Tag Archives: cinnamon

Paleo Rogan Josh

I don’t really understand or care about the Paleo diet. But I did really like this Rogan Josh recipe, the first time I had it. So I decided to make it myself. The ingredients are:

  • Beef, 2 pounds
  • Onions, 2 medium, diced
  • Coconut milk, 2 cans
  • Coconut Oil, 1 tablespoon
  • Water, 1 cup

And for the spice blend:

  • Sweet Paprika, 2 tablespoons
  • Cayenne pepper, 1/2 tablespoon
  • Ground coriander, 4 teaspoons
  • Ground cumin, 4 teaspoons
  • Ground cinnamon, 2 teaspoons
  • Chili Powder, 2 teaspoons
  • Salt, 2 teaspoons
  • Ground ginger, 3/4 teaspoon
  • Ground cardamom, 1/2 teaspoon
  • Ground cloves, 1/2 teaspoon
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The ingredients.

You may want to start by browning the meat in the oil, because that can take a while, depending on the size of your pot. I browned mine in two batches. Be sure to let the meat sear for a good length of time before disturbing it, to ensure it develops a nice, crispy crust.

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Browning…

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Browned.

While the meat is doing its thing, you can assemble the spice blend:

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Spices!

And dice the onions:

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Onions!

Once all the meat is browned, return it to the pan, along with the onions. Cook until the onions themselves have begun to soften and brown a bit.

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Brown some more.

Then add in the spice mix, stir for about 30 seconds to allow the spices to warm in the oil and grease, and then add in the water and coconut milk.

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Soon-to-be deliciousness.

Cover and simmer for about an hour to allow the meat to tenderize and the sauce to reduce, and you’re done.

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And done.

You may find, as I did, that the sauce has reduced a bit more than what you really wanted. If so, ameliorate by adding in a bit more coconut milk.

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Chicken Tikka Masala

This recipe is delish, delish, delish. Absolutely and easily one of our favorites. We can’t recommend it enough! The ingredients:

  • Chicken breasts, 3, cut into skewer-worthy chunks
  • Yogurt, 1 cup
  • Lemon juice, 1 tablespoon
  • Cumin, 2 teaspoons
  • Cinnamon, 1 teaspoon
  • Cayenne pepper, 2 teaspoons
  • Black pepper, 2 teaspoons
  • Ginger, 1 tablespoon, fresh minced
  • Salt, 1 teaspoon
  • Butter, 1 tablespoon
  • Garlic, 1 clove, minced
  • Jalapeno pepper, 2, sliced
  • Cumin, 2 more teaspoons
  • Paprika, 2 teaspoons
  • Salt, 1 teaspoon or to taste
  • Cilantro, 1/4 cup chopped
  • Heavy cream, 1 cup
  • Tomato sauce, 2 cans
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The ingredients.

Sadly, this recipe takes a while to make – but the wait is worth it. The first step is to combine the yogurt, lemon juice, cinnamon, cayenne, black pepper, ginger, a teaspoon of salt, and 2 teaspoons of cumin in a large bowl. Mix it together, and coat the chunks of chicken in it. Cover and refrigerator for at least an hour.

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The marinade, part 1.

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The marinade, part 2.

Meanwhile, you may want to begin heating your grill (we used charcoal). Make sure to oil the grill grate, as this will help you later on. Once the chicken is finished marinading, thread it onto skewers (if you’re using wood, like we did, make sure to soak it first).

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Chicken, skewed.

Then, you know, place them on the grill! Turn as needed, until done.

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Chicken, grilled.

This is what that looks like, by the way:

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Chicken, grilled, part 2.

The next stage begins with heat: frying the jalapeno slices and garlic in the butter.

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The wok stage.

Then add in the rest of the cumin and salt, as well as the paprika.

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Wokking some spices.

Pour in the tomato sauce and cream, and simmer on low heat for a few minutes, to thicken the sauce.

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The sauce is the best part.

Add in the grilled chicken, and simmer for another 10 minutes or so.

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Homemade tikka masala.

And that’s it! Try it over rice, with the cilantro. It’s so, so good!

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I wish I had some now.

