Category Archives: Curry

Mulligatawny!

Before I talk about the recipe I have to make a few other comments. You may be wondering why on earth this guy would be posting  a recipe for soup in the middle of summer, or at least early summer. Nonetheless, it’s hot outside. Well, the answer to this is twofold…one is that it was on the menu where I work (so I had to make it), but also because I really enjoy this soup. But the less obvious reason (to most, I think) is that even though spicy food is often thought of as “warming foods” for cold weather, spicy foods originate in hot climates and are naturally eaten there. Spicy foods, in fact, act as a natural air conditioner of sorts…they make you sweat which cools you off. Spicy foods are also known to stimulate the appetite, which may be lacking during steamy weather (interesting how nature takes care of us). Anyhow, mulligatawny is a curried chicken and rice soup of British-Indian origin. It is really easy to make and really delicious (it freezes well also, in the even you make too much of it). The recipe below is a basic one; when I make it for myself I add more hot pepper or a splash of hot pepper sauce. It is, without doubt, a meal in itself.

Mulligatawny
Makes about 3 quarts.
3 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, diced
3 ribs celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 slices ginger, minced
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed hot pepper
4 tablespoons flour
1 apple, diced
6 cups chicken broth
3 cups diced, cooked chicken
1/2 cup cooked white rice
Heat the butter in a heavy-bottomed pot, add the onion, celery, carrot, and red bell pepper, sauté over medium heat until translucent. Add the garlic and ginger, sauté 2 minutes. Stir in the sugar, curry, cumin, pepper, salt, and hot pepper, sauté 2 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook for 5 minutes over low heat while stirring. Add the apple, stir in the chicken broth and chicken; simmer for 20 minutes. Stir in the rice just before serving.

Crispy Baked Tofu Marinated in Yogurt and Spices

So I have to start off with what has become a sort of mantra for my recipes on this blog…this is really easy to make and super delicious. It is so delicious, in fact, a carnivore or someone who says they do not like tofu would like this (really). It’s probably pretty good for you as well. It is great as a sandwich component or on top a salad, but it can also be eaten as is, as a sort of healthy snack.

Crispy Baked Tofu Marinated in Yogurt and Spices
1 (14 ounce) package extra firm tofu
1 cup plain yogurt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon curry
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon crushed hot pepper
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
Remove the tofu from its package and drain it. Place it between two plates to allow the weight of a plate (or two) to press out additional moisture. Drain the tofu again and slice it into ½ inch slices, then lay it on a baking sheet. To make the marinade, combine the yogurt, lemon, garlic curry, turmeric, hot pepper, cumin, and salt. Mix the marinade, then pour it over the tofu, gently turning it to coat all sides. Preheat an oven to 400F and allow the tofu to marinate at room temperature for 10-15 minutes. Transfer the tofu to a clean baking sheet that is fitted with a wire rack (if you have one, otherwise place it directly on the baking sheet but lightly oil it first). Sprinkle the sesame seeds across the tofu and bake it for about 20-30 minutes, or until firm and slightly crisp (rotate the pan every 5 minutes or so for even cooking). This is delicious on a sandwich, salad, or as a simple snack; it can be eaten hot, room temperature, or chilled.

Urban Simplicity.

Carrot Vichyssoise with Curry, Yogurt, and Parsley Purée

I’ve posted this recipe before but not in quite a while. It is an excellent spring soup and can be served hot or chilled. The only variation in the recipe (there always has to be one) is that I did not include a recipe for the parsley puree. This is done easily by combining washed parsley and plain yogurt in a blender and pureeing until very smooth. And the images below illustrate how to garnish it as if it were served in a restaurant. The only tools you need are an ordinary squirt bottle and a knife. There are plenty of designs and this is a simple one. Draw lines in the soup and gently draw the tip of a pointy knife back and forth through the puree. 

