Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Around the World ~ INDIA

Today's post is an exciting one for me. I have collaborated with some of my Indian foodie friends to create a Virtual Indian Dinner Party! My friends and I will showcase some of our favorite Indian dishes to create a full meal from appetizers to desserts! 

Please click the title of each recipe and you will be linked back to each bloggers site. The description of each dish has been written by the bloggers. 

Now sit back, grab a drink and enjoy the flavors of India!

The 'KING' of indian street yummy samosas are the first thing that comes to mind when you think of indian appetizers. I believe samosas have now gone global. How can you not love a samosa, crispy fried shell/pastry filled with amazing spicy potato yum!

Lassi (Pronounce Lah-see) is popular yogurt based drink which is almost like smoothie texture originated in the northern part of india. Traditionally lassi is prepared by blending yogurt with salt and some spices. There is sweeter version of lassi as well but I like to make mango lassi often whenever I get fresh mangoes. Lassi is served chilled and its such a refreshing drink in hot summer days. It's such an easy and quick drink to put together and enjoy without adding any calories.

Since the beginning of time, countries have invaded other countries. India has been no different. What sets India apart however is that most invaders ended up making it their home. This mixing of cultures has given India its rich diversity. With cultures comes their food and hence the rich diversity of Indian cuisine. Now I am no historian but from what little knowledge I have, I believe the modern 'Naan' bread evolved from a combination of middle eastern and local Indian cuisine. It is basically a round or oval shaped leavened flat bread made with wheat flour, salt, yeast culture and yogurt. Traditionally it is cooked in a clay oven or 'tandoor' and it is found in many avatars in central and south asia. Earlier it was mainly found in northern India being synonymous with Punjabi cuisine but now it is found in most parts of the country. This is the best bread I like and within its different kinds, I like the Garlic Naan the best.Soft yet toasty  bread  topped with lots of garlic soaked in butter.. then dipped in curry of your choice.. ahhh.. out of this world :) just yum!!

Many people do not know that Pav/Pao is a portugese word for bread. This bread was introduced to India by them. The pav is also called “laadi pav” which means a slab of bread rolls as the rolls are baked as one big slab and the individual rolls are pulled apart. This bread is used for two popular street food in mumbai, vada pav and pav bhaji.

Paneer butter masala probably needs no introduction. I am yet to see an Indian restaurant that does not have it on its menu. The big juicy paneer cubes in a creamy spicy gravy is an absolute delight.Paneer is an Indian cheese which does not melt when heated.It is such a versatile ingredient in Indian cooking you could make an entire meal using just this, right from appetizers to main course to desserts! Paneer butter masala is  one of the most loved  paneer dishes and is often classically paired with naans.

The king of mumbai street food "pav bhaji" which is now popular all over India. This spicy and buttery dish with a rich assortment of vegetables is served with pav and it is an eternal favorite and a complete meal in itself. (Chatpata means tongue tingling)

Biryani is a rich, exotic rice based dish traditionally prepared with basmati rice, spices and meat, eggs or vegetables.Biryani is one of the most exquisite, loved and popular dishes in India. Of, all the varieties of Biryanis prepared, MuttonBiryani is the most revered. Originated in Persia, biryani took couple of routes to reach India, popular legends says it to be brought to Indian subcontinent by Muslim merchants & travelers. In India, the hyderabadi biryani is most popular which is a savored all over the country. The highlight of the dish is the dumpukt technique of cooking which means cooking on very low flame, mostly in sealed containers, allowing the meats to cook, as much as possible, in their own juices and bone marrow.
This curry is prepared with small fresh tender eggplants. It is a authentic south indian recipe  traditionally known as "gutti venkaya" and goes very well with plain rice. It is a favourite dish to prepare during special occasions in all south indian homes. 

An easy no fuss north Indian dry stir-fry made with spinach and potatoes.Palak is Hindi for spinach and aaloo is Hindi for potatoes. Seasoned with whole red chilies, asafetida and garlic, this dish combines deliciously as a side dish with lentils & rice. Wrapped in a roti or paratha [unleavened Indian flatbreads]or tortillas along with onions & tomatoes it makes up a decadent veggie wrap. Also it can be stuffed inside two slices of bread,topped with cheese etc and makes a great sandwich or panini.It is mostly popular in northern parts of India where the leafy vegetables are grown in abundance and form a big part of the diet.

