At end of the day, I have never tried Aloo and Palak before.  I still decided to try cooking this dish which sounds really good.  It’s usually easier to have a basis of what it supposed to taste, smell, and look like.  So be fearless in the kitchen and explore by trying dishes you have never had, selecting different cuisines, and use new spices.  This will enhance your cooking skills and expand your taste buds.  With this experience of cooking Aloo and Palak it reminds me to gather multiple recipes to make sure I understand the necessary steps to cook the dish and figure out the ingredients that can vary and which ones are main stays.

Aloo and Palak – Indian Cuisine adventure

Here are the results of the Aloo and Palak.  It tasted great but it looks completely different than the example picture from the link below.

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Recipe: http://www.supersana.com/2012/05/01/trader-joe-loves-and-aloo-palak-recipe/

Aloo and Palak translates to potatoes and spinach.  I have found most Indian dishes describe the main ingredients in the dish such as this one.  Overall the taste had a sweeter tomato flavor with its caramelized tomato paste and onions, tender crisp potatoes, and spinach which added an earthy flavor offsetting some of the sweet.   Since you’re already thinking this I’ll say it.. why is brown rice and green beans being served with an Indian dish?  Well, I know it’s not traditional but you work with what you got in the fridge to complete a meal.

So if you compare my pic to the pic from the link; mine is red and theirs is green with white potatoes.  Now that is a head scratch-er.  Too bad when I was cooking I forgot what it was supposed to look like.  Where did the follies start?  So, when I added tomato paste to the potatoes and sautéed onions for the step of cooking the potatoes; the tomato paste seemed like it was starting to burn.  Yikes, what to do next?  Dah da da Daah…I kept on adding water which diluted the tomato paste and made everything red and slightly saucy.   A friend who is an Indian cook said she traditionally pre-cooks the potatoes in a microwave to soften them up to reduce the cooking time.   Good to know for next time.  Once everything was cooked I wanted to add a little more taste by adding a little bit of garam masala which turned out tasting good.  Looking back know it’s traditional to add cumin and coriander which is why I probably wanted to add some seasoning.  Point for me for trusting my instincts.   I have recently noticed that other recipes do not add tomato paste at all to this dish.  But, I can see how adding the paste will substitute flavor if you don’t add as many seasonings such as cumin or coriander.  None the less, this dish transformed into something tasty.   Go ahead and try the way I cooked it or peruse all the different variations out there.  Remember don’t worry about making a dish look the same but roll with the punches and develop a new tasty dish!

Side adventure!

Ginger-Garlic paste is an easy condiment to make and stores well in the fridge.  Why buy it when you can make it yourself (adapted from Show me the curry)?

Recipe:

Ingredients:

1 C garlic
1 C ginger
1 t salt
1/3 C olive oil
Or Equal parts garlic and ginger, pinch a salt, and enough oil till it emulsifies (When oil and particles combine in a smooth uniform mixture such as a paste).

Instructions:

In food processor chop garlic, ginger, and salt.  Then slowly add olive oil by pouring it in slowly.   Once it emulsifies it is done.

Please note this paste adds some kick.  Good stuff!!  Trying it has the bite similar t0 horseradish sauce.   Since making this I have used it in place when recipes called for garlic such as Spinach artichoke dip.  So it’s very transitional item.  If you’re not a fan of ginger, remember ginger can be off-putting when there is too much of it because it will over power all of the other flavors.  So make sure to add it at the right amounts to ensure to have a great tasting dish.

Note: I’m not a professional, don’t take any of my advice,  and don’t try this at home.

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