Carrot Soup with Ginger, Curry and Yogurt
Yield: 2 quarts
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 small onion, diced
2 teaspoons minced ginger
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1-2 tablespoons curry powder
2 tablespoon honey or sugar
1-1/2 pounds peeled, diced carrots
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup plain yogurt
Heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a heavy soup pot. Add the onion, ginger and garlic; sauté for 5 minutes, or until the onions are translucent. Add the curry and honey; sauté 2 minutes. Add the carrots, broth, and salt. Bring the soup to a boil, then lower it to a simmer; skim any impurities that may rise to the surface. Cook the soup for approximately 45 minutes, or until the carrots are very soft. Remove the soup from the heat and stir in the yogurt. Transfer the soup, in batches, to a blender or food processor and purée until very smooth. Return the soup to the pot and warm it, but do not boil (boiling it may curdle the yogurt). Serve hot or chilled. 

Spicy Vegetable Ragout (or a really hearty soup)

So a few things about this recipe. The first is that it is really delicious (really, really delicious). Another is that it–like most recipes that I post on this blog–can be tailored to suit your needs or cravings. I am not by any means a vegetarian–though I have flirted with the idea–but sometimes I simply do not want meat. The reason I mention this is that if you want to try this recipe but do want some sort of meat in it, nearly any would be suited for these strong spices, you could even add a heartier seafood such as shrimp. The vegetables them selves are–of course–interchangeable; I simply used what I had at hand. This ended up being pretty spicy, but it goes without saying that the spices can be toned down. Anyhow, this really hit the spot on a cold, cold day. And did I mention how delicious this is?

Spicy Vegetable Ragout
Makes about 1 gallon
4 tablespoons canola oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 head celery, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 medium zucchini, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 rutabaga, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 tablespoon turmeric
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon (pinch) saffron threads
1 teaspoon whole cumin seed
1 teaspoon whole caraway seed
1 teaspoon whole coriander seed
1 teaspoon crushed hot pepper
4 small dried chilies (optional)
1 cup (6 ounces) lentils
2 quarts vegetable broth
1 medium potato, peeled and diced
6 plum tomatoes
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 lemon, sliced thin
Heat the oil in a heavy soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, celery, carrot, zucchini, bell pepper, and rutabaga. Stir the vegetables, then cover the pot to allow them to “sweat” for a few minutes. Stir the vegetables, then allow them to sweat another minute or so. Remove the lid and stir in the garlic and all of the spices. Cook the vegetables, garlic, and spices for a few minutes, stirring often. Add the lentils—stirring to coat them with oil and spices—then stir in the broth. Bring the ragout to a boil, then lower it to a simmer. Add the potato, tomatoes, salt, and sliced lemon. Simmer the ragout for about 30-45 minutes, or until the lentils are tender. If the stew becomes too thick add more liquid.

Urban Simplicity.

The Flavor of Curry…

I love the flavor of curry (heck, I love the flavor of most spices in general). I love how spices look, their aroma (how they perfume the house when you cook with them), but mostly I love how they taste and that they can make even the simplest foods into something really flavorful and special. Case-in-point…Curried Split Pea Soup. I enjoy traditional split pea soup (click here for a recipe) but sometimes I don’t want the meat (mainly, ham) but still want a hearty split peas soup. So I made this version. And let me say this about it: Firstly, this is so easy to make even someone who claims not to know how to cook can make it. And secondly, this is so delicious you’ll not be able to stop eating it (I ate it for the past 3 dinners…no joke). In this recipe, which is below, I used a good quality (and spicy) curry blend which I purchased from Penzys, but often–more often than not, actually–I make my own spice blend (click here for an easy homemade curry blend). Whichever you use, this is super easy to make, nutritious, and really delicious.

Yellow Split Pea Soup with Curry and Caramelized Onions
Makes about 3 quarts
Heat 3 tablespoons canola oil or clarified butter in a heavy pot (I prefer cast-iron) over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook them—stirring frequently—for about five minutes, or until they start to brown, then stir in 3 cloves of minced garlic and cook for another minute or so. Lower the heat and stir in 2-4 tablespoons (or more) of your favorite curry powder, and add any of your other favorite spices as well (such as extra cumin, turmeric, coriander, or chilies; all of which should be in the curry powder already). Stir the spices for a minute or so in the hot fat to bring out their flavors, then stir in 3 cups of yellow split peas and about 10 cups of chicken broth (if you want to keep this vegetarian use vegetable broth). Season the soup with a teaspoon or two of kosher salt (being careful if you are using canned broth which is already salted) and bring the soup to a rolling boil. Allow the soup to boil for a minute then turn it down to a simmer. Cook the soup for about an hour—stirring it frequently—and add more liquid if it becomes too thick. Just before removing it from the heat stir in about 1/4 cup of fresh lemon or lime juice and—if you have it on hand and enjoy it’s flavor—also stir in a handful of chopped cilantro.

