Indian Curry Night! (with homemade chai tea)


We went a little crazy last night with all of our different types of Indian food, but we didn’t go too far, I promise. Too far would have been if we put on saris and lit incense and all talked in fake Indian accents. That would be too far, and maybe a bit offensive. I don’t mean to be. I promise! I just really like curry! And samosas and mango pickle. And so on…


That is our spice mix. If you toast it for long enough it begins to pop and it fills the world with beautiful smells!




OK, so we made a beet curry, curried cabbage, chai tea, and beautiful FLUFFY basmati rice. We bought mango pickle too. Because MANGO PICKLE!


I used to live in the Indian neighborhood, Devon, in Chicago for about 6 years, ever since second grade up until about 3 years ago. It was a beautiful neighborhood that I never fit into but always admired. I went to school at a school in the neighborhood for one year and I was the only one that didn’t speak a second language.  I admire how it’s a place where Americans feel out of place in America. And it always smells so good there! But the sad part is, our favorite samosa stop, the corner of the street we lived on, is gone now 😦 tear.


I guess I like it so much because it is just so different from Evanston. And they have amazing ingredients that can only be found on Devon. OK. I’m done. I’ll give a recipe for this crazy chaotic plate of food.


For the curry:

3 tablespoons panch puran (spice mix) includes mustard seeds, cumin, fennel, fenugreek, and kalonji.
3 tablespoons coconut oil
1 large yellow onion, sliced
pinch of salt
1 1/2 inch ginger
1/2 cup tumeric
1 cup water
4 curry leaves
5 thai chili peppers
1 serano pepper
1 clove garlic
1 28 oz can chickpeas
4 small or 2 large beets (optional)
1 12 oz can coconut milk
12 oz paneer cheese

If you are making the beets, cut off stems and put in a small oiled pan, cover with aluminum foil. Place in the oven at 400 degrees F. Cook for 1 hour until a fork goes into the flesh with ease. Let cool. Peel and cube.

Heat 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in a large saucepan. Add 2 tablespoons of the spice mixture, toast the spices until they start popping, then continue cooking for another 30 seconds before adding the onions. Saute the onions until they are soft.

Peel the ginger and the tumeric, then shred it (I used a food processor, I did the same with the onions as well, using the slicing attachment). Add ginger and tumeric to the onions, cooking at a medium heat. Add the water, continue cooking.

Slice the peppers in half, then take out the seeds and mince them. Mince the garlic. Add both to the curry.

Strain the juice from the can of chick peas, cook in a separate pan until very dry, add to the curry. Add the coconut milk to the curry as well. Add the beets if using and continue to heat.

Cube the paneer. In a separate pan, melt the remaining tablespoon of coconut oil and add the remaining panch puran, allowing it to pop for about 30 seconds. Add the paneer and cook until paneer is soft and covered in the spices. Add to the curry just before serving.

Serve with naan bread.

Curried Cabbage

1/4 cup coconut oil
1 tablespoon panch puran (see spice mixture in curry recipe)
2 tablespoons tumeric, grated
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 head of cabbage

Heat the coconut oil in a large pan and add the panch puran mixture. Cook until it begins to pop, continue to toast for another 30 seconds.

Add the grated tumeric, garlic and salt. Continue to cook at a medium heat.

Slice the cabbage very thin. Add to the pan. Cook until tender, about 5-10 minutes.

Recipe from Girl Cooks World

Basmati Rice

Rinse 1 cup of basmati rice to remove excess starch.

Put rice in a bowl and cover in water. Let soak for 30 minutes.

Put rice in a small pot with 2 cups of water, a splash of oil and salt to taste.

Bring to a boil over medium heat, uncovered.

When it is boiling, add the lid and cook at Low heat for 15 minutes

Take off lid after 15 minutes and allow excess water to cook off, fluff with a fork.

Recipe from Indiaphile

Homemade Chai Tea

2 inch piece of ginger, sliced thin

2 teaspoons black pepper

10 whole cloves

10 cardamom pods

1/4 cup loose black tea

Put in a tea strainer and pour hot water over, add honey to taste.

Recipe from Epicurious


The end result is a very full table full of food!




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