Sunday, July 31, 2011

Spicy Tandoori Chicken

Tandoori Chicken is one of the most famous Indian dishes.  This is a highly seasoned and flavorful way to make chicken... Tandoor Oven not required.  You can spice it up or tone it down depending on your palate.  Either way, you are still in for a flavor explosion and some finger-licken good chicken.

 Ingredients: 
Around 15 pieces of chicken (drumsticks, thighs or breast)
Lemon/Chili Marinate:
2 Tbs of lemon juice
salt to taste (about 1Tbs)
1/2 tsp of turmeric
1 tsp of red chili powder (or to taste)


Yogurt Marinate:
1 cup of yogurt
1tsp of garam masala
1 Tbs of paprika
1Tbs of cumin
4-5 cloves of garlic grated
2Tbs of grated ginger
1tsp onion powder or some pulverized onion
black pepper

Marinating Directions: 
Clean and skin your chicken pieces.  Cut a few slits into each piece of chicken so the marinate can absorb all the way to the bone.   Mix the Lemon juice/Chili Marinate and apply it to each piece of chicken making sure that the marinate gets into each slit.  Allow to sit for a few minutes while you make the yogurt marinate.    Next apply the yogurt marinate all over the chicken pieces.  At this point you want let the chicken sit in the fridge overnight or 8-12 hours so it soaks up all the flavors.

When you want to cook your chicken heat an oven up to 425-450 degrees.  Line your backing sheet with some foil so it does not stain.   Bake for 30-45 minutes or until your chicken is done.

Serves 8.  Enjoy with rice, naan, or vegetable sides. 


Copyright: All recipes, content, and images (unless otherwise stated) are the sole property of Curry and Comfort. Please do not use without prior written consent. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited. 

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Sri Lankan Green Bean Curry

My mother makes the best green bean curry.  She came over the other day and showed me just how she makes it so I could take pictures for this post.  This curry is a perfect vegetarian/vegan dish and it goes well with any rice and curry meal.

Ingredients:  
1lb of frozen of fresh green beans (see note)
12-15 curry leaves
1 medium onion chopped
2 green chilies sliced (seeded for less heat)
1 cinnamon stick
1tsp of fennugreek seeds
1 tsp of mustard seeds
1 tsp of cumin seeds
3/4 tsp of sugar
1/4 tsp of turmeric powder
Red chili powder (to taste)
1Tbs of curry powder
salt to taste
1/2 cup of coconut milk (or cow's milk if you prefer)

Notes:  You can use frozen or fresh green beans for this dish.  I used frozen green beans.  You can cut them into smaller pieces if you desire.  If you do,  adjust your cooking time because they will cook faster.

Heat 1 Tbs of canola oil in a large frying pan on medium-high heat.  Once heated, add the onions, chilies, curry leaves, cinnamon stick and fenugreek seeds.   Fry for a few minutes until onions become tender.





Next add your cumin and mustard seeds.  Fry for another few minutes.






Then add your green beans and your dry spices.  Cook for 5-7 minutes.







Next add your coconut milk (or cow's milk).  Cook for another 5-7 minutes.  You want to taste for salt and seasoning here.  Once the green beans are very tender (but not mushy)and have absorbed all the flavors of the spices your dish is done. 





Serve as part of a rice and curry meal.  Enjoy.

Copyright: All content, photos and text are property of Curry and Comfort and cannot be used without permission

Friday, July 29, 2011

Reese's Peanut Butter Cupcake

I made these cupcakes as another sweet treat for my son's birthday last week.  Well, he loved them and so did my husband.   I believe my husband said they were the best cupcakes he's ever eaten.  And HE knows cake.  : )  Actually, It's really not a recipe as much as it's a method.  A very easy method at that.  You can probably do it with any of your favorite mini chocolates.   Reese's PB cups are a family favorite so it was a crowd pleaser even before they came out of the oven.

Ingredients:
Box of yellow cake mix (see note)
Can of frosting
3 eggs
1/3 cup of no sugar added applesauce
1 cup of water
18 mini Reese's Peanut Butter cups
Note: you can use any yellow, white or chocolate cake for this recipe.  I like the classic yellow cake.  Of course you always use your scratch cake recipe instead of a box recipe.  I also substituted the applesauce for the oil in the recipe so they are a bit lower in fat.

Mix the cake mix with the water, eggs and applesauce to make the cake batter.  Then put cupcake liners into a muffin pan and fill evenly with the batter.  Next place one mini Reese's cup into each cupcake as shown.





Note:  For a mess free and easy way to get an equal amount of batter into each liner use an ice cream scoop.

 Bake per package instructions. Allow to cool and frost the cupcakes with frosting.

