Indian Cooking

While in Portland, Tim and I acquired a book at Powell’s Bookstore (insert: only the GREATEST bookstore I have ever been to, where sold on the same shelves are both used and new books, giving the ease of finding the books you want and the opportunity to buy them at the price you want!) on Indian cooking.  This book had come recommended by my aunt and uncle, foodies themselves, who said they had bought this book to inspire them before their trip to India.  Last week, in a surge of domestic inspiration, I made my first Indian dish from this book, Easy Indian Cooking, called Ginger Chili Chicken.

I honestly knew next to nothing about Indian cooking, and actually learned a few things that I would do differently the next time.  For example, apparently, according to the author, Indian meals normally consist of one “dry” dish, and one or two “wet” dishes.  This recipe falls under “dry” dishes, and while really very good, I made the mistake of not having a soup or “dal,” which significantly would have rounded out the meal.  Instead I made jasmine rice with it, and there was not enough marinade to wet the rice.

It was however, very easy!  Here’s the recipe (for 8 people; I halved it):

  • 12 skinless bone-in chicken thighs (I used breasts, and really probably made a mistake in doing so because thighs are generally more moist)
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice (I used lemon)
  • 2.5 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1.5 tsp mustard powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup julienne peeled gingerroot
  • 6 to 8 green chiles, preferably serranos (I used 2 for my 1/2 recipe, and it was already quite spicy, even though I really enjoy spicy!)
  • 1 sprig cilantro, for garnish

The first 4 ingredients after the chicken make up the marinade.  I mixed them together, put everything in a Ziploc bag, and marinated for 3o minutes.

Then I chopped up the ginger and chiles – not very finely, and I liked it this way.

Then using a non-stick skillet with a lid, you heat all the oil on medium high, and then brown the ginger and chiles until almost crisp.

The chicken and all the marinade goes in next, turning the heat to medium, and then you cook the chicken on each side for 4-5 minutes.

Afterwards, you add 2 tbsp of water, turn the heat to medium-low, and simmer for 30 minutes, turning the chicken over once.  (I found this interesting – most chicken dishes are made on the stove – no baking!  Wonder if it’s because it’s so hot 🙂 )

Then garnish with cilantro, and maybe add some more lemon or lime!  Like I said, I served mine with rice, but next time will make something else to go with it.  So very good!

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