(That was the name of the restaurant where I first had Indian food. It was on Thayer St. in Providence. We may have gone the same day I got my nose pierced in a sketchy loft with a skate ramp built up one wall....I can't remember and that is a story for another day, anyway.)
Keely was invited for dinner last night, and as of 11 o'clock yesterday morning I had no idea what I was going to cook. Years ago we used to have weekly dinner parties, where we would drink a bunch of wine and spend four hours trying out Jamie Oliver recipes and stuffing our own raviolis before finally eating at 9 or 10 at night. Good times. I was thinking about that, which made me remember this amazing rice pudding with cardamom and pistachios, which made me want Indian food. I poked around in the cabinets and came up with Curried Tomato Soup and Roasted Squash with Cardamom. (I also made rice pudding, but it was from a hippie mix I had sitting around.) I put too much olive oil on the squash, which was sad. I've made it a few times before and it's usually very good.
Curried Tomato Soup
2 28oz cans of crushed tomatoes - Tuttorosso brand "New World Style w/ Basil" is good for soups, because it's more of a puree'.
1 small red onion, finely minced
1/4 c. minced garlic
1/4 c. grated fresh ginger
2T curry powder
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 c chopped cilantro leaves
1 can coconut milk
2 c. broth (chicken or veg)
1/2 bag of frozen peas
1 tsp lime zest
2 tsp sugar
salt to taste
How I did it;
Saute' the onion, garlic and ginger in a large pot until onions are translucent, about 2 minutes. Add broth and peas, come to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium and stir in the tomatoes, bring to a simmer. Stir in curry powder, coriander, and sugar. Simmer, covered and stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes to blend all flavors.
Gently stir in the coconut milk and heat through. Remove from heat, add cilantro and lime zest and salt to taste.
Everyone liked this! Even Eliza, who normally does not care for curry. This makes a good amount of soup - five of us each had a bowl, I froze a quart for later, and Liza and I are both taking it for lunch today. The recipe can easily be halved.
Roasted Squash w/ Cardamom
1 large butternut squash, peeled & cubed
1 small red onion, halved and sliced
1 T ground cardamom (I would go for coarse ground over powder)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
seeds of 1 pomegranate
salt/pepper to taste
1-2 T olive oil
How I did it;
Toss all ingredients together in a bowl, transfer to roasting pan. Roast at 375F for about 20-30 minutes, depending on the size of your squash cubes and how your oven runs. Stir halfway through, so that nothing sticks to the pan and you get a more even roast.
Cardamom smells GORGEOUS. It's one of my absolute favorite scents. If you want to get crazy you can also add a tiny pinch of ground cloves to the mix. This is a nice side dish for roast meats, like lamb or chicken or pork, as well. Feel free to sub dried currants or cranberries for the pomegranate seeds, or to leave out the onion. The squash is really the star here.