The Kooky Couple & Indian Food

Sunday, February 21, 2010

We finished our Valentine's Day celebration with a yummy, yummy dessert, but rest assured we stuffed ourselves with plenty of good, nutritious food beforehand. Good, nutritious Indian food, that is. Yummy.

Any good Indian dinner starts off with samosas. Most of our recipes were from an Indian cookbook featuring lighter recipes, so our samosas were made with phyllo dough and baked. More traditionally samosas are made with a pastry dough and deep fried.

I became a pro at rolling these babies into perfect little triangles, and because they weren't as heavy, we could eat waaaaay more of them. See recipe at the end of the post if you feel like trying these out.

We decided to make a chicken tikka masala as our main course. The recipe was pretty straightforward, but we honestly didn't LOVE it. Fortunately, we had an extra pound of chicken that we needed to use, so at the last minute Steve decided to add in another dish...

We made some butter chicken. Divine! Just spicy enough, tender chicken and a great tasting sauce. However, this did not come from the "light" cookbook which also helps. Plenty of butter went into this dish! Because of its extra deliciousness, the recipe for this will be at the end of this post as well.

To accompany everything, we made some tomato rice that featured yellow pepper, green chile, tomato and potato. Good but not mind blowing.

Finally, the naan. Hmm. I love making bread. I've tried my hand at everything from bagels to brioche and everything in between. But something about this naan just wasn't "it." Maybe the recipe? Maybe the execution? I'm not sure. After baking it we pan fried it with some butter to help with the taste and texture, but next time around I would try a different recipe and also buy some from the store as a backup plan.

And, finally, we enjoyed a bottle of sparkling shiraz. If you haven't tried it, you must. It's a red (obviously), but because it's sparkling it is very light. You will down a bottle in the blink of an eye.

We definitely had our failures and successes for our foray into Indian cooking. We dirtied everything pot/pan/utensil in our kitchen. At least once. I bought and blended a lot of exotic spices. We learned that cilantro and coriander were the same thing. I'm even more of a whiz at working with phyllo dough than I was before. And, most importantly, Steve and I had a such a fun day of cooking, trying to new flavors and techniques, and enjoying each other's company in the kitchen. I couldn't have asked for a better first Valentine's Day as a married couple!

Makhani Chicken (Indian Butter Chicken)

1 3/4 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cubed
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon chili powder salt to taste
1 cup yogurt salt to taste
2 tablespoons garlic paste
1/2 tablespoon garam masala
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 tablespoons ginger paste
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon garam masala
1 tablespoon ginger paste
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon chopped green chile pepper
2 cups tomato puree
1 tablespoon chili powder salt to taste
1 cup water 1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves
1 cup heavy cream Directions

To Marinate: Place chicken in a nonporous glass dish or bowl with lemon juice, 1 tablespoon chili powder and salt. Toss to coat; cover dish and refrigerate to marinate for 1 hour.

Drain yogurt in a cloth for 15 to 20 minutes. Place in a medium bowl; mix in salt, garlic paste, garam masala, butter, chili powder, ginger paste, lemon juice and oil. Pour yogurt mixture over chicken, replace cover and refrigerate to marinate for another 3 to 4 hours.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Place chicken on skewers. Place skewers in a 9x13 inch baking dish and bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until almost cooked through.

To Make Sauce: Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in garam masala. When masala begins to crackle, mix in ginger paste, chopped garlic and green chile peppers. Saute until tender, then stir in tomato puree, chili powder, salt and water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring in honey and fenugreek. Place chicken in sauce mixture. Continue cooking for another 5 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink inside. Stir in fresh cream.

Vegetable Samosas
From The New Indian Cooking Course

Note: this recipe makes 28 samosas. Cut down the quantities as needed.

14 sheets of phyllo pastry, thawed and wrapped in a damp dish towel
Oil for brushing the pastries
3 large potatoes, boiled and coarsely mashed
1/4 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/3 cup canned sweetcorn, drained
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dry mango powder (amchur)
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 green chillies, finely chopped
2 T coriander leaves, chopped
2 T mint leaves, chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt, to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degree F. Gut each sheet of phyllo pastry in half lengthways and fold each piece in half lengthways to give 28 thin stripes. Lightly brush with oil.

Toss all the the filling ingredients together in a large mixing bowl until they are well blended. Adjust the seasoning with salt and lemon juice if necessary.

Using one strip of the pastry at a time, place 1 T of the filing mixture at one end of the strip and diagonally fold the pastry up to form a triangle shape. Brush the samosas with oil and bake in the oven fro 10-15 minutes, until golden brown.

Note: I found that flipping them halfway through the baking time ensures both sides brown up.


Charlene said...

that looks sooo yummy!

mmrife1 said...

Sounds like a great exprience. You two are very ambitious! Inspires me to go above and beyond the frozen California Pizza Kitchen I'm about to through in the oven :)

Thanks for sharing!

Mrs. Hot Cocoa said...

Ooh, those samosas look delicious. We haven't had Indian in such a long time, and now I'm so very very hungry.

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