BUT, I'm cheap and I'm motivated. So, I regained my confidence and began extensive research on some of our favorite recipes. I compared the Indian vs. Pakistani versions of the recipes because we realized that the restaurants we frequent are actually owned by Pakistanis (they used to be one country, after all!) and we prefer that flavor to the more heavily creamy, southern Indian style.
With hesitation, I went to the Lotte Asian Market last week and stocked up on all of the specialty spices I would need (though all of these spices should also be available in your regular grocery store's spice section). Last weekend, I experimented and the result was FANTASTIC! My husband was impressed and the food tasted exactly like our favorite takeout place!
Daal Makhani (inspired by Indian Food Forever's Recipe)
2 Cups Daal (Yellow Split Lentils)
1 Can Red Kidney Beans
2 Onions, Finely Chopped
1 Cup Crushed Tomatoes (canned)
2 Tablespoons Crushed Ginger (I used the kind that comes in a jar)
2 Tablespoons Crushed Garlic (Jar as well)
1 Cup Plain Yogurt
1 Cup Milk
1 Tablepoon Vegetable Oil
4 Tablespoons Butter
2 teaspoons Cumin Seeds
1 teaspoon Tumeric Powder
1 teaspoon Garam Masala
1 teaspoon Fenugreek Seeds
1/4 teaspoon Red Chili Powder (optional, add more if you like it hot)
Salt to taste
Chopped Cilantro Leaves
In a saucepan, add split lentils, a little salt and lots of water. Boil, covered, for 30-45 minutes (until the lentils are soft).
While you're waiting for the lentils to cook...In a large frying pan, add the Vegetable Oil, Cumin Seeds, Garlic & Onions. Fry until the Onions are cooked through.
Next, add the Ginger & Crushed Tomatoes and mix.
Then, add the Tumeric Powder, Fenugreek, Garam Masala & Red Chili Powder. Fry for another minute to make sure the flavors are incorporated. Set aside until the lentils are cooked.
Drain the lentils, put them back in the saucepan, mash them a bit and add the Red Kidney Beans, Milk & Yogurt.
Add the Onion/Tomato/Spice mixture to the lentils and stir. Add butter. Cook on Low Heat for another 15-20 minutes (the longer it cooks, the better it gets!).
Serve with chopped Cilantro leaves on top. Makes 6-8 Servings.
5-6 Chicken Breasts, Cleaned & Cut into strips
2 Tablespoons Plain Yogurt
1 Tablespoon Crushed Ginger (Jar)
1 Tablespoon Crushed Garlic (Jar)
1 teaspoon Red Chili Powder
1 teaspoon Lemon Juice
1 teaspoon Garam Masala
1 teaspoon Salt
2 Sticks Butter (salted)
1 teaspoon Crushed Garlic (Jar)
1 teaspoon Crushed Ginger (Jar)
1/2 teaspoon Garam Masala
1/2 teaspoon Fenugreek Seeds
1/4 teaspoon Red Chili Powder (more if you like it hot)
1/4 teaspoon Salt
2 Cups Crushed Tomatoes (canned)
1 Cup Water
2 teaspoons Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup Milk
First, mix the Marinade and put it in a ziplock bag. Put in the chicken, coat, and marinade for at least 30 minutes. When the marinade is finished, bake chicken in a lined baking dish at 350 degrees for 30 minutes (make sure chicken is cooked through).
Meantime, make the Sauce! Add the butter to a deep frying pan and melt. Add Ginger, Garlic, Garam Masala, Fenugreek, Chili Powder & Salt. Fry the spices for 1 minute. Add the Tomato Puree, Water & Brown Sugar. Simmer on Medium for 10 minutes to reduce the liquid.
When the chicken is cooked, add it to the frying pan, add milk & simmer on Low for an additional 10 minutes (the longer it cooks, the better it gets!). Serve with a little chopped Cilantro if you like!
Now that I have had a success with this kind of cooking, I'll be expanding my repertoire for sure! Homemade Naan is definitely next, along with Eggplant Curry. Tell me what kinds of Indian Specialties are your favorites!
Linking Up at Tip Junkie, Today's Creative Blog, The Frugal Girls, Funky Junk Interiors and these other Great Parties!