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Chicken Korma

November 12, 2018

Chicken Korma

  • 1½ skinless chicken thighs, cut into ½ inch pieces


  • 1 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup low-fat sour cream
  • ¼ cup half and half
  • ½ medium yellow onion, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 inch ginger, grated
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Mix the yogurt, sour cream, half and half, onion, garlic, ginger, salt and cayenne pepper in a medium bowl. Add the chicken pieces and marinate for at least 2 to 3 hours if not over night.

  • ½ cup cashews soaked over night in ½ cup hot water

Blend the cashews with the water into a paste. Keep aside.

  • 2 tablespoons extra light olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon black cumin seeds (shaahi zeera)
  • 2 green cardamoms, crushed
  • 1 ½ inch cinnamon stick
  • 3 to 4 cloves, crushed
  • 1 large or 2 small yellow onions, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped

Heat a deep saucepan with the oil. Add the cumin, cardamom, cinnamon and cloves. Cook on medium heat for about 30 seconds. Add the onions, garlic, cashew paste and cook medium heat for at least 20 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the chicken with the marinade and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cover and cook for 20 to 30 minutes. Check every 10 minutes, making sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Take the lid off and turn the heat up to medium high and let the excess moisture evaporate- another 10 minutes stirring constantly. Check for seasonings and garnish with cilantro.

A Restaurant Classic – Chicken Tikka Masala

October 16, 2017

Another staple for Diwali dinner… yum!

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless thighs, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 5-6 wooden skewers, soaked in water for at least an hour
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 inches fresh ginger

Process the garlic and ginger into a paste and add to a medium sized bowl.

  • ½ cup non-fat greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons half and half
  • 1 teaspoon red food coloring (optional)
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped
  • ½ cup raw cashews, ground

Chicken Tikka Masala1

Preheat broiler on high.

Add the yogurt, half and half, food coloring, lemon juice, coriander powder, salt, garam masala, cilantro and cashews into the bowl with the ginger and garlic. Mix well and add the chicken pieces. Marinate over night or at least two to three hours.
Take out the pieces out of the marinade and place them evenly onto the skewers. Broil on a broiling pan on high for 5 to 6 minutes on both sides or till the chicken is golden brown. Take the chicken out of the skewers and keep aside.
Chicken Tikka Masala4

  • 3 tablespoons extra light olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger
  • 2 cans (14 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • ¼ cup half and half
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Salt
  • 2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 3 tablespoons dried fenugreek
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil and add the cumin seeds on medium high heat. Saute for a minute and add the ginger and garlic. Saute for another minute and add the tomato sauce. Add the milk, half and half, sugar, salt, coriander powder and garam masala. Mix well and add half of the chicken pieces (the rest can be used for another recipe). Bring the sauce to a boil and simmer on low heat for 10 minutes. Add the fenugreek and fresh coriander. Check for seasonings.
Chicken Tikka Masala3

A Recipe Fit For Royalty: Vegetable Korma

June 1, 2009

vegetable-kormaI teach cooking classes a couple time a month. I try to come up with a complete and balanced menu that is delicious but easy to make. For last month’s class, I did the chicken malai tikka– I wanted to come up with a vegetable dish people can enjoy. Someone had suggested a navrattan korma- which is a very popular dish in Indian restaurants around here. A korma is a dish with either vegetables or meat cooked in a creamy white sauce. I have never really made a vegetable korma and never really order it at a restaurant either. The reason for not ordering the dish outside is that it is filled with cream and butter. I can’t imagine how many calories are in that small serving!

In my attempt to come up with a healthier version of this dish, I must have looked at hundreds of recipes. I finally came up with the perfect, delicious concoction. In my mind, a korma is creamy, delicate yet full of flavor. I used dry spices to give the dish loads of flavor. The cinnamon, bay leaf, cardamom, cloves and most of all the black cumin give this dish a very delicate aroma and taste. I tend to use black cumin when I am making a white creamy sauce- unlike regular cumin, this variety has a very floral taste- it’s delicate yet full bodied – the flavor is unmistakable! That being said- if you can’t find this spice, regular cumin will be just fine.  Also, any combination of vegetables is great in this dish. I went with a combination with great aesthetic appeal, full of color.  For the white creamy sauce, I decided to use non-fat evaporated milk with a touch of half and half. The evaporated milk gives the dish great body and taste without any of the fat- how clever was that!! The half and half adds just enough richness without going over the top. To finish off the dish, I added chopped raw cashews and golden raisins. The sweetness of the two ingredients goes very well with the mild creamy dish. To take the korma to another level, I added crumbled paneer- it gives the dish great texture. Overall the dish was a big success. My husband loved it! People at the class enjoyed it as well. We at it with fresh homemade rotis and pink lentils cooked with broccoli rabe- recipe to follow soon!!

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A Delicious Grilled Chicken Recipe: Malai Chicken Tikka

May 31, 2009

malai-chicken-tikkaIf I had to choose one technique of cooking meats- making tikkas (grilled meats) would be my all time favorite. The process includes marinating any kind of meat or fish and then cooking them on skewers in a tandoor. Usually the marinade consists of hung or greek style yogurt (I tend to use low fat sour cream more often), lemon juice, ginger, garlic and a variety of spices. I think if I had to give up meat- it would be very difficult knowing that I won’t be able to eat any tandoori preparations- my weakness (one amongst many!).

The one thing I still don’t think Indian restaurants make really well here in the US are the tandoori dishes. Somehow in India, the marinated meats taste a lot more tender and full of flavor than the ones we eat here- not sure why?? I do make them at home, and the outside grill does a decent job of replicating the taste-although it’s not really the same… The most important thing is the marinade – if there is not enough flavor in the concoction, the meat won’t have any either. If I have to pick one ingredient that makes the most difference, I would have to say it’s salt. If enough salt is not added to the marinade- they meat will be tasteless! I remember, growing up we used to walk to an open market near our house with lots of food vendors. One of them made the most spectacular mutton tikkas I have ever had. They were tiny bite sized pieces of meat that were marinated and then cooked in a tandoor to perfection- I can still picture and taste them as if it was yesterday. Tandoori dishes are first on my list whenever I make a trip to Delhi- no different from any other city I visit- food is generally the focus!

In this particular dish, I have used cardamom, nutmeg and saffron as the main flavor ingredients. It gives the chicken a very subtle floral flavor. The other ingredient that gives this dish a very different flavor is the cashew paste. The nutty and creamy flavor gives the tikkas a very authentic taste in my opinion.  The chicken is especially delicious if you use the outside grill- although the oven broiler will do the job as well. 

My daughter and husband loved this chicken. We also cooked it in the class I just taught and the response was good as well. It’s a great dish to make for the summer with a yummy salad and a nice chilled rose or beer!!!

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