Saturday, December 1, 2012

Aloo Gobi and Chole Palak

These two Indian dishes are one of my new favorite pairings.  Aloo Gobi is a cauliflower and potato dish.  Chole Palak is spinach and chickpeas with a tomato base.  They are wonderfully spicy and healthy and satisfying on a cold winter night.  Also, relatively quick to make but make sure you have everything prepared ahead of time because everything has to be added to the pan pretty quick once you start cooking.  Serve with Basmati rice.  

Chole Palak
(Serves 3)

  • 2 fresh tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 inch cube fresh ginger, cut in half
  • 1 fresh green chili (optional)
  • 3 Tbs. grapeseed oil (or other light oil such as canola)
  • 1/4 tsp. asafetida powder (optional)
  • 1 tsp. whole cumin seeds
  • 3 cups fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1 (14 or 15 oz) can chickpeas
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup water
  • 1 Tbs. ground corriander
  • 1/2 tsp. ground chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. tumeric
  • 1 tsp. sea salt (to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp. garam masala
  • fresh cilantro, chopped fine (optional)

1. In a blender, combine the tomatoes, ginger, and fresh chili,  Puree until completely smooth and set aside.

2.  In a medium sized saute pan over medium heat, add the oil. Once the oil is hot, add the asofetida and the whole cumin seeds.  Stir, and once spices are sizzling, add the tomato mixture.  Careful it will splatter! Mix to combine and let it saute a few minutes.

3.  Add the next three spices (coriander, chili powder & tumeric) as well as the salt.  Mix that together and let it all mingle together over medium low heat for about 10 minutes.  It will reduce down a bit and the colour will begin to get darker.

4.  Add in the fresh chopped spinach, followed by about 1/4 cup of water (add up to 1/2 cup if you wish).  Let it cook another few minutes.

5.  Add chickpeas, mashing some of them with the back of the spoon to thicken the gravy. 

6.  Add the garam masala, and simmer a few more minutes before serving.  Garnish with cilantro. 


Aloo Gobi 
(serves 4)

  • 2 cups cauliflower florets (cut into small florets)
  • 2 medium potatoes (cubed into bite size pieces)
  • 1/2 inch shredded fresh ginger
  • 3 tsp. ground coriander 
  • 1/4 tsp. tumeric
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 3 Tbs. water
  • 3 Tbs. oil
  • pinch asafetida
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 2 green chiliies, sliced into long pieces
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp. salt 
  • 1 tsp. mango powder
  • 2Tbs. chopped chilantro
  • 1/4 cup water, as needed

1.  In a small bowl, mix the shredded ginger, ground coriander, cayenne, tumeric, and 3 Tbs. water to make a paste.

2.  Heat oil in a pan that has a tight fitting lid.  Test heat by adding one cumin seed to the oil; if seed cracks right away oil is ready.  Add asafetida and cumin seeds to the oil.  After the seeds crack, add the bay leaves and green chilies and stir for a few seconds.

3.  Add the spice paste and stir for a minute until spices start leaving the oil.

4.  Add cauliflower, potatoes, 2 Tbs. of water and salt.  Mix well.  Cover the pan and let it cook on medium heat for about 15 to 20 minutes until vegetables are tender.  Make sure to stir gently every 3 to 4 minutes. 

5.  Lastly, add mango powder and cilantro.  Mix everything and cover for a minute.  Adjust salt to taste.

Serve and enjoy!

Moroccan Lamb Stew

 Hi there! I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!! I have so much food blogging back log it is making me anxious! I was of course on pie duty this year and have a number of Thanksigiving pie recipes to post - pecan, chocolate pecan, sweet potato, pear almond cranberry tart - yum - they all turned out wonderfully!  And all too soon I embark on the weekend Christmas cookie crusade, piling up reserves and filling my ice box with cookie tins in preparation for Christmas binging.  I love this time of year and Christmas cookies are my favorite.  I have been doing them for 4 years now I think and no,  I never sneak a warm cookie or spoonful of dough while baking... and even if I did, that is 100% calorie free. 

Anyways, before the baking frenzy hits, I have some recipes I have been meaning to post.  This Moroccan Lamb Stew is soooooo freaking delicious.  I can't describe.  The way the flavors combine -- cinnamon, apricot, chickpea, tomato -- is some sort of magic.  It is not sweet but not spicy.  It is perfectly a little sweet and spicy.  The meat is sooo tender and wonderful.  My step dad passed this one a long, with his changes, from epicurious.  Here's the recipe.


  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 1/2 pounds trimmed boned lamb shoulder, cut into 1 1/2- to 2-inch pieces (I used half bone-in - this added great flavor and kept the lamb very tender)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 cups low-salt chicken broth
  • 1 15 1/2-ounce can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
  • 1 cup dried apricots (about 5 ounces)
  • 4 tomatoes with juices from a 28 oz can of large plum tomatoes, chopped up
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons (packed) grated lemon peel

1.  Combine first 6 ingredients (cumin, coriander, salt, fennel seeds, cayenne, and black pepper) in medium bowl.

2.  Add lamb and toss to coat.

3.  Chop onion.

4.  Cut up your tomatoes.

5. Mince the ginger.

6.  Grate the lemon peel.

7. Heat 2 Tbs. oil in heavy dutch oven or other pot over medium high heat.  Working in batches, add lamb and cook, browning on all sides.  Add more oil between batches.  About 8 minutes per batch.  Set browned lamb aside.

8.  Add onion and tomato paste to drippings in skillet. Reduce heat to medium; sauté until onion is soft, about 5 minutes.

9.  Add broth, garbanzo beans, apricots, tomatoes, cinnamon sticks, ginger, and lemon peel and bring to boil, scraping up browned bits.

10.  Return lamb to skillet, bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until lamb is tender, about an hour and a half.

11.  Uncover and simmer until sauce thickens enough to coat spoon, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cool slightly. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, then cover and keep chilled. Rewarm over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally.)

Transfer lamb and sauce to bowl. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve with Jasmine rice, or cous cous.  Enjoy!