Tag Archives: Indian food

Cookbook Give-Away in Celebration of Celebrity Chefs of Canada

Celebrity Chefs of Canada on March 25th at the NAC promises to be a foodie’s dream. I have been lucky enough to be paired with Chef Cesare Santaguida and Chef Vikram Vij.

In celebration of this great event, lets have some fun. I will give away a copy of Vikram Vij and Meeru Dhalwala’s lovely cookbook Vij’s At Home: Relax, Honey, if you comment on this post. Your comment must tell us what your favourite Indian dish is and where it is made (your kitchen, or your favourite restaurant).

If you are headed to this great event, I will be sure you get your copy beforehand so you can have Chef Vij sign it himself. Now how does that sound?

In fact I may enlist Chef’s help in choosing the winner…….

The lucky recipient of the cookbook will be notified the week of March 12th.

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Indian Food in Chelsea

I recently donated a cooking class for four to a special event in Ottawa for the Social Planning Council. I love to contribute to this great organization which for over 80 years has been a catalyst for social and economic development in our good city.

So off I went to Chelsea Saturday night to teach four wonderful folks how to make a South Asian Lamb Curry and a simple Aloo Gobi. Sides included basmati rice, mixed hot pickle, naan and for dessert vanilla ice cream with fresh mango.

I have been cooking Indian food for about 23 years, and I love it (particularly the food of Southern India). The first Indian food recipe I ever attempted was a beef curry out of an old Good Housekeeping cookbook, and although my repertoire has evolved and grown since then, I often go back to that same recipe and use it as a base for others.

Aloo Gobi (serves 4-6)
1 tsp cumin seeds
3 tbsps of olive oil
1 onion (chopped)
1 tbsp. cumin
1/4 cup of water
1 small head of cauliflower (broken up)
3 potatoes (cut into bite-size chunks)
1 tsp tumeric (sprinkled over the entire dish)
1 tsp sea salt

In large frying pan toast cumin seeds for 2 minutes on medium heat. Add olive oil and chopped onion, cook until translucent. Add cumin, stir fry for 1 minute, add water. Place cauliflower florets across the bottom of the pan and layer potatoes on top. Sprinkle with tumeric (for colour) and sea salt and cover with lid for 25 minutes (removing only mid-way once to stir). Serve family style sprinkled with extra cumin seeds.

A wonderful evening for a good cause!

Dreaming of India

Once a long time ago in my life someone taught me to cook Indian food. That same person cooked Indian food for me and gave me a book of old family recipes that has long since disappeared. Rich curry and biryani, spicy kima, delicious dosa, wafer thin chapatis, Goan potatoes, rosy sweet gulab jamin, coconut burfi and lots and lots of rice…..

Since this time I have been extremely particular about Indian food, in fact at one time there was only one Indian restaurant I would go to and it was in Toronto. I read all the reviews, try the recommendations and come away usually with a sigh, after the anticipation of the visit has left me either disappointed or with no impression at all. There are things I love about some local Indian restaurants, but I am not looking for a westernized buffet, popular recipes that are cooked in large quantities for the evening’s masses. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good Butter Chicken, in fact my brother-in-law cooks one of the best. I am just in search of something more authentic, off the beaten North American path, a Vikram Vij in my neighbourhood.

Today I read a post from Simply Fresh about Indian food and a great experience she had at the East India Company. I have decided to take a class there and I am looking forward to it. I will let you know how it goes!