Tandoori Spiced Chicken Burger with Mango

My husband recently got back from a work trip to Ireland. As I have him trained well (if he’s dining without me, he takes photos of EVERYTHING that he wants me to replicate… including the menu info. Good man!), that meant some fun with creating in the kitchen after he got back.

As I was getting set to make my own version of a lamb burger he had at The G Counter Deli, I happened across a menu item that sounded amazing: “Tandoori spiced chicken burger with mango & lime mayo”. What a great idea! I would have to make my own.

So, I started with a Tandoori marinated chicken breast, as I prefer that to actual ground chicken burgers. I used mango slices, rather than in the mayo… and did a mint, cilantro, and lime mayo – I just can’t bring myself to serve an Indian inspired dish without some sort of nod to cilantro-mint chutney. I may be an addict. Anyway… I also added some red onion for colour and crunch, and cucumber for texture, and as a nod to raita – the creamy dip served with many Indian dishes.

… what an utterly mind blowing sandwich! So many colours, flavours, and textures that both stand out from, and complement each other. The coolness of the cucumber, sweetness of the mango, and the bright green flavour from the mayo spread really work well against the spicyness of the chicken. It all comes together for this amazing, complex, and really well balanced sandwich.

Pretty sure I could live on these… SO good! (Even without a bun, for me!)

Tandoori spiced chicken burger with Cilantro-mint mayo and mango slices

Makes 2 large sandwiches

Tandoori spiced chicken breasts

2 large chicken breasts
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 cup greek yogurt
2 tsp finely chopped cilantro
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp ginger paste
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 teaspoon red food coloring
1/4 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp black pepper
Pinch cardamom
1 clove garlic, pressed

Trum chicken breasts, pound to flatten out to a relatively even thickness, if desired. Combine

Mix all together, marinate for 6-12 hours. While marinating, make the spread:

Cilantro-Mint Mayo

1/2 cup mayo
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
2 Tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped
1 tsp lime zest
Pinch salt

Mix all ingredients together well. Cover and chill until you’re ready to assemble the sandwiches.

For Assembly

2 buns (Gluten-free, if needed)
Mango slices
Thinly sliced red onion
Thinly sliced cucumber

Grill chicken breasts until cooked through.

Spread buns with mayo, arrange mango, red onion, cucumber, and chicken as desired.

Enjoy!

Interested in Gluten-free cooking and baking? You’ll LOVE Beyond Flour: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

How many times have you come across a gluten-free recipe claiming to be “just as good as the normal version!”, only to wind up with weird textures, aftertastes, etc? Most gluten-free recipes are developed by taking a “normal” recipe, and swapping in a simulated “all purpose” gluten-free flour… whether store bought, or a homemade version. “Beyond Flour” takes a different approach: developing the recipe from scratch. Rather than swapping out the flour for an “all purpose” mix, I use various alternative flours as individual ingredients – skillfully blending flavours, textures, and other properties unique to each flour. Supporting ingredients and different techniques are also utilized to achieve the perfect end goal … not just a “reasonable facsimile”. Order your copy here.

Looking for even MORE fantastic gluten-free recipes? Beyond Flour now has a sequel: Beyond Flour 2: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

Imagine gluten-free foods that are as good – or better! – than their traditional, gluten-filled counterparts. Imagine no longer settling for foods with bizarre after-tastes, gummy consistency, and/or cardboard texture. Imagine graham crackers that taste just like the real thing. Crisp, flaky crackers…without the sandy texture. Hybrid tortillas that: look and act like flour tortillas, with the taste of fresh roasted corn! Imagine chewy, delicious cookies that *everyone* will want to eat! Imagine BAGELS. If you’ve cooked from “Beyond Flour”, you already know that these fantasies can be reality – it’s all in the development of the recipes. Order your copy here.

Paneer Burgers… or “Indian Cheeseburgers”

A while back, one of my prison buddies MasterChef friends – Duckie – posted a photo of her dinner on Facebook. While that in itself isn’t anything special – my FB news feed has been FLOODED with dinner pics, since coming home from this MC adventure – man, that photo was the stuff that dreams are made of. Well, most of her photos are – they always have everyone drooling – but this really stood out to me.

