Sunday, March 29, 2009

Semi Homemade Mumbai Style

I can't say I'm a huge fan of this semi-homemade trend EXCEPT when it comes Indian food. I wish I had an real Indian auntie to teach me how to make this stuff, but I don't. So I'm stuck with muddling my way through pre packaged spice mixes and frozen palak paneer trying to learn as much as I can. Thankfully a former co worker and friend pointed me into the right direction towards some high quality pre made items that let anyone make a homemade Indian meal. Which I did this last Thursday night for my hunny for a rare dinner at home.

Using a spice mix for whole chicken pieces, a couple frozen vegetable dishes, frozen naan (bread), and some other pre made items from India Grocery on Cranston and Sawmill I put dinner together in an hour and a half.. Pretty good considering the chicken was still frozen!

First thing first, I bought fresh, pre made samosas and put those out with some bottled cilantro chutney and some little snacky things called mullu muruku for him to munch on when he got home. I did have to add a little Greek yogurt to the chutney to tame the fire a bit, but it was still good.

Next I put one cup of batsmati rice on to cook and threw four cardamom pods and a dash of salt for an extra, subtle layer of flavor.

Now it was time to cook the chicken... Which was still frozen, but thawed enough that I could sear it, skin side down in a non stick pan until I had a nice golden color. I didn't add any salt or pepper since the spice mix I used had salt in it already. This is a pound and a half of chicken thighs, but the package called for only 400 grams of chicken on the bone. Honestly, it worked just fine with the extra amount, we had one thigh leftover and there was enough left that when we reheated it last night for dinner we had plenty of sauce.

Next I opened a bag of broccoli cauliflower and baby carrots, trimmed and ready to go and steamed it with a little butter. Then I cracked open the frozen palak paneer (spinach and homemade cheese) and bhindi masala (okra and potatoes in tomato sauce).

Now all that was left was to heat up the frozen naan, dish up the pickles and make a couple mango lassis with mango juice and Trader Joe's Greek style yogurt. Both mango and yogurt help with digestion, so a mango lassi is a perfect compliment to a spice driven Indian meal. When I was at India Grocery, I asked the clerk about the myriad of sweet cakes in the cast next to the register. He pointed out which ones where his favorites and so I trusted his judgement and got those. I have NO idea what any of these are but there were wonderful!

With everything on the counter it was dinner! We had plenty of food for leftovers a couple of nights later and items like the pickles and chutney will keep for future meals/snacks. Next time you think semi homemade, think Sanghavi and not Sandra!

P.S. Despite the lassi, no Indian meal (and least for hunny and I) is complete without Eno. Similar to baking soda, but tasting nowhere near as awful, a small glass of cold water and a teaspoon of Eno takes down heartburn and indigestion as fast as you can burp. It's also great following pizza, Mexican, Thurmans, Taco Bell and White Castle.....

1 comment:

  1. What a great post! And I love the picture of you with all the goods on the counter. Your hunny is one lucky guy!