Tag Archive for Asian

Tandoori and butter chicken

As I wrote before, I like Indian food a lot and Butter Chicken is one of my favourite curries. But, the recipe that I posted before, wasn’t the one. So I tried another one, and served it with rice, raita and home-made naan.
For this recipe you need two days. The first day you prepare the tandoori chicken, the second day the butter chicken. I made a double batch of tandoori and ate half of it as diner at the first day, and stored the other half in the fridge for the butter chicken. The tandoori is very easy to make, but marinating it takes quite some time. The butter chicken is very fast to make, because the sauce is very fast and the chicken is already cooked.
I liked the taste of both dishes very much, so much that I already prepared it 2 times again since the first time I tried. I think that there is some room for improvement, but that will be the change from a very good to an excellent dish. So do give it a try!
I used chicken thighs with the bone in for this dish, because they are cheap and have a good flavour. But you can also use breasts, legs, drumsticks, or even a whole chicken chopped in pieces.

Tandoori Chicken (2 persons + for 2 persons butter chicken)
Adapted from Seasaltwithfood

1 kilo of bone-in chicken thighs
1 1/2 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup thick yogurt
1 tbsp garlic, minced very fine
1 tbsp ginger, minced very fine
½ tsp salt
1 tsp garam masala
½ tsp dried fenugreek leaf powder (these are also known as dried curry leaves)

Coat the chicken with the lime juice, red chili powder and salt (first one in the list). Let marinate for 1 hour.
Mix yoghurt, garlic, ginger, salt (second one in the list), garam masala and fenugreek, coat the chicken with this mixture, marinate for at least 3 hours.
Heat up the grill, sear the outside of the chicken, then scoop the marinade over that was still in the bowl, let cook on lower heat until cooked through while occasionally turning the pieces. Serve hot. Additional serving tips: lime wedges, thinly sliced red onion and chopped coriander.

Tandoori Chicken

Butter chicken (2 persons)
Adapted from Seasaltwithfood

the remaining tandoori chicken
2 tbsp oil
1 onion, chopped
1 can of (chopped) tomatoes
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp garlic, minced very fine
1 1/2 tsp ginger, minced very fine
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tsp cumin powder
2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup cream (or a mix of cream and yoghurt, or crème fraiche)

Sauté the onion in the oil until soft. Add the tomatoes, sea salt, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the oil floats to the surface (about 5-10 min). Mix in the garlic, ginger, and all the spice powders. Give it a quick stir and add in the chicken. Cook the chicken for about 3 to 4 minutes, to coat the chicken evenly with the sauce. Then add the butter and stir until it melts. Pour in the cream, give it a quick stir and remove the pan from the heat (to prevent splitting).

Butter Chicken

Coconut, broccoli and chicken soup

An easy and healthy soup with many possible variations. For example use prawns in stead of chicken, or cauliflower in stead of broccoli, or use different spices. It is also a great recipe to use uop leftover meat. Serve as starter or main course on it’s own (paleo/low carb friendly) or with some bread.

Coconut, broccoli and chicken soup (3 generous servings)
Inspired on a recipe from The Primal Blueprint Cookbook – Mark Sisson
1 liter water
1 can coconut milk (400 ml)
2 stock cubes (chicken or vegetable)
1 tsp oil
2 chicken breasts, diced
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, finely diced
2 cm fresh ginger, finely diced
1/2 tsp sambal (or more if you like spicy)
1 leek, in small rings
1 head of broccoli, in small florets
juice of half a lemon/a whole lime
spices: salt & black pepper (to taste), cayenne pepper/paprika, ketoembar, lemon grass, cumin, curry (about 1/4 tsp of all, exept cumin only 1/8 tsp and curry 1 tsp or more (depending on kind of curry powder)).

Fry the onion, garlic, ginger and sambal until translucent. Add the chicken, brown a little. Add the leeks and a few spoons of the coconut milk, cook gently for a while. Add spices. Add water, stock cubes, coconut milk and broccoli. Let simmer for a while, taste and add some more spices if necessary. Check if broccoli is cooked, add the lemon or lime and serve hot.