It was a burger that featured not a meat patty, but a big chunk of paneer that had been breaded with corn flakes! As she described it on her blog, Duckie’s Dine-asty:

“Paneer Burger! Fried paneer on a garlic roll with cabbage, carrot, and a sweet and spicy tamarind chutney…accompanied by sweet potato fries and curried ketchup!”

… I knew I’d have to do my own version, and SOON. The idea of just frying a big patty of paneer as a burger just seemed so hedonistic, it kind of made me giddy to think about it. I don’t usually get like that over something… vegetarian. LOL!

So, I thought about which direction I’d want to go with it. I decided that, rather than a cornflake breading, I’d go for a giant version of a paneer pakora. Rather than using my cilantro-mint chutney with it, I’d make a mayo based on that idea, for a creamier texture. Then, to top it off, a mess of quick pickled veggies for some color, brightness, and acidity!

YES. It was every bit as awesome as it looks. My husband claims “I could eat that again and again!”, and that it ranks right up there with my Apple Chicken Burgers with Basil and Gouda. Given how completely buts he is about THOSE.. that’s saying something!

So freaking good. Yum!

You can also see Duckie’s work on her brand new Facebook page, Duckie’s Dine-asty”.

Duckie is ALL kinds of awesome, even beyond her cooking. She was one of the first people I met in LA, very friendly, outgoing, hilarious, and .. inclusive. On a personal note – she even publicly ripped a bully a new one on my behalf! I mean… in a spectacular fashion. I don’t think I’ve ever had anyone do that for me. This whole thing has been filled with unique experiences for me, but I digress – Duckie is awesome. That is all. 🙂

Paneer Burgers with Quick Pickle and Cilantro-Mint Mayo
(Makes two big burgers)

1/3 cup mayo
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
2 Tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped

1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1/2 – 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1 green onion, thinly sliced on a long diagonal
1 small carrot, peeled
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt

Oil, for deep frying
1/2 cups garbanzo (chickpea) flour
2 Tbsp cup rice flour
1 1/2 tsp hot curry powder
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp salt
pinch tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp finely chopped cilantro
1/2 cup water
12 oz brick of paneer, room temperature
1/4 cup additional garbanzo flour

2 burger buns of choice

Mix together mayo, cilantro, and mint. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed.

Place sliced peppers and green onions into a bowl. Using a vegetable peeler, peel long strips of carrot into the same bowl, until you have as much carrot as you would like (I used about as much carrot as I did red pepper). Whisk together vinegar, sugar, and salt. Pour over the vegetables, tossing to coat well. Cover and set aside.

Start heating your oil to 375F – you’ll want at least 2-3″ of oil in your pot or deep fryer.

In a large bowl, combine flours, spices, salt, baking powder, and cilantro. Add water, stir well to form a thick batter. All batter to sit for 5 minutes or so, to soften the bean flour.

Slice your paneer into two “patties”. Sizing will depend on what shape your paneer loaf is in – we got two square patties, and a couple of extra sticks as a “side”. Toss patties with additional garbanzo flour, then dredge in the batter.

Carefully transfer paneer patties to the preheated oil. Fry for a few minutes on each side, until golden brown. Use a slotted metal spoon to transfer fried paneer to paper towels.

To construct the burgers:

Split the buns, toasting if desired. Spread cilantro-mint mayo on bottom half of each bun. Top with burger, and a generous helping of quick pickled veggies. Crown with top bun, enjoy!

Gluten Free Paneer Pakora

Remember when I went on my Pakora making binge, promised recipes, and then procrastinated on it for a few months?

And then, when I posted one more recipe, I procrastinated for another few months?

Yeah… sorry about that! Better late than never, right?

Anyway.

Here’s my recipe for gluten free paneer pakora. Oh, yum.

These are one of those food items that SHOULD in inherently gluten free, in restaurants – but the batter is often cut with wheat flour, and they’re always cross contaminated anyway.

Never fear, though! These are very easy to make, and taste quite authentic… and they’re especially delicious with my Cilantro-Mint chutney!

Paneer Pakora

Oil, for deep frying
1 1/4 cups garbanzo (chickpea) flour
1/4 cup rice flour
1 1/2 tsp hot curry powder
1/2 tsp coriander
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
2 Tbsp finely chopped cilantro
1 cup water
2 bricks of paneer, room temperature
1/4 cup additional garbanzo flour

Start heating your oil to 375F – you’ll want at least 2-3″ of oil in your pot or deep fryer.

