I woke up this morning with a hankering for Indian food. The temperature is on the rise this weekend and you know how there’s something spicy food on a hot day-so Indian food it it will be. I toyed with the idea of going to a restaurant, but the spices were calling me into the kitchen (I just watched a movie about a young Indian woman who owns a spice shop!).
Indian food is one where I definitely need the help of a recipe so I turned to my favorite book-Indian Home Cooking by Suvir Saran. I have a few “go to” chicken recipes that are always a hit, but after skimming through the book a few times, I decided to try something a little different from my usual curry-Tandoori Roast Chicken. Of course I don’t have a “tandoor oven” at my disposal, but Suvir suggests either roasting in a 550 degree oven or on a grill. I opted for cooking outside.
Since the chicken was going to be sort of an experiment, I went with a vegetable dish with proven success-curried corn. When I think of Indian food, corn is not something that comes to mind, but this dish is the perfect combination of the sweet corn with a touch of spiciness. I decided to throw some diced zucchini into the mix, but it’s great with just corn.
As for the tandoori chicken-that’s a story for another time. Suffice it to say that I probably should have used the cornish hens that the recipe called for, rather than a roasting chicken. It was delicious, but took a lot longer than expected!
1 jalapeno, stemmed and cut in half
1/2 teaspoon cumin seed
A 2″ piece of ginger, peeled and cut into chunks
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons water
Combine all the ingredients into a small food processor and process to a paste.
1 cup milk
1 cup half and half
3 tablesooons canola oil
1-1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds (optional)
3 whole dried chiles
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
4 cups fresh corn kernels
Combine the milk and cream in a small bowl-I used about 1/2 cup cream, rather than a full cup.
Combine the oil, cumin seed and mustard seeds in a large saucepan over medium-high heat and cook until the cumin turns golden brown or you hear the mustard seeds pop, about 1 to 2 minutes.
Add the chiles and turmeric and stir. Immediately add the green paste and turn the heat down to low. Cook, stirring, one minute.
Add the flour and cook, stirring one minute more, scraping the bottom of the pan to keep the flour from sticking. Gradually add the milk mixture, about 1 tablespoon at a time at first, to make a smooth paste. Start to add the milk more quickly, adding the final cup all at once. Stir in the salt and the corn and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, uncovered, until the corn is tender, about 4 minutes. Serve hot. Serves: 4