Monday, March 22, 2010

Calling all Daring Cooks: Chicken Tikka Masala w/Aloo Gobi & Vegetable Biryani

I absolutely do not know what possessed me to try such a feat on a Sunday night. For some reason I devised an ambitious plan to cook an entire Indian meal at 7PM. Now don't get me wrong, the meal was absolutely delicious, just not something I would ever do at that hour again. Dinner wasn't served until 10:30PM.

I didn't realize just how involved this whole undertaking would be, however it made me enjoy it all the more! This is a great menu for entertaining guests, and could quite possibly be an impressive meal for a dinner date. You just have to promise me that you really like him [you have to really like him to slave in the kitchen that long, but if food is the way to a man's heart, this is definitely the meal to cook] because I would hate to see you go through the trouble for any old Joe.

I would like to point out that I adapted this recipe to my liking from various sources. You can omit veggies, etc, but I would recommend using the spices listed in the recipe, as it lends to the authentic flavor of Indian cooking. I suppose after cooking this a few more times I could get the time down to an an hour-and-a-half [which is still long in my book]. - If you are going to attempt this meal, I would suggest getting all of your herbs/spices from an Indian or Asian market, as they are much cheaper.

RICE TIP: Because Basmati rice is super starchy, I would recommend soaking the rice for at least 30 minutes prior to cooking. [Overnight is ideal] - Also, make sure you "wash" the rice well after soaking. Use cold water to wash the rice over a sieve, you want to do this until the water is clear.

Chicken Tikka Masala {Adapted from a plethora of recipe's}
Part A:
2 lbs. boneless chicken breast
1/4 cup yogurt
3 tsp minced ginger
3 tsp crushed garlic
1/4 tsp white pepper
1/4 tsp cumin powder
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp green cardamom powder
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp turmeric
3 tbsp lemon juice
4 tbsp vegetable oil
Melted margarine (for basting)
Part B:
5 oz. tomato paste
10 oz. tomato puree
2 lbs. tomatoes, chopped
2 tsp ginger paste
2 tsp garlic paste
2 tsp green chilies
1 tbsp red chili powder
2 tsp cloves
8 green cardamoms
Salt To Taste
3 tbsp butter
2/3 cup cream
1 tsp fenugreek
2 tsp ginger, julienned
honey to taste

Whisk all of the ingredients in Part A together in a large bowl. Add the chicken breast, cut into 2 inch cubes.
Marinate overnight in the refrigerator. Preheat oven to 350ยบ F. Bake the chicken for 8 minutes, basting with margarine twice. Drain excess marinade and bake for another 2 minutes.
While doing this, make the sauce in Part B. Deseed and chop green chilies. Put tomatoes, tomato paste and tomato puree in a pot and add approximately 4-1/4 cups of water.
Add ginger and garlic paste, green chilies, red chili powder, cloves, cardamoms, and salt. Cook over low heat until reduced to a thick sauce. Strain through a strainer and bring to a boil. Add butter and cream. Stir.
If the sauce tastes sour, add honey to taste. Add fenugreek and ginger juliennes, stir, and serve with the chicken tikka masala

Vegetable Biryiani {Adapted from numerous Indian rice recipe's}
2 cups Basmati Rice
1 cup Mixed Vegetable (cauliflower, potato, carrot, french beans)
3 Finely Sliced Onion
2 Finely Sliced Green Chillies
Salt to taste
1 tsp Red Chili Powder
1 small piece of  Cinnamon (split in half),
2 tsp Caraway Seeds
2 tsp Mustard Seeds
4 Cloves
1/2 tsp Black Pepper Powder
4 Tomato
1/2 cup Yogurt
4 tbsp Vegetable Oil
1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds 
Wash the basmati rice well before cooking.Then take rice with 3-3/4 cup water and a little salt added to it.Cook it in pressure cooker, pan, or microwave.  
Cut all the vegetables into small thin pieces and fry in oil until browned [Once brown, set aside]  
Take 1 tbsp oil in a pan and add mustard seeds, green chili, cinnamon, caraway seeds, cloves, black pepper powder and stir for about half minute. Then add onions and saute them for a minute or until golden  
Add salt and red chili powder and stir.  
Add fine chopped tomatoes and fry until they are soft.  
Add yogurt, and cook for about 2 minutes.  
Add all the fried vegetables and cook for about 5 minutes  
Add cooked rice and mix well  
Serve and garnish w/coriander leaves
    Aloo Gobi Recipe
    2 lbs Potatoes 
    2lbs Cauliflower florets
    2 tbsp Oil
    1 tsp Cumin seeds
    1 tsp. Chopped green chillies
    1 tsp Coriander Powder
    1 tsp Cumin Powder
    1/4 tsp Chili Powder
    1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
    1 tsp Chopped coriander leaves
    Salt To Taste
    Par boil the potatoes in a large saucepan of boiling water for 10 minutes. Drain well and set aside.
    Heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the cumin seeds for about 2 minutes, until they begin to splutter. Add the green chilli and fry for a further 1 minute.
    Add the cauliflower florets and fry, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add the potatoes, the ground spices and salt and cook for 7-10 minutes, until the vegetable are tender.
    Garnish the aloo gobi with coriander and serve with tomato and onion salad and pickle.


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