There are several countries in the world that are exotic, romantic, and very, very far away. One of these is INDIA. It is also one of the countries I know I will only visit in my dreams. Or in my cuisine.

India is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with 1.18 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world. While it IS one country, it is divided into 28 states and 7 union territories.

And like every country in the world, the North is different from the South and the East from the West when it comes to it’s food and cultures.

One of my favorite dishes is chicken or lamb curry. I make it several times a year (usually when The Hubs isn’t home), but I could eat it every week – which is true for any Indian Dish – especially when my friend brings me a jar of her Mom’s home mixed curry spice.

The Daring Cooks assignment in February was to make a mezze which was interesting. And we had done Dosas last year. Naan is a regular in the kitchen.

But for My Kitchen My World, I wanted to try something different. Something I had not made before.

So… Aloo Palak, Rasgalla (Roshgulla), and Ras Malai.

    Aloo (Alu) Palak

is a curried vegetable dish made with potato and spinach. I had enjoyed it for the first time at a small Indian Restaurant in Shreveport and the owner told me what was in it but not how to make it (fancy that). I was determined to make it myself. I came home, read through several recipes and ended up making up my own.

    1 bunch fresh spinach
    2 large potatoes, chopped
    1 large onion, chopped fine
    1 can diced tomatoes with liquid (because I didn’t have any good fresh ones)
    3 cloves garlic, finely diced
    1″ piece ginger, diced
    1 Tsp Garam masala
    1 Tsp Chili powder
    1 Tsp cumin seeds
    1 Tbl oil
    1/2 Tsp dried mustard
    1/4 – 1/2 Tumeric
    Salt to taste.

Boil potatoes with a little tumeric and salt. Drain and set aside.
Heat oil in pan.
Saute cumin seeds, , garlic until seeds start to pop.
Add tumeric, chili powder, garam masala and continue to cook for a few minutes.
Puree tomatoes and onions in a processor.
Add to the spice mixture with spinach and cook until spinach is soft.
Add in cooked potatoes and cook/stir until mixture is dry and blended together well. (If it is too dry, and mine was, you can add Veggie Broth until you get the consistancy you want.)

I must have done it right as it got rave reviews at the luncheon.

A couple of weeks before I made

    Rasgalla (Roshgulla)

which is a dessert made with home made cheese balls or paneer in a cold syrup. It is quite simple, although it takes awhile. I used a recipe from Manjula’s Kitchen. If you haven’t visited her blog, you should. Great recipes and very helpful step by step videos.

    Ras Malai

Ras Malai is also made with the home made cheese balls or paneer. Instead of a simple syrup, the paneer is soaked in a sweet milk flavored with cardamom and garnished with almonds and/or pistachios. It was sooo good. Not something to make every day, but very enjoyable.

Since I will not be able to visit India physically I can at least visit gastronomically and will continue to try new dishes.

If you visit My Kitchen, My World you will be able to see what the other members made in this geographical challenge.