Kelly the Culinarian: Inside our Indian Food Feast

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Inside our Indian Food Feast

Our Sunday dinners are getting fan-cy. I'm trying new recipes and my audience is adventurous, and hey, it's a free meal so why not.  I've used my shipments from RawSpiceBar for giveaways in the past, but I tend to go back to crock pot meals. The strategy is sound, because my Sunday dinners are open house free for alls. With a slow cooker, stuff is already prepared and the mess is long gone. They can also hold for a while if we need to push the timeline, and if people can't make it last minute or more people drop in, there's plenty to go around and the leftovers will keep.

I won a credit to Aritzone for my kale soup recipe, which I cashed in on a batch of spices and meats I don't normally indulge in. Specifically, I got a bunch of high-quality Indian spices to try a few recipes I'd been craving.

What I ended up with was cost-effective, relatively inexpensive and made A TON of food. A literal feast. People got leftovers and I'm eating it all week.  I had more than enough spices to make this all again, and every other ingredient came from my neighborhood ALDI, including the naan bread and basmati rice. Exotic is pretty accessible and inexpensive if you know where to look.

I made the chicken tikka fairly mild since we had small ones at the table, and went with a spicier lentil curry because the kids who are part of the Sunday night crew aren't fans of legumes anyhow.  I suppose you could substitute brown rice for basmatic, but ALDI already had it, so might as well go the distance.

I would say this meal could feed 8-10 people, and perhaps more if served with a salad or appetizer.  Or four plus a week of lunches, your call.

Traditional Basmati Rice Recipe
3 cups basmati rice
5.25 cups water
1 tablespoon cumin
1 Tablespoon paprika

Place the rice in a bowl and fill with water. Swirl it around with your hand to rinse it, then use a fine-mesh strainer to drain off the water. Repeat until the water is clear, which usually takes three or four times, then soak for a half an hour before draining.

Place the remaining ingredients in a rice cooker and follow those instructions. Mine took about 40 minutes to cook, so plan accordingly.

Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Recipe
2 Tablespoons minced garlic
2 Tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1  can of diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon Garam masala
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon ground black pepper

Six large chicken breasts, diced into bite-sized pieces
1 onion,  chopped

1 cup coconut milk (yeah, ALDI has this in cans, too!)
2 tablespoons corn starch

In a large bowl, mix together all the spices and oil. Add the chicken and onion and toss to coat. Place in a lined or greased slow cooker and cook on low for eight hours.  Mix the coconut milk and corn starch, then mix into the chicken and allow to cook for another 20 minutes before serving over the rice.

Lentil and Potato Curry Recipe
2 cups lentils
2 potatoes, diced
1 large onion, diced
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
2 Tablespoons chili paste
1 Tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 can tomato puree

Rinse the lentils, then boil the lentils and potatoes for 20 minutes until almost cooked, then drain.

While that's cooking, in a separate pan, heat the oil to medium heat and add the onions. Cook until golden brown and caramelized, which should take just about as much time as the lentils. Combine the remaining spices in a separate bowl, then add to onions and cook for three minutes to release the flavors.

In a large pot, combine all the ingredients and cook together on low for another 20 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.


Pete B said...

Who knew that Aldi had coconut milk in cans? Aldi is there anything you can't do?!

Unknown said...

Ooh, Indian food is so delicious. I may have to plan one of these for my crock-pot meals next week!

Unknown said...

Loving these Sunday meals, looking forward to more!