Tag Archives: plain yogurt

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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Chicken Vindaloo

Vindaloo is one of my favorite Indian curries, both because of the heat and because of the flavor. But the flavor can vary, depending on the recipe, and you don’t have to make it hot if you don’t want to. I particularly love the flavor of this recipe. The ingredients are:

  • Chicken (2 lbs)
  • Onions (4 medium, chopped)
  • Ginger (2 tablespoons, chopped)
  • Garlic (10 cloves, chopped)
  • Tomato sauce (1.5 cups)
  • Coconut milk (1 cup)
  • White vinegar (1/2 cup)
  • Plain yogurt (1/2 cup)
  • Ground coriander (2 tbsp)
  • Ground cumin (2 tsp)
  • Salt (1 tsp)
  • Tumeric (1/2 tsp)
  • Cayenne pepper (1 tsp+)

This time, I made the recipe using only a single teaspoon of cayenne pepper, and it’s nowhere near as hot as it ought to be. So you may want to use more – and, if you get it wrong, you can always add more in, after the fact.

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The ingredients.

The first step is to add the oil to your pan and cook the onions, garlic, and ginger over medium-high heat for about five minutes, until golden brown.

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Onions in a pan.

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Oh, and garlic and ginger, too.

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Now brown.

Next, add your colorful mix of spices – the coriander, cumin, salt, tumeric, and cayenne pepper – and the tomato sauce, and partially cover and simmer for at least five minutes, or until a thin film of oil begins to form on the surface. Then remove from the heat and let cool for a few minutes.

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Colorful spices in a colorful bowl.

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Adding the spices and the tomato sauce.

Next, place the sauce in a blender, and blend until smooth.

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Put the stuff in the blender.

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Blend.

Then return the sauce to the pan and add the chicken, too. simmer for five minutes or so, until the chicken is partially cooked.

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Adding the chicken.

Next, stir in the vinegar and the coconut milk. Simmer until the chicken is no longer pink in the center – for another 10 minutes, say.

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That beautiful orange glow.

The final step is adding the yogurt. Don’t just plop it in; whisk it first until you have a smooth mixture. Keep cooking for another minute or so, just to warm the yogurt; then you’re done! Enjoy.

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The final step.

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