The Soup that I Grew…

There is, I believe, nothing more satisfying than a good bowl of soup and homemade bread. Okay…so maybe there is, but you’ve got to admit the combination is really good. Anyhow, believe-it-or-not, I am still harvesting vegetables from the garden in the rear of my house (yes, in October and in Western NY). I made this yesterday and ate it with a few slices of whole wheat bread (click here for multiple recipes and pics on how to make whole wheat bread). The unseasonably warm temperatures yesterday plummeted by about 30 degrees in 2 hours, and the house sure felt–and smelled–cozy with a pot of curried vegetable soup on the stove. There’s a really basic recipe below; use it more as a guide…add or subtract whatever vegetables and spices you like (or add meat as well). Some of the vegetables that I harvested and used in this recipe are pictured below as well.

Curried Vegetable Soup
Makes about 12 cups
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 small onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 parsnip, diced
1 turnip, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon cumin seed
2 teaspoons crushed hot pepper
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup diced cabbage
1 cup chopped cauliflower
1 cup diced tomatoes
1 cup chopped kale
8 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup lemon juice

Heat the oil in a medium soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, parsnip, and turnip. Cook the vegetables in the oil for about five minutes, allowing them to release their flavor but not brown. Add the garlic, curry, turmeric, cumin, hot pepper, and salt; saute for another couple minutes. Stir in the cabbage, cauliflower, tomatoes and kale; stir to coat the vegetables with oil and spices. Stir in the broth. Bring it to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer. Cook the soup for 30-60 minutes, skimming as necessary; if it becomes to thick add more broth. Taste it for seasoning, and add the lemon juice just before serving.

Raw Vegetable Salad with Oil-Braised Garlic and Near East Spices

This vegetable salad is so delicious it’s making my mouth water as I look at the picture; it’s also exceedingly easy to make. You can use whatever vegetables you prefer, or whatever seasonings you prefer. The recipe is below, but these are the basic steps.

Slice, chop, or shred whatever vegetables you like.
Put the vegetables in a bowl and sprinkle salt over them.
Slow-cook whole garlic cloves in olive oil.
Add spices to the pan and remove from the heat.
Stir the still-hot oil-garlic-spice mixture into the vegetables
Stir in lemon juice.

Here it is in pictures, a recipe is below.

Raw Vegetable Salad with Oil-Braised Garlic and Near East Spices
 
Makes about 12 portions, but the recipe may easliy be reduced in size.
Slice, chop, and shred enough of your favorite vegetables to feed 12 people (I used red onion, cabbage, carrot, zucchini, asparagus, red bell pepper, celery, cucumber, and green beans). Mix the vegetables together in a large bowl and sprinkle 1 tablespoon of kosher salt over them; mix the vegetables again and set aside. In a small skillet, combine 1 cup of olive oil and up to 25 whole garlic cloves (their sharpness is greatly diminished when they braise). Place the pan over low-medium heat and cook the garlic for about 20-30 minutes…it will simmer for quite a while before it begins to brown, if it browns too quickly the heat is too high. After the garlic is lightly browned and soft enough that it can be mashed with the back of a spoon, remove it from the heat. Stir into the oil-garlic mixture–while it is still hot–1 tablespoon curry, 1 tablespoon black sesame seed, 2 teaspoons crushed hot pepper, 2 teaspoons whole coriander seed, 2 teaspoons whole cumin seed, and 2 teaspoons whole mustard seed. All the spices to cook in the hot oil for about 30 seconds, stirring them gently, then pour this mixture over the raw vegetables. Add 1/2 cup of lemon juice and gently stir the salad. Allow it to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Spiced Lentil Soup

I really enjoy lentils….and I’m grateful that I do. Because not only are they super-healthy for you, they are also a great medium for all sorts of flavors and textures…and not just vegetarian recipes. Anyhow, a purveyor at work gave me a couple pounds of these lentils as a sample (pictured above)…beautiful aren’t they? I made the below soup recipe for staff lunch today…it was so good (if I do say so myself) I had a double serving. It’s also really easy to make. And while I used the above multi-colored lentils, any lentil will do…some just take longer to cook than others. The spices I used (pictured below and also listed in the recipe) are also interchangeable…add or subtract whatever suits your personal taste. And listed at the bottom of this post are a few links of other easy and  delicious lentil recipes.

