Tag Archives: main course

Lobster with Ginger Sauce

This was yummy, but quite spicy. The ingredients were:

  • Lobster, 2 pounds, cooked
  • Oil
  • Garlic, 4 cloves, minced
  • Sugar, 1 tablespoon
  • Fish sauce, 1 tablespoon
  • Oyster sauce, 2 tablespoons
  • Egg, 1, scrambled
  • Black pepper, 1 teaspoon
  • Ginger, 2 tablespoons
  • Jalapeno peppers, 2, sliced
  • Scallions, 1/2 cup, diced
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The ingredients.

This was my first time cooking with lobster. It was a bit intimidating, but a lot less so with the help of the internets. I was told that I had a few choices about how to cook the thing, and I chose to steam it. Notice how the color of the shell changed, indicating the lobster was ready? That’s a sign that God exists.

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The place I’d love to be.

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Who doesn’t want to be steamed and scalded?

The recipe called for the lobster to be retained in the shell at this stage, but I disagreed. I thought I’d prefer to remove the shell now, while it was relatively easy and clean, instead of later on. So, being an independent-minded sort, that’s exactly what I did.

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All that lobster yields so little lobster.

The rest of the cooking is pretty straightforward. Add the oil and everything except the lobster and cook for a while, until you like the look of the egg and the scallions.

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The next stage of the cooking process.

Then add in the lobster.

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The best part.

Cook for just long enough to warm the lobster and you’re done.

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Lobster is so good.

If I had it to do again, I’d probably use one less hot pepper, but you do you!

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Crispy Pork with Spinach

This one was delicious. AW bit salty, but so, so good – how can you go wrong with pork belly? The ingredients:

  • Oil
  • Pork belly, 2 lbs, thinly sliced
  • Spinach, about a bag worth, chopped
  • Kaffir lime leaves, 10
  • Sugar, 4 tablespoons
  • Fish sauce, 1/2 cup
  • Red curry paste, 6 tablespoons
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The ingredients.

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Not the same as bacon.

Not many ingredients in this one – but it has pork belly, and sometimes, that’s all you need. Cut it up like so, then fry it in the oil until the pork is crispy. Remove the bacon, get rid of the bacon grease, and melt some fresh oil in the pan.

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But just as delicious.

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Doesn’t it look good?

That didn’t take long! Then add the curry paste, mix it all together, and dump in all the other ingredients except for the lime leaves.

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The spinach was a perfect complement.

Cook down for a while. THEN add in the kaffir lime leaves, as well as that already-crispy pork. And you’re done!

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Don’t eat the lime leaves! You know what happens if you do.

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Green Curry with Chicken

This one was an awful lot of work – but it was good! The ingredients were:

For the custom-made Green Curry Paste:

  • Cumin, 2 teaspoons
  • Garlic, 16 cloves
  • Galangal, 2 tablespoons, sliced
  • Lemon grass, 4 stalks, chopped
  • Shrimp paste, 2 teaspoons
  • Kaffir lime skin, 1/2 teaspoon
  • Cilantro root, 1 cup
  • Thai chili peppers, 10
  • Jalapeno, 3
  • Shallot, 1

And for the rest:

  • Chicken, 2 pounds, cubed
  • Thai eggplant, 2 cups, quartered
  • Thai basil, 1/2 cup
  • Kaffir lime leaves, 12
  • Sugar, 6 tablespoons
  • Fish sauce, 1/2 cup
  • Coconut milk, 2 cans
  • Coconut cream, 1 can
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The ingredients.

More exotic ingredients! If you’re a longtime blog reader, as many are, you may remember this post, in which I purchased an entire case of kaffir limes, just to harvest the skin.

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Blending.

A bit of that skin is a key ingredient in the green curry you’re supposed to make. As is a cup – an entire cup! – of chopped cilantro root. When I started this Thai cookbook project, I looked everywhere I could for cilantro root. I couldn’t find it anywhere locally, and while I found a small vial of dried and powdered cilantro root online, it wasn’t that cheap. A cup of it would cost me a small fortune. So instead I spent this summer growing more cilantro than I had any right to. Of course I tried to make use of the tops whenever I could, but the real prize were the roots, which I cleaned, chopped, and froze for later use.

