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Tandoori Chicken - (Serves 4)

First Marinade Ingredients:

4 whole chicken legs (skin on)

1 teaspoon turmeric powder

2 teaspoons red chili powder

Kosher salt

1 tablespoon lime juice


Second Marinade Ingredients:

2 1/2 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste

1 cup plain yogurt, whisked until smooth

1 tablespoon roasted cumin powder

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 teaspoons Punjabi Garam Masala

1 tablespoon dried fenugreek leaves

3 to 4 drops red food coloring

3 tablespoons vegetable oil or melted clarified butter for basting



Making the First Marinade:


1.  Score the chicken and flesh at an angle so the marinade can penetrate the flesh.


2.  In a large bowl, mix the turmeric, chili powder, salt, and lime juice.  Using your hands, rub this mixture on the chicken legs.  Set aside for at least 30 minutes, refrigerate until you are ready to proceed.


Making Second Marinade:


1.  After the first marinade, in another bowl, mix the ginger-garlic paste, yogurt, cumin, pepper, garam masala, fenugreek leaves, and red food coloring.


2.  Using your hands, rub this into the chicken.  Marinate for at least 5 hours or overnight, covered, in the refrigerator.


3.  Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes.


4.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.


5.  Arrange the chicken legs on a wire rack over a baking pan and place in the oven.


6.  Cook he legs at least 15 minutes on one side.  Remove the pan from the oven, turn the legs over, and baste with clarified butter or oil.  After 15 minutes, repeat the process, turning and basting again.  Continue to cook for another 15 minutes, or until the legs are well-browned and the juices run clear.  Remove from the oven and serve hot with roasted green chile chutney, onion rings, and lime wedges.



Pepper Chicken - (Serves 4)



3 teaspoons ginger-garlic paste, divided

3 teaspoons ground black pepper, divided

1 tablespoon ground coriander

2 teaspoons red chili powder

Kosher salt

1 lb. bone-in chicken legs & thighs, cut into medium pieces (skin on)

2 tablespoons vegetable or coconut oil

3 (1-inch) cinnamon sticks

3 whole cloves

3 to 4 green cardamom pods

3 Indian or Mediterranean bay leaves

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

10 curry leaves (optional)

1 cup red onion, finely chopped

2 tomatoes, finely chopped

1/2 cup water

Juice of 1 lime

1 tablespoon cilantro leaves & stems, chopped



1.  In a small bowl, mix together 1 1/2 teaspoons of ginger-garlic paste, 1 1/2 teaspoons of pepper, the coriander, and the chili powder.  Season with salt.  Place the chicken pieces in a large bowl and, using your hands, rub this marinade all over the chicken.  Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.


2.  In a heavy saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat until it's shimmering.  Turn the heat to low and add the cinnamon, cloves, cardamom pods, bay leaves, fennel seeds, & curry leaves (if using).  Stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.


3.  Add the onion and sauté until softened and light brown.  If the onions is browning to fast without softening, add a few drops of water to reduce the temperature and continue frying.


4.  Add the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons of garlic-ginger paste and stir until fragrant.  Add the tomatoes and mash with the back of the spoon as they cook to make a paste, about 5 minutes.  Add 1/2 cup of water, cover, and allow the masala to cook for 5 to 7 minutes.  The oil will start to float to the top when it is ready.


5.  When the oil in the masala paste has begun to separate,  add the marinated chicken pieces.  Turn the heat to medium-low and cook the chicken for about 15 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the meatiest piece registers 165 degrees F.  Stir in between the chicken pieces, add a little water at a time to ensure that the chicken cooks evenly.  You don't want a gravy consistency, as this is a dry dish when finished.


6.  When the chicken is tender, garnish with the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons of pepper, lime juice, and the cilantro leaves.  Serve hot with plain basmati rice.



Pork Vindaloo - (Serves 2)



1 lb. boneless pork shoulder, with fat & skin, cut into 1-inch cubes

Kosher salt

2 teaspoons turmeric powder, divided

15 dried Kashmiri chiles

2 teaspoons whole cumin seeds, dry roasted

1 *1-inch) cinnamon sticks, divided

10 peppercorns, divided

7 whole cloves, divided

1 teaspoon sugar

10 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

1 (1inch) piece ginger, peeled & coarsely chopped

1/2 cup palm, coconut, or white vinegar

1 medium red onion, coarsely chopped

1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 cup water



1.  In a large bowl, season the pork with salt.  Add 1 teaspoon turmeric and mix well, using your hands to work the spice into the meat.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes while you prepare the masala paste.  If you have time, you could leave it overnight.