Spiced Lentil Soup
Makes about 3 quarts
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon curry powder
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 teaspoon whole fennel seed
1 teaspoon whole coriander seed
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 pound lentils (about a cup)
3 cups diced tomatoes
8 cups chicken or vegetable broth
½ cup lemon juice
Heat the oil over medium-high heat in aheavy soup pot. Add the onion, carrot, bell pepper; saute untiltranslucent but not browned. Add the garlic and saute another minute.Lower the heat and add the curry, paprika, cumin, turmeric, fennel,coriander, and salt. Stir the spices for about a minute to bring outtheir flavor, than add the lentils; stirring to coat with the oil andspices. Add the tomatoes and broth; bring the soup to a boil thenlower to a simmer. Cook the soup for about 30 minutes, then add thelemon juice. Continue to simmer the soup for another 30 minutes, oruntil the lentils are very soft. If too much liquid evaporates addmore as needed.
 For other lentil recipes on this blog follow these links:

Curried Red Lentils with Shrimp, Potato, and Peas

This recipe is so easy and delicious you’ll wonder why you don’t make it more often. It’s a classic dal recipe that can be used with shrimp–as with this recipe–chicken, lamb, beef, or vegetarian. It’s good to make a large batch of the spiced lentils because they freeze well and you’ll have them in a hurry when you’re busy and can use them as a base for other Near East recipes.. The recipe below is a basic one, and the one that I made tonight. Add more spice if you like (I added chipotle chili powder…I like it spicy). And if you are adding meat or seafood to the recipe add it appropriately…hearty meats–such as lamb or beef–should be added in the beginning and allow it to stew with the lentils, but more delicate foods–such as fish or shrimp–should be added about 5 or 10 minutes before serving; this is also when to add the peas.

Curried Red Lentilsand Potatoes
Yield: 4-6 servings
3 tablespoons vegetable oil orclarified butter
1 small onion, peeled and diced
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1-2 tablespoons Madras curry powder
2 medium potatoes, peeled anddiced into 1″ cubes
1-1/2 cups red lentils
3 cups chicken broth or vegetablebroth
1 cup diced tomatoes, fresh orcanned
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Heat the oil or butter in a small heavysauce pot over medium heat and add the onion and garlic. Sauté theonion and garlic for 5 minutes, or until translucent but not browned.Lower the heat, add the curry powder, and sauté the spices with theonions for an additional 5 minutes, stirring often and taking greatcare not to burn the spices. Add the potatoes and lentils; stir themto coat them with the fat and spices.
Add the chicken or vegetable brothalong with the tomatoes, salt and lemon juice. Bring the liquid to aboil, lower it to a very low simmer and skim any impurities that mayhave risen to the surface. Slowly cook the lentils and potatoes forapproximately 45 minutes, or until they are fully cooked and thelentils have begun to lose their shape and thicken the brothconsiderably. If it becomes too thick, simply add a desired amount ofadditional broth. Serve over steamed basmati rice.

Things That Can be Carried on a Bike (#383), a Minor Confession, a Very Brief Story, and a Recipe

Things on the bike…4lbs/1.8kgs of green and yellow split peas.

My minor confession…for the past three days, even though the streets have been snow-free, other than a few small jaunts I have relied mostly on my truck for transport. This is mostly–but not entirely–because of family gatherings outside the city. I also have not had much physical/aerobic exercise in the past few days (and have eaten a lot);  I really cannot imagine living a lifestyle like this all the time…riding a bike and getting exercise, for me, is more than just about the physical aspect, it–or lack of it–effects my emotional state as well. I’ll be back on track tomorrow. 

