Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Indian Food - Attempt #2

Since I followed the recipe exactly earlier this month and developed a sense of the balance and taste of the new spices and key ingredients, I decided to improvise a little with last night's Indian chicken masala, with mixed results.  I wanted to incorporate tomatoes into the dish, to add more vegetables and also to use up tomatoes in the fridge, but I also liked the tangy creamy taste that yogurt added to last time's dish, and also wanted to use up extra yogurt I had leftover from making tzaziki.  The resulting dish tasted good with lots of flavor, better than last time, but the texture was a bit off; I think that the acid from the tomatoes caused the yogurt to separate a bit.  Or perhaps I just added too much water and that caused the yogurt to separate.  The chemistry of cooking is a funny thing that I'm still learning about, mostly through trial and error, so lesson learned.  I'll just have to keep working on it.  I made a simple salad topped with some chopped avocados and leftover Mexican corn and caramelized onions from the bbq, and just tossed it with some freshly squeezed lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.  It was really good and refreshing next to the hot curry and rice. Here's my recipe so you know what not to do :):
  • Marinate 1.5 lbs of chicken breasts cut into cubes in a mixture of: 1 cup of non-fat greek Fage yogurt, 1 TB of garam masala, 1 minced garlic, 1 tsp of brown sugar, 2 TB of tomato paste for an hour or more
  • Saute over medium high heat: 1 thinly sliced onion, 2 TB of minced ginger, 2 TB of minced garlic for about five minutes
  • Add 1 tsp of turmeric, 1 tsp of garam masala, 1 tsp of coriander, 1/2 tsp of cumin seeds and toast in the pan with the onion, ginger and garlic for a few seconds and then add 1 more TB of tomato paste
  • Add the marinated chicken to the pan and mix everything together
  • Add tomato, handful of chopped cilantro, 1 cup of water (I would use less, more like half a cup), 1/4 cup of yogurt and bring to a simmer and turn to low and cook until the chicken is cooked through.  Salt to taste and sprinkle with more chopped cilantro
For dessert, we had a special treat: mint chip ice cream from Sweet Rose Creamery.  It tasted as good as I remembered; super fresh minty creamy ice cream with crunchy bittersweet slivers of chocolate.  Perfect indulgence on a hot summer day!

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