HELPING FAMILY FARMS FLOURISH. HELPING FEED THE HUNGRY.
Showing posts with label Indian Cooking. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Indian Cooking. Show all posts

Monday, September 22, 2014

Butter Chicken adapted from Sam Sifton and Suvir Saran

Inspiration and Photo Courtesy of The New York Times and Sarah Ann Ward
Suvir Saran
        The moment the thermometer drops below 60 degrees, I cannot wait to put some Indian food on the table.  This makes very little sense since the average temperature on the Indian sub-continent is 65.5 degrees.  And in Delhi, where this recipe was invented, the average is 77.4.  But I wait to serve Indian comfort food once summer is over. And I could not wait to serve this outstanding example of wonderful Indian cooking. Outside of India, this recipe is called Chicken Tikka Masala.  It may surprise you to know that this yogurt and spice-marinated dish with its onions, ginger and tomatoes scented with cumin, turmeric, cinnamon and garam masala has only recently been deposed as Britain’s most popular dish. (It was replaced by Chinese stir frys.)  There are, of course, dozens of variations of this classic, whose origin dates from the 1940s. It was first served at a restaurant which itself was a first.  According to Suvir Saran in “Indian Home Cooking” (Clarkson Potter 2004), Moti Mahal (The Palace of Pearls) was India’s first, real sitdown restaurant where, when India gained its independence from Britain, Indians of all classes could enjoy a sit-down meal indoors.  From its kitchen came the first Butter Chicken, which, by the way, is what the dish is always called in India.  And Butter Chicken, by the way, is not swimming in butter although it does use a quarter pound of the stuff.


Monday, June 16, 2014

Short Ribs in a Cinnamon and Red Wine Sauce: An East Indian take on a North American Classic


           
          This was one of the first posts I published back in 2010 when I started to blog.  Because my readership was nowhere near what it is now, I should not have been as surprised as I was to see that it never really attracted a big audience. That struck me as a shame because it is a spectacularly interesting take by a master of Indian cooking who invented one of the most unique cooking styles anywhere--a fusion between Indian inflected spices and great Canadian ingredients--in this case the country's phenomenal grass fed beef.  As to its seasonality, I say it would be as good in July as it would be in January.  After all, it's a variation on that summer staple--Ribs.  What makes it a particularly attractive take on Ribs is that it doesn't require firing up a grill.  Instead it cooks away in the oven for hours.   So here, a reprise of something awfully good that I hope will get the attention it deserves.
          If you’ve had any luck in life, you’ve had the good fortune to visit Vancouver, British Columbia. It’s a city that’s got it all. They say in winter you can sail and ski on the same day. Surrounded by water and a little over an hour from the slopes at Whistler, that sounds highly possible. Yes, it has that Pacific Northwest climate with a few more rainy days than I’d find ideal, but it’s blessedly warmer than the rest of Canada in winter and temperate all summer. And Vancouver is a foodie’s delight. In fact, Mimi Sheraton thinks the best Asian cuisine in North America is found there. I’d add that the best South Asian food in Vancouver is served at Vij’s, Vikram VijDescription: http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=52246-20&l=btl&camp=213689&creative=392969&o=1&a=1553651847’s no reservation restaurant at 1480 West 11th Street in the South Granville area of the city. And I wouldn’t be alone. The New York Times called Vij’s “Easily among the finest Indian restaurants in the world.” 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Indian Pot Roast from Whole Foods Market


  
         If you are thinking “native American”, this recipe probably wouldn’t raise an eyebrow.  But we’ve long since stopped calling Native Americans “Indians”.  No, the name of this dish refers to the Asian sub-continent of India.  And that may be even more surprising.  The cow is considered sacred by most Hindus.  That makes beef taboo in all but two Indian states: Goa on the west coast and Kerala at the southern tip of India.  There you will find it sold in restaurants.  But in the rest of India, you’ll have to seek out international restaurants catering to Western customers who simply can’t live without their beef. 
Sacred Cow in front of McDonald's...
never inside!
Behold the Maharaja Mac
Where, I wondered, does that leave McDonald’s? There are over 250 McDonald’s in 12 Indian cities and not one Big Mac to be found in any of them.  Instead the offerings are limited to the McVeggie—bread, peas, carrots, potatoes, Indian spices, lettuce and Mayo on a sesame seed bun. The McChicken is self explanatory. The Filet o Fish sounds exactly like the one at home.  And what is the Big Mac equivalent?  Two browned chicken breasts, onions, lettuce, tomatoes and cheese on “ Sesame bedecked bread buns”.  Top of the line, it’s called the Chicken Maharaja-Mac. And it costs just 60 rupees. That’s 1.30 cents. So what’s with Whole Foods “Indian Pot Roast”?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Aromatic Braised Chicken with Fried Onions



Kerala, Land of Coconuts
         Talk about a recipe that lives it to its name!  This glorious chicken dish perfumes the house with a wonderful aroma of spices—ginger, curry, cloves and cinnamon.  And then, when you bring it to the table and serve it over some cardamom-scented Basmati rice, it proves to be as delicious a taste as it is an aroma.  Its Indian pedigree is fascinating. It comes from Kerala, the state that’s almost at the tip of the Indian sub-continent.  From the look of it, Kerala lives up to its name, which means “Land of Coconuts”.  Kochi, formerly known as Cochin, is its capital and there you’ll find this dish’s creator and her eponymous cooking school.  Nimmy Paul is her name and her background is as complex as India itself.