In a large bowl, combine flours, spices, salt, baking powder, and cilantro. Add water, stir well to form a thick batter. All batter to sit for 5 minutes or so, to soften the bean flour.

Slice your paneer into long fingers about 1″ x 1″, by however long your bricks are. Toss cheese sticks with additional garbanzo flour, then dredge in the batter.

Carefully transfer a few battered sticks of paneer to the preheated oil. Fry for a few minutes on each side, until golden brown. Use a slotted metal spoon to transfer fried paneer to paper towels.

Serve hot, with with cilantro-mint chutney.

Interested in Gluten-free cooking and baking? You’ll LOVE Beyond Flour: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

How many times have you come across a gluten-free recipe claiming to be “just as good as the normal version!”, only to wind up with weird textures, aftertastes, etc? Most gluten-free recipes are developed by taking a “normal” recipe, and swapping in a simulated “all purpose” gluten-free flour… whether store bought, or a homemade version. “Beyond Flour” takes a different approach: developing the recipe from scratch. Rather than swapping out the flour for an “all purpose” mix, I use various alternative flours as individual ingredients – skillfully blending flavours, textures, and other properties unique to each flour. Supporting ingredients and different techniques are also utilized to achieve the perfect end goal … not just a “reasonable facsimile”. Order your copy here.

Looking for even MORE fantastic gluten-free recipes? Beyond Flour now has a sequel: Beyond Flour 2: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

Imagine gluten-free foods that are as good – or better! – than their traditional, gluten-filled counterparts. Imagine no longer settling for foods with bizarre after-tastes, gummy consistency, and/or cardboard texture. Imagine graham crackers that taste just like the real thing. Crisp, flaky crackers…without the sandy texture. Hybrid tortillas that: look and act like flour tortillas, with the taste of fresh roasted corn! Imagine chewy, delicious cookies that *everyone* will want to eat! Imagine BAGELS. If you’ve cooked from “Beyond Flour”, you already know that these fantasies can be reality – it’s all in the development of the recipes. Order your copy here.

“Fauxsa” (Gluten Free Naan/Bread substitute)

They say “Necessity is the mother of invention”, and I’ve never found that to be as true, as it has been since being disagnosed with gluten allergies. It’s amazing what you can come up with, when someone takes your bread away!

Maybe “desperation” is the father of invention?

Anyway. I was enjoying a dosa at a local Indian restaurant last year, lustfully eyeing my husband’s naan… when it hit me. What if I used the ingredients and basic concept of dosa (a paper thin, crispy crepe), but made it much thicker, to be a makeshift substitute for naan?

… and so I did. It worked beautifully! I give you… “Fauxsa”, as my husband dubbed it that first day.

While nothing compares to the flavor and texture of fresh, full-gluten bread products, this bastardization hits upon the right components of a bread craving – it even looks like bread – and satisfies completely. It’s sturdy enough to use as a dip for Indian foods, and goes ridiculously well with melted curry butter.

Enjoy!

“Fauxsa”

2 cups dry long grain white rice
1/2 cup dried red lentils
1/2 cup dry yellow split peas
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp yeast
1/2 tsp salt

In a large bowl, mix together rice, lentils, split peas, and mustard seeds. Cover completely with hot water, to about 1″ above the rice mixture level. Allow to soak at room temperature overnight.

In the morning, strain mixture, reserving about 1 cup of the rice water. Place strained rice and beans mixture into a food processor with about 1/4 cup of the reserved rice water, puree for about 5 minutes, or until very, VERY smooth.

Transfer rice batter to a large bowl, stir in yeast and salt. Add enough of the rice water (if needed) to make a very thick batter, about the consistency of THICK pancake batter.

Cover bowl with a clean tea towel, allow to ferment in a warm place for a few hours.

Once you’ve fermented the mixture, give it a good stir – some separation will have occurred. (Note: it’ll smell awful. That’s ok – the finished product does not!)

Heat up a nonstick fry pan (Medium heat), spray with a little pan spray. Pour about 1 cup of rice batter into the middle of the pan, swirling it out to make a “pancake” about 6-8″ across. Allow to cook for a few minutes, until the bottom is set and browning, with air bubbles popping on the top. Carefully flip, continuing to cook on the other side. Cook until batter is completely cooked, all the way through.

Serve hot.

