Saturday, January 26, 2013

Indian dish

I was a vegetarian for many years, and even a vegan for a short period of time, however I have drifted away from that lifestyle.  I didn't like how my body reacted, mostly due to my mistakes in not eating enough protein when I was a vegetarian, and also not using the right supplements.  One day soon I hope to return to that lifestyle again.

There is a wonderful Indian grocery market walking distance from where I live, and it is managed by a couple who used to live in India.  They are very nice, and informative, helping me with my lack of knowledge of Indian cuisine.  Most Indian food is vegetarian, especially the frozen dishes you can buy at the store.  I have found it is relatively simple to be a vegetarian if you include Indian recipes in your diet.

Over the past couple months I have bought many frozen meals from this local store, and have migrated from using Ralphs and Vons for my food source, to almost entirely using the local Indian grocery market.  The price per meal is almost half of what you would pay at most grocery stores, and the quality is the same.

This past week the owner of the Indian market gave me a sample of his home cooking.  The food resembled a fried wonton, and he gave me a green sauce to dip it in.  I took it home since I was in a rush.  When I took a bite I was blown away at the flavor, and had to learn how to make it.  The next day I stopped by and asked him for the recipe.  He walked around the store picking up items like potatoes, peas, chutney, and samosa pattis.  Samosa is a very thin flour that is pressed into sheets and stacked, then frozen.  You wrap up the other ingredients with it before cooking.  The owner of the store also suggested I try experimenting with other ingredients.

After leaving the store I decided to go across the parking lot into a meat deli and buy some chicken.  I know,  I know, chicken is meat, what are you doing.  At this moment in time I am not going full vegetarian, and still eat some meats.

The method to create this dish is to bake potatoes at 350F degrees for an hour.  Before cooking you should stab them with forks several times to allow venting of internal steam pressure.  I also like spraying oil onto the surface of the potato, and then rolling them in salt.  Cook them directly on the middle rack of the oven.  I prefer to steam the peas about 45 minutes into the baking of the potatoes, and use a convection oven to cook the chicken.  Once the chicken and peas are done cooking everything needs to be combined in a mixing bowl.  Mashing the potatoes first is ideal, and then fold in the peas and chicken and add seasoning such as pepper and salt.  Once you have a good mix place the mixture on the samosa patti skins one by one and fold the skin over so it encloses the ingredients.  You then can fry them in a pan, deep fry them, or bake them for 15 minutes at 350F degrees.

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