The brief story…as I was loading the split peas on the bike today it reminded me of an incident that occurred just about 20 years ago. I was riding a Raleigh at the time (click here to see it) and was carrying a loose bag of red lentils on the rear rack. At that time in my life, unlike today, I was addicted to speed; no I am not talking about the chemical drug, I am talking about going really fast on a bike. I was flying down Niagara Street on my way to work. I don’t know how fast I was going, but likely it was pretty fast. That bike is fast and I would also lean way over the handlebars to be more aerodynamic. Anyway, as I was speeding down Niagara Street a slow moving van decides to make a right turn directly in front of me, forcing me to slam on the brakes…thankfully I had just started wearing a helmet around this time. What happened next was like a slow motion action film, and though it happened 20 years ago I recall it vividly. The rear wheel came off the ground as I slammed on both the front and rear brake. Stupidly, I turned to grab the bag of red lentils (yes, my life was in danger but I was still concerned about spilling the lentils), and as I turned the front tire turned as well…bringing the bike–but not me–to an immediate stop, sort of vaulting me up and over the handlebars. I hit the pavement on my side, knocking the wind out of me (if you’ve ever had this happen you know how painful and uncomfortable that is). Now here’s the interesting part. This happened on a street corner, and I landed in front of a small group of people waiting for a metro bus. And as I lay there clutching my side and gasping for air guess who the first person to ask me if I was OK….it was a young girl, maybe 10 years old. Others did come to my rescue; maybe they were initially in shock of this guy falling directly in front of them. The van never stopped (likely didn’t even know what they did)…but I saved the lentils. And this is what I was thinking about as I loaded the split peas on the Mundo today (I pedal much slower and sit upright today).

The recipe…this recipe is actually the outcome of two holiday dinners; Thanksgiving and Christmas. The day after Thanksgiving I made this broth utilizing the leftover carcass and then froze most of it. And two days ago, after having ham at our Christmas dinner, I diluted some of the broth with water and re-simmered it with the ham bone for flavor…delicious. Split pea soup recipes are pretty standard but what’s different about this one is how I seasoned it…with a bit of chilies, curry, cumin, fennel, and tandoori spice. The recipe I made today is below.

Spiced Split Pea Soup with Ham

Simmer a ham bone, which still contains a bit of meat on, it in broth or water for an hour or so. Remove the bone and strain the broth; remove any meat from the bone; dice or shred the meat and discard the bone. Heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a heavy soup pot, then add a diced onion and carrot (and a stalk of celery if you have it). Cook the vegetables until they begin to brown, then add a couple cloves of minced garlic. Cook it another couple minutes and add whatever seasonings you like (I used chilies, curry, cumin, fennel, and tandoori spice), cook them in the oil for a minute then add split peas, stirring them in the oil and spices. Then add the broth (6-8 cups for every pound of split peas). Bring the liquid to a boil then lower it to a slow simmer. Season it with salt and pepper. Cook the soup slowly for about and hour, or until the peas are thoroughly soft and mashed. Stir the soup often to alleviate scorching. If the soup become too thick, add more broth or water. I like to make mine thick enough that–if I want–I can serve it over steamed rice for a more complete meal. This soup is even more delicious the second day, and leftovers–if there are any–freezes well. If you’d like to see a recipe for 3-bean soup using the same broth, click here.

Urban Simplicity.

Dal

Mmm…I love Indian food. I love how it tastes; I love how it smells; I love how it looks…and I love how it makes me feel when I eat it. I’ll be serving the dal over saffron infused basmati rice tomorrow. Easy to make, nutritious, and delicious.

Curried Red Lentils and Potatoes

Yield: 4-6 servings
3 tablespoons vegetable oil or clarified butter
1 small onion, peeled and diced
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon Madras curry powder
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced into 1″ cubes
1-1/2 cups red lentils
3 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
1 cup diced tomatoes, fresh or canned
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

Heat the oil or butter in a small heavy saucepot over medium heat and add the onion and garlic. Sauté the onion and garlic for 5 minutes, or until translucent but not browned. Lower the heat, add the curry powder, and sauté the spices with the onions for an additional 5 minutes, stirring often and taking great care not to burn the spices. Add the potatoes and lentils; stir them to coat them with the fat and spices.