Interested in Gluten-free cooking and baking? You’ll LOVE Beyond Flour: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

How many times have you come across a gluten-free recipe claiming to be “just as good as the normal version!”, only to wind up with weird textures, aftertastes, etc? Most gluten-free recipes are developed by taking a “normal” recipe, and swapping in a simulated “all purpose” gluten-free flour… whether store bought, or a homemade version. “Beyond Flour” takes a different approach: developing the recipe from scratch. Rather than swapping out the flour for an “all purpose” mix, I use various alternative flours as individual ingredients – skillfully blending flavours, textures, and other properties unique to each flour. Supporting ingredients and different techniques are also utilized to achieve the perfect end goal … not just a “reasonable facsimile”. Order your copy here.

Looking for even MORE fantastic gluten-free recipes? Beyond Flour now has a sequel: Beyond Flour 2: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

Imagine gluten-free foods that are as good – or better! – than their traditional, gluten-filled counterparts. Imagine no longer settling for foods with bizarre after-tastes, gummy consistency, and/or cardboard texture. Imagine graham crackers that taste just like the real thing. Crisp, flaky crackers…without the sandy texture. Hybrid tortillas that: look and act like flour tortillas, with the taste of fresh roasted corn! Imagine chewy, delicious cookies that *everyone* will want to eat! Imagine BAGELS. If you’ve cooked from “Beyond Flour”, you already know that these fantasies can be reality – it’s all in the development of the recipes. Order your copy here.

Gluten Free Chicken Pakora

Remember when I went on my Pakora making binge, promised recipes, and then procrastinated on it for a few months? Finally getting around to posting the final recipe from that… only 8 months later..

Anyway.

Here’s my recipe for gluten free paneer pakora. Much like with my other pakoras, these are one of those food items that SHOULD in inherently gluten free, in restaurants – but the batter is often cut with wheat flour, and they’re always cross contaminated anyway.

Never fear, though! Chicken pakora is easy to make, and taste quite authentic… and they’re especially delicious with my Cilantro-Mint chutney!

Oh, and bonus? If you leave the spice and cilantro out, and cut the chicken into chunks instead of fingers… these are a great a substitute for chicken nuggets! SO GOOD.

Gluten Free Chicken Pakora

1 1/4 cups garbanzo (chickpea) flour
1/4 cup rice flour
1 1/2 tsp hot curry powder
1/2 tsp coriander
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
2 Tbsp finely chopped cilantro
1 cup water
3-4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts,trimmed
1/4 cup additional garbanzo flour

Start heating your vegetable oil to 375F – you’ll want at least 2-3″ of oil in your pot or deep fryer.

In a large bowl, combine flours, spices, salt, baking powder, and cilantro. Add water, stir well to form a thick batter. All batter to sit for 5 minutes or so, to soften the bean flour.

Slice your chicken breasts into fingers, toss with additional garbanzo flour, then dredge in the batter.

Carefully transfer a few battered chicken fingers to the preheated oil. Fry for a few minutes on each side, until golden brown and cooked through. Use a slotted metal spoon to transfer fried chicken to paper towels.

Serve hot, with with cilantro-mint chutney.

Interested in Gluten-free cooking and baking? You’ll LOVE Beyond Flour: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

How many times have you come across a gluten-free recipe claiming to be “just as good as the normal version!”, only to wind up with weird textures, aftertastes, etc? Most gluten-free recipes are developed by taking a “normal” recipe, and swapping in a simulated “all purpose” gluten-free flour… whether store bought, or a homemade version. “Beyond Flour” takes a different approach: developing the recipe from scratch. Rather than swapping out the flour for an “all purpose” mix, I use various alternative flours as individual ingredients – skillfully blending flavours, textures, and other properties unique to each flour. Supporting ingredients and different techniques are also utilized to achieve the perfect end goal … not just a “reasonable facsimile”. Order your copy here.

Looking for even MORE fantastic gluten-free recipes? Beyond Flour now has a sequel: Beyond Flour 2: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

Imagine gluten-free foods that are as good – or better! – than their traditional, gluten-filled counterparts. Imagine no longer settling for foods with bizarre after-tastes, gummy consistency, and/or cardboard texture. Imagine graham crackers that taste just like the real thing. Crisp, flaky crackers…without the sandy texture. Hybrid tortillas that: look and act like flour tortillas, with the taste of fresh roasted corn! Imagine chewy, delicious cookies that *everyone* will want to eat! Imagine BAGELS. If you’ve cooked from “Beyond Flour”, you already know that these fantasies can be reality – it’s all in the development of the recipes. Order your copy here.

