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Wednesday, November 8

Cultural Cooking : Indian

They say that curries and turmeric are really good for your immune system. I don't know about that, but I do know that my Indian friends, who eat traditional cuisine, tend to get sick a lot less often!  Let's try a tasty immune booster with this Indian meal...बोन अप्पेतित (Enjoy!)

Naan
  • 1 pkg active dry yeast
  • 1 c warm water
  • ¼ c sugar
  • 3 Tbsp milk
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 4 ½ c flour
  • ¼ c melted butter

  1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand about 10 minutes, until frothy. Stir in sugar, milk, egg, salt, and enough flour to make a soft dough. Knead for 6 to 8 minutes on a lightly floured surface, or until smooth. Place dough in an oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and set aside to rise. Let it rise 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in volume.
  2. Punch down dough and knead. Pinch off small handfuls of dough about the size of a golf ball. Roll into balls, and place on a tray. Cover with a towel, and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
  3. During the second rising, preheat grill to high heat.
  4. At grill side, roll one ball of dough out into a thin circle. Lightly oil grill. Place dough on grill, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until puffy and lightly browned. Brush uncooked side with butter, and turn over. Brush cooked side with butter, and cook until browned, another 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from grill, and continue the process until all the naan has been prepared.


Chicken Biryani
  • 4 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 4 potatoes, peel & chop
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp minced ginger (fresh)
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp slt
  • 2 tomatoes, peel  & chop
  • 2 Tbsp yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp fresh mint
  • ½ tsp cardamom
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 lb boneless skinless chicken, chunked
  • 2 ½ tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 lb basmati rice
  • 4 c chicken stock
  • 1 ½ tsp salt

  1. In a large skillet, in 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (or ghee) fry potatoes until brown, drain and reserve the potatoes. Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the skillet and fry onion, garlic and ginger until onion is soft and golden. Add chili, pepper, turmeric, cumin, salt and the tomatoes. Fry, stirring constantly for 5 minutes. Add yogurt, mint, cardamom and cinnamon stick. Cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally until the tomatoes are cooked to a pulp. It may be necessary to add a little hot water if the mixture becomes too dry and starts to stick to the pan.
  2. When the mixture is thick and smooth, add the chicken pieces and stir well to coat them with the spice mixture. Cover and cook over very low heat until the chicken is tender, approximately 35 to 45 minutes. There should only be a little very thick gravy left when chicken is finished cooking. If necessary cook uncovered for a few minutes to reduce the gravy.
  3. Wash rice well and drain in colander for at least 30 minutes.
  4. In a large skillet, heat vegetable oil (or ghee) and fry the onions until they are golden. Add cloves, cinnamon stick, ginger and rice. Stir continuously until the rice is coated with the spices.
  5. In a medium-size pot, heat the chicken stock and salt. When the mixture is hot pour it over the rice and stir well. Add the chicken mixture and the potatoes; gently mix them into the rice. Bring to boil. Cover the saucepan tightly, turn heat to very low and steam for 20 minutes. Do not lift lid or stir while cooking. Spoon biryani onto a warm serving dish.


Indian Vegetable Bhaji
  • 4 potatoes, chopped
  • 1 c cauliflower, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • ½ c green peas
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp mustard seed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 green chiles, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tsp minced ginger (fresh)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp curry

  1. Place the potatoes, cauliflower florets, carrot, and peas into a microwave-safe bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave on High until the vegetables are very hot and starting to soften, about 2 minutes. Remove the plastic wrap, and drain the vegetables in a colander.
  2. Place the vegetable oil in a large skillet, and heat over medium heat. Cook and stir the onion until it turns golden, about 10 minutes, and stir in the cumin seed, black mustard seed, and bay leaves. Cook and stir until the seeds begin to sputter, about 30 seconds, and then add the green chiles, garlic, and ginger. Cook and stir until the garlic begins to brown, about 1 minute.
  3. Stir in the ground cumin and curry, and then add the partially cooked potatoes, cauliflower, carrot, and peas. Cook and stir until the vegetables are tender and coated with spices, about 30 minutes.
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