Friday, May 27, 2011

Coconut Shrimp Curry with Ginger Rice

Indian Curries Special

Tonight's Menu
Coconut Shrimp Curry
Ginger Rice
Wine Pairing: Pinot Gris (Medium bodied fruity white)

Goan Coconut Shrimp Curry

Goan Shrimp curry with Ginger Rice

In the west coast of India located along the Arabian Sea is India's smallest state by area, Goa.  With picturesque surroundings and tropical climate Goan cuisine has intense spices and flavors and has been influenced greatly by both Hindu and Portuguese culture. Goan food is considered incomplete without seafood, and along with coconut milk, rice and tamarind paste forms the main ingredients in Goan delicacies. 
Goan Shrimp Curry is a popular dish served with rice. This curry has layers of flavor -- tartness of tamarind, hint of sweetness from onions and creaminess from coconut, spice from a variety of chilies. Spice level is high. So reduce or omit them according to your desired spice level. Same recipe can be tried with fish, just increase the cooking time in the last step to 7-10 minutes.

Coconut Shrimp Curry

Coconut Shrimp Curry
Ingredients: (serves 4)
1 1/2 lbs raw shrimp deveined and peeled
1/2 cup grated coconut
1 large chopped onion
2 green chili
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 whole red chili
salt to taste
2 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp black pepper powder
whole garam masala (cinnamon, bay leaf, cardamom, cloves)
1/2 tsp sugar
2 chopped tomato
coriander leaves
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • Soak cumin seeds and red chili in a tablespoon of tamarind pulp and water.
  • Add them in a blender along with coconut, tomato, mustard seeds. Grind to a fine paste. Keep aside.
  • In a pan heat oil and add dry whole spices and roast for 30 seconds. Add chopped onion and ginger garlic paste and fry till golden brown. 
  • Add turmeric powder, coconut mixture, coriander powder, sugar and black pepper and cook at simmer till oil separates.
  • Add some water to reach the desired consistency and bring to boil. Now add shrimp along with green chili and cook for about 5-7 minutes on high till the shrimp cooks through. 
  • Finish off with fresh chopped coriander.

Ginger Rice

Ginger Rice
Ingredients: (generously serves 4)
2 cups basmati rice
4 cups water
2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp cumin
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp sugar
1 medium onion sliced thinly
3 tbsp ginger grated
2 green chili slit
1/2 bunch coriander chopped
salt to taste
  • Rinse the rice several times in cold water. Drain. Soak in 4 cups of water for 30 minutes.
  • In a saucepan heat oil and add cumin seeds, bay leaves and sugar. Roast for 30 seconds and add sliced onions. 
  • Cook while stirring till onions turn medium brown. Now add the rice along with the water, salt, ginger and green chillies. Stir well and bring to a boil. Simmer covered for 12-15 minutes till all water is absorbed and rice fully cooked.
  • Remove from heat and let stand undisturbed and covered for 5 minutes. Remove bay leaves and add coriander and fluff the rice with fork.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Lamb Curry (Rogan Josh) with Naan

Indian Curries Special

Tonight's Menu
Rogan Josh (Lamb Curry)
Wine Pairing: Shiraz / Chardonnay

Lamb Curry/Mutton curry

Rogan josh (lamb curry/mutton curry/roghan josh) is an aromatic lamb dish from the beautiful valley of Kashmir in India. This recipe comes from the Hindu Brahmin community or pundits of Kashmir though there is a definite Mughal influence in the Kashmiri cuisine.

Rogan Josh is a red colored dish. This color and a gentle heat is contributed by the addition of Kashmiri chili powder and sweet paprika. This curry is different from all others as it has none of the herbs and spices you associate with Indian curries-- onion, fresh ginger, garlic, cumin, coriander, turmeric. Lamb is braised in yogurt and loads of aromatic spices. The bold flavors and aroma are imparted by fennel, ginger powder, black cardamom and asefotida.

You will enjoy this one for its subtlety and complexity of flavor and undoubtedly aroma. Serve with naan or saffron rice and a green vegetable.

