FOOD: Fall is a fabulous time to serve up some Indian comfort food

Published: October 18, 2012

Bal Arneson’s Yam Soup. Submitted photo

BAL ARNESON
SPECIAL TO VANCOUVERDESI.COM

I love fall. As I see the leaves turning yellow, red and golden brown, I turn to warm comfort food. These recipes are on my menu in the fall because they are quick, flavourful and filled with warm spices.

My daughter Anoop asks me to make recipes that contain yams, her favourite root vegetable. I dedicate today’s Yam Soup recipe to Anoop, who inspires me to push my boundaries and continue creating deliciously healthy family recipes.

Punjabi Chicken

Serves 4

A nice chicken curry is the best way to enjoy the warm comforting flavours of spices during fall. Punjabi chicken was cooked for weddings when I grew up in India. The hired chefs would dig a giant pit in the backyard of the wedding home and put a large copper pot on the wood-burning pit and cook this curry. The streets of the wedding home would get filled with the aromas of the flavourful spices. This is my version of the village recipe.2 tbsp (30 mL) grapeseed oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 tbsp (30 mL) finely chopped garlic

2 tbsp (30 mL) finely chopped ginger

1 tbsp (15 mL) cumin seeds

1 tbsp (15 mL) coriander seeds

¼ cup (60 mL) dried fenugreek leaves

1 tsp (5 mL) mustard seeds

10 to 15 curry leaves

1 tbsp (15 mL) garam masala

1 green chili finely chopped

1 tsp (5 mL) Spanish paprika

1 tsp (5 mL) turmeric

1 lb (450g) chicken, bone in thighs and legs

2 cups (475 mL) chopped tomatoes

2 cups (475 mL) finely chopped potatoes

¼ cup (60 mL) loosely packed chopped fresh cilantro

3 cups (700 mL) water

Salt to tasteCombine the oil, onion, garlic, and ginger in a non-stick skillet over medium-low heat, and cook for 5 minutes. Add the cumin, coriander seeds, fenugreek leaves, mustard seeds, curry leaves, garam masala, chili, paprika, turmeric, and salt and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the chicken and cook for 4 minutes, turning the chicken frequently. Add the tomatoes, potatoes, cilantro and water; mix everything well and bring the dish to a boil.

Reduce the heat to a simmer, put a lid on the pot and cook for 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Serve with rice or plain rotis.

Yam Soup

Serves 4

This recipe is so quick to make and the nutty, citrusy flavour of coriander seeds complements the sweet flavour of yams. Sometimes I don’t even add salt to it.1 lb (450 g) yams, peeled and cubed

3 cups (700 mL) water

2 tbsp (30 mL) grapeseed oil

1 tbsp (15 mL) garlic chopped

1 tbsp (15 mL) ginger chopped

1 tbsp (15 mL) coriander seeds, crushed

Salt to tasteCook the yams in water over medium heat until tender, 7 to 9 minutes. Transfer to a blender and process until creamy.

Place oil, garlic, ginger, coriander seeds and salt in a skillet and cook for 1 minute on a medium high heat.

Serve soup into four small soup bowls. Place the spice mixture in the middle of each soup. Enjoy!

Quick Kidney Bean Stew

Serves 4

I have two versions of this recipe. One version uses dry kidney beans that cook in the crockpot for hours with the spices. However, canned kidney beans make it easier to get this dish on the dinner table in less than 20 minutes. Thanks to the amazing spices, this quicker version of the recipe is just as flavourful as the crockpot version.

3 tbsp (45 mL) grapeseed oil

1 medium onion-chopped

2 tbsp (30 mL) chopped ginger

2 tbsp (30 mL) chopped garlic

1 tbsp (15 mL) garam masala

8 to 10 curry leaves

1 tsp (5 mL) mustard seeds

1 tsp (5 mL) dried oregano

1 tsp (5 mL) rosemary, dried or fresh

1 medium tomato, chopped

2 cups (475 mL) cubed potatoes

1 ½ cup (350 mL) water

1 14 oz can kidney beans, drained

1 small can of corn, drained

2 cups (475 mL) cubed oranges

2 tbsp (30 mL) chopped mint

Salt and pepper to tastePlace the oil, onion, ginger and garlic in a pot over medium-high heat and cook for 2 minutes. Add garam masala, curry leaves, mustard seeds, oregano, rosemary, salt and pepper and cook for 2 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, potatoes, and water; increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 7 to 9 minutes. Add the kidney beans, corn and oranges and cook for one minute. Turn the heat off, sprinkle mint and cover with a lid for 10 minutes.

