Indian Spiced Cucumber, Peas and Mint

Warm Indian Cucumber

For a girl who is constantly cooking new recipes from all types of cuisines, I’ll admit I’ve been in something of a rut when it comes to Indian food.  I’m constantly trying new recipes, yes, but I’m such a fan of Ruta Kahate’s first cookbook (5, Spices: 50 Dishes…. I’ve mentioned it many, many times already) that I find myself , even with a stack of Indian cookbooks on the shelf, cooking almost exclusively from 5 Spices, 50 Dishes.

It was Anjum Anand who finally lured me away from my tried-and-true with a lovely photo of this warm cucumber dish in her cookbook Anjum’s New Indian.  A couple years ago I probably would have passed it by, thinking to myself, cooked cucumbers?

Warm Indian Cucumber 1

But now I know better.  It was actually Cambodian food that made me see the light, specifically this Cambodian Curried Shrimp with Cucumbers.   When lightly cooked, cucumbers add a delicate flavor and a tender-crisp texture.  In this recipe, cucumbers and peas are combined with plenty of Indian spices in a yogurt-based sauce.

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Lamb Meatballs in a Spicy Indian Curry

Lamb Meatball Curry

I’m thinking I need to research techniques on how to style meatballs and/or meatball curry, because I feel like I’m doing this dish a major disservice.   Or maybe I should just blame the fact that I was in too much of a hurry to inhale a bowl or two to take the time to make it look nice and pretty?

Although I’ve only started cooking with lamb in the past couple years, it’s quickly become one of my favorite meats.  And this lamb meatballs in a spicy Indian curry?  It would definitely be a top contender for my favorite lamb recipe.

Lamb Meatball Curry 1

Tender lamb meatballs swim in a thick, spicy coconut milk- based sauce flavored with shallots, garlic and ginger and layers of Indian spice goodness?  The laundry list?  Mustard seeds, coriander, cumin and cayenne.  A touch of apple cider vinegar adds a touch of sour and the chopped cilantro adds that pop of freshness.

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Red and Green Cabbage Salad with Lemon Mustard Seed Dressing

Rainbow Slaw

Let’s face it.  If there was such a thing as a popularity contest for vegetables, the humble cabbage probably wouldn’t have much of a chance.  Not when there’s much sexier vegetables like asparagus, Brussels sprouts, and ramps out there.

But while I could probably live without some of those other veggies, life without cabbage seems almost unthinkable.  No Korean kimchi?  No Polish kapusta?  No Italian peasant soup?  No spicy Indian cabbage?  Some of my very favorite dishes are made primarily from cabbage.

Carrots and Cabbage

And with each new cuisine I cook, it seems like my love affair with the hardy, leafy vegetable deepens. Cabbage may be considered peasant food in many countries, but I’ll take peasant food over molecular gastronomy any day.

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Indian Spiced Mashed Cauliflower

Indian Spiced Cauliflower 1

Is it just me, or does it seem like a lot of folks are eating Paleo these days?  I’m not sure whether it’s because of the popularity of  Crossfit or whether people just find that they feel better cutting out grains, sugar and whatever else it is that Paleo people don’t eat.  Probably a combination of both.

I was skimming some Paleo cookbooks looking for recipe inspiration awhile back and noticed that mashed cauliflower is the go-to substitute for mashed potatoes, although a quick Google search certainly seems to indicate it’s popular dish for both low carbers and Regular Joes alike.   But most of the recipes I found online were loaded with cream or butter to replicate the same taste as the rich original dish.

Cauliflower Florets

Now I have nothing against butter or cream, but plain mashed potatoes aren’t something I often make (or crave) outside of Thanksgiving dinner. But when I came across an Indian recipe for spiced mashed potatoes from my favorite Indian cookbook author, I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to try the cauliflower for potato substitution.

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