Throw Away Your Take Out Menus. New Cookbook, Everyday Indian, Helps Put Fresh, Healthy Indian Dinners On the Table in Less Time Than it Takes to Order Out
By Bal Arneson
Whitecap Books; March 2009
Softcover with flaps/$29.95
When most of us think about Indian-style cooking, we usually don’t think of it as very quick and easy, nor do we think of Indian food as healthy. Traditional Indian cuisine and Indian-style cooking can be nutritious and satisfying, filled with fresh ingredients and vibrant flavors. In her new book, Everyday Indian: 100 Fast, Fresh, and Healthy Recipes (Whitecap Books; March 2009; Softcover with flaps/$29.95; ISBN: 978-1-55285-948-3), Bal Arneson showcases the mouth-watering flavors of India and makes them accessible to every home cook with little time.
Every one of Bal’s recipes is built on her philosophy about eating healthy – it makes a great difference to our overall well-being, and, when quickly prepared, leaves us with time to connect to ourselves, our families and our communities.
“The recipes in my book reflect my love of creating simple and wholesome, fresh and fast Indian food without comprising flavor,” Bal explains. “These recipes are made with basic, everyday, easily accessible ingredients and I have simplified the cooking steps so no special cooking ability is required. Using my cookbook, anyone can make authentic, gourmet Indian meals in less time than it would take to go out to eat.”
Bal believes that no one should spend more than 25 minutes in the kitchen to make a healthy Indian meal. Her recipes focus on how to create great meals without using any butter or cream. Her cooking style is rooted in the small village in Punjab, Northern India, where she was raised. Equipped with the knowledge imparted to her by her mother and elders, Bal has created contemporary Indian recipes that can be prepared by any home cook in 20 to 25 minutes. With Bal’s spice blend recipes and her encouragement to have fun with them, you are sure to be inspired by her original ideas and expert advice.
Chapters cover all aspects of Indian cooking, from Essential Spices; Breads, Sauces, and Chutneys; Soups; and Vegetables; to Chicken, Seafood, and Meat Dishes; Drinks and Desserts; and Menus. Discover how easy cooking Indian food can be with recipes such as:
Apple and Fig Chutney Baked Samosas Salmon Paneer Cakes Mustard Thai Chicken Salad Steamed Rapini and Broccoli with Paneer Cauliflower with Yams Bal’s Vegetarian Burger Fusion Peach Chicken Lamb with Black Cherry Sauce Ginger Tea with Lemon Bal’s Rice Pudding
Effortlessly melding contemporary simplicity with traditional Indian flavors, Everyday Indian will make even the most novice cook look like a professional chef. Using low-fat ingredients found in local stores everywhere, Bal Arneson has proven that Indian food does not have to be an occasional indulgence.
“I called my book ‘Everyday Indian’ because you shouldn’t have to go to a restaurant to enjoy the great flavors of Indian food, nor should you view an Indian meal as an occasional treat. And, eating well doesn’t mean we need to spend hours in the kitchen. With a little practice, anyone can take a recipe in this book, any day of the week, and create a delicious, healthy meal in minutes.”
Originally from Punjab, India, Bal learned how to cook from her elders when she was just seven years old, over coals in a small clay pit. When she was 20, she immigrated to Canada. Drawing on the culinary knowledge she gained in India as well as her own natural talents, Bal would regularly cook up healthy, quick, and delicious dishes for family and friends. It was not long before Vancouver’s food community noticed her talent.
Cooking stores and local television stations began asking her to share her tricks for making healthy Indian dishes. After giving numerous cooking classes, making several television appearances, and inspiring many newspaper articles, Bal’s recipes were in such demand that she decided to write a cookbook. Now, in Everyday Indian, she shares her recipes and her fresh approach to food and cooking, which fit so well with today’s busy and health-conscious lifestyle.
Bal is keen on giving back to the community by supporting many local charities such as the Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation, Canuck Place, BC Cancer Society, and food banks throughout BC and Alberta.
A portion of the proceeds from the sale of Everyday Indian will go to many of Bal’s charities. She and her husband live in Vancouver, BC, with their two children.
To Learn More About Bal Arneson go to www.BalsHealthyKitchen.com
Sample Recipes from the Book
Fusion Peach Chicken for Jordan
1 cup regular spaghetti sauce
1 cup peach yogurt
2 tablespoons tandoori paste
1 tablespoon garam masala
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground dried ginger
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Combine all the ingredients in a deep baking dish and mix well. Place the dish in the oven and cover with foil. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 5 to 8 more minutes. Serve over rice.
Tandoori paste is available in most supermarkets and in Indian grocery stores.
Lamb with Black Cherry Sauce
The combination of black cherries and fennel seeds gives a great aroma to this elegant dish. Serve with rice and Broccoli Masala.
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
2 pounds rack of lamb
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Combine all the rub ingredients in a bowl and rub the mixture over all the surface of the lamb. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Place seasoned lamb in the skillet and brown on all sides, about 3 to 4 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Place the lamb on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes.
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1/2 teaspoon asafoetida
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
2 teaspoons garam masala
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 14-ounce can pitted cherries
While the lamb is baking, prepare the sauce. Place the oil and asafoetida in a saucepan and cook for 5 seconds over medium-high heat. Mix in the garlic and fenugreek seeds and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the garam masala and cardamom. Cook for 10 seconds, and add the cherries, including the juice. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the sauce for 7 to 9 minutes.
Remove the sauce from the heat and process it using a food processor to thicken the sauce. Pour some sauce on a serving platter, place the lamb on top, and then pour the rest over the lamb.
New World Merlot
2 cups mango juice
1 cup ripe mango chunks
2 cups plain frozen yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
12 thin slices ripe mango (for garnish)
Put the mango juice, mango chunks, and banana in a food processor and process until the mango chunks are chopped. Add the frozen yogurt and lemon juice, and process on low speed until well combined.
Transfer the mixture to a large glass bowl, cover, and place in the freezer for 3 hours. (If you have an ice cream maker, process until the mixture is thickened.) Spoon into bowls and arrange 3 slices of mango on each serving.
by Bal Arneson
(Whitecap Books; March 2009; Softcover with flaps/$29.95)