Indian Feast

I am huge fan of Indian food and although it can be labor intensive, I am always so happy to have made the incredible meal. I rely on Madhur Jaffrey for most of my Indian meals but also have made most of the curries from the original Time-Life series from the 60’s or 70’s. I make my own garam masala every 5 or 10 years-it is a labor of love but so worth it. All of the recipes I made this week came from Madhur Jaffeys’ Indian Cooking, which I highly recommend.
Madhur J Indian
My menu was:
Lemony Chicken with fresh coriander
vegetable oil
2 pieces fresh gingerroot, coarsely chopped (1-inch cubes)
1⁄4 cup water
2⁄3 cup water
2 1⁄2 lbs bone-in chicken breasts, skinned
5 garlic cloves, minced
7 ounces cilantro, minced (this probably equates to a ‘bunch’ of just leaves)
1⁄2 jalapeno, minced
1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1⁄2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Put the ginger and 1/4 cups water into a blender or processor. Blend until you have a paste; set aside.
Note: The original recipe doesn’t call for seasoning the chicken prior to browning, but I prefer the way the salt and pepper penetrates at this level. Also, I cut the breasts in half-or more pieces depending on size-sometimes 6 pc per breast. Procede by putting the oil in a wide, heavy pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, put in as many chicken pieces as the pan will hold in a single layer and brown on both sides. It’s not necessary to deeply brown because of the additional cook time later and they may become dry. Remove the chicken pieces with a slotted spoon and put them in a bowl. Sear all the chicken pieces this way.
Add the garlic to the hot oil. As soon as the pieces turn a medium-brown color, turn heat to medium and pour in the ginger paste. Stir-fry it for a minute. Add the fresh coriander, jalapeno, cayenne, cumin, coriander, turmeric and salt. Stir and cook for a minute.
Put in all the chicken pieces as well as any liquid that might have accumulated in the chicken bowl. Add 2/3 cup water and the lemon juice. Stir and bring to a boil. Cover tightly, turn heat to low and cook for 15 minutes.
Turn the chicken pieces over. Cover again and cook another 10 to 15 minutes or until the chicken is tender. If the sauce is too thin, uncover the pan and boil some of it away over a slightly higher heat.
Gujerati-style cabbage with carrots
3/4 pound cabbage (about 1/4 of a medium green head)
3/4 pound carrots
1/2 – 1 fresh, hot green chili
4 tablespoons oil
A pinch of ground asafetida (opt)
1 tablespoon whole black mustard seeds
1 whole, hot dried red chili
1.25 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
4 heaped tablespoons chopped fresh green coriander (opt)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Core the cabbage and cut in into fine, long shreds. Peel the carrots and grate them coarsely. Cut the green chili into thin, long strips.
Heat the oil in a wide, casserole-type pot over a medium-high flame. When hot, put in the asafetida. A second later, put in the mustard seeds. As soon as the mustard seeds begin to pop (this takes just a few seconds), put in the dried red chili. Stir once. The chili should turn dark red in seconds. Now put in the cabbage, carrots and green chili. Turn the heat down to medium and stir the vegetables around for half a minute. Add the salt, sugar, and green coriander. Stir and cook for another 4 minutes or until vegetables are just done and retain some of the their crispness. Add the lemon juice. Stir to mix. (Remove the whole red chili before serving
Spiced Basmati rice
2 cups uncooked basmati rice
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 fresh hot green chile
1/2 teaspoon very finely minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon Madhur’s Garam Masala
1 teaspoon salt
2 2/3 cups Homemade Chicken Stock Homemade Chicken Stock
Pick over rice, and place it in a large bowl. Wash rice with several changes of water. Drain.
Pour 5 cups of fresh water over the rice, and let it soak for 30 minutes. Transfer to a sieve, and let drain for 20 minutes.
Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add onion. Cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until onion has lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Add rice, green chile, garlic, Garam Masala, and salt. Stir gently until all the grains have been coated with oil, about 3 minutes. If the rice begins to stick to the bottom of the pan, reduce heat slightly.
Pour in the stock, and bring the rice to a boil. Cover with a tight-fitting lid, and reduce heat to low. Cook 25 minutes more; serve.

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