Tuesday, June 7, 2011


When I had expressed interest in learning more about Indian cooking - vegetarian, specifically - my pan-Asian chef friend Ram was up for the task.  The first recipe he sent me was my first foray into Indian cooking at home.  I can't say I would have won an award for that dish (I added too much turmeric), but it was definitely a great start.  This next recipe he sent me back in March.  I made it back in March, too, but embarrassingly am only posting about it now.  Since it uses a lot of fresh veggies, it could be a great dish to make on a cool summer night with some selections from your garden or favorite farmer's market.

So, this dish is two recipes in one.  First, there is the amazing Cilantro Paste.  Once the paste is compiled, you then incorporate the chopped mixed vegetables into it, which Ram explains so eloquently below.

Simply Ram’s Cilantro Paste
Required equipment:
Food Processor or Blender

1 bunch of Cilantro
1 whole clove of garlic peeled
- 17-20+ pieces
1 medium size tomato
3-4 jalapenos or 1 medium green pepper
Salt and Pepper to taste

The following can be combined or else used singularly (except the Curry Powder)
- 1 tablespoon Turmeric
- 1 tablespoon Cumin
- 1 tablespoon Curry Powder

This is so easy to prep! Put all ingredients into the food processor/blender and grind carefully into a puree type of paste. Done!

When you cook with this paste it is very important to heat 10” nonstick pot first and then add oil. The paste needs to be lightly browned first before adding any other items.

Ram’s Cilantro Potato & Carrots (Onions)

½ to 1 cup of Simply Ram’s Cilantro Paste
- I have a heavy hand to 1 cup for me!
5-6 Medium sized potatoes
4-5 Medium sized carrots
1 Onion (optional)
Salt & Pepper to taste
Chili flakes (optional)

Dice both potatoes and carrots (smaller makes cooking time faster). Dice onion. After having prepared the paste add potatoes, carrots and (onions). Stir to coat all the vegetables then turn down fire to low. Add about a cup of water and then simmer it to fork tender. You can always add more water, so sometime I find less is more. Serve with Jasmine rice (preferred). Welcome to smell-a-vision!

This dish came out wonderfully, I'm happy to report.  It was so warm, delicious and flavorful.  I'll be making this one again, for sure (and I do still want to try to master Ram's Sai Bhaji – Sindhi Saag, too.)  Since I'm also trying to stick to a somewhat gluten-free diet, this dish is perfect in meeting that requirement, too.  Of course, I can't have a food post without some action photos.
I had an orange pepper on hand, so I used that instead of a green one

chopped ingredients into the blender

the completed cilantro paste before added to the hot oil in the pan

everything simmering together

viola! served atop some quinoa for extra protein - YUM!
Thanks, Ram, for another awesomely amazing recipe!  What's next?

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