So this will be my very first Indian cuisine edition. Oh how I have come to love Indian food. John and I love to go to New Asian Village and pig out. This delectible buffet always leaves me more then satisfied. I also end the dining excursion with a bowl of rice pudding and a bowl of mango lassie. John doesn’t really like any of the desserts there, so he just watches me feast, concerned that his girlfriend will grow obese. When we do Indian buffet, we like to first go through all the dishes we want to try and just take one or two bites of each. This prevents the common problem of having a spicy mass on your plate in which you really have no idea what you are eating and tasting.
Now the problem with Indian buffet as you may know that you are likely consuming hundreds or even thousands of calories of sugar, butter and cream. I can’t confirm this, but my gut tells me this is the case.
But what is amazing is that Indian food is very healthy when cooked from scratch. Full of delicious spices such as cinnamon and turmeric, always full of vegetables and legumes such as lentils or chickpeas, these dishes are simply great. Those dishes that look to be full of cream (such as Korma) are in reality made with plain or Greek yogurt. The yogurt brings down the burn of the intense spices just enough.
We love Indian food in our house. The main challenge with Indian is measuring the sheer amount of spices that most dishes require. I admit I will often cheat and purchase pre-made spice mixes for such dishes as Korma and Vindaloo, as I haven’t yet been able to figure out thos spice mixes. This week’s recipe is a dish called Almond Butter Chicken, not a formal Indian dish of any type. The best part of this dish is the simple ingredient list and that it will only take about half an hour to make, including prep time. Using spices such as corriander, cumin seeds and fenu greek, the charm of this dish comes from the creamy texture from the added almond butter.
This recipe is by Bal Arneson, the Spice Goddess!
– If you do not have fenu greek, try substituting with mustard seeds.
– I doubled the recipe this week, and double the quantity of spices. Instead of simply doubling the recipe, I changed it up a little by substituting mustard seed and corriander seeds to make it a little more interesting, so I used 5 spices instead of three.
– When I made it this week, I used almond hazelnut butter, which was just great (but pricey!)
– Serve with or without rice, or with a vegetarian curry. I recently served mine with Chana Masala.
Ingredient I can’t live without:
I always have several cans of chickpeas in my cupboard. High in fibre and super healthy, I like to have them on hand to make hummus, to add to soups, and for various indian dishes including Chana Masala, one of my favourites. I can guarantee that Chana Masala will be featured as recipe of the week in due time, I just wanted to start with an Indian dish that does not consist of 8 spices!
Spice of the Week:
A great alternative to ground cumin, these go great in any stir fry where cumin is required, adding a little extra crunch.
This week’s featured recipe Almon Butter Chicken and Chana Masala are seen in the picture (above). Special thanks to Lori who not only provided the photo, but helped cook the lovely meal featured in said photograph. That’s right, we cook Indian food for our girl’s nights!
Click here to view printable Word version of recipe:
Almond Butter Chicken
Chicken with Almond Butter
By Bal Arneson, the Spice Goddess
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp garlic
1 tbsp fenu greek seeds (or mustard seeds)
1 tbsp cumin seedsß
2 tbsp coriander
salt and pepper
2 lbs chicken boneless skinless thighs or breasts, cut into pieces
2 chopped tomatoes
1 chopped red pepper
1 / 4 cup almond butter
- Heat oil, add garlic, all spices. Cook for 1 minute.
- Add chicken, cook for 5 minutes
- Stir in tomatoes, red pepper and almond butter
- Turn heat to low, cover the skillet, simmer until chicken is done