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The raita and naan recipes are over here.

Curry Paste

Store this paste in your fridge. It gives an amazingly rich flavor. If you can't find the curry leaves in a local store, you can get them here.

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Makes: about 1 cup

Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup whole coriander seeds

  • 2 tablespoons whole cumin seeds

  • 1 tablespoon whole fennel seeds

  • 1 tablespoon whole fenugreek seeds

  • 2 dried red chiles

  • 2-3 curry leaves

  • 1-1/2 teaspoons chili powder

  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric

  • 2 tablespoons wine vinegar

  • 1/2 cup olive oil


Directions

Grind whole spices (seeds, chiles, leaves) into a powder. Transfer to a bowl and add the ground spices, use a fork to mix the spices together. Add the wine vinegar and stir to a thick paste. Add 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons water and stir to form a paste.

Heat 1/2 cup oil in a small skillet or a wok and stir-fry the spice paste for about 10 minutes or until all the water is absorbed. Allow to cool slightly before spooning into airtight jars.

Smooth the top of the curry paste, then heat another 2 tablespoons oil in a clean pan and carefully pour on top of the paste in the jar to help prevent mold while refrigerated.


Saffron Rice

This delicious rice will make everybody happy. My whole-grain-resistant husband loved it!

Prep: 5 minutes
Soak: 20 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Stand: 5 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients
  • 2-1/2 cups brown rice (basmati if you can find it)

  • 3 cups water

  • 3 green cardamom pods

  • 2 whole cloves

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 3 tablespoons milk

  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron


Directions

Wash rice in cold water. Soak in fresh cold water for 20 minutes.

Drain soaked rice and place in a saucepan. Pour in the water. Add the cardamom, cloves, and salt. Stir, then bring to a boil. Lower heat and cover tightly, and simmer for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the milk and saffron in a microwave-safe container. Heat for 1 minute on low heat.

Add the saffron milk to the rice and stir. Cover again and continue cooking over a low heat for 15 minutes.

Remove the pan from heat without lifting the lid. Leave the rice to stand for about 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork just before serving.


Chicken Jahlfrezi

Um... I really don't know what to say. This is one of the most complexly-flavored dishes I've made in a while. There is so much going on with the spices here, from the handmade curry paste to the fried whole cumin seeds to the blend of spices added during cooking. And note that you have cilantro in three forms here: whole seeds (coriander = cilantro), ground seeds, and fresh leaves. This dish is traditionally quite hot, too, so feel free to use any type of chile pepper you like, with as much heat as you want.

Sometimes I cheat and chop the veggies, etc. as I go - you do not want to do that with this recipe. You won't have time. Chop it all up-front. I even found it helpful to have the spices measured and prepared beforehand on this one.

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons oil

  • 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds

  • 1 onion, finely chopped

  • 1 bell pepper, finely chopped (I use red; my husband can't eat green bell peppers)

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 3/4-inch piece of ginger root, minced

  • 1 tablespoon curry paste (see above)

  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder

  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1-1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes

  • 14-ounce can diced tomatoes

  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, divided


Directions

Heat oil in wok and fry cumin seeds for 30-40 seconds until they begin to splutter. Add onion, peppers, garlic and ginger and fry for 6-8 minutes.

Add curry paste to the pan and stir-fry for about 2 minutes. Stir in the chili powder, coriander, cumin and salt. Add 1 Tbsp water. Stir-fry for 2 more minutes.

Add chicken and stir-fry for about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and half of fresh cilantro. Cook, covered, for about 15 minutes until the chicken is tender. Sprinkle remaining fresh cilantro on top.
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The Soup Fairy

October 2012

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