2.  Using a spice grinder or a mortar and pestle, or a food processor, mix the dried chiles, roasted cumin seeds, remaining teaspoon of turmeric, 1 piece of cinnamon, 5 peppercorns, 4 whole cloves, and the sugar.  Grind until the spices are a fine powder.  Add the garlic, ginger, and vinegar and continue grinding to a fine paste.  Transfer the paste to a small bowl. Set aside.


3.  Add the onion to the grinder and pulse or grind once or twice.  Do not rinse out the container.


4.  In a large saucepan, heat the oil over a medium heat until it's shimmering.  Add the mashed onion, the remaining 5 peppercorns, the remaining piece of cinnamon, and the remaining 3 whole cloves.  Cook, stirring constantly, until the onion is soft and fragrant, about 5 minutes.


5.  Add the masala paste and cook, stirring occasionally, until the oil separates and the mixture starts to sizzle, about 5 minutes.


6.  Add the pork and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 10 minutes.  Add 1 cup of water to the food processor, spice grinder, or mortar bowl, and swirl to rinse.  Pour this mixture into the pan and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally.  Reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer, cover, and cook until the pork is fork tender, about 1 hour.


7.  Serve immediately with rice.  Or, for better flavor, cool and store overnight or for up to 2 days in a sealed container in the refrigerator , and reheat well before serving.



Curry with Beef Meatballs - (Serves 4 to 5)



1 lb. ground beef

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala, divided

1 green chile, finely chopped

1 tablespoon cilantro leaves, finely chopped

Kosher salt

1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 medium red onion, finely chopped

10 curry leaves (optional)

2 teaspoons ginger-garlic paste

2 teaspoons red chili powder

1 tablespoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

1 cup tomato puree

1 cup water

1/2 cup coconut milk (reserve 1 tablespoon for garnish)



1.  In a large bowl, mix the ground beef, pepper, 1/2 teaspoon of garam masala, chile, and cilantro.  Season with salt and mix well.  Form the meat into small balls and set aside.


2.  In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat until shimmering.  Turn the heat to medium-low and cook the onion and curry leaves (if using) for 5 minutes, or until the onions are transparent.  Add the ginger-garlic paste and stir until fragrant, about 2 minutes.


3.  Add the chili powder, coriander, cumin, and turmeric then stir for 20 seconds.  Add the tomato puree and cook for 10 minutes, or until the oil separates.  Add the remaining 1 teaspoon garam masala and 1 cup of water, seas with salt, and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.


4.  Add the coconut milk and simmer for another 5 minutes.  Drop the meatballs into the curry one at a time and cook for 7 to 10 minutes.  Do not stir; simply swirl the pan to rotate the meatballs in the curry.  Serve the meatballs garnished with the remaining coconut milk.



Lamb in Gravy with Potato Straws - (Serves 2)



2 lbs. boneless lamb roast, cubed

2 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste, divided

Kosher salt

2tablespoons vegetable oil

1 cup red onion, finely chopped

1/2 cup tomato puree

1 green chile, finely chopped

1 teaspoon turmeric powder

3 to 4 teaspoons red chili powder

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon coriander-cumin spice blend

1 teaspoon basic garam masala

1 tablespoon palm, coconut, or white vinegar

1 tablespoon grated jaggery or 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

1 1/2 cups water

1/2 cup straw potatoes or shoestring potatoes or crushed potato chips



1.  In a large bowl, mix the lamb cubs with 1 tablespoon of the ginger-garlic paste.  Season with salt.  Cover and refrigerate.


2.  Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until it begins to shimmer.  Add the onion and sauté, stirring constantly, until it turns golden brown.  Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of ginger-garlic paste, and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds, taking care not to burn the onion or the paste.  Add a few drops of water if the browning is too quick.


3.  Add the tomato puree and sauté until the oil separates from the onion and tomato mixture.  Add the chile, turmeric, chili powder, cumin, coriander-cumin blend, and garam masala, and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds.


4.  Add the marinated lamb and stir to coat with the spiced oil for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the vinegar, jaggery, and 1 1/2 cups of water.  Cover the pan and cook the lamb over low heat for 1 hour, until the liquid has reduced by half.  Check at intervals and stir to ensure that the liquid hasn't dried up.  If it's getting too dry, add some more water.


5.  When the meat is very tender, check the seasoning and adjust the vinegar, sugar, and salt as desired; It should be tangy, spicy, and slightly sweet.  Serve the lamb and sauce in bowls garnished with crisp straw potatoes or crushed potato chips.

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