If I had to choose a favorite savory cuisine, I would probably choose Indian. Indian food at its best is aromatic, incredibly complex, and viscerally satisfying. India is an enormous country, as you know, so the cuisine varies greatly, and there are so many wonderful options for vegetarians and vegans. Although I have no experience at all cooking authentic Indian food, I have been eating authentic Indian food my entire life. I even dated the host of an Indian restaurant many years ago. Gastronomically speaking, this was a wonderful time.
I will repeat that I have no real experience cooking authentic Indian or Asian food. However, I often shop at Asian and Indian groceries, and throw meals together haphazardly. I make this vegetarian/vegan dish a little bit differently every time, and I usually like to add random veggies/mock meat du jour. It is an odd mix of Chinese and Indian ingredients, but it is really delicious and deeply gratifying. I hope y’all enjoy it!
KASHMIR FUSION WITH EASY MANGO LASSI
For the food:
- 1 cup rice
- 1 1/2 cups water
- pinch of salt
- saffron if you are rich enough to have it
- 1 tbs flaxseed oil
- 2 cups heavy cream, soy cream, or coconut milk
- 2 tbs Kashmir masala paste
- 2 tbs hoisin sauce (weird, I know, but just trust me, it is amazing)
- 2 tbs curry powder
- 1 tbs sesame oil
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp granulated garlic, or garlic powder (or fresh if you aren’t allergic)
- 1 cup green peas
- 1 can mock meat (this was mock chicken with bamboo shoots. You can buy this at any Asian market- they have chicken, beef, and duck, which is my favorite. I don’t care for the mock seafood however)
- 1 head of fresh broccoli florets, chopped
- 1 large pepper, chopped
- Optional: any other veggies you might want, or amazing paneer (I am going to try making paneer one of these days, and will blog about it). I tend to just throw in whatever we have in the fridge. i have used cubed pumpkin, chilis, tomatoes, potatoes, yams, haricot verts, bok choi- you name it!
- Optional: plain yogurt or raita
For the lassi:
- 1 ripe mango, peeled and cubed
- 1 cup plain yogurt or plain soy yogurt
- a pinch of cardamum
- 1/2 cup milk or soymilk
- honey, to taste
- optional: a dash of rose water
- Suggested music: Ravi Shankar “Raag Khamaj”
Boil your water with a pinch of salt in a small pot, and add your rice. If you have an inflammatory disorder, add a tbs flaxseed oil. Turn the heat down to simmer, and let the rice do it’s thing for about 20 minutes. You will know it is ready when there are little tiny holes all over. When it is done, you can season it with saffron if you have it.
In your largest pan, heat your cream on medium, and add your masala paste, hoisin, and spices. Then add your broccoli, pepper, and mock meat or paneer. Just let it glurph and glorph until the rice is done, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. When the rice is done, remove it from the heat, and add your peas. Cook for just a few minutes, and you are ready to serve! You can directly add the rice like I do, or serve them separately.
If you are sensitive to the spiciness, you can add a dollop of plain yogurt, raita, sour cream, or crème fraîche.
For the lassi, just put it all in the blender until smooth and enjoy! You can add a dash of rose water if you have that sort of thing lying about.
This is so easy to make vegan, and if you are worried about calories, you can always eat it as a curried soup, without the rice. You can also leave off the sesame oil and use light coconut milk. Yum!