Let’s Curry!

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Easy-to-prepare healthy vegetarian and non-vegetarian recipes from India’s Unsurpassed Cuisine: The Art of Indian Curry Cooking (Editor’s Choice, 2016) at www.feastofindia.net.

 

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Gift Feast of India to Your Friends

Celebrate the holidays by giving Feast of India: A Legacy of Recipes and Fables to someone who loves to cook!  Let them also discover the fantastic health benefits of curry spices and herbs Mother Nature has so bountifully provided us.  There is more to curry than meets the eye in creating harmony and balance to make body, mind, and spirit happy.

Curry evolved out of India’s five-thousand-year-old healing system called Ayurveda (science of life: body, mind, and spirit), where healing with food, herbs, and spices was Nature’s gift to people.  For centuries these treasures of nature have helped people to stay healthy, handle stress better, attain good health and a balanced and positive outlook on life.  These formulas have changed little today.

Included in this great cookbook are:

  • Cocktail Chicken Drumette Kebab
  • Sweet Mint Chutney
  • Yogurt with Spinach
  • Spicy Chicken Roast
  • Salmon Curry
  • Basmati Pilao Rice
  • Legumes in Garlic and Onions
  • Oven-Baked Leavened Bread
  • Rice Pudding
  • Indian Spiced Tea, and so much more!

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Being on friendlier terms with your stomach serves you well!  Discover and share my dazzling repertoire of authentic, delicious, healthy, and easy-to-prepare recipes of diverse flavors with your family and friends from my cookbook Feast of India: A Legacy of Recipes and Fables (1991, 2015) at www.feastofindia.net.

Celebrate the Holidays with Leg of Lamb

Celebrate the holidays with India’s Unsurpassed Cuisine.  Give this Editor’s Choice cookbook to someone you love.  Included in this marvelous cookbook are spectacular kebabs, chutneys, vegetarian and non-vegetarian entrees, breads, legumes, seductive desserts, and nourishing ‘chai’ drinks, including:

  • Royal Lucknow-Style Leg of Lamb
  • Mughal-Style Chicken Kebab
  • Curried Shrimp with Spinach
  • Tofu with Bell Pepper, Peas, and Zucchini
  • Chicken Curry and Vermicelli
  • Kashmir-Style Chickpeas with Mushrooms

 

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Royal Lucknow-Style Leg of Lamb (Lucknavi Raan Musallam)

Serves 6

½ teaspoon saffron threads
¼ cup hot milk
3 pounds leg of lamb
½ cup plain yogurt
¼ teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon roasted Mughal-style garam masala*
¼ cup unsalted, blanched almonds
¼ cup unsalted, blanched pistachios
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon ground coriander
½  teaspoon ground cardamom
¾-inch piece fresh gingerroot, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
¼ teaspoon ground mace
¼ cup dried Milk Solids*
1 tablespoon raw papaya
Salt to taste
½ cup corn oil
1 large onion, peeled, finely sliced

Soak the saffron threads in the hot milk for 20 minutes.

Wash and prick the lamb with a fork.

In a food processor, puree the yogurt, chili powder, garam masala, almond, pistachio, black pepper, coriander, cardamom, ginger, poppy seeds, mace, milk solids, papaya, salt, and saffron milk.

Heat the oil in a wok over medium heat.  Add the onions and sauté for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden brown.

Remove the onions, combine them with the yogurt mixture, and apply generously all over the lamb.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Pre-heat the oven to 350ºF.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Brown the lamb evenly on both sides  for 10 minutes.  Add the marinade and mix for 5 minutes.

Transfer the lamb to a deep baking pan.  Pour the marinade over the lamb.  Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 2 hours, basting occasionally until tender.

Serve hot with roti, vegetables, legumes, mint chutney, and salad.

 

Mughal-Style Garam-Masala (Mughalai Garam-Masala)*

1 cup green cardamom pods, pods removed and discarded
2 cinnamon sticks, broken into small pieces
¼ cup whole cloves
¼ cup black peppercorns
1 tablespoon ground nutmeg

In a small heavy-bottomed frying pan or on an iron griddle, roast all of the ingredients over medium heat, stirring constantly until the spices become a shade darker (4-5 minutes). Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the spices to a spice or coffee grinder. Grind to a fine powder and store in an airtight jar.

