Disregard the yiddish definition of Oy for this posting as my dinner and cooking experience was anything but a disappointment!
Last night my boyfriend and I decided to go on a bit of an adventure. We wandered down to Coxwell and Gerrard in the east end of Toronto to little India/Pakistan. A little birdie had told us that the best place to buy spices was a shop called Kohinoor Foods on Gerrard Street. Boy, was this birdie right!
From the outside it looks like a neighbourhood convenience store. Inside, Kohinoor Foods’ walls are lined with products straight from India and Pakistan. One wall is dedicated solely to spices and legumes packaged by Kohinoor Foods themselves and priced quite reasonably. We bought a large number of spices for our planned feast. 200 grams of a spice is $2.99– not too shabby considering the same spices cost up to twice that amount in Loblaws, Sobey’s and Metro. Not to mention, a lot of these spices are harder to come by in your average grocery store.
The scene in the store reminded us of our time in India, many people came in and out demanding different products and the shopkeepers politely tried to cater to their needs.
For dinner, we decided to make the following dishes using recipes from one of our favourite Indian chefs, Manjula Jain. Watch below for a video tutorial on how to cook each of these recipes from Manjula herself! You can also click on the title to see the recipe written out.
The Aloo Gobi (pictured below) was lighter than most, flavourful and almost tropical. We did have to add quite a but more water than is written in the recipe. We also used less chilli as we can’t handle much heat. All in all a very tasty Aloo Gobi!
Following her directions exactly yielded the perfect Indian basmati rice (pictured below) . Yum!
The Baingan Bharta (pictured below) was delicious. The sautéed red peppers do make for a lovely light crunch. Again, I didn’t use as many chills as the recipe called for. We ate this with Dal Puri (type of Indian bread) which we bought at Kohinoor Foods.
Cooking with all of these spices was a wonderful aromatic experience. I’m so excited to try other dishes using these and other spices in the future. If you like Indian food, you’ll have a blast trying Manjula’s recipes. She also has a whole vegan section on her website which is really helpful.