Showing posts with label Indian food. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Indian food. Show all posts

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Homemade Naan #Recipe @PegCochran

It was Sunday night and that's often when I try new recipes or get a yen to make a slightly more special meal--takeout pizza is reserved for Friday nights after a work week!

I was craving something spicy and exotic and decided to make a chicken curry.  But I wanted something to go with it--something other than rice.  I wanted naan!  

I love trying new things in the kitchen and I love baking.  After reading the recipe, I realized it wasn't all that hard and didn't actually take all that much hands-on time.  I found a recipe on Budget Bytes which I've adapted somewhat.  It was a huge success!  There's nothing like serving homemade bread--it seems even more special than the fanciest French sauce.

Give it a try--it's a lot of fun!  And delicious, too.  I plan on serving the leftovers with a recipe for crockpot gyros that my daughter gave me.  Two different cultures, but the pita bread and naan are actually quite similar.  


  • 1 packet yeast (I used Rapid Rise although regular will do)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ cup water  
  • 2½ to 3 cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt  
  • ¼ cup olive oil  
  • ⅓ cup plain yogurt (I used Greek yogurt)
  • 1 large egg   


Combine yeast, sugar and warm water.  Stir to dissolve and let sit until foamy on top.

When yeast mixture is foamy, whisk in oil, yogurt and egg.

Combine one cup of flour and the salt.  Add the wet ingredients and stir to combine.  Add more flour, ½ cup at a time until dough is too stiff to stir with a spoon.  This will take between one and one and a half cups.  I used approximately 2 ½ cups flour overall.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for approximately three minutes until smooth and soft but not sticky.  Add more flour as necessary to keep the dough from sticking.

Place the ball of dough in a greased bowl, turn to coat, and cover.  Let stand approximately an hour until doubled in size.

Once dough has doubled, punch down and form into a disk.   

 Cut the disk into eight equal pieces. 


Shape each piece into a ball.

Heat a cast iron or heavy skillet over medium heat.  Roll out first ball of dough into a six inch diameter circle, approximately ¼ inch thick.

Place the circle of dough in the hot skillet.  Large bubbles will form on the surface of dough and the bottom will become golden brown.  Flip the dough and cook the other side until golden.

Continue with rest of dough.

Finished naan can be brushed with butter and sprinkled with fresh herbs if desired. 

I'm super excited about No Farm, No Foul--book #1 in my brand new Farmer's Daughter series!

Coming September 6 - available for pre-order now!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Chicken Korma

by Sheila Connolly

Years ago, when I was working on a political campaign in Philadelphia, we often ordered takeout from a hole-in-the-wall Indian restaurant a couple of blocks away. I fell in love with the lamb korma, but I’ve never found it since, and lamb is hard to come by around here, for reasons that mystify me, so I can't make my own.

The great culinary resource Wikipedia (you do know I’m kidding, right?) says that “Korma (from Turkish kavurma), also spelled kormaa, qorma, khorma, or kurma, is a dish originating in Central Asia consisting of meat or vegetables braised in a spiced sauce made with yogurt, cream, nut or seed paste.” A bit oversimplified, but you get the basics: meat simmered in sauce that includes yogurt and a bunch of spices. The nice thing is, you can vary the spices and the heat any way you want.

So when I saw this recipe earlier this year in the New York Times, I pounced on it. And then I started changing it, of course. The original version was kind of sweet, incorporating cloves and cinnamon. I respect the tradition, but I’m not a big fan of the flavor combination. I decided to hang on to the cardamom, though, because that has a very distinctive flavor.

So here goes my excursion into Bangladeshi cooking (in case you don’t remember, Bangladesh was once known as East Pakistan, and it’s next door to India). 

Chicken Korma

2 lbs skinless, bone-in chicken pieces (dark meat works best. As it happens, I had a whole chicken, and the two hind-quarters weighed almost exactly two pounds. And the sauce was just about the right amount for those two pieces.)
1 tsp salt
1 medium onion, peeled
1 1-1/2” knob of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup whole milk yogurt
4-6 green cardamom pods, cracked open
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp black peppercorns
2-3 small hot green chiles (optional)
2 Tblsp butter
2 Tblsp vegetable oil

Season the chicken pieces with salt and place in a medium-size Dutch oven. Thinly slice a quarter of the onion and set it aside. Roughly chop the rest of the onion, then puree it in a blender with the ginger, garlic, and 3 Tblsp water until smooth. If it thickens too much, add a little more water.

Yes, I have a blender. It was a wedding present.
It is Harvest Gold. It still works.

Combine the onion puree with the yogurt, cardamom, bay leaves and peppercorns. Spread it over the chicken in the Dutch oven. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring. Cover the pot until the chicken releases its juices, in 5-7 minutes.

Uncover the pot and adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook, stirring and flipping the chicken occasionally until it is tender and the sauce is as thick as gravy, about 35 minutes. (It took this long to cook the chicken through. It’s kind of a juggling act to keep the sauce from boiling too hard while making sure the chicken is cooked.) If you need to, you can thin the sauce with water. If you’re using the hot chiles, now is the time to add them. Taste to see if you want more salt.

