I've been craving Indian food, but I have two kids who have very different tastes in food. My son loves clean, bright tastes that are pretty identifiable and he hates spicy food. My daughter loves spicy food and unusual presentations. M loves Japanese and Italian food and salads, R loves Indian and French food and won't touch anything raw. The only cuisines they both agree on are pub/diner food (read: hamburgers) and Mexican. So, when I'm craving an ethnic or vegetarian dish that is off the beaten path, if I'm not going out with friends, I usually have to get creative and make a variant of it at home so that I can reach a happy middle ground for both.
Tonight was that night. I was in the mood for Indian flavors, but not up for my usual Chicken Tikka Masala. So, I dug out my copy of "Indian Food without the Fat" and went to work.
Me getting ready to cook
Here are the ingredients:
Chicken - I used skinless thighs because they have flavor but less fat without the skin.
I crosshatched the thighs and rubbed in lemon juice and salt
While the chicken sat, I mixed the following into a blender
Pureed garlic (1 Tbsp)
1 Tbsp of pureed ginger, 1 Tbsp chile powder, 1 Tbsp paprika, 1 1/2 tsp ground coriander 1 tsp of cumin and 1 Tbsp of turmeric, 1 small onion, coarsely chopped and 3/4 c. of plain Greek yogurt.
Puree in a blender until well mixed and pourable because you will be pouring it over the chicken to marinate. Some recipes call for marinating overnight; others call for two to six hours. I marinated for an hour (because I was busy on conference calls and got a late start).
Meanwhile I started rice in the rice in the rice cooker and preheated the oven to 500. Now this looks more yellow than other tandoori's, I've seen - I'm chalking it up to the turmeric. If color is a bother to you, up the paprika and cut back on the turmeric. Once the oven is ready, line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and place a cooling rack on the sheet. Coat with a healthy spritz of cooking oil and put into the oven to heat (about 5 minutes). Remove the thighs from the marinade and shake off excess. Place on rack and cook for 10 minutes, then flip over for another 5-10 minutes (I flipped after six minutes). Turn the oven up to broil - Hi and broil just until the edges brown and char a little.
For a vegetable, I decided to make spiced green beans and carrots. Toast 1 T. of black sesame seeds and 1 T. of white sesame seeds until the white seeds are light brown. Pour into a mortar (or a coffee grinder reserved for spices) and crush slightly
Chop two cloves of garlic. Heat a little oil in a saute pan and add garlic with 1 1/2 tsp chile powder, 1/2 tsp of paprika, and a 1/4 tsp of turmeric. If you want additional spice, add a 1 tsp. of mustard seeds before adding the garlic, add the garlic when the seeds start to pop.
Add a bag of string beans and carrots (I used Green Giant) and saute until crisp/tender. Sprinkle seeds over the veggies and toss.
Voila!! Tandoori Chicken with Spiced vegetables: