On a recent trip back to NY, my sister gave us a huge supply of spices from the Park Slope Coop. So many that I decided upon returning to Beijing to try to make a home made Masala.
I’ve tried Chicken Masala before in the past but here’s a recipe that I got from BBC that is done all from scratch. Pretty easy overall, and the flavors and amazing. You don’t have to use a rotisserie, you can just bake as the original recipe describes but it’s a little more fun if your oven has this function and you also get a much more even and juicier meat as a result of the rotisserie.
Chicken Masala Ingredients
For the marinade
6 cardamom pods
2 tbsp cumin seeds
2 tbsp coriander seeds
4 whole cloves
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp ground fenugreek
2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tbsp paprika
1-2 tsp hot chilli powder (the more you use, the spicier the dish)
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp flaked sea salt
4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 inch piece fresh root ginger, peeled and finely grated
1 cup low-fat natural yoghurt
Whole free range chicken
Masala Spices Preparation method
To make the marinade, split the cardamom pods and remove the seeds. Put the cardamom seeds in a dry non-stick frying pan and discard the husks. Add the cumin and coriander seeds, cloves and black peppercorns and place the pan over a medium heat. Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring regularly until the spices are lightly toasted – you know they’re ready when you can smell the spicy aroma.
Tip the toasted spices into a pestle and mortar, or an electric spice grinder, and pound to a fine powder. Transfer to a mixing bowl and stir in the fenugreek, turmeric, paprika, chilli powder, cinnamon and salt.
Add the garlic, ginger and yoghurt, then mix well and leave to stand while you prepare the chicken.
Place the chicken in a small bowl and marinate with your hands for several minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight.
Preheat oven to 375F and set up the rotisserie (or just bake). Bake till internal temp of chicken reaches 180F (about 1 hour)
Hey everyone, surprise the endless rain officially ends on Sunday and what better way to enjoy the outdoors than checking out a dozen or more of your favorite food trucks?!!!
From 11am – 5pm, Food trucks that serve coffee, ice cream, slushies, dumplings, lobster, falafel, and more will be available at Grand Army Plaza.
Here’s the line up so far:
Kelvin Natural Slush Co.
Red Hook Lobster Pound
Eddie’s Pizza Truck
The Frying Dutchmen
The Treats Truck
Vanleeuwen Ice Cream
This Food Truck party is being organized by the Prospect Park Alliance with the NYC Food Truck Association.
See you there!]]>
39th and Broadway
Midtown New York
I’ve long known about the Dosa cart but just couldn’t get myself to walk the extra block past one of my favorite Halal Carts : Little Morocco on 39th and 7th. But yesterday I ate a huge breakfast and wasn’t too hungry and decided to give the Dosa a shot. If you’ve never had Dosa’s, they are a pancake like crepe made out of rice and lentil batter. It’s usually stuffed with vegetables and a curry sauce but sometimes you’ll find variations with meat as well.
The Dosa cart offers a few variations (all vegetarian). I got the Mysore Masala which has spicy cauliflower curry. The dosas are freshly made on the grill to order and it comes with a side of lentil soup in a small cup. For $5 , you won’t get the amount of food as you’ll get at the Little Morocco Halal cart a block away but honestly the long lines you see out of this cart easily tells you that the dosa dude does some serious business (he’s got a monopoly on his product afterall).
At the cart, you can also pick up some samosas for $3 if you don’t think you’ll be stuffed. It actually was very filling and I will definitely go back again sometime soon. Enjoy!]]>
Duh, why hasn’t anyone else come up with this idea? I mean Naan is an incredible tasty, chewy bread and would make a perfect complement for pizza toppings.
Well to kick off National Pizza Month (seriously dude, it was passed by congress back in 1987), it’s very appropriate to announce that prepared foods manufacturer Tandoor Foods is announcing a new line of frozen indian naan pizzas. Tandoor Chef includes Roasted Eggplant, Cilantro Pesto, Margherita, and Spinach Paneer pizza flavors.
I’m going to hunt for some of these in the store – let me know if you come across any and let us know what you think.
Here’s a recipe in the meantime from their website:
Mild Curry Chicken Pizza Recipe on Naan
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
2 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
1⁄4 red onion, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoons mild Indian red curry paste
4 pieces Tandoor Chef Tandoori Naan (or any Naan you get from a restaurant/ store)
1⁄2 cup fresh spinach, finely chopped
3 1⁄2 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
Preheat broiler oven. Heat vegetable oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add chicken, browning one side for two to three minutes before flipping; add onion and garlic; brown the other side another two to three minutes. Remove from the pan, cut into thin slices and return to the pan to finish cooking.
In a small bowl, combine the tomato and curry pastes. Spread over each piece of naan, then top with pan contents, spinach and cheese. Place on a baking sheet and broil for five minutes or until cheese is visibly melting.
Visit TandoorChef.com or Facebook.com/TandoorChef.
Location: SE Corner of 46th and 6th Ave
Sometimes walking 5 blocks for lunch seems a bit far, but it’s not if it’s for the Briyani Cart on 46th and 6th. Once you get there however you’ll soon notice you’re not alone – there’s usually a long line before 11:45 AM. Actually the line is a bit longer now after the Briyani cart won the coveted 2009 vendy award this year. So large is the demand, the owners opened a 2nd cart adjacent to the original. Why people don’t go to the 2nd cart still, I don’t really understand. I haven’t tried the other Briyani carts across the 6th Ave, but there’s also quite crowd on most days.
What’s Briyani? It’s a rice based dish filled with flavorful spices, dried fruits, meat, fish, eggs, and/or vegetables. As a principle dish of Muslim travelers, Briyani has at least a half dozen varieties all across the Arabia, India and South East Asia. At the Midtown Briyani cart, they serve it with Chicken ($6) or plain vegetable ($5.5). The Briyani is amazingly rich in flavor – the spices are really cooked into and throughout the rice. Each dish comes with spicy pickles and boiled egg. Check it out!]]>
306 East 6th @ 2nd Ave or 235 E 53rd Street
My coworkers and I often challenge each other with tasting various degrees of spicy hot sauces. I’m not talking about Sriracha Chili Sauce (AKA Asian Ketchup) or Tabasco Sauce, nor even the hot sauce from the famous W Village falafel restaurant Mamoun’s – these are for kids my friends. Cavel prides himself with homemade salsa made from Scotch Bonnet peppers that his dad smuggled in from a secret tree in Jamaica while Mike loves to show off his own secret mix made from Mexican chilies mixed with hot sauce from King Taco Los Angeles. Although we can’t seem to agree on which one is hotter, we do all agree that the concentrated hot sauce served in tiny plastic containers from the local Halal food cart on 53rd and 6th Ave (east side) is respectable.
Last week we decided to settle who was “the man” by trying out the ultimate spicy dish: The Phall Curry at Brick Lane Curry House. Recently featured on the TV show Man Vs. Food, the phall curry at Brick Lane is supposedly the hottest curry in NY. Check the video of the Phall curry challenge on Eat Me Daily Blog The phall dish has so many spices in fact that the chef needs to WEAR A GAS MASK so he won’t choke on the smoke!
