Category Archives: Indian

Chicken in Tomato and Fenugreek Sauce

I picked up an Indian Cookbook over the weekend and opened to a random page for my next experiment.  Wouldn’t you know it, I landed on Chicken in Tomato and Fenugreek Sauce.

Of course, I seeing that I like to do things my own way I altered the recipe but you get the idea.

Needed:

1 lb of cubed chicken (I strongly suggest dark meat. I only used white as that is what I had in the freezer)

3 tbsp of lime juice (left over from the last dish)

4 tbsp of olive oil

1 white onion, diced

2 tsp ginger paste

2 tsp garlic paste

2 1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp ground turmeric

1 tsp chili powder

1 tbsp coriander

15 oz can of diced tomatoes

1 tbsp fenugreek powder

1/2 garam masala

Handful of chopped cilantro

4 diced green chiles

1/2 cup warm water

Ready to go?

1 – Toss your diced chicken into a bowl, add 2 tsp of salt and your lime juice. Cover, shake and let sit for 30 mins.

2 – In a large skillet over medium heat, add your oil and onion. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes. Stir.

3 – Add the ginger, garlic paste and continue to stir for roughly a minute.

4 – Toss in your turmeric, chili powder, coriander and stir.  Heat for roughly one minute, then reduce your heat to medium-low.

5 – Add your tomatoes and cook for roughly 5 minutes. Check the taste, if needed add the additional 1/2 tsp of salt.

6 – Place in your chicken (juice and all), raise the heat to high, and cook for 5 minutes.

7 – Add your half cup of water, reduce heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes until the sauce begins to thicken up.

8 – Add your fenugreek, cilantro leaves (save a few for the final plating), garam masala and chilis  and cook for a few minutes, until the chilis become a bit tender.

9 – Plate over rice, add some cilantro and serve!

This is full of flavor and taste.  It doesn’t have too much kick, as some may expect, and the cilantro pulls everything together. I hope you enjoy.

PS – Did anyone notice the cost of Chicken going up a rather large amount recently?

Home made Naan

The Butter Chicken from the other day needed a final touch – Naan.  Since I do not have a tandoori oven I thought “Well, damn, I’m out of luck when it comes to making home made Naan.”  Not so!

Using my personal search assistant I quickly found this recipe, no tandoori oven needed!

1 cup plain flour

2 tsp sugar

½ tsp salt

½ tsp baking powder

1/2 cup milk

2 tbsp vegetable oil, plus extra for greasing

I’ve made some small changes to the recipe.  You’ll, I think, be position for better results.

1. For the dough, sift the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder into a bowl. In another bowl, mix together the milk and oil.

2. Mix the flour mixture and pour in the liquid mixture. Slowly mix together, incorporating the flour from the edges of the bowl, making a smooth and soft dough.

3. Knead well for 8-10 minutes.

4. Place the dough into an oiled bowl, cover with a damp tea-towel and leave in a warm place for at least an hour

5. Cut ball into the number of pieces you desire. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

6. Roll the dough balls out quite thinly. Sprinkle over your chosen topping and press into the surface of the dough.

7. Place the naans onto the a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, then broil for 2. Turn if one naan is more brown than another.

8. Brush with butter and serve!

Home Made Naan

Home Made Naan

Quick, easy and ready for any dish.

Indian Butter Chicken Over Basmati Rice

Ok, time for yet another new dish – Indian Butter Chicken. Having never even eaten the dish before, I wasn’t sure who it was supposed to turn out… talk about a shot in the dark!

Here we go – Ingredients

For the sauce:


2 tablespoons peanut oil

2 shallot, finely chopped

1/2 white onion, finely chopped

1/4 cup butter

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon ginger paste

1 tablespoon garlic paste

3 teaspoons garam masala

2 teaspoons chili powder

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 bay leaf

1/2 cup plain yogurt

2 cups half-and-half

2 cups tomato puree

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste

2 pinches black pepper

For the chicken:

2 tablespoons peanut oil

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces

2 teaspoons garam masala

2 pinches cayenne pepper

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/2 cup water

Let’s start making the sauce:

1) Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Saute shallot and onion until translucent.

2) Stir in butter, lemon juice, ginger and garlic pastes, garam masala, chili powder, cumin and bay leaf. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

3) Add tomato sauce, cook for 5 minutes, make sure to stir.

4) Add in half-and-half and yogurt, stir.

5) Reduce heat to low, simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

6) Remove from heat and set aside.

The Butter Chicken Sauce, cooking away.

The Butter Chicken Sauce, cooking away.

For the chicken:

1) Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat.

2) Cook chicken for about 10 minutes.

3) Reduce heat, and season with 2 teaspoons garam masala and cayenne.

4) Stir in a few spoonfuls of sauce, and simmer until liquid has reduced, and chicken is no longer pink.

5) Stir cooked chicken into sauce.

Chicken cooking (the action shot!)

