Tuesday, August 21

Indian Style ....Winecountry Way

I don't know what it is about Indian-style food that just makes me think "romantic".  Maybe the blending of all the different ingredients, all the colors, and the amazing aroma while cooking it.  That along with a good bottle of wine, and candles lit in every room makes for a great "date night" with the hubby.  Sure we can go out for a dinner downtown or even head somewhere up Napa Valley, but nothing is more fun than either creating an "original" or  re-creating a recipe that I find and we make it our own by tweeking it.

I had happen upon a recipe in one of my food magazines and right away started looking through the cabinets knowing that I must have most if not all the ingredients here at the house, and if not....no worries, I just do what I normally do, I call my hubby and give him the  (please) "pick up needed ingredients" list on the way home from work.  Oh and then while reciting the list, inform him of the cool dinner we are having that night.

Now before I sound like I am home doing nothing but waiting, I am preparing dinner for the kids and getting them fed and cleaning those dishes (you must start a dinner with a clean kitchen you know) and because "date night" dinner means just the two of us, no kids. Although they always giggle and laugh when they know mom and dad are on a date at home.

Indian-style veggie curry is on the menu tonight and when I say winecountry way, it is because we add a bottle of Pinot Grigio to the meal and instead of using basmati rice, we are cooking halibut.

Ingredients for this is are:

2 tbls canola oil
1 large yellow onion (diced)
4 medium cloves garlic (minced)
1 tbls fresh ginger (peeled and grated)
1 tbls ground coriander
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
3/4 ground turmeric
1/2 tsp cayenne (optional)
1 tbls tomato paste
2 cups low sodium chicken or veggie broth
1 cup coconut milk
1 cinnamon stick
sea salt
fresh ground pepper

As luck would have it we have a saffron in the house (imported) this is a very expensive spice, and use it in rare occasions. We replaced the turmeric with the saffron in this recipe.

4 cups of cauliflower florets
1 lb sweet potatoes (peeled and cubed) about 3 cups
2 medium tomatoes (cored and seeded and chopped) bout 1 1/2 cups
2 large carrots (peeled and cut) about 1 cup
1 15 oz can fo chickpeas (rinse and drain)
4 oz fresh baby spinach
2 tbls lime juice
1 tsp lime zest (finely grated)
2 tbls fresh cilantro (chopped)

I don't own a dutch oven but a heavy stock pot works just fine.  This recipe is done in steps and I find that it works well with me reading off the "how to" while sipping my wine and my hubby stirring and watching the boil....:)

Add onion to the oil and cook stirring occasionally until starting to turn brown.  About 3-4 mins. Reduce and cook until browned. Add the garlic, ginger and stir for about a minute to blend the flavors.  Add the coriander, cumin and turmeric (in our case the saffron), stir for 30 seconds to "toast" the spices.  Add the tomato paste and stir again until all is well blended with the aromatics for about a min.
Now I forgot to mention in the intro, that this recipe is one that needs patience and time.  Each step is to be done accordingly and like I said, the aromas are amazing as it comes together.

*Note* I always keep the ginger in the freezer so it is easier to grate and stays fresh longer.

Adding the chicken or veggie broth now, the coconut milk (which by the way if you don't have try  using almond milk as a substitute) add the cinnamon stick, the sea salt and pepper in just a pinch each.  Bring all this to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and leave for about 10 mins.

Add the cauliflower, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and carrots.  Bring the heat up again to a boil, then reduce it back to a simmer and cover and let cook for about 25 mins until the veggies are tender.  Then discard the cinnamon stick.

Stir in the chickpeas, spinach, lime juice and the lime zest and cook until the spinach has wilted (about 3 mins).  Season with salt if desired.

Normall this meal would go over some rice, however we wanted to add a some protein to the dish so halibut was it.  Of course this is a meal alone with any rice or fish, it's totally up to you.
Season the halibut with garlic, paprika and EVOO.  Cook/sear and finish in the oven.

Once the fish is done, plate and serve all together.

This dinner was a task for sure, but so fun and turned out amazing.  Date night was a success again.  I hope you give it a try and take the time to go through the steps.  Enjoy :)


Michelle said...

With maybe one or two changes I think I would love this... sure the hubby would hate it.. but will just have to make it some night for myself :) Just sounds so flavorful!

Lynda Benson said...

Of course, changing recipes up is what makes them fun...the entire kitchen smelled wonderful

Theresa H Hall said...

T/his looks quite nice and the halibut is a beautiful cut of fish. Hope you enjoyed your date night!

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