Sunday Night Indian Dinner

On Friday night I was craving some Indian food but our neighbours graciously asked us over for some fresh salmon on the barbecue.   How could I resist?   Sandra had been up in Bella Coola and had come back to Vancouver with a slab of freshly caught Spring Salmon.

Gordon Ramsay World Kitchen

Sunday night I gave my taste buds what they’d been craving  since Friday.  I decided to give Gordon Ramsay’s “World Kitchen” a look to see if there was something in there that grabbed me.  I came across spinach and potato cakes with cucumber raita, (page 213) and Keralan-style baked tilapia on page 215.    I had never cooked tilapia before so I thought it would be a great way to try the fish.   Tilapia is an inexpensive, freshwater fish that is increasingly common at fish suppliers and supermarkets.   We’d been out for brunch on Sunday morning so we didn’t really need very much for dinner.   This was perfect for a light meal.  I added a kale salad (nothing Indian about that) and we were complete.

The afternoon started by preparing the cucumber raita.   This is similar to tzatziki except there is cumin instead of garlic added to the yogurt.  The recipe also called for ½ tsp of superfine sugar.

Cucumber raita:

  • 2 cups (500 ml) plain yogurt – I used goat yogurt
  • 1 large cucumber
  • ½ tsp. (2ml) cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp. (2ml) superfine sugar.

Directions:

  1. With a fork or whisk,  whisk the  yogurt briefly in a large bowl.
  2. Peel and grate the cucumber and squeeze out as much water as possible before adding to the yogurt.  (You can do this by pressing on the grated cucumber with a large spoon in a sifter)
  3. Toast the cumin seeds in a dry skillet for about a minute until fragrant.  Cool then stir into the yogurt mixture with the sugar.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Chill until ready to serve.   The flavor will benefit if the raita is chilled for a few hours.

Potato and Spinach Patties

  • 2 medium potatoes, about 1 lb (500gm.) peeled and cut into pieces
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp. (45ml) vegetable oil plus extra to cook the potato cakes
  • 9oz (250 gm) fresh spinach, washed and patted dry
  • 2 tsp.(10ml) black mustard seeds
  • 2 garlic cloves peeled and minced
  • 1 tsp. (5ml) fine sea salt or to taste
  • 1 tsp. (5ml) cayenne pepper (I only used a dash of this)
  • Flour to dust.

Directions:

  1. Cut the potatoes into large chunks and add to a pan of well-salted cold water.  Bring to a boil and cook for 10-15 minutes until tender when pierced with a knife.  Drain well and return to the pot and put back on the heat briefly to dry the potatoes.  While still hot, pass through a potato ricer or mash smoothly.  Season well to taste and let cool.
  2. Heat a little oil in another large pan.  Add the spinach and stir over high heat until wilted.  Tip into a colander and squeeze out excess moisture using the back of a ladle.  Lay the leaves out on a dish towel, and again squeeze out any moisture.  Allow to cool, then chop the leaves coarsely.
  3. Heat the remaining oil in a skillet, add the mustard and cumin seeds with the garlic, and cook until they begin to splutter.  Remove from the heat and add to the bowl of cooled mashed potatoes.  Stir in the chopped spinach and season with salt and cayenne pepper.  Shape the mixture into 8-10 balls and then flatten into small patties.  Dust with a light coating of flour.
  4. Gordon goes on to tell you to fry these patties but I tried that and they stuck to the bottom of the pan and fell apart.  I decided a better way to cook them was to place them on a greased cookie sheet and put them in the oven at 400% for twenty minutes, turn them over and do the other side.  They stayed together and were delicious.
  5. When cooked (browned) place them on pepper towels, and drain them.  Then serve warm with the cucumber raita on the side.

I also took the extra patties and put legumes on them and made them the base of a vegetarian meal for lunch the next day.  They are wonderful on their own as leftovers – heated and served with the raita.

spinach and potatoe cakes with cucumber raita sm.

The fish was very tasty and I’ll definitely serve this dish to guests when I’m looking for a light dinner.   If you have trouble finding tilapia, the spicy tomato mixture would work well with any firm, white fish fillets.

Keralan-style baked tilapia

Ingredients:

  • 4 tilapia fillets, about 5 oz (150 gm) each
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. (10 ml) vegetable oil
  • 2 red onions, peeled and chopped (I used one large)
  • 2 green chilies, seeded and minced
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
  • ¾ inch (2cm) piece of ginger root, peeled and grated
  • 1 tsp. (5ml) hot chili powder
  • 1 tsp. (5ml) ground coriander
  • 3 large ripe tomatoes, chopped finely
  • Juice of ½ lemon, or to taste,
  • Handful of cilantro leaves, chopped
  • Lemon wedges to serve

The fish was very tasty and I’ll definitely serve this dish to guests when I’m looking for a light dinner.   If you have trouble finding tilapia, the spicy tomato mixture would work well with any firm, white fish fillets.

kerlan talapia with spicy tomaote sauce.

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Check the fish for small bones, removing any with kitchen tweezers.  Season the fillets with salt and pepper, then place in a single layer in a baking dish.
  2. Heat the oil in a skillet, add the onions and chilies, and sauté over medium heat for 4-5 minutes until softened but not coloured.  Add the garlic, ginger root, chili powder, and ground coriander and stir well.  Cook for a few minutes until the oil separates, then stir in the tomatoes.
  3. Season well and lower the heat slightly.  Cook until the tomatoes are completely soft, then remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the lemon juice and chopped cilantro.
  4. Spoon the spiced tomato mixture evenly over the fish fillets, making sure that they are completely covered.  Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes until the fish is just cooked – the flesh should feel firm when lightly pressed.  Serve at once with lemon wedges and steamed basmati rice.

This dinner was exactly what we wanted.  It was flavourful without being too rich.  We all commented on how delicious the fish was and it was decided I should serve this again!

fish with spicy tomato sauce and spinach and potato cakes sm.

Dessert consisted of the first serving of local strawberries.  We have a fruit stand a block away from home, that pops up every summer and we know the fruit has been picked within the previous 24 hours. These strawberries were fantastic!

fresh strawberries bare naked. sm

On another note, we had another episode of empowered health.  This week was marinated vegetables grilled on the barbecue.  You can find the recipe on the Empowered Health website.

Enjoy!  Please come back next week for another Sunday Night Dinner at Julia’s Place!

http://www.vancouversun.com/health/Empowered+Health+video+Cooking+Nutrition/8555697/story.html

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About Julia

I am an RHN who's passionate about helping people live their best lives. My focus is on body mind and spirit and I guide people on work life balance and holistic nutrition. Join me as I wind my way through this wonderful world we live in.
This entry was posted in Gluten-free, Nutrition, Recipes and ideas, Sunday night Dinner with Julia, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Sunday Night Indian Dinner

  1. Pingback: Sunday Night Indian Dinner | nourish2flourish

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