Lentil soup

I have been a very lazy cook for a while… Usually that involves the less healthy choices, since not thinking about what you will eat for diner the whole day and than shopping for groceries while you still don’t know what to eat while you are already hungry is just not a very good plan. But, today I decided to cook and eat something healthy, and it was very easy and tasty as well. So plans for the future: plan diner when not hungry, then shop with grocery list and only buy what’s on the list. See how long I can stick to this…
Then, the dish. I combined the many recipes (Arabic/Moroccan) I found online for lentil soup into something I liked. It is very important to use quite strong and spicy flavours, since lentils tend to be a bit bland. The spice mix I used succeeded in this, but was still very delicate.
I like my soups nice and smooth, so I blended everything after cooking and then sieved it, pushing every bit of moisture and taste from the sieve, but preventing all the tough bits to be in my soup. This step is not necessary, you can just blend everything, or even let it chunky or mush it a bit with a masher. To give the whole a bit texture, I added some cooked quinoa to the soup.
I also added some leftover chicken from yesterday, but leaving the soup vegetarian is a very good possibility (then switch the chicken stock cube for a vegetable stock cube). I also served some raita and naan (but mine came from the shop) with the soup. But just the soup and no add-ons works also perfect.

Lentil soup (2 big bowls)

1 cup yellow lentils (use a coffee mug if you don’t have cup measuring cups)
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 stalk of celery, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 cm fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 tomato, chopped
2 bay leaves
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp nigella seeds
1/4 tsp ground coriander (ketoembar)
1/4 tsp kurkuma
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp chili powder
3-4 cups vegetable stock (depending on the preferred consistency)
juice of half a lemon
fresh coriander (optional)

Rinse the lentils, then soak them. The longer you soak them, the more moisture they take up and the thinner your soup will be. I soaked my lentils for about an hour, since I did not have much time.
Slowly cook the onion, carrot and celery, until translucent. Add the ginger and garlic, cook for a bit more. Add the tomato, bay leaves, lentils and stock, bring to the boil. Meanwhile, roast the seeds in a dry frying pan and add them with the other spices to the soup. Cook the soup for about 30 minutes, till the lentils are tender. Blend (don’t forget to take out the bay leaves!), and if you want, sieve. Taste, add the lemon juice, salt if necessary and pepper/chilli powder if necessary. Garnish with fresh coriander (if using).

Pilav rice

Cooking your rice pilav style is an easy way to make plain rice a bit more interesting, more like a dish on itself. You can prepare this dish very well in advance and reheat it when needed.

Pilav rice
Inspired on the Conran Cookbook

1 cube butter
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp brown mustard seeds
1 tsp nigella seeds
basmati rice
1.5 times the volume of the rice in fluids; 1/3 milk, 2/3 water
1 chicken stock cube
1 bay leave
– raisins (add with fluids)
– nuts (sprinkle over after cooking)
– cardamom pods and cinnamon stick (add with bay leave)

Fry the onion in the butter until soft and translucent, then add the mustard and nigella seeds. Fry some more. Add the rice and garlic, fry until the rice gets a bit translucent. Add the fluids, stock cube and bay leave. Put a lit on the pan, cook on a low heat, stirring occasionally, until the rice absorbed all the fluids and is cooked. If not cooked, add a little more water and cook for a little longer.

Butter chicken and raita

I like Indian food a lot. One of my favourite curries is butter chicken, a very nice and mild curry. I am still looking for a good recipe and although this is not the one it is still a very nice curry. Serve with rice, naan and a simple raita (below). It is also very nice with pilav rice.

