Spice World (not the movie, my kitchen)

Have a lot of time on your hands? I don’t. But that didn’t stop me from cooking an Indian feast for fifteen people. In case you find yourself with a dinner party planned and nothing to make, here are some great recipes that are easy (though they take some planning. The most important thing about Indian cooking are the incredibly fragrant spices. It’s good to stock up with some of the basics like: garam masala, turmeric, ground coriander, ground cardamom, red chili powder and a few others. What’s on the menu?

Basmati rice

Channa Masala – Chickpeas and tomatoes in a spicy curry.

Saag Aloo – Creamed spinach and potatoes.

Baigan Bartha – Roasted eggplant dip

Raita – Spiced yogurt

Chicken Tikka Masala – Chicken in a creamy tomato sauce. Two cups of cream to be exact.

Chai Creme Brulee

Chicken Tikka Masala

Serves 15 with leftovers

The chicken needs to marinate overnight and I suggest starting two days in advance since the finished chicken can be stored in the fridge (it get’s better)

Ingredients:

For the marinade:

3 tsp ground cumin

3 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground cardamon

1 tsp cayenne pepper

2 tsp ground turmeric

1/2 tsp each salt and pepper

2 cups plain yogurt

5 garlic cloves (mashed in food processor with 1 tsp olive oil)

2 tbs grated fresh ginger

5 Lbs boneless and skinless chicken breasts

Tikka Masala Sauce:

3 large onions

4 garlic cloves, mashed

2 Tbs fresh ginger

2 tsp garam masala

3 cans of peeled and chopped tomatoes

1-3 tsp red chili powder (depending on your spice tolerance)

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1/4 cup grapeseed oil (you can use olive oil or vegetable oil as well)

1/2 cup almond meal (or 1/2 cup almonds finely chopped in a food processor)

Method:

1. Place all of the marinade ingredients in a large bowl and toss with chicken, let this sit in the fridge overnight.

2. Remove as much of the marinade as you can and either grill the chicken or place under the broiler for about 10 minutes. Remove the chicken and chop into small pieces and set aside.

3. In a large pan (I used a wok) heat some olive oil over a medium flame and sautee the onions, garlic and ginger for a few minutes, add the remaining spices and cook for another five minutes. Add the tomatoes with the can juices and sugar. Thicken the sauce for about twenty minutes and cover if necessary. Add the cream and almonds alternately and reduce the heat. Once all the cream and almonds are added, reduce the heat and cook for another ten minutes. Stir in the chicken and cook for another ten minutes on a low flame. Serve hot, or make this dish ahead and keep in the fridge.

Saag Aloo

Serves 10

Ingredients

3 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes

2 large bags of fresh spinach

3 large onions, diced

2 tbs mashed fresh ginger

2 tbs mashed fresh garlic

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (add more for desired hotness) *SPICE UP YOUR LIFE

1 can chopped tomatoes

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp sugar

Method:

1. Cook potatoes in a pot of boiling water for 25-30 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Remove the potatoes and set aside to cool.

2. Blanch the spinach in boiling water and remove to cool. Press the spinach between paper towels to soak up excess water. Pulse in a food processor until the spinach is pureed. Set aside.

3. In a large saucepan (I used a wok because it’s all I had) heat the oil and sautee the onions on medium heat for 7 minutes, add the garlic and ginger and stir for 3 minutes. Add all of the spices and cook for a few minutes then add the tomatoes and the can juices. Stir frequently until the tomatoes have dried out, about f minutes.

4. Add the potatoes, spinach and salt and cook until combined.

Raita

Ingredients:

1 16 oz container of thick Greek yogurt (I really like Oikos)

1 Tbs whole cumin seeds

1 tsp whole mustard seeds

1 tbs butter

Method:

In a nonstick frying pan, melt the butter and roast the cumin and mustard seeds for about three minutes. Add the entire contents of the pan to the yogurt and return the mixture to the fridge for about thirty minutes to re-chill. A nice touch might be to add some very thinly sliced cucumber.

Chai Creme Brulee

Makes 12 Ramekins

Ingredients

12 egg yolks

1/3 + 1 cup sugar

12 oz whole milk

4 chai tea bags

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 fresh vanilla bean

1 quart heavy creme

1 month gym membership (jk)

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 275.

2. In a large bowl whisk egg yolks and 1 cup of sugar together and set aside.

3. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and remove the pulp with your thumb.

4. In a small saucepan, bring the milk, vanilla bean paste chai tea bags and 1/3 cup sugar just to a boil. Bubbles should appear around the edges, but the milk should not boil *It might be easier to add the paste to a small portion of the milk in a small bowl so the vanilla can be incorporated better.

5. Whisk the hot milk mixture into the yolk mixture quickly so the eggs don’t cook. Add the heavy cream and whisk.

6. Pour into ramekins and bake until just set or about 45 minutes.

7. Cool in fridge for at least an hour.

8. Coat the surface with about 1/2 tsp sugar and torch.

11 thoughts on “Spice World (not the movie, my kitchen)

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