Add the chicken or vegetable broth along with the tomatoes, salt and lemon juice. Bring the liquid to a boil, lower it to a very low simmer and skim any impurities that may have risen to the surface. Slowly cook the lentils and potatoes for approximately 45 minutes, or until they are fully cooked and the lentils have begun to lose their shape and thicken the broth considerably. If it becomes too thick, simply add a desired amount of additional broth. Serve over steamed basmati rice.

Simple Madras-Style Curry Powder
Yield: 1/2 cup
3 tablespoons ground cumin
3 tablespoons quality chili powder
2 tablespoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground fenugreek
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Mix all the spices thoroughly and store away from direct sunlight in a jar with a tight fitting lid.

>Dal

>Mmm…I love Indian food. I love how it tastes; I love how it smells; I love how it looks…and I love how it makes me feel when I eat it. I’ll be serving the dal over saffron infused basmati rice tomorrow. Easy to make, nutritious, and delicious.

Curried Red Lentils and Potatoes

Yield: 4-6 servings
3 tablespoons vegetable oil or clarified butter
1 small onion, peeled and diced
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon Madras curry powder
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced into 1″ cubes
1-1/2 cups red lentils
3 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
1 cup diced tomatoes, fresh or canned
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

Heat the oil or butter in a small heavy saucepot over medium heat and add the onion and garlic. Sauté the onion and garlic for 5 minutes, or until translucent but not browned. Lower the heat, add the curry powder, and sauté the spices with the onions for an additional 5 minutes, stirring often and taking great care not to burn the spices. Add the potatoes and lentils; stir them to coat them with the fat and spices.

Add the chicken or vegetable broth along with the tomatoes, salt and lemon juice. Bring the liquid to a boil, lower it to a very low simmer and skim any impurities that may have risen to the surface. Slowly cook the lentils and potatoes for approximately 45 minutes, or until they are fully cooked and the lentils have begun to lose their shape and thicken the broth considerably. If it becomes too thick, simply add a desired amount of additional broth. Serve over steamed basmati rice.

Simple Madras-Style Curry Powder
Yield: 1/2 cup
3 tablespoons ground cumin
3 tablespoons quality chili powder
2 tablespoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground fenugreek
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Mix all the spices thoroughly and store away from direct sunlight in a jar with a tight fitting lid.

Yellow Chicken and Brown Rice

This is yet another variation of chicken-and-rice that I made for my son and I for dinner tonight. All cultures seem to have their own version of chicken-and-rice and many are made using the same method but with different seasonings (and a few other ingredients, of course). In this version I used chicken wings instead of breast or thigh (doesn’t every Buffalonian have chicken wings in their freezer?); I also used brown rice instead of white. After sauteing the wings in a skillet I added curry and tandoori spice to them (hence the yellow), then I made a traditional  brown rice pilaf to which I added the browned and seasoned wings (to finish their cooking as the rice cooked). Here’s the recipe (in pictures); if you’d like to see other variations of this (with pictures and printable recipes), including my favorite, click here, here, or here.

>Yellow Chicken and Brown Rice

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This is yet another variation of chicken-and-rice that I made for my son and I for dinner tonight. All cultures seem to have their own version of chicken-and-rice and many are made using the same method but with different seasonings (and a few other ingredients, of course). In this version I used chicken wings instead of breast or thigh (doesn’t every Buffalonian have chicken wings in their freezer?); I also used brown rice instead of white. After sauteing the wings in a skillet I added curry and tandoori spice to them (hence the yellow), then I made a traditional  brown rice pilaf to which I added the browned and seasoned wings (to finish their cooking as the rice cooked). Here’s the recipe (in pictures); if you’d like to see other variations of this (with pictures and printable recipes), including my favorite, click here, here, or here.

Curried Vegetable and Lamb Ragout (in pictures)

This is a very simple yet hearty and flavorful ragout. The method for a dish like this is about as simple as it gets: Saute or sweat whatever ingredients you have at hand or want to eat–meat, fish, poultry, or just vegetables–then add seasonings, liquid (broth and sometimes wine) and simmer for a while. Having made a recent trip to Penzy’s spices (and spending a tad too much money there), and lamb being my preferred red meat, I made this stew. I love to cook this type of food at home–one dish meals that are self contained and easy to clean up–to see other versions with recipes and pictures click here, here, here, or here.

