Monday, April 19, 2010

Indian Comfort Food

The other night I decided to make dinner for the family. I wanted something relatively easy, something everyone would eat, and something that would not take all day to make. I started looking through all my cookbooks and I ended up looking at my favorite Indian cookbook by Madhur Jaffrey and found chicken with tomatoes and garam masala (Timatar murghi). This dish fit the bill for everything, plus I had almost all of the ingredients that I would need to make this!

5 tablespoons vegetable oil
3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 inch cinnamon stick
6 cardamon pods
2 bay leaves
1/4 teaspoon peppercorns
2 medium onions, peeled and finely chopped
6-7 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped1 inch cube fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
6 medium tomatoes, peeled and finely chopped
3 lbs chicken pieces, skinned
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 - 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon garam masala

Put the oil in a large, wide pot and set over medium-high heat. When hot, put in the cumin seeds, cinnamon, cardamon pods, bay leaves, and peppercorns. Stir once and then put in the onions, garlic, and ginger. Stir this mixture until the onions pick up brown specks. Now out in the tomatoes, chicken pieces, salt, and cayenne pepper. Stir to mix and bring to a boil. Cover tightly, turn heat to low, and simmer for 25 minutes or until the chicken is tender. Stir a few times during this cooking period. Remove cover and turn up heat to medium.
Sprinkle in the garam masala and cook, stirring gently, for about 5 minutes in order to reduce the liquid in the pot somewhat.

I used 2 cans of diced tomatoes (it is what I had on hand) and I also simmered this all day long. I wanted all of the flavors to meld together. The chicken melted in your mouth and everyone really like this. It was super easy and extremely delicious. I served this over plain rice and also got some naan from Trader Joes - it was a wonderful meal and I will make it again!

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