Makes about 18 cupcakes. Enjoy.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Tomato, Onion and Green Chili Salad

Sometimes the simplest things in life are the best.  This is a super simple salad (side dish) that goes well with any meal, especially rice and curry.  You can eat this whole bowl of salad and not feel an ounce of guilt.  So I definitely call this simple salad a winner with any dinner.

Ingredients:
1 pint of tomatoes sliced or diced (any kind)
2-3 green chilies seeded and finely diced
1/2 a medium onion finely diced
2 tsp of vinegar (or to taste)
1 tsp of sugar (or to taste)
salt and pepper to taste

Notes:  I gave a general idea of how to create your dressing.  But the ingredients are very simple and really need to be adjusted to your palate.

Mix all the ingredients together and keep chilled before serving.  
  Serves 4. Enjoy.

 Copyright: All recipes, content, and images (unless otherwise stated) are the sole property of Curry and Comfort. Please do not use without prior written consent. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Tea Sandwich Series: Tomato Sandwiches

Here is the third installment of my Tea Sandwich Series:  Tomato Sandwiches.  This is a great way to use all the bounty of tomatoes that are available during the summer months.

Ingredients:
1-2 large "beefy" tomatoes
salt and pepper (to taste)
1/2 cup chive cream cheese (see note)
2-3 Tbs of butter or margarine
2 tsp of vinegar
1 pound of sandwich bread (see note)


Notes:
  1. Chive flavored cream cheese is a key ingredient to my cucumber sandwiches.  If you cannot find this, you can try to make your own by mixing plain cream cheese with 1/2 tsp of onion powder and 2Tbs of minced fresh chives.  I also like the texture of the "whipped cream cheese because it spreads much easier on the bread.
  2. I recommend sandwich bread for these Tea Sandwiches. They are sliced thinner and tend to be softer than regular bread.  I also recommend white bread because the flavor is mild it allows the tomato and the spread to take center stage.
Mix the chive cream cheese, butter/margarine and some extra pepper for the spread.  You want the ingredients to be soft, but still solid.  I suggest you keep the ingredients cool so it allows the spread to be applied easily, but doesn't melt onto the bread .




Apply the spread on each slice of bread.  Then cover one slice of bread with a layer of tomato (try not to get too much liquid with the tomato).  Top with the other slice of bread.  To keep bread from drying out you can cover it with a damp paper towel.
Enjoy.  Here are the other sandwiches in the series so far.... egg sandwiches, and cucumber sandwiches.


Copyright: All recipes, content, and images (unless otherwise stated) are the sole property of Curry and Comfort. Please do not use without prior written consent. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Frozen Banana Pudding Dessert

 It's really hot these days.  100 degree days with heat index of 105 is more than I can handle.  So when my nieces and nephews came over for dinner I knew a frozen dessert would be a perfect ending to any meal.  I was right.  This frozen banana pudding was a hit.   It took a few minutes to put together with some store bought ingredients and I let the freezer do the rest of the work.

Ingredients:
1/2 gallon of vanilla ice cream
5.6oz box of banana flavored instant pudding
2 cups of cold milk
2-3 bananas sliced or diced
1 large box of Nilla (vanilla) wafer cookies
1 tub of cool whip

* You will need a container is freezer-friendly.

Melt the ice cream for a few minutes (about 2) in the microwave.  You want it almost "soupy".  Then add your pudding and 2 cups of milk.  Stir in some chopped fresh bananas and 1/2 a tub of cool whip topping.  You can keep the other half for garnish.   It will look like a soupy mess, but don't worry it will all re-freeze.
Start with a layer of wafer cookies.
Pour a 1/3 of the soupy ice cream/pudding mixture over the first layer of cookies and repeat the cookies on top.  Then repeat with the ice cream mixture and the cookies again.  End with a final layer of the ice cream/pudding mixture.  ** you will have three layer of cookies and three layers of ice cream/pudding mixture.
Allow the dessert to sit in the freezer overnight until it is set.  Take out of the freezer for 10-15 minutes before serving to thaw just a bit so it is easy to serve.





Garnish with more sliced bananas and cool whip topping.  Enjoy.

Copyright: All recipes, content, and images (unless otherwise stated) are the sole property of Curry and Comfort. Please do not use without prior written consent. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Spicy Tofu Curry

Tofu is a highly debatable protein...either you like it or you hate it.  Well, I was one of those few that was always on the fence about it.  There were times when I loved it and times that it didn't care for it so much.  But this tofu curry definitely pushed me a lot closer to staying on the "loving it" side.  Tofu is like a sponge and it works beautifully with curry and all the spices that make up a curry.  This really tasted like an "omelete" curry and I was amazed how well it turned out.

