It’s no secret that I like to cook. It’s also no secret that I’m not afraid to cook out of my comfort zone (bblackened plantains, anyone?). While I feel like I’ve successfully mastered multiple cuisines—Italian, Mexican, even Thai dishes and sushi!—I’ve only attempted making Indian food once, and usually I’ve found that it’s way better to go out for it than to try to recreate it at home. That was until I found the book Indian Superfood: Superfoods + Super Spices = Indian Superfood.
Curry! Tandoori! Tamarind! Gram Masala! Coconut! They have all become mine. Even in my little kitchen in the middle of the freakin’ country. This cookbook is seriously a crash-course in healthy Indian cooking. With nutrition facts on what vitamins, minerals and superfoods are in each dish (think foods with antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties), I promise it’ll teach you something new about spices and the amazing abilities of certain foods. In fact, I can almost guarantee that it’ll make you look at foods in a new way: A way to help your body heal and work at its best.
A couple of caveats about the book. First, most grocery stores won’t have the ingredients (particularly the spices) you need for most of the dishes, so you’ll have to hit up an international market or Indian grocery, which may not be the most convenient. I was able to find an Indian grocery store, and while it took us darn near an hour to find what we were looking for, it was like going on an educational vacation. Not to mention that buying spices in bulk at these specialty stores is WAY CHEAPER. Like, you-get-10-times-as-much-for-the-same-price cheaper. Second, downside of the book: It’s a book from the U.K., so all measurements and ingredients are listed in the metric system. There’s a handy conversion chart in the front of the book, but flipping back and forth when making a grocery list or in the middle of cooking is annoying to say the least (and left my copy a little worse for the wear after only making a few recipes).
Despite those hiccups, the food is more than delicious enough to make up for it. Most of the recipes I made were easy to prepare and came out with enough wow-factor that I wanted to invite company over to brag about my new Indian-cooking skills like Tom Hanks brags about making fire in Castaway. (I have made curry!) I tried Chicken with Cabbage (sounds weird, but super tasty), Mango and Ginger Lassi Smoothies (perfect end to a meal!), and—my absolute favorite—Tandoori-Spiced Salmon Fillet with Sweet Potato and Green Pea Masala Mash (more on that tomorrow when we share the full recipe!). I just love how all the dishes in this book feature clean, natural ingredients and rely on just a little healthy fat and a whole lot of spice to kick up the flavor. Truly superfood!
Have you tried cooking Indian? How did it go? Tell us about it in the comments! —Jenn