Gluten-free Vegan Indian Recipe: Sweet Potato Bean Dry Curry

June 30th, 2011 yum Posted in Breastfeeding for Allergic Baby Recipe, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Indian, One Dish Meal, Soy Free, Sweet Potato, Vegan, corn free, grain-free 8 Comments »


It occurred to me today that although I’ve been posting a lot, I haven’t shared any recipes lately. First we were on the road, so I wasn’t making any recipes except for the “pour milk on cereal” and “plead with the waiter to make it gluten-free” variety. It has been hot; the DH was away; Baby Yum isn’t keen on innovation- there are always things that can get in the way of recipe creation. I did make a fun dairy-free, raw foods Popsicle that I’ll be sharing soon, but the recipe wasn’t quite ready. This morning, though, I woke up and had a craving for sweet potatoes. Luckily, the day before I’d bought a nice big bag of organic sweet potatoes from Trader Joe’s, so I was covered and ready to make something different. I ended up slicing them into chip shapes, and frying them up with indian spices, sweet red onions, kidney beans and arugula. You could vary the greens for different effects. Spinach would be mild, or you could go herbal and dip into some fresh cilantro. A sliver of lime on the side would be nice, and if you aren’t going vegan (or have a good soy yogurt) you could put a cucumber raita on the side. Ooh, I’m making myself hungry all over again. The dear Toddler Yum is deeply suspicious of orange vegetables for reasons only she could explain, so she snubbed the sweet potato, but to my surprise she popped those kidney beans into her mouth rapid-fire. Yay for babies trying new things! This dish was new for me, too, and with a little help from the toddler I polished off the whole thing myself. Delicious, and all the tastier because the arugula came fresh-picked from our garden.
On other news, I’ve been taking a photography class from our local community center and am in love. I now “get” all those mysterious settings on my camera, and I am loving all the options. Here’s a photo of Toddler Yum I took for an assignment. Love that twinkle in her eye! Enjoy and happy hobbies to you all.

Sexy olive quinoa recipe coming soon!

Indian Sweet Potato Kidney Bean Dry Curry
Ingredients
1 large sweet potato, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tbsp. olive oil
ground cumin, to taste
ground coriander, to taste
sea salt, to taste
1/2 red onion, sliced into thin rings
1/2 can kidney beans, drained
1/2 can diced drained tomatoes or 1 large fresh tomato, diced and drained
handful fresh arugula or spinach, chopped

garam masala, to taste (optional)

Directions
Microwave with a tablespoon of water or steam your slices of sweet potato until the potato loses its crunch and is slightly soft. Drain.

Heat your olive oil on medium high in your favorite skillet and add your sweet potato discs in a single layer. season with ground cumin and coriander to taste. If you want a strongly Indian dish, add more. Remember you can always add more spices but you cant take them away, so be careful! Season with salt and saute until browned on one side. Turn over. As the sweet potato shrinks you may have additional space in your pan. Move your sweet potato to one side (still in a single layer) and add your red onion slices to the empty spot in the pan. Saute. Once the sweet potato is browned on both sides, you can mix the onion and sweet potato together and continue until the onion has softened and starts to turn translucent. Add your kidney beans, saute for another minute or two, and add your tomato pieces, heat through and then toss in your arugula or spinach. I used fresh arugula from our garden (score!) but if you don’t like it spinach is fine. Combine and season with (optional) garam masala to serve. I buy mine from Penzey’s because I can’t be bothered to mix it, but there are tons of great recipes for garam masala online if you are so inclined.

Notes
A lovely vegan breakfast.
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Gluten-free Indian-Chinese Vegan Manchurian Cauliflower Recipe

March 23rd, 2011 yum Posted in Cauliflower, Chinese, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Indian, Vegan, Vegetarian 9 Comments »

There are few things I love more than vegetarian Indian food. I love the spices, the complexity of the flavors, the amazing variety of ingredients, and the special techniques like adding spiced oil to temper a dish at the end that completes the flavor. While living in Japan I learned something that had not occurred to me before; that when foods from other places enters a country or region, local residents often adapt it to suit their own tastes and end up creating something entirely new. The Japanese take on an “Italian” pizza that is festooned with mayonnaise or corn is an excellent example of this. I had not thought much about how the same would be true in India until I accompanied a friend to her favorite allergen-sensitive Indian restaurant (yes they exist- in this case, the owners actually know what is in each and every dish and will tell their customers). She ordered a dish called Gobi Manchurian, or Manchurian Cauliflower that she said was amazing, with Chinese “red sauce” flavor on top of fried cauliflower that approximated a vegetarian “chicken”. Dear readers, do beware. It is extremely rare that this dish would be gluten-free, as the cauliflower is coated in a flour batter. It would also generally be fried in oil with non-gluten-free items and could easily be contaminated this way. However, in this special case, the Manchurian Cauliflower is safe and she urged me to try some. This is such a decadent way to enjoy cauliflower, and the flavor is amazing. After I got home I started researching recipes online so that I could create it at home.

