one thing that both Peter and I knew we wanted on the table was a nice roast leg of lamb. We’d made this for the first time as part of the main course for our Christmas dinner last year and have fallen in love with it ever since. Making a roast at the start of spring may sound a little odd but believe me, slowly roasted, meltingly tender meat can be had anywhere, anytime. And, isn’t roast lamb a part of Easter tradition? 😉