I find Indian cuisine to be the ultimate comfort food. It’s warm spices and hearty dishes are perfect for this time of year (and in my case, any time of year!). 🙂 Also, Indian dishes are often composed of a variety of vegetables, and this cuisine is known for a number of delicious signature vegetarian and vegan dishes.
Today I’m posting about my Food Network Canada inspiration who makes cooking home made Indian food approachable and delicious: Chef Bal Arneson. Chef Bal is a Canadian chef who hosts the show “Spice Goddess” on the Canadian Food Network. Although some Indian food recipes can be quite lengthy, with many different ingredients and a combination of exotic spices and herbs, Chef Bal simplifies the dishes while keeping the essence of the flavour and quality of the food.
Some of her recipes that are my favourite include:
Rice Pudding (I substitute Almond Milk for the regular milk in the recipe).
There are so many more on her recipe site from the Food Network. All of them are very good!
Also, she uses ingredients that get me thinking. In addition to all the different spices and herbs she embraces, the different vegetable, fruit, bean and meat combinations are really interesting. For example, she used chick pea flour to make a pakora batter in one episode. I realized how this could be translated to other savory batters. So, I took a Zucchini pancake recipe from “The Barefoot Contessa” and instead of using white flour I substituted it with chick pea flour and it worked out beautifully. My toddler loves any kind of pancake, so this was a great gluten free option that also got him a good dose of veggies.
Chick pea flour can be easily found at the Bulk Barn. I took a Michael Smith approach to the the Ina Garten inspired zucchini pancake recipe. (see below)
When it comes to making Indian food practical, Chef Bal has it down!
Here’s the Zucchini Pancake Recipe (sorry I don’t have a picture!)
2 zucchini, grated
1 egg, beaten
1 cup chick pea flour (or more, to make the batter thick and hold together)
A sprinkle of sea salt and black pepper
1 tbsp coconut oil
Mix together the zucchini, egg, flour and seasonings. Heat a pan on the stove with the coconut oil. Move the oil around so it coats the pan. Drop the batter into the pan making small rounds (about 1 tablespoon of batter). Cook on medium heat until both sides are golden and middle is cooked.