According to Archana’s Kitchen, Gobi Manchurian “is said to have been developed by the tiny Chinese community that lived in Kolkata for over a century. Immensely popular with Indians, it is widespread in major Indian metropolitan cities such as Mumbai, New Delhi and most importantly Kolkata (formerly Calcutta).” After comparing various recipes online, I was most intrigued by Soma of ECurry’s recipe for Gobi Manchurian. Soma has an absolutely fantastic blog, and it turns out that she is from the city of Kolkata/Calcutta and so grew up enjoying Indo-Chinese fusion food. That explains a lot! However, if I tried her recipe as written, the extreme spiciness of it would make my intestines explode and all that would be left of me is a little charred bit of ash on the sidewalk. Yes, I’m a wimpy little gluten-free girl. My husband and baby are also not so into the chili peppers, so in the interest of family tummy harmony, I adapted it to be gluten-free and less spicy. The resulting dish was a hit with everyone, although Baby Yum stuck to the plain fried cauliflower. I hope you enjoy! One of my favorite things about the internet is how we can learn from bloggers from all over the world. Archana, Soma, and Manjula are three of my absolute favorite Indian bloggers, and I have learned so much from all of their recipes and stories. What are your favorite “fusion” recipes and international bloggers? Tell me in the comments! I’d love to hear what your favorite recipes are by Archana, Soma, and Manjula as well.

Entered in Gluten-free Wednesdays

Gluten-free Vegan Gobi Manchurian Cauliflower Recipe
Ingredients
1 medium cauliflower cut into florets (small or medium)
1 cup your favorite gluten-free flour*
1/2 cup corn starch
1 tablespoon gluten-free tamari OR coconut aminos
1 1/2 inch fresh ginger, peeled and grated with a microplane
1 tablespoon white scallion paste (white part of scallion ground up in food processor or blender)
1 teaspoon white pepper (or black pepper)
3/4 cup water to make a thick batter
oil to deep fry the cauliflower florets

Sauce:
3 tablespoons Sesame Oil or other nicely flavored oil
1 whole garlic clove
1 tbsp grated ginger
1 diced scallion
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 bunch spring onion, separated into green and white parts
1 cup water
1/2 cup ketchup
1 tsp. vinegar (I used white wine, rice vinegar would work too)
1 tsp. srirachi sauce
2 tbsp. gluten-free tamari or coconut aminos
1 teaspoon brown sugar
salt to taste
1 teaspoon corn starch
2 tbsp water

Directions
Mix together your flours, corn starch, tamari, ginger, scallion paste (ground up in a mini food processor), white pepper and water. You want a thick batter, like pakora batter or a slightly thick pancake batter.

Immerse your cauliflower in boiling water, rinsing with cold water when they are crisp tender and then spinning dry in a salad spinner (or pat dry in a kitchen towel).

Cover a cookie sheet with a sheet of wax paper and then put a cooling rack on top of the cookie sheet for cooling your fried cauliflower.
Heat several inches of canola or other high smoke point oil to medium high in your favorite deep frying pan. I use a soup pot, but you could use a wok if you prefer. Dip dry cauliflower florets in your batter and pull out by the stem, trying to keep covered with batter. Drop carefully (watch out for splattering!) into your hot frying oil. Just put a couple in at a time, so that they don’t get crowded and stick together. Turn if needed to get both sides equally browned. When both sides are golden brown, carefully remove with a slotted spoon or mesh ladle and place on your cooling rack. Sprinkle with salt and continue until you have fried all of your cauliflower.

This fried cauliflower makes a delicious snack. Baby Yum loved stealing it from the rack and kept saying “more, more”. That girl loves her cauliflower!

If you want to really amp it up, prepare a sauce for the full Gobi Manchurian experience.

Whisk together liquid ingredients (water, ketchup, srirachi sauce, tamari) along with sugar and salt in a bowl.

Heat your 3 sesame oil in a wok. Add your garlic clove and let it brown, flavoring the oil. Turn once. When both sides are brown, remove the garlic from the oil. Add your grated ginger, and saute for a few seconds. Then add the chopped onions, and the white parts of the scallions. When the onion becomes translucent, add your liquid ingredients in the bowl to the wok. At medium heat simmer for about 3 minutes.

Whisk the corn starch with the water to make a cornstarch slurry and add to the pan, stirring in and letting the sauce begin to thicken. Toss in your fried cauliflower and fold into the sauce until each floret is coated in yummy sauce. To serve, sprinkle with the green onions and enjoy with rice or quinoa!

Notes
*I used a homemade Sorghum +potato or cornstarch +tapioca blend
Two cups sorghum flour
Two thirds cup potato starch, arrowroot or corn starch flour
One third cup tapioca rice flour

This makes 3 cups of gluten-free blend which you can use in regular gluten recipes to replace flour.

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