My daughter traveled to India a few years ago, and when she returned, she was missing the flavors and aromas of Indian food, the colors of India, the sounds, and most of all she missed the kind and hospitable people she met.
My husband decided to make her a veggie curry to remind her of India after her return home. He found the recipe in a book by Tony Levin, “Beyond the Bass Clef.” Levin is an American bass player who has played with a lot of English bands, including King Crimson and Peter Gabriel’s band. According to my husband, he decided he had better learn to make a decent curry for his English musician friends as this is what you eat in England “when you don’t feel like eating English food which is always.” Apparently Indian takeout is a thing there. The first time my husband made this dish, we were still eating the standard American diet and I thought the whole dish was ludicrous–no meat, crazy Indian spices, and worst of all, two starches in one dish, rice AND potatoes! We ate a very traditional diet with one starch, one vegetable and one protein source, usually animal based, on our plates. So when my husband decided to make this again last night for us, I was reminded of my first taste of Indian cuisine 5 or 6 years ago. Only this time, I LOVED it, even though it had rice AND potatoes! The cauliflower worked really well, too. It soaks up the spices well. He also added peas and carrots and onions.
Now we eat Indian dishes regularly and even have a favorite Indian restaurant, New Amber Indian Restaurant, in Moosic, PA. I love the spices, the aromas, and just everything about the food. They know our order by heart at New Amber and I’m planning on adding more Indian dishes to our repertoire here at home. My favorite dish when we eat out is Sabji Jalfrezi. It has tons of veggies and is nice and spicy.
Not only are Indian dishes flavorful and delicious, but there may be some fabulous health benefits. The cancer rates are much lower in India than in the U.S. and according to Dr. Michael Greger of Nutrtionfacts.org, “Several factors may contribute to the low overall rate of cancer in India. Among them are a relatively low intake of meat, a mostly plant-based diet, and a high intake of spices and seasonings with anticancer properties.” Here is one of his videos on the topic, and there are many more on his site about the anti cancer and anti-inflammatory benefits of curcumin, the yellow pigment in turmeric.
So, if you think you don’t like Indian food, give it another chance. You may find you were missing out on a taste explosion and some incredible health benefits, too!
Remember, have fun with your food and enjoy!