Tag Archives: Indian

Vadouvan French Masala Curry

Vadouvan French Masala Curry, also known as vadavam, vadagam, or vadakam……

Beauty_20-_20Vadouvan_20Curry-3493_mediumis an Indian spice blend similar to curry powder. Like curry powder, it usually includes turmeric, cumin, coriander and curry leaf. But unlike curry powder, it also includes ground shallots and occasionally several other aromatics. The shallots are definitely a French  contribution—vadouvan comes from the Pondicherry region of Southern India, a former French colony. French culinary influence survives in the region to this day. Basically, it  can be a blend of up to 30 spices, and just as curry powders vary from one cook to the next, so does vadouvan. Sometimes it’s more of a paste, made with cooked onions, that needs to be stored in the refrigerator.  You can also purchase it as a dry spice mix, containing curry, curry leaves, white and toasted onion and garlic powders, brown mustard seeds, shallots and kosher salt. Some blends also include fenugreek and cardamom. Use it as you would a sweet curry powder; the flavor is milder and a bit more fruity, with just a hint of smoke, adding a smoky flavor to vegetables, meats and fish.

Vadouvan can be purchased on-line from the following retailers:
The Spice House 
Kalyustan’s
Amazon.com

There are many versions of vadouvan, but I really liked the one created by Chef Inaki Aizpitarte, of Le Chateaubriand, which is roasted for an exotic meatiness.

You can definitely make one big batch and keep it in the freezer for weeks— And I am pretty sure that will be tossing it into all kinds of dishes. This Spring and beyond the other seasons as well.

Recipe Adapted from Chef Inaki Aizpitarte – Le Chateaubriand
Makes About 3 cups

Ingredients:
2 pounds yellow onions, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 lb shallots, halved
12 garlic cloves, peeled
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh curry leaves (optional)
1 Tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
3/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon hot red-pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350ºF with rack placed in the center of the oven.

Pulse onions in 3 batches in a food processor until very coarsely chopped, transferring to a bowl. Repeat with the shallots, then the garlic.

Heat oil in a deep 12-inch heavy nonstick skillet over high heat until it shimmers, then sauté onions, shallots, and garlic (stir often) until golden and browned in spots, 25 to 30 minutes.

Grind fenugreek seeds in grinder or with mortar and pestle. Add to onion mixture along with remaining ingredients, 1 tablespoon of salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper and stir until combined.

Transfer to a parchment-paper-lined large 4-sided sheet pan and spread as thinly and evenly as possible. Bake, stirring occasionally with a skewer to separate onions, until well browned and barely moist, 1 to 1 1/4 hours.

Cooks’ Note:
Vadouvan keeps in the refrigerator 1 month (cool before covering) or in the freezer 6 months.

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Chickpea Sliders

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I am always looking for new and interesting things to eat. Sometimes your palate just needs a break from the routing hum and drum of ordinary foods….And viola, I stumbled across this recipe from Blue Apron, a food delivery service, entitled “Chickpea Burgers with Vadouvan-Roasted Carrots & Feta-Yogurt Sauce“.

The very title of the recipe had me intrigued and I am always willing to try something new. The star of this recipe is the vadouvan curry powder. You can find more information at the following link. You can purchase it as a dry powder or make it on your own and use it like a sofrito.

The chickpea or chick pea (Cicer arietinum) is a legume of the family Fabaceae, subfamily Faboideae. It is also known as gram, or Bengal gram, garbanzo or garbanzo bean and sometimes known as Egyptian pea. In Northern India, it is known as the ceci, cece or chana or Kabuli Chana. Nutritionally speaking, its seeds are high in protein, and they are more than just a salad garnish and more than hummus. Did you know that chickpeas are one of the earliest cultivated legumes? Nearly 7,500-year-old remains of chickpeas have been found in the Middle East. Imagine that!

This is definitely a delicious spin on the veggie burger that combines, onions, shallots, garlic and chickpeas. And the feta -yogurt sauce is the perfect condiment to top this sandwich off.

It’s a Keeper in my book…..Happy Eating!

Ingredients:
4 Sesame Seed Buns
One 15-Ounce Can Chickpeas
½ Cup Greek Yogurt
2 Cloves Garlic
2 Pounds Carrots
1 Lemon
1 Ounce Arugula
1 Persian Cucumber
1 Yellow Onion
1 Tablespoon Vadouvan Curry Powder
½ Cup Crumbled Feta Cheese
¼ Cup Chickpea Flour
¼ Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 450°F.

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Halve the buns. Drain and rinse the chickpeas; transfer to a bowl and smash with a fork. Peel and mince the garlic. Peel and small dice the onion. Peel the carrots and cut into 3-inch-long sticks. Thinly slice the cucumber into rounds. Quarter and deseed the lemon. In a bowl, combine the Greek yogurt, feta cheese and the juice of 2 lemon wedges; drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.


Roast the carrots:

Place the carrots on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, pepper and half the vadouvan curry powder; toss to coat. Arrange in a single, even layer and roast in the oven, stirring halfway through, 21 to 23 minutes, or until tender and slightly browned. Remove from the oven and toss with the juice of the remaining lemon wedges. Transfer to a serving dish.

Cook the aromatics:

While the carrots roast, in a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the garlic, onion and remaining vadouvan curry powder. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 5 minutes, or until softened and fragrant. Transfer to the bowl of smashed chickpeas. Wipe out the pan.

Form the chickpea patties:
While the carrots continue to roast and once the aromatics are cool enough to handle, add the chickpea flour and Parmesan cheese to the bowl of smashed chickpeas and cooked aromatics. Season with salt and pepper and mix to thoroughly combine. Using your hands, divide the mixture into 4 equal-sized portions; form into 1-inch-thick patties.

Cook the chickpea patties:
In the same pan used to cook the aromatics, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Carefully add the chickpea patties. Cook 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until golden brown and cooked through. Remove from heat.

Toast the buns and serve the dish:

While the chickpea patties cook, place the buns on a sheet pan, cut sides up. Toast in the oven 4 to 6 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned. Transfer to a clean, dry work surface. Divide the cooked chickpea patties between the bottoms of the buns. Top with the feta-yogurt sauce, sliced cucumber, arugula and the tops of the buns. Serve with the roasted carrots on the side. Enjoy!

Cook’s Note:

You can make your own vadouvan. Click here for the recipe.