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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Coconut Tikka Masala & Saffron Cinnamon Rice


Tikka, Saffron, Cinnamon, boo ya!

I was organizing my fridge, and I came across two things: yogurt that just expired and 2 chicken breasts that was to expire the next day. Uh oh.

Well, it seemed serendipitous - I just tweeted an intense craving for Indian and had not eaten any since Banjara's disappointing meal. I ended up with a delicious dinner of Tikka Masala and Basmati rice infused with saffron, cinnamon, and excitement!


Coconut Chicken Tikka Masala
Adapted from AllRecipes and Jamie Oliver
4 Delicious Servings
Ingredients


Marinade
2
1 cup
1 tbsp   
2 tsp
t tsp
2 tsp
2 tsp
1 tbsp
1 tsp
1 tsp
1 tsp
3
1.5
1/4 tsp

chicken breasts, cut
yogurt (I used peach)
lemon juice, freshly squished
cumin
cinnamon
cayenne
ground black pepper
ginger
tumeric
chili powder
coriander
garlic cloves
minced shallots
 salt (or peanut butter) to taste)*

While cooking...
1 tbsp
3/4 cup
1
1
1
pinch
pinch
pinch
pinch
pinch
1 can
1 cup 
handful 
oil/butter/ghee
minced shallots
red bell pepper
green bell pepper
minced or chopped jalepeno pepper
cinnamon
coriander
tumeric
paprika
salt
tomatoes (I chose diced Italian style)
yogurt (I used Liberte)

fresh cilantro

* After I tasted the mix, something was amiss. Being the doofus that I am, I didn't realize it was salt. Being the nut that I am, I decided that a bit of peanut butter would be great. It made it perfect, but just use salt. Or add 1 tsp peanut butter like I did. Also In hindsight, I should have started with garam masala, since most of the spices listed above are included in it...ah well.

and...

Saffron-Cinnamon Rice
Adapted from Family Oven

4 Delicious Servings
Ingredients




1 tsp
1 tsp 
2 tbsp

4
1 cup
1 cup
2 tsp
1 tsp
2 cups
1/2 tsp
4 cups
saffron threads
red wine/vodka
olive oil/ghee/butter
cinnamon sticks
cloves

shallots (finely chopped)
cremini mushrooms (finely chopped)
minced garlic cloves
salt
basmati rice
cardamon
water/broth


Coconut Chicken Tikka Masala

Marinate



Step 1: Prepare Marinade
In a bowl, combine everything under "Marinade". Ignore the onion and garlic in the picture - even though I marinated it with the chicken, it makes more sense to leave it for later.

Step 2: Refrigerate overnight, or freeze
If you would like to freeze for future use, pack the chicken in ziplock bags and pop it into the freezer. I'm a huge fan of pre-marinating chicken. That way, I have delicious chicken that I can defrost and cook when life gets busy!
Cook!


Step 3: Fry
In a large saucepan, fry everything except for the marinated chicken, yogurt, cilantro, and canned tomatoes over medium heat. Stir gently for about 10 minutes, when the shallots are translucent and fragrant.
Step 4: Add tomatoes and yogurt
Add tomatoes and yogurt. I used Liberté because it's thick and creamy. Thanks for the rec, M :-)
Step 5: Simmer chicken
Add chicken (defrosted if you froze it), and simmer gently until cooked (15-20 minutes)
Step 6: Get B-slapped by coconut milk

The coconut milk was an unexpected addition (notice it's absence in the ingredients picture above). Why? As I reached for the can of tomatoes in my pantry, it was knocked over and smacked me in the face. I'm assuming the counter caused the dent...but who knows. Maybe I have a sharp face. Either way, it's not safe to keep dented cans around so I used it!
Step 6: Stir in milk & coriander
Stir through half a can of coconut milk and freshly chopped coriander. Taste, and adjust spices to your taste if necessary.

Cinnamon-Basmati Rice


Step 1: Soak Saffron



Soak the saffron - the longer the better. You may use water, milk, rose water, or alcohol (i.e. wine or vodka). I chose vodka - according to a bit of research, alcohol is the best for releasing colour and flavour.