Bal Arneson is a TV host, author and columnist. She can be reached at bal@spicegoddess.com


Tags: ,





Featured

linda-hepnerdesi

Linda Hepner leads in most recent Surrey civic election poll

Self-commissioned report by Surrey First shows there’s still strong favourability for outgoing mayor Dianne Watts CHRISTOPHER POON SURREY NOW SURREY — A new poll commissioned…
Continue Reading »

temporary foreign workers program

Thousands of temporary foreign workers lose chance to stay in Alberta

SHEILA PRATT EDMONTON JOURNAL EDMONTON – Thousands of temporary foreign workers hoping to stay permanently under Alberta’s special nominee program lost their chance this fall….
Continue Reading »

Vancouver city hall

Surrey spends less per person than any other city in Metro Vancouver

THE CANADIAN PRESS A new report comparing per-capita spending among 17 Metro Vancouver municipalities says there are significant discrepancies across the region, with West Vancouver…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

linda-hepnerdesi

Linda Hepner leads in most recent Surrey civic election poll

Self-commissioned report by Surrey First shows there’s still strong favourability for outgoing mayor Dianne Watts CHRISTOPHER POON SURREY NOW SURREY — A new poll commissioned…
Continue Reading »

temporary foreign workers program

Thousands of temporary foreign workers lose chance to stay in Alberta

SHEILA PRATT EDMONTON JOURNAL EDMONTON – Thousands of temporary foreign workers hoping to stay permanently under Alberta’s special nominee program lost their chance this fall….
Continue Reading »

B.C.’s LNG emissions law greenest, cleanest in the world: environment minister

By Dirk Meissner THE CANADIAN PRESS VICTORIA – New legislation introduced in British Columbia requires liquefied natural gas plants to meet emission standards or face…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

File photo: Oli Scarff/Getty Images

Low caste teen in India burnt alive after goats stray into neighbours’ field

CEN AGENCY A poor goat herder was burnt to death after greedy land owners doused him in petrol and set him ablaze because his goats…
Continue Reading »

peter

23-year-old Indian soccer player dies after goal celebration goes horribly wrong

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS NEW DELHI – The Mizoram Football Association says a 23-year-old Indian soccer player has died after injuring his spine while celebrating a…
Continue Reading »

karma

Good Karma: Free Downtown Eastside studio helping yoga return to its ‘roots’

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI Entering through a desolate back alley off West Hastings Street in the Downtown Eastside, next to a gravel parking lot and…
Continue Reading »

Merv Bayda and Kal Dosanjh

Ask One Surrey’s Merv Bayda and Kal Dosanjh how they will fight crime in the city

  VANCOUVER DESI With crime as one of the leading issues in the Surrey municipal elections, Vancouver Desi is set to host two cops — Merv Bayda…
Continue Reading »

WORLD WAR I

Surrey resident says the involvement of Sikh soldiers in WWI has not been taught in schools

KRISTI ALEXANDRA SURREY NOW SURREY — Coming up on the hundredth anniversary of the First World War this Remembrance Day, images of poppies, Canadian maple…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Bollywood

Saif Ali Khan poses with pants down

IANS New Delhi – Actor-producer Saif Ali Khan was caught and clicked with his pants down while shooting for his new film “Happy Ending”. As…
Continue Reading »

Desi boobs Sonakshi SInha

Sonakshi Sinha enjoyed Tamil film debut with Lingaa

IANS Chennai  – Actress Sonakshi Sinha, who is making her Tamil debut opposite superstar Rajinikanth in upcoming Tamil actioner Lingaa, says she thoroughly enjoyed working…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood

Irrfan Khan to head Abu Dhabi film fest jury

IANS New Delhi  – Acclaimed actor Irrfan Khan will preside over the Narrative Feature Competition Jury at the forthcoming Abu Dhabi Film Festival (ADFF). The…
Continue Reading »