Monday, January 7, 2008

Cusine Cooking

When I mentioned that I "broke-up" with food for awhile it occurred to me that the path I took back to this relationship was a complicated, yet fun one. During my "break-up" I dated the ever growing fad that is Weight Watchers. Without selling the program too heavily I will say that it was a complete fit for me. It in fact allowed me to eat anything I wished, and drink as much as I wanted (which can be quite important to a 20 something living in the city). I learned tricks and ways to make WW work for me that I love sharing with others. One of the areas I began to explore was cooking. This allowed me to create/try dishes that used low point foods that I was already familiar with. As previously mentioned I was a big eater, so I began with recipes that I could eat alot of, while taste was a secondary thought. As my weight dropped so did my need to inhale and entire recipe alone and taste moved back into the drivers seat.

One of the cuisines that I fell in love with was Indian food.

I recently read that it is a common misconception that Indian food is primarily healthy. Although some dishes can be, I find that alot of people assume meals that contain primarily vegetables are healthier than those containing meat. That in fact is highly dependent upon how the food is prepared. One of my main rules in cooking is to use little to no oil. Even olive oil. Alot of vegetarian dishes derive there flavor in cooking the vegetables in oil. This is especially true when eating out. My rule of thumb is to substitute oil for spices. I have officially broken up with oil, and sometimes say hi if only to be cordial.

Returning to my weight watchers roots I often find myself searching the Internet for various recipes that show the weight watcher points for food that I had come to love. Which brings me to my first recipe. Chicken Sagwalla. One important point I should mention is that not only was I cooking for myself, whom I consider to be pretty open to new foods, but I was also cooking for my pickier yet adventurous girlfriend. One thing we did agree on was our love of Indian food.

When I make new recipes I always make my girlfriend rate them. The scale is simple from 1-10, 10 being the best and so on. In her book this one got a 9! I have yet to receive a 10.

The Chicken Sagwalla is the one that has the spinach and chicken. I also made another main dish of Indian-Spiced Eggplant & Cauliflower Stew. This recipe was found on, another website that will be a frequent visitor to my blog. I served it with a brown basmati rice and store bought Naan. I served fat free plain yogurt on the side that added coolness to the spices in both dishes. At the suggestion of my knowledgeable girlfriend we thought that white wine added to the overall experience.
The spices in Indian food, cumin, curry, coriander to name a few are quite potent in flavor. Through finding/trying and loving this recipe I have since tried experimenting with those spices with my pita chips, toasted pumpkin seeds, even french fries.
I hope when I make this dish people say to me : "khana bahut sawaad, bahut tita" simply stated "your food is delicious and spicy".