Unsweetened Milk Solids (Khoa)*

Milk solids or khoa are used mostly in Mughal-style cuisine and desserts, and its shelf-life is 48 hours when refrigerated.  Preparation and cooking time is 45 minutes to 1 hour.  Khoa is available at Indian grocery markets.

8 cups regular whole milk

Boil the milk in a heavy 4-6 quart saucepan over medium heat.

Reduce to low heat and stir the milk every 5 minutes with a wooden spatula for 15 minutes, until the milk is reduced by half.

Stir constantly, simultaneously scraping the dried layer of milk around the sides of the pan to ensure the milk does not acquire a burnt flavor.  Thirty minutes later when the milk has attained a mashed-potato consistency, remove and transfer the milk solids to a bowl.

Cool and refrigerate for later use.

 

This holiday season give your family and friends easy-to-prepare healthy vegetarian and non-vegetarian recipes from my cookbook India’s Unsurpassed Cuisine: The Art of Indian Curry Cooking (Editor’s Choice, 2016) at www.feastofindia.net!

 

 

Emperor’s Saffron Chicken

Celebrate the holidays with Feast of India.  Give this extraordinary cookbook to someone you know who loves international cuisine.  Included in this sumptuous cookbook are such tempting offerings as:

  • Emperor’s Saffron Chicken
  • Curried Shrimp
  • Eggplant in Cream Sauce
  • Hot Coromandel-Style Crab Curry
  • Roast Duck with Pistachio

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Emperor’s Saffron Chicken (Padshah Z’affran Murgh)

Serves 6

2½ pound roasting chicken
½ teaspoon saffron threads
¼ cup hot milk
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
5 cloves garlic, peeled
1-inch piece fresh gingerroot, peeled and chopped
2 fresh green chilies
¼ cup water
¼  cup vegetable oil
Salt to taste
2 teaspoons roasted Mughal-style garam masala*
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
¼ cup low-fat plain yogurt

Pre-heat the oven to 350ºF. Remove and discard the skin and fat from the chicken.

Soak the saffron threads in the hot milk for 15 minutes. In a blender, puree the onion, garlic, ginger, green chilies, and water to a fine paste. In a medium skillet, heat the oil. Add the pureed mixture and salt and cook over medium heat for 6-7 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the mixture from sticking to the bottom of the pan. When the oil separates from the paste, add the garam masala and cardamom. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. With a fork, whip the saffron milk into the yogurt and add to the skillet, stirring thoroughly. Cook for 2 minutes and remove the pan from the heat.

Grease a deep aluminum baking pan with oil. Place the chicken and coat the inside of the chicken with half the mixture; coat the outside with the remaining half. Seal the pan tightly with aluminum foil. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 15 minutes, basting occasionally.

Serve hot with pilao rice or plain rice; nan roti, chapatis, parathas, or pooris; and accompanying vegetables and legumes.

 

Mughal-Style Garam-Masala (Mughalai Garam-Masala)*

1 cup green cardamom pods, pods removed and discarded
2 cinnamon sticks, broken into small pieces
¼ cup whole cloves
¼ cup black peppercorns
1 tablespoon ground nutmeg

In a small heavy-bottomed frying pan or on an iron griddle, roast all of the ingredients over medium heat, stirring constantly until the spices become a shade darker (4-5 minutes). Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the spices to a spice or coffee grinder. Grind to a fine powder and store in an airtight jar.

 

This holiday season gift your family and friends a dazzling repertoire of delicious, healthy vegetarian and non-vegetarian recipes that are so easy-to-prepare from my cookbook Feast of India: A Legacy of Recipes and Fables (1991, 2015) at www.feastofindia.net!

 

Carrots and Squash sautéed in Turmeric and Ginger

Here is one vegetarian dish everyone will enjoy!

