Posts Tagged chili-peppers

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.


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)


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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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.


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


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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Caramelized Chili-Citrus Wings

This is a major messy dish and several people I taught in my last cooking class whined about how sticky their fingers got because we did not separate the wings prior to cooking. Frankly, I have no idea what they were complaining about; the wings were delicious and it was well worth the messy effort.

If you must separate the wings, however, it’s fairly simple: Separate the upper part of the wing from the lower part of the wing at the “knuckle.” I simply use a cleaver. Both parts are used in the recipe. The wing tip is fairly easy to chop off. These are discarded. Or you can always buy the wings prepared this way. They are usually referred to as ‘party wings’ in the supermarket.


16 chicken wings*

Salt & pepper (to taste)

1 tsp. sesame oil

1/2 cup light soy sauce

4 tbsp. honey

4 tbsp. canola oil

1 tbsp. canola oil (reserved)

4 tbsp. Thai chili-garlic sauce

1 tbsp. Thai chili-garlic sauce (reserved)

¼ cup fresh-squeezed orange juice

¼ cup fresh-squeezed lime juice

¼ cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice

1 tbsp each fresh orange, lime and lemon peel

3 cloves garlic, crushed

1 garlic clove, chopped (reserve)

2 scallions, chopped

Black and white sesame seeds (reserve)


Mix all ingredients together (except those marked ‘reserve’) and whisk until well incorporated. Place the marinade in a zip-lock bag with the wings and seal. Shake until all wings are coated. Place the bag in the refrigerator to marinate. Three hours marinating time will do it, but I prefer to marinate mine overnight. The longer, the better.

These wings are cooked on top of the stove as opposed to in the oven. After the wings have been sufficiently marinated, place a wok on the stove top and add the 1 tbsp. reserved canola oil, the reserved tablespoon chili-garlic sauce, and the reserved garlic. Heat until the garlic becomes fragrant. Then add the wings (minus the marinade) and cook on medium-high heat to sear. Lower the heat and add the marinade to the wok. Cover and cook on low for about 25 minutes, turning occasionally. This will ensure that the wings cook through.

When 25 minutes is over, remove the cover from the wok and increase the heat to medium to stir-fry and  further brown the wings. Be sure to turn the wings frequently as the honey can burn as the heat is increased. As the wings cook, the marinade will thicken and give them a slick coating. Throw in the black and white sesame seeds at the end and turn to coat. Remove the wings from the wok and place on a serving platter lined with fresh Watercress. Eat immediately!






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Sizzling Garlic Shrimp


1-1/2 lbs medium-large shrimp

Coarse salt

1 cup fragrant extra-virgin olive oil

1 large dried chili, crumbled

6 large garlic cloves, finely chopped

2-3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

Country bread for serving


The first order of business is to peel and de-vein the shrimp (unless you’ve purchased them already cleaned). Then was them in cold water and pat them dry.

Add the oil and garlic to a large heavy pan and cook over low-medium heat until the oil begins to shimmer and the garlic begins to gently sizzle. Cook the garlic for about 2-3 minutes so that it’s fragrant, but not burned. Lower heat if necessary. Then add the crumbled chile and stir for a few seconds.

Add the shrimp and cook just until they turn pink (about 3 minutes). Then, sprinkle with salt to taste and add the parsley. Serve in the pan with the oil and plenty of country bread to soak up the sauce.

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