Having just finished my Liver Cleanse Diet there was no way I could even eat the entire contents of the curry let alone handle the spices so I opted out to join Pryia in witnessing this ridiculous feat of strength. Competing was Ted, Cavel and Mike from the office representing Italy, Jamaica and Mexico respectively. We went to the E53rd street location which is an interestingly tiny restaurant. It’s so small that the there’s just one large table in the dining area from where we could easily smell the spices being preapred in the adjacent kitchen. I ordered the next spiciest dish on the menu, the paneer vindaloo which turned out to be spicy but doable. Then, to the tune of funky Indian techno music, the phall dishes arrived. From the onset, it looked like a reasonable amount and according to the contest you can eat as much rice and naan bread as you like with it, drink as much water, and take as long as you wish. I think the secret however is that you just have to down it as fast as possible. I tried a small spoonful and I have to say this is probably the spiciest dish I’ve ever tried. The phall is so concentrated with spices that it has a gritty sandy burnt texture from all the curry seeds in the dish. It’s more fire than flavor and it burns for a long time. All three of these guys drank at least 4-5 glasses of water while Cavel got up to grab new napkins from the counter 2 or 3 times to mop the sweat that was dripping down his face. After about 15 mins, Mike finished. Cavel gave up at this point while Ted continued to silently plow through his dish. After a few minutes and encouragement from Priya and myself, Cavel got a 2nd wind and upon confirmation from the restaurant owner that he didn’t have to eat the paneer cheese but just the sauce, he proceeded to down the rest of his dish in 2 large spoonfuls to come in 2nd place. Ted immediately followed Cavel in finishing his own dish.
I really have to congratulate these guys because this stuff is definitely no joke. I will be trying the challenge as soon as my stomach is back to normal size after my liver cleanse diet.
As victors of the Brick Lane Phall Curry challenge, each of them get their photos submitted onto the Phall of fame, certificates for free beers and the coveted certificate of completion. Bravo guys!]]>
I’ve always been fascinated by the complexities of cooking Indian food, and after tasting some really amazing authentic dishes at a coworker’s house party a few months ago, I suddenly got inspired to really dig in and learn how to do it on my own. Just over this past week, Michelle’s been advising/tasting/judging my attempts at Chicken Curry / Masala. Here’s her own recipe and some photos of my last attempt using just curry powder and no masala. (She got me a box of BadShah brand Masala so I’ll be trying that soon!) Also, just to quickly pass on an important lesson I recently learned: be sure to fully carmelize the onions (which I didn’t do as you can see in the photo below) in this recipe to get the full flavor!
4-5 cloves garlic
About 1 inch of cinnamon (crush it so that they are sticks and its not rolled up)
4-5 green peppercorns
1-2 Bay leaves if you have them.
1 large onion (chopped fine or pureed) (the amount of onion and tomato will decide how much gravy the dish has)
3-4 small green chillies or 2 jalapeno peppers, finely chopped.
2 tsp Ginger garlic paste (either pre-made or crushed/ground)
2 tomatoes (diced or pureed)
2 tsps chicken masala (not heaped)
About 6 chicken drumsticks or equivalent
Garnishing (coriander – optional)
Stove should be medium high. In about 4 tablespoons oil, fry all of Batch 1, In about a minute, you will smell the aromas, add the onion. Fry for 7-10 mins or until nearly brown. Add chilies and tomatoes – fry for another 7 mins. Add ginger garlic paste. Stir quickly cos this might stick. After one minute, add the chicken masala and stir for another 3-4 mins. At this point, taste the mixture, if you think you can want it more spicy – add more masala. Add the chicken and stir every 5 mins for the next 10 mins. Cover and lower the heat to low-medium flame. Add salt at this point – not much later.
Keep checking on it every 10 mins. Try and avoid adding water, as this dilutes the taste. The chicken should be cooked in about 30 mins.
Enjoy and thanks Michelle!]]>
114 E 1st Street
New york, New York, NY 10009
I was first discovered Punjabi Grocery through my friend Olivier many years ago when I first moved to NY. (We were drunk in the lower east side and wanted some cheap food and it totally hit the spot.) Like LaHore, Punjabi Grocery caters to the taxi driver populace. Cabbies come for the food and coffe but also other items that you’d expect from a cab driver which explains the expansive collection of Indian/Pakistani music tapes and fresh rolls of printer ribbon for the taxi receipt machine located behind the counter. I guess this place gets pretty busy cause there’s also an armada of 4 microwaves on top of the counter standing ready to heat up a quick meal for a hungry customer.
