Bindya Bedi’s chicken curry

Adapted from The Age and read at NewsELA

  • 1 kilogram chicken thighs 

Ingredients for the marinade:

  • 2 tablespoons of ginger garlic paste 
  • 1 squeeze of lime 
  • 1 teaspoon of salt 
  • 1 tbsp ghee

Ingredients for the curry:

  • 1/4 cup of neutral oil (coconut oil or ghee, my pref)
  • 4 medium-sized brown onions, peeled and roughly chopped 
  • 10 cloves of garlic, peeled 
  • 2 cm piece of ginger, peeled and finely diced 
  • 1 to 2 green chillies (we used 1 Jalapeño chili pepper)
  • 1 tablespoon of cumin seeds 
  • 2 bay leaves 
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick 
  • 4 to 5 cardamom pods 
  • 8 to 10 peppercorns 
  • 4 to 5 cloves
  • 4 tomatoes, or 1/2 a cup of tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder 
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder 
  • 2 tablespoons ground coriander 
  • 1 teaspoon ground garam masala 
  • Salt, to taste 
  • cilantro, to garnish

Directions:

  1. In a large glass bowl, marinate the chicken thighs in the ginger garlic paste, lime juice and salt. Cover and set aside for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, use a mortar and pestle (or food processor?) to grind the onions, garlic, ginger and green chillies to a paste and set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pan and add the cumin seeds. Roughly pound all of the whole spices (bay leaves, cinnamon, cardamom, peppercorns and cloves) and add to the oil. Once they start to make popping sounds, add the onion paste. Heat over a low flame, stirring occasionally, until reduced to a golden-brown paste and the oil starts to separate. 
  3. Next, add the tomatoes, salt to taste, turmeric, red chili powder, and ground coriander. Cook until the tomatoes just start to form a paste. Add the chicken, garam masala and 1/2 cup of water. Bring the curry to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover with a lid and continue to cook over a medium heat.
  4. After 20 to 25 minutes, uncover the pan and cook for another 15 to 20 minutes until the water evaporates and the curry starts to thicken. Once the curry is ready, switch the flame off.
  5. Serve with your choice of naan or basmati rice and top with fresh cilantro leaves, if desired.

I read this in a NewsELA article, which I subscribed to as a science teacher. They offer loads of readable current news, including in science and health and social justice. Some changes from the original recipe: we used organic coconut oil, although I would have been equally happy with ghee. We speeded things up with using a garlic press and grater for the ginger for the marinade paste, and added a coconut oil to keep the chickens moist. I ran out of whole cloves, so I added some black mustard seed for appearances. And rather than the mortar and pestle method for the onion-garlic-ginger-chili mixture, we used a smoothie blender. We did use the mortar and pestle to grind the whole spices though! Make sure you turn on your ventilation — these are some powerful aromas when you start frying!

***Marinade reminder: we mixed ACID (lime) + SALT + OIL (ghee) + HERBS/SEASONINGS/SUGAR (ginger / garlic) + TIME (30 minutes).***

~Jessica

Baked chicken shawarma and rice

Adapted from Recipe Tin Eats

Ingredients:

Spice Rub

  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional — I will omit next time)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Black pepper
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
  • 5 chicken thigh fillets, bone in, skin on (~ 2 lbs / 1 kg)
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion , finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves , minced
  • 1 1/2 cups long grain rice, uncooked (I used Jasmine)
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth (or water)
  • 2 cups water
  • 3/4 – 1 tsp salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp cardamon powder
  • 2 cinnamon sticks (or 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder)
  • 400g (14oz) can chickpeas , drained
  • Yoghurt (plain)
  • Cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F.
  2. Mix the spice rub ingredients together in a small bowl. Slather onto the chicken, covering both sides. Marinate for at least 1 hour (up to 24 hours).
  3. During this time, we prepped the rest of the ingredients. Mince the garlic, dice the onion, fancy up the yogurt garnish with lemon + garlic + salt + pepper, etc.
  4. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the chicken, skin side down, and cook for 5 minutes on each side, or until light golden brown.
  5. Add garlic and onion. Cook for 2 minutes until translucent.
  6. Add rice and stir so the grains are coated in oil and become a bit translucent.
  7. Add remaining ingredients. Place the chicken on top – it should be half submerged with the skin above the surface. Pour in the juices from the plate as well.
  8. Bring to simmer, then place a lid on (or cover with foil) and transfer to oven.
  9. Bake for 35 minutes, then remove the lid and bake for a further 10 minutes.
  10. Remove from the oven. Let it rest for 5 minutes.
  11. Remove chicken from the rice and mix the rice quickly (to distribute flavor).
  12. Serve, garnished with cilantro and plain yoghurt.