Butter chicken

1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 shallot, diced
1/4 white onion, diced (I used a small whole normal onion)
2 tbsp butter
2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tbsp fresh ginger, puréed
1/2 tbsp garlic, puréed
1 tsp garam massala
1/4 tsp fenugriek
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 bay leave
1/4 cup yoghurt
1/2 cup cream
1/2 cup milk
tomato puree (small tin, 70 gram)
salt and pepper

1 tbsp oil
chicken breast, in cubes
sambal oelek

1/4 cup cashew nuts, ground
1/4 cup water

Bake the shallot and onion slowly in the oil, until translucent. Add the ginger, garlic, garam massala, fenugriek, chili powder, cumin and the bay leave. Fry. Add the tomato puree and a little water, fry some more. Then add the lemon juice, butter, yoghurt, cream and milk. Let it cook for about 10 minutes on low heat. Season with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile fry the chicken in the oil until brown. Add sambal oelek and salt to taste. Then add some of the sauce, fry until the sauce is dry and the chicken cooked. Mix the cashew puree and the water, add to the sauce. Add the chicken also to the sauce. Cook for 5-10 min till the sauce has thickened.

My own creation inspired on traditional raita and tzatziki

puréed raw garlic
garlic powder
lemon or lime juice
Worcestershire sauce
Other vegetables, like carrot and paprika

Dice the cucumber. Drown in yoghurt. Season with salt and pepper. Add none, some or all of the optional seasoning to taste. Keep in mind that it takes a while before the garlic gives its taste to the sauce, a small amount already gives a nice garlicky taste, when you use more the sauce will be very sharp. Serve with all curry type foods, as a nice refreshment.

Indonesian sateh (fast and extensive versions) and sateh sauce

I don’t like packages. You know, the ones you buy with a ready made mixture of spices. Therefore I usually season stuff myself. For example sateh. It is really easy to make it yourself. Although I usually don’t put my sateh on sticks, it just complicates things and does not add much to the dish.

Easy sateh

Chicken breast
Vegetable oil
Sambal (for example oelek, badjak or djeroek)
Ketjap manis

Cut the chicken in pieces. Heat the oil, add the sambal, give it a stir. Then put the chicken cubes in the hot pan, let it fry for a while to brown the chicken. Lower the heat, add some ketjap and a little salt, fry until cooked.

Spicy Indonesian sateh

600 g pork
1 small onion
2 cloves of garlic
2 kemirienuts (you can buy these as nuts or as a paste at the toko. Otherwise grate some almonds or cashews. It makes the dish more creamy and thickens it. Also nice in curries)
1 red pepper (I used 2 small rawits)
1/4 tsp trassi (fermented schrimp paste)
1/2 tsp ketoembar (ground coriander)
1/2 tsp koenjit (turmeric)
1/4 tsp laos (galangal)
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp ketjap manis
1 tbsp (palm) sugar
1 tbsp boiling water
1/4 cm of a cube of santen
juice of half a lemon

Cut the meat in long strips.
Chop the onion and garlic finely, mince further in a mortar of in a kitchen machine.
Add to that the kemirienuts, sliced red pepper, trassi, ketoembar, koenjit, laos, salt, oil, sugar and lemon juice. Mix it up and put in a bowl.
Dissolve the santen in the boiling water, add to the rest.
Marinate the meat in the bowl with the rest, for at least 2 hours.
Grill the sateh.

Sateh sauce

Peanut butter (unsweetened)
Lemon juice
Ginger (fresh or powder)
Ketjap Manis

Put everything in a saucepan, with some water. Put it on low heat and stir regularly to prevent sticking. After a while your sauce will be warm and homogeneous.

Home-made Naan

I love naan. The soft, pillowy bread is perfect as a side dish with all sorts of curries and Indian food. But unfortunately, buying it in the shop is very expensive, so I don’t eat it as much as I would like to. I really like to make bread, but all the recipes I found thus far were quite complicated and therefore don’t fit in my busy life. So when I found this recipe, I was really happy. It is just so easy and fast, and the naan tastes like store bought/ordered at the Indian restaurant, but is much, much cheaper. So now I can eat naan whenever I want.