Rogan Josh
Ingredients:(serves 4)
2 lbs lamb, trimmed of fat and cubed to 2 inch pieces
1 1/2 cup yogurt
4-5 cloves
2 inch stick cinnamon
3 black cardamoms
2-3 bay leaves
1/4 cup oil
salt to taste
pinch Asefoetida
2 tsp Kashmiri chili powder
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 cups water
2 tsp ginger powder
1 tsp whole fennel ground to powder in a spice mill or mortar and pestle
few strands saffron mixed in 2 tsp warm milk
1/2 tsp garam masala
  1. Season the lamb with salt and keep aside while you get the other ingredients ready. 
  2. In a pressure cooker heat oil and add cloves, cinnamon, cardamom and bay leaves. Roast for 30 seconds and add the asafoetida and seasoned lamb. Cook on high for about 5-7 minutes till most of the lamb pieces are brown and have acquired some flavor from the whole spices. 
  3. Add the chili powders and mix well so that the lamb gets a distinct red color. 
  4. Add yogurt and cook the lamb for about 10-12 minutes on medium high heat. Stir frequently to prevent the contents from burning. As most of the liquid evaporates and you see the oil separating from the side of the lamb add the ginger and fennel powder. 
  5. Mix well and add water. Adjust seasoning. 
  6. Pressure cook for on high till the whistle indicator and then simmer for 15 minutes. 
  7. Alternately if not using pressure cooker, add 2 cup of water instead of 1 and bring to boil, simmer covered for about an hour. Check in between if more water is required. 
  8. Lamb is cooked if a fork pierces it easily without resistance. 
  9. Add the saffron and garam masala and make sure the sauce is thick and silky. Adjust consistency by boiling off excess liquid. Serve hot, garnished with chopped fresh coriander.


Friday, May 13, 2011

Bengal Fish Curry with Spiced Rice

Indian Curries Special

Tonight's Menu
Fish in yogurt sauce (doi maach)
Spiced Basmati Rice
Wine Pairing: Pinot Blanc

Fish is very popular in India especially in the coastal areas where an endless variety of fish and shrimps are available in the water nearby providing staple food for the population. In West Bengal, it's almost a religious practice where a meal without fish is incomplete. They have a distinct style of cooking and it varies from one to the other region within Bengal. Doi Maach or fish in yogurt sauce is most often made with 'Hilsa' or 'Ilish' (almost an iconic fish in Bengali cuisine). Here in North America, any firm white-fleshed fish can be used. Make this simple yet delectable curry and enjoy the flavors of Bengal.

Doi Maach
Ingredients: (serves 4)

2 lbs firm white-fleshed fish (I used tilapia) cut into 2-inch pieces
1 tbsp lime juice
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 medium onion chopped
4 cloves garlic crushed
2-inch ginger crushed
1 cup yogurt
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
salt to taste
3/4 tsp mustard seeds
3-4 cloves
1 tsp peppercorns
1 small cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
  1. Mix lime juice with a bit of salt and turmeric powder. Shallow fry the fish pieces in hot oil and keep aside. 
  2. In the same pan pour some more oil, add mustard seeds, and all other dry whole spices. Let roast for 30 seconds. 
  3. Add onion and ginger garlic paste. Cook stirring often till onion turns light brown. 
  4. Add yogurt and salt, turmeric and chili powder. Cook for about 2 minutes on high till you see oil on the side of the pan. At this point gently add the fried fish and maybe 1/2 cup water to thin the sauce. Bring to boil and simmer covered for about 5 minutes. Do not stir vigorously or fish might break. 
  5. Garnish with fresh coriander and serve with spiced rice. 

Spiced Rice
Ingredients: (generously serves 4)

2 cups basmati rice
4 cups water
1 tbsp whole spices(cumin seeds, cloves, cinnamon, green cardamom, bay leaf)
1 tbsp butter
salt to taste
  1. In a pan heat butter till it melts. Add all the whole spices and let roast for 30 seconds. 
  2. Add rice and stir to coat each grain with the spiced butter. Add salt and water. 
  3. Bring to boil and simmer covered for about 12-15 minutes till all the water is absorbed and rice is cooked through. 
  4. Remove from heat and let stand covered and undisturbed for 5 minutes. 
  5. Remove the bay leaves and fluff with a fork. 
  6. Serve hot.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Chicken Curry with Naan

