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Recipes: Review - The Indian Slow Cooker


01/16/2011

Anupa Singla’s, television reporter and writer, brings along a cook book that defines the merits of slow Indian cooking, a concept that has not been explored before in cookbooks. What are the benefits of this method? According to her “hours of slow stewing enables spices to infuse in your dishes. Lentils and beans cook to perfection to attain creaminess”. Canned beans are out and dried beans are in making for cooking that is simple, less fussy and full of flavor. It would mean cutting down hours of time without sacrificing taste if planned in advance.

 

 “The Indian slow cooker” offers 50 healthy easy, and authentic recipes often used in an Indian kitchen, Most of the dishes can be found in Indian restaurants like palak paneer, aloo baingan, chickpeas, lamb biryani , butter chicken and much more. The only difference lies in using far less oil and saturated fat thereby reducing the calories and providing a healthier alternative.

 

Anupa has tested all her recipes in a 5 quart round rival crock pot and a 31/2 quart cuisinart slow cooker with timer although she recommends that we experiment around a bit to see what size fits your family. She also advises to select a slow cooker with two heat levels to avoid spillage.

 

Spices are the main ingredient in Indian cooking and Anupa starts off telling the reader not to be

daunted by the spices and the time in cooking Indian. The secret of simple dishes is to invest in seven key spices – cumin seeds, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, turmeric powder, red chili powder, green mango powder ( amchur) and garam masala. Her "Indian Spices 101" chapter introduces readers to the mainstay spices of an Indian kitchen, as well as how to store, prepare, and combine them in different ways She provides a list from A to Z of most of the spices used in the Indian kitchen with their uses.

 

Legumes, lentils, beans and peas recipes feature in the first part of the book followed by meats and vegetables and a few desserts in the end. It is beautifully illustrated with full-color photography throughout. Nutritious, healthy, and tasty, these recipes provide a unique guide to lovers of Indian food that may want to experiment with slow cooking.


From 'The Indian slow cooker' ..

 

Cilantro- Infused Black –Eyed peas

 

Ingredients:

 

3 cups dried black eyed peas, cleaned and washed thoroughly

2 medium tomatoes

1 medium yellow or red onion peeled and roughly chopped

1-2 inch piece ginger, peeled and cut into small pieces

4 cloves garlic peeled

2-3 green Thai, Serrano or cayenne chilies, stems removed

2 large bunches fresh cilantro, about 2 cups separated

2 tablespoons roasted cumin and coriander mixture

2 tablespoon salt

1 teaspoon turmeric powder

1 teaspoons red chili powder

6 cups water

 

Put the black eyed peas in a slow cooker.

Bring a pot of water to a boil on the stovetop. Cut an X into the non stem end of each tomato with a sharp knife and add the tomatoes to the boiling water. Cook for about two minutes or until the peel starts to curl back. Pull the tomatoes out of the boiling water with tongs, allow them to cool and peel them. Roughly chop the tomatoes.

Put the tomatoes, onions, ginger, garlic, green chilies, and 1 cup of the cilantro in a food processor and grind until smooth. Add this mixture to the slow cooker.

Add the cumin and coriander mixture, salt, turmeric, red chili powder and water. Cook on high for 10 hours.

Turn off the slow cooker and the remaining 1 cup of chopped cilantro. Serve over a steaming bowl of basmati or brown rice or with roti and naan.

 

About the Author

Anupy Singla's food writing has appeared in numerous venues, including the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times, and The Wall Street Journal. She lives with her husband and two young daughters in Chicago.



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