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Really, Really Easy Indian?

Planning a family cooking and movie night and the theme is Indian. My husband and I and my two college aged steipdaughers will be going to an Indian grocery store then coming home and cooking for the rest of the night.

We've done theme cooking nights before, but this is the first time I really don't have a lot of experience with the chosen cuisine. I took a one night Indian cooking class recently and have recipes ( which I haven't tried yet!) for:

Dahl
Almond Chicken
Alo Gobi
Cilantro/Mint Chutney

Does anyone have some really easy, wonderful Indian dishes? Everyone has to cook at least one dish and I'd like to give the girls something great...but easy.

Was hoping for a great basmati rice dish and also an eggplant dish..maybe a lamb dish. Also, any suggestions on brands to buy at the Indian grocery for nan, mango chutney and samosas?

Thank you for your help.

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    1. This sounds like a fun event!

      You might want to check out this thread. There are some good suggestions there. Chicken marinated yogurt is simple and delicious.

      Also, I found these videoclips on youtube. Lots of good simple vegetarian dishes. That woman is amazing! http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=M...

      1 Reply
      1. re: mielimato

        Wow, found more...check out this guys' videos: http://www.vahrehvah.com/videos.php

        And this recent topic on chowhound: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/477109

      2. I agree-this sounds like a blast. Make sure you make some ghee, which is pretty expensive to buy. Alton Brown has a nice and easy way to make it....www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/reci...

        If you decide that you want to go a bit further, Julie Sahni has a great cookbook called Classic Indian Cooking. It goes into great detail about all things Indian cooking, and it's a nice read in addition to having all kinds of great food. Have fun!!

        1. Saute some finely chopped onion and garlic in a big pan (I use butter & olive oil).
          Add chopped spinach.
          Cover and cook, stirring occasionally.
          When the spinach has shrunk significantly, add some chopped tomatoes, curry powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, and salt.
          Serve warm.

          I usually serve it as a side dish, but add some chunks of chicken, tofu, or paneer and it could make a main course. Takes about 15 minutes, including chopping.

          1. Madhur Jaffrey's butter chicken (mahkani) recipe is wonderful. Yes, it's more British-Indian than Indian, but it's delicious.

            For lamb, you may consider a vindaloo, but only if you love VERY hot things.

            For eggplant, I will roast a split eggplant. While it is roasting, I saute ginger and sliced onions. When they're done, I mash in the roasted eggplant meat (scraping it from the skin) and toss in some diced tomatoes. Then, season with coriander, salt, pepper, cumin. It's lovely.

            5 Replies
            1. re: katecm

              Yum! That eggplant dish sounds great! There is a catalan eggplant dish that I make which doesn't involve the onion, tomatoes or the spices. But I like this addition...will make for my inlaws next time and see how they like their escalivada dressed up!

              1. re: mielimato

                Will you post your escalivada recipe? I'm trying to get the husband to share my love of eggplant, so am introducing him to a lot of different recipes. Thanks!

                1. re: katecm

                  Sure. We usually prepare it when we bbq lamb or any other meat because it is a nice accompaniment. It is shamefully simple...

                  Whole eggplants, red peppers and onions (whole and unpeeled) on the grill until they are soft (probably 20-25 minutes but I am guessing). The outside skin will get charred but that's ok. Place on a plate and wrap in a plastic bag for several minutes (this creates steam which further cooks the veggies). Then peel off the burnt peel. Cut into splices and add generous amounts of olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste.

                  Best results if you are using a wood-fire grill because the smokiness comes through in the taste.

                  Enjoy!

              2. re: katecm

                How about Rogan Josh using lamb meatballs? That wouldn't be too spicy.

                1. re: RGC1982

                  Actually rogan josh is named for its color, which it derives from red hot chilies. It's one of my favorites, particularly because of its spice.