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Beef Biryani

Oh, woe is me, this was such a bland recipe. The ingredients:

  • Beef, 2.5 pounds, cubed
  • Onions, 4 large
  • Garlic, 4 cloves, chopped
  • Ginger, 2-inch piece, peeled and chopped
  • Jalapeno, 2, chopped
  • Cilantro, 1 bunch
  • Almonds, 8 tablespoons
  • Water, 6 tablespoons
  • Ghee, 2 tablespoons
  • Vegetable oil, 6 tablespoons
  • Coriander, 2 teaspoons
  • Cumin, 1 tablespoon
  • Turmeric, 1 teaspoon
  • Fenugreek, 1 teaspoon
  • Cinnamon, 2 good pinches
  • Yogurt, plain, 1.5 cups
  • Basmati rice, 3 cups
  • Chicken stock, 10 cups
  • Salt
  • Black pepper

It took a while to make, too – though I do have a few ideas for how it could be improved.

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The ingredients.

The first step is to blend! Roughly chop two of the onions, and combine them with the cilantro, hot pepper, garlic, ginger, water, and half the almonds.

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Blending can be fun.

Blend to a smooth paste, transfer to a bowl, and set aside.

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The aftermath.

Next, heat half the ghee with half the oil and fry the rest of the onion (after you slice it, of course) until it’s golden brown. When it is, transfer to another dish – yes, another one!

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Onions are yummy.

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Browned!

Then fry the remaining almonds briefly until they’re golden, too. Or more golden, at any rate.

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Browning almonds.

Transfer them – yes, you guessed it – to another plate, and then start searing the meat, in batches. Add more oil/ghee if you need to.

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Browning meat.

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The meat, seared.

Once all the meat is browned and moved out of the way – perhaps to another plate – you can put the blended mixture into the pot, and cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Then stir in all the additional spices, as well as salt and pepper to taste.

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Re-heating the blended mixture.

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Plus spices.

Next, lower the heat and slowly mix in the yogurt. Then return the meat to the pot, cover it tightly, and simmer over a gentle heat for 45 minutes to tenderize the meat.

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Simmer.

Meanwhile, you can begin working on the other part of the biryani mixture – the rice. You should soak the rice in a bowl of cold water for 15-20 minutes, and begun heating your chicken broth.

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Chicken broth!

Heat to a boil, then add the rice (along with a little salt) and bring it back to a boil. Then cover and cook for 5 minutes.

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With rice!

After that, it’ll look like this: the chicken broth has magically disappeared, and the rice got a lot bigger. I wonder what happened?

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And now, just rice.

Add the rice to your chicken mixture (I used a slow cooker because I didn’t have a dutch oven big enough), and add the onions and almonds as well. Cover securely, and bake on high for about an hour (or 45 minutes in an oven pre-heated to 325).

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Biryani-ing.

Voila! It can be spruced up with more spices – in particular, more salt and cayenne – as well as some fried eggs and possibly some Sriracha.

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The finished product.

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Mom’s Apple Pie

This apple pie is great – every time I make it, it gets rave reviews. The ingredients:

  • Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust
  • Sugar, ¾ cup
  • Flour, 2 tablespoons
  • Sour cream, 1 cup
  • Vanilla, ½ tsp
  • Apples, 3-4 cups
  • 1 egg (well-beaten)

And for the topping:

  • Sugar, 1/3 cup
  • Flour, 1/3 cup
  • Cinnamon, 1 tsp
  • Butter, cold, ¼ cup
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The ingredients.

First, place the pie crust, and then flute the edges, like so:

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Pie crust,

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fluted.

The next step is to combine the sugar and flour.

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Stuff.

And then mix in the egg, vanilla, and sour cream.

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More stuff.

Mix in the apple slices.

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Still more stuff.

And then place them in the pie.

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Stuff INSIDE of stuff.

Bake for 15 minutes at 425 degrees, and then reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for 30 minutes more.

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Still more stuff.

Meanwhile, make the topping: blend the topping ingredients until crumbles are formed. Then sprinkle these on top of the pie and bake for another 15 minutes.

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The crumbles.

Your pie should come out looking like this: beautiful!

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The end result.