Ingredients:
1 firm tofu brick (see note) cut into cubes
1 medium onion chopped
12-15 curry leaves
1 bell pepper or several sweet peppers
2-3 cloves of grated garlic
2 Tbs of grated ginger
1 cup of diced tomatoes (fresh or canned)
1 tsp of fennugreek seeds
1 Tbs of curry powder
1/4 tsp of ground turmeric
Red chili powder (to taste)
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 can of coconut milk

Notes on Tofu:  You can buy plain tofu or any flavored tofu you like.  I actually found a firm tofu that was flavored with a lot of pepper.  You will want to press as much excess water out of the tofu as you can without breaking the tofu. You can do this by putting it on a plate with a paper towel above and below the tofu and pressing down gently with either your hand or another plate.

Fry the tofu in about 2 Tbs of canola oil.  I wanted to give a little more color to the tofu so I added a sprinkle of turmeric into the oil before frying the tofu.  Fry each side until golden. Then set to drain on a paper towel while you create the curry sauce.
Use the remaining oil (after frying the tofu) to fry the onions and peppers.  Once the onions start getting tender add the fennugreek seeds and the grated garlic and ginger.  Fry for about a minute and finally add the powdered spices.  Allow to cook for another minute.

Add your tomatoes and salt to the dish.  Allow to cook for another minute.










Add 1/2 a cup of coconut milk and 1/2 a cup of water.  Allow to simmer for a minute.  Then add you tofu into the gravy. Cook for another 5-7 minutes.  Taste for seasoning here.






Finish the dish off with a squeeze of lime juice to taste.
Eat with rice, chapathi, roti etc..  Enjoy.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sri Lankan Fragrant Yellow Rice

Sri Lankans love their rice.  Rice is a staple of the Sri Lankan diet.  So this fragrant yellow rice is just one of the many ways we love to eat our rice.  This is a rice you can eat just on it's own.  It is that flavorful.  Of course it goes great with vegetable sides and meat curries.   Once you make this rice, you may never want to eat plain rice again.

Ingredients:
2 cups rice (see note)
12-20 curry leaves
1-2 pandan leaves (rampe)
1 cleaned and bruised lemongrass stalk
1 cinnamon stick
6 green cardamom pods
6 cloves
1 medium onion chopped
2-3 garlic cloves grated
2 Tbs of grated ginger
2-3 Tbs of margarine/butter
1 Tbs of canola oil
1/2 tsp of turmeric
1/2 cup of coconut milk
3 1/2 cups of chicken stock (see note)

Notes about the rice:  You can use white or brown rice for this dish.  I prefer Basmati style of rice since it has a more nutty flavor and tends be fluffier and not stick.  I actually used Brown Basmati for my dish.   You will want to wash the rice well.  I also recommend that you allow it to drain in a wire mesh strainer for 15-20 minutes so the rice will not be so wet when you fry it.

Notes about the liquid: I used chicken stock to bump up the flavor of the rice.  You can use chicken bullion, vegetable stock or plain water.  It's up to you.  Now the given ratio for liquid to rice is 2 parts liquid to 1 part rice.  I was cooking brown rice so I added an extra 1/2 cup of water per cup of rice.  **Make sure you count the coconut milk as liquid too**

On medium-high heat, melt your margarine and oil together.  Then add your curry leaves (tear them up with your fingers so it perfumes the oil better), cinnamon stick, cardamoms and cloves.  Allow to cook for about a minute until they become fragrant.





 Next add your onions, ginger and garlic.  Cook for 2-3 minutes.







 Now add your raw rice and turmeric to the dish.  Fry for about 3-4 minutes until the rice turns opaque in color.  Make sure you stir it continuously so it does not burn and all the rice has a chance to be toasted.





Time to add your liquid.  If you are cooking white rice add 3 and 1/2 cups of stock or water and 1/2 a cup of coconut milk for the two cups of uncooked rice.   You can also add salt to the dish here to taste.  Remember if you are using stock that is not low sodium, taste for salt in the liquid before you actually add the salt.  

I added 4 and 1/2 cups of stock and 1/2 cup of coconut milk for my brown rice because it tends to need more liquid and cook longer.

If you are cooking the rice directly on the stove, you can bring it to a boil and then lower the heat and allow it to cook covered until all the liquid evaporates.  I am a rice cooker girl so I transferred all of rice and liquid to a rice cooker and allowed it to do all the work from this point on.

Serves 4 people.  You can serve it just as is or garnish it further with some cashew nuts, fried onions, raisins, fried boiled eggs, sauteed peas and carrots.  I liked it simply the way it is and my family and I ate it with a spicy pork curry and salad.  Enjoy.

Note:  If you are not used to eating rice with cinnamon sticks, cardamoms and cloves, try to pull them out before serving it.  If not, you may bite down on these and it's not a pleasant experience to it them straight.

Copyright: All recipes, content, and images (unless otherwise stated) are the sole property of Curry and Comfort. Please do not use without prior written consent. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.