Wednesday, February 10, 2010

More Indian food

Many people have warned me that vegetarians can have problems getting enough protein in their diet.

I have turned to legumes and eggs, milk and yogurt, which all are great sources for protein.
Every day for lunch I eat one portion of organic Müesli with skim milk. I happen to love Müesli,so it's an easy task for me. Right now I eat a blueberry vanilla Müesli which I really like, but I also like the good old Müesli with raisins (I really like dried fruits).

For dinner I eat mostly Italian food, because I love the simple but hearty Italian cooking. Bust as with everything, even Italian cooking has it's limits. It tastes better when you don't get to eat it every day.
Which is the reason I have turned to Indian cooking. I recently read that 80 percent of the Indian population are vegetarians, and they have a long tradition of cooking with vegetables.
Thankfully, I like Indian spices, even though they are hard to find in regular stores. Last week I went to an Asian market and bought a stack of Indian spices like fenugreek, black mustard seeds and ajwain seeds. They were way cheaper than store bought spices too.

I also bought Indian ghee, whic is clarified butter. Since the milk proteins are removed, ghee can cook at a higher temperature than regular butter since it doesn't burn so easily.

Indian vegetarian dishes has a lot of starch like rice and vegetables in them. But as I have noticed, a lot of them has tofu and yogurt, which are great sources of protein. This particular dish contains yogurt.

The dish itself is easy to cook up on a weeknight. It contains potatoes, aubergines, cauliflower and rice which are all ingredients that are easy to find in regular stores. It can be done in 30 minutes or less. This is also a great dish for families that are part vegetarian and part omnivore.

For the family meat eater I fried up a piece of white fish fillet in regular butter. I gave the fish fillet a round of salt and pepper before frying it. DH said it tasted great, and I couldn't agree more.

Indian vegetable biryani

For four people, you’ll need:

1 cup Basmati rice, washed and drained
Oil for frying*
1 pound mixed vegetables (potatoes, aubergine, cauliflower), cut into small pieces
1 large onion, finely sliced
1 teaspoon raisins, chopped
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
1 teaspoon finely shredded ginger
1 red chilli, minced
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon garam masala powder
½ cup natural yogurt
Juice from 1 lemon
A handful of fresh coriander and mint, chopped

* I used Ghee – Indian clarified butter – instead of oil.

Cook the rice according to package. Set aside when done.

Heat oil or ghee in a deep pan and fry the onion until brown. Drain and reserve.

Fry the vegetables for a couple of minutes. Make sure they don’t burn. Add a little bit of water and let them cook until they are cooked through – but still has a bite.

Add the garlic and ginger to the vegetables. Then add the spices, the yogurt, half of the friend onion and salt to taste. Blend well.

In an ovenproof serving dish, put one layer of rice and then one layer of vegetable mixture on top. Sprinkle some lemon juice over the vegetable mixture and then some chopped coriander and mint.

Begin with the next layer of rice and add vegetable mixture and sprinkle with lemon juice and herbs (mint and coriander).

End with a rice layer on top. Garnish with raisins and the rest of the chopped mint and coriander and fried onion.

Serve immediately, or keep warm in an oven (gas mark 4) until you are ready to serve it.

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