Indian flavors are popping up on menus across the country (Indian Flavors Gradually Gain Favor on Menus, Michael Mina, San Francisco, The Gage, Chicago), made even more popular, and influenced heavily by cooks, authors and television personalities like Madhur Jaffrey, and Suvir Saran. I love the spice catalogue that is associated with India: cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, clove, fenugreek, asafetida . . . And, the herbs and aromatics that tie these together like cilantro, mint, garlic, chili peppers, and ginger.
The Indian pantry shares many familiar Asian flavors (Asian Pantry Essentials, New York Times), and they often combine well on the same plate. In our continued exploration of ingredients from around the world, Indian and Japanese ingredients served as inspiration for a working lunch in our studio:
- Mulligatawny Soup with Black Lentils and Raita*
- Baby Kale and Arugula Salad with Orange-Miso Vinaigrette*
- Grilled Cheese Sandwich Stuffed with Gouda, Gruyere and Honey Crisp Apples
- Orange Scented Chocolate Pound Cake with Chantilly and Orange Marmalade
*Here are two recipes from our archives:
Mulligatawny Soup by Mark Graham
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 4 minutes
Yield: 8 servings
¼ pound bacon, diced
2 Tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon each: ground cloves, cinnamon, ground coriander, cumin, crushed saffron threads, curry powder, ground dry ginger
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 Tablespoon dried thyme leaves
4 small carrots, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
1 large onion, diced
1 jalapeno, minced
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper
3 bay leaves
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup Beluga lentils
8 cups chicken broth
4 Roma tomatoes, seeded, diced – or – 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
½ cup each: minced parsley and cilantro
Render bacon in olive oil in a large pot over medium low heat; cook until bacon is crispy, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in cloves, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, saffron, curry powder, ginger, red pepper flakes, and thyme, cook until very fragrant, stirring constantly, about 30 seconds.
Stir in carrots, celery, onion, jalapeno, salt, and pepper. Cook until onion is translucent, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in bay leaves, and garlic; cook until garlic is very fragrant, about 2 minutes.
Stir in lentils and broth, increase heat to medium, bring to a boil, lower heat to a simmer and cook until lentils are soft, but still have a bite to them, about 35 minutes.
Stir in tomatoes, parsley, and cilantro. If not eating this soup in one sitting, omit the tomatoes and herbs and finish each re-heated portion with fresh tomatoes and herbs.
Orange Miso Dressing by Mark Graham
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Yield: about 2 cups of dressing
½ shallot, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled
5 mint leaves
½ teaspoon red miso
½ teaspoon white miso
1 teaspoon Dijon
½ cup orange juice
½ cup rice vinegar
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
zest of 1/2 orange
1 cup peanut oil
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
Blend shallot, garlic, mint, red miso, white miso, Dijon, orange juice, vinegar, fish sauce, soy sauce and orange zest in a 2-quart container using an immersion blender until smooth, about 1 minute.
With blender running, slowly add peanut oil to create a dressing the thickness of heavy cream.
Season with salt and pepper. Use immediately, or refrigerate until ready to use. Bring to room temperature and shake vigorously before using.
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