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Blending.

Blend all the green curry ingredients together, and it looks like this.

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Coconut-ing.

Add that to the coconut milk, and turn on the heat.

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Stuff.

Put the meat in there, and cook until the meat is ready.

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Hot stuff.

Oh, add the eggplant too. Cook until that’s to your desired level of tenderness.

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Good stuff.

Add the rest – the coconut cream, the basil, the kaffir lime leaves. Cook for another couple of minutes, then enjoy.

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Mixed Curry

Yes, I’ve still been cooking, even if I haven’t been posting about it. But November is National Thai Homecooking Foodblogging Month, so I couldn’t let that pass without posting at least a few of the recipes I’ve tried. Therefore, the ingredients!

  • Oil
  • Pork, 1/2 pound, cubed
  • Chicken, 1/2 pound, cubed
  • Tomato, 2, cut as you like
  • Bamboo shoots, 1 can
  • Straw mushrooms, 1 can
  • Green beans, in 1-inch lengths, about a cup or two
  • Thai eggplant, quartered, about a cup or two
  • Garlic, 5 cloves, minced
  • Red curry paste, 4 tablespoons
  • Yellow bean sauce, 2 tablespoons
  • Pickled mustard greens, sliced, about 1 cup
  • Curry powder, 2 teaspoons
  • Turmeric, 1 teaspoon
  • Brown sugar, 6 tablespoons
  • Fish sauce, 1/2 cup
  • Cellophane noodles, about half a package
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The ingredients

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Pickled mustard

This recipe calls for a few unusual ingredients – the most unusual of which is pickled mustard greens. Or maybe not so original – they were easily found at an Asian market, once I knew what to look for. They are what they sound like – the greens of a mustard plant, pickled.

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Cubed

You may want to spend some time preparing your ingredients, to start with. Cube the pork and the chicken, for example.

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Chopped.

And cut up your veggies.

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Bathing noodles

Oh, and the noodles – you’ll want to soak them for about 15 minutes in hot water.

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Frying meat.

The first step is what you might guess – cook the meat in the oil until it’s pretty close to done.

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Adding the garlic.

Then add the minced garlic.

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Adding more stuff.

Then the curry paste and yellow bean sauce.

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…And still more stuff (will it never end?!)

And then still more stuff – the noodles; curry powder and turmeric; fish sauce and sugar.

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Almost ready…

Oh, and the veggies, too.

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Voila!

Lastly, once stuff has cooked down and softened to your satisfaction, the pickled mustard. Then enjoy!

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Chicken Machboos

This recipe is a winner. I’ve modified it slightly so it’s somewhat less dry; otherwise the original is just as good. The ingredients are:

  • Chicken, 3 large breasts
  • Onions, 2 large, diced
  • Diced Tomatoes, 2 cans
  • Garlic, 5 cloves, sliced or minced
  • Ginger, 1 tablespoon, minced
  • Jalapeno, 1-2, diced
  • Cilantro, 3 tablespoons, chopped
  • Parsley, 2 tablespoons, chopped
  • Chicken stock, 4 cups
  • Basmati rice, 2 cups
  • Loomi, 2-3
  • Green cardamom, 5 pods
  • Cloves, ground, 1/4 teaspoon
  • Cinnamon stick, 1
  • Salt, 2½ teaspoons
  • Turmeric, 1 teaspoon
  • Baharat, 1 tablespoon
  • Rosewater for sprinkling
  • Ghee, 3 tablespoons
  • Vegetable oil, 2 tablespoons
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The ingredients.

Again, some of these ingredients may be hard to find. This is rosewater, and you can find it online, though you may also be able to find it at your local Asian market.

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Rose water.

These are loomi; again, they can be found online, or at your local spice merchant.

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Loomi

Finally, this is baharat, a spice mixture. If you’re so inclined, you can try making it yourself, but as you can see, I bought mine.

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Baharat.