Chicken cooking (the action shot!)

6) Next you’ll mix together the cornstarch and water, then stir into the sauce. Cook for 10 minutes.

7) Serve over basmati rice and enjoy

Indian Butter Chicken!

Indian Butter Chicken!

From what I was told by my resident Indian food expert, my wife, the dish was quite good.  I would agree.  I really enjoy the garam masala in the dish and the sauce is so… rich… fantastic.

Chicken 65

Around the holiday time period the office I work at had a pot luck lunch. A a co-worker brought in a dish for this event that was simply magical, and it was a dish that I had never heard of before – Chicken 65.

Where does this Indian dish get it’s name?  Well, there isn’t one exact answer for that one. Some say it is due to year a hotel in India started serving it, others because of a chef that may have created it… regardless of where the name came from it is a dish full of taste and eating pleasure.

The Basics of Chicken 65

The Basics of Chicken 65

The dish doesn’t call for much yet such an impressive end result is achieved. Just goes to show more isn’t always better.

Ingredients

2 lb boneless dark meat chicken
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp red chili powder (more/less to your taste)
1 tbsp ginger
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp salt
1/4 c cooking oil in a heavy-based pot
red food coloring
1 small can tomato paste, plain
15 curry leaves
3-4 green chilies

Step one:

1. Combine the chicken, cornstarch, chili powder, paste, turmeric, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add a few drops of food coloring to make the chicken slightly red (not dark, bloody red!) Let this marinate in the fridge for a few hours or even overnight.

2. Put the oil in the pot and wait until it is heated. Slowly add the chicken and fry until it is evenly – but not fully – cooked.

The start of Chicken 65

The start of Chicken 65

3. Once all the chicken is fried, place in in a separate container.

Step Two:

1. In the same pot, using the same oil, add the green chilies, curry leaves,  and tomato paste.

2. Sautee and constantly stir to prevent sticking to the pot. Continue stirring/mixing until the color of the paste darkens to a deep maroon color.

3. Add the chicken back into the pot and GENTLY mix into the paste mixture.

4. You can taste test at this point and add salt if needed. Cover and cook on low heat for about 15-20 minutes.

6. if desired, garnish with coriander leaves and serve over rice.

Chicken 65 over rice. YUM!

Chicken 65 over rice. YUM!

I cannot sing the praises of this dish enough. It is full of taste with just enough kick to make on wanting more. While I made 2 pounds of this yesterday (well, less that 24 hours ago) it is all gone. If you enjoy Indian food you have to give this a try.

Food experiment – "Indian" Tacos

I was sitting in the office today and thought to myself – I like tacos, I like Indian food, let’s give Indian Tacos a try. Sure, part of the reason the Taco concept never really caught on in Indian cuisine is that whole “sacred cow” thing but I wasn’t going to let a thing like thousands of years of spiritual belief get in the way of my hunger.

Here is what you’ll need for this dish.

  • 1 1/2 lb of 90/10 beef
  • 1 Yellow Onion
  • 4 Garlic Cloves
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp Chili
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
  • 1/2 tsp Coriander
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • Tomato (as topping)
  • Lettuce (as topping)
  • Cottage Cheese (as topping)
  • Flour Tortillas

Let’s just start off by saying this is not your typical Taco dish (obviously). Here we go…

  1. Cut your onion and garlic into very thin slices as the intent it so simply add flavor to the meat when cooking. Heat up your pan with olive oil, add your garlic and onion. Let brown ever so slighlty.
  2. Add meat, cook over a medium to low flame and mix
  3. As your meat is cooking add your spices – no specific order. While I only used 1/4 tsp of salt, I suggest you salt to your liking.

Cut your tomato and lettuce, and there you go, you are ready to eat. Now you may be wondering “What’s up with the cottage cheese?” Well, it is also a topping. Keeping with the theme of “Indian” I wanted a quick alternative to Paneer and cottage cheese is the answer. I know it will sound odd at first but it really works!

A big warning – make sure you use flour tortillas. The flavor of corn tortillas just don’t mix will with the seasoning in the meat.

taco

I haven’t perfected the dish yet but it’s a good start. Hope you enjoy, and if you do happen to do your own version please let me know.

Pumpkin soup and roasted pumpkin seeds — waste not want not

So to mark the very beginning of fall I’ve made pumpkin soup. It was not premeditated I just felt like making pumpkin soup. In general it’s been a soup I make on Thanksgiving and Christmas but I had a hankering for it the other day and so I bought a pumpkin.

I wish I had taken a picture of the cute little squash before I gutted and roasted it, but I did not so here it is after the fact.

1pump

I halved it then took out the seeds and wrapped the squash in foil. I roasted it at 400 degrees for about 1 1/2 hours. After roasting the pumpkin I turned down the oven to 250 and roasted the pumpkin seeds.

