Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Indian Spiced Sides for Easy Meals During the Holiday Season

Tired of the same old mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce at holiday dinners? Afraid that changing it up will get complicated? Easy meals don’t have to be bland, try using exotic Indian flavors to turn plain staples into exciting new traditions!

Chef Floyd Cardoz creates mouth-watering magic with his recipes in One Spice, Two Spice: American Food, Indian Flavors. His Turmeric Mashed Potatoes are a terrific twist to the American potato side dish found on every holiday table. For a low-fat or restricted diet version you can omit the butter, milk and cream, the spices are strong enough to hold this dish up without dairy.

Ingredients to serve 6:

1. Yukon Gold or other boiling potatoes - 2 ¾ pounds

2. Canola Oil - 3 Tbs.

3. Chana dal (hulled yellow split chickpeas) - 1 ½ Tbs.

4. Red onion, thinly sliced – 1 medium sized

5. Unsalted butter - 1 ½ Tbs.

6. Ground turmeric - ¼ tsp. (heaping)

7. Heavy Cream - ¾ C.

8. Milk - ¾ C.

9. Dry mustard - 1 ½ tsp.

10. Honey - 1 ½ Tbs.

11. Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Method:

1. Peel and quarter potatoes, cover with cold water by 2 inches and simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until tender. Drain in a colander then let them dry for about 2 minutes back in the pan then mash while still warm and cover.

2. In a 10-inch skillet, heat oil and add the chana dal to sauté for about 1 minute or until light golden. Then add onion, butter and turmeric and stir mixture until onion is translucent, about 3 minutes. Add cream and milk and reduce by half, should take about 7 minutes. Stir and keep an eye on it.

3. While you’re waiting for the sauce to reduce, whisk together the dry mustard and honey in a small bowl, then whisk in about ¼ cup of cream mixture to dissolve the honey mustard and whisk that along with the salt and pepper into the sauté pan with the rest of the reduced cream mixture.

4. Turn on low-heat beneath the potatoes, add the cream mixture and stir till combined and serve; these turmeric mashed potatoes are sure to please everybody!

Another great Indian flavor-filled side from Chef Cardoz; that could act as a cranberry sauce replacement, is his Dried Fruit Chutney. These are both simple ways to jazz-up easy meals for the holiday season that everyone will enjoy. Happy Holidays and bon Appetite!

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