Sunday, April 21, 2013

Indian Dinner

I really need to get serious and catch up on the recipes from our round-the-world-cooking adventure.  We just cooked a Cambodian dinner and I still haven't got our Indian dinner posted, so here goes.

It was difficult to decide what to cook for India as there are so many different dishes to choose from.  After some pondering, we selected chicken vindaloo (adapted from here) and served it with dhal and naan bread.  It was delicious! And was a feast for the eyes - beginning with the spices used to make the vindaloo.  Isn't that the prettiest combination of browns.

1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 or 2 tsp garam masala (see recipe below)
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 cm cube of peeled ginger, finely chopped
3 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp sugar
150 ml vegetable oil
4-8 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 red onions, finely chopped

1 tsp pepper flakes (the original recipe calls for finely chopped red chilies, but I wanted a milder vindaloo)
4 skinless chicken breasts cut into bite size pieces
500 g tin diced tomatoes
1-2 tbsp of tomato purée to taste (I didn't include this)
Salt and pepper to taste


1.  Combine the ginger, cumin, cinnamon, mustard, coriander turmeric, garam masala, and cayenne pepper into a bowl and add the vinegar and sugar and mix thoroughly to make a paste.
2.  Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan. Add the garlic and the onion and cook over a medium heat until softened, for approx 5 mins.
3.  Once the onion and garlic have softened, add the chicken pieces and cook for approx 3 minutes until the chicken starts to colour.
4.  Now add the chilies, tomatoes, tomato purée, and the vindaloo spice paste.
5.  Add salt and pepper to taste, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for approx 1 hour. It is important not to let the chicken vindaloo dry out, so add a 1/2 cup of water as necessary. Taste to adjust seasoning as needed.

Serve on rice with dhal and naan bread.

Garam Masala (from here):
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1 1/2 teaspoons ground pepper
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Naan bread made by William

DHAL (adapted from here)
1 cup red lentils (I didn't have red lentils so used brown, but they don't soften as well so I'd recommend ensuring you have red)
3 cups water
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/8 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
1/2 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt

1.  Bring lentils and 3 cups water to a boil with turmeric.  Gently simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until falling apart, about 20 minutes.
2.  When lentils are cooked, heat oil in a small heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers, then add mustard powder, cumin seeds, and red pepper flakes for about 1 minute. Stir spice mixture into lentils with coconut milk, lemon juice, and salt and bring to a simmer.
Serve with naan.

We loved the chicken vindaloo and I have a craving to make it again.  The dhal would have been better with the right kind of lentils (next time).

I need some suggestions for other Indian dishes to make. What's your favourite? There are so many different Indian recipes to choose from that I'm itching to try a few more, but in terms of our round-the-world cooking adventure India is done and we are on to Bangladesh.
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  1. It looks so good Grace! I can almost smell it from here! I love your around the world dinners! You always do such a fabulous job on them and now I am hungry. I haven't tried Indian food very many times, so I would have loved to try this! Angie xo

  2. I never have to make Indian because I have an Indian friend who spoils me! :D I know that it might seem simple, but I love Indian Pad Thai! It's my favorite. My favorite dessert is made with milk and cardamon called Ras Malai.....Lena sprinkles it with pistachios....yummy! I really need to learn how to make it. These are my favorites!


  3. I have never cooked Indian before...that sounds wonderful

  4. We love Indian food here and we are very lucky to have a fantastic Indian restaurant close by which we frequent (at least twice per week). I have dallied in making my own too, but I can never get the results that Surinder and Harpreet get. My favourites are dal makhani, chili paneer, currey sholay, and chicken tikka masala. And the breads - oh my goodness. Naan, parantha and the king of indian bread - bhatura. I love Indian culture and have learned a lot about it over the years. My first interest came after reading Rohinton Mistry's book "A Fine Balance". It became a passion for me and I have learned many things about this fascinating country and the people who live there. I even went as far as learning bhangra dancing and at one point I owned a couple of saris. I'd attach a photo here but I don't think I can. Unlike you, I have not actually been to India - yet.