Green Masala Chicken

This dish is one of my regulars – it is quick and easy since you simply  blend the ingredients for the marinade together, and then grill. It incorporates veggies into the sauce so perfect for our family!

 

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Ingredients

1 teaspoon each, garlic paste and ginger paste
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 cup yogurt
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 pound boneless chicken breast, cut in small cubes
1-2 green chillies
1/2  large green bell pepper
2 cups packed spinach leaves
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice
1/2 medium onion, chopped, fried brown or  1/2  cup package fried onions (from the indian grocery store)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 lime

Preparation

Marinade chicken with the first 5 ingredients.

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Blend the remaining ingredients except the lime, to a smooth paste, in blender or food processor.IMG_2923 (1)

Add this to the chicken and marinade for several hours or overnight.

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Skewer the chicken and grill for about 3-4 minutes or each side.

Squeeze the lime over the chicken and serve with slices of onion.

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Tomato Kheema

Kheema, the Indian version of “chili”, is one of the most common non-vegetarian dishes cooked in India. It can be eaten with rice, bread (chapati) and as a treat, puri (deep fried bread).

There is also variation of kheema without the tomato – it more of a dry dish and uses similar ingredients. Depending on your menu or preference either one can be made, see note below.

I prefer to use lean ground beef, but in India, goat meat is used in all meat preparations. It is leaner than chicken but is a good choice for kheema because it can be a little on the tough side depending on the cut of meat.

You can also use Veggie Crumbles as a substitute for meat.

 

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Ingredients

1 pound lean ground beef (93%)

1-2 tablespoon oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

3 cloves, 2″ cinnamon stick, 2 cardamom (1/8 tsp of each in powdered form)

1 teaspoon garlic paste

1 teaspoon ginger paste

1 teaspoon cayenne or to taste

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

3 tablespoon tomato paste

1/4 cup yogurt

1 teaspoon coriander powder

1/2 teaspoon garam masala

3/4 cup frozen peas

2 tablespoon chopped cilantro

lemon to taste

Preparation

Heat oil in a medium saucepan, add onions and stir fry till the onions are medium brown about 3-4 minutes.

Add the cumin seeds, cloves, cinnamon and cardamon. Stir for 30 seconds. Add the ginger, garlic,cayenne, salt, turmeric to the pan and stir till the spices are blended.

Add 2 tablespoon water to the pan, and when the water evaporates, add the tomato paste with about 1/2 cup more water. Stir until the sauce is smooth and bring to a simmer.

When you see the oil rise to the top, add the yogurt and continue to cook for another minute. Add the ground beef and stir constantly making sure that there are no big clumps. Cover and continue to cook for 10 minutes on low heat stirring occasionally.

Uncover the pan, add the coriander powder, garam masala and the frozen peas. Simmer for another 5 minutes. Add the cilantro and a squeeze of lime.

 

Variation: Sookha (dry) Kheema

Follow the above directions omitting the tomato paste and water.

When cooking the ground beef, sauté on low heat (uncovered) until the meat is dark brown in color (you may need to cook for an additional 5 minutes). Stir in the coriander powder, garam masala and peas. Add cilantro and lime, if desired.

 

Spicy Chicken Croquettes

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My younger daughter had a problem eating chicken. She would chew and chew and chew! And  then drink glasses of water to help her swallow it throughout her meal and the result was she was so full of water she wouldn’t want to eat after that!  Fortunately I came across a recipe for Chicken Croquettes in a “Better Homes & Garden”cookbook… I had found my answer! She had no problem eating chicken this way as it is finely minced up, the white sauce was flavorful and the outside crust was crispy. This became a favorite with her and almost every other child I have fed over the years!

I then “Indianized” it and have been making this recipe ever since. The great thing about this recipe is that it can be made ahead especially if you have company coming for dinner or to stay for a weekend. You can fry them before serving, as needed. They also can be frozen before or after frying.

Ingredients

2 cups of minced chicken (2 large boneless chicken breasts, cooked and minced in a food processor*)

3 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup flour

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup chicken broth

2 tablespoon cilantro, finely chopped

1 small onion, grated

2 small green chillies, finely minced or ground

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 cups dry breadcrumbs

2 large eggs, beaten

oil for frying

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Preparation

Melt butter in a 2 quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook for 1 minute.

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Slowly add the milk and stock stirring constantly till the sauce is smooth.

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Add the onions, green chillies, lemon juice, cilantro, and all of the spices and cook for 3 minutes until the sauce is very thick.

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Add the minced chicken and mix well with the sauce.

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Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or over night.

The mixture will be very thick. Take about 1/4 heaping cup of the mixture and make into oblong rolls about 3 ” long .


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Roll into dry breadcrumbs, dip in beaten egg and roll again into the breadcrumbs. (This method will give you a crispy crust after frying)

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Heat oil, about 1″ – 2′ deep, on medium high in a wok or frying pan. When oil is hot ( test with small piece of bread, the bread should quickly rise to the top ) add about 3 -4 croquettes and fry for 3 minutes turning them around till they are golden brown on all sides.

Drain on paper towels and serve hot.

*Note: To cook the chicken: cover chicken with water in a saucepan, and bring to boil. Turn the heat off, cover with a lid. Set aside for about 15 minutes. Chicken should be cooked. Drain and finely chop by hand or in a food processor.

Chicken Kothmir (Cilantro)

Years ago, I took an Air India flight to visit my family and happened to get upgraded to business class! I happen to think that the food on Air India in general is much better than any of the European & American airlines so was intrigued to see what I would get on this flight.  They served this amazing dish- Chicken Kothmir – and handed us the recipe as well!

Since then I have adapted the recipe to make it with fewer ingredients. Because it is semi-dry, it is great to roll up in a chapati/tortilla or use as a filling in a panini/sandwich thin, and also nice as a simple dish with rice. I haven’t yet tried making this with tofu or paneer instead of chicken, but I’m sure it would make for a great vegetarian meal.

Cilantro or Coriander is known by different names – the Spanish refer to it as “cilantro”.  In Northern India it is known as “hare dhania”, and in the southern region it is called “kothmir”.  Coriander seeds can be roasted and ground into a common spice used in Indian cooking, and also used in making “garam masala” which is a spice mix used in many Indian recipes.

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Ingredients

2 pounds boneless chicken breasts, cubed

2 tablespoon oil

2 large onions, chopped

2 teaspoons coriander powder

1 teaspoon turmeric powder

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 cup tomatoes, chopped (or canned)

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups coriander leaves (cilantro) packed, chopped fine

1 heaping teaspoon garam masala

lemon juice to taste

 

Preparation

Heat oil in large skillet, add onions and sauté until the onions are light brown. Add the coriander powder, turmeric, cayenne pepper and stir for a minute. Add the tomatoes and cook for about 4 minutes.

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Add the chicken and salt, and simmer covered on low for about 5 minutes.

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Add the garam masala and chopped coriander leaves, stir for a minute or two. Sprinkle with lemon juice.

 

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