So, what’s for dinner?

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I have been meaning to write this post since I came back from India….. I promised to post some recipes so here it goes.

When we were in Udaipur we had the privilege of participating in a cooking demonstration.

Spice is what gives food a definition. Two weeks eating Indian vegetarian dishes I came to the conclusion that there are five basic spices that are used in different combinations. In the spice box we can find, red chili powder, turmeric powder, salt,cumin seeds, mustard seeds, fennel seeds and fenugreek seeds. All these help with digestion (fennel), brain memory ( cumin) and blood ( turmeric) in addition we use a combination of spices called Gara-masala which has black pepper, cinnamon, black cardamon, cloves, coriander seeds, bay leaves and cumin seeds roasted and ground.

Dal is one of these dishes that we find almost in every meal. It consists of lentils, red, yellow, black or white.  It is a source of protein so no need for meat.

Ingredients
1 cup of any kind of lentil
2 finally chopped onions (you can make a paste in the food processor)
10-12 cloves garlic
1/2 teas turmeric powder
1 teas red chili powder
salt to taste
1 teas garam masala
3 medium size tomatoes,finely chopped or paste
4 tbls oil or ghee or butter (ghee is a clarified butter that’s used in many Indian dishes
1 tbls chopped coriander for garnish

Method:
Boil the soaked dal (lentil) with 1/2 liter water in a pressure pan or over an open pan for 10 minutes.
Take pan, add the onions and crushed garlic till brown then add all the spices and the tomatoes.
Mix well and cook till oil and masala seperate.

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Then add boiled lentils and mix well. In the end, add pinch of garam masala and coriander, cover for two minutes.

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During our trip we had plenty of Chai Masala which is a black tea spiced with dry ginger, green coriander, black pepper, cinnamon and milk. The spices are combined, not roasted and ground into a paste.

The recipe for this delicious tea is:
1 cup water
2 pinches of chai masala

Bring to boil, add Assam tea or any tea leaves, now add 1 cup milk and sugar to taste. Bring to boil for two minutes, cover for two minutes , strain and drink.
It’s a refreshing way to start the day instead of coffee.

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There are others dishes and let’s not forget the bread. In India, we did not use utensils but used the bread as a fork.  The food tastes great.

Chapati is the bread that’s made each morning. They say that the first chapati is given to the cow (well they are sacred), it’s made of:

6 cups of whole wheat flour
2 1/2 cups water.

Slowly, slowly add the water and make a medium dough. It can be stuffed with spinach or onion or even condensed milk for sweetness.
method: mix well, roll little dough, put the filling in the center and cover it from all sides. now roll it again and apply ghee or butter to both sides and fry on a special flat pan.

It sounds a bit complicated so I promise a demonstration and a complete meal soon.

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Bitea’avon!

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