First, do some frying: heat the oil, and brown the chicken on both sides, then remove.

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Browning.

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Golden.

Next, add the ghee to the oil that remains and fry the onions until they start to brown.

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Ghee, pre-melt.

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Onions, pre-brown.

You can use this time to prep the next ingredients – the jalapeno, ginger, and garlic. Then add them to the pot and saute for another 2-3 minutes.

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Three ingredients.

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Added to the pot.

Then add more stuff – the baharat and turmeric, to be exact – and cook for another minute or two.

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Spices added.

Now the chicken goes back in, along with a few other choice ingredients: the tomatoes, loomi, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, salt, and chicken stock. Make sure you perforate the loomi with innumerable holes before you plunk them in; a knife will do fine.

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More stuff goes in.

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And the chicken broth, too.

Bring the pot to a boil, and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Let it simmer, covered, for an hour or so. Meanwhile, you can prep the cilantro, parsley, and the rice. Make sure that you soak the rice in water for at least 20 minutes.

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Rice is nice.

When the pot is done simmering, you should simmer it some more – but this time, with the rice and the herbs added to the pot. Let it alone for another 20 minutes, so that the rice has time to soak up the liquid.

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Post-simmer AND pre-simmer.

Finally, sprinkle with the rosewater, which is optional but recommended. 1-2 tablespoons should be enough, but feel free to adjust to your own liking.

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Voila.

You can also shred the chicken if you want; it’ll probably end up that way anyway: it’s so tender it tends to fall apart. And it’s delicious. Highly recommended!

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Waterfall Beef

This was…salty. Tasty, but very very salty. The ingredients are:

  • Beef, steak, 2 pounds
  • Scallion, diced, 4 tablespoons
  • Mint, 1/2 cup
  • Cilantro leaves, 4 tablespoons
  • Fish sauce, 2/3 cup
  • Lime juice, 1/2 cup
  • Sesame seeds, toasted, 2 tablespoons
  • Ground thai chilis, 1 teaspoon
  • Ground roasted sticky rice, 3 tablespoons
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The ingredients.

Let’s start with the meat. The recipe calls for you to marinate it in about two tablespoons of the fish sauce. Make sure it coats both sides, and gets at least 5 minutes of marination time.

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Marination.

Next, the rice. “Ground, roasted sticky rice” – what the heck is that? Well, it’s sticky rice (which you can usually find at the normal supermarket, and if not, an Asian one) roasted in oil, and then ground. As the name suggests. You may want to add a bit of water to the pan every once in a while as you roast the rice. Make sure it ends up with that beautiful, golden-brown color.

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Roasting…

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…and roasted.

Then, you know, grind it – I used a spice grinder.

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Then ground.

Okay, back to the meat again. Place it on your grill, and grill for about 3 minutes on either side. You want it to still be a bit rare in the middle – medium rare.

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Grilling.

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Grillt.

Then bring it back inside, slice it up, and heat it in your wok.

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Wokking.

Add the fish sauce and the lime juice, and then everything else. This secondary cooking process shouldn’t take too long – anywhere from 1-5 minutes, depending on how well you like your meat cooked.

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To be wokked.

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Wokked.

And voila. Again, it was salty – for a less salty version, try using less fish sauce.

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Chiang Mai Curry

This was just…okay. I didn’t really like the taste of it myself, but your tastes may differ. The ingredients are:

  • Beef, 2 pounds, cut into slices
  • Bell peppers, 2-3
  • Mushrooms, 1 carton
  • Jalapeno peppers, 3-4
  • Shallots, 4
  • Garlic, 12 cloves, minced
  • Curry powder, 4 tablespoons
  • Shrimp paste, 2 teaspoons
  • Lemon grass, 1/2 cup, minced
  • Ginger, minced, 2 tablespoons
  • Palm sugar, 6 tablespoons
  • Yellow bean sauce, 4 tablespoons
  • Tamarind juice, 1/2 cup
  • Coconut milk, 2 cans
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The ingredients.

Again, you may find that some of those ingredients are hard to find. I picked up the yellow bean sauce and the palm sugar at an Asian market.