Heat the butter and oil in a small pan over medium-high heat. After it foams, add the sliced onions and cook, stirring, until they are well browned, about 3-4 minutes. Add a pinch of salt, then add the onion mixture to the chicken.

Serve with steamed basmati rice. This kind of rice has long been a staple in Indian/Pakistani cooking (it’s no harder to cook than any other kind of rice, except maybe Minute Rice, which is still around). You can use regular long grain or Jasmine rice, but it won’t have the same flavor.

The sauce

One note: the original (authentic?) recipe called for whole peppercorns and cardamom pods, which are a bit hard to chew. If you prefer, you can add ground black pepper, and remove the seeds from the cardamom pods (or even use ground cardamom).

Privy to the Dead! Came out last week! What do you mean, you don't have a copy yet? (Come to think of it, I may have mentioned that Philadelphia Indian restaurant in the book, or one that came before it.)

Find it at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

On a related note, I did mention a sandwich place down the street from the "Society" in Philadelphia, but I had long since forgotten the name of the real place: More Than Just Ice Cream (I walked by it last month--it's still there!)

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Yellow Split Pea Dal

What do you make when you're thoroughly sick of turkey, mashed potatoes and all that jazz?  How about something spicy--curry maybe?

Hubby is at a luncheon today and will probably want a lighter dinner so soup is perfect.  "Dal" actually means dried bean and also the thick soup/stew made from the dried beans.

Begin by soaking your beans--either a quick soak (boil for two minutes, remove from heat, cover and let stand for an hour) or soak overnight.  Why do we soak beans?  Good question!

Bring beans and water to the boil then remove from heat and cover
  • Soaking beans removes some of their gas causing properties from the indigestible complex sugars found in the outer skin--known as oligosaccharides.
  • Soaking also speeds cooking time by up to 70% thus reducing the loss of nutrients inside the dried bean.
  • Soaking removes DIRT.  Beans are not washed before packaging because dampness could cause them to mold or sprout.
  • Soaking also allows the beans to absorb liquid more slowly thus preventing them from splitting open while cooking.
  • NOTE:  Always  discard the soaking water (it's dirty!) and rinse beans again before cooking. 

 Clean, soaked split peas

1 1-lb. bag yellow split peas
2 celery stalks
1 large or 2 medium carrots
1 onion
1 to 2 TBL olive oil
1 TBL curry powder (or to taste)
1 TBL lemon juice
1 bay leaf
Salt to taste
8 cups chicken broth 
2/3 cup elbow macaroni or other small pasta

Chop celery, carrots and onion.  I chop mine quite finely in the food processor because hubby prefers his vegetables to be disguised. Chop yours however you prefer.

 Chop carrots, celery and onion

Saute vegetables in olive oil until softened.  Add remaining ingredients, stir, and simmer for approximately one hour until peas are tender (your time may vary depending on the freshness of the peas.)

Cook macaroni separately until just al dente.

Either remove some of the soup to a bowl and use an immersion blender to puree the remainder of the soup in the pot, or scoop out several cups of soup and puree in a food processor.  Return to pot, add macaroni and enjoy!

Top soup with a dollop of yogurt or sour cream if desired.  

I am excited to announce that the first book in my new Cranberry Cove Series, BERRIED SECRETS is now available for pre-order from Amazon!  No cover yet, but I will post it when I have it!

Also, the third book in my Lucille Mystery Series, HIT AND NUN, will be out later this month.  I'll keep you posted!  

Also available--my Gourmet De-Lite series and my Sweet Nothings series written as Meg London.

 Join the conversation on FACEBOOK--lots of giveaway alerts!
And visit my web site for more about my books.


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Curried Chicken with Cashews and Veggies

LUCY BURDETTE: Isn't it funny how you can think you don't like a certain food, but then a recipe comes along that tempts you to try it? And it turns out to be delicious? I felt that way about two things--curry and cashews. 

But today I'll share a recipe for a dinner that's not hard, spicy but not too spicy, and yummy: curried chicken with veggies and cashews!


2-3 Tbsp olive oil
cups chopped onions (about 2 medium)
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 Tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
1 Tbsp curry powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1 pound chicken tenders, cut into chunks
4 large carrots, peeled and cut into rounds
3 small peppers, cut into strips
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
3/4 cup cashews, ground
3/4 cup plain yogurt

Heat the olive oil, saute the onions, garlic, peppers, and ginger until soft (about 5 minutes.) Add the spices and salt and cook a few minutes more. Now add the chicken and cook about 3 minutes.  

Then add the tomatoes and carrots and cilantro and simmer for about 40 minutes. The dish can be made ahead and set aside at this point. (However, it will smell so good that you might have a hard time holding your people back.)

Add the cashews (ground in a food processor) and yogurt. Heat until hot and thick but not boiling. Serve over plain brown rice.    

TOPPED CHEF  will be in bookstores and e-readers on May 7--we cannot wait! Lots more news can be found if you "like" Lucy on Facebook, or follow her on Twitter and Pinterest, or take the plunge and PRE-ORDER now!:)