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

ÂĽ 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

ÂĽ 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

DEVGAN

Bollywood film that was to shoot in Alberta ‘indefinitely postponed’

ERIC VOLMERS CALGARY HERALD Don’t brush up your Bollywood dance moves yet, Alberta. Shivay, a Hindi film that was set to start filming in the Rocky Mountains…
Continue Reading »

File photo: The new Surrey City Hall in Surrey, B.C., December 29, 2014. Arlen Redekop/PNG

Surrey named one of top seven most intelligent communities in the world

AMY REID SURREY NOW SURREY — The City of Surrey has been named one of the Top 7 Intelligent Communities of 2015 by New York-based think…
Continue Reading »

APTOPIX_OBAMA_US_INDIA_219912936

Obama takes in grand Republic Day parade in show of solidarity between U.S., India

JULIE PACE and MUNEEZA NAQVI THE ASSOCIATED PRESS NEW DELHI — President Barack Obama on Monday took in a grand display of Indian military hardware,…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

DEVGAN

Bollywood film that was to shoot in Alberta ‘indefinitely postponed’

ERIC VOLMERS CALGARY HERALD Don’t brush up your Bollywood dance moves yet, Alberta. Shivay, a Hindi film that was set to start filming in the Rocky Mountains…
Continue Reading »

File photo: The new Surrey City Hall in Surrey, B.C., December 29, 2014. Arlen Redekop/PNG

Surrey named one of top seven most intelligent communities in the world

AMY REID SURREY NOW SURREY — The City of Surrey has been named one of the Top 7 Intelligent Communities of 2015 by New York-based think…
Continue Reading »

Little drone, big fears: White House incident occurs amid worries over UAVs

THE CANADIAN PRESS WASHINGTON — There are big fears in the U.S. intelligence community about little devices like the one that slammed into the White…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

miss canada

Miss Universe Canada scores big buzz online with outlandish hockey costume (w/ photos)

THE CANADIAN PRESS MIAMI — Chanel Beckenlehner is hoping to take home the crown at the Miss Universe pageant, but win or lose, she’s scored…
Continue Reading »

A herd of wild elephants from the nearby Amsung reserve forest roam in a paddy field in search of food, in Hajong Bori village, about 35 kilometers (22 miles) east of Gauhati, India, Thursday, March 22, 2007. AP Photo/ Anupam Nath

Tourists trampled to death in India after flash of camera sends elephant in ‘mad frenzy’

VANCOUVER DESI An Indian couple has been trampled to death and a tour guide injured after the flash of a camera sent an elephant in…
Continue Reading »

shiamak

Bollywood dance guru Shiamak Davar gets Canadian dignitaries grooving with a dance lesson

VANCOUVER DESI A number of Canadian dignitaries got their very own personal dance lesson from the guru of Bollywood dance himself, Shiamak Davar, while attending…
Continue Reading »

FILE PHOTO: A nine-year-old Palestinian girl  suffering from scoliosis sits as her mother shows her back x-ray as she is treated by U.S. pediatric orthopedic surgeon Hugh Watts (L) February 18, 2004 at Al-Quds hospital, in Gaza City. Abid Katib/Getty Images

Seven-year-old Scoliosis patient in Western India cured by revolutionary surgery

IANS Mumbai  – A seven-year-old girl in Mumbai suffering from Scoliosis is the first in Western India to successfully undergo a new and revolutionary procedure…
Continue Reading »

Rashida Samji

Former Vancouver notary public fined $33 million for fraud related to multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme

JAMES KELLER THE CANADIAN PRESS VANCOUVER — A former notary in Vancouver who allegedly spent almost a decade collecting at least $100 million from investors…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Indian Bollywood film actress Jacqueline Fernandez poses during the launch of Scholl's latest innovation in foot care in Mumbai on January 22, 2015. AFP PHOTOSTR/AFP/Getty Images

Do you want to travel to Dubai with Jacqueline Fernandez?

DIBYOJYOTI BAKSI HINDUSTAN TIMES Several actors nowadays are known to take an active interest in the promotion strategies of their films. Another actor, who has…
Continue Reading »

DEVGAN

Hindi superstar Ajay Devgan to shoot parts of Bollywood blockbuster in Alberta

ERIC VOLMERS CALGARY HERALD A highly anticipated Bollywood film will be using the snowy mountains of Alberta as a backdrop for a three-month shoot. Shivay, scheduled to begin shooting…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar is pictured here in a still from his latest espionage thriller, Baby. The movie has been banned in Pakistan. HANDOUT.

Akshay Kumar’s latest film Baby banned in Pakistan

HINDUSTAN TIMES Akshay Kumar’s espionage thriller Baby, which centres around an Indian spy’s mission to capture a terrorist from a West Asian nation, has been…
Continue Reading »