Amy was house sitting this weekend so we decided to head over and cook up a feast. After being indecisive all day, we came up with some sort of Indian skewer thing. Mandi and I narrowed it down to a mustardy curry flavor similar to something we get at a restaurant here. When it came down to it however, we decided not to take the bones out of the chicken and skewer them. They were beautiful pieces of chicken and deserved to be grilled bone-in. Be sure to read to the bottom of this post to check out descriptions for all the Indian spices we used.
Black Cardamom Pods. I LOVE these things.
Chiles, garlic, and ginger. Some Black cardamom and cumin too.
Onions in, onions out. There is a much better description at the bottom of this post.
Yum. The house smells amazing.
Little anise seed, more fenugreek, and lots of mustard.
You need to put some of this paste aside for later.
The rest goes into a marinade. Yogurt tenderizes the chicken thighs.
Make slits in the chicken to help the yogurt get all up in there.
It is really helpful to rub the marinade in well. We did this at home in the morning and threw it in the fridge.
When we got to the house, Amy had some snacks ready for us! These beautiful tomatoes were ripening in the backyard garden hours earlier!
Back to the recipe. The girls are burning their fingers de-seeding the jalapenos.
The yummy stuffing is some curry paste, cheese, cilantro, and grated onions.
Mandi and Amy are now crying from grating onions and have burnt fingertips. I gave them the fun jobs.
The tomatoes were so beautiful, we had to make a quick salsa or chutney if you will.
Just mangoes, tomatoes, and cilantro.
This is the pot with color, the other pot is just water. This is how you make multi colored rice.
The skin got crispy, but the chicken stayed moist and tender. I took the skin off but the girls said it was their favorite part.
Yum. A feast it was.
That flatbread we actually found in the freezer and it went in the microwave. It got CRISPY in the MICROWAVE. So weird.
Mandi likes to get in the Indian spirit and eat with her hands.
I licked my plate clean.
We mixed all the leftovers together and brought it to lunch the next day!
Place some butter and oil in a pan on high heat. If you can find *Asafoetida*, put a pinch into the oil now. Add your onions and brown them, about 15 minutes. During this time, take 4 cloves of garlic, 8 spicy thai chiles, and 2 or 3 inches of ginger and give them a rough dice. Have a teaspoon of whole cumin seeds and 7 *Black Cardamom Pods* de-shelled ready to go. When the onions are done, remove them from the pan and place into the blender. Add a little more oil to your pan and throw in the 2 spices and the chile/ginger/garlic mixture. Cook this only about 3 to 4 minutes. Your kitchen smells amazing right now doesn't it? Put all that into the blender now with the onions. In a coffee grinder, place a half teaspoon of *Anise Seed*, 1 teaspoon of Garam Masala - homemade of course, 2 teaspoons of *Fenugreek*, and 1/3 of the bottle of mustard seed (2 tablespoons?) Grind this up and add it to the blender! Mix everything up, adding a little oil as needed. Take about 1/3 of this and set aside. Mix the rest with yogurt to make the chicken marinade! Make slits in the chicken and really rub the marinade in there. Leave the chicken marinating overnight to give the yogurt time to break down and tenderize the chicken.
Make slits in the jalapenos and scrape out the seeds. Make a mixture of the paste you made, some hard *Paneer Cheese*, cilantro, and grated onions. Stuff the jalapenos and grill them until browned. You may want to skewer them to help on the grill because they get fragile as the cheese softens.
Make 2 pots of rice. One with saffron and a pinch of garam masala, and one plain. Mix together when done cooking.
**Dan what is all that "weird shit" you used in today's recipes?
*Paneer is an Indian cheese similar to ricotta. Get one that has aged a bit more and is crumbly like the texture of feta. If you can't find this, any fresh farmers cheese will do. Try ricotta salata, queso blanco, or Lancashire.
*Fenugreek is a seed common in Indian and Persian cooking. They also use the leaf, so don't get confused. Many garam masala mixtures have fenugreek in them, so you may just be able to get one of these if you cant find fenugreek alone.
*Anise Seed has a licorice flavor. I don't always like this flavor alone, but miss it when it is not in a recipe. Sub with fennel seed or star anise.
*Black Cardamom Pods are my new best friend!!! These are larger than normal cardamom and have a deep smokey flavor. This is caused when they dry out the seeds over an open flame. I am slowly realizing that my favorite foods are smoked! These things are fantastic! You could sub for normal cardamom I suppose, maybe mix in some smoked paprika while you are at it.
*Asafoetida, or as Mandi calls it, Foot Powder, is a stinky powder that is used in a lot of Indian dishes. I like to put a pinch in at the beginning of cooking, right in the oil. It is key to have around if you plan to make Indian a lot, and a pinch goes a long way! Wikipedia says that raw it smells like pungent garlic, but cooked it is smoother reminiscent of leeks, but I don't always agree with Wikipedia's flavor profiles! Either way, I can't do any better describing it, other than saying it smells like feet.