Thursday, January 27, 2011
I've expanded my repertoire of culinary adventures. About 5 weeks ago, I began making baby food. Things started out splendidly. My little eclair gobbled up my homemade carrots, squash and sweet potatoes. Green beans and peas caused a bit of a setback but then we got back on track with apples. But now I'm depressed. She's got a new favorite food: peaches. Given the time of year, I couldn't get fresh peaches to make homemade, so I had to buy them pre-made. And now she likes them so much she doesn't want to eat anything else. She doesn't just zip her lips for the other stuff, she blows it off the spoon. I can't help but laugh at her little lips pursed in an "O" blowing squash all over me. But now I've got a freezer full of bags of perfect little cubes of organic fruits and vegetables and she wants the store-bought stuff. Go figure! This too shall pass (and who could resist this face, even when it's covered in peas, squash or oatmeal).
But enough about my adventures in baby food land. This next recipe isn't for the little ones, unless they like a spicy kick. The ingredients are all common, with the possible exception of garam masala, but even that can be found in the Indian section of many markets and Williams-Sonoma makes a version now too. It's an easy intro to making Indian food at home and you can adjust the heat level to suit your taste. One thing to note, don't use fat free yogurt, it just doesn't work.
Serve with naan and steamed basmati rice.
adapted from From Curries to Kebabs: Recipes from the Indian Spice Trail by Madhur Jaffrey
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 to 1 tsp. cayenne
1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
2 1/2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
6 Tbsp. plain yogurt (not fat free)
3/4 cup finely chopped tomato
For the final flavoring
1 Tbsp. fresh ginger, cut into very fine shreds
7 to 8 Tbsp. finely chopped cilantro
2 to 3 fresh hot green chilies, finely chopped
2 tsp. garam masala
1/2 cup finely chopped tomato
Pour the oil into a well-seasoned pan and set over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, put in the onion, garlic and ginger. Stir-fry for 4-5 minutes, or until golden brown. Add the salt, cayenne and turmeric. Stir once or twice, then put in the chicken. Fry, stirring at the same time, until the chicken pieces turn opaque on the outside. Add the yogurt and tomato. Cook, stirring, for 4-5 minutes until the yogurt disappears. Cover and cook over medium heat until the chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes for dark meat and 6 for light. Stir in all the ingredients for the final flavoring, cover, reduce the heat as low as possible and cook for about 5 minutes.