A 3 month Passage to India

I'm on a three month assignment in India. My apartment has a small kitchen with a single large induction hot plate and a microwave without enough power to pop corn. I like Indian food, but I can't deal with it all day every day and I'm just recovering from a bout of not-so-good Indian food. So: I need to cook, with spartan limitations. I've brought pasta, some grains, and I can easily buy staples. I need some ideas because I'm getting a tired of one-pot pasta dishes and omelets. Help!

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8 Comments

Nancy January 27, 2016
do you have or can you add an electric coffee maker?
the talk of kettle reminded me that there are whole cookbooks - for road warriors in hotel rooms who are tired of restaurant meals - devoted to McGyver-esque (is that a word) cooking in your coffeemaker. See, for example:
http://www.amazon.com/Cooking-Without-Kitchen-Peter-Mazonson/dp/0963706217/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1453937608&sr=1-5&keywords=cooking+in+coffee+maker
 
Dona January 27, 2016
Is an electric kettle an option? If so you can heat broth in it.
 
Exbruxelles January 27, 2016
The poor poet's cookbook is a perfect suggestion, thanks.

This is a bit like camping, without the sleeping on the ground part. I eat risotto at home at least once a week, but without a second burner to warm the broth--and without wine!-- it's a little difficult.

I think I'll just have to change, briefly, my relationship with food. For a while it's just going to be fuel. The upside is a really good yoga instructor who tells me, every morning, when I'm wrapped in a ridiculous knot that, "yes, your head can touch the floor. It's easy. " (My head cannot touch the floor. ) Thanks, all.
I'll make some soup, some pasta and
 
luvcookbooks January 27, 2016
Risotto would be doable on a hot plate, I think. Any vegetable can become part of a risotto. Asopao de pollo (soupy rice with chicken) is a delicious, mild dish for the top of the stove. Beef stew with buttered noodles. Pasta fagioli.
Frittatas can hold more filling than omelets if you like them. You can turn them onto a plate and then slide back into the pan flipped since you don't have an oven to brown the top. Souffle omelettes are a lovely omelet variation. Just whip the egg whites and fold into the yolks. The Poor Poet's Cookbook would give you lots of ideas but that may not be a practical suggestion. Quinoa makes a nice salad with vegetables folded in and some cubed cheese like feta. Can you get a toaster or make toast over your hot plate? Toasted cheese is a very nice simple meal that you can ring a lot of variations on (terrible grammar). Laurie Colwin discusses this issue in her book of essays "Home Cooking". She relied a lot on eggplant, as I recall, and a cabbage dish that sounded a bit odd.
 
Exbruxelles January 27, 2016
Thanks for your replies. I can't believe I didn't think of soup--it'll be perfect and easy.

I'm in Ahmedabad, Gurjarat. It's mostly vegetarian, which is fine. Common vegetables are available on the street or in the market. The popular ones seem to be cauliflower, broccoli, peas, carrots, potatoes and cabbage...every street vendor has these things. The grocery store has more variety--okra, beets, and things like bitter melon. All vegetables must be cooked.

At home I lean toward Italian and peasant French food. I'm not a big fan of very spicy food--which is a problem in India since even their "mild" food is, to me, quite spicy. Thanks again!
 
QueenSashy January 26, 2016
Do you mind listing vegetables and fruits that are most easily available? Would you like to invest some time in cooking dishes (e.g. stews) or looking for quicker meals?
 
HalfPint January 26, 2016
Stir-fries? You don't really need the exotic stuff (for India) like soy sauce or fish sauce, use salt to season. Soup and stew is always easy as well. Savory crepes are another option too. Fill them with vegetables, grains, meats etc.
 
Ben M. January 26, 2016
Do you have any dietary restrictions or preferred cuisines like Thai or Brazilian? Some jumping off points might help get some suggestions.
 
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