The complex flavors of most Indian dishes are brought to life when you cook using the stir-fry technique. So, if you have a campfire and a cast-iron skillet or Dutch oven, you're on the right track. However, getting just the right flavor can be difficult because Indian cooks make their own spice blends from scratch. As a result, many people don't have access to all the necessary ingredients.
With apologies to chefs from Mumbai to Delhi, these recipes are simplified for camp cooks. Your saving grace is curry powder. The taste of curry varies greatly, and each of these dishes can be made with red, green or yellow curry.
Choose the curry you like, pick a recipe and create your first campfire Indian meal.
Vegetable Tikka Masala
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 large onions, diced
3 teaspoons minced garlic
1 small can diced green chilies, drained
1/2 teaspoon each cinnamon, ground cardamom and turmeric
1 teaspoon each garam masala, sweet paprika, curry powder and ginger
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup vegetable broth*
8-ounce can of tomato sauce
3 medium-large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 medium green bell pepper, seeded and diced
15- to 18-ounce can of garbanzo beans, drained
1 teaspoon sugar
6 servings cooked rice**
* For camping, it's easiest to use a vegetable bouillon cube mixed with a cup of hot water.
** Jasmine or seasoned rice would be traditional.
Heat the oil and sizzle your onions and garlic in the hot pan. Gradually stir in the chilies, seasonings and tomato paste until the onions are softened and smothered in a rich, caramel coating. Add one cup of vegetable broth, the tomato sauce, sweet potatoes and bell pepper. Cover the pan and cook over low heat until the sweet potatoes are tender. Stir in garbanzo beans and sugar and add more broth to taste. Serve over rice.