This popped up because I was looking for a one skillet pan, to try my new Dutch oven my sister had recommended! I recommend omitting the cayenne / red pepper flakes unless you really really like spicy. The other spices already added so much variety and aroma.. Jesse really liked this one — so much that he went and made it for his family ASAP. Highly recommend!

~Jessica

Turkey kofte

Adapted from Jamie Oliver

Kofte Ingredients:

  • 1 large zucchini
  • 2 scallions
  • 1 fresh red chili
  • 50 g. pistachios
  • 3 sprigs cilantro
  • 3 sprigs parsley (omitted)
  • 3 sprigs mint
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 large egg
  • 500 g. ground turkey
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano

Chili sauce ingredients: (I recommend halving this)

  • 4 ripe tomates
  • 2 small onions
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 4 jalapeno chilies
  • olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. tomate paste
  • 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar

Tahini yogurt:

  • 250 g. Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp. tahini
  • 1 squeeze of lemon juice

Turkish pilav:

  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves. garlic
  • 300 g. bulgur wheat
  • 400 ml. hot chicken stock
  • 1 knob of butter
  • 80 g. broken rice vermicelli
  • 100 g. can chickpeas

Directions:

  1. Finely grate the courgette, trim and finely chop the spring onions and green chilli, then chop the pistachios. Pick and finely chop all the fresh herbs.
  2. Toast the cumin seeds in a dry pan until smelling fantastic. Meanwhile, lightly beat the egg.
  3. Mix all the kofte ingredients together in a large bowl, keeping some pistachios back to garnish, then season well.
  4. With wet hands, form 16 kofte, each the size and shape of a small egg. Leave in the fridge to firm up for at least 30 minutes, then thread onto metal skewers, two kofte on each.
  5. Cook the kofte under a grill or over a flame charcoal grill, on high for 12 minutes, until juicy, golden brown and cooked through, turning regularly.
  1. To make the chilli sauce, halve the tomatoes and onions (there’s no need to peel), and bash the unpeeled garlic cloves.
  2. Place the red chillies, tomatoes, onions and garlic on a baking tray. Drizzle with oil and season, then roast for 25 minutes or until soft and slightly blackened.
  3. Allow to cool slightly, then carefully remove and discard the stalks from the chillies, the cores from the tomatoes and the skins from the onions and garlic.
  4. Add to a food processor, along with the sugar, tomato purée and vinegar. Blitz until smooth and add a lug of oil to make it glossy. Pulse again, then season.
  1. For the tahini yoghurt, mix all the ingredients in a bowl and season with a pinch each of sea salt and black pepper.
  1. To make the pilav, peel and finely chop the onion and garlic. Add a lug of oil to a non-stick pan over a medium-low heat, then sweat the onion and garlic for 10 minutes. Add the bulgur and stir to coat.
  2. Pour in the stock, bring it to the boil, then turn down the heat to very low. Cover with a lid and steam the bulgur for 8 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a separate pan, melt the butter and cook the vermicelli until the butter turns golden brown.
  4. After 8 minutes, add it to the bulgur along with the chickpeas – don’t stir at any point, just replace the cloth and lid and let it steam for another 8 minutes.
  5. Turn off the heat and let it stand for 5 minutes – you should end up with a beautifully light and fluffy pilav.

OMG this utterly takes two hours. The flavors and textures combined together so amazingly, and we regret nothing once we FINALLY sat down, but if we had known it would take that long, in such a very humid NYC summer… At least you can eat all the leftovers cold, cold, cold. Optimism! The recipe makes way, way too much chile sauce — I would halve that recipe for sure. Everything else was in good proportions.

I used white sugar, and apple cider vinegar instead of the recommended ingredients. I didn’t buy parsley or broken rice vermicelli — although I do like rice vermicelli, but neither of us care for parsley over much. Next time! (Just kidding — or at least not in summer. Ever.) We tried “grilling” the kofte and “oven roasting” the vegetables in a cast iron pan, which took considerably more time than the original recipe called for, and made the kitchen (and my apartment) hot, hot, hot. We even tried making the bulgur pilav in the cast iron, but that was unnecessary, and transferred it back to my ceramic pan later on. The turkey is quite lean, so I would love to try this (or another turkey meatball recipe) with ground pork instead. Fatty pork ftw.