This is Vegetable Stir Fry with the wonderful flavor of Indian spices. It makes a great side for lunch and dinner. Surely would win the hearts of kids!

A spicy, tangy dish made with young, slim pods of okra stuffed with ground spices and then sauted with lots of onions.The fresher the okra, the better the taste of this dish. Whole okra is slit, partially deseeded & deveined, stuffed with ground indian spices and then traditionally cooked in mustard oil till the pods are crispy on outside and juicy on inside. A dish loved by children and adults alike and pairs up great with roti or paratha [unleavened Indian flatbreads].
This is a typical South Indian gravy in which the fish is cooked with onions, tomatoes, garlic, ginger and tamarind sauce. It is a flavorful dish with fine Indian Spices mixed to its perfection
Main / Butter Chicken
I decided to make a Main Dish, Butter Chicken or Murg Makhani which originated in the state of Punjab in the Northern part of India. It's one of my favorite Indian dishes. There are slight variations of this dish. Some may use cashew nuts while others may use almonds in the sauce. There are different cooking methods as well. Some bake or grill the chicken first and others simply cook the chicken on the stovetop before adding the sauce. The sauce is very versatile with regards to heat. You can make it as spicy or as mild as you like. And be prepared to smell the most fragrant combination of spices in your kitchen.

Kulfi is an indian version of ice-cream... often flavored with cardamom, saffron and nuts, it has a very unique flavor. It has similarities with ice cream in term of texture, taste and of course the fact that it is frozen milk! But unlike Western ice creams, kulfi is not whipped, resulting in a solid, dense frozen dessert. Where I come from, it is often served with falooda noodles( kind of like vermicelli). 

During the summers in india, there is no dessert more popular than kulfi. Originally the recipe requires a little bit more effort, stirring the milk for hours and slow cooking.but I have come up with this easy breezy version and it tastes awesome!!

This is a traitional indian sweet prepared during festivals in india and it made up with garbanzo bean flour (chickpea flour). The sweet melts in your mouth due to the crystallized sugar that is used to make it. 

Wow, how hungry are you now? Thank you to my talented Indian foodie friends! I hope you enjoyed this  virtual dinner party as much as we did.

Until my next culinary adventures...
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31 Reactions to this post

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  1. Satya said... September 1, 2010 at 9:43 AM

    hey lisa ,
    the potluck party looks awesome ...all the dishes looks mouthwatering ...u arranged it very nicely...thank q for hosting such a wonderful virtual dinner


  2. Suman Singh said... September 1, 2010 at 10:20 AM

    Great execution..looks fantastic...a wonderful virtual dinner party indeed...

  3. ~Lisa~ said... September 1, 2010 at 10:27 AM

    @ Stay thanks for sharing your delicious dishes.

    @ Suman, I check you site for the link to the dessert but it wasn't available so I left it out. I hope you don't mind. Thank you so much for participating (=

  4. Pacheco Patty said... September 1, 2010 at 11:09 AM

    Lisa, this is just such a mouth watering display of delicious Indian food, such a great idea, yum:)

  5. Tanvi said... September 1, 2010 at 11:20 AM

    OMG...what an awesome post!
    I feel like going in to an Indian restaurant right nw and order all these dishes! :)
    Love Love the presentation!
    Thanks a lot Lisa!

  6. aipi said... September 1, 2010 at 12:40 PM

    Compliments on putting it together so well..It was fun posting on your site.
    Collection looks quite exquisite..I wish they would pop right out of the screen :)

  7. ~Lisa~ said... September 1, 2010 at 5:22 PM

    @ Patty thank you!

    @ Tanvi, I want wordpress now. The formatting on blogspot is horrible. Thank you so much for participating.

    @ Aipi, thank you for your wonderful dishes!

  8. Reshmi said... September 1, 2010 at 10:22 PM

    oh wow!! i'm drooling over those pics... feeling hungry now..

