Category Archives: Indian

Jerk Chicken with Coconut Saffron Rice and Black Beans

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The best jerk recipe I have ever tasted, delighted the senses, as it was fragrant, fiery hot and smoky all at once.The original recipe was developed by Paul Chung, an adventurous self-taught cook who grew up in Jamaica and has sampled jerk from just about every corner of the island. Making a few adjustments, I added  fresh ginger, dark brown sugar and apple cider vinegar to the marinade. For best results and maximum flavor, let the chicken marinate overnight, covered, in the refrigerator.

As side dishes goes, this saffron rice recipe cooks up pretty quickly, making it a great dish if you are in a hurry. Another added bonus is that is one of those rare dishes that gluten free and vegan. However, if you are allergic to coconut milk, soy milk is a suitable substitute.

Serves 8

Ingredients:
For the Chicken:
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
3 medium scallions, chopped
2-3 Scotch bonnet chili peppers, stems removed, chopped (or Habaneros)
2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon five-spice powder
1 tablespoon allspice berries, coarsely ground
1 tablespoon coarsely ground pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon white or apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Two 3 1/2- to 4-pound chickens, quartered

For the Saffron Coconut Rice and Beans:
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
1 tablespoon plain water,at room temperature
2 cups uncooked white basmati rice (or any long grain rice)
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 shallot, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 3/4 cup coconut milk
2 cups water
1 teaspoon agave nectar, (or 1/2 teaspoon of sugar)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
a pinch of ground nutmeg
One 15-ounce can of black beans, rinsed and drained
Lime wedges, for garnish

Special Equipment:
Latex gloves for handling the chilis and massaging the marinade under the chicken skin.

Directions:
For the chicken start preparing it a day or two ahead of actual cooking.

Pat chicken dry with paper towels.In a food processor, combine the onion, scallions, chiles, ginger, garlic, five-spice powder, allspice, black pepper, thyme, nutmeg, salt and brown sugar; process to a coarse paste. With the machine on, add the the soy sauce and oil in a steady stream. Put on latex gloves and pour the marinade into a large, shallow dish. Slather the marinade all over chicken, including under skin, and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Bring the chicken to room temperature before cooking and lightly sprinkle with more salt and ground allspice, before proceeding.

Prepare a charcoal grill: Clean and oil grates.Light a grill and preheat to medium heat using one chimney of charcoal. The temperature can start as high as 300°F. For best results, coals should be at least 12 inches away from chicken. If necessary, push coals to one side of grill to create indirect heat. Add two large handfuls of soaked pimento (allspice) wood sticks and chips (See Cook’s Notes) or other aromatic wood chips to coals, then close grill. When thick white smoke billows from grill, place chicken on grate, skin side up, and cover. Let cook undisturbed for 35 to 45 minutes.

Uncover the grill. The chicken will be golden and mahogany in some spots. Chicken thighs may already be cooked through. For other cuts, turn chicken over and add more wood chips, and charcoal as needed. Cover and continue cooking, checking and turning every 10 minutes. Jerk chicken is done when skin is burnished brown and chicken juices are completely clear, with no pink near the bone. For large pieces, this can take up to an hour.

While chicken is cooking, begin to prepare the rice.

In a small bowl, soak saffron threads in the water, at room temperature, for 5 minutes and set aside.

In a large saucepan, heat peanut oil over a medium heat until it begins to shimmer, about 2 minutes. Stir in chopped shallot and garlic, and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Stir in rice, mixing with a wooden spoon until all of the grains are coated with peanut oil. Fry for 1 minute, stirring constantly.Gently stir in the coconut milk, water, saffron mixture, agave or sugar, turmeric, cumin taking care as the oil will splatter. Season with salt, and gently stir, making sure that nothing sticks to the bottom while everything comes to a boil.

Once liquid achieves a boil, reduce heat to low. Place lid on pot, slightly askew to allow some steam to escape. Stir occasionally to make sure rice does not stick to bottom of pan and the sugar in the coconut milk does not burn. Allow to simmer *very* gently for 15-20 minutes, or until rice is tender.

Stir in the black beans and cook for a few minutes more until hot. Remove from heat and cover the saucepan. Allow to stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork when you are ready to serve.

When the chicken is done, transfer to a platter.Garnish with lime wedges and serve with the rice.

Cook’s Notes:
Pimento wood sticks and chips are available at www.pimentowood.com.

Alternatively you bake the chicken in the oven if a grill is not readily available.After marinating and you are ready to cook the chicken, heat oven to 350°F and bake chicken for 45-55 minutes, until done.

Also, if time is of the essence, you can first bake the chicken at 300°F in the oven then finished off on the grill. This will result in crispy skin, with perfect texture and flavor.

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Persian Fried Chicken Smothered in Peaches with Curry CousCous

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So what happens when I didn’t make it to the grocery store before the arctic polar vortex hits,  the East Coast region? Well, I was left to forage in the nether regions of my  refrigerator, freezer and pantry with such a diverse mix of ingredients.

And what happened was the creation of dish inspired by my Grand’s kitchen; the Sunday Chicken Smothered in Peaches.

