Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Turkey Jhalfrazie

My leftover turkey/chicken from Christmas dinner is always made into a jhalfrazie. What is a jhalfrazie? It is a dry kind of stir-fry, if you will, usually made with leftover meats, which have been marinated and cooked, and fried with lots of green peppers and onions. In the British days, the cooks would reconstruct leftover meats into a new dish and that is how this term came into being. The authentic jhalfrazie or should I say the restaurant jhalfrazie is made out of leftover tandoori meats, but I don't follow any such rules. My dish has a American-Italian-Indian-Chinese flavor to it, that's why it's a stir-fry. American because of the poultry seasoning on the turkey, Italian because of the pesto, Indian because of the curry paste, Chinese because of the soy sauce and sesame oil, and so I rest my case.The turkey was made with the Cilantro Pesto, the pesto recipe was the one I submitted to Kalyn's Kitchens Holiday Herb Blogging event.

Leftover marinated and cooked Turkey or Chicken cut into cubes about 2 cups

1 clove garlic minced

1 tsp ginger minced

1 green chilli minced

2 tbsp onion minced

1 tsp Curry Paste(Okay still working on putting links to previous posts, haven't figured that one out, pls help)

1 green pepper cut into strips

1 onion cut into cubes

1 tsp soy sauce

1 tsp sesame oil

Heat the oil, add the minced garlic, ginger, green chilli, and onion. Saute till golden add the green pepper strips and onion cubes stir on high heat, add turkey and curry paste, and keep stirring till well combined. Add soy sauce, stir. Serve hot with rice, rotis or use as a filling in a tortilla wrap.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Curry Paste

This curry paste is always in my fridge, I usually make it fresh about once a week, can be frozen too. It's a basic curry paste and you can embellish it to whatever your cooking. I use this paste as a fish or chicken marinade. To make a tandoori paste just add yogurt and garam masala to it. I also use it in Chinese or Thai cooking. When making a curry, I just saute some onions, and this paste and tomatoes, fry well, add coconut milk and veggies or chicken, and it's done.

Pretty versatile huh!!!

Whole head of garlic

2 inch fresh ginger

2 tbsp vinegar

1/4 tsp salt

Blend till smooth. Keep in plastic or glass containers, avoid metal containers as there is vinegar in it. IThe vinegar and salt act as preservatives.

Indian Masala Seasoning

Kalyn's Kitchen's herb blends inspired me to make my own seasoning blend with a Indian twist, I usually give Chai Tea Mix, and a Pulao Mix as Christmas gifts. I am a teacher too and have a lot of co-workers that I usually give gifts to, so this seasoning blend would be something different. I do have some staunch fans for my Chai Tea Mix, and they ask me every year for it. Anyway here goes my Indian Masala recipe. This seasoning can also be used for tandoori chicken/vegetables/fish, by mixing some yogurt and salt to the masala and marinating in it and then broiling it. Yummy !!!!

4 tbsp garlic powder
2 tbsp ginger powder
2 tbsps onion powder
2 tbsp chilli powder
3 tbsp cumin powder
4 tbsp coriander powder
1 tsp dried oregano
2 tbsp dried parsley
1 tbsp garam masala powder
1 tsp turmeric

Mix everything until combined. This seasoning can be used on chicken, turkey, pork, fish, and any vegetables as a rub or a marinade. Can be used instead of curry powder too.

If you don't have garam masala just mix 1 tsp clove powder, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp cardamon powder, a pinch nutmeg.

Thanks for the idea, Kalyn.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

2006 Colorado Blizzard

My backyard

My frontyard

Just outside my back door
My patio table and grill

Indian Pan Potato Fries

My son is addicted to potatoes in any form, especially fries, hash browns, potato cutlets, mashed potatoes in that order. So I'm always thinking of ways to make these. But he likes these Indian French fries, better than the ones from the drive-thru. Which makes me feel better as I can control all the ingredients. Instead of pan frying like I did, you could bake it in the oven at 450 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes.
4 large Potatoes
2-4 tbsp Oil as needed
1/4 tsp Cumin seeds
A pinch of Asafoetida
1/2 tsp Chilli powder
1/2 tsp Salt

French cut the potatoes, I use a French Fry Cutter, makes my life easy. Add 1 tbsp water and nuke in the microwave for 5 minutes. Drain. Heat oil in a large frying pan, add cumin seeds and asafoetida. Add potatoes once the cumin seeds get a little golden. Leave the pan on medium heat and keep stirring occasionally till the potatoes get a nice golden color and turn kind of crispy. Once done add salt and chilli powder, and stir for a few minutes and then serve.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Cilantro Pesto

An Indian take on pesto, and I like the kick the green chillies give. I started making this pesto as I would always have cilantro in the fridge, and after a week, I had to use it up or trash it. This freezes well too, I use the pesto for pastas, dips, spreads, marinades, and even in some curries.
I used this pesto for my Thanksgiving turkey breast, just put the pesto under the skin and some spice rub on the top and bake as usual.

Cilantro leaves about 2 cups I add the stems too
Almonds 2 tbsp
Garlic cloves 2
Ginger 1/2 inch
Green Chillies 2
Peppercorns 5
Salt 1/2 tsp
Olive Oil 1/3 cup

Blend cilantro, almonds, garlic, ginger, green chillies, peppercorns, and salt to taste. Drizzle olive oil while letting the blender run. If using for pasta add parmesan cheese while mixing in with the pasta.

Oven Chicken Fry

What with the Blizzard in Colorado, I was getting antsy sitting at home, and then I started thinking about food, and had visions of whipping up some exotic dish. Anyway I decided to make some regular chicken fry instead, but in the oven. This is such a regular dish in Mallu households, and invariably I had some chicken marinating in the freezer. It is normally a high calorie dish because it is fried in oil, but baking and broiling it cuts down on some of the calories. I'm trying to be careful with my diet, and cuting down on fats as much as I can.

3 Boneless chicken breasts cubed into 1 inch pieces
Ginger paste 1tbsp
Garlic paste 1tbsp
Red chilli powder 2tbsp
Fennel seeds powder 1 tsp
Turmeric 1/2 tsp
Cornflour 2 tbsp
Vinegar 1tbsp
Salt to taste

Mix all the spices, cornflour, vinegar, and salt well. Then add to the chicken. Marinate in the fridge for a couple of hours.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place aluminium foil on a cookie sheet spray lightly with oil, place chicken on the foil, and spray chicken lightly with oil. Bake till chicken is done, then turn the oven to Broil and broil for a few minutes so the top part of the chicken gets some color.
Serve hot.