Achcha Khana (Good Food)

My sister-in-law flew in from Seattle for her wedding shower (yay!) and popped over for dinner.  Melissa is a personal trainer,  nutrition major, vegetarian and blogger (hungryvegetarians). Mike asked me to make dahl.  I said, “With what”?  He said, “Whatever you usually make it with”.  I said, “chicken”.  That won’t work.  I needed to come up with some ideas that will make this a proper vegetarian Indian meal! The best Indian meal I ever had was in, you guessed it, England.  I was fairly new to Indian cuisine when I visited London and fascinated by the orchestra of new flavors.  I wanted to present a table of several dishes like you would find at a good Indian restaurant;  I managed to make five.  I wanted to make more, but I just couldn’t swing it.

Hali Aloo

Hali Aloo is a dish of turmeric roasted potatoes.  Research has shown that turmeric blocks tumor growth, stabilizes colorectal cancer when other treatments aren’t working, protects against colitis, stomach ulcers and high cholesterol.  Turmeric may help with diabetes and depression as well as certain types of cancer, including prostate, breast, skin and colon.  Studies show turmeric may help with neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer disease, Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis. Haldi Aloo Ingredients Preheat oven to 400°.  Wash and peel 5-6 large potatoes.  Remove any bad spots and chop potatoes into 1 inch pieces.  Combine 3 Tbsp olive, grape seed or avocado oil, 1 tsp turmeric powder, 1/2 tsp garam masala, 2 tsp coarse salt and 1 tsp freshly ground pepper. Chopped Red Potatoes Mix chopped potatoes and turmeric mixture in a medium-sized bowl and spread over a baking sheet in a single layer.  Roast 40 minutes or until crispy on edges and golden brown. Roasted Turmeric Potatoes
Hali Aloo
Serves 4
Turmeric seasoned red potatoes, roasted to a golden brown
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 5-6 large red potatoes
  2. 3 Tbsp olive, grape seed or avocado oil
  3. 1 tsp turmeric powder
  4. 1/2 tsp garam masala
  5. 2 tsp coarse salt
  6. 1 tsp ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash and remove bad spots from potatoes and chop potatoes into approximately 1 inch pieces.
  2. Combine oil, turmeric, garam masala, salt and pepper. Whisk until combined.
  3. Place potatoes into a medium sized bowl and pour over potatoes. Toss well until potatoes are well-covered. Spread potatoes evenly onto a large sheet pan.
  4. Roast potatoes for 20 minutes, and check every 10 minutes until golden and crispy on edges.
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Curry Roasted Cauliflower

Curry is a mix of spices including turmeric and cumin. The International Research Journal of Pharmacy reports that cumin (Cumin cyminum L.) possesses probable therapeutic benefits because of its antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties, anti-diabetic potential and cancer-fighting effects. When I cook for guests, I sometimes cook too much; I feel like an inadequate hostess if I run out of food, so feel free to halve this recipe.  I started with 2 heads of cauliflower. Cauliflower Preheat oven to 400°.  Wash, drain and pat cauliflower dry.  Chop cauliflower into florets, place in large bowl and set aside. Cauliflower Florets Combine 1/2 cup olive oil, 4 tsp curry, 4 tsp sugar, 2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper. Olive Oil, Curry, Sugar, Lemon, Salt & Pepper Pour oil mixture over florets.  Toss to coat. Pouring Curry Mixture onto Cauliflower Spread seasoned florets evenly onto a large baking sheet. Roast 20-25 minutes until tender and browned. Roasted Cauliflower Curry
Curry Roasted Cauliflower
Serves 4
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  2. 4 tsp curry powder
  3. 4 tsp sugar
  4. 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  5. 1 tsp salt
  6. 1/2 tsp black pepper
  7. 8 cups cauliflower florets
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash and drain cauliflower. Pat dry with paper towels. Cut cauliflower into florets.
  2. Combine olive oil, curry, sugar, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a small mixing bowl. Whisk to combine.
  3. Spread cauliflower florets onto sheet pan and spread out evenly. Pour over oil mixture and toss until florets are well coated.
  4. Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil and bake uncovered for an additional 10 minutes until cauliflower is tender and browned.
nutritionbitsandbobs https://nutritionbitsandbobs.com/
These recipes can easily be prepared for the same meal, as both are roasted at the same temperature.  Once potatoes are in the oven,  prepare cauliflower,  then add to oven after 20 minutes.  Both dishes will be ready to serve around the same time. These dishes are rather flavor intense and I wanted to mix in something cool so, I made a traditional Indian Raita recipe I found on epicurious.com.

Raita

You’ll need 1 English Hothouse cucumber, cilantro, green onions, plain, fat-free yogurt, ground cumin, coriander and coarse salt. Wash, seed and chop cucumber.   Chop 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro and 2 tsp green onions.  Measure 1/2 cup yogurt, 1/4 tsp ground cumin, 1/4 tsp ground coriander and 1/4 tsp coarse salt. Mix all ingredients, including cucumber into a small bowl.  Season with added salt to taste.  Cover and chill until ready to serve. Raita Topped w:Cilantro & Green Onions This can easily be made ahead, as can the hummus.
Traditional Indian Raita
Serves 4
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Total Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup English hothouse cucumber, seeded and chopped
  2. 2 tsp green onions, diced
  3. 1/2 cup, fat-free plain yogurt
  4. 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chipped
  5. 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  6. 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  7. salt, TT
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients, except cucumber into a small bowl and mix well, until combined. Add chopped cucumber and mix. Chill, covered until ready to serve.
nutritionbitsandbobs https://nutritionbitsandbobs.com/
I served these dishes with dahl, homemade hummus and warm garlic Naan bread.
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