Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Spicy Valentine

We observed Valentine's Day on Sunday. I made dinner while Karl snacked on the flowers that Ryan got me.

I made a recipe from a cookbook called Where Flavor Was Born, which is organized by spices found in countries along the Indian Ocean. The dish came from the chapter on cardamom - green pods that taste like licorice.

The recipe had plenty of other spices too and turned out to be one of the most flavorful dishes that I've made.

Chicken Cardamom Masala with Cashews (From Where Flavor Was Born by Andreas Viestad)

1/2 cup plain full-fat yogurt
2 tablespoons garam masala
6-10 cardamom pods, lightly bruised
1 1-inch piece of cinnamon stick
2 teaspoons chili powder, or more to taste
2 teaspoons chopped fresh ginger
2 teaspoons salt
1 chicken, cut into 8 pieces, or 4 chicken thighs, halved (I used chicken breasts)
1 teaspoon powdered turmeric
Oil for panfrying
4 onions, chopped
3-5 cloves of garlic, chopped
4-6 teaspoons cashews
1-2 tablespoons tomato paste or ketchup
1/4 cup heavy cream (optional - I didn't use this)
Chopped cilantro or parsley for garnish

I also tossed in cauliflower and made brown rice.

In a large bowl, combine the yogurt, garam masala, cardamom, cinnamon stick, chili powder, ginger, and salt. Add the chicken, turning to coat. Let marinate for as long as you have time. Use a spatula to scrape of as much of the marinade from the chicken as possible; reserve the marinade. Pat the chicken dry using paper towels, and sprinkle with turmeric. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a wide pot over high heat. Add the chicken and cook, turning occasionally, for 10 minutes, or until the skin is nicely browned. Remove chicken, reduce heat, and saute onions and garlic for 4-5 minutes, until starting to soften. Add chicken, reserved marinade, cashews, and tomato paste, cover, and cook for 25-30 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Stir in cream (if desired) and cook for 2 more minutes. Garnish with cilantro.


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