I love Indian food! It is so full of flavor and aroma but I don’t always have the spices they use on hand. I don’t know why. I suppose I’ve been conditioned. I suppose I’m an American used to a different set of spices. Well, since they say, “Variety is the spice of life”, the same is true in the variety of spices. Certain spices make foods come alive. A little piece of chicken breast can become a masterpiece of taste with the right combination of spice in the sauce. Places around the world have their unique flavors like Mexican cuisine, Italian, Moroccan, Chinese, Tai; but the Indian spices really are my favorite. I found a little jar of Tikka Masala simmering sauce on an end-cap at the store and decided to try it. This is what happened.
This little chicken breast got all dressed up with just a few ingredients.
- First I made cutlets of the chicken; little medallion size pieces seared in a skillet until just firm. that takes about 3-4 minutes per side
- Next, I removed the chicken, set it aside and replaced them with a bag of frozen fajita veggies; multi-colored peppers and onion and stir fried them. That took about ten minutes
- Then I put in half the jar of the Tikka Masala sauce (about 2/4 cup) and tossed the chicken back in for a swim.
- Wow! the smell of India just happened! When everything simmered together for a couple of minutes I was ready to dive in.
- I plated up a serving and garnished it with raisins, peanuts and a sprinkle of shaved coconut. YUUUUM!
This magic sauce is made of tomato puree, yogurt, coconut cream and those lovely curry, corriander, cardamom, and garlic spices so prevalent in the Indian cooking. I’m not a person who goes for pre-fabbed foods and I really want to come up with my own Tikka Masala sauce some day, but this lovely dish took a mere twenty minutes start to finish. Every bite was such an explosion of flavor! I hope you try it. You won’t be disappointed.
I have been on the go for a while and have been living on leftovers and popping in to make a quick meal. Most of them have been things I have already blogged. Today as usual, I popped in for a quick lunch before going back out to visit a friend who just had a baby. I don’t have time to thaw meat or mess with too much chopping. I can hardly get away from that though, but with the right kitchen tools it goes fast.
First I used a potato dicer which looks like an apple slicer and works the same…you just push it down over the potato and slice the strips into cubes or smaller sticks. I placed the cubed Yukon gold potatoes into a skillet with a bottom coating of olive oil…about a tablespoon and a half. I covered the skillet and let that go for about five minutes on medium high. I carefully turned them over and let the other sides brown up a bit too. Slicing a whole zucchini into little half moons, I placed them all on top of the potatoes and stirred them under to get as much of the now nearly cooked potatoes on top. I kept the lid on but occasionally moved them around until I was sure the steam from the zukes would stave off more browning of the potatoes. At this point I added some spices: paprika, curry powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, black pepper and salt. I added a few slices of an onion in rings all around and stirred those under as well. Lastly, I put in some chick peas to add the protein that would get me through this busy afternoon. I’ll be having company for dinner tonight and I think this will make a dandy side dish for later too. Anything to save time!
With some pretty basic ingredients I came up with a make-as-you-go sort of dish. I didn’t know exactly what would become of a half of a chicken and all of these vegetables but with a few pantry staples and spices this is what happened:
I also added some soy sauce to give it more of an Asian persuasion and a few spices from a steak blend made for grilling. It added a nice touch of heat to the vegetables. I took the chicken which had been set aside to rest and cool enough to handle and removed the bones and cubed it into bite size pieces. The next step was to add a good punch of color and aroma.