A couple weeks ago I went back to this place to try out the Ras Malai. Ras Malai is an sweet Indian dessert that taste a little like yogurt a little like cheese. It was delicious and got me searching on the internet for a recipe. Here you go… Enjoy!
Ras Malai (Indian Fresh Cheese Dessert)
Courtesy of Chef Mohan Parmar, Shivnanda, Philadelphia, PA
Makes 6-8 servings
1 gallon whole milk
1/2 cup white vinegar
1 tsp. flour
8 cups water
2 cups sugar
6 pods of green cardamom
1/2 tsp. rose water
To make cheese dough, bring milk to boil in a large saucepan. Add vinegar. Pour curdled milk through a cloth strainer (to separate curds from the whey.) Sprinkle flour over cheese curds and fold in with spoon or to form dough. Form small balls of dough (approx. 1/2 ounce each.) Flatten the balls into patties.
Combine water, sugar and cardamom in large saucepan; bring to a boil. Add flattened dough balls to syrup and cover. Cook over low flame for 12-15 minutes. Remove from heat and refrigerate for 1 hour. Add rose water and serve cold. (This is a famous dessert of the Bengalese of Calcutta.)]]>
Crosby St and Houston
(across the street from the BP Gas Station)
Open 24 Hours (of course)
In the film Taxi Driver, Robert Dinero hangs out in a diner in the Upper West Side – it’s where all the cabbies hang out. They order the same food, talk about their day and then go on to their next shift. These days, if you want to see the action you can go down to LaHore on Crosby street. (LaHore is a name of a city in Pakistan) It’s where all the taxi and car service guys hang out. In this literal Hole-In-The-Wall joint, they have all of the basic essentials – food, sweets, coffee, drinks, and a bathroom. There’s also a makeshift bulletin board made up of paper plates where cab drivers post routes, shifts and medallions for sale/lease. The counter features all the popular Indian / Pakistani dishes as well as samosas, and chicken patties. It’s totally no frills dining as you would expect from weary and hungry NY cab drivers – you make your selection, they scoop it on a paper plate, then they nuke it in the microwave. Yum! No, actually it was pretty good and makes for a great late night spot that is cheap. Hey, and the obvious bonus – you’ll always find a cab if you’re too lazy to take the train home!]]>
140 W 46th Street
Bet 6th and 7th Ave
Open Late till 5AM on Fri and Sat
Kati Roll is also on the Upper West Side on Columbus near 113?
My friend Leah was browsing on the Midtown Lunch Blog and came across the Kati Roll restaurant in midtown. Thing is we always complain at work about not having any variety of restaurants and here’s this blog called MidTown Lunch that features all the things you can eat in Midtown. Damn, this is awesome. I’m going to have to check out more and more of her posts – I basically gave up on Midtown. (Actually I’ve been to Kati Roll once before on the upper west side but wasn’t able to actually eat what I ordered cause some homeless guy came in and started a fight with the owner – it was pretty crazy so everyone left and we never got our food)
So what’s a Kati Roll? It’s a wrap of traditional indian dishes conveniently wrapped in a paratha (Indian Flat Bread). The simple menu includes about 10 items such as Aloo Masala (spicy potato), Achari Paneer, Chicken Tikka, Beef Tikka, Shami Kabab, etc. They range from $3 – $4 for each roll but if you buy 2 rolls you get a samll discount. I got 2 Beef Tikka rolls for $8.
If you get the rolls to go, they put them in these stylish foil lined BBQ bags that keep them hot and fresh all the way back to the office. Which is probably a good idea cause it gets pretty crowded in the restaurant. It could be the oppressive heat outside but then again maybe its the fine collection of vintage Bollywood posters on the walls that keeps people eating these rolls in the restaurant. ha ha.
So the Kati Roll Beef Tika was worth the trip. The beef was tender and the spices were hot – if you can’t take spicy food you should tell the cooks to turn it down a notch. If you like indian food, definitely check this place out and grab a few rolls even if it’s at 4AM on a friday. Enjoy!]]>