~Jessica

Garlic na’an

Adapted from My Food Story

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon Sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 cup Yogurt
  • 1/4 cup Water
  • 1 tablespoon Oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped Garlic
  • Sesame Seeds, Onions Seeds (for sprinkling and melted butter for brushing)

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, sugar and salt. Stir to combine well.
  2. Add yogurt and oil and knead into the flour. Start adding water little by little and knead as you go till you get a soft, supple dough. You may not need the entire quantity of water so add only as much as you require. If the dough feels too dry, add water by the teaspoon or some extra flour if the dough feels little wet. It should look like a smooth ball
  3. Cover with a damp towel and set aside in a warm place for 25-30 minutes. If you live in a cold place, rest the dough for 1.5-2 hours. But in warmer climate, 30 minutes is sufficient.
  4. Heat a flat non-stick pan or skillet or tawa. We used a cast iron pan I found in the cupboard.
  5. Divide the dough into lemon sized balls. Dust a ball of dough in flour. Lightly roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thickness without applying too much force. Use a little dry flour if the dough is sticky. Make sure it’s thin enough! (Our first tries were a little bit thick)
  6. Brush the top lightly with water, and sprinkle with sesame and onion seeds (kalonji) and chopped garlic. Lightly press so that they stick to the dough. Turn it over, and brush the other side well with water as well – this helps the naan stick to the tawa.
  7. Make sure your pan is really hot. Now place the bottom side down on the tawa (pan) so that the side with sesame seeds is facing up. Wait for 5 seconds and cover with a lid, which should be big enough to cover the naan. The naan starts forming air pockets. Wait for 45 seconds and then flip the naan to cook it on the other side. Cook for approx 30 seconds, pressing down lightly to help it cook evenly. The naan is ready. Brush it with butter immediately and serve!

This recipe popped up in my Google Feed, which prompted the idea of this recipe for weekend date night culinary exploits. We didn’t have the sesame and onion seeds, unfortunately. I was impressed enough that we had found paneer for the saag, from the Pakistani grocery 20 minutes away. I do not recommend the “direct flame” method because every time, the naan fell into the fire. Exciting!

~Jessica

Murgh makhani (Indian butter chicken)

Adapted from Little Spice Jar and Urvashi Pitre

Chicken Marinade Ingredients:

  • 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes (we used tomatoes on the vine)
  • 5 or 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground paprika
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala, divided
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken (breasts or thighs)
  • 4 ounces butter, cut into cubes, or ½ cup coconut oil
  • ½ cup yogurt (original: full-fat coconut milk)
  • ¼ to ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the tandoori masala, ginger, garlic, and yogurt. Whisk until smooth, adjust seasonings to preference. Add the chicken and allow to marinate for at least 20 minutes and ideally for 12-24 hours, covered in the refrigerator. We marinated overnight.
  2. Heat the ghee (we used butter) in a heavy bottom pot over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until they turn translucent and start to sweat, about 5-7 minutes — don’t allow the onions to brown! Add ginger and garlic paste and let cook for 30 seconds, stirring so it doesn’t burn. Add the crushed tomatoes along with the chili powder, coriander powder, and cumin powder and continue to cook for 5 minutes, if the mixture starts bubbling rapidly, add about ¼ cup of water and continue to cook.
  3. Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in the dutch oven over medium heat. Add the marinated chicken (discard any excess marinade) and cook for about 5-6 minutes, stirring as required to brown all sides.
  4. Add the butter chicken sauce to the pot and heat everything through. Once it starts to bubble, add the cream (we used whole plain yogurt) and garam masala. When the sauce regains a simmer, add the crushed fenugreek leaves (we didn’t have! Darn COVID-19 pandemic). Serve over basmati rice or with naan.

(Hindi: मुर्ग़ मक्खनी) according to Wiki. “The subtle difference between Paneer Butter Masala and Shahi paneer is that more of whole spices are used in Paneer Butter Masala whereas Shahi paneer has a sweeter taste when compared to Paneer Butter Masala.” (Wiki) Pitre’s recipe was even featured in The New Yorker! Jesse cooked this really well, and even set timers and things. We did not have an Instant Pot.