Gluten Free Mixed Vegetable Pakora

Remember when I went on a Pakora making binge, and promised to share the recipes I’d created Yeah. I kinda dropped the ball on that, having gotten overloaded with all sorts of other work to focus on… Anyway, I’m back on it now!

These were my absolute favorite from that evening, a mixed vegetable pakora patty recipe. In general, veggie pakora is a great way to use up stray vegetables in your fridge – Root vegetables like carrots, parsnips, and sweet potatoes, cruciferous veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, etc .. basically anything that’s tasty and kind of sturdy. (Ie: don’t use tomatoes!). For this recipe, I decided to specify amounts – I’d created this to have a great balance in flavors, color, and texture.

Like many of my recipes, this works up quickly and easily, producing a highly addictive end product. Expect a “pakora coma” after snarfing these babies.. which go great with my cilantro-mint chutney.

Enjoy!


Veggie Pakora

Vegetable oil for deep frying
1 1/4 cup garbanzo flour
1/4 cup white rice flour
2 tsp salt
1.5 tsp hot curry powder
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 cup water
1 cup finely chopped broccoli
1 cup peeled, finely chopped yam or sweet potato
1 cup finely chopped zucchini
1 cup finely chopped onion
1-2 finely chopped jalapenos
1/2 cup cilantro

Start heating your vegetable oil to 375F – you’ll want at least 2-3″ of oil in your pot or deep fryer.

In a large bowl, combine flours, salt, spices, and baking powder. Add water, stir well to form a thick batter. All batter to sit for 5 minutes or so, to soften the bean flour.

Mix in remaining ingredients, making sure that everything is evenly coated with the batter.

Use an ice cream scoop or two spoons to carefully scoop small amounts (1/4 cup or less) of batter into the preheated oil. Fry for a few minutes on each side, until patties are golden brown. Use a slotted metal spoon to transfer cooked patties to paper towels.

Serve hot, with with cilantro-mint chutney.

Interested in Gluten-free cooking and baking? You’ll LOVE Beyond Flour: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

How many times have you come across a gluten-free recipe claiming to be “just as good as the normal version!”, only to wind up with weird textures, aftertastes, etc? Most gluten-free recipes are developed by taking a “normal” recipe, and swapping in a simulated “all purpose” gluten-free flour… whether store bought, or a homemade version. “Beyond Flour” takes a different approach: developing the recipe from scratch. Rather than swapping out the flour for an “all purpose” mix, I use various alternative flours as individual ingredients – skillfully blending flavours, textures, and other properties unique to each flour. Supporting ingredients and different techniques are also utilized to achieve the perfect end goal … not just a “reasonable facsimile”. Order your copy here.

Looking for even MORE fantastic gluten-free recipes? Beyond Flour now has a sequel: Beyond Flour 2: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

Imagine gluten-free foods that are as good – or better! – than their traditional, gluten-filled counterparts. Imagine no longer settling for foods with bizarre after-tastes, gummy consistency, and/or cardboard texture. Imagine graham crackers that taste just like the real thing. Crisp, flaky crackers…without the sandy texture. Hybrid tortillas that: look and act like flour tortillas, with the taste of fresh roasted corn! Imagine chewy, delicious cookies that *everyone* will want to eat! Imagine BAGELS. If you’ve cooked from “Beyond Flour”, you already know that these fantasies can be reality – it’s all in the development of the recipes. Order your copy here.

Cilantro-Mint Chutney Recipe

As you may have heard, my friend Stephanie left The Glass House yesterday. What a crazy day… and the end of two LONG months of work for a few of us. The running jokes all centered around feelings of “being released from jail”, and having NO idea what we’ll do with this new-found “spare time”.

To me, it was an excuse to cook a big elaborate meal. Partially just because I COULD, partially to thank my husband for putting up with me the last two months. His intelligent nerdy wife had devolved into someone incapable of having a conversation about anything other than reality TV – he’s a saint for being so patient with me! See that photo up top? That was supper last night – three different kinds of Pakora. OMG, was it ever good.

