A ridiculously bipolar name, I know, but it’s fun and I like playing with this idea of what has shaped Canadian cuisine: the combination of what the land gives us with the traditions that the immigrants who settle here give us. This recipe is a spin off of a vegetable Indian curry using some faithful Canadian ingredients – wheat berries! (If you’re unfamiliar with Lloydminster, it’s a town on the border of Saskatchewan and Alberta in the heart of the prairies. Every prairie farmer has a good story about Lloydminster).
3 Tablespoons Garam Masala or Curry Powder*
2 small hot chili peppers chopped for paste and garnish
2 cloves garlic
1 thumb sized piece of fresh ginger
1 medium chopped yellow onion
1 medium roughly chopped Rutabaga or turnip
1 28oz can diced tomatoes
1 ½ cooked wheat berries
1 can coconut milk
2 Tablespoons apple syrup**
1 chopped zucchini
½ head of cauliflower
Salt to taste
*Both Garam Masala and Curry powder are spice blends and with different balances depending on brand or market. I like to have the basic spices covered in a blend as well as it should taste good. Look for cumin, cinnamon, bay leaves, turmeric, coriander, cloves and ginger.
**I had apple syrup in my pantry at the time. Please feel free to play with sweeteners like honey, brown sugar or even dare to use maple syrup. Trust me on this one, maple syrup does wonders to savorry dishes.
In the make up of my curries I always like to start with a good spice paste. From then on just about anything you add is going to taste good.
- Put your spices in a pan and give them a good toast over medium heat until they start to smell fragrant. This will bump up the flavour. In a mortar or food processor, mash together all the ingredients in the first paragraph.
- In a pan on medium heat drizzle olive oil and add onions. Start to sweat onions for a couple minutes and then add paste. (I’m not giving too many specifics or rules about this dish because it’s very much about your own taste and feel for cooking).
- After coating the onions, add rutabaga, wheat berries, coconut milk, apple syrup and diced tomatoes. You may need to add a bit of water as well depending on how creamy or thin you like the sauce. Bring to a boil and add the last of the veggies. Cover and turn down the heat to a simmer for 30minutes.
- Serve with a wedge of lime on rice with spoonfuls of plain yogurt and some chopped chilies and cilantro.
Sesame Cilantro Naan
This is one of the simplest naan recipes I’ve ever made and every time it works like a charm. Measure it out the first time and once you’ve seen the consistency you’ll be good to just eye ball it. In this one I use garlic, sesame seeds and cilantro to flavour the bread but feel free to play with different combinations like all-spice, ginger and coconut or even pineapple.
3 cups flour
1/3 cup yogurt
5 tbsp butter
2 garlic cloves
1 pinch of sugar
2 pinches salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 pinch baking soda
2/3 cup water
3 tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
1 handful of cilantro chopped
- Mix the dry ingredients together and make sure they are well incorporated. 2. Melt the butter and chopped up garlic together in a microwave. Add all wet ingredients to dry including cilantro and mix until a sticky dough forms.
- Break off snowball size amounts and using floured hands pat into disks. It should make about eight disks.
- Once shaped let the dough rest for 15 minutes.
- Heat up a dry pan around medium heat.
- Using a lightly floured rolling pin and surface roll out the naan to about half a centimetre thick and place on dry pan. The naan will begin to puff up and it will only take two minutes before you can flip in on the second side for another two minutes.
- The raw dough will keep in the fridge for a couple days or you may freeze the disks individually for later use.
Julie Nolke is the host and creator of Feeling Peckish, a series of video blogs, which takes inspiration from her favourite movies and creates dishes to match. As a Toronto based actor and food lover she is a ‘never starving artist’ who hopes to create videos that will not only appetize but also entertain.
Julie Nolke is part of the Lifestyle Blog Network family.