Indian Curries Special

Tonight's Menu
Chicken Curry
Plain Naan
Wine Pairing: Riesling / Sauvignon Blanc

Chicken Korma and Naan

Chicken Curry, also referred to as Chicken Korma or Chicken Masala is a popular curry from Northern India. The korma sauce is a mild creamy curry sauce with a rich silky flavor. The main ingredients that give this dish a distinctive taste is a blend of yogurt, cream and pureed nuts along with toasted spices.Chicken is slowly cooked in the sauce to infuse the flavor and give it a rich texture. Both chicken and lamb can be cooked in this sauce and for vegetarian option use paneer (Indian cottage cheese) or an assortment of vegetables such as cauliflower, peas, potato.
This dish can be served with naan or rice. These starchy accompaniments absorb the sauce and complement the meal. Other sides can be a mixed salad and papad. Naan is an oven baked flat-bread very popular in the South East Asian cuisine. A typical naan recipe consists of white flour mixed with salt and sugar along with yeast and yogurt to make a soft elastic dough which is kept aside for a little while to allow it to rise. Once risen the dough is divided into balls, flattened and cooked in a Tandoor or Clay oven. Many variations of naan have found their way in the Indian Cuisine, each as popular as the other.

Chicken Korma

Chicken Curry
Ingredients: (serves 4)

2lbs chicken thighs (boneless, skinless) cubed

2-3 tbsp yogurt
1/4 cup almonds and cashews crushed fine
salt to taste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
chili powder to taste

Whole Spices
2 black cardamoms
4-5 green cardamoms
4-5 cloves
1 large cinnamon stick
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp black peppercorns 

Other ingredients
4 tbsp oil
2 bay leaves
1 large onion chopped
4-5 cloves garlic chopped fine
2inch ginger chopped fine
1 large tomato chopped
1 tbsp sour cream
1/2 tsp Garam masala powder
  1. Marinate the chicken in the marinade for 1-4 hours. 
  2. In a small pan dry roast all the whole spices on high heat for 2 minutes till they impart a roasted aroma. Dry grind them in a coffee grinder coarsely and keep aside. 
  3. In a large pan heat oil and add the coarsely ground whole spices along with bay leaf and stir for 30 seconds. 
  4. Add onions and garlic and cook till the onion turns light brown. 
  5. Add tomato and ginger and cook till tomato softens, for about 2 minutes. 
  6. Now add the chicken along with the marinade and mix it well with the onion concoction. 
  7. Let cook on medium high with the lid on and turn it around every minute so it doesn't overcook at the bottom. Do this for about 5 minutes. 
  8. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook with the lid on for about 12-15 minutes or till the chicken is fully cooked. Check and stir every 3-4 minutes. 
  9. If you find the sauce too thick add a bit of hot water till the desired consistency is achieved. Adjust the seasoning. 
  10. Add the sour cream and mix well. Do not boil after adding the cream. 
  11. Garnish with chopped fresh coriander. 
  12. Serve with naan and salad (red onions, cucumber, lettuce, carrots, tomato).
Plain Naan
Ingredients: (serves 4)

4 cups flour
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp oil
¾ warm milk
¾ yogurt
Additional flour for rolling
1 tbsp dry parsley
  1. Take flour and add salt.
  2. Take yeast and sugar in a small bowl  and add a tbsp of warm water (not too hot or it will render the yeast inactive) to it. Let it sit for a few minutes till you see a few bubbles. 
  3. Add this mixture to the flour. Add 1 tsp oil, yogurt and warm milk to make a very soft dough. The dough should not be runny but very soft. 
  4. Cover and keep at room temperature for 2-3 hours to help rise. 
  5. Mix again and using greased palms make small balls out of the entire dough.  
  6. Now roll these balls into naan (see shape in the picture) using dry flour to dredge. Sprinkle a pinch of parsley on top. Press lightly with fingers so that the parsley sticks onto the dough. Place them 3-4 at a time onto a non stick cookie sheet (if not using non stick then grease your sheet well). 
  7. In the oven - Preheat the oven to the max allowable temperature of your oven 475-500°F and keep the baking shelf on the top position. Bake in the top shelf for about 2 minutes or till it browns a little on top (see image). Keep an eye on it as the oven is very hot and can burn easily. Turn the naan and cook again for about a minute. Repeat process till all the balls are cooked. 
  8. On the grill - Preheat the grill and keep heat to a medium high. Place the rolled naans on the grill directly. Cover and allow them to cook till you see the top of naan bubble up. Take a peek at the bottom to see if it has turned to the light golden color you see in the image above. Turn over and cook for a few more minutes till done. 
  9. Brush the tops with butter and serve hot.