An exotic twist on dinner and a movie
Two things to know about me: I 1) I love to travel and try new foods. 2) I love to stay in my pyjamas ans not leave the house, especially in the winter, the season in which we find ourselves viciously embroiled in Canada at the moment. So, when I can find a way to "travel" the world, try new foods, and still be able to give my extensive pj wardrobe some mileage, I'm all in.
I was recently sent the book, Bollywood Kitchen Home-Cooked Indian Meals Paired with Unforgettable Bollywood Films to review, and I was so excited! I love Indian food and so does my daughter (my husband, not so much) and I was so excited to have a new collection of recipes to dive into.
We chose three recipes to try from the book: Baked Vegetable Pakoras, Sloppy Jais (Indian Sloppy Joes) and Chicken Kati Rolls.
First up were the Kati Rolls. Start by sauteing some boneless, skinless chicken in a pan with some aromatic Indian spices:
Remove the chicken from the pan and add peppers, onions, and a few more spices, cooking until the edges of the onions and peppers are charred and deeply golden.
Assemble the wrap by placing the filling on a tortilla or (for a more authentic experience) roti, and top with tamarind sauce.
Roll up, and enjoy!
These were absolutely delicious! I made them for lunch one day and had enough leftovers to eat them two more times -- yummy! They are delicious and filling, with just enough heat and all of the aroma and exotic taste you'd expect form an Indian-inspired dish. (Incidentally, if you are doing Weight Watchers Freestyle, this meal is pretty low on Smart Points! Added bonus for sure).
I served the next two recipes togehter, on a night when it was just going ot be my daughter and I home (Daddy doesn't like Indian food). My daughter loves sloppy joes, so I decided to give this Indian spin on them a try, and since no sloppy joe is complete without a side dish, I figured the veggie pakoras (which are essentially fritters, for those who don't know) a try.
Also known as Keema Pav, the "Sloppy Jais" start out much the same as any sloppy joe, by browining meat (ground turkey in this case) and then adding in spices and tomato sauce, simmering the mixture together to a delicious conclusion. In this case, the mixture is finished off with the addition of frozen green peas before the entire mixture is piled onto a soft bun.
I knew -- or at least assumed - that I would enjoy this dish, but I couldn't have guessed how much my daughter would like it. We made four servings, each enjoying one on the first night. The leftovers? Well, they were all her. She absolutely INHALED this recipe and declared it a keeper! We will definitely make this again. Definitely.
As for the pakoras, these were a bit time-consuming to make, only in the fact that you have to shred potatoes, chop broccoli and onion, make the batter with chickpea flour and water, and mix the whole thing together before dropping spoonfuls of the mixture onto a cookie sheet before baking, but the results are worth it. These baked fritters are crispy on the outside and dense on the inside, bursting with Indian flavours. I loved these. My daughter ate them and said they were good, but they had too much onion in them for her. Next time I'll cut back on the onion and amp up the broccoli, per my sous chef's suggestion :)
I would definitely make this meal again. It was a perfect way to combine some exotic flavours with familiar dishes, which if you ask me, a great way to introduce family members to a cuisine with which you may not be familiar.
To me, the mark of a good cookbook is when you can find, at first flip through, several recipes you can't wait to try. That was the case with this book. It was so hard to narrow down what to try first! I chose the recipes that I did for two primary reasons: First, they were all relatively low on Weight Watchers Freestyle Points. Second, I figured they'd be a hit with my daughter.
The food is just the beginning of the story for this book, however. With each set of recipes there's an accompanying Bollywood movie suggestion to enjoy alongside the meal. Whether you're a big Bollywood fan or whether you are new to the genre, you'll find some great suggestions here for a different kind of movie night and a host of recipes to go alongside.
MY FINAL WORD:
Whether you are already a fan of Indian food or are looking to dip your toe into the waters of this delicious and exotic cuisine, Bollywood Kitchen is a great place to start. I can't wait to cook my way through the rest of the recipes in this book. Perhaps there will be a Bollywood movie night in store for the Bunny household in the future? Who knows?