Tag Archives: indian

A Tale of Two Chickens: It was the breast of times…


I have spent way too much time Googling chicken recipes this afternoon.  An embarrassing amount of time.  No 4th of July celebrating for me today, as I am hiding and lurking in the shadows, keeping my hair dyeing disaster to myself.  I can’t get it fixed until tomorrow, so here I am, Googling chicken recipes.

I found two recipes that caught my eye.  The first one is from a favorite blogger, Closet Cooking.  Here is his Curried Honey Dijon Roasted Chicken recipe.

The next recipe that I want to try is from a new Food Network personality, Aarti Sequeira.  Her show is called “Aarti’s Party.”  Cringe-worthy name, huh?  It’s like the only way Food Network could commit to an Indian food personality if is they could find some cutesy way to make her more mainstream.  “Aarti’s Easy and Affordable Indian Meals” isn’t as charming as “Aarti’s Party,” I suppose. Anyway, I haven’t seen her show, but her food has good reviews and seems pretty delicious.  Here is her recipe for Roasted Chicken Breasts with Orange, Cardamom, and Turmeric.  

My plan is to make both recipes and use them as lunches to take to work this week.

So, what I have done is mixed the separate marinades and have placed the chicken breasts in their respective zip lock baggies.  They are resting peacefully in the fridge as I type this. Aarti’s recipe really doesn’t say to marinade the chicken, but instead, to mix the spices and juice with butter and to cover the chicken with the mixture and then roast soon thereafter . I’d like to cook all of my chicken at the same temperature and at the same time (in separate pans, of course), so I thought marinating Aarti’s chicken makes sense.  It will give the chicken time to soak up the orange, cardamon, and turmeric and I guess I will just add the butter last minute, right before roasting.

The Closet Cooking recipe is the baggie to the left; Aarti’s recipe is in my right hand.

Chicken update: 

I roasted all of the chicken breasts at the same time in the oven.  Silly me, I forgot to salt Aarti’s recipe.  I salted it last minute, while cooking in the oven, and it turned out ok, but still, sheesh.  Who forgets to salt a marinade?!  Anyway, to accompany these recipes, I also made a rice pilaf with toasted almonds, cranberries, green onions, cumin, and ginger.  I cooked a  cup of rice in two cups of chicken stock, some grated ginger, and cumin seeds.  After the rice was nearly done cooking, I chopped up three or so green onions, and added that to a huge handful of cranberries, and a handful of almonds I roasted in a small frying pan. When the rice was cooked, I added it to the nuts, fruit, and green onions.  It was such a delicious pilaf and it went perfectly with both chicken recipes.  We packed the chicken and rice for lunches this week and each recipe was a great success.


Daily Dishes: Recipes that Caught My Eye


Dal Makhani from Indian Simmer.  This is easily one of my favorite new food blogs. Please check it out.  Gorgeous pictures, delicious recipes–this is my go-to blog for authentic and user-friendly Indian recipes.

Asparagus Salsa  I have never seen a recipe like this before. And, this original recipe is from Sunnyside, Washington, where I grew up.  It’s a small community in the Yakima Valley.  Small world.

Bucatini with Rita’s Spicy Baby Octopus Sauce  I have tried my hand once at cooking cephalopods and it was disastrous.  This inspires me to try again.

Pad See-Ew from She Simmers.  If Indian Simmers is my new go-to Indian food blog, She Simmers blows me away with her beautiful and graceful Thai recipes.

Baby Steps into Indian Cooking


Let me be the first to admit:  I know nothing about Indian cooking.  Not one damn thing.  And the term “Indian food” is pretty meaningless if you consider, according to Wikipedia, there are over 30 regional styles of cuisine in India.  What someone cooks in Northern India is going to be completely different from what someone cooks in Southern India.  So, as I peruse recipes, I feel completely lost–geographically and gastronomically. For your information, here is a list of the regional cuisines.



  • Andaman and Nicobar Islands
  • Andhra Pradesh
  • Arunachal Pradesh
  • Assam
  • Bihar
  • Chhattisgarh
  • Daman and Diu
  • Goa
  • Gujarat
  • Haryana
  • Himachal Pradesh
  • Jammu & Kashmir
  • Jharkhand
  • Karnataka
  • Kerala
  • Lakshadweep
  • Madhya Pradesh
  • Maharashtra
  • Manipur
  • Meghalaya
  • Mizoram
  • Nagaland
  • Orissa
  • Puducherry
  • Punjab
  • Rajasthan
  • Sikkim
  • Sindh
  • Tamil Nadu
  • Tibetan
  • Tripura
  • Uttar Pradesh
  • Uttarakhand
  • West Bengal

(Daunting, yes?)

