Wednesday, February 23, 2011

what we cook: indian food

i'm a fool for some yummy indian food! plus, i wanted to learn how to butcher a whole chicken. perfect opportunity if you ask me.

the menu with recipes:

palak dal (spinach and lentils)
1/2 cup lentils
2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, minced
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon ginger paste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground coriander
salt, to taste
1 pound spinach, minced
1 tablespoon lemon juice

cook lentils. remove from heat and drain. set aside. heat the oil in a wide-based pan over med. heat. add the onion, garlic, and ginger, and saute for 2 min. or till onion is translucent. add all the spices, salt, the spinach, and lemon juice. mix well. cook, uncovered until spinach is wilted down (we used frozen spinach. worked great) stir in lentils (we added green peas too - yum).

murgi ka tikka (chicken tikka)
14 ounces boneless chicken, cubed
1 tablespoon veg. oil, for basting
marinade -
3/4 cup plain, low-fat yogurt
1 teaspoon ginger paste
2 teaspoons garlic paste
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon hot chili powder, or to taste
salt, to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons tandoori masala (recipe to follow)
1 teaspoon garam masala (recipe to follow)

make the marinade by mixing together all the ingredients in a bowl. add the chicken cubes, coat thoroughly. cover and marinade for 5-6 hours or preferably overnight.
bring the chicken to room temperature before cooking. heat a few tablespoons oil in saute pan. once the pan is very hot, add chicken. turn to brown on each side. you can finish it in the pan or in the oven at 350 for about 15 minutes.

tandoori masala
1 cup cumin seeds
1/2 cup coriander seeds
2 teaspoons fenugreek seeds
1/2 teaspoon carum seeds
8 green cardamom seeds, removed from pods
10 whole cloves
2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
1 teaspoon ground mace
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
4 bay leaves
3/4 inch piece cinnamon stick

combine in a spice grinder, grind to powder. store in an airtight container and refrigerate. it will stay for months.

garam masala
1 1/2 cups cumin seeds
3/4 cup coriander seeds
2 teaspoons green cardamom seeds
2 teaspoons black cardamom seeds
1 tablespoon whole cloves
two 1 1/4 inch pieces cinnamon stick
2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns, or to taste
4-5 bay leaves
1/8 nutmeg kernel

combine in a grinder. grind to powder. store in airtight container and refrigerate. it will stay for months.

basmati rice

raita (yogurt sauce)
2 cups plain, low-fat yogurt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon olive oil
half english cucumber, finely chopped
chopped cilantro, to taste

and yes, the kids all loved it! it was one of the most amazing dinners we have enjoyed in quite some time. high fives were definitely exchanged!


Olivia said...

I love indian food as well. but that menu looks like a lot of work :) It also sounds delicious!!!

Natalie said...

i first had indian food in london - the notting hill area has a huge indian and far eastern population, so it was a very multicultural place to live. nan - i could eat my weight in nan.

Anonymous said...

I would say the best meal that has passed these lips in a long time!! Great team work!

Allie said...

Where did you find all of the ingredients for the masala? Did you have to go to a specialty cooking store to find them. Your recipes are inspiring an Indian themed party with some friends on Friday. Do you have any words of advice?

kim cherry said...

to allie:

i got all of my spices for the marsala at the grocery store. however... you can buy pre-made marsala at world market. way easier! if you do it yourself i would use a spice grinder.
good luck!! i love me some indian food! i'm sure your party will be a success.

Allie said...

Everything was great! I couldn't find pre-made masala so I had to search for the ingredients. (Apparently Fairbanks does not have a huge Indian population). It was worth it though. Three different couples came and we had quite a variety of different dishes. So fun; next month is South American. Any ideas?