Thanksgiving in July?

July 19, 2009

I'm thinking about calling my upcoming cooking show 'frenzied chef' because that's how I typically feel in the kitchen. Frenzied. Rushed. Overwhelmed. Especially if I need to make more than one Indian dish. Tonight I've overcome all of my misgiving with my crockpot. Well, with my 4 crockpots.
I've experimented in the last 24 hours with not only curried stews but now with dry sabzis. For anyone that has experience with Indian food - this is almost a revolution in cooking - to think that you can skip the whole tarka process (heating the onions/ginger/garlic and spices in hot oil) that is seen as the essence of Indian food.
Here's what I've made WITHOUT tarka - by just dumping everything into the crockpot and then waiting patiently. The key to this type of cooking is, though, letting the food cook long enough that the spices cook through. You don't want to stop the dish while the spices are still what we would call in Hindi still "raw" - or uncooked. It's not something I can explain buy you'll know if you taste a dish that it just doesn't feel like everything has been cooked through.

Aloo Gobi Sabzi (Cauliflower and Potatoes)

Keema (ground - spicy - Lamb) - I didn't even brown the meat. I dumped it all in with some oil and waited. It tastes absolutely amazing. The meat was sizzling in the crockpot just like it would have in a pan.

Gila Masala (wet masala) - I'll explain this one later - but for all you Indians - can you imagine make gila masala in the crockpot? It's cooking right now and it appears to be working. Imagine all the time you're going to save in the kitchen with this one!!!!!

So, we sat down to a meal with four Indian dishes and I barely broke a sweat making all of it. If you want recipes for any of the above just ask!

Tomorrow, here's the plan:

Methi Gajar (Methi and Carrots)
Chicken Curry
Yellow Split Pea Soup
Yellow Dal with Spinach

They're actually starting to recognize me on Devon ... I'm there so much these days!

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