Next week, we get into a two-part post for Thanksgiving, filled with Indian-inspired and globally accessible Thanksgiving Day recipes for turkey, sides and the whole nine yards…
So today, before we get further into the season of celebrations, let’s visit some Indian classic meal ideas perfect for the falling temperature of autumn.
These recipes have previously appeared on Peri’s Spice Ladle and I’m thrilled with the outpouring of positive feedback and emails from readers who’ve tried them out.
Each one of these deserves the kudos and will sure inspire you to create new favorites this fall:
This recipe is part of my cookbook ‘Spice Up Your Celebration’ which offers Indian Inspired recipes for your occasions, holidays and entertaining. Click This Link for Details.
Using old Indian entertaining wisdom and today’s modern approach to food from a global perspective, my cookbook ‘Spice Up Your Celebration’ offers an easy to prepare collection of mouthwatering recipes that can be used for any occasion from intimate family and friends dinners, to hosting larger holiday celebrations.
As always, my dishes are inspired by India’s varied and flavorful smorgasbord of regional cuisines and made with everyday fresh ingredients, basic spices and simple step-wise directions.
- 10 oz bag frozen spinach, thawed (see note)
- ½ lb button or cremini (baby Portobello) mushroom, halved or quartered as per size
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- Salt and Pepper to season mushrooms
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 teaspoons of ginger garlic paste (or 2-3 cloves garlic and ½ inch ginger, grated)
- ½ teaspoon red chili powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin powder
- ¼ teaspoon coriander powder
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 2 medium tomatoes, diced
- Juice of half a lemon
- Heat one tablespoon of the oil and add mushrooms. Sauté till they are browned, season with salt and pepper. Remove the mushroom in a bowl and leave them aside till required.
- In the same pan, add the second tablespoon of oil and onions. Sauté for 5 minutes till the onions are pinkish brown. Add ginger garlic paste and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the dry spices and salt. Cook the spices with a few drops of water if the onion sticks to the bottom of the pan. Once the spices are done, add the tomatoes and ½ cup of water; cook 3-5 minutes.
- Toss thawed spinach in to the onion-tomato mix. Using an immersion hand blender or food processor, blend the spinach mix till it is a thick sauce-like consistency. (I like the curry a bit chunky, blend till your desired consistency is reached.) Cook on a medium flame letting the flavors come together in the pan. Add mushrooms and lemon juice to the spinach curry. Serve warm with brown rice and cucumber-onion raita.
- To thaw the spinach, just place it in a colander. Do not squeeze the water out of the thawed spinach since that ‘green’ water is rich with mineral and anti-oxidants.
- 1 lb boneless meat of choice like chicken thighs/mutton/lamb cut in 1 inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste (4-5 garlic cloves & ½ inch ginger, grated)
- ½ teaspoon each, salt & cracked black pepper
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 cups finely chopped onion
- ½ teaspoon ground red chili or Cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
- ¼ teaspoon Garam Masala
- 1 ½ teaspoon sugar or 1 teaspoon jaggery
- 3 medium tomatoes, finely chopped (about 1 ½ cups)
- 2 cups chicken broth or water
- 5 dried apricots (see note below)
- ½ teaspoon salt (to taste)
- 2 tablespoon cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- Salli or shoestring potatoes or crushed potato chips, as a topping
- In a bowl, bring the cubes of boneless meat together with grated ginger and garlic (ginger garlic paste) and salt/pepper. Let the meat marinade refrigerated for at least 2 hours or even overnight, especially if using mutton or lamb.
- Heat canola oil in a large pan and add the chopped onions. Fry to a light brown on a medium flame.
- Mix the marinated meat into the onions, sauté together till meat is coated with the aromatics (in mom's words: ‘let your nose guide you’.)
- Next, sprinkle the dry spices and jaggery or sugar and sauté for 5-7 minutes. If you feel the spices sticking to the bottom of the pan, add a few tablespoons of broth/water to help it cook.
- Add the diced tomatoes, apricot, salt and 2 cups of chicken broth (you can adjust the broth to the desired consistency of the gravy.) Bring this mixture to a boil and cook covered for 10-12 minutes till the broth is absorbed, and the meat and tomatoes are cooked through.
- Taste for salt and add cider vinegar, chopped cilantro to the preparation, simmer for another 3-4 minutes for the flavors to blend together.
- Serve Jardaloo Salli Boti hot, topped with Salli or shoestring potatoes (a handful of crushed potatoes chips will work as a substitute) alongside warm Indian bread like roti-chapati, naan or steaming basmati rice.
- Dried apricots can be used un-pitted since the apricot will soften and blend into the gravy, pits can be removed prior to serving or while eating.
- The dried golden apricots available in Western countries are generally sold pitted and work just as well for this preparation, offering a slightly tangier albeit equally delicious taste.
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- ¼ cup sliced almond
- 1 tablespoon butter or ghee (clarified Indian butter)
- 3 tablespoons semolina or pasta flour or rawa
- ½ cup milk
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 3 whole cardamom seeds, crushed
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- Sliced almond for decorating
- Mini muffin paper cups
- Preferably in a non stick pan, melt the butter on a medium low heat. Add sliced almond and semolina/pasta flour/rawa to the butter. Cook stirring continuously for 3-5 minutes; the flour should roast but not burn.
- Stir in the milk, sugar, spices and pumpkin puree. Cook the fudge or ‘halwa’ on a medium low heat for 10-15 minutes till it reaches a soft fudge-like consistency. Taste for sugar at this stage and add more based on taste.
- Using a mini ice-cream scoop or teaspoon, put small roundels of the warm soft-fudge ‘halwa’ in mini-muffin paper cups or directly on a serving platter. Tip: spray the ice-cream scoop or teaspoon with canola oil so the fudge slides off it easily. Top each fudge piece with a slice of almond.
- This Diwali-inspired Almond and Pumpkin Fudge (Indian Halwa) can be served at room temperature or slightly warmed, and also stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days.