Saturday, December 26, 2009

A part of India

I may have mentioned before that my husbands mother was from India. Her family, Grandparents, Parents, & Siblings came to live in South Carolina in the 70's. I have met his family a couple times. The first time being in September 2004. They were very kind & generous. His Grandmother, was very enthusiastic and full of energy. I have never seen someone of her age with so much energy. I also met two of his Aunts & one their daughters. We ate there that evening. They were taking part in Ramadan.

Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar and is the month of fasting. So they fast from morning to evening and then they may eat small meals. Fasting is a purifying ritual that is meant to open the Soul and heart to let go of all sins and to take in presents of their spirituality. It also teaches patience, empathy, & sacrifice . They also say prayers throughout that day to ask for forgiveness of their sins and to ask for guidance. They seek purity of sights, actions, & thoughts.

We ate the meal that was prepared for the end of their evening fast called Iftar. It was lentils and I'm not sure what else. But they assured us that it had no meat. An we ate it with Roti and at that time we were not vegans so John had it with Yogurt. Which he had with Indian food when he was growing up. They eat alot of foods with yogurt. What ever it was was really good. After that I asked for some recipes and the one we had during Ramadan. But she wasn't sure what she had made so she sent me a list of recipes. Different parts of India cook totally different and she sent me a few from different parts. So I am not even sure exactly what part they are from to try to find the original recipe.

After that I came home and tried to cook some Indian cuisin but never really got the hang of it or just couldn't find what we were looking for.

John, was on a work site one day in Morgantown and he was at an Indian families house and she sent food home with him after she heard that John really doesn't see his family very often but we really love Indian food. This isnt the first time Indian Families have sent home food. They are very generous people. So she sent home a rice pilaf, roti, and a pepper curry. The curry accidentally got dumped so we didn't get to try it. :( but the Rice pilaf was so yummy & the roti was really good too. She uses who spices luckily so I was able to pick out the whole spices and look up what the rice was. So I found a couple variations. And the ones I have fixed have all been good. It have messed with the recipes a little though. But spices are a huge put of the meal. And I have even started making roti again! But with all the carbs comes weight gain. I try to put tons of veggies too but lots of rice and bread....

But here are 2 rices that are very yummy! I love them. My mouth is watering just thinking about them. I am going to try some more Indian cooking next year. So I can't wait to get so more Ideas. So if any one has recipes let me know and please send them to me. And if you have information on India and Foods based on different areas of India please let me know. I am very interrested in learning more about the food and areas. As well as the culture. We don't get to see his family very often. Actually we haven't seen them in like 3 or 4 years. John grew up having some Indian food when he was at his Grandparents house but his Mom cooked alot of "American Classics". But anyways I will just post the recipes....

An Indian Rice Recipe with Veggies & nuts & Roti

Indian Rice w/ Veggies & Nuts

1 1/2 Cups Long Grain Organic Brown Rice
1 Tbsp Smart Balance Light or Vegan butter of choice
1/4 tsp Cloves or 4 whole Cloves
1 Cinnamon Stick, small
1/2 tsp Cardamom or 3 to 4 Cardamom pods
1 tsp Cumin (If the cumin is strong I cut it back some)
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 1/2 Cups Chopped Veggies, Like carrots, peas, corn, green beans, edamame
1/4 cup chopped nut of choice ( I like cashews or almonds)
1/4 Cup Organic white raisins
2 1/2 tsp salt
3 to 3 1/4 cups water

Let rice set in water for 30 minutes or longer. Strain and let rice dry out some. Heat the pan with the butter. Add he rice. Let the rice soak up the butter and fry a few minutes then add spices (Not Turmeric). After a minute add the Turmeric and let cook for another 3 minutes. Add Veggies, Nuts, salt, & water. Bring to a boil and let cook for 30 minutes with a lid on. After the 3o minutes if there is no water visible and there are wholes in the top of the rice, take the lid off and cook for 5 minutes. To let some of the water evaporate. Put lid back on and let set for 10 minutes. Make sure there is water left before you leave it open on the stove for those 5 minutes. Stir it if you see water then leave it on the burner. If not take it off and just let it set for the 10 minutes with the lid on. This way it will not burn. Fluff with a fork and then it is ready to serve.

Roti- Indian flat bread

Will make 12 small Roti or 8 Big Roti

4 Cups flour
1 1/4 Cup water
Smart Balance Light or other vegan butter

Mix flour & water into a dough. Knead then set aside for 15 minutes. Break into 12 balls and the role each bowl out with a rolling pin. Put butter on the skillet and fry each piece of Flat bread on each side. Let small sections brown. If there is a small amount of flour left on bread when done that is ok.

You can also serve this with Curry & a protein source. We normally have tofu or tempeh.

Another good way to eat this bread that isn't so good for you is with butter & sugar. It is very yummy! :)

Jan 18, 2010- Just made this again last night. Put in half the cumin. I'm not a big fan of cumin. Plus I added edamame instead of peas and it worked great! Plus it added protein to the dish! Loved it with less cumin and the edamame will definitely always put in the edamame!

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