Friday, July 8, 2016

Cookbook Countdown: Tandoori Chicken, Spiced Beets, and Coconut Rice

Tonight we had another whole meal from 30 Minute Indian. There was Tandoori Chicken (p40), Spiced Beets (p88), and Coconut Rice (p100).

Last night, I started the chicken marinating for the Tandoori Chicken. I used three thighs (skinless) and called it a half recipe. In theory there are not too many spices involved here, but I had to make the tandoori masala, that you might be able to get from the store, from scratch, and that involved a long list of spices. (The worst part of this is that after I put the unused masala in a jar and went to put it in the cabinet, I found another jar of tandoori masala that I don't remember making at all! I'm going to have to be doing a lot of tandoori-flavored things in the next months.) The chicken sat overnight in the fridge, slathered in (a bit too much) spicy yogurt marinade.


Although it seemed promising, this really wasn't much like tandoori chicken. We decided to barbecue, rather than cook the chickie in the oven, and the bbq chef had a bit of trouble keeping the fire hot. The chicken was good enough, but nothing tandoori. Might give this one more try, but wasn't that impressed.

I bought a 500g vacuum-packed package of beets to use for the Spiced Beets. (Canned beets would work too.) This recipe turned into an instant hit. And, since the beets are already cooked, it's really quite fast to make. Finely chopped garlic cloves, grated ginger, cumin seeds, crushed coriander seeds, and dried chili flakes are fried in a bit of oil for a minute or two. The beets, which have been cut into wedges, are stirred in and fried for another minute. Then some coconut milk, ground cardamom, grated rind of a lime, and the juice of the lime are stirred in and cooked another few minutes. Finally, a bit of chopped cilantro is stirred in, along with salt and pepper. The beets can be served hot, warm, or a room temperature.


The Coconut Rice was good. Like the Jeera Rice, it fsoaked only 15 minutes, simmered for 10 minutes, and then stand for another 10 minutes. This takes a bit longer than the book's title suggests, but it's so easy that I have no complaint. Black mustard seeds, cumin seeds, curry leaves, and a chopped, dried red chili are fried in a bit of oil. The drained rice is stirred in and fried for another one or two minutes. Then coconut milk and boiled water are stirred in and brought to a boil. The rice is covered and simmered for 10-12 minutes. Then it rests off the fire for another 8-10 minutes.


This combination made for a lovely plate, much more attractive than the usual brown/yellow plate of Indian food.


While I'm uploading pictures, here's what the Lime Pickle looks like half-way through its ripening period.


Stop by Cookbook Countdown to see what other folks are making from their July cookbook. And if you've got unused books on your shelf, why don't you choose one and join in?

8 comments:

  1. This looks lovely and sounds like a great book. It looks like it is no longer in print. Worth tracking down?

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    1. Yes, I think so. I've been pleasantly surprised by the quality of the recipes (I had pretty low expectations for the book). If you enjoy reading your cookbooks, though, this one does not qualify as a good read--there's no supplemental info on recipes, and I miss that. I expect this book will end up with MJ's Quick and Easy Indian Cooking as a go-to book when I want a quick and tasty meal.

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    2. I'm having second thoughts about this book. While I have definitely made some keepers so far (the beets and the chutney and the two rice dishes especially), I've not been happy with others. If you can find a really cheap copy it might be worth it.

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  2. Sorry to hear that you are not impressed with the tandoori chicken. I have never cook beets that way before, and it sounds pretty interesting. The rice is something that I would enjoy very much. Must be very fragrant and tasty from the spices used.
    Your lime pickles is looking good!

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  3. Love the look of your beets dish, never bought pre-cooked beets before. Oh, that pickled lime is really enticing!

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  4. I'd never seen pre-cooked beets till I came to France. There are 500g packets available. Very handy. Sometimes the grocery has individual pre-cooked ones, but sometimes I don't like the look of those. What's hard to find is raw beets!

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    1. Raw beets are a rarity in France? now that is interesting!

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    2. Raw beets are occasionally available in our regular grocery, in season, I guess, but they tend to be of largish size, where I prefer them smaller. You just can't count on them being there. But it would be really unusual not to have vacuum-packed pre-cooked ones.

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