Indian food - help!
I have recently developed an affinity for Indian food and would love to try to replicate some of the recipes at home. I have searched and searched and can't really find one that looks easy enough and similar enough to what I am looking for. I usually get vegetable khorma or aloo gobi and would love to try either of those or something with lentils. I would also like to make something with chicken. tikka masala maybe?
Second Anothersubcontinent -- I was desperate for a great biryani recipe and these folks know their stuff! I now make great biryani at home...
Lentil soups are the easiest. Buy some yellow or red lentils, add water, bring to a boil, cover and simmer until soft. Mash the lentils if you want. In a frying pan, fry some spices in oil at medium-high heat for a minute or two. Add the spice/oil mixture to the lentils, stir, and add salt to taste.
Spices are up to you. I would try garlic, whole chilis, cumin seeds and fenugreek seeds - I think I saw that combo online attributed to a Madhur Jaffrey recipe.
I made my own spices for an Indian Kabobs that really turned out just wonderful. Garam Masalal, from what my Indian friend told me is your own spice mixtures. There are premade spices, but I did decide to grind my own( bought a cheap coffee grinder) and everyone in the house is begging me to make these again.
Once you have your spices, I don't see that cooking Indian food will intimidate you,here is my recipe for:
Curry Chicken Kabobs
Preheat the Grill – Medium temperature
6-8 Water Soaker Wooden Skewers
1 1/2 lb of cubed chicken breast – large 3 inch cubes
Spices - grind first and have ready
1 T Garam Masaala 1T Hot Paprika
1⁄2 Cumin 1T Turmeric
1⁄2 T Cardamom Whole Seeds
1⁄4 Tsp cinnamon
2 T Fenugreek
Grind all of the spices in a separate blender for spice only (tip! To clean –blend bread)
4 cloves garlic
1 C fresh cilantro
2 inches of ginger root grated
2 Serrano Chiles-seeded or less if you wish less hotness
2 C of non fat plain yogurt
In a blender – mix all of the herbs and 2T of the spices (package remaining spice for another time)blend all until coarse then add the lemon and the 1 cup yogurt – puree for several minutes. Then a large gallon sized glass jar place 1⁄4 of the cubed chicken and a layer of the sauce mixture, alternate layers and top with remaining sauce.
Let this marinate for at least 24 up to 3 days in the refrigerator at least 6 hours prior soak the wooden skewers.
When you are ready to grill- make sure to preheat and lightly oil the grill. While the grill is heating:
Skewer the meat and put any remaining sauce in a bowl to brush on while grilling BUT, make sure that the sauce has a chance to cook or you will CROSS CONTAMINATE!
Unless you’re going to cook it, throw away any remaining sauce since it has had raw chicken in it.
Grill chicken kabobs for 6-7 minutes per side – test for doneness- but don’t’ over cook
Prepare in advance:
Seed and chop (don’t grate) a large cucumber and mix it with 1 cup of the plain non fat yogurt drainedm, season with salt and pepper to your taste – add red pepper flakes for zip,and a little lemon or fresh coriander/mint..
Sliced tomatoes & carrot curls
Sliced paper thin red onion & green onion fine strips
Sliced paper thin and seeded a jalapeno pepper & red bell pepper
And whatever other fresh veggies you wish
In flour tortilla wrap or Nan place grilled chicken cubes with the sauce, and the veggies for one of the most delicious and healthy meals you have ever had! Better than a Gyro!!
Vatan - Vegetarian 409 Third Avenue - NYC - I heard from a friend that this is awesome but I have eaten there myself - yet.
Since you mention easy, let me tell you what I do. I buy the boxes of spices by Shan at my local Indian market. The Bombay biryani is fantastic (I alter the recipe to leave out most of the ghee, it calls for a huge amount). The chicken tikka is wonderful. Those are staples in my house; we've used a couple of others, but not often enough that I recall their names off-hand. There is a huge assortment, and where I shop, they cost 79 cents per box.
I like Madhur Jaffrey's Spice Kitchen. It has good explanations of the food and spices. But, I have to say, most Indian dishes I've made are pretty time consuming and there may be quite a few spices you may have to buy. Vegetable korma, aloo gobi and chicken tikka masala are among those that do require more. You might try www.allrecipes.com. They often have more simplified recipes.