For more on the flavors of India series, check out: Dhal Aloo Kofta, Payasam Pudding,Aloo Palak, Gluten-free naanand Malai Kofta.
I love Indian food and have embraced it to the fullest.
Just last night, I was contemplating trying my hand at making a potporri using all the garam masala ingredients to infuse our home with the smell. Stay tuned on this, I think I’ve pretty much nailed it. I just can’t seem to get enough of it!
In the time I’ve had to experiment, I’ve learned that while the ingredients list may be lengthy and totally intimidating, it’s rare to find a complicated Indian dish. From start to finish, the meals take about 15-20 minutes to prepare and rely on simple, easy to find ingredients. And I have to say, I’m loving all of the spices, too!
We have 3 more dishes in the line of Indian meals I learned to make during my cooking class in India. Today is biryani and next week; if I can get the dough right, will be gluten-free vegetarian samosa.
So, biryani… what is it? Jody; the yogi I took the class with, made the mistake of mentioning to our instructor that biryani was like a stir-fry. I advise that you do not make this comparison for the preservation of your life and the lives of those around you. There was a moment there where I thought the veins in our instructors head were going to explode.
Not a good situation.
Biryani is a lot like fried rice, comes in vegetarian or meaty varieties, and is usually loaded with spice, sauce, veggies and oil.
The version we made in India was naturally gluten-free, dairy-free and vegetarian with a spicy sauce. The raisins were my favorite part. They became somewhat caramelized under the heat and added a perfect amount of sweetness to the spicy sauce.
When I wanted to make this dish at home, I was a bit hesitant to buy a whole bottle of rose water; what with the recipe only calling for 1 tablespoon, but I’m happy to report that there are plenty of other uses for rose water than just biryani. It’s fantastic in smoothies, oatmeal, muffins, cupcakes, vegan fudge balls, oh you name it!
Healthy Egg Biryani (Egg Fried Rice)
Vegan (option), Gluten free, Dairy free, Sugar free, Yeast free, Corn freeBiryani is a rice-based dish made with spices, rice (usually basmati) and meat, fish, eggs or vegetables. It is naturally gluten-free and in South India, it’s usually served with hard boiled eggs. In my version of healthy egg briyani, I cut down the oils, replaced the milk and toned down a bit of the spiciness. Yield: 3 cups
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Saute ghee, fennel seed, ginger, garlic, onion and masala leaves in a pre-heated frying pan on medium-high heat. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly.
Add raisins, cashews, cinnamon, and cilantro and continue to cook for another 1 minute.
Add pineapple, rice, salt, garam masala, and rose water. Cook for another 1 minute before removing from heat and setting aside.
Add coconut oil, ginger, garlic, fennel, masala leaf, curry leaf, onion and tomato to a pre-heated frying pan. Saute on medium high heat for 2-3 minutes stirring constantly.
Remove from heat and add turmeric, coriander, garam masala, salt, chili, ground cashews, cilantro and water.
Place about 2/3 of the rice mixture at the bottom of a large bowl and pat down with a spoon. Add hard boiled eggs, top with sauce, then remaining rice mixture. Press down firmly.
Top the bowl with a large plate and flip over in your hand. Remove the bowl, garnish with cilantro and dig in!
note: to make vegan, replace ghee with coconut oil and omit the egg.
note: I’ve had a really hard time finding masala leaves at home. I’ve replaced the masala leaf for 6 curry leaves and it’s still been really good.
note: ghee is made from dairy, but all lactose and casein is removed in the clarification process. Use your own personal judgement when opting for a dairy-free diet. If you’ve chosen to omit, use vegan suggestion above.
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After our cooking class, Jody and I ran into our friend Lina who was headed to the spa for the day. She invited us to come with her for some women bonding over facials, massages and henna.
When in India!
It was a perfect end to my last day in Varkala!
PS: don’t forget to check out the winner for my favorite things giveaway, and thanks to everyone for entering!