Tag Archives: yogurt

Potato and Chickpea Curry

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Potato and Chickpea Curry

This little vegetarian dish is tasty and filling.  I love it as a main dish to eat with pooris, naans or just plain white rice and a nice crisp salad.  I had a few leftover baked potatoes and it worked great in this dish since you have to pre-cook the potatoes.  The potatoes are the base but you can feel free to add anything else to it.  I added a can of chickpeas and one lonely zucchini I had sitting in my fridge.  You can add green peas, cauliflower, bell peppers, green beans, whatever you happen to have handy in your crisper drawer….

The ingredients at a glance

Mix coriander, ginger, turmeric, paprika and chili with the yogurt

Yogurt and spice mixture

Saute onions, salt and cumin seeds together, after cumin seeds pop then add garlic and stir fry

Add besan (chickpea flour) to the onion mixture before adding the yogurt mixture (keeps yogurt mixture from separating)

Add potatoes, chickpeas and zucchini and mix well

Add water and cilantro, cover and simmer for 6-8 minutes

Serve with flat breads or rice

Here’s the recipe:

Potato and Chickpea Curry

4 potatoes, cooked and cubed into bite sized pieces

14 ounce can of garbanzo beans (chickpeas)

1 small zucchini (or some other veggie)

1/2 onion, chopped

1 green chili, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 inch piece of ginger, minced

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

1 tbsp corinander powder

1/2 cup yogurt

1 tsp salt (or adjusted to taste)

4 tbsp oil

2 tsp chickpea flour or besan (or all-purpose flour)

2 tbsp chopped cilantro

1 1/2 cups of water

In a small bowl mix yogurt with turmeric, paprika, coriander, ginger and chili. Set aside.

Heat oil in a large pan.  Add onion, cumin seeds and salt.  When cumin seeds are crackling add the garlic and stir fry a few seconds.  Add the chick pea flour and stir for a few minutes.  (This will help the yogurt from separating out.  If you don’t have chickpea flour you can use regular flour) Add the yogurt and spice mixture.  Keep stirring until the mixture thickens a little (about 2 minutes).  Add the potatoes, garbanzo beans and zucchini and mix well.  Add one cup of water and the cilantro.  Cover and simmer for about 6-8 minutes. Uncover and check for seasoning, if additional salt or water is needed then add it now and let it simmer another minute or so.  Serve with any flat bread or white rice.

Chicken Kofta Curry

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Chicken Kofta Curry

I love using ground chicken or ground turkey in a lot of different dishes.  They are low in fat, versatile and taste great.  Traditional koftas are actually meat ground in a big mortar and pestle called a Shil Pata.  The resulting texture is a very smooth meat mixture.  I think ground chicken or turkey naturally lends itself to a smoother kofta like texture without using a giant mortar and pestle (or a food processor).  I know that I say in most of my posts that the recipe was “quick”, “fast” or “easy”.  A friend recently told me that she doesn’t have hardly any spices in her pantry so when she thinks of cooking something that has more than 3 spices listed she feels overwhelmed and it doesn’t seem “fast” or “easy” to her.  She is also bored out of her mind with what she fixes for her family.  Hmmmm.  There are two options, keep eating boring food or invest in some spices. I know that many who are not used to cooking South Asian or African dishes think we use too many spices.  Since we were the hub of the spice trail its kind of hard not to use what was so readily available.  It does make things taste wonderful.  I think that having a variety of spices in your pantry is an investment.  You can’t experiment if you don’t have it handy.  Some of my best dishes were accidental discoveries.  When spices are in your pantry it is  “easy” and “fast”.  I took her shopping recently after work.  Utilizing the bulk section of a local grocery store, we stocked up on 15 different spices and her total cost was less than $20.  My post today is to challenge my friend to use her new spices.  She has every one listed (I know that for a fact!).   You go girl!

Mix up the meatballs and set aside

Carmelize onions and add bay leaves, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon sticks and cumin seeds.

