International recipes often call for items many cooks have yet to become familiar with, such as ghee. Ghee is a clarified butter common to recipes of South Asia, including Nepal, Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan. It has a toasted flavor and high smoking point. Ghee can be stored on the shelf without refrigeration as long as it is in an airtight container, which prevents oxidation and keeps the moisture out. It consists primarily of saturated fat. It is expensive and some Indian restaurants and households use ‘vegetable ghee’, hydrogenated vegetable oil and an unhealthy trans-fat. The real ghee is less likely to create free radicals when cooking.
Indian food traditionally has one main course, usually bread, or rice, served with many tasty side dishes. Although many of us have seen rice cooked in water and the excess water drained away (taking the extra starch with it), Basmati, an extremely fragrant rice, is prepared differently. The amount of rice and water results in the absorption of water and delicious flavorful rice. Perhaps it is not as healthy with the starches left in, but the flavor compensates for the unhealthy tactic.
You will not find animal fat recommended in recipes of India. Types of vegetable oils include mustard, sunflower, and coconut. Vegetables and fruits compose most of the recipes, full of nutrients and health. Even the sugar, called gur, contains iron, minerals, and vitamins. It is regarded as one of the healthiest sugar forms known. Chicken curry Indian recipes get that special kick from the blend of spices that make curry, such as turmeric, ginger, garlic, chilies and mint. Chapattis, a flatbread, if often made without oil or yeast. Wholegrain goodness gives great flavor.
India No Hurry Curry
Nearly all the favorite seasonings and flavors of international Indian cuisine comprise this dish. The meal takes over 2 hours to prepare and should not be rushed. The results are worth the wait.
- 5 medium purple or white onions, peeled
- 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken
- 8 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped fine
- 4 medium zucchini, sliced thin
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 2 tablespoons ghee
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 3 teaspoons garlic, chopped
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 3 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated fine
- 3 large tomatoes, chopped and peeled
- 3 teaspoons salt
- ˝ cup chopped fresh mint leaves
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- ˝ teaspoon ground fennel
- 1 pack (8 ounces) blanched almonds
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Cut the chicken into two- inch pieces. Chop all the onions but one. Finely slice the remaining onion.
Put the olive oil and ghee in a heavy, large saucepan over medium high heat. Stir- fry the sliced onion until it is golden brown. Remove the onion from the pan and set aside.
Mix the garlic, chopped onion, potatoes and ginger in the oil left in the pan. Stir and fry on low heat until they are soft and golden.
Stir the turmeric, cumin, coriander, chili powder, and fennel into the pan, stirring for 2 minutes while it cooks.
Continue stirring now and then as you add the salt, half of the fresh herbs and the tomatoes. Cook until the tomatoes turn pulpy. The occasional stirs this time are to keep the mixture from sticking on the bottom of the pan.
Gradually add the chicken pieces, stirring while adding so the mixture coats each chunk, and then stir in the squash. Turn the heat to low and cover the pan. Cook for 40 minutes.
In a medium skillet, heat the vegetable oil on medium high. Fry half of the pack of slivered onions. When they are golden, remove them from the heat. Use a fork to beat the yogurt until it is smooth and slowly stir it with the fried almonds into the curry. Simmer uncovered for 5 minutes.
Stir in the fried onions, garam masala, ground almonds, and remaining chopped herbs. When these ingredients have heated, turn off the burner, remove the skillet from the stove, and serve the meal.
Made with ❤️ by Carol Genusa
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