Saturday, August 4, 2012

"A" for effort?

I started having Indian withdrawals about a month ago, and so decided it was time to attempt something on my own, without Susie ji. I looked to old FeDish posts to make dal and potato cutlets, and had a pretty much all-day textversation with Susie. 

For the dal (which is lentils), I needed the following:
cumin seeds
chopped garlic
chopped jalapenos
chili powder
chopped tomatoes

I started by sautéing the tomatoes, ever so slightly, along with the cumin seeds. By the way, Publix had about 4 different brands of ground cumin, but no cumin seeds. I'm pretty sure I've seen them at other locations, but it might be something you would need to go to a specialty store for. Susie recommended lightly toasted the lentils in oil before adding water, so I did that too. Then, I added a healthy dash of salt, a TON of turmeric and chili powder for kick. I let that simmer for a while.

In a separate pan, I sautéed the garlic and jalapenos in a little oil, and added them to the dal. I left it simmer for a while longer, tasted it, and ended up adding more salt, turmeric and chili powder.

While the dal simmered and tried to become Indian despite me, I started on the potato cutlets. For this, I needed:
red potatoes, quartered and boiled
coriander powder
red chili powder
garam masala
onions, finely chopped

Now, I couldn't find garam masala without making a special trip. So I googled it, and found that with a mortar and pestle, I could easily make this myself. I ground together: 
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

smells like heaven

Then I just mashed the potatoes and mixed in all the spices. Dip them in egg, breadcrumbs, and then fry in a little oil. Don't forget salt! I think that the spicier these are, the better.

I tested these out on my sisters and our friend Lauren. Luckily for me, they don't know what real Indian food tastes like, and so they liked mine. My kitchen smelled like old times, and my pots and pans were very happy to have Indian food in them again, as was I.

It wasn't the best, by far. But it did taste 100x better the following day, which was encouraging. I won't give up easily!

I have a few exciting foodie things on the horizon that I can't wait to share!

Also... I just got back from Greece this past week, and I have to say, the food was probably the best I've ever had. I'll be sharing those pictures with you soon, so stay tuned!



  1. Good to have you back and blogging! I've missed your food posts, I'm in need of some inspiration!

  2. The food was even better left-over, i agree! so glad to see you posting again!