Here for you are four of the recipes I learned from Shusme in Udaipur. You can make a fun evening with very little work. When people arrive you offer them wine or beer with peanuts flavored with chopped onions, cllantro, and lime juice. Beforehand, you put out bowls filled with chopped onions, chopped tomatoes, minced garlic, minced jalapeno, and grated ginger. You can also put out bowls of spices if you don’t have a spice box like the one my friend T.T gave me. The spices you will need are turmeric, ground red chili, garam masala, fennel seeds, mustard seeds, and fenugreek seeds . It will not take more than 30 minutes for your friends to put the recipes together (and they can be made ahead and reheated.) I suggest a tropical ice cream for dessert. Don’t forget to serve the main courses on warmed plates. Remember, to have fun cooking!
In the bottom of a round saute pan or small wok, put the onions, jalapeno, and ginger with the butter. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until thick and lightly browned. Stir in the turmeric, red chilli, garam masala, and salt and cook, stirring, for a minute; then stir in the tomatoes, and the dried coconut and continue to simmer until reduced; then stir in the cream with the ground nuts; and continue to cook, stirring, until the butter begins to separate. At this point, stir in the paneer with the milk and a generous pinch of garam masala. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes. (You can substitute fish, mushrooms, or hard-cooked eggs for paneer.)
(Recipes adapted from Sushme fromwww.hoteldrishnaniwas.com)
In a round saucepan, heat the oil. When hot add the fennel, mustard, and fenugreek seeds. Cook them over medium-high heat until they begin to crackle, immediately stir in the turmeric, the cauliflower, potatoes and salt. Let this simmer, stirring from time to time, for 10 minutes.
Stir in the tomatoes, jalapeno, and grated ginger. Cook, stirring, until the tomatoes are soft. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro, cover, and let sit for 2 to 4 minutes.
Note: I like to add 1-to-1/2 cups frozen peas when the tomatoes go in.
(Recipes adapted from Sushme from Udaipur, see www.hoteldrishnaniwas.com)
To make the dal, soak the split peas or lentils in water to cover for 1 hours. Next boil the split peas or lentils in the soaking liquid with the milk for 10 minutes, adding more water as necessary.
Meanwhile, in another saute pan cook the onions in the ghee until lightly browned. Add the garlic, with the turmeric, red chili, garam masala, and salt; and cook another 1-2 minutes.
Stir in the tomatoes with the ginger and cook until the tomatoes become soft and the ghee separates. Stir in the cooked split peas or lentils and continue cooking, stirring, for another 5 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro and more garam masala. Cover, and let sit for 3 to 4 minutes.
(Recipe adapted from Sushme from Udaipur.)
Rinse the rice under cold running water. Put the rice with the measured water, the butter, and the salt in a heavy bottom pan. Bring to a simmer, turn down the heat, and cook, covered, until the liquid is absorbed. Fluff with a fork; which means not to stir too much so the rice breaks. (Rice can be made ahead and kept warm in a covered pot for 30 minutes; and you can reheat it gently the next day sprinkled with a little water.)