Cultural Kitchen: India

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Join us for a food trip to India!

With the success of our first Cultural Kitchen: Sweden, Nick and I were excited to pick our country for February. Nick did the blind pick this time and selected India! This warm and hearty cuisine seemed perfect to eat during the cold Swedish winter. And although we make lots of curries at home, we haven’t experimented much else with other Indian recipes.

I took to Pinterest, as I often do for preliminary recipe inspiration and decided on the following menu:

  • Coconut Vegetable Korma IMG_1170This warm, earthy, and creamy korma was a hit at our table. You start by boiling the veggies, make a cashew sauce in the blender, and then bring everything together on the stove top to simmer for 30 minutes. I loved the smell this korma gave our kitchen and we had left overs for a week!
  • Palak Paneer IMG_1165 Palak is the Punjabi word for spinach, and paneer is a type of cheese. In this dish, we substituted paneer for halloumi, which is easily found in Sweden. Paneer is a high acid cheese, while halloumi has almost no acid in it at all. This dish is creamed spinach, and I made it a little lighter by choosing coconut milk over heavy cream. It was one of my favorite things on the table and so easy to make! Just use frozen spinach and blend up in a Vitamix, then warm and serve. Be sure to scoop it up with your naan!
  • Basmati Rice IMG_1169 You’ll need something to eat your korma with!
  • Naan – We made homemade naan and it was the best thing on the table hands down! We used our sourdough start for this recipe and, interestingly, you add yogurt to the dough. Be sure to start this process at least 8 hours before cooking! We also used our cast iron skillet to grill this up and they were cooked perfectly.
  • Mango Lassi – I can be kind of a wimp when it comes to spicy food, so a mango lassi is my favorite drink when eating Indian. It is cool and smooth and just perfectly sweet. Our friend Daniel and I whipped this up in our blender (the Vitamix got a lot of action this night!). I’d recommend frozen mangos so you don’t have to worry about judging ripeness and your drink comes out a little frosty. The cardamom really makes this drink.
  • Toasted Coconut Lagoo – While looking for Indian desserts, I was really intrigued with jalebis but ultimately decided they might be overly complicated. Instead I found a simple recipe for a lagoo, a small dessert ball. It is only four ingredients and doesn’t require any baking. Our friends and neighbors Michelle and Björn provided these for us. They are very light, not too sweet, and taste like coconut macaroons or Swedish kokostoppar. 

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We set the ambiance with an Indian Dinner Party playlist from Spotify in the background and some orchids nearby!

I love how so many Indian dishes use the same ingredients and spices. It makes it really easy to cook up many different meals once you have the spice inventory! Plus the food is pretty affordable, so a great option if you are having a dinner party and want to keep it cheap. Also, very vegetarian friendly, like our friends Michelle and Björn!

I would highly recommend making some Indian food at home and enjoying the delicious smells of toasted coriander, creamy coconut milk, and sweet mango all coming together for one great meal.

-TM

What are some of your favorite Indian recipes? Let us know below.

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