Archive for category Indian

Slow Cooker Lamb Vindaloo

Lamb vindaloo with Basmati RiceAnother amazing Indian food here, this time made in a slow cooker. I have to tell you that I think a slow cooker (or crock pot or whatever you want to call it) is an essential kitchen item, and I have just posted this in my Kitchen Essentials section.

Vindaloo, whether it be with lamb, pork, chicken or beef, is one of the hottest dishes in all of Indian cooking. Not only does this recipe call for cayenne pepper, but it also calls for six Chipotle chili peppers. These are essentially Jalapenos that have been smoked. This dish is not for the weak willed, but it is so delicious. It should be served over Basmati rice.

For those who may not have an adventurous palate where “heat” is concerned, I am also providing a recipe at the end for a yogurt sauce that can be used to “cool” the dish when serving. The combination of the rice and the yogurt sauce should make it tolerable for even the weakest palate.

Ingredients

1 boneless leg of lamb, 4-5 lbs, trimmed of fat and cut in bite-sized pieces

3 medium red potatoes, washed and cut in bite-sized pieces

4 tbsp olive oil, divided

2 large Vidalia onions, chopped and divided

1.5 cups of frozen petite peas, defrosted

10 garlic cloves, crushed

6 Chipotle chili peppers, reconstituted and scraped (see Directions)

2 tbsp paprika

1 tbsp cumin

1 tbsp cardamom

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1 cup low-sodium beef broth

1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes

2 bay leaves

2 tsp ginger paste

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp Kosher salt

2 tbsp red wine vinegar

1 tsp sugar

1/2 cup chopped, fresh cilantro

1 tbsp cornstarch plus 1 tbsp water

1 cup plain Greek yogurt

1 cucumber, peeled, trimmed and seeds removed

Kosher salt and fresh-ground pepper (to taste; for the yogurt-cucumber sauce)

Directions

The first order of business is to prepare the Chipotle chili peppers. Reconstitute the peppers by soaking them in boiling water for 30 minutes. Once they have cooled, cut them open and scrape the chili meat from the skin and set aside.

In a food processor, take half the onion, the garlic, the Chipotle chili peppers, the cinnamon, cardamom, turmeric, cayenne, cumin, paprika, ginger paste and two tablespoons of the olive oil and pureé into a paste. Put it into a bowl and add the lamb pieces. Stir to coat the lamb thoroughly and place in the refrigerator overnight.

The next day heat the balance of the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the marinated lamb. You may need to do this in batches, but you do not need to cook the lamb through. Place in a slow cooker along with the beef broth, the salt, the sugar, the tomatoes, the potatoes, and the bay leaves. Cook on low for about 6-8 hours. About 30 minutes before the vindaloo is done, add the peas, then mix the tablespoon of cornstarch and the tablespoon of water and add it to the slow cooker. Stir thoroughly. The cornstarch-water mix will help to thicken the stew.

Serve over Basmati rice and garnish with cilantro.

Turning Down the Heat

Yogurt is a great way to temper the heat of this dish. Take the cup of plain Greek yogurt and the cucumber and put it in a food processor. Pureé until smooth and add salt and pepper to taste. Put in bowl and refrigerate until you serve the Lamb Vindaloo.

 

 

 

 

 

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Chicken Biryani

Chicken-BiryaniI made this the other night for a potluck Indian feast at a friend’s house. It was outstanding, I must say. However, biryani is not only considered an Indian dish, but also a Pakistani dish. Unlike Paella, you want to use a long-grained rice for this dish. Basmati rice is absolutely perfect for biryani.

This dish also makes use of one of the greatest spices on the planet: Cardamom. It may well be expensive, but it’s lends an amazingly aromatic flavor to this dish. I used both pods and ground Cardamom for mine.

