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Feb 13

Eat, Pray and Love

Eat  Pray Love, remember that movie. There is a reason why the first phrase is “Eat”. :) . even before Pray :) .

Julia Roberts as usual does a fabulous job in this film.

 

 

One of my fondest memories with my dad was going out with him  to eat in fancy restaurants and hotels wherever we have traveled together and never shy away from trying something new. Since he is a hotelier himself, he is always curious of trying different versions of the same cuisine.  This  blog is a great place to learn about Indian cooking. Indeed Indian cuisine is so vast , it can be a daunting task to get started , more so if you are not a native.

These days Celebrities ALL over the world like Heidi Klum-Victoria Secret Model ,

Akshay Kumar, Katrina -Bollywood stars

 Padma lakshmi has splurged the media to show case their culinary skills.

Cooking can be a great opportunity to have a great quality family time together. I believe in Saumya’s philopsophy that any body can cook. If you can follow directions, have fun to go along with it, over time you can become a decent cook. The willingness to experiment also adds spice as sometimes it would go in wrong direction .

That is why blogs like this would prevent you from veering into wrong directions. This blog is an excellent starter’s guide to Indian Cooking.

A good way to get started is that you could recall what is your favorite Indian meal and list the ones the top three ones. Once you have your favorites than get started to cook one each week and have friends , neighbors sample it. You often become the victim of being a self critic too fast. Don’t  do that yourself. Just like anything in life , it takes time and patience to master culinary skills.

You also need to have a fair idea of what is possible in a home kitchen, what tools are available to you . In some cases with some dishes it is difficult to get the same taste if you donot use the exact medium to cook the specific food. For instance I guess most americans and westerns have probably tried out the famous Tandoori Chicken , almost abused in quality , in most Indian restaurants in the US.

This  gives you the  more reason to cook this wonderful dish at home. However if you do not have charcoal fuelled oven it might not taste the same . Nevertheless you could try this famous Indian dish.

 

Tandoori Chicken

I can give you a rough guide of the ingredients you would need to get started.

Ingredients

2 lbs. chicken, bone-in and skinned

3 tbsps. lemon juice

1/3 cup Greek yogurt/ strained yogurt/hung yogurt

3 tbsps. heavy cream

2 tbsps. gram flour/ chickpea flour

2 tbsps. ginger garlic paste

2 to 3 tsp. red chilli powder

1 tsp. ground coriander

1/2 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. garam masala

1 tbsp. crushed kasoori methi

1/8 tsp. red or orange food color

Salt ( as needed)

clarified butter /ghee or melted butter  or olive oil( to brush)

Method

1. Make incisions on the chicken pieces and place in a large non metallic bowl. Rub in the lemon juice and salt. Cover and chill for at least half an hour.

2. Meanwhile, put the yogurt in a separate bowl and add the cream and gram flour. Beat until well blended and smooth. Add the remaining ingredients except the oil/ butter and mix thoroughly. Pour over the chicken and rub in well.

3. Cover and chill for about 4 to 6 hours, or overnight. Return to room temperature before cooking.

4. Preheat the oven to the maximum- 550 degree Fahrenheit at baking mode. prepare the baking sheet by brushing it with oil. Using tongs bring the chicken pieces one by one onto to the sheet, reserving the remaining marinade. brush with some butter/oil and bake for about 25 to 35 minutes, flipping the chicken pieces once in the middle of baking and while returning it back to the oven, pour the remaining marinade on the other side. Once fully done( When the meat is no longer pink and when the meat near the bone is pierced, the juice should run clear), remove from the oven and brush the chicken with melted butter/ ghee.

5.Serve it hot, with a drizzle of lemon juice all over the chicken and with fresh sliced onion.

Ciao

Let me know how that goes.

Firoz

 

 

 

 

 

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