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Indian Pot Roast from Whole Foods Market

Indian Pot Roast from Whole Foods Market
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         If you are thinking “native American”, this recipe probably wouldn’t raise an eyebrow.  But we’ve long since stopped calling Native Americans “Indians”.  No, the name of this dish refers to the Asian sub-continent of India.  And that may be even more surprising.  The cow is considered sacred by most Hindus.  That makes beef taboo in all but two Indian states: Goa on the west coast and Kerala at the southern tip of India.  There you will find it sold in restaurants.  But in the rest of India, you’ll have to seek out international restaurants catering to Western customers who simply can’t live without their beef.
Sacred Cow in front of McDonald’s…
never inside!
Behold the Maharaja Mac
Where, I wondered, does that leave McDonald’s? There are over 250 McDonald’s in 12 Indian cities and not one Big Mac to be found in any of them.  Instead the offerings are limited to the McVeggie—bread, peas, carrots, potatoes, Indian spices, lettuce and Mayo on a sesame seed bun. The McChicken is self explanatory. The Filet o Fish sounds exactly like the one at home.  And what is the Big Mac equivalent?  Two browned chicken breasts, onions, lettuce, tomatoes and cheese on “ Sesame bedecked bread buns”.  Top of the line, it’s called the Chicken Maharaja-Mac. And it costs just 60 rupees. That’s 1.30 cents. So what’s with Whole Foods “Indian Pot Roast”?

Grandfather…or mother
of the Yankee Pot Roast,
the New England Boiled Dinner
         Pot Roast, or Yankee Pot Roast as it was first called, made its first appearance in 1881.  Basically, it was a version of the New England Boiled Dinner.  That particular dish featured cured meat—like corned beef—and vegetables—turnips, carrots, cabbage and potatoes—all boiled together.  Yankee Pot Roast switched out the corned beef for fresh rump or round roast.  The Pot of course referred to the deep dish the Pot roast was cooked in.  There’s nothing more American to me than Pot Roast.  But Pot Roast has evolved and today you can find recipes for Cacciatore-style Pot Roast and Chipotle Pot Roast. How long could it be before someone created “Indian Pot Roast”?  And what  a good idea it was!  All the richness of Indian spices –cumin, ginger, turmeric and black pepper—are rubbed all over the meat.  Then the browning is done, onions are added and, in a beef broth and tomato juice mixture, the whole thing goes in the oven for a good, long roast.  But the spice rub is not where the Indian inflection stops.  The vegetables used in this dish are typically Indian, particularly the cauliflower.  And since cauliflower season is upon us, I wanted to share this delicious take on an old family favorite.  Because there are potatoes in the dish, there’s no need for another starch. This is a wonderful introduction to the flavors of India in a form that’s as familiar as apple pie.   Here’s the recipe:

5 thoughts on “Indian Pot Roast from Whole Foods Market”

  • Interesting…..
    Did you get the recipe from Whole Foods? Or did you find it pre-made?
    I think you made it yourself.
    It is Indian-ish for sure.
    Not entirely Indian, even if you give a nod to Kerala or Goa.
    But it seems totally comforting and warming for the fall and winter ahead.
    Thanks for sharing, Matthew. You are too smart!

  • Don't worry about that at all Suvir! I did get this recipe from Whole Foods. It's not one of their pre-packaged meals. I made it from scratch. I realized that the only thing Indian about it was the spice mixture and, stretching things a bit, the cauliflower. ( I love your Party Cauliflower recipe by the way). This is just a really interesting way to serve an old favorite and I hope a way for Americans to introduce themselves to Indian flavors in a very familiar form. All best to you. MM

  • Oh yummy yummy! And today So. Cal received rain, you left us with a lovely Fall dinner to remind us of your visit, thank you friend! It's on Friday night menu!

  • Hi Ana! I could not have had a nicer week in California and I was astonished that it rained right after I left. I think you will enjoy this dinner. It is somehow so familiar and yet so unexpected at the same time. All best, Monte

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