Thursday, January 17, 2013

Dreaming Indian, again

I just love Indian foods. All the flavors that go together so wonderfully. The aromas that waft through the house. Many of the spices are also really good for you. Turmeric, in particular, being a great anti-inflammatory, anti-flatulent and anti-microbial, and a host of other things. Even if you have to get your clothes all yellow stained from the turmeric, use it in your foods. It has little flavor, but great color and side benefits.

Got sidetracked there. I was in the mood for something Indian, or at least a take on Indian. The recipe I make now and then is called Pepper Curried Chicken. It is highly adjustable, so you can really make it suit your tastes. I like using a pound of skinless, boneless chicken breasts, but if you prefer skinless, boneless thigh meat that is great, too. I make the recipe stretch so the amount of meat is less than we might normally eat, which is a good thing. I like black pepper, so I use 2 teaspoons. I would use more, but my husband can't take the heat. You may use more, or less, as desired. I used no green chiles in the recipe. Serrano chilies are great in this, and give that bright chile flavor and heat. Use them or not. I also like a lot of fresh ginger. Ginger is another root with similar properties to turmeric. As they are related, it is not surprising. Ginger is such a nice warm spice, and it is wonderful for upset stomachs. Very calming and soothing. However, some do not care that much for fresh ginger as we do, so use it at your own level. Same with garlic. 

So, now that I have given you all these things to adjust to your liking, there is certainly no reason not to try this recipe out. Play with it and make it your own. Add in some Garam Masala, if you like. I love that combination of spices. 

Pepper Curried Chicken

Pepper Curried Chicken
2 teaspoons ground coriander seed
2 teaspoons ground cumin seed
2 teaspoons coarsely ground, good quality black pepper
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, or equivalent

2 tablespoons coconut oil, or olive oil, if preferred
2 large onions,
thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1 or 2 Serrano chilies, minced, optional
1 can coconut milk
2 cups frozen peas
½ cup raw cashews, roasted in a dry pan

Mix together the first 5 ingredients and set aside. Cut the chicken into 1½-inch pieces and place in a bowl. Pour spices over and toss to combine. Set aside while sauteing the onions.

In a large skillet, heat the coconut oil and saute the onions until they are a nice golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add in the ginger and garlic (and chiles, if using) and continue to saute for about 30 seconds, or until very fragrant. Add in the chicken and toss to coat. Saute on medium high until the chicken pieces are all beginning to turn brown. Add in the coconut milk and stir. Bring to boil, lower heat to medium low and allow to cook for about 10 minutes. Add in the frozen peas and continue to cook for another 10 to 15 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.

My passion is to teach people how to create a harmony of flavors with their cooking, and help pass along my love and joy of food, both simple and exotic, plain or fancy. I continue my journey in ethnic and domestic cuisines, trying new things weekly. Join me at A Harmony of Flavors Website, on Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. I am also on a spiritual journey and hope you will join me at my new blog, An Eagle Flies.