Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Method: Making great Indian Food out of leftovers.

Very Non-Traditional Indian Food

I don't cook from recipes.  I never have and probably never will, but I know that many of YOU do which is why I write them down for ya. 

But, in this post and some upcoming posts, I want to talk more about the methods.  In the early days of this blog, I was all about the methods and rarely posted any recipes. Since I use leftovers in most of my dishes, it's not always easy to be specific. 

So, the above dish was a knock off of Saag Panir.  A while back, I received a baby arugula in my Fair Foods Produce Bag along with a bunch of other greens.  I realized I needed to eat the arugula right away, but I already had dinner cooked for the night and due to space in the fridge (Sharing with my roommate) I would have to either make pesto or cook the greens for later use.  

I went into clean out the fridge mode and saw that I had garlic, ginger, onion, chipotle hummus, and salsa and I knew immediately I would be making a version of Saag Panir.  This is where the METHOD comes in.
  •  I blanched the arugula (7 ounces)
  •  While the water was boiling, I added several cloves of garlic,  1 small onion and about 3 tablespoons fresh ginger along with a good pinch of chunky sea salt into my food processor and turned it into a paste.
  • When the arugula was cooked, I added it along with about 2/3 cup of hummus, a big scoop of curry powder and some cinnamon and a couple spoon fulls of salsa
  • I froze this mixture with the intention of using it at a later date. 
So, the other day, I was gone all day long and skipped lunch.  I was super hungry and resisted the temptation (I AM working hard my weight!) to stop at Lucy Ethiopian Cafe because I had taken the mixture along with some frozen tofu (7 ounces) out of the fridge that morning before I left. 

So, to create my actual meal, I put some millet on to cook and squeezed the water out of the tofu.  In my cast iron skillet, over medium high heat, I used a spoonful of coconut oil, 1/2 teaspoon of cumin seeds, 1 teaspoon coriander and a bunch of red pepper flakes for heat.  I sauteed a small onion and a couple cloves of garlic along with the drained tofu which I cut into chunks.  When the tofu and onions were nice and brown, I added the arugula mixture, turned the heat down to medium and popped a lid on the pan.  It cooked for around 20 minutes.  I tasted and adjusted seasoning (for me that meant putting soy sauce, black pepper, lime juice and a lot of Siracha) in it.  I served it over millet with raw tomatoes, onions and cilantro. 

This provided me with a great dinner and a good sized breakfast the next day and the taste was outstanding! 

If you are looking for an actual RECIPE to create Indian food out of leftovers, feel free to check out this post with more specific instructions. 

Do you have a favorite dish you make with leftovers?  I'd love to hear all about it here or on Facebook! 

Finally, look at these leaves...  I was out walking the other day and was so fascinated by them!

Have you guys seen leaves like these?