Squash and Carrots

Carrots and Squash Sautéed in Turmeric and Ginger (Sabzi)

Serves 6

4 medium carrots
2 medium yellow squash
2 medium zucchini
¼ cup corn oil
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped fine
½-inch piece fresh gingerroot, peeled and chopped fine
4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped fine
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
½ teaspoon coriander powder
½ teaspoon cumin powder
Salt to taste

Wash and cut the carrots, squash, and zucchini lengthwise into 2-inch pieces.

Heat the oil in a wok over medium heat.  Add the onion, garlic, and ginger and sauté for 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly, until golden brown.

Add the turmeric, coriander, and cumin powder and sauté for 2-3 minutes.

Add the carrots, squash, zucchini, and salt, and stir.  Cover and simmer for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender.

Serve hot with basmati rice, legumes, roti, and salad.

 

Being on friendlier terms with your stomach serves you well!  Discover and share my dazzling repertoire of authentic, delicious, healthy, and easy-to-prepare recipes of diverse flavors with family and friends from my cookbooks Feast of India: A Legacy of Recipes and Fables (1991, 2015) and India’s Unsurpassed Cuisine: The Art of Indian Curry Cooking (Editor’s Choice, 2016) at www.feastofindia.net.

Yogurt with Spinach

Try this healthy yogurt and spinach dip seasoned with roasted cumin!

sauteing-spices

Yogurt with Spinach (Palak ka Raita)

 

2 cups fresh spinach, stems removed and leaves chopped fine
2 cups plain low-fat yogurt
1 small onion, peeled and sliced fine
1 teaspoon roasted ground cumin
¼  teaspoon ground dried red chilies
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
Salt to taste

Steam the spinach leaves over medium heat for 5-7 minutes.  In a bowl, mix together the yogurt, onion, cumin, ground chili, pepper, and salt.  Mix in the spinach and refrigerate.  Serve cold as a dip or with chicken curry, legumes, and plain rice.

 

 

Being on friendlier terms with your stomach serves you well!  Discover and share my dazzling repertoire of authentic, delicious, healthy, and easy-to-prepare recipes of diverse flavors with family and friends from my cookbooks Feast of India: A Legacy of Recipes and Fables (1991, 2015) and India’s Unsurpassed Cuisine: The Art of Indian Curry Cooking (Editor’s Choice, 2016) at www.feastofindia.net.

Lentils (dal)

Dal is the generic name for all legumes, lentils, dried beans and peas, always prepared in combination with pungent herbs and spices, such as garlic, ginger, onion, black pepper, chilies, mustard seeds, asafoetida, cumin, coriander, turmeric, fenugreek seeds, onion seeds, salt, and oil or clarified butter.

Spicy Turmeric Lentils

Lentils Sautéed in Garlic and Ginger (Dal)

Serves 6

Pink salmon-colored lentils (masoor dal) cook rapidly and is a perfect accompaniment with rice or roti.

1½ cups pink lentils
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
5 cups water
Salt to taste
¼  cup corn oil
½ teaspoon black mustard seeds
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
1 medium onion, peeled and sliced fine
7 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped fine
½-inch fresh gingerroot, peeled and chopped fine
1 small dried red chili
¼ teaspoon asafoetida
1 large tomato, chopped fine
¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves (optional)

Soak the lentils for 10 minutes in a pot of cold water.  Rinse and drain the lentils.

In a medium pot, add 5 cups water, turmeric and salt.  Cover and boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally for 15 minutes until lentils are cooked.

Heat the oil in a wok over high heat.  Add the cumin and mustard seeds and sauté for 1-2 minutes over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the cumin seeds change color and the mustard seeds start popping.  Add the onion, garlic, ginger and red chili and sauté for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown.  Add the asafoetida and stir thoroughly for 1 minute.

Add the cooked lentils and tomato and stir for 1-2 minutes.  Cover and cook for 6-7 minutes.  Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves.  Serve hot with basmati rice or roti, chicken kebab, vegetables, and yogurt salad.