I served the naan with tandoori chicken, tandoori chicken sauce (with onion, raisins and cashew nuts inside), rice, tomato chutney and a fruit salad.

I converted the recipe from cups to grams and I suspect something isn’t quite right, because I ended up using much more flour than the recipe stated. So don’t worry when it happens to you, just keep adding flour until you have a nice dough.
Because I only made 4 breads, I was left with the remaining amount of yeast from the package, so I also made cinnamon-raisin bagels. I will post the recipe for that soon!

Update: If you use the cup measurements from the original recipe, this recipe works perfect. I also make the whole recipe, so I don’t have leftover yeast. The naan can be frozen really well, just let it thaw on room temp and grill again before serving.

Naan (4 breads)
adapted from Budget Bytes

1 tsp yeast
1/2 tsp sugar
60 gram water
150-200 gram flour
1/4 tsp salt
30 gram vegetable oil
40 gram yoghurt (I used full fat greek yoghurt)
1 egg
seasoning (see the note on the bottom of the post)

Mix the yeast, sugar, water and wait until foamy. Add the oil, yoghurt and egg, mix well.
Add the flour (start with the lowest amount) and the salt, stir with a fork until quite mixed, then kneed with your hands. Keep adding flour until you have a smooth and soft dough that doesn’t stick. This is the time to add your seasoning to the dough.
Let it rise in a bowl covered with cling film or a towel until doubled in size (about 45 minutes).
Flatten the dough, divide in 4 pieces, form a ball of them. Roll one of the balls out (or flatten/stretch it with your hands) until it is about 3-5 mm thick (the thinner, the easier to cook, but to thin will not work). It is best to do this just before frying the naan.
Heat a skillet, put the naan in, wait until bubbly on the top and golden on the bottom, then fry the other side to golden. You can brush them with melted butter and add seasoning if you want.
Serve directly, or let cool, wrap well and freeze. When using again, defrost and grill shortly. I stored mine for a few days in the freezer and I will experiment with storing them longer.

*seasoning: You can add seasoning to the dough, or put it on after frying. I added cumin seeds to my dough and the next time I will certainly try adding garlic and coriander. But you can add really anything you want. Plain the naan is delicious too.

Sticky Chicken

I’ve been seeing sticky chicken and ribs recipes on foodgawker coming by for weeks now, so I wanted something like that for myself. Unfortunately most of the recipes called for ingredients I didn’t have at hand and I also couldn’t buy them easily, so I made up my own recipe. It worked out really good! The only thing I missed was a crispy skin on the chicken, but I guess you just don’t have that with sticky chicken.

I used pre-seasoned drumsticks for the recipe, I guess you can add some salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika powder (or some chicken seasoning mix) to the marinade if you use plain chicken.I also didn’t let the drumsticks marinate, so letting them soak for a while in their sticky sauce could be beneficial.

I served the chicken simple, with roasted vegetables (onion, garlic, mushroom, paprika, courgette) roasted under the chicken, and some basmati rice.

Sticky Chicken

5 chicken drumsticks (pre-seasoned)
splash of Japanese soy sauce (I used the less salty one, otherwise it probably would be to salty)
juice of half a lemon
juice of half a lime
generous teaspoon of sambal (I used sambal djeroek, but oelek or badjak will be fine too)
generous teaspoon of kemirienut paste*
2 tablespoons ketchup (plain ketchup, no additives, no sugar)
teaspoon ginger powder (you can also use fresh ginger)
1/2 teaspoon dried coriander leaves
*Kemirienut paste you can buy at a toko or an asian supermarket. It gives the flavour more depth and makes the sauce a little more creamy and substantial

Mix all the ingredients. If you have time, let them marinate for a while.
Heat a skillet, brown the chicken. Some black bits is ok, but not to much. Then put the chicken in the oven (with the access marinade) heated at 200 degrees Celcius and bake until ready (about half an hour).