Ingredients

3 lbs boneless, skinless thighs, cut into bite-sized chunks

4 tbsp canola oil; plus an additional 2 tbsp canola oil

6 small potatoes, cut in half

2 large onions, chopped

1 large onion, diced

2 cloves minced garlic

1 tbsp ginger paste

2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1 tsp chili powder

1 2-inch cinnamon stick

1 tsp ground cinnamon

2 tbsp chopped fresh mint leaves

2 tsp ground turmeric

1 tbsp cumin

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional; but not really if you like a little heat)

1.5 tsp salt

1 15-oz can diced tomatoes

2 tbsp plain Greek yogurt

5 Cardamom pods

1 tsp ground Cardamom

1 pinch Saffron

16 oz Basmati rice

4 cups low-sodium chicken stock

Directions

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large skilled. Add the potatoes and fry until browned. Remove to paper towels and reserve.

Add 2 more tbsp oil to the skillet and fry the 2 finely chopped onions, garlic, and the ginger paste until the onions are soft and golden. Add the chili powder, pepper, red pepper flakes, turmeric, cumin, salt and the tomatoes. Cook, stirring continuously, for about 5 minutes. Add the yogurt, mint, cardamom pods and ground cinnamon. Cover the skillet and cook over low heat until the tomatoes become pulpy. Add a bit of chicken broth or water if the mixture becomes too dry and begins to stick to the pan.

Once the mixture becomes thick and smooth, add the chicken and stir well to coat evenly. Cover and cook over very low heat for about 45 minutes, or until the chicken becomes very tender. The mixture should be fairly thick once the chicken is done. If your mixture looks to runny, remove the cover and cook for several minutes to reduce the mixture.

While your chicken is cooking, wash the rice well and allow it to drain in a colander for about 30 minutes.

In another large skillet, heat the additional 2 tbsp canola oil and fry the single diced onion until it is golden. Add the saffron, ground cardamom, cinnamon stick, ground ginger, ground cloves and rice. Stir continuously until the rice is coated with the spices.

In a medium-sized pot, heat the 4 cups of chicken stock. When the stock is hot, pour it over the rice and stir it well. Add the chicken mixture from the other skillet, as well as the reserved potatoes. Stir everything together gently, and bring it to a boil. Cover the skillet tightly, turn the heat down low and cook for about 20 minutes. Do not life the lid or stir while cooking.

Spoon the biryani onto a warm serving dish, remove the cinnamon stick, and you’re ready to feast!

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Spicy Indian Dal

DahlHere’s another of those great Indian recipes. I love this stuff. When I was a kid, my family ate lentils all the time. I used to turn my nose up at lentils because I had no idea what they were or how good they truly are. To top it all off, they’re also really good for you.

Well, lentils are the main ingredient in this great dish, and it doesn’t matter what lentils you use…orange, red, green…whatever. Dahl can be used as a side dish as part of an Indian feast, or you can eat it with Pappadum or white rice. By the way, Patak makes a great cook-to-eat Pappadum that you can fry up yourself.

Ingredients

16 oz lentils

8 tbsp Canola oil

3/4 cup chopped tomatoes

1.5 cups chopped onion

3 Jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped

3 tbsp minced garlic

1 tbsp cumin

2 tbsp garam masala

1 tsp cardamom

1.5 tbsp curry powder (Madras, red or hot)

1 tbsp salt

1 tsp ground black pepper

1 tbsp sugar

2 tbsp ginger paste

1 tbsp unseasoned rice vinegar

1 tbsp turmeric

8 cups low-sodium chicken stock

Directions

In a large pot, heat the oil. Then, add the onions and cook until they are translucent. Do not brown.

Then, add the lentils, Jalapenos, garlic, cumin, garam masala, cardamom, salt, black pepper, sugar, ginger paste, curry powder, and turmeric. Cook for about 2 minutes until the herbs and spices meld together. Add the chopped tomatoes, and deglaze the pan with the rice vinegar.

Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to simmer, and cook until the lentils become tender (about 20-30 minutes), stirring occasionally.

