Thursday, September 10, 2009

tandoori chicken, Indian okra & tomatoes, spinach raita

Tandoori chicken from here


  • 1 (4 to 4 1/2 pound) chicken, cut into 8 pieces, skin removed (I used chicken thighs)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped white onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chopped ginger
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped serrano or jalapeno pepper, stem and seeds removed
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 11/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice


With a fork, prick holes in the chicken pieces. Using a knife, cut diagonal slices 1-inch apart, and 1/2-inch deep into the larger pieces. Place the chicken in a baking dish. (I kept the skin on to keep it all moist, and then it burned & I could take it off. So I cut/poked through the skin into the flesh.)

In a blender, combine the oil, onion, garlic, ginger, pepper, and process on high speed to a paste. Add the paprika, salt, cumin, turmeric, coriander, garam masala, and cayenne, and process until well blended. Add the yogurt and lemon juice, and process to a smooth sauce, scraping down the sides to combine all the ingredients. Pour the marinade over the chicken. Turn to coat evenly, rubbing the marinade into the holes and slits. Cover tightly with plastic wrap, refrigerate for at least 4 hours, and up to 24 hours, turning occasionally.

Preheat a grill.

Remove the chicken from the marinade. Place on the grill and cook for 8 to 10 minutes on the first side. Turn, baste as needed, and cook on the second side for 8 to 10 minutes. Turn and continue cooking, as necessary until the chicken is cooked through, but still tender, about 25 to 30 minutes. (Alternately, bake in a preheated 425 degrees F oven on a baking sheet for 35 minutes.)

(I cooked 10 min on first side, about 5 minutes on the other, then basted and cooked each side 2 minutes. I could have cooked a little longer - slightly pink inside but fine.)

Truth: this didn't really taste like tandoori chicken. But it was darned good!


Indian okra & tomatoes from here.
(But I'm changing the directions.) (Note: While this was fine the day it was cooked, warmed up the next day on some rice it was FAB-U-LOUS. A real taste treat. This will definitely stay in the okrepetoire.)

Combine & set aside:

2 teaspoon cumin ground
2 teaspoon coriander ground
1/2 teaspoon fennel seed ground (or take these as seeds and then grind)
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne
1/4 teaspoon turmeric

3 tablespoon vegetable oil (or less)
1/2 lb okra; trimmed and left whole (or frozen) - about 20 pods - (I'm not sure the value of keeping the pods whole - I might try them sliced next time)

Heat oil. When oil is hot, add okra in a single layer & fry without stirring for 1 minute. Cook for a few more minutes, turning until lightly browned. Remove w/slotted spoon & set aside.

2 cup finely chopped onion
Saute until light golden (about 5 minutes), stirring frequently.

Then add & cook until caramel brown (8-10 minutes:
2 cloves pressed garlic
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

Add spice mixture & stir a few seconds, then add:
1 1/2 cup finely chopped peeled fresh tomatoes; or 1 small can whole tomatoes
salt to taste
water or the juice from the canned tomatoes (recipe says 1 cup but that was way too much)

Cook for a bit until mixture thickens (about 3 minutes). Then add the okra back in and cook a bit (recipe says 20 minutes, but no way - just a few would have been way better).

Stir in a little & garnish with:
3 tablespoon chopped cilantro


From The Spice Box:

Spinach yogurt salad (Palak Ka Raita)
2 c yogurt
1 c boiled, chopped spinach
salt to taste
1 tsp oil
1tsp mustard seeds

Beat the yogurt with a fork in a bowl until smooth. Add the spinach and stir.

In a little pan heat the oil and add mustard seeds and fry until they pop. Pour over salad. Stir & refrigerate until chilled.

(This was pretty good but either the seeds or oil was rancid - blech.)

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