alive logo

Indian Lettuce Bowls with Balti Paste


    Indian Lettuce Bowls with Balti Paste

    Vibrant Balti paste, traditionally used for tangy curries, gives amazing flavour to chickpeas in a lettuce bowl. In this dish, tomato and cucumber temper the heat, but Balti paste can be tossed with any vegetable, or even cooked meat such as chicken.


    Balti Paste Dry Curry

    1 in (2.5 cm) cinnamon stick
    2 tsp (10 mL) cumin seeds
    1 tsp (5 mL) fenugreek seeds 
    1 tsp (5 mL) yellow mustard seeds
    1 Tbsp (15 mL) turmeric
    1 Tbsp (15 mL) paprika

    Balti Paste

    1 Tbsp (15 mL) coconut oil
    1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
    3 large garlic cloves 
    1 Tbsp (15 mL) peeled and minced fresh ginger root 
    1 fresh red Thai chili, end removed 
    Zest and juice of 1/2 lime
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

    Lettuce Bowls

    2 cups (500 mL) canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
    4 large curly leaf lettuce leaves
    4 firm ripe tomatoes, seeded and finely diced 
    1 cup (250 mL) finely diced unpeeled English cucumber
    1/2 cup (125 mL) thick plain low-fat Greek yogurt
    1/2 cup (125 mL) coarsely chopped cilantro
    6 fresh lime wedges

    For Balti Paste Dry Curry, combine cinnamon stick, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, and yellow mustard seeds in dry frying pan. Toast over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring steadily, until they begin to release an aroma. Transfer to bowl to cool.

    Place in spice grinder and grind to fine powder. Move to bowl and stir in turmeric and paprika. Set aside.

    For Balti Paste, heat oil in heavy saucepan. Add onion, garlic, ginger, and whole Thai chili, and sauté over medium heat until soft but not golden. Transfer to blender along with lime zest and juice, and process to a paste. Stir in Balti Dry Curry spice mixture. Set aside to cool. Add salt and pepper to taste.

    For Lettuce Bowls, place drained chickpeas in mixing bowl. Spoon half the Balti Paste overtop, using a spatula to gently fold it in so chickpeas are lightly coated. Store extra in tightly sealed container in refrigerator for up to 1 week for another use.

    Line 4 serving plates with lettuce leaves. Place scoop of curried chickpeas in lettuce bowl. Scatter with diced tomato and cucumber. Top with generous dollop of yogurt and chopped cilantro. Serve each with lime wedge.

    Serves 4.

    Each serving contains: 226 calories; 9 g protein; 6 g total fat (4 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 37 g total carbohydrates (9 g sugars, 8 g fibre); 304 mg sodium

    source: "Celebrate Diwali", alive #373, November 2013


    Indian Lettuce Bowls with Balti Paste




    SEE MORE »
    Poached Sablefish and Bok Choy with Lemongrass, Ginger, and Chili
    Mussels with Tomato, Saffron, and Fennel

    Mussels with Tomato, Saffron, and Fennel

    B12-rich mussels are a very good and economical source of protein and iron. Steamed mussels are a classic way to enjoy seafood—and so is this rich, aromatic broth of tomato, fennel, and saffron. Be sure to allow saffron to fully infuse to get the full flavour benefit, and finish off the dish with the fragrant fennel fronds. Sustainability status Farmed mussels are considered highly sustainable due to their low impacts on the environment. They are easy to harvest, require no fertilizer or fresh water, and don’t need to be fed externally, as they get all their nutritional requirements from their marine environment. Mussel prep Selection: Look for mussels with shiny, tightly closed shells that smell of the sea. If shells are slightly open, give them a tap. Live mussels will close immediately. Storage: Keep mussels in the fridge in a shallow pan laid on top of ice. Keep them out of water and cover with a damp cloth. Ideally, consume on the day you buy them, but within two days. They need to breathe, so never keep them in a sealed plastic bag. Cleanup: In addition to being sustainable, farmed mussels tend to require less cleaning than wild mussels. Most of the fibrous “beards” that mussels use to grip solid surfaces will have been removed before sale. But if a few remain, they’re easily dispatched: grasp the beard with your thumb and forefinger and pull it toward the hinge of the mussel and give it a tug. Afterward, give mussels a quick rinse and scrub away any areas of mud or seaweed, which, with farmed mussels, will require minimal work.