Thursday, February 11, 2010

A Passage to India

Inspired by everything Indian, I achieved one of my most successful menus to date. Somehow I found a main dish, vegetable and drink that complemented each other perfectly. Old Mr. Forster must have been whispering secrets in my ear.


Ginger Curry Chicken with Lentils and Leeks

Ingredients

  • 3 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into chunks
  • 2 Tbsp. curry powder
  • 1/2 Tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
  • 2 large leeks, halved lengthwise, rinsed, and sliced
  • 1 small orange, cut in wedges
  • 1 cup French lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 1 14-oz. can reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 to 2 heads baby bok choy, separated into individual leaves (chopped smaller if desired)

Directions

  1. Sprinkle chicken with 1 tablespoon curry powder and salt. Brown chicken pieces, half at a time if necessary, in a 4-quart Dutch oven in hot oil over medium-high heat. Remove from pan.
  2. Add ginger, leeks, orange wedges, and remaining curry powder. Cook and stir 2 to 3 minutes or until leeks are tender.
  3. Stir in lentils and broth.
  4. Return chicken pieces to pan. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cook, covered, for 55 to 60 minutes or until chicken is tender and no longer pink.
  5. Remove chicken; stir bok choy into lentil mixture. Use slotted spoon to serve. Makes 4 to 6 servings.
Tangy Cabbage with Fennel and Cumin
Ingredients

half a head of cabbage, cut into strips
1 medium onion, cut into half moons
3 garlic cloves
1 large handful of fresh parsley
1 bay leaf
1/2 Tsp red chile flakes
1 Tsp cumin seeds
3/4 Tsp fennel seeds
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp butter
splash of water
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
salt/pepper
Directions
  1. Lay the cabbage flat on the table with the rounded side pointing up. Slice it crosswise into thin ribbons.
  2. Peel and halve the onion then slice it crosswise as well into half moons.
  3. Pound the garlic cloves with the back of your knife, peel them and leave them as they are.
  4. Place the onions, garlic, olive oil, a healthy dose of salt, and all the spices in a medium pan and sautee over medium heat until the onions are almost soft.
  5. Add the cabbage, parsley, butter, a splash of water (to moisten the pan) and saute for about another 5 minutes until it is crunchy/tender. (Remember it will cook a little bit more when you turn off the heat.)
  6. Add vinegar and toss. Add more salt/pepper as needed.

Mango Lassi
Makes 2 (8 oz.) servings

2 cups coconut milk
1 ripe mango, cut into large chunks
1/2 cup of plain yogurt

1. Combine all ingredients in the blender.
2. Process until smooth.
3. Chill before enjoying.

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