Archive for the ‘Indian’ Category

Day 32 – Trying my hand at Indian

March 24, 2007

March 15th, Butter Chicken and Aloo Gobi

We were lucky enough to spend a month in India earlier this year. The only spicy dish I encountered on our travels was a single order of Aloo Gobi. Everything else had been completely de-spiced by the time it got to us. I think the waiters and kitchen staff took one look at our pasty complexions and blonde children and decided no spice or seasoning would ever touch our lips.

My daughter is not a big fan of Indian food (she lived on grilled cheese, rice and ice cream for the month that we were travelling about) and as she was spending the night with her grandparents, I thought I’d whip up some Indian for the three of us.

This is a really simple butter chicken recipe. I have no idea of its origins or if it’s remotely authentic, I do know it’s simple and it tastes great.

Butter Chicken
3 Tablespoons Butter
One onion, Sliced
12 ounces of chicken, cut into a large dice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons garlic (minced or put through a rasp)
2 teaspoons minced ginger (or put through a rasp) 
1/2 teaspoon of ground tumeric
2 teaspoons ground chili powder
1 tablespoon ground coriander
8 ounce can of whole peeled tomatoes with juice
1/3 cup ground almonds
1 small container of plain, unsweetened yoghurt

1. Heat a large frying pan and melt the butter until it is frothy. Add the sliced onions and cook until transluscent.
2. When the onions are soft, stir in the crushed garlic and ginger. Do not let the garlic brown – it will turn bitter.
3. Add the cinnamon, turmeric, chilli and coriander, and sauté over a medium heat, giving everything a near constant stir. 
4. Add the chicken and keep stirring until the chicken begins to turn white. Add the tinned tomatoes and the ground almonds. Mix thoroughly and then cover and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes.
5. Before serving, add the yoghurt, give it a stir, and allow to heat through…

Aloo Gobi (potatoes and cauliflower)
2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon cumin seeds 
1 large onions chopped into coarse chunks
1 cauliflower, chopped into bite-sized florets
3 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped into bite-sized chunks
2 Cloves of garlic, minced
About a 2-inch piece of ginger, minced
1 Tablespoon of Turmeric (halidi)
1 teaspoon Garam Masala
1 teaspoon Ground Coriander
1 teaspoon Salt

1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large pan and add the cumin seeds and cook for about 45 seconds, then add the chopped onions, cooking until they are translucent.
2. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for about a minute or two – you don’t want the garlic to brown…add in the spices and give everything a good stir
3. Add the potato and stir until well coated. Cover the pan, lower the heat and let cook for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes begin to soften.
4. Add the cauliflower florets and again stir to make sure everything is well coated in all of the spices. Cover the pot and let cook over low heat for another 20 to 30 minutes or until the potatoes and cauliflower are both cooked through and nicely soft.

Here’s how it looked before the cauliflower joined the party:

just the potatoes

The boy loved the butter chicken but was indifferent to the Aloo Gobi, as was I. I don’t know what was missing from this recipe, but there was a definite lack. The butter chicken was great. We had it with rice and I was dying for a fresh order of naan or some stuffed kulcha…I need to learn how to cook jeera rice too (we also had a really bad version of Dal Makhani that we bought as a pre-packaged item. It had what looked to be red kidney beans in it and was dreadful…one more reason to keep cooking from scratch).