Tag Archives: tumeric

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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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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Egyptian Red Lentil Soup

This recipe didn’t turn out so well for me – it was a bit thick and felt like it stuck to my insides. Maybe it’ll work better with a bit more water? In any case, it was a great opportunity for us to break out the immersion blender. The ingredients:

  • Water, 5 cups
  • Red lentils, 2 cups
  • Onions, chopped, 2 cups
  • Potatoes, chopped, 1 cup
  • Garlic, 8-10 cloves
  • Cilantro, chopped, 1/3 cup
  • Lemon juice, 3 tablespoons
  • Oil, 1 tablespoon
  • Cumin, 2 teaspoons
  • Salt, 1 teaspoon
  • Turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
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The ingredients.

First, bring the water to a boil along with the potatoes, onions, lentils, and garlic. Then reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until everything is tender.

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Boil, and then simmer.

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Once the simmering is complete.

Then warm the oil until it’s hot, but not smoking pot. Then add the spices – the turmeric, cumin, and salt, stirring constantly until it becomes fragrant, or about 2-3 minutes.

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Adding spices to warm oil.

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Mixed.

Then remove from the heat and allow to cool for a minute or two before you add the mixture, along with the cilantro, to the main pot.

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All in the pot.

This is where you get to use the immersion blender.

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A fine machine.

Add the lemon juice, and then you’re done!

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The finished product.

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Chicken Jalfrezi

Yes, I know – it’s been a while since I’ve posted a recipe. But not because I’ve stopped cooking! Instead it’s because I recently moved to a new house and got a new job, and food blogging – much as I love it – had been set to the side. Meanwhile I’ve been accumulating photos and recipes, and now that I have the time, I’ll start posting them.

I love Jalfrezi. This version isn’t quite as good as the ones I’ve had at the restaurant, but still – it was pretty good. The ingredients:

  • Chicken Thighs, 6-8, chunked
  • Bell Peppers, 4 (different colors make a prettier dish), chopped
  • Onion, 1, chunked
  • Chilies, 4, sliced
  • Tomatoes, 6 or so, chopped
  • Garlic, 4 cloves, sliced
  • Garam Masala, 1 tsp
  • Cumin seeds, 2 tsp
  • Salt, 1 and 1/2 tsp
  • Tumeric, 1/2 tsp
  • Oil (I prefer coconut)
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The ingredients

The first step is simple: you cook things. More specifically, you add 1 tsp of cumin seeds, the sliced chilies, and the sliced garlic to a pan with some oil and fry them until they’ve become lightly browned. Like so:

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Cooking things

The next step is simple: you cook some more things. More specifically, you add 1 tsp of the salt, the tumeric, and most of the chopped tomatoes (4 or so). Let them feel the wrath of your iron pan. You want the tomatoes to begin to break down, divulge their information, and form a gravy.

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Cooking more things.

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More things cooking.

Like so. The best way to do so is to let them cook on low heat, while covering your pan.This would also be a good time to add your chicken and let it cook for a while.

Meanwhile, heat some oil in another pan and fry 1 tsp of those cumin seeds on medium-high heat for 30-60 seconds. They should turn a deeper shade of brown, become more fragrant, and beg for mercy. Don’t give them any.

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So much cooking.

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When will it end?

Then add the chunked bell pepper and onion you’ve created, as well as the remaining chopped tomato. I like large chunks, partially because you want them to retain some of their crispiness in the dish. This is also the time to add the rest of your salt and the garam masala.

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Wait for it…

When they’ve cooked enough to leave them crispy enough to satisfy your preferences enough, add them in to the main pan with your chicken and gravy.

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Okay, now.

And you’re done!

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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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