Pickled onions are one of my favorite "condiments" to accompany Indian food. They are crispy, tangy, and slightly sweet, and pair well with almost any Indian dish. Actually, they also taste amazing with non-Indian foods: I often eat them with Mexican food, barbecued meat, or even stir-fry.
One of my Mom's best friend's is an excellent cook, and the first time I tried quick pickled red onions was at a dinner party at her home. I was reminded of how much I loved them when she brought them to my Mom's birthday dinner party last spring, and having them again inspired me to try my hand at making them. They are very easy to make: you only need 4 ingredients and 1 hour of time.
Happy new year! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season with family and friends. Hubby and I spent time at home with family and attending a wedding where we saw many friends we had not seen in some time. I am sure you can imagine, as is customary when getting together with loved ones, that we indulged in more sweets and rich foods than usual. With the fresh start that comes with a new year we are in detox-mode in our household! That means lots of vegetables, fruits, legumes, and lean protein. One of my favorite detoxing meals is this tandoori chicken salad!
This recipe for tandoori chicken is one of the very first Indian recipes I ever learned, and it actually comes from one of Hubby's closest friend's mother. We would often make this recipe during the summer and cook the chicken on a grill during poolside barbecues in our former home of Atlanta. Even though it is January and I have no access to a grill right now, the chicken cooks very well in an oven--it is so moist and flavorful!
As of today, it is officially winter! For me, winter equals wearing warm fuzzy socks, snuggling under a blanket, and a cup of peppermint tea. Basically anything that keeps me warm and cozy. Food-wise, for me, the ultimate warm and cozy winter food is tomato soup with grilled cheese. And, perfect for Christmas, this is a red, green, and white meal!
When I visit India, one of my favorite things to eat at a restaurant is tomato soup. I have loved it since I was a little girl: the freshness of the tomatoes (the ones we get here in the US just don't compare), the dollop of full-fat cream, and the big handmade croutons floating at the surface of the bowl. If you've ever had this, you know what I'm talking about, and you know why tomato soup in India is the best!
I obviously cannot replicate soup from India here in the US (again, the tomatoes over there...); but I do my best by making it at home from scratch. I also include a roasted red bell pepper to my soup because it adds a sweetness which is a nice balance to the acidity of the tomatoes.
We are just a few days from the official start of the holiday season, which means everyone is preparing for many family dinners, holiday parties, and get-togethers with friends. First up is Thanksgiving! This year, I have several out-of-town family members coming to stay with me and I am in charge of the menu on Thanksgiving. After much thought (and many drafts), I came up with a menu that I hope will please everyone. The one dish I'm making that I know everyone will definitely love is my favorite go-to party snack: Samosa Pinwheels!
A samosa is a savory snack food consisting of a flaky pasty filled with either vegetables or meat. In India, most samosas you will find are filled with a combination of spiced potatoes and peas. I have always loved samosas, but when I was younger I would often eat the pastry shell (because it was fried and delicious) and leave half of the filling on my plate. That is why I love this modern take on the samosa--you get both pasty and filling with every single bite!
This is one of my mom's recipes and is one of my favorite foods she makes. She would often make them for parties because they were so popular and easy to eat in just two bites. I have fond memories of coming home from school on a day my mom was home from work early, and to my delight she had made samosa pinwheels for us. Really, what is not to like: puff pasty, potatoes, and sesame seeds ... um, yes!
Another rainy day, another "comfort" recipe. Fall is in full swing and the cooler temperatures and wet weather have led me to make lots of warm and seasonal foods. One of my favorite Indian foods is the simple paratha: a layered flatbread made with whole wheat flour. There aren't many foods that, for me, are more comforting than a hot paratha right off the tava (grill pan). I even eat them by themselves without any accompaniments.
In northern India, there are dozens of types of breads. Growing up, my favorite was naan; I think this is because naan tends to be slathered with butter and is made of white flour. As I've gotten older, though, parathas have become my absolute favorite. I love that they are healthy because they are made of whole wheat flour, and I love that you can pick the layers apart as you eat them. The first time I helped make parathas was with my mother-in-law. I never knew how easy they were to make! Making them with her inspired me to try my hand at making them myself.
You will find many types of parathas: they can be plain; stuffed with potatoes or lentils; or flavored with herbs and spices, like mint or fenugreek. I had some leftover thyme from another recipe, and as I was smelling it I was reminded of a seed often used in Indian breads: ajwain. My mother-in-law uses ajwain in many of the breads she makes, and I love the taste. So I decided to try making the parathas with thyme.
Exploring Indian cuisine and trying to learn the recipes of my family. I hope to help and inspire others along the way.