Trying new foods – Indian

I have the best memories of my good friend making me home made Indian in her apartment in Brooklyn. We would go to a little shop and buy good quality spices, bring them home and fill the air with the most delicious scents. We would then open a bottle of wine and enjoy her Red Pepper Chicken Curry,  Basmati Rice with some greens on the side. I miss our time living in New York City for many reasons. The biggest thing I miss though is our friends and the many nights we had enjoying their company over good food and wine.

During the week we usually have the same flavours in our menu plan because they are easy and I am familiar with the many ways to use them (think Mexican and Italian). I think it’s really important to introduce new flavours to our children though and I love to cook and try new foods.

This week I tried these two recipes and they were a huge success in my books! Palak Paneer is my favourite dish to order at an Indian restaurant and the Red Pepper Chicken Curry is delicious and something I thought the kids would eat. I picked up Naan at my local Indian takeout restaurant and I made Basmati rice so I knew the kids had two things they would eat on the table. To my surprise, they both gobbled up the chicken with their rice and Naan.

Here are the recipes if you would like to try them. Please tell me what you think!

Red Pepper Chicken Curry
(Thank you to my good friend Sarada for passing on this great recipe!)

Curry Paste:

  • 1 large onion, cut into quarters
  • 1 inch cube of ginger, peeled and cut into quarters
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp blanched, slivered almonds
  • 3 sweet red peppers, stem and seeds out, cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp ground coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (can increase or decrease depending on your heat tolerance)
  • 2 tsp salt

Put all of the above in a food processor to make a paste. Heat 6 Tbsp vegetable oil in a large pan. Once heated, add the paste and cook for 10 minutes on medium heat.

Chicken:

  • 2 1/2 lbs of chicken thighs
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • Pepper to taste

Add the chicken, water and lemon juice to the paste and cook for 45 minutes- 1 hour until chicken is cooked. Stir often to make sure the bottom doesn’t burn. Serve over Basmati rice (I make this in my Instant Pot!) with Naan.

The Palak Paneer recipe is from this website: https://www.vegrecipesofindia.com/palak-paneer/

Here is my modified version:

Palak Puree:

  • 300-350 grams raw baby spinach
  • 1 green chili
  • 2 garlic cloves

Boil 3 cups of water, add spinach and cook for 2-3 minutes. Drain and place strainer with spinach in it into an ice bath (this cools the spinach rapidly to preserve the colour). After 2-3 minutes, put spinach, chili and garlic in a food processor or blender to make a puree. Set aside

Palak Paneer Curry:

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp tumeric
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 300 grams paneer (I buy this at our local No Frills store in the cheese section)
  • 2 Tbsp cream

Heat 2 Tbsp vegetable oil in saucepan. Add cumin and bay leaf and stir for 30 seconds.

Add onions and saute until onions are golden. Add garlic, stir and cook for one minute being careful not to burn the garlic.

Add tomatoes, stir and saute for 2 minutes.

Add the tumeric and cayenne pepper. Stir well and add the spinach (palak) puree. Add 1/2 cup of water and simmer for 8 minutes.

Add garam masala and stir. Add paneer cubes, stir and cook for 5 minutes on low.

Add the cream and serve with Naan.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I did. It definitely gave me renewed confidence to try new things at home!

IMG_3119 (Edited)

 

 

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