 

Being on friendlier terms with your stomach serves you well!  Discover and share my dazzling repertoire of authentic, delicious, healthy, and easy-to-prepare recipes of diverse flavors with family and friends from my cookbooks Feast of India: A Legacy of Recipes and Fables (1991, 2015) and India’s Unsurpassed Cuisine: The Art of Indian Curry Cooking (Editor’s Choice, 2016) at www.feastofindia.net.

 

 

Delicious Chicken Curry sautéed in Cardamom, Cinnamon & Hot Spices

The fame of Indian spices is older than recorded history.  Centuries before Greece and Rome had their birth; sailing ships carried Indian spices, perfumes, and silks to Mesopotamia, Arabia, and Egypt.  It was the lure of these exotic products that brought many seafarers to the shores of India.

Spices and herbs are Nature’s gift to us.  They are the heating and cooling energy specialists of the body and aid the digestive process in keeping balance and harmony. They stimulate the taste buds and increase the flow of saliva, relieve gas, and reduce nausea, soothe the nervous system, increase internal body heat to relieve chills, strengthen and promote digestion, absorption, metabolism, circulation, and elimination.

The much talked about ancient curry spice curcumin or turmeric (haldi) powder, has been used for thousands of years in India to strengthen and tone the stomach, promote appetite, and help to rid the intestinal tract of parasites.  As a natural antioxidant substance, turmeric has few equals in helping to prevent disease; slow the oxidation of oils, fats, and so forth; and check the deterioration of cells and tissues in the body.  To the Hindus turmeric is a sacred spice used in every religious ceremony.  The mangal sutra, or sacred marriage thread, that is tied around the bride’s neck by her husband-to-be is dipped in turmeric paste to ensure an auspicious start for the newlyweds.

Today western research suggests that curcumin regulates inflammation that “plays a major role in most chronic illnesses, including neuro-degenerative, cardiovascular, pulmonary, metabolic, autoimmune and neoplastic diseases and aids in healing by ameliorating the chronic inflammation associated with a multitude of ailments and illnesses, from toothaches to cardiovascular disease.”

The magic of curry is in the blending and sautéing of spices (masala) in hot oil as in this delicious, unforgettable chicken curry!

Chicken Curry

Hyderabad-Style Chicken Curry

(Hyderabadi Murgh Korma)

Serves 6

2½ pounds chicken pieces
1 cup plain yogurt
1-inch piece fresh gingerroot, peeled and chopped
10 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon chili powder
¾ teaspoon ground turmeric
½ cup fresh coconut
½ cup unsalted cashew nuts
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
Salt to taste
4 tablespoons sesame seeds
4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
¾ cup corn oil
7 green cardamom pods
2 black cardamom pods
2 cinnamon sticks
2 bay leaves
¼ teaspoon ground mace
3 cups water
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
½ cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped fine

Remove the skin and fat from the chicken, wash and drain the chicken, and set aside in a large bowl.

In a food processor, puree the yogurt, ginger, garlic, onion, chili powder, turmeric, coconut, cashew nuts, nutmeg, and salt.

Combine the yogurt mixture and sesame seeds with the chicken. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Wash the potatoes and drain.

Heat the oil in a wok over high heat and sauté the cardamom, cinnamon, bay leaves, and mace for 1–2 minutes, stirring constantly, until the spices change color to a darker shade.

Reduce the heat to medium, add the chicken and marinade, and stir for 5 minutes until boiling.

Add 3 cups water and mix. Cover and cook for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent ingredients from sticking, until chicken is tender.

Add the potatoes and lemon juice, and mix. Cover and simmer for 7–8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are cooked.

Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves and serve hot with rice, roti, vegetables, legumes, and tossed salad.

 

Being on friendlier terms with your stomach serves you well!  Discover and share my dazzling repertoire of authentic, delicious, healthy, and easy-to-prepare recipes of diverse flavors with your family and friends from my cookbooks Feast of India: A Legacy of Recipes and Fables (1991, 2015) and India’s Unsurpassed Cuisine: The Art of Indian Curry Cooking (Editor’s Choice, 2016) at www.feastofindia.net.