Indian flavor returns

It would be hard to deny that S and I love good Indian food– after all, the above picture is from our wedding, which we held at an Indian restaurant.  (If you are in Milwaukee, you should check out Maharaja).

It is surprising, however, that we have waited this long to check out Almaty’s Indian restaurants.  In our defense, we planned to go multiple times, but people kept dropping out last minute. Indian is definitely a cuisine I like to go to in groups– that way I can mix and try more flavors!

Last week, we finally got to go to Namaste when our friends T and M were in town from Armenia.  We liked it so much that we returned 4 days later!  They may not have Shahi Paneer on the menu (my favorite), but the food was quite good and for Almaty prices, reasonable.

S noticed that they had free delivery. I was very excited about this development and we requested a take out menu. They don’t have one.  You just have to know.  I guess next time we go back, it will be with a pad and pencil.

Despite having not visited an Indian restaurant in Almaty, we have had Indian food.  For the wedding, I got a great Indian cookbook that focuses on 5 spices (5 Spices, 50 Dishes: Simple Indian recipes using five common spices).  One particular recipe jumped out to me, because dill is huge in local cooking– not to mention cheep and easy to find.  The recipe was easy and came out delicious:

Chickpea Curry with Fresh Dill Leaves

Ingredients:

2 tblsp canola oil

1 medium yellow onion, fineley chopped (about 1.5 cups)

1 tsp cayenne (or less)

1 tsp coriander seeds, finely ground

1 tsp finely grated fresh ginger

1 tsp finely ground garlic (about 2 large cloves)

1/2 tsp ground turmeric

1 medium tomato, finely chopped (about 1 cup)

3 cups finely chopped dill leaves and tender stalks (about two bunches)

one 15.5 ounce can low-sodium chickpeas (garbanzo beans) drained

1/4 cup water

1 tsp salt

Directions:Heat the oil in a medium saucepan and saute the onion over medium heat until it has softened (5 minutes). Add the cayenne, coriander, garlic, ginger, and turmeric and stir for 3-4 minutes. Mix in the tomato and cook until it is soft (5 min). Add the dill, chickpeas, water and salt and simmer until the dill is soft and tender (5-8 minutes). Serve warm.

10 comments

  1. My husband and I LOVE and miss Indian food too:(. There is not one single restaurant here with us so we use our cookbooks. Got your message and tried to fix some stuff so hopefully you can leave comments for me now.

  2. I’m jealous that your Chileno likes Indian food. I love it and L just tolerates it. He says that when he studied in England he lived with an Indian woman who made her food fire hot and he couldn’t take it. That’s how I knew he was really into me when we first started dating – he suggested we go out for Indian food.

  3. Everyone should have a tasty Indian restaurant nearby, hehehe.

    That recipe looks good. I’ve seen cottage cheese substituted for paneer in recipes. I want to try making a paneer recipe one of these days.

  4. if you are in Almaty then going to namaste is a mistake. Trust me when i say this! if you want food MUCH better than what you ate at namaste then there are two more places.
    1. “Darbai” on the crossing tolebe oaizova the restaurant is located 200 meters down on oaizova after tolebe intersection
    2. “Tandoor” located on tolebe kasmanav the restaurant is on tolebe.
    you have food there and you will NEVER go to namaste again.

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