If you're pressed for time/inpatient, soak it in hot (not boiling) liquid for at least 10 minutes. However, 2 hours would be better, 12 hours optimal. I read that soaking it for days really makes a difference, which would be an interesting experiment (and a lot of batches of rice, perhaps?)
The colour will intensify over time

Step 2: Soak rice



Wash and soak basmati rice for about 30 minutes.


Why soak the rice?
You don't have to - if you're in a rush or impatient, skip this step. It helps protect the rice from scorching and sticking together later on.
Step 3: Cinnamon sticks, cloves, and olive oil




Choose a pan/pot that can easily contain the amount of rice you're cooking and has a lid.
Heat oil/butter and add cinnamon sticks and cloves. Stir well

Step 4: Sauté onions, mushrooms, and garlic




Sauté onions, mushroom, and garlic until the onion is translucent - about 2 minutes.

Step 5: Add basmati rice
Add rice, and stir for about 5 minutes - the grains will start to look translucent. If you leave it in a little longer, it will toast the grains a little - an added flavour and texture that you may or may not enjoy (I do). But be careful not to burn them.
Step 6: Boil & add saffron
Add 4 cups of water/broth (I used water), salt, and cardamom. I wish I had fresh cardamom pods, but powdered is fine. Next time I make this, I will make a trip to St. Lawrence or Kensington for them!
Turn the heat up, bring to a boil, and add the saffron. Stir gently.

Step 7: Cook rice
Cover, reduce heat, and cook for 25 minutes. Take a peek halfway through to see if you have enough water in there (every pot is different! Be careful the first time so you learn from expereince).
Step 8: Fluff, garnish, and enjoy
Fluff, remove cloves and cinnamon sticks or use them as garnish. If it wasn't so darn expensive, I'd suggest sprinkling saffron for presentation...so I used cilantro.

Dinner is served!


This was excellent. I loved the flavour and it was perfect with my coconut-tikka masala. The colour and fragrance was so pleasant, and the aroma filled my apartment when I re-heated left overs. I thought about adding other vegetables (baby spinach, peas, and finely chopped broccoli came to mind) but I think I would lose the flavour of the cardamom and saffron. Thoughts? However, I do think that cauliflower would work very well!

Cooking with saffron was a new experience - I will definitely be using it again!

11 comments:

desiretoacquire said...

yum! I'll give this a try.

Erin said...

Let me know how it goes!

Shawn said...

i like your pan!
and the chicken looks really good.

Erin said...

Both pans are Jamie Oliver - they are the bomb. I've had the non-stick (black) pan for a long time, and it looks and cooks just as wonderfully as it did years ago and the other is perfect for rice and saucy-meaty dishes as you experienced from our Morrocan night :) Nice, heavy with a good lid. Oven safe too, I've made tasty steaks with it since I lost access to my previous housemate's amazing cast iron pan. Still saving up for one of those. And a nice knife set. And a blender. And...well...the list goes on for my dream kitchen.

I recommend it - not because it's Jamie Oliver's cookware (I love him, but I pay little attention to celebrity-endorsed cookware), but I have found the quality top-notch. At least for an amateur cook such as myself.
Tefal is a good brand, imo. The set, along with Gordan Ramsay's step (Tim's pick) go on sale periodically at The Bay.

Erin said...

Oh, I should add that if you're really interested in getting a good pan, don't feel pressured to get a whole set at once. Like knives, you really only need a couple of good ones. Some people fall prey to huge purchases. I've seen very extensive sets, but as you saw this Sat, even if you're cooking up a storm...you don't need too much, imo. Anyways let me know what you think of the Coconut Tikka Masala when you try it!

Cat said...

ohh recipie I am taking it :-) Thanks Erin.

Erin said...

n_n I hope you enjoy it! I thought it was super tasty. It was also the first time I ever made rice on my stove top instead of the ol' rice cooker!

deb said...

Looks delicious, might be trying those recipes!!

Erin said...

Mmmm please do! =)

deb said...

Looks delicious, might be trying those recipes!!

Erin said...

Oh, I should add that if you're really interested in getting a good pan, don't feel pressured to get a whole set at once. Like knives, you really only need a couple of good ones. Some people fall prey to huge purchases. I've seen very extensive sets, but as you saw this Sat, even if you're cooking up a storm...you don't need too much, imo. Anyways let me know what you think of the Coconut Tikka Masala when you try it!

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