I’ll be posting the recipes for each – eventually – but I wanted to get the recipe for the cilantro-mint chutney up, while I have a few minutes to blog.

Cilantro Mint Chutney is a popular condiment in Indian cooking, and pairs so perfectly with a plateful of Pakora. This was *AMAZING* – easily the best we’ve ever had. I tweaked what I could taste in such chutneys that we’ve had before, adjusting for personal tastes. I’m kind of embarrassed to admit that we went through an entire batch of it last night, between the two of us!

Enjoy!

Cilantro – Mint Chutney

2 bunches cilantro
2 bunch fresh mint leaves (about half the volume of the cilantro)
1 chopped jalapeno
Juice of 1/2 large lime
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon sugar

Measure everything but the cilantro into a food processor, pulse into finely chopped – almost a paste. Add a handful of cilantro, pulse til combined. Add the rest of the cilantro, pulse until well chopped and combined. Cover and refrigerate until use.

Interested in Gluten-free cooking and baking? You’ll LOVE Beyond Flour: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

How many times have you come across a gluten-free recipe claiming to be “just as good as the normal version!”, only to wind up with weird textures, aftertastes, etc? Most gluten-free recipes are developed by taking a “normal” recipe, and swapping in a simulated “all purpose” gluten-free flour… whether store bought, or a homemade version. “Beyond Flour” takes a different approach: developing the recipe from scratch. Rather than swapping out the flour for an “all purpose” mix, I use various alternative flours as individual ingredients – skillfully blending flavours, textures, and other properties unique to each flour. Supporting ingredients and different techniques are also utilized to achieve the perfect end goal … not just a “reasonable facsimile”. Order your copy here.

Looking for even MORE fantastic gluten-free recipes? Beyond Flour now has a sequel: Beyond Flour 2: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

Imagine gluten-free foods that are as good – or better! – than their traditional, gluten-filled counterparts. Imagine no longer settling for foods with bizarre after-tastes, gummy consistency, and/or cardboard texture. Imagine graham crackers that taste just like the real thing. Crisp, flaky crackers…without the sandy texture. Hybrid tortillas that: look and act like flour tortillas, with the taste of fresh roasted corn! Imagine chewy, delicious cookies that *everyone* will want to eat! Imagine BAGELS. If you’ve cooked from “Beyond Flour”, you already know that these fantasies can be reality – it’s all in the development of the recipes. Order your copy here.

Butter Chicken Recipe

So, I’ve been nagged to post a recipe over the past few days… but I’m also wanting to talk about a friend’s debut on reality TV tonight. Let’s see if I can just tie the two together!

Thursday night, I was hit by a fierce craving for butter chicken and dosa. Not only is it *not* the best thing to be craving when on a low carb diet, neither one of us was really in the mood to go out. So, we came to a compromise – we’d go to the grocery store and pick up a few items, and I’d toss together meal of Butter Chicken. I had a good handle on how it’s supposed to taste and look, and really – I’m not the one who had to do the dishes. Win!

If you’ve made my Chicken Shahi Korma recipe, you should have most/all of the spices used in this dish. If not, go ahead and pick them up – I guarantee you’ll be cooking Indian more often! This absolutely hit the spot, and whipped up quickly and easily. Why deal with the drive, parking, a noisy restaurant.. when this is just as good?

Now, reality tv…

In my recent blog entry – Triumph After Tragedy… and Helping a Friend, I introduced you to Stephanie, a friend who is about to make her reality TV debut on ABC’s “The Glass House“. Tonight, as a matter of fact!

So… tie in. Well, Stephanie is spicy and multifaceted, just like this recipe. This butter chicken has many different aspects working together for a complex flavor. Same with Stephanie, just.. um.. in a less literal sense. Even with all of those spices, it’s still very much a comfort food… and Stephanie is really laid back, easy going, friendly and very likeable. That’s a human version of “comfort food”, right? Also, she’s very much a foodie, and enjoys Indian food. How’s that for tying it all together? LOL!

Anyway, I hope you’ll join me in watching some (likely completely trashy) reality TV to cheer on a really good person tonight – and for up to the next 10 weeks, depending on how long she’ll stay on. Here are some other ways to follow her participation:

“Team Steph” Website: www.teamsteph.net*
“Team Steph” Twitter: @TeamStephGH*
“Team Steph” Twitter Hashtag: #TeamSteph*
“Team Steph” on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TeamStephGH*
“Stephanie” character Twitter Account: @TGHStephanie

Oh, and to help her stay on the entire 10 weeks, be sure to vote for her: here!

