Monday, March 28, 2011

3-28-2011 A Walk on The Indian Side, Curry Free

I entered uncharted kitchen territory tonight, I cooked Indian food! The outcome was successful, and I have to admit, there was no curry involved. I am a big advocate for acquiring tastes for different foods, but when it comes to curry, I am sure I will always despise it.

The idea for this dinner has been simmering a while since I clipped a chicken tandoori recipe from a magazine. I went to look for the magazine clipping to some draw inspiration, but it was lost. No big deal. I surfed the web and was able to create my own recipes.

Our menu included:

Tandoori Chicken Breasts, Green Apple Raita (Yogurt Slaw), Roasted Aloo Gobi (Cauliflower and Potatoes), and homemade Naan (Indian Flat Bread) Recipes and Pictures below.

These recipes posed a bit of a challenge in the kashrus area because 3 of them called for yogurt (it is forbidden for Jews to mix any type of meat and dairy).
I decided to try making all of the recipes with parve plain soy yogurt, and the results were pleasing. In case you are wondering, I found the parve soy yogurt at Whole Foods.

Tandoori Chicken Breasts

4 boneless skinless Chicken Breasts
1 C. parve yogurt, plain
1 large lemon, juiced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
1 t. paprika
1 t. turmeric
1 t. ginger, preferably freshly grated, but powder is acceptable
1/2 t. cumin
1/2 t. cayenne pepper
1/4 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. coriander
1/4 t. nutmeg

Place the yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, paprika, turmeric, ginger, cumin, cayenne, cinnamon, coriander, and nutmeg in a medium bowl and mix until combined. Place into a heavy duty gallon size Ziploc and add chicken. Squeeze out extra air, and seal. Place in the refrigerator to marinate 3 hours-overnight. Grill on outdoor grill or, broil in then oven. Heat grill or preheat broiler. Cook each side for 10 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the center is no longer pink. Serve with Green Apple Raita.

Green Apple Raita
This dish is refreshing and helps take the edge off spicy dishes.

2 Granny Smith Apples, peeled and grated
1/2 C. parve yogurt, plain
1 T. fresh cilantro, finely chopped

Mix all of the above ingredients together.

Roasted Aloo Gobi (Cauliflower and Potatoes)
You can tailor the heat of this dish to your liking. If, you do not want a lot of heat, leave out the cayenne pepper.

1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
8 small red skin potatoes
juice of 1 lemon
2 T. olive oil
1/2 t. of each of the following: cayenne, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, cumin, coriander, turmeric, and paprika.
2 T. fresh cilantro, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place potatoes and cauliflower florets on a baking sheet covered with foil and sprayed with non stick spray.  Drizzle with olive oil, squeeze lemon juice over entire sheet. In a small bowl mix together the seasonings, and sprinkle on. Toss everything to evenly coat.
Roast for 50 minutes, shaking the pan every 15 minutes or so. Remove from oven, place on serving dish and sprinkle with cilantro.

Naan (bread machine)
What Indian meal would be complete without this staple flat bread? If, you want plain naan, omit the margarine and garlic salt.

1 C. water
1/3 C. parve yogurt, plain flavor
2 1/2 t. vegetable oil
1 1/2 t. honey
1 1/4 t. salt
4 C. bread flour
1 1/2 t. yeast

2 T. melted margarine, I used Smart balance light
garlic salt

Place the ingredients into bread maker pan in the order listed above ending with the yeast, or according to your bread machine's directions. Turn the bread machine on dough cycle. Check after 10 minutes to make sure a nice dough has formed, if the dough looks too sticky add a little bit more flour, if it looks dry add a little bit more water. I added a few drops of water.
When dough cycle ends, turn dough out onto counter top and using a dough cutter divide into 8 equal pieces.
Form each piece into a ball and cover with a damp towel. Let rest 20 minutes. 
Preheat oven to 500 degrees, with a pizza stone or sheet pan inside. Place the rack inside the oven 4 inches away from the top.
Roll each ball with a rolling pin to 1/3 inch thin, you want it to be very thin and circular.
Remove the hot sheet pan from the oven and place the dough on it, brush with melted margarine and sparingly sprinkle with garlic salt. 
Place into oven immediately. Cook for 1.5-2 minutes until the circle has puffed up, then switch the broiler on. Broil until the top has browned some another approx. 1.5 mins., see the above picture for reference.
Remove from oven and cover with a dish towel to keep warm.


I know I have talked about this before, but bread machines are really amazing. All you do is place the ingredients inside, push a button, and out comes dough or freshly baked bread.
I have gotten so much use out of mine, I have had it for 4 years and it is still going strong. If you don't already own one, I highly recommend trying one out. You don't have to buy a fancy model to get good results.
Here is a link to the same one I have for 58 bucks:

The different types of breads you can make with it are endless: Challah, Whole Wheat, French, Pretzels, Rolls, Pita, Focaccia, Naan, etc.  Go for it!

G'night, talk to you tomorrow, I have another yummy dinner planned.

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