Lately, I’ve been feeling stuck in a rut with food. After eating out almost every day in August for work, my taste buds have been feeling bored and exhausted. Perhaps worst of all, I got accustomed to eating fast without really tasting anything. Yuck. So when I saw a couple of dishes I’d never made showcased on the TasteSpotting (which should have just been called “FoodPorn”), I made it my goal to reinvigorate my palate with an Indian-themed meal.
Enlisting Dale’s help, we tackled three dishes: chana masala, a cauliflower side, and naan. The first was probably the easiest and will definitely be repeated in our house. We followed Bakin’ and Eggs‘ quick and easy chana masala recipe, which mostly consisted of canned goods, onions, and tons of spices. I felt a little sweetness could help round out the flavors, so I added a bit of honey and some apple cider we had on hand right before finishing it on the stovetop. When I make it again, I’ll be sure to remember that.
To get more veggies in, we tweaked AllRecipes’ Indian Cauliflower. We reduced the amount of oil and skipped serving it on lettuce, both of which turned out fine. I loved the bright purple of the cauliflower we found at the farmer’s market.
Cauliflower has always been a weird thing for me, especially since most of my encounters with it involved a veggie tray with more scrumptious alternatives (hello, cherry tomatoes!) But cooked cauliflower is not something to pass by; it’s hearty and carries a unique and savory flavor.
One of my favorite parts of Indian food is the warm and bubbly naan, which is a flatbread. I’d never made it before, but was happy to discover its difficulty was along the lines of making pancakes, just with a little yeast and yogurt involved. We followed Budget Bytes’ thrifty recipe. The only change we made was to use a combination of white flour and wheat flour, about 50-50. Like with pancakes, it took us a couple of tries to get the pan at the perfect temperature. Once we got it right, the soft bread just piled up. And the garlic and butter got so excited, they jumped in for a party. Mmmm.
Overall, this three-dish meal was a success. It took longer than we usually devote to a weeknight dinner, but any one of these could easily be made independently to be the star of a quick dinner. The biggest challenge we encountered was to locate the spice garam masala! I think we ended up going to three stores before finding it at Whole Foods, which had something like four versions, of course. I’m still having a bit of a hard time finding motivation to cook, but at least I now have a few more recipes up my sleeve.