Saturday, April 23, 2011

Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken tikka masala was actually developed in a restaurant in England, not India, as a solution for using leftover grilled chicken. Please note that in order to make chicken tikka masala, you must make chicken tikka first.

For measurements and the list of ingredients for the recipe, please refer to Entertaining From an Ethnic Indian Kitchen.     


Have chicken tikka ready.
Note: While the chicken tikka is roasting in the oven, gather and chop all the ingredients for the curry.

Heat the ghee in a large sauce pan over medium high heat. When the ghee is hot, add bay leaf and cardamom pods. Stir for a minute.

Note: Whole spices are added for flavor only, they are not meant to be eaten.
Add the chopped onion.
Saute until edges begin to brown. Add minced ginger and chili and fry for a minute.
Stir in cinnamon, cumin powder, cayenne, turmeric, kasuri methi and salt and fry for a couple of minutes.
Add tomato sauce and one cup of water and bring it to boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes.

Note: If the liquid gets reduced too much in volume while simmering, add more water to the mixture.
Stir in chicken pieces. Continue to simmer for about 5 minutes until the chicken is heated through.
Stir in cream and cashew paste and cook for 5 more minutes.

Note: If the volume of the liquid gets reduced too much on the stove at this stage, add more cream or milk to the mixture.
Sprinkle garam masala powder and mix it in. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with cilantro leaves.
Serve with any paratha or rice.


For more recipes, table setting ideas and gardening tips from the author of Entertaining From an Ethnic Indian Kitchen, check out Komali Nunna's blog.  

Chicken Tikka

This is a crowd-pleasing appetizer to serve at parties. If you are feeling ambitious, you can take it one step further to make chicken tikka masala, the curry version of this recipe.

For measurements and the list of ingredients for the recipe, please refer to Entertaining From an Ethnic Indian Kitchen.    


Cut chicken into 2-inch cubes. 

Notes
  • Cut off as much fat as possible.
  • If you are going on to make chicken tikka masala, cut the pieces into smaller cubes so that they will cook faster on the stove.
Alternative: Use chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts. This will result in more tender chicken pieces. 

Mix lime juice, salt, cayenne, strained yogurt, cream, ginger garlic paste, garam masala powder, paprika, and food coloring for the marinade.
Add chicken cubes to the marinade and mix thoroughly to make sure all the pieces are coated completely.
Cover with plastic wrap or transfer to a sealed tupperware container and marinate in the refrigerator for 4-12 hours.


Note: If you are using bamboo skewers, make sure to soak them in water for 1/2 an hour.


Preheat oven to 375 F. Thread chicken pieces onto the skewers. Place them on a baking sheet lined with a metal rack.
Transfer them to the oven and roast for 20-25 minutes. As soon as you remove pieces from the oven, baste them with ghee.
Serve with lime wedges.


For more recipes, table setting ideas and gardening tips from the author of Entertaining From an Ethnic Indian Kitchen, check out Komali Nunna's blog. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Gobi Masala (Cauliflower Curry)

I was never a fan of cauliflower until I tried this recipe. It gave the cauliflower a succulent flavor that I never knew it was capable of having. I strongly encourage you to try cooking this easy recipe, even if you dislike cauliflower...you may become converted just like me!

Recipe provided courtesy of Entertaining From an Ethnic Indian Kitchen.

Serves 4-6
• 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 1 onion, finely chopped
• 1- inch piece ginger, minced
• 1 minced fresh green chili, such as serrano
• 1 tablespoon coriander powder
• 1 tomato, chopped
• 1 teaspoons salt or to taste
• ½ teaspoon turmeric

• 1 ½ - 2 pounds cauliflower, washed and cut into florets
• 1 teaspoon garam masala powder
• cilantro to garnish

Note: Chop all the ingredients in advance. It will make the process a lot easier and stress-free. 
Heat oil in a heavy bottom skillet over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion.
Fry until soft and edges begin to brown. Add minced ginger and chili and stir fry for 1 minute.
Add the coriander powder and stir fry for another minute.
Add the tomato and cook until it is soft and some of the moisture evaporates.
Stir in salt, turmeric and cauliflower. 
Cover the pan and cook for 10 minutes while stirring occasionally. 

Note: If there is a lot of liquid in the pan, remove the lid and cook until almost all the liquid evaporates. 

At the end, stir in garam masala powder. Mix thoroughly and serve.
Optional: Garnish with cilantro.

