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Everyday Indian

100 Fast, Fresh, and Healthy Recipes

By Bal Arneson

Everyday Indian

Longtime cooking teacher and now cookbook author Bal Arneson proves that Indian food isn’t all about saag paneer and chicken tikka masala. Most of her recipes feature ingredients and spices available in any decent grocery store, and you don’t even have to make your own garam masala (traditional spice mixture). She’s perfectly fine with using the store-bought version. She also does not rely on ghee (clarified butter) and instead uses grapeseed oil as well as copious amounts of ginger and garlic. What it comes down to is that Everyday Indian is not your Naniji’s approach to cooking. Arneson’s recipes for dishes such as yam cakes, limed prawns, soothing yam soup, Punjabi asparagus and New York steak with fennel seeds are fast—most take under 25 minutes—and easy. And, if you buy organic versions of the veggies, serve them with brown rice (instead of white basmati) and a low-fat Lassi for dessert, you’ve created something good for your taste buds and your health.

5 Questions for Bal Arneson!

Reviewed by Sylvie Greil


Soothing Yam Soup

1 lb yams, peeled and cubed
3 1/2 cups water
2 tbsp grapeseed oil
1 tbsp Sambar Powder
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Cook the yams in water over medium heat until tender, 7-9 minutes. Transfer to a blender and process until creamy.

Place oil, sambar powder, cumin seeds, and salt in a non-stick skillet over medium-low heat and cook for 20 seconds. Add the spice mixture to the yams and mix until the spices are evenly distributed.

NOTE: Soup is to have consistency of clam chowder. If it's too thick, add a little more water while you're blending the yams.

(Updated: 11/13/09 SG)

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