>Curried Vegetable and Lamb Ragout (in pictures)

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This is a very simple yet hearty and flavorful ragout. The method for a dish like this is about as simple as it gets: Saute or sweat whatever ingredients you have at hand or want to eat–meat, fish, poultry, or just vegetables–then add seasonings, liquid (broth and sometimes wine) and simmer for a while. Having made a recent trip to Penzy’s spices (and spending a tad too much money there), and lamb being my preferred red meat, I made this stew. I love to cook this type of food at home–one dish meals that are self contained and easy to clean up–to see other versions with recipes and pictures click here, here, here, or here.

Employee Meal: 19 January 2011

Tandoori Chicken Breasts and Thighs (and also Tofu), served with Basmati Rice Pilaf

Curry Powder
Yield: 1/2 cup
3 tablespoons ground cumin
3 tablespoons quality chili powder
2 tablespoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground fenugreek
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Mix all the spices thoroughly and store away from direct sunlight in a jar with a tight fitting lid.

Simple Tandoori-Style Chicken Breasts 

Yield: 4 servings

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup plain yogurt
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons curry powder
2 fresh jalapeno chilies, seeded
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 small onion, diced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
4 boneless chicken breasts

Combine in a food processor the lemon juice, yogurt, garlic, curry, jalapeno, ginger, salt, black pepper, and onion. Puree until smooth. Add the cilantro and pulse the processor just until combined. Using a sharp knife make a few slashes across each side of the chicken breasts, being careful not to cut all the way through. Transfer the chicken to a shallow pan and pour the yogurt mixture over, turning the chicken to ensure it is thoroughly coated. Refrigerate and marinate the chicken for 2-4 hours. Remove some of the marinade and discard it. Grill or roast the chicken breasts until cooked. The chicken breasts make excellent sandwiches or main course with basmati rice.
Basmati Pilaf with Almonds and Raisins
Yield: about 6 cups
2 tablespoons clarified butter
1/2 cup diced onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon saffron threads
1 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups Basmati rice or other long grain rice
3 cups hot chicken broth
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup toasted almonds

Heat the butter in a heavy-bottomed pot. Add the onion and garlic; sauté over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the saffron, salt, and pepper; sauté another minute. Stir in the rice and broth. Cover the pot and for 15 minutes. Remove the rice from the stove and allow it to rest for 5 minutes. Stir in the raisins and toasted almonds.
 

>Employee Meal: 19 January 2011

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Tandoori Chicken Breasts and Thighs (and also Tofu), served with Basmati Rice Pilaf

Curry Powder
Yield: 1/2 cup
3 tablespoons ground cumin
3 tablespoons quality chili powder
2 tablespoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground fenugreek
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Mix all the spices thoroughly and store away from direct sunlight in a jar with a tight fitting lid.

Simple Tandoori-Style Chicken Breasts 

Yield: 4 servings

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup plain yogurt
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons curry powder
2 fresh jalapeno chilies, seeded
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 small onion, diced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
4 boneless chicken breasts

Combine in a food processor the lemon juice, yogurt, garlic, curry, jalapeno, ginger, salt, black pepper, and onion. Puree until smooth. Add the cilantro and pulse the processor just until combined. Using a sharp knife make a few slashes across each side of the chicken breasts, being careful not to cut all the way through. Transfer the chicken to a shallow pan and pour the yogurt mixture over, turning the chicken to ensure it is thoroughly coated. Refrigerate and marinate the chicken for 2-4 hours. Remove some of the marinade and discard it. Grill or roast the chicken breasts until cooked. The chicken breasts make excellent sandwiches or main course with basmati rice.
Basmati Pilaf with Almonds and Raisins
Yield: about 6 cups
2 tablespoons clarified butter
1/2 cup diced onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon saffron threads
1 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups Basmati rice or other long grain rice
3 cups hot chicken broth
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup toasted almonds

Heat the butter in a heavy-bottomed pot. Add the onion and garlic; sauté over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the saffron, salt, and pepper; sauté another minute. Stir in the rice and broth. Cover the pot and for 15 minutes. Remove the rice from the stove and allow it to rest for 5 minutes. Stir in the raisins and toasted almonds.