~Jessica

Berry overnight oats

Adapted from Quaker Oats and Min Kwon

It ain’t pretty, but it’s okay

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup milk or nondairy substitute
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds (optional)
  • 1 cup fresh mixed berries and fruit (in season)

Directions:

  1. Add oats to a glass jar (mason, jam, whatever) and pour in the non/dairy. Layer yogurt, et al. over.
  2. Leave it in the refrigerator (40° F or colder) for 8 hours or overnight.
  3. Enjoy in the morning, add additional liquid if you’d like. Best to eat within 24 hours.

The mixture will keep for up to 2 days. If you don’t add a banana, up to 4 days. Use a one-to-one ratio of raw oats and your choice of milk, yogurt, or any other dairy substitutes. Other suggested toppings: fruit (fresh or dried), nuts, nut butter, seeds, protein powder, granola, coconut, spices, citrus zest and vanilla extract. I didn’t have any chia seeds or berries in my house, alas, so I subbed with my favorite Bonne Maman confiture (jam preserves). Why oh why are healthy fruits and vegetables so expensive. I miss Germany.

~Jessica

Plum berry smoothie

IMG_20180814_075852.jpg

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond or coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup vanilla kefir (or whatever yogurt you have)
  • 2 large bananas, peeled (frozen ahead of time if you remember)
  • 1 plum, frozen, quartered
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 2 dates
  • 3 ice cubes

Directions:

  1. Pour in the almond milk.
  2. Add the kefir/yogurt and chia seeds and dates, to soak a bit and soften.
  3. Add the frozen plum.
  4. Add the two bananas, halved.
  5. Rinse your blueberries, and de-stem them if needed, before adding.
  6. Add the ice cubes. Blend all. Serve cold.

I froze my plums that I had quartered and de-pitted. I now have two more cut plums sitting in the freezer for the next couple of smoothies.

~Jessica

Blueberry banana smoothie

IMG_20180813_093705

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond or coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate kefir (or whatever yogurt you have)
  • 2 large bananas, peeled (frozen ahead of time if you remember)
  • 3/4 cup blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 3 ice cubes

Directions:

  1. Pour in the almond milk.
  2. Add the two bananas, halved.
  3. Rinse your blueberries, and de-stem them if needed.
  4. Add the kefir and chia seeds.
  5. Add the ice cubes. Blend until ready to serve.

I read that you can also freeze plums with a similarly nice slushie effect, so I quartered and de-pitted one for the next batch, sitting in the freezer now.

~Jessica

Green berry smoothie

IMG_20180708_222343-COLLAGE.jpg

Adapted from Diethood

Ingredients:
FOR THE BERRIES-MIXTURE
1-1/2 cups halved strawberries
1 banana
1/2- cup plain yogurt (I used Lifeway pomegranate kefir)
2 tablespoons honey
1 cup crushed ice
FOR THE GREENS-MIXTURE
2 cups torn kale leaves , packed (I used baby spinach)
1 green apple , quartered (optional)
1 banana
1/2 cup plain yogurt (I use Stonyfield Organic whole milk)
1/4 cup coconut/soy milk
2 tablespoons honey
1 cup crushed ice

Directions:
Freeze strawberries and 1 banana for 20 minutes. During that time, blend the kale, 1 banana, yogurt, honey, and ice until smooth and creamy. Divide into four portions and freeze for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, blend frozen strawberries, banana, yogurt, honey, and ice until creamy and smooth. Pour strawberry smoothie over kale and serve immediately.

Summertime means looking for cold, fresh, in-season recipes. This hits all the right spots for breakfast and a sweet treat. Plus, spinach has iron for us anemics!

~Jessica

 

Green monster smoothie

Adapted from Oh She Glows

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond or coconut milk 
  • 1/2 cup kefir or plain yogurt 
  • 1-2 cup de-stemmed baby spinach 
  • 1 large ripe frozen banana, peeled and chopped into chunks 
  • 3/4 cup blueberries/strawberries 
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds 
  • Pinch of ground cinnamon 
  • 2-4 ice cubes

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in blender.
  2. Serve cold. Feel free to use whatever berries or fruit are in season!

I prefer the flavor of almond milk and whole milk kefir. Make sure you chop the banana before freezing, or it will get messy — peeling a browned slimy peel off freezing cold bananas. Perfect for summer!

~Jessica