So, my version of my Grands’s beloved chicken dish  is the perfect  marriage of multicultural cuisines from the Deep American South, North Africa, The Middle East and India:Persian Fried Chicken Smothered in Peaches and Almonds on a bed of Minted Curry Couscous. I think I out did myself with  this global fusion dish!

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Enjoy!

TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor

Sunday Indian Omelette

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Because of the Blizzard of 2016, it was snow day and I was stuck in the house with limited options, given the local media stations  had been covering the snowstorm for a straight 48 hours. Well, I took advantage of the snow day by watching  a couple of movies and among the choice of selections was “The Hundred-Foot Journey”, a 2014  film adapted from Richard Morais’ 2010 novel of the same name, that  tells the story of a feud between two adjacent restaurants in a French town: one operated by a recently relocated Indian family and the other a Michelin-starred restaurant.

Despite the movie starring Academy Award®-winner Helen Mirren, Om Puri and Manish Dayal, the  real stars of the movie were the 27 eye opening and mouth watering dishes, with so  many of them that were created by Chef Floyd Cartoz, who served as a consultant on the film.

CChef-Floyd-Cardoz-at-The-Bo.jpghef Cartoz, was the  2011 winner  of Top Chef Masters. His own life story is somewhat reminiscent of the film’s main character, Hassan Kadam.  Chef Cartoz was  born in India, migrated to the United States and had a hard time transitioning. He eventfully found work and he currently works as an executive chef  at White Street, located in Tribeca, New York. Drawing from his extensive culinary experience, Chef Cartoz was instrumental in bringing the foods in the novel alive on screen.

Omelette or Omelet, no matter how it is spelled or you call it, we can all agree that this French dish has an international appeal. If you’ve seen the movie,  then you may recall the scene  where Hassan made an Omelette aux Fines Herbes  with Indian spices, for Madam Mallory. It was divine.  And  at that moment, being a totally foodie, I fell in love with the cooking and presentation of my favorite dish from the film, the omelette.

It was the Sunday Indian Omelette, to be exact, which   is a  a part of a traditional Sunday morning breakfast in India.  This dish is extremely popular in The union territory of Puducherry, which was a  French colony for around 200 years, making French cuisine a strong influence in the area.  The sellers would walk around the neighborhood, calling out – “omelette, omelette”, a sign to let the community know they were open for business. It’s usually eaten alone or sometimes in between a piece of naan, making something akin to a breakfast sandwich. If you are passionate about cooking, like me and if you love eggs, may I  suggest that you try this omelette…… because I thoroughly enjoyed it, and the dish left me feeling happy with a full stomach on a snowy day.

Enjoy!

Adapted from Chef Floyd Cartoz, 2014

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:
2 cups onions, minced
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1  small Serano chili, seeded and finely minced
2 cups fresh cherry tomatoes, diced
1/2 bunch of cilantro, washed and roughly chopped
1 Tablespoon turmeric
1 Tablespoon Vadouvan French Masala Curry
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
4 Tablespoons coconut or canola oil
12 eggs
Kosher salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
Clarified butter, for serving

 

Directions:
In a large bowl combine the onion, scallions,tomatoes, cilantro, salt and mix well. Split vegetable mixture into 6 equal parts.

In a another bowl, combine the turmeric, vadouvan, cayenne pepper and black pepper with the eggs.

For each omelette that will be made, take about 1/4  cup of the spiced eggs and add it to one part of the vegetables and mix well in a small bowl with a fork.

Heat a medium size non-stick pan over moderate heat and 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil and heat until shimmering. Pour the egg mixture into the pan  and gently swril the pan to spread the eggs evenly. Stir gently with a fork, lifting the bottom to allow the uncooked eggs to flow underneath. Cook for 2 to  3 minutes. Reduce heat and let eggs cool until it sets. The eggs should not set too quickly or take on too much color.

Once the eggs are almost completely set, that is, they can no longer be stirred, give the pan a good shake or tap. Lift the pan almost vertically. With the aid of a fork or spatula, fold the omelette in half and slip it onto a plate, folding it again onto itself. Brush the top of the omelette with clarified butter before serving.

Repeat with the rest of the egg mixture.

Serve immediately.

 

TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor

Nepalese-Indian Gastronomy: Vegetarian Lunch at Namaste Nippon in Shizuoka City!

SHIZUOKA GOURMET

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Service: Very friendly, polite and smiling
Facilities & Equipment: Very clean overall. Spacious washroom
Prices: Reasonable
Strong points: A great blend of Indian and Nepalese cuisines. More than sufficient drinks list. Vegetarian set or single dishes available. Very generous portions!

Namaste Nippon Nepalese-Indian Restaurant and its bright colors have been standing along the Kitakaido Street in Aoi Ku, Shizuoka City, 10 minutes walk from Cenova Department Store, and had often been recommended to me by friends.
I took advantage of free time at lunch the other day to pay them a belated visit!

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The owner and the staff all hail from Nepal but the chefs graduated from a cooking school in India, allowing them to combine the two cuisines with even a little Japanese twist at times!

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Lunch time is particularly busy and they do have a hefty menu!
One can choose from set menus or single dishes.
I already…

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