Chicken with Tomato and Cilantro



The traditional name for this North Indian dish is Murgh ka Bharta. You will want to use the ripest tomatoes available for taste and color. When dishes have a great mix of fresh vegetables and spices you really do not need a lot of ingredients. I always serve this with plain white rice and a cucumber salad.

3 tablespoons sunflower oil
1 onion, sliced
2 teaspoons ginger-garlic paste
1 green chili, stem removed and split lengthwise
2 tomatoes, quartered
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
5 cooked chicken breasts, shredded
Fresh cilantro

1. In a saute pan on medium heat add oil. Fry the onion until soft and then add ginger-garlic paste and green chili.

2. Add the tomatoes and any juices and cook, stirring frequently until soft. Add turmeric and salt. Add the shredded chicken, mix and cook until warm. Place on a serving platter and garnish with cilantro.

Yields: 3 servings

Shrimp Biryani

One of my blog readers wrote in and
requested shrimp biryani and ironically I already had shrimp laid out to cook.
It’s been awhile since I have made Indian food so it actually sounded really
good. When cooking shrimp you have to be really careful not to overcook or else
you get a tough plastic like texture. As soon as the shrimp turns pink it
should be removed from the stove. In the oven the shrimp will be layered with
rice and covered with foil for protection. This is actually a really easy meal
and it will be even easier if you have leftover rice to use. Living in Riyadh
you always seem to have bags of rice in the fridge since every restaurant you
ever go to gives you large bags for takeout. A perfect companion for this dish
is a tomato and onion chutney or my personal favorite plain yogurt.

1-1/2 cups basmati rice, cleaned
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion
2 garlic cloves
1 green chili
1 (1inch) piece ginger
600 grams shrimp, cleaned and deveined
3 tablespoons red curry paste
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garam masala
3 tomatoes cut into thin wedges
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 bay leaves
4 green cardamom pods, bruised
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
1. In a small food processor add onion,
garlic, chili and ginger. Pulse until chopped. Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan
on medium heat add oil. Add onion mixture and cook until tender, about 5
2. Add the shrimp
and fry for about 3 minutes, until no longer pink. Add the curry paste, salt
and garam masala to the shrimp mixture. Carefully add tomato wedges and
continue cooking for another few minutes, then remove from heat and set aside.
3. Pre-heat the oven
to 375F. Bring a large saucepan of water to boil. Add the rice and turmeric.
Cook for 10 minutes, or until the rice is almost tender. Drain the rice and toss
together with the bay leaves, cardamom, cloves and saffron.
4. Layer the rice
and shrimp in a shallow, ovenproof dish until all the mixture has been used,
finishing off with a layer of rice. Cover and bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
Yields: 4

Indian Chai Cupcakes

Let me tell you I have been in a cupcake making mood this week. I really have wanted to incorporate some of the things that my family and I enjoy into a cupcake form instead of the usual everyday flavors. I have made a few successful batches and plan to make more lucky for me my husband even surprised me with a fabulous new cupcake pan. I have been making small batch sizes because that just suits my small family better and I can experiment with more taste instead of having massive amounts of cupcakes everywhere. I incorporated the main spices of the famous Indian chai into this cupcake for a perfect, flavorful and moist sweet treat. And please do not forget the most important rule of baking cupcakes and that is placing a pan of water on the bottom rack of your oven while they bake.

2 tablespoons buttermilk
1 large egg yolk
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup plus 1-1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon allspice

1 cup cream cheese (I use Kiri cheese)
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1. Pre-heat oven to 350F. In a large mixing bowl add butter and sugar, with a hand mixer beat until fluffy. Add egg, mix. Add vanilla, flour, baking soda, sugar, buttermilk, cardamom, cinnamon, close and allspice, mix well.

2. Place baking cups into 6 cupcake tins. Place 1 tablespoon of batter evenly into cupcake tins. Bake for 14 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool.

3. Meanwhile, make frosting. In a large mixing bowl add cheese, cardamom, cloves and butter, with a hand mixer beat until fluffy. Add powdered sugar and combine. Place in refrigerator until needed.

4. When cupcakes are cool pipe frosting on top and sprinkle with ground cinnamon.

Yields: 6

Garam Masala Murghi

Garam Masala Murghi is one of the most popular Indian dishes and well with its bursting flavors it very well should be. Cream is an important staple when making curries as it is the base of a good creamy curry. This bright dish is perfect served over a bed of rice and with fresh hot nann bread.

By the way do not forget the World Nutella day is coming up here soon. I just finished making my entry and I can not wait to see all of yours.

2 tablespoons sunflower oil
1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
4 green cardamom pods
2 dried bay leaves
2 cinnamon sticks
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 (2 inch)ginger pieces, finely chopped
1 large tomato, cored and finely chopped
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 teaspoon sea salt
5 chicken breast, boneless and skinless
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
sliced almonds for garnishing

1. In a saute pan on high heat add oil. Add cloves, cardamoms, bay leaves and cinnamon, cook until they sizzle 10-15 seconds. Add the garlic and ginger, stir fry until tender. 1-2 minutes.

2. Quickly add the tomato to the pan and then sprinkle in the garam masala and salt. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally until the tomatoes softens a bit but is still firm, 3 to 5 minutes.

3. Stir in the chicken and pour in the broth. Bring the curry to a boil. Then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pan and simmer, stirring occasionally , until the meat is no longer pink inside and the juices run clear, 10 to 15 minutes.

4. Fold the cream and allow it to warm, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 2-4 minutes.

5. Remove the cardamom, bay leaves, cloves and cinnamon sticks. Sprinkle cilantro and almonds over the curry and serve.

Yields: 6 servings