1seeds

These are the seeds before roasting. I lightly rinsed them. I like leaving a bit of the pumpkin goop as it helps the tamari and salt I add to them stick nicely. I roasted them at 250 for several hours until browned and crispy.

2seeds

I eat them whole. They are very yummy.

Now the soup.

Ingredients:

1 smallish pumpkin (I wish I had weighed it but I didn’t)

48 oz vegetable stock

1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice

2 tbls virgin coconut oil

1 large onion

4 large garlic cloves

Salt to taste

1 tsp cumin

1 tbls coriander

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 tbls dried ginger

1 tbls dried mustard

1 tsp cayenne

plain yogurt to top the soup with (optional)

Directions:

So roast the pumpkin for an hour and a half or until nice and soft. Let cool a bit.

Saute onion and garlic in coconut oil. Let this cool a bit too once it’s nice and soft.

Toss pumkin in a blender and add enough broth to puree. Do the same with the onions and garlic. Blend one of the batches with all the spices. Mix it all up in a pot and just barely bring to a boil. Turn off and let sit for a few hours. Add the orange juice and reheat when you want to eat it.

If you like top it with the yogurt.

Done.

2pump

French lentil coconut curry

This was inspired by Van’s using coconut in a chicken curry the other day. I was at a market and picked up 3 cans of coconut milk and had to do something with it. The rest of the ingredients were on hand and so the below was created.

Little black lentils...yes these are french lentils
Little black lentils…yes these are french lentils

The ingredients:

2 cups french lentils
3 cups water

Bring water to a full boil. Boil lentils for 20 – 30 minutes until tender but not mushy.

2 tbls coconut oil
1 14 oz can coconut milk
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
2 tbls fresh ginger root minced
2 tbls coriander
2 tbls dried mustard
2 tsp cayenne
1 tsp cardamom
1 tsp black ground pepper
1 small green cabbage diced
1 large onion diced
4 large garlic cloves diced
1/4 cup tamari

In the coconut oil saute the onions and garlic for few minutes, followed by the cabbage. It’s nice to let the veggies brown a bit but not necessary. Then you can add everything else pretty much in whatever order you like. All measurements are estimates as I cook to taste. So I encourage you to do the same. Use my measurements only as vague guidelines since they are not precise in any case. I did use 2 cups of lentils though and 3 cups of water and the cans of tomatoes and coconut milk are precise sizes as well. Cook the veggies and spices, tomato and coconut milk until it’s all nice and soft.

When the veggie mixture and the lentils both are done combine the two and cook for a few minutes so the flavors will blend.

Serve the hot lentils topped with plain yogurt if you eat dairy. It’s quite delightful.

lentils2

Chicken Curry and Rice

It was time for me to get off my butt and make something.  Over the last several months life kinda just got in the way and I lost my motivation to cook (and eat well).  The last few days my desire to cook and be a bit healthier overcame everything else which lead me to venture back into the kitchen.  This dish – Chicken Curry and Rice.

Sorry to say there are no pictures with this one, just the recipe and my thoughts.

Chicken Curry Recipe

  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Fresh Ginger root (4 oz)
  • 1 lb Chicken (I suggest dark, not white)
  • 1 cup tomato paste
  • 3/4th cup plain yogurt
  • 3/4th cup coconut milk
  • 3 tbsp Curry powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp paprica
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp garam marsala
  • 3 tbsp Olive Oil

Start off by dicing your onions, garlic and cutting your chicken into “chunks” or cubes.

Brown your onions and garlic in a large, deep, pan, while using the Olive Oil to prevent burning.  Once brown, add in your spices and stir until a rough paste.  This part of the process shouldn’t take more than 3 to 5 mins.

Next add your chicken, tomato paste, yogurt and coconut milk.  Mix so that all ingredients blend together and simmer on medium/medium high heat for roughly 20 minutes.  Make sure you stir on a regular basis to prevent the sauce from separating, sticking and/or burning. At the 20 minute mark use a garlic press to add the fresh ginger. Stir and cook for an additional 10 minutes.

At this point your dish is ready.  Serve over rice.

Thoughts

1) I made two mistakes with this dish.  First, I used chicken breast instead of dark chicken meat.  Big mistake as the taste of the dark meat significantly adds to the taste.  Something about the white meat just stands out.  Second, pick a good rice.  I would suggest jasmine rice.

2) The yogurt made for a really thick sauce, and I love it.  My previous curry used cream.  Not sure which I prefer.

3) I’m not 100% sold on the use of tomato paste.  I had used tomato sauce in the past and think that is the way to go.  The paste add too much of a marinara taste to it.

4) There was a nice after taste to the sauce but  I cannot identify what exactly it was.

In the end, I would say this was a solid dish.  There needs to be some experimenting with the taste of the sauce.  I cannot place my finger on it – it’s not bad, I actually really like it, but there is something… missing…

If you have any good curry recipes please do let me know. Enjoy.