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Delicious Ginger Snap Cookies

These came out incredibly. The ingredients:

  • Flour, all-purpose, 2 cups
  • Baking soda, 2 teaspoons
  • Ground ginger, 1 teaspoon
  • Ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon
  • Cinnamon sugar, 1/3 cup
  • Sugar, 1 cup
  • Salt, 1/2 teaspoon
  • Dark molasses, 1/4 cup
  • Butter, 3/4 cup
  • Egg, 1
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The ingredients.

In case you’re wondering, cinnamon sugar is awesome, and you can make it yourself, as I did.

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Cinnamon sugar.

First, pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Then, sift a few of the ingredients together into a mixing bowl: the flour, ginger, salt, and cinnamon. Then sift again into another bowl, to ensure an even mixture, and because you deserve the sifting-punishment.

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This is how you sift. With a sifter.

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Sifted.

Next, put the butter in a bowl and beat until creamy.

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Beaten.

At that point, gradually beat in the white sugar. Then the egg, and dark molasses. And then, the crème de la crème: the opposite of cream, the flour mixture. Sift in a third of it at first, blend thoroughly, then sift in the rest.

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Beaten, part deux.

Mix together until a doughy softness forms. Pinch off small amounts and roll into 1-inch diameter balls; then roll those balls in the cinnamon sugar.

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Doughy goodness.

Place these on a baking sheet (ungreased) and bake for about 10 minutes.

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Into the oven.

Then cool and enjoy. They’re great!

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Out of the oven.

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Massaman Curry Paste

Before you make a Massaman Curry in the Thai book I’m working through, you need to make a constituent ingredient – the paste. And that requires quite a few ingredients, some of them esoteric. They are:

  • Jalapeno peppers, 4, dehydrated
  • Onions, 1/2 cup, chopped
  • Garlic, 1/2 cup, chopped
  • Lemon grass, 1 tablespoon, chopped
  • Shallots, 2
  • Galangal, 2 thin slices
  • Star anise powder, 1 tablespoon
  • Cumin, 1 tablespoon
  • Cinnamon, 1 teaspoon
  • Cilantro, dried, 2 tablespoons
  • Kaffir lime skin, 1/4 teaspoon
  • Oil, 5 tablespoons
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The ingredients.

For instance, the recipe called for star anise powder. I didn’t happen to have any powder handy, but I do have the star anise. So it was a simple matter of using our spice grinder to create the powder we needed.

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Unground.

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Ground.

Similarly, with the cilantro. I didn’t have any already dried, so I dried some myself, like so:

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You wash it…

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Put it in a pan lined with parchment paper…

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…And some indeterminate time later, voila!

Galangal can also be hard to get. It’s a ginger-like root that I’ve only ever found in Asian markets. The last time I got any, I got a lot, and froze the excess. Some I froze as slices – seen here – and the rest as shredded galangal. As for the jalapenos, I tried drying some myself – both in the oven and in the open air. But that didn’t work so well, so I had to order these from Amazon.

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Galangal and jalapenos.

The Kaffir lime zest was the hardest to acquire. Normal lime zest simply won’t do; the Kaffir limes have an entirely different flavor, as does their zest. They’re one of the flavors that make certain Thai dishes – and Thai pastes, like this one – taste the way they do. But no matter where I looked, no one carries Kaffir limes – not even the Asian markets I’ve visited.

Fortunately, I found a grower in California that will ship you a box of fresh Kaffir limes – if the season is right. I ordered mine in December, and now that it’s January, I see that they’re still available. This is their 5-pound box:

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The box the limes came in.

Preparing the limes was an involved process – I had five pounds, after all. First, I washed them. Then, I zested with a microplane. Finally, it made no sense to throw away the lime juice, so I squeezed them all and froze the juice – enough for two complete batches of carnitas.

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About a third of the limes I got.

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The zesting process.

I froze the zest as well, to retrieve and use later, as required.

With all that prelude out of the way, making the paste was relatively straightforward. You prepare the onions and garlic, like so:

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Onions & garlic.

Then you melt the oil (I used coconut, but you don’t have to).

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The oil-melting process.

Add the onions, garlic, and dried jalapeno, and fry until golden brown.

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Fry until…

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…golden brown.

Then add everything – first the other ingredients, and the stuff you just fried – into a blender, and blend, blend, blend. Once you do, then you’re done, and you can put it in a jar and put that in your fridge or freezer, as you like.

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Blending.

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Blended.

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