Sunday, September 4, 2011

Dinner Party Series: A Feast from India (Spring Rolls)

Today’s recipes are a special treat - not just for you, but for me! I recently had the privilege to meet a charming and talented home chef from the Surrey/Delta area of British Columbia, Canada. Following the massive introductory hug Kuldip Ardawa gave me, she quickly began performing culinary magic in a friend’s kitchen. In just over an hour, she whipped together a superb Indian dinner that I'll never forget! 
As I took notes and photographed Kuldip's step-by-step presentation, she taught me how to make Spring Rolls, Chicken with Spiced SpinachPaneer with PeasBhuturaGulab Jamun, and a deliciously flavored Chai. Unless you already cook Indian food, some of those names may sound as unfamiliar and intimidating as they first did to me (I initially assumed Gulab-Jamun was a guy I dated in high school). Have no fear, Dollinks! You're about to embark on a culinary adventure! I took many photos of Kuldip at work, so will run her recipes over a number of days to keep you from feeling overwhelmed. You'll be as surprised as I was to learn how something this delicious could possibly be so easy! I can't stress enough the value of setting a restful, beautiful table - even if you live alone. Having a candle and a pretty place setting will aid your digestion and well-being. Here's the table my friend Judy and Kuldip Ardawa set for this simple but magnificent dinner:

A beautiful table ...

A beautiful meal! We tried to eat modestly, but all had seconds!
To launch this six-part series, I'll begin with Kuldip's wonderful recipe for Spring Rolls - an Indian version of the anytime-favorite that's equally popular in Oriental cooking. Yes, Dollinks, I’m well aware that you can buy ready-made Spring Rolls in your grocer’s freezer section - but why would you? These are tastier, cheaper, and easy to make! Neither Kuldip nor I wants you to be a slave to your kitchen. That's why we each recommend that you buy pre-packaged squares of Spring Roll pastry, found in your grocer's freezer case.

Spring Rolls, Indian-Style:

1 tsp. oil 
½ head cauliflower, broken into very small pieces (the size of coarse bread crumbs)
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 tbsp. garam masala (see Note)
1-1/2 tsp. turmeric
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 pkg. frozen Spring Roll pastry, thawed (refreeze leftovers)       Additional oil, as required
Heat oil in medium skillet, adding broken bits of cauliflower, cumin seeds, garam masala, turmeric, and salt and pepper. Stir-fry 5 min. until softened but not crispy or browned. Cool to room temperature. Lay 12 - 15 pastry squares on clean work surface. Spread 2 tbsp. cauliflower mixture near edge of each square, folding pastry over filling before folding in sides. Finish rolling pastry and transfer to greased baking sheet (or baking sheet covered with parchment paper), ensuring seam is on underside of spring rolls. Repeat with remaining spring rolls, lightly dabbing surface with oil so pastry will brown evenly. Preheat oven to 375 deg. F. Bake 20 - 25 min., until rolls are crisp and golden. Makes 12 to 15 Spring Rolls.
Note: Garam masala is a powdered mixture of Indian spices widely used in Indian cooking. If you can’t find it in the spice section of your local supermarket, check a South Asian food store or order it online.

Dab rolls with oil and bake

Kuldip Ardawa: Remove rolls from oven when golden

Enjoy with your favorite sweet or spicy sauce!

Tomorrow's dish from Kuldip Ardawa: Chicken with Spiced Spinach!

1 comment:

  1. this is a great idea to wrap chicken...Looks so delicious & pictures make me mouthwatering!!Thanks for sharing with 'Hot & Spicy Treats' Restaurant in Satya niketan


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