According to Wikipedia:

“India is a diverse country with many regional cultures, each region has its own food specialties, primarily at regional level, but also at provincial level. The differences can come from a local culture and geographical location whether a region is close to the sea, desert or the mountains, and economics. Indian cuisine is also seasonal with priority placed on the use of fresh produce.”

The first and only time I ate real Indian food was at a friend’s wedding.  Since then, I have timidly tried my hand at a couple recipes.  Most have been disastrous.  I made a recipe a few months ago, with garam masala, and even though I thought it was terrible, Jeff said he liked it and ate every last bite.  I think my mistakes so far have been not really knowing what I’m aiming for, or what a dish is supposed to taste like before I make it.

Knowing my shortcomings and being completely intimidated by the scope of Indian cuisine, I went ahead last night and made some Indian food.  I got the recipes from Smitten Kitchen.  I made a yellow dal, a shredded cabbage salad, and black-eyed peas in a spicy goan curry.  The recipes were a little involved–but once I got the process down of cooking the pulses separately from the spices and vegetables, which need to be caramelized in their own pan, it got easier.  So, the worst part is that these recipes were a several pot and pan operation. That being said, it was worth the mess and dishes to clean afterwards.  Well worth it.

Cabbage salad

With last nights’ successes under my belt, I plan to make a couple more dishes today.  These Indian spiced potatoes look amazing.  And I will also make a red lentil recipe from Madhur Jaffrey.  The recipe is below.

Red Split Lentils With Cabbage (Masoor dal aur band gobi)

Madhur Jaffrey, Indian Cooking

From Smitten Kitchen

Serves 4 to 6

200 grams (1 1/4 cups) red split lentils (masoor dal), picked over, washed and drained
1.2 liters (5 cups) water
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 to 4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 medium onion, peeled and cut into fine slices
225 grams (1/2 pound) cored and finely shredded cabbage
1 to 2 fresh, hot green chilies, finely sliced
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 medium tomato, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon peeled, finely grated fresh ginger

Put the lentils and water into a heavy pot and bring to a boil. Remove any scum that collects at the top. Add the turmeric and stir to mix. Cover, leaving the lid very slightly ajar, turn heat down to low, and simmer gently for 1 1/4 hours. Stir a few times during the last 30 minutes.

When the lentils cook, heat the oil in a 20 to 23 centimeter (8 to 9 inch) frying pan over medium heat. When hot, put in the cumin seeds. Let them sizzle for 3 to 4 seconds. Now put in the garlic. As soon as the garlic pieces begin to brown, put in the onion, cabbage and green chilies. Stir and fry the cabbage mixture for about 10 minutes or until it begins to brown and turn slightly crisp. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Turn off the heat under the frying pan.

When the lentils have cooked for 1 1/4 hours, add the remaining 1 1/4 teaspoon salt, the tomato and ginger to the pot. Stir to mix. Cover and cook another 10 minutes. Add the cabbage mixture and any remaining oil in the frying pan. Stir to mix and bring to a simmer.

Simmer uncovered for 2 to 3 minutes or until the cabbage is heated through.

Sunday Menu Planning


I am feeling completely uninspired on the cooking front these past couple days.  I think this whole week has been uninspired.  I spent my whole vacation waiting for my vacation to happen–and now, here I am: Saturday afternoon.  I need to do chores, cook for the week, and do some lesson planning before school starts on Monday.  Break is, effectively, over.

The recipes I’ve decided to make this week come from, easily, one of my favorite blogs, Smitten Kitchen. This trio of Indian recipes looks really good.  The first recipe is a sour cabbage salad that highlights lemon juice and whole mustard seeds.  I’ve never bought or used mustard in its seed form, but it was cheap at my local supermarket, so I definitely won’t shy from it if it comes up again in recipes.  The next is a simple, yellow daal–and if you recall, I need to use up my grains and legumes, so this recipe looks perfect for that purpose.  Finally, I’ll make a black-eyed pea curry.  I’m looking forward to moving towards a more vegetarian diet again, and I think these three recipes will be a good transition back into meat free meals.

I also plan to make this bean salad, which is used as a sandwich filling.  I think I’ll use a different type of beans instead of garbanzo beans, though, in this recipe.  Garbanzo beans tend to taste like wet dog to me.

P.S. I bought some kimchi from a local Asian foods market in Eugene.  I think they make it on-site. I’ve never had it before.  I’m pretty excited.