Inexpensive and Easy Indian Dinner

spicy indian food mark bittman

We love Indian food at our house.  I always request it on special occasions like my birthday and our anniversary. Because I am constantly on the look-out for tasty Indian recipes, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the recipes in Mark Bittman’s cookbook, “How to Cook Everything Vegetarian.”  This recipe calls for inexpensive ingredients and has super flavor.  Totally do-able for those of us on a tight budget!  The sauce resembles the traditional Chana Masala Indian dish.  Use coconut oil and coconut milk to make it vegan!

ingredients_list_Mark_Bittman

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OPTIONAL:  Heat remaining oil in saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add cumin and mustard seeds; toast until they begin to pop.  Spoon over sauce when serving.  SERVES 4.

ALSO OPTIONAL:

ingredients_list_Mark_Bittman Chutney

1.  Combine herbs, chiles, ginger, onion, and garlic in food processor and pulse until fine.

2.  Add the lime juice and the salt and process until nearly smooth (add some water to help smooth it out a bit).

This chutney is totally worth making if you have the ingredients and the time (the time is next to none).

If you would like an extra side dish with this, an easy veg to throw together to accompany this meal is cauliflower.  Wash and chop cauliflower into large bite-size pieces and place in a mixing bowl.   Melt 4 TBS butter (or coconut oil) and add 1 tsp cumin, 1 TBS Garam Masala, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper.  Pour melted oil/spice mix over the cauliflower in a bowl and toss.  Spread cauliflower onto a baking sheet and roast in the oven at 425 for 35-45 minutes.

Throw some rice or quinoa in a pot or rice cooker and you’ll have dinner ready in under an hour!

spicy indian food 2 mark bittman

A tip for buying spices:  Always buy spices and dried herbs in bulk if you can.  They are usually MUCH tastier and a FRACTION of the price you’ll pay for a little bottle in you chain grocery store.  In Amarillo, I  buy mine at Natural Grocers.  Usually your local co-op sells in bulk.  If you’re really lucky, you can buy them at local herb shops like the one my friend Kirstin owns in San Luis Obispo, CA.  If you’re ever in the area, check out her store.  Her spices and herbs are top quality!

 

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