Last night I made a wonderful dinner and wanted to share with everyone. We had Chicken Tikka Masala, Lentil and Rice Pilaf, Naan Bread, and Poached Pears. I took some pictures and will include those. This meal is a lot of work so make it when you have an afternoon to prepare it. Also many times I will make a very large batch of the chicken so that we can have this several times with out having to block out a day to cook. I will give directions for each dish one at a time but all of these dishes are cooking at the same time at one point or another in order to get them out on the table at the same temperature.
First the chicken. My recipe is based on this one from allrecipies.com. I took out the jalapeno pepper and cut back on the cayenne because other wise it is a very hot dish, we are talking take a bite and call the fire department. But if you can handle spice go ahead and try it with the extra pepper.
Cut three chicken breast into bite size pieces.
In a bowl combine:
1 cup plain yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice (I juice one half of a lemon)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
dash of cayenne pepper (for us a little goes a long way)
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon salt
Stir the chicken into this mixture and allow to marinate for at least one hour in the refrigerator.
Heat a skillet (I use cast Iron as I find it gets the best heat) and lightly oil. drain off extra marinade, place chicken in skillet, cook until liquid has cooked off. Set Cooked chicken aside.
In a large skillet melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Saute 1 clove of garlic for one minute. Season with 2 teaspoons each cumin and paprika, and 1 tablespoon salt. Stir in 8 oz of tomato sauce and 1 cup whipping cream. Simmer on low heat until sauce thickens, about 20 minutes. Add cooked chicken and simmer for 10 minutes more.
For the rice:
My recipe for this comes from the Joy of Cooking cook book. My Grandmother bought me this cookbook the first Christmas after I was married simply because it has instructions on how to boil eggs in it and I had called my Mom asking her how to do this (something I had done many times as a teenager) because it had totally escaped my mind. My Mom spent more time laughing on the other end of the phone then it took to tell me how to do it. I don't call home and ask how to do things often any more.
Anyway the recipe is for Lentil and Rice Pilaf with Toasted Cumin Seeds. I cannot find cumin seeds where I'm at so I use cumin powder instead and it still taste great.
Stir into a medium saucepan of boiling water
1/2 cup lentils, picked over and rinsed.
Boil, uncovered, for 10 minutes; drain. Heat in an large saucepan or deep skillet over low heat:
2 table spoons vegetable oil (I use olive oil)
Add and cook just until sizzling, about 1 minute:
1 clove garlic, Finlay chopped
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
Add the lentils along with:
1 cup white basmati rice
Stir to combine. Add:
2 cups chicken stock
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt
Bring to a boil stir once, cover and cook over medium-low heat until the stock is absorbed and the rice and lentils are tender, about 15 minutes. Uncover and let stand for 5 minutes.
This is served with Naan bread. Sometimes I make it but most times I pick it up at the grocery store. When you are just about ready to serve your meal put a couple pieces in a 400 degree oven for 4-5 minutes to warm.
We had a friend over last night whose family is of Pakistani decent. She asked us how we eat this. Justin will typically put a bed of rice down then put the chicken over it and eat it with a fork tearing off bits of bread as he needs it. I attempt to use my bread as a utensil as I know that that is the traditional way of eating it. Also I find even with cutting out a lot of the pepper it's still a spicy dish for me so the bread and a little rice in every bite tones in down a bit. Our friend said she was raised to use the bread for the meat dish but that she uses a fork for her rice. Traditionally the rice would be eaten with the hand also.
For desert I made poached pears for the May 2007 Real Simple. Go to the sight for the recipe. They were good but I forgot to take pictures and it looks much better on the sight than I would have taken.