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Some rare items.

I also picked up the tamarind at the Asian market.

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Tamarind pulp.

But as you may have noticed, it’s not juice. Turning that tamarind into juice requires some heat, as well as some water. This guide will, erm, guide you.

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Making the juice.

Meanwhile, you can slice the beef…

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Slicing the beef.

…and then simmer the beef for about 30 minutes, covered with the coconut milk, in a large covered pot.

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Coconut-ing the beef.

Blend everything else together – yes, even the tamarind juice – into a fine paste.

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To be blended.

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Blent.

Once the beef has simmered for half an hour, add the blended paste to the pot and simmer for another 10 minutes. This may also be the point where you add the veggies.

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The pot with the stuff.

Once everything is to your desired level of tenderness, the dish is done!

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Voila.

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Gai Pad Bai Gaprow

This is my favorite Thai takeout dish, so why not try to make it myself? Well, it’s been a long journey, hamstrung by a lack of certain ingredients, but I finally managed. Those ingredients, by the way, are:

  • Chicken, minced, 2 pounds
  • Bell peppers, 1-2
  • Mushrooms, 1-2 cartons
  • Onions, 1-2
  • Jalapeno peppers, 3-12 (depending on how hot you want it!)
  • Hot basil leaves, 2 cups
  • Sugar, 4 tablespoons
  • Fish sauce, 1/2 cup
  • Oil
  • Canned green peppercorns, 2 teaspoons
  • Shallots, 8, minced
  • Garlic, 12 cloves, minced
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The ingredients.

The first one you may have trouble locating is canned green peppercorns. I had to go to an Asian market to obtain mine.

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Peppercorns.

But the other was harder still – hot basil, otherwise known as holy basil, or tulsi. I couldn’t find it anywhere, so I ultimately bought some seeds and grew my own. Which, you know, took a while, but the results were delicious.

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Happy hot basil.

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The prunings.

Once you’ve assembled your ingredients, the first step is to blend. Some recipes alternately call for mashing with a mortar and pestle, but I decided to blend instead. Blend what, you ask? The shallots, the hot peppers, the garlic, and the peppercorns.

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Pre-blend.

When you do you’ll get a paste like this:

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Post-blend.

Add that paste to your wok, after you’ve heated some oil.

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In the wok.

After you’ve warmed the paste for a minute or so, add in the chicken, sugar, and fish sauce.

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Adding the chicken.

Heat until the chicken is cooked.

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Chicken, cooked.

Then add in the veggies you’ve prepared.

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Veggies!

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Veggies!

When they’ve cooked down to your desired level of tenderness, add the basil leaves.

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So, so delicious.

Finally, serve over rice – with a fried egg on top, if you wish.

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Still not as good as takeout – but yummy nonetheless.

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Spicy Catfish

My note for this recipe is one word: “yummy.” The ingredients are:

  • Catfish, 2 lbs
  • Thai Eggplant, 1-2 cups, cut into wedges
  • Thai basil leaves, 1 cup or so
  • Lemon grass, 4 stalks
  • Garlic, 12 cloves, minced
  • Fish sauce, 1/2 cup
  • Sugar, 2 tablespoons
  • Lesser Ginger, 1/2 cup, thinly sliced
  • Oil
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The ingredients.

I have to say, I looked at the local Asian markets and couldn’t find fresh lesser ginger. So I bought it dried, online.

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Lesser ginger.

When you get it dried, you should soak it before you cook with it. I soaked it for half an hour or so, but I’d actually recommend 2-3 times as long.

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Soaking.

The cooking instructions are so simple, that you may find (like I did) that your first step should simply be to prepare the ingredients. This is the eggplant, basil, lemongrass.

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Prepped.

Oh, and garlic.

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Pre-mince.

Remember when I said the cooking instructions were simple? Well, they are. Heat the oil in a skillet, then add the catfish.

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The catfish.

And then, you know, everything else.

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In the skillet.

Cook until the catfish is done, and then the meal is done.

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Done.

We ate ours over rice!

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Yum!

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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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