First I wanted to say thanks to everyone who expressed concern about Sammy! She is doing wonderfully, despite all the swinging that first day after the surgery at recess. School is finally here and she is too over the moon about that to worry about any bruising around her teeth.
I have some further exciting news–well exciting for us anyway. Every single day I ask Alex what her favorite part of the day was. Every single day this week she has answered math on her white board (small individual white boards the kids use in the classroom). I don’t know what this teacher is doing differently (and amusingly, the teacher is not sure either) but all of a sudden the girl who despised math more than anything else on earth seems to be enjoying it! I have no horse in this race, she can be good or bad at math, she can love it or hate. But I hated to see her hating it this early, before she has really even had a chance to figure out what math is. For the record, I have promised not to share with my girls how I feel about math. And that is all I am saying on the subject!
Now this meal, on the other hand, I could wax poetic about for a while. This is another great example of gateway Indian food–recognizably Western dishes with Indian flair; as proof, my mom and dad enjoyed both! The chicken is refreshing (and green!) with cilantro. The potato dish is much lower in carbs than regular mashed potatoes but easily as delicious. I decided after making it that the rice was unnecessary and would not use it next time. The saffron and peas added an Indian flavor that was subtle but unmistakeable, and quite delicious. I found the inspiration for both recipes in A Year of Cooking Like Mummyji: Real British Asian Cooking for all Seasons by Vicky Bhogal. (I made the chicken close to the original recipe, whereas the mash I changed quite a bit.) This is one of the books I picked up recently and I am in love with it! British Indian cooking is just different enough that it is unlike the recipes available in all my other Indian cookbooks. Frustratingly, despite the fact that her first cookbook was critically acclaimed, it is quite difficult to get a hold of here in the States (at a reasonably price). So I will have to make do with this one for now.
- 3 large baking potatoes (like Idaho)
- 4 lemon zest strips
- 5 peeled and smashed garlic cloves
- 1 head of cauliflower, broken into florets
- salt to taste
- 1 cup of basmati rice (measured uncooked)
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt (2% is fine)
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 t saffron threads
- 10 oz bag of frozen peas
- 1 1/2 t garam masala
- lemon juice to taste
Peel the potatoes and cut them into several large chunks each. Place in a large pot with a good pinch of salt, the lemon zest strips and garlic cloves. Cover with cold water and then bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer until the potatoes are fork tender.
In the meantime, bring another pot of salted water to a boil. Add the cauliflower florets and cook until tender. Remove with a slotted spoon or spider to a bowl. Use the same water to cook the basmati rice until quite tender, about 7-10 minutes. Drain completely.
While waiting for the potatoes to finish, place the cauliflower in a food processor. Puree smooth. Set aside.
In a small, microwave safe bowl, whisk together the yogurt and cream. Microwave for 30 seconds on 60% power. When it is warm, whisk the saffron threads into it. Set aside.
When the potatoes are cooked, drain all of the water out of the pot and remove the garlic cloves and lemon zest. Keep the pot on the lowest heat. Mash the potatoes--I like mine to still have a little texture.
Add the pureed cauliflower and cooked rice. Mix in. Mix in the saffron yogurt mixture.
Fold in the frozen peas. Turn the heat back up if this cools down the dish too much. Add the garam masala and several pinches of salt. Add a few squeezes of lemon juice. Taste for more garam masala, salt or lemon juice. Serve warm.
- 6 chicken breasts
- 3 Anaheim green chile peppers (or use something hotter if you wish)
- 1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
- 8 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 inch knob of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 T ground coriander
- 1 T garam masala
- 1 bunch of cilantro, bottom 2 inches of stems removed
- 3 T lemon juice
- 2 T Greek yogurt (2% or whole fat)
- 3 T vegetable oil
- 1 t salt
Place