For more recipes, table setting ideas and gardening tips from the author of Entertaining From an Ethnic Indian Kitchen, check out Komali Nunna's blog. 

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Nimmakaya Pulihora (Lemon Rice)

This is one of my favorite recipes. When the recipe was originally developed in India, lemons were used (hence the name "lemon rice"). However, this recipe uses limes because the tartness of limes balances the spicy chilies and ginger in this recipe.

Note: This is a time-sensitive recipe. All the steps to add the ingredients must be done quickly or the dals and black mustard seeds will get burnt. I suggest measuring out all the ingredients ahead of time so that you don't waste time measuring while cooking.

Recipe provided courtesy of Entertaining From an Ethnic Indian Kitchen.

Ingredients
  • one recipe plain rice
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon asafetida
  • 2-3 dry whole red chilies such as chile de arbol
  • 1 tablespoon black mustard seeds
  • 2 tablespoons chena dal
  • 1 tablespoon white urad dal
  • ½ cup raw cashew nuts
  • 1-inch piece ginger, minced
  • 1-3 minced fresh green chilies, such as serrano
  • 20 fresh or dry curry leaves
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric        
  • 2 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • pomegranate seeds to garnish (optional)    
Prepare the rice according to the directions using only 3 ½ cups of water. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium high heat.   
Add asafetida and red chilies.  

Notes 
  • Asafetida is a gum extract from trees that can be found in Indian grocery stores. It acts as a digestive aid and prevents flatulence from occuring. If you are unable to find this ingredient, the rice will turn out fine without it.  
  • Red chilies are added for flavor only and are not meant to be eaten.
When the red chilies turn one shade darker, add the mustard seeds and cover until the spluttering subsides.   


Uncover and add white urad dal and chena dal. 


When the white urad dal turns golden brown, stir in the cashews. 


As soon as cashew nuts turn one shade darker, add curry leaves.  


As curry leaves turn crisp, add ginger, chilies, turmeric, and salt. Fry for one minute, and turn off the heat. 

 
Let it cool for 3 minutes and add lime juice.   


Now add lime juice mixture to cooked rice, and mix thoroughly.  


You must let the rice rest for at least ½ an hour for flavors to mingle before serving.   


Optional: Garnish with pomegranate seeds.

Plain Rice

A rice cooker is must-have when cooking Indian food. Remember to add 2 cups of water for every 1 cup of rice.
 
Recipe provided courtesy of Entertaining From an Ethnic Indian Kitchen.
Yield 4 cups cooked rice
  • 2 cups long grain rice
  • 3 3/4 cups water
Wash rice with several changes of water. Add rice and water to the rice cooker and follow the rice cooker's instructions to cook white rice.


Alternative: To cook rice on the stove instead of using a rice cooker, place rice and water in a heavy medium sauce pan and bring it to boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat to lowest setting, cover and cook for about 20-25 minutes, until rice is cooked and the surface is covered with steam holes. Let it rest for 5-10 minutes. Use a fork to fluff up the rice before serving.

For more recipes, table setting ideas and gardening tips from the author of Entertaining From an Ethnic Indian Kitchen, check out Komali Nunna's blog.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Palak (Saag) Paneer

The combination of both chopped and pureed spinach is essential for making delicious palak paneer.

For measurements and the list of ingredients for the recipe, please refer to Entertaining From an Ethnic Indian Kitchen.  


Have fried paneer pieces ready, set aside until ready to use. 

Alternative: Use queso fresco, a Mexican cheese that can be found in most supermarkets, including Costco.

Blanch half of chopped spinach in boiling water for 1 minute and grind into puree in the blender.

Heat oil in a medium sauce pan over medium high heat. Add bay leaf and cumin seeds.

When cumin seeds sizzle, add onions.

Saute onions until translucent. Add ginger garlic paste and fry for a minute.

Add coriander powder, cayenne, turmeric, amchoor powder, and fennel seed powder. Fry all the spices with the onions for 1-2 minutes.

Add chopped tomato and tomato puree. 

Add salt and cook for about 5 minutes until tomato is soft and some of the moisture evaporates. Add both pureed and chopped spinach.

Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in sugar and milk.

Add fried paneer pieces to cooked spinach and heat through. 

To season, heat ghee in a small skillet over medium heat. Add garam masala powder to hot ghee.

Add seasoning to the cooked spinach. Garnish with cilantro and serve.

For more recipes, table setting ideas and gardening tips from the author of Entertaining From an Ethnic Indian Kitchen, check out Komali Nunna's blog.
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