We started our class by making dahi raita. This is a salad of yoghurt, cucumbers, carrots, and a selection of seasonings tempered in oil (this is called a tadka). A version of this basic salad is served with almost every Indian meal.
|Raita along with a\the special ladle used for the tadka|
After that we made a tomato omelet. This isn't an egg omelet, but a vegan dish made out of a lentil flour. I use the same flour when I make vegetable koftas. You mix the flour with water, onion, tomatoes, coriander leaves, and cumin. Then cook it in a non stick pan.
We also roasted eggplant on the stove and made one of my favorite Indian dishes, baingan bharta. Our teacher's version was made without cream, but with the option to add it at the table.
Probably my favorite dish of the day was the potato parathas. This is a bread that is stuffed with potatoes and spices. I really enjoyed the simplicity of it.
First you make a stuffing by mixing 3-4 boiled and mashed potatoes, 2 t. cumin powder,1-2 green chilies, 2 T. coriander leaves (cilantro), 2 t. minced garlic, 1 small minced onion, 1/4 t. turmeric, and salt.
After that you make a simple dough with wheat flour and water. You do this by adding water to the flour until it is soft but firm enough to handle. I think that the bread started out with about 2 cups of flour and 1/2 C. water. Our teacher mixed it in a blender and then just added water ( a small amount at a time) until it was the right consistency. After that, form it into small balls, dip them in flour, and roll them into 5 inch circles.
You place two spoons of filling on the circle and then fold the bread around it... sealing it in. Dip it in the flour again and roll it out into a 7 inch circle.
Next you cook it on both sides in a non stick pan until it is cooked through.
The first time I had this bread was when Verna (our teacher) invited me up to her apartment for an Indian breakfast. She served it with Chai (tea) and a lovely yogurt dip. It makes a fantastic breakfast or wonderful addition to any meal.