Taste the Dal and adjust the seasonings if need be.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mattar Paneer

matter paneer2Moving onto Indian food here. Loosely translated, this is peas and cheese. It’s delicious and makes a great accompaniment to any curry dish. If you’re a vegetarian, this is great with Basmati rice.

If you’re a masochist, you can go to Whole Foods Market (or Whole Paycheck Market, as I like to call it) and spend crazy amounts of money to buy eight skimpy ounces of Paneer cheese. Or you can make it yourself for, literally, a fraction of the cost. It’s not brain surgery. It’s pretty simple. So, I suggest you check out this link and make it yourself!

The recipe also calls for Garam Masala, which is a combination of a bunch of different spices. Of course, you can always make it yourself but, frankly, you can also buy it all made. That’s what I do. I’m a purist…to a point.

Ingredients

20 oz of Paneer cheese, cubed

2 cups frozen peas

6 tbsp oil

1/2 tbsp mustard seed

1 tsp cumin seed

2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp paprika

1 large onion, chopped

1/4 tsp ginger paste

2 tbsp minced garlic

3 large tomatoes, chopped

1/2 tsp sugar

sea salt (to taste)

1 tsp garam masala

1 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp turmeric

1 tsp coriander

1/4 cup tomato sauce

4 tbsp fresh, chopped cilantro

1 tbsp cornstarch

3 tbsp water

Directions

The first thing you want to do is fry the cheese. Add 3 tbsp of oil to a skillet and fry the cheese in a single layer until browned on all sides. Remove and put on a paper towel-lined dish. Set aside. Then, mix the cornstarch and water and set aside.

In a separate pan, heat 3 tbsp oil. Add the mustard and cumin seeds. Cook until they turn color and begin to “pop.”

Now, add the onions, ginger and garlic. Cook until the onions soften (but do not brown). Then, add tomatoes, salt, and sugar and cook until tomatoes soften. Once the tomatoes have softened, add the garam masala, chili powder, turmeric, coriander, cumin and paprika. Stir to mix.

Add the tomato sauce and stir, then add the peas. Cook the mixture until the peas are just tender. Do not worry if it appears that the dish is “soupy” or “watery.” That is what the cornstarch mixture is for.

Add the paneer and cook over medium heat for about 2-3 minutes until the paneer absorbs the flavor. Add the cornstarch mixture to thicken.

Move to a serving dish and garnish with the chopped cilantro.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Deb’s Pav Bhajiv

Hot madras curry powderThe single most important ingredient in this dish is the Hot Madras Curry Powder. Hence, the photo. Again, this is a vegetarian dish and you shouldn’t let my choice of vegetables limit you. Use your imagination. I would say that the chick peas are a must. Beyond that, have at it.

Ingredients

3 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 hot green chili pepper, chopped (Jalapeno works here)

1 medium sized green pepper, chopped

1 medium sized red pepper, chopped

2 cups cauliflower florets

1 medium zucchini, cubed

1 medium yellow onion, chopped (I like Vidalia here)

1 can chick peas, drained

2 cups tomatoes, chopped (or 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes)

4 tbsp. olive oil

1/2 to 3/4 cup coconut milk

1/4 cup chicken stock

1 tbsp. Garam Masala

3-1/2 tbsp. Hot Madras Curry Powder

Sea salt to taste

Directions

Put the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet and heat over medium heat. Add the garlic, chili peppers and onion, and cook for about 3-4 minutes until the oil is infused and the onions are translucent. Add the Garam Masala and cook for an additional 3 minutes.

Add the cauliflower and cook for about 5 minutes. Then, add the chicken stock, red and green peppers, salt and Hot Madras Curry Powder and saute for an additional 5 minutes.

Add the zucchini, coconut milk, tomatoes and mix well. Simmer over medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes. At the very end, toss in the chick peas. Then, adjust the salt and Hot Madras Curry Powder to taste. Cook for about 3 minutes.

This versatile dish can be served with Naan bread, Basmati rice or Couscous.

 

 

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