Saturday, April 7, 2018: Dinner No. 110: Tandoori Chicken with Raita and Spicy Kale
April 8th, 2018 by Kate

Tonight we wanted to make Indian food for our dad, because it’s one of his favorites and we don’t eat it very often.  We decided to make Tandoori-style chicken served with rice, raita, spicy kale and chickpeas and naan.  We actually started the chicken the day before because it’s best if it marinates overnight.  We based our recipe on one we found in Madhur Jaffrey’s cookbook called Indian Cooking. (See below for our fancy plating…especially the heart shaped rice, with chick pea )

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Tandoori Chicken

The first thing we needed to do was prep the ingredients for the marinade:  We peeled and chopped 1/2 onion into quarters, peeled about an inch of ginger, sliced a clove of garlic and chopped 1/2 a jalapeno pepper.  Then we put all those ingredients in a blender with plain yogurt and a spice called Garam Masala which consits of cardomom seeds, cinnomon, cumin cloves, and nutmeg. This is a very traditional spice that is commonly used in north Indian and Pakistani homes, there are many variations, each tasting wonderful. Anyway, after adding all of the ingredients, we blended them until combined… using the food proseser!

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Meanwhile we put the chicken thighs in a pan and cut 2 slits in each piece (so the marinade could seep in).  Then we salted and peppered them, squeezed a lemon on top and spread the marinade over them.  We added a little tumeric to make the marinade more colorful (because Tandoori Chicken is usually very orange) but then read in Madhur Jaffrey’s cookbook that the deep orange color of Tandoori Chicken comes from food coloring so we added food coloring to the marinade).

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After it marinated overnight, we shook off as much marinade as we could and baked the chicken in a 450 degree oven for 30 minutes.  Note that if you leave a lot of marinade on the chicken, it bakes onto the pan and is hard to clean.  We saved the extra marinade and boiled it (to kill any germs) and added a little chicken broth to make a sauce.

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Raita is a yogurt based dip that we like because it cools down any spicy food.  Traditionally its just cucumber, cumin, plain yogurt (and salt and pepper), but we like to add chopped tomatoes as well.  It’s best if you make it a couple hours ahead of time so the flavors “blend together.”

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Kale and Chickpeas

Mom really likes an Indian dish that combines spinach and chickpeas, but since we didn’t have spinach (and we had kale), we decided to use kale instead.  First we de-stalked the kale and rough chopped it.  Then we sauteed drained chickpeas in olive oil with a little cumin, garlic powder and curry powder.  Then we removed the chickpeas and sauteed the kale in the same pan.  We combined the kale and the chickpeas right before serving.

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Finally we plated the chicken with rice and sauce, along side the kale chickpea combo.  Naan and raita were on the side.


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