Add other spices and tomato paste to make sauce. Place meat balls in the sauce and simmer for a few minutes

Add watered down yogurt to cooked meatballs and cook another couple of minutes before serving

Top Chicken Kofta Curry with chopped cilantro

Chicken Kofta Curry

Here’s the recipe:

Chicken Kofta Curry

Meatballs:

1 pound ground chicken

handful chopped cilantro

1/2 onion, finely chopped

1/2 tsp salt

1 seeded green chili, chopped

1 tsp cumin powder

Curry:

1/2 onion, chopped

1/2 tsp cumin seeds (Jeera)

4 whole cloves

4-5 cardamom pods, crushed

2 bay leaves

2 sticks cinnamon sticks (Dalchinne)

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp red chili powder

1/2 tsp turmeric

3-4 tbsp tomato paste

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup greek yogurt mixed with a little water

1/2-1 cup water

Chopped cilantro for garnish

Mix together the meatball ingredients and form into golf ball sized meat balls.  Set aside.

In a large skillet heat oil add onions, cumin seeds, cloves, cinnamon sticks, bay leaves and cardamom pods.  Stir fry until onions are tender and the spices are fragrant.  Add in chili powder, turmeric and garlic.  Stir fry a minute or two before adding the tomato paste.  Stir to incorporate.  Add about a cup of water and meatballs to the sauce, turn heat to low and cover.  Let meatballs simmer covered for about 15-18 minutes, stirring often and adding water as needed until meatballs are cooked through. Add yogurt last and stir through and cook an additional minute to incorporate everything.  Top with chopped cilantro. Remember to fish out the cinnamon sticks and bay leaves before serving.   Serve with rice or with a naan.

Drink Up! Spiced Mango Lassi

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Drink Up! Spiced Mango Lassi

HMMMMM.  Mango Lassi, so tasty and so good for you (gluten-free, low fat and everything!).  Growing up when the summers were super hot and the Mangoes were ripe, it was a perfect combination for enjoying this refreshing drink.  The local yogurt was tart and the Mangoes sweet and my mom would add some spices to make the mixture just right.  We never got a big glass to drink.  It was always too small and we drank it slowly to make it last, tilting the glass all the way up and getting a Mango Lassi Moustache in the process.  I still love how it makes me feel just to take a long sip. And I still try to make my glass of Mango Lassi last, kind of like the last day of summer!

The cast of characters: Yogurt (I like Greek), Mangoes, Cardamom, Cloves and Cinnamon sticks, sugar

Make a spiced simple syrup by boiling water, sugar and the spices

Strain the spices and pour syrup into a little mason jar - this stuff is so wonderful, great for ice teas, regular teas....

To cut up the Mangoes: flip the skin down to pop the mango cubes "up"

Cut the cubes from the skin

Blend Ice, Mangoes, Yogurt and spicy simple syrup together

Serve immediately

Sip slowly and make it last

Here’s the recipe:

Spiced Mango Lassi

2 ripe Mangoes, cubed

1 1/2 cup plain or vanilla yogurt (I like Greek yogurt, but it will make it more tart)

5-6 ice cubes

2-3 tablespoons of the Simple Syrup with spices (you can add more or less, it’s up to you)

Simple Syrup with spices

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

2 sticks of Cinnamon

5 whole cloves

5-6 Green Cardamom pods, crushed (use skins and seeds for the syrup)

To make the syrup:

Place water, sugar and spices in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil.  Boil a minute or so until all the sugar is dissolved and the spices release their aromas.  Strain the syrup and pour into a glass mason jar to store.  This syrup is fantastic.  I not only use it for this recipe but for making Peach ice tea, Ginger Peach Ice tea,  or just adding a little to my regular hot tea.  It’s a wonderful addition to keep in the fridge.  If you’d prefer not to use any processed sugar, you can make simple syrup with honey, just add a little lemon juice to the mixture to keep it from crystallizing.

To make the Lassi:

In a blender put the ice in first, then add yogurt, Mangoes and the simple syrup.  Blend for a few minutes until smooth and serve immediately!