Friday, February 4, 2011

Some of My Favorite Indian Recipes which-may-or-may-not-have-come-from-the-most-expensive-cookbook-I've-ever-had-in-my-possession

Peppery Chicken Curry
Ground masala

• 2 tsp coriander

• 2 tsp cumin

• ½ tsp turmeric

1 ¼ tsp black peppercorns, coarsely ground with a mortar and pestle

1 tsp salt

2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes

4 T vegetable oil

2 C sliced onion

1 ½ tsp minced garlic

1 ½ tsp minced ginger

1 tsp minced fresh green chili (Serrano or thai)

¾ C canned coconut milk

1 T ghee or butter

½ C halved or broken raw cashews

1 tsp fresh lemon juice

1. Mix together the ground masala, black pepper and ¼ tsp salt. Rub the chicken pieces with this mixture and refrigerate for 1 hour.

2. In a wide deep nonstick pan heat the oil over medium-high heat and sauté onions until they are medium brown. Add the garlic, ginger, and green chili and fry for 1 minute. Put in the marinated chicken and remaining ¾ tsp salt and fry, stirring frequently until the chicken pieces lose their pink color. Stir in ¼ C of the coconut milk and ¼ C of water, cover, and simmer for about 30 minutes over low heat.

3. Heat the ghee or butter in a frying pan. Saute the cashews until golden brown, stirring constantly over medium heat. Set aside.

4. When the chicken is cooked add the remaining ½ C coconut milk. Bring to a simmer and remove from the heat. Stir in the lemon juice and taste for salt. Garnish with cashews and serve.

Chicken with Potato and Fennel Seeds
2 small boiling potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes

2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

¾ tsp turmeric

5 T vegetable oil

2 C thinly sliced onion, plus ½ C coarsely chopped onion

1 ½ T chopped garlic

2 T chopped ginger

1 to 2 fresh green chilies (Serrano or thai), coarsely chopped

Ground masala

• 6 tsp coriander

• 1 tsp cumin

• ½ tsp cayenne

• 1/8 tsp cinnamon

• 1/8 tsp clove

1 tsp fennel seeds, coarsely ground with mortar and pestle

1 C chopped tomatoes

1 ¼ to 1 ½ tsp salt

1. Parboil the potatoes in salted water for 5 to 7 minutes. Drain.

2. Sprinkle the chicken with turmeric and coat completely. Heat 1 T of the oil in a large deep nonstick pan or dutch oven and add the chicken pieces, stirring constantly over high heat for about 5 minutes or until it loses its pink color. Transfer the chicken and juices to a bowl.

3. In the same pan, wiped clean, heat the remaining 4 tsp oil over medium-high heat. Fry the sliced onion until the edges turn brown. Remove the fried onion to a plate, leaving behind any oil in the pan.

4. In a food processor combine chopped onion, garlic, ginger, and green chili and process to a medium-fine consistency, so the largest pieces of onion are only ¼ inch big. Be sure not to liquefy the onion or it will not brown in the next step.

5. Put the chopped onion mixture in the frying pan over medium-high heat and stir constantly until the mixture turns light brown. Add another T of oil, if needed, to prevent sticking.

6. Stir in the previously browned onions, ground masala, fennel, tomatoes, and salt and fry for 2 minutes until the tomatoes become soft and begin to break up. Add ¼ C water and stir until tomatoes break down and mixture forms a paste.

7. Add the chicken and its juices, the parboiled potatoes, and another ¼ C water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. The sauce should be dark and relatively thick. Add more water if too dry, or remove cover to thicken sauce if too watery. Taste for salt.

Peppery Chickpeas

4 T vegetable oil

2 C finely chopped onions

Ground masala

• 2 tsp coriander

• 1 tsp cumin

• ¼ tsp cayenne

• ¼ tsp turmeric

2 (15 oz) cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained (3 ½ C)

1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper

¾ tsp salt

1 tsp fresh lemon juice

¼ C chopped fresh cilantro for garnish

1. Heat the oil in a nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat and sauté the onions until light brown. Add the ground masala and stir for 1 minute or until the spices give off their aroma.