  9. WhisperingWriter said... September 2, 2010 at 12:29 AM

    All of that looks delicious. My stomach is growling now.

  10. said... September 2, 2010 at 4:31 AM

    Great post, what a nice thing to organize.

  11. said... September 2, 2010 at 4:33 AM

    Nice post! I really like this kind of Indian food as opposed to the more generic stuff you find in restaurants.

  12. Sommer J said... September 2, 2010 at 5:10 AM

    Just read this again and I am starving!

  13. Peggy said... September 2, 2010 at 8:07 AM

    So now you've made me extremely hungry and wish this virtual tour was right in front of me! I need all these dishes delivered to me pronto! =)

  14. Edamame said... September 2, 2010 at 10:32 AM

    These dishes look amazing. Thanks so much for the recipes--I can't wait to try some of them. The photos are mouth watering!

  15. Mama Hen said... September 2, 2010 at 12:08 PM

    Lisa, I am hungry now! Yummy! I have to say that you inspired me to make some brown rice crispies treats. I will make them with my daughter today! have a good day my friend!

    Mama Hen

  16. Gina Carroll said... September 2, 2010 at 2:25 PM

    Hi new friend, I am now following you via MBC.

  17. Debbie said... September 2, 2010 at 3:04 PM

    WOW there are so many interesting dishes, I'm thinking I need to try the samosa's first, thanks for the dinner party!

  18. Kathleen said... September 2, 2010 at 5:11 PM

    How absolutely yummy. I have to admit that I have never cooked and have seldom eaten Indian food and after looking at your pictures I can't imagine why not!

    I did want to ask though.Is there something I can use other than wanton wrappers at the grocery store for some of your recipes like the sweet potato raviolis and such? I used them and they were okay, but very thin. Are they able to be doubled up maybe?

  19. Shauna said... September 2, 2010 at 5:19 PM

    Love Food! I am new here! Would love you to come visit me too :)

    Have a great day!

  20. Monet said... September 2, 2010 at 11:06 PM

    Talk about some great dishes! From the first to the last...they were spectacular. Of course, I'm drawn to the baked goods, but I would have enjoyed sampling each and every one.

  21. Magic of Spice said... September 2, 2010 at 11:30 PM

    Lisa this is so great, everything looks fantastic...going to start clicking :)

  22. Marisa said... September 2, 2010 at 11:49 PM

    I love the idea of a virtual dinner party. I'm drolling over all of these fanstastic Indian dishes!

  23. jose manuel said... September 3, 2010 at 2:52 AM

    Que repaso más interesante de la comida India, se ven platos muy interesantes. SAludos

  24. Cooking Gallery said... September 3, 2010 at 7:36 AM

    I don't know much about Indian food, but I love the ones I have tried so far. Mouthwatering pictures....!!

  25. Sara said... September 3, 2010 at 9:46 AM

    I'm a big fan of virtual food parties, and I'd eat everything that was made for yours. The only dishes I'm unfamiliar with are the desserts, which means I've got some fun cooking ahead of me this weekend. Thanks for the ideas...

  26. ~Lisa~ said... September 5, 2010 at 9:26 PM

    Thank you, it was fun. And i'm so happy you all enjoyed it! Stay tuned for more...

    @ Kathleen, i'll heading over to you now...

  27. Justin said... September 7, 2010 at 8:51 PM

    a virtual dinner party is a cool idea

  28. Gitte said... September 8, 2010 at 5:06 AM

    I love the collection of Indian recipes. The only one I have tried is Butter Chicken and it is fantastic. I am bookmarking this page.

  29. tigerfish said... September 12, 2010 at 10:35 PM

    I absolutely love Indian food...except those sweets/desserts, maybe? :D

  30. Carly said... September 21, 2010 at 4:23 PM

    Hi - just wanted to let you know that I made your butter chicken dish and it was fantastic - best curry I have ever eaten. Thank you

  31. ~Lisa~ said... September 22, 2010 at 10:33 PM

    Thank you! I love Indian food so this was such a treat to do.

    @ Carly, i'm so glad you tried and and enjoyed it! That make me so happy (=