With fake naan bread, basmati rice, butter beans and okra side
It doesn’t take much to know that Devin and I like almost every kind of cuisine out there, and it’s certainly not a surprise for us to be craving food more exotic than Italian or Chinese. It can be so fun to go out on a limb and try something very different from your usual diet! One of our favorites is Indian cuisine….and I would love to go into more geographic detail here, as I know there is much difference between North Indian, South Indian and other Asian cuisines, but I am afraid I do not know enough on the subject to speak intelligently, so I will just say Devin and I both love light and spicy Eastern recipes that include lots of cilantro and fresh ginger, which you can see in many Indian and Thai recipes.
One of our all-time favorite standbys that we have made time and time again is Chicken Jalfrezi. This dish is basically browned chicken in a chunky tomato sauce rife with curry, cilantro, fresh ginger, onion and garlic. Oh, all of my favorite things! Let me tell you what, this dish is a crowd-PLEASER, and it would do you well to hurry out and plan a dinner party around it right this moment. Without further ado, let me dive into the recipe:
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 onion, grated (when it gets small enough that it is difficult to grate, toss it — you’ve worked hard enough!)
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped (I usually throw 1 or 2 extra in for good measure!)
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut in half (you can also use chicken breasts; Devin and I disagree here, I like the chicken breasts but he prefers the darker-meat thighs)
- 9 teaspoons curry powder
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons fresh ginger root, grated
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
First, heat the oil and add the garlic and onion and cook until the onion is clear and the garlic is fragrant.
Add the chicken, curry powder, chili powder and salt and cook until the chicken is browned on both sides.
Add the tomatoes, cover and simmer over medium for 20 minutes or so.
Uncover and simmer for another 10 minutes.
Add the ginger and cilantro and simmer another 5 minutes. Serve over BASMATI RICE — this dish must never be served with anything but basmati!
Which brings me to the sides. If you have a Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s around you, you must purchase some naan bread for this dish — delicious buttery flat bread that complements the Chicken Jalfrezi wonderfully. The reason I labeled the picture “fake naan bread” is because I could not find it the day I made this batch, and a reasonable substitute that Devin discovered is a Boboli pizza crust brushed with butter and chopped garlic and baked until golden brown. Delicious. Another side we included was a Crispy Okra Salad
from Epicurious, but we didn’t have the fancy Indian spice it called for, so it’s basically fresh okra fried in oil, salt and pepper, with fresh-squeezed lemon juice, chopped red onion, diced tomatoes and chopped cilantro. So fresh and tasty! Finally, my brother John was in the mood for butter beans after seeing them for sale at a Charleston roadside market we stopped at, so we bought them, simmered them for a looooong time, and served them right up. And you know what? That Southern delight worked just perfectly with our otherwise-international cuisine. Another to-die-for meal!
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