An Indian Dinner in the French Countryside

The temperature is continuing to drop in our neck of the woods. Last night we lit our first fire of the season. Tonight, we are warming up with comforting and spicy Indian food.

Spicy Kidney Beans and Carrots

Makes 4 bowls.

80 ml (1/3 cup) extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped
6 large carrots, cut into 1/2″ thick slices
1/2 cup cider or beer
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ras el hanout
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1.3 kg (3 cups) boiled red kidney beans (save the cooking liquid)
a handful of chopped fresh herbs to garnish (I recommend cilantro or parsley. I didn’t have those on hand this time so I used basil, which was also lovely).

Heat oil in a deep sauce pan over medium heat for one minute. Add garlic and onion and let cook for one minute (be careful not to burn the garlic!). Add the carrots and the cider (or beer) and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the beans and their cooking liquid, salt and remaining spices (but not the fresh herbs) and bring it to a boil, then reduce to medium heat and let cook uncovered for 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Garnish with fresh herbs.

Spicy Coriander Cauliflower and Potatoes

Makes 4 side-dish servings.

1 head cauliflower, cut into 3/4-inch-wide florets
1/2 kg (1 1/4 lb) Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (if in Europe use Charlotte potatoes)
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cayenne

Preheat oven to 475°F (245°C).

Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl, ensuring that oil and herbs are evenly coating the vegetables. Spread in a hot baking pan and roast, stirring occasionally, until cauliflower is tender and browned in spots and potatoes are just tender, about 30 minutes.

Cumin Spiced Rice

Makes 4 servings

1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons cumin seeds
1 small onion, chopped
1 cup uncooked basmati rice, rinsed, soaked and cooked
1 tablespoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
2 tablespoons oil

In a pan add oil and butter along with cumin seeds. Once the seeds start to brown and release their aroma, add onions. Saute the onions for about 10 minutes or until they are translucent. Add the cumin powder, garam masala and salt. Fold this combination into the cooked rice and adjust salt to your taste.

Cucumber Yogurt Sauce

1/4 cup finely chopped seedless cucumber
3/4 cup yogurt
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika

Mix the first 3 ingredients together. Sprinkle paprika over the top. Serve chilled.

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2 Responses to An Indian Dinner in the French Countryside

  1. Bianca says:

    Fantastic dinner! Can’t wait to make it..you rock girl!

  2. Bianca says:

    It was delicious! Thanks

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