Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Chicken Tikka Masala

Mixing your own spices

It wasn't until recently that I started deviating from a basic curry recipe, including pre-mixed curry powder. I still don't grind all of my spices from scratch, but I'm now more comfortable creating spice mixtures. I'm also more comfortable with more comlex recipes that go beyond "throw everything into the pot" and hoping for the best.

The first time I made chicken tikka masala, I had to get my head around coating chicken in yogurt before placing it under a broiler, but wow. The result was spectacular!

Chicken Tikka Masala

Ingredients: chicken
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp table salt
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of fat
  • 1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 2 tsp)
  • 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
Ingredients: masala
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced fine (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 2 tsp)
  • 2 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 fresh serrano chile, ribs and seeds removed, flesh minced 
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp table salt
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  1. Chicken: combine cumin, coriander, cayenne, and salt in small bowl. Sprinkle both sides of chicken with spice mixture, pressing gently so mixture adheres. Place chicken on plate, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes. In large bowl, whisk together yogurt, oil, garlic, and ginger; set aside.
  2. Masala: Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until light golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, chile, tomato paste, and garam masala; cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, sugar, and salt; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in cream and return to simmer. Remove pan from heat and cover to keep warm.
  3. While sauce simmers, adjust oven rack to upper-middle position (about 6 inches from heating element) and heat broiler. Using tongs, dip chicken into yogurt mixture (chicken should be coated with thick layer of yogurt) and arrange on wire rack set in foil-lined rimmed baking sheet or broiler pan. Discard excess yogurt mixture. Broil chicken until thickest parts register 160 degrees on instant-read thermometer and exterior is lightly charred in spots, 10 to 18 minutes, flipping chicken halfway through cooking.
  4. Let chicken rest 5 minutes, then cut into 1-inch chunks and stir into warm sauce (do not simmer chicken in sauce). Stir in cilantro, adjust seasoning with salt, and serve.
Serve with basmati rice.
(based on a recipe from America's Test Kitchen)
Recipes by the Haggis and the Herring: tasty world recipes tested in our kitchen

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Baba Ghannouj (Roasted Eggplant)

  • 1 medium-sized eggplant
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • sea salt to taste
  • 3 tbsp tehina
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • chopped parsley for garnish
  1. Puncture eggplant and bake at 450F for 45-50 minutes, turning once.
  2. Remove the eggplant pulp and set aside.
  3. Quickly puree lemon juice, garlic and salt in food processor.
  4. Add tehina and olive oil and puree again.
  5. Add eggplant pulp and puree until smooth.
  6. garnish with parsley.
Recipes by the Haggis and the Herring: tasty world recipes tested in our kitchen

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Oh mi-va-me, oh my

When Meredith and I first met, I took her to Mi-Va-Me, a great restaurant at Bathurst and Steeles. When she tried the baba ghannouj, she asked me why all baba ghannouj didn't taste like what we were eating.
I told her "All baba ghannouj does taste like what you're eating. What you were eating before was President's Choice memories of mayo and eggplant!"

Recipe: Baba Ghannouj (Roasted Eggplant)


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Beans and Onions with Cous-cous

I remember my friends and I spending incredibly little money on food when I was in university. At the same time, we didn't starve. Most of what we made was from scratch and many of my friends were vegetarian so McDonalds and Kraft Dinner didn't cut it. Not that Kraft Dinner wasn't vegetarian, but we also ate pretty healthy compared to your average students.

Okay, so we ate a lot of beans, but we made the best of it and there was also lots of flavour. There was one particular dish I used to make quite frequently. It was a dish that a friend of mine made and I added to. His base recipe was onions fried with kidney beans with a couple of spices. I added chickpeas, another spice and then served it over cous cous.

Beans and Onions with Cous Cous
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt (optional)
  • 1 can red kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 can chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup cous-cous, prepared according to package directions
  1. Heat oil at medium in a deep frypan.
  2. Fry onions in oil until translucent (4-6 minutes).
  3. Add paprika, cumin, salt and cayneee pepper and fry for another 2 minutes.
  4. Add beans and tomatoes and bring to a quick boil.
  5. Reduce heat to low and let simmer, covered, for 20-30 minutes.
Note: If the mixture gets too thick or begins to stick to the pan, add 1/4 cup water.
Serve mixture on top of cous-cous.

Recipes by the Haggis and the Herring: tasty world recipes tested in our kitchen.
This post also linked to Fit Foodista's blog carnival.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Mom's Creamy Greek Salad Dressing

Happy birthday Mom

It's my mom's birthday, so I thought I'd post her own Greek Salad dressing this week. It's one of her older recipes that I've always enjoyed.

Mom's Creamy Greek Salad Dressing
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • l/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 3-5 garlic cloves
  1. Blend all ingredients with a hand-mixer.
Recipes by the Haggis and the Herring: tasty world recipes tested in our kitchen
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