Category Archives: Indian flavors

Indian style wedges

You must have noticed I like Indian curries. No wait… I love Indian curries. Most of the time I serve it with rice and papadums. But today I was craving potatoes. I am Belgian and Belgians love their potatoes. Did you know that we eat potatoes for diner 96% of the time? Well, I guess the husband and I are not a traditional Belgian family, cause I don’t think we get to that number. I would guess its around 50% with us. But sometimes I indeed crave potatoes. Not the very dull boiled potato like most Belgian people eat them. No I wanted an exciting potato. I was thinking crispiness, a little spicy and a nice warm feeling to the tongue.
So that’s how these Indian wedges came to life. I add a little of this, I squeezed in a little of that and I top it of with a little of everything.

INGREDIENTS

Potatoes (any kind will do, but I prefer a hard boiling potato.)
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
1 tablespoon of chilli powder
1 tablespoon of ground coriander
2 tablespoons of garam masala
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1 teaspoon of ginger powder
6 curry leaves
A pinch of sea salt

 Was the potatoes, but don’t peel them. I think potato wedges should have skins. That’s what makes them so lovely and crisp. So no peeling for this dish! Just simply cut the potatoes into wedges form. Then put all the wedges together in a large bowl and pour over the vegetable oil. Start adding the herbs and stir it all together. When you use a bowl with a lit, just put on the lit and give the bowl a good shake. All the wedges should be cover with the spice mixture.
Then lay the wedges out on a baking tray cover with baking paper and place the tray in an oven of 175 degrees for about 25 minutes. Then take out the wedges, turn them around and place them back for 15 to 20 minutes.

When the wedges start to look golden brown, have a taste. They are done when the exterior is crispy and the interior is soft inside.

Butter chicken and spicy rice

Before you all start to think I don’t do anything else then bake I want to share a cooking recipe with you. I love Indian curries and I even remember making my very first curry.
The husband got me a nice cookbook from the blue elephant in Brussels but I was a little flustered by it. Cause those curries seemed so difficult to make, so the book went onto the bookshelf and did not leave it for a couple of months.
On holiday we met a lovely English couple and I told them I was so jealous about them being able to get curries everywhere. In Belgium Indian restaurants aren’t all over the place and home -delivery Indian restaurants don’t even exists for as far as I know. They laughed and said that making a Indian curry was so easy and fast. They promised me to mail some recipes after they returned to England and they sure did.
I started my Indian cooking with their recipes and slowly became more and more experimental. After a couple of months I even dared to try some basic recipes from the blue elephant cookbook. From that day on I serve my husband on regular base a hot curry. The English couple was right a basic curry is fast, easy and delicious.. ideal to put on the table after a hard day at the office.
Today I made a lovely butter chicken or murgh makhani. This is a typical Indian dish that is similar to Tikka Massala. However Tikka Massala isn’t an authentically Indian dish, but an Indian inspired UK founded dish. But if you like the flavours in a tikka massala I am sure you will love this Butter chicken to!

INGREDIENTS BUTTER CHICKEN
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts diced into bite sized cubes
2 big onions sliced into cubes
a piece of fresh ginger (about 1,5 cm)
2 gloves of garlic finely chopped
1,5 tablespoons coriander seeds
0,5 teaspoon chilli powder (or dried chopped chillies)
1 teaspoon paprika powder
2 teaspoons garam massala
a pinch of nutmeg
1 teaspoon of fennel seeds (mangled into powder)
0,5 teaspoon turmeric
0,5 teaspoon tandoori powder
0,5 teaspoon cardamom pods
2 tablespoons cashews
4 tablespoons butter
Finally chopped fresh cilantro
60 grams of tomato puree
150 ml of thick cream
vegetable oil

INGREDIENTS SPICED RICE
225 grams basmati rice
3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
3 cardamon pods
1 cinnamon stick
½ teaspoon of cumin seeds

½ teaspoonmosterd seeds
½ teaspoon of pink peppercorn

½ teaspoon of cloves
4 curry leaves
1 tablespoon of seasalt
2 dried chilipepers

MAKING THE BUTTERCHICKEN

Heat one tablespoon of vegetable oil into a large pan (I use my wok pan).
Fry the onions until they turn light brown. Now add the finely chopped ginger and the garlic and let it sauté a few minutes together with the onions.
Take this mixture of the fire and poor it into a blender.
Place the pan back on the stove without adding any extra oil!
Add the coriander seeds, the cardamom pods and the cashews until they let loose their fragrance.
Now poor this into the blender together with the onion mixture.
Add the chilli powder, the paprika powder, the turmeric, the tandoori powder and the tomato puree and blend this together until you get a smooth, runny paste.
Let them simmer for about 1 to 2 minutes before adding 550 ml of cold water and the sea salt.
Now add the rice and put a lid on top of the pot. Bring this to the boil. Now let it boil for about 10 to 15 minutes (look at the cooking instructions on the package of the rice.)
Poor the rice and let it drain for a few minutes. Take out the spices and serve with the curry.

Add two tablespoons vegetable oil and two tablespoons of butter to the pan and heat again.
When the butter is melted and the pan is hot, add the chicken cubes and fry until they turn white. Then the paste and let it fry until it becomes a little oily on top.
Add a little bit of water and stir well. Turn the heat down to medium heat and add the thick cream little by little under constant stirring. Let it boil for a while until it sauces becomes a little thicker. After a 5 to 10 minutes add the garam massala, the nutmeg and the fennel seeds.
Let this cook for another 5 minutes. Then add the last 2 tablespoons of butter, turn down the heat and let the butter melt on top of the chicken. When the butter has fully melted mix it all in together.

Serve it with the spiced rice and top it of with fresh chopped cilantro and some yoghurt.

MAKING THE SPICED RICE  

Making spiced rice is one of the easiest things in the world.
You actually make some kind of broth with the spices and you boil the rice in it.

Was the rice under cold running water and set aside.
Heat a little bit of oil into your cooking pot and add all the spices.