2. Add the drained chickpeas, pepper, salt and about a tablespoon of water. Fry over medium heat, stirring constantly until a few of the chickpeas begin to break down. Add a tsp of water at a time if it becomes dry. The curry will have no sauce but it should be moist.

3. Stir in the lemon juice, remove from the heat, and taste for salt. Garnish with the chopped cilantro.

Spiced Meat Samosas


2 ½ C all-purpose flour

¾ tsp salt

5 T vegetable oil


¾ lb beef tenderloin

¾ C peeled, cubed boiling potatoes

3 T vegetable oil

1 C finely chopped onion

1 tsp minced garlic

1 tsp minced ginger

1-2 tsp minced fresh green chili (Serrano or thai)

Ground Masala:

• 3 tsp coriander

• 1 tsp cumin

• ¼ tsp cayenne

• ¼ tsp black pepper

• 1/8 tsp turmeric

• 1/16 tsp cinnamon

• 1/16 tsp clove

1 tsp salt

1 tsp lime juice

2 T finely chopped cilantro

Vegetable oil for deep-frying

1. Prepare the dough by combining the flour and salt in a bowl, and mixing in the oil. Sprinkle in ½ C water and work in by hand. Add more water if needed to make a stiff but pliable dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes, until the dough is smooth. Roll into golf-ball-size balls and set aside to rest for an hour.

2. To make the filling, trim the meat and cut it into roughly 2-inch cubes. Place the cubes in a food processor fitted with a chopping blade and pulse 5 to 8 times or until the meat is minced. Set aside.  (I just used regular ground beef that you get at the grocery store)

3. In a saucepan boil the potatoes in salted water until very tender (about 15 mins depending on the size of the cubes). Drain them and mash thoroughly with a potato masher until no chunks remain. Set aside.

4. In a nonstick frying pan, heat the oil and sauté the onion until nicely browned. Add the garlic, ginger, and green chili and fry for 1 minute. Stir in the ground masala and salt and fry briefly. Finally add the meat and stir constantly over medium-high heat until all the pink color disappears. Remove from the heat and cool slightly.

5. Add the lime juice, cilantro and mashed potatoes and blend the mixture with your hands until it becomes a smooth dense ball.

6. To form the samosas, roll out the golf-ball-size balls of dough with a rolling pin into 6-inch disks about 1/16 inch think. Cut the disks in half and form a cone by folding the cut edge in half and pinching the edges together to seal tightly. Fill the cone with a tablespoon of filling and pinch together the top edges to seal them closed. Be sure there are no holes or the filling will spill when fried. Repeat with the rest of the dough.

7. Heat 2 to 3 inches of vegetable oil in a wok to about 350 degrees F. Test by taking a tiny piece of dough and dropping it in the oil. If it immediately rises to the surface the oil is hot enough. Fry 4 or 5 at a time, turning frequently until they turn deep golden brown (3 to 5 minutes). If they brown too quickly, reduce the heat. Drain them on paper towels and serve warm.

Yield: 30

Recipe may be prepared in advance through step 6.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Deer Creek Canyon

I convinced James to go hiking at Deer Creek Canyon on Saturday morning.  It was really pretty and cold in the morning but it warmed up.  James found it to be a little, erm, slippery...
The Foothills

The Tech Center-James work is one of the 3 identical buildings right in the center

It was pretty icy in spots

Downtown Denver

We came down and took this trail for only about 20 ft because it was too icy.

After the hike we drove up the canyon and ended up driving past Tiny Town and back home down 285. 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Indian Week

So my sister Marie got me into cooking Indian food. I was at the library a couple weeks ago and found this book
and wanted to try some recipes from it, because they sounded really good.  So I tried a bunch and they WERE really good.  I decided I should buy this book so I looked on Amazon.  $93 used and $104 new!  Wow!  Then I was talking to my sister Marie about it and she said she uses the same one and that she got it at Barnes and Noble for not that much.  So I went to Barnes and Noble.  $316.63 used!!!  Only 1 copy available.  Holy Cow!  Anyway, here are some pictures and comments of the recipes we tried.  Also, if you want the recipes I can email them to you, since I don't have that kind of money to spend on a cookbook and I've slowly been typing them up.