There’s a moment when you look into your closet and say, “Half my wardrobe comes from India, shouldn’t I learn to cook appropriately?” Ok, that’s not a moment you may have experienced for yourself, and quite honestly I just really love Indian food but the bit about the wardrobe is starting to be true.
Armed with a copy of Best Ever Indian Cookbook, Chicken Balti sounded like the perfect thang to start with. Simplistic and a one pot meal, how can you go wrong with that? Technically it was two pot, since I made some rice to put it on. Being true to my disorganized nature, I didn’t have half of what I needed in the right forms so there was a good bit of improvising and guessing. here you can see the line up ready to culture me good.
The recipe says onions, but all I had was green onions! it worked out well for our tastes, they were milder and fresh which lightened up the heavier spices in a very friendly way.
Sad but true, there were no big tomatoes in the kitchen either! Publix had a sale on the tiny tomatoes, which is why I had two boxes of the cherry darlings hanging around with nothing better to do. a few slices, and they were ready to play. The spices called for in the recipe were fresh, but everything I had on hand was dry so I used about half of the called for amounts. The ginger root I forgot to pick up, and I ran out of dry ginger which explains the lack of any in the balti.
It was embarrassingly easy to make, I barelyeven felt like i did any work! a quick saute of the onions and tomatoes, the spices thrown in for a few minutes to really mix in well and then the chicken. If it wasn’t for babysitting the rice could’ve taken a little snooze.
The pics suck, because I was cooking kinda late at night.
D and me loved it. There’s really no other word to describe it besides love! D declared it a new addition tot he usual rotation, and I was in no position to argue since I was trying to shove as much of it in my mouth as would fit. The entire fat content was two tablespoons of olive oil. you can’t beat that healthy-wise, but the taste is every bit as satisfying as a cheeseburger. this is very much a satisfy a craving meal.
Basic Balti Chicken
2 1/2 to 3 lbs. chicken
3 tbsp corn oil (used olive oil)
3 medium onions, sliced (used green onion)
3 medium tomatoes, halved and sliced
1 in. cinnamon stick (used cinnamon powder0
1 large black cardamom pods (used cardamom powder)
4 black peppercorns (used black pepper)
1/2 tsp. black cumin seeds (used cumin powder)
1 tsp. grated fresh root ginger (didn’t use)
1 tsp. crushed garlic (used minced garlic)
1 tsp. garam masala
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. natural (plain) yogurt
4 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp. chopped fresh coriander (didn’t use)
2 fresh green chilis (didn’t use)
Skin the chicken, then use a sharp knife or cleaver to cut it into 8 pieces. Wash and trim the chicken pieces, and set to one side (cubed chicken breast).
Heat the oil in a large karahi, wok or deep pan. Add the onions and fry until they are golden brown. Add the tomatoes and stir well.
Ass the piece of cinnamon stick, cardamoms peppercorns black cumin seeds ginger garlic garam masala chili powder and salt. Lower the heat and stir fry for 3 to 5 minutes.
Add the chicken pieces. 2 at a time and stir fry for at least 7 minutes or until the spice mixture has completely penetrated the chicken pieces and they are beginning to brown.
Add the yogurt to the chicken and mix well.
Lower the heat and cover the pan with a piece of foil (used a lid), making sure that the foil does not touch the food. cook very gently for about 15 minutes, checking once to make sure the food is not catching on the bottom of the pan.
Add the lemon juice, fresh coriander and green chilis. serve at once, from the cooking pan.