* Full disclosure: I’m one of the three admins behind the “Team Steph” social media campaign

Now… on to the Butter Chicken!

“Spur of the Moment” Butter Chicken Recipe

3 lbs boneless skinless chicken**
2-3 Tbsp freshly grated ginger root
5 cloves garlic, peeled
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp olive oil
1-2 tsp garam masala

1 Tbsp garam masala
1+ Tbsp pepper flakes
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp corinader
1 bay leaf
1 tsp fennel seed

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped

1/4 cup butter
2 cups tomato puree
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup milk

1/2 cup chopped cilantro
~12 oz paneer, cubed
1/2-1 cup cashews.
Salt and pepper to taste

Cut chicken into large cubes, place in a large bowl.

Put ginger, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and 1-2 tsp garam masala into a blender or food processor – process till it’s a thick paste. Pour over chicken, toss to coat, and marinate in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.

In a small bowl, measure out the 1 Tbsp garam masala, pepper flakes, cumin, coriander, bay leaf, and fennel seed. Set aside.

In a large pan, cook chopped onions in 1 Tbsp olive oil until tender and translucent. Add chicken, cook until it starts to brown slightly. Add butter, tomato puree, spices, yogurt, heavy cream and milk, stir well to form a coherent sauce. reduce heat to medium, simmer for about 20 minutes – sauce will thicken.

After 20 minutes, add cilantro, paneer, and cashews. Season with salt and pepper, stir well, continue to cook for another 5-10 minutes.

Serve over rice.

** We used a mix of chicken breast and chicken thigh meat.

Interested in Gluten-free cooking and baking? You’ll LOVE Beyond Flour: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

How many times have you come across a gluten-free recipe claiming to be “just as good as the normal version!”, only to wind up with weird textures, aftertastes, etc? Most gluten-free recipes are developed by taking a “normal” recipe, and swapping in a simulated “all purpose” gluten-free flour… whether store bought, or a homemade version. “Beyond Flour” takes a different approach: developing the recipe from scratch. Rather than swapping out the flour for an “all purpose” mix, I use various alternative flours as individual ingredients – skillfully blending flavours, textures, and other properties unique to each flour. Supporting ingredients and different techniques are also utilized to achieve the perfect end goal … not just a “reasonable facsimile”. Order your copy here.

Looking for even MORE fantastic gluten-free recipes? Beyond Flour now has a sequel: Beyond Flour 2: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

Imagine gluten-free foods that are as good – or better! – than their traditional, gluten-filled counterparts. Imagine no longer settling for foods with bizarre after-tastes, gummy consistency, and/or cardboard texture. Imagine graham crackers that taste just like the real thing. Crisp, flaky crackers…without the sandy texture. Hybrid tortillas that: look and act like flour tortillas, with the taste of fresh roasted corn! Imagine chewy, delicious cookies that *everyone* will want to eat! Imagine BAGELS. If you’ve cooked from “Beyond Flour”, you already know that these fantasies can be reality – it’s all in the development of the recipes. Order your copy here.

Chicken Shahi Korma Recipe

Whew! It’s been an incredibly busy few weeks, preparing for the release of “Twisted: A Minneapolis Tornado Memoir”. With things calmed down a little, I finally have time to get back to recipe developing, cooking, and blogging. I promise, today’s recipe is worth the wait!

Chicken Shahi Korma is my absolute favorite thing to order at our favorite Indian restaurant locally – Taste of India. I mean, to the point where I’ve never actually ordered a different entree there – I fell in love with it, and don’t tend to stray!

While we’re always in the mood for some Shahi Korma, we’re usually far less likely to be in the mood to deal with traffic, noise, and… well, people.

I’ve been meaning to unleash my only useful “Aspie Superpower” – recipe replication – on this for a while.
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Cilantro Chicken

There’s this tiny Indian restaurant in downtown Minneapolis, called “Bombay Bistro”. They make a ridiculously good, highly addictive dish called “chicken cilantro”. After a whole lot of googling, research, and experimentation, this is about the closest I’ve come to making it at home. SO good, but still not *quite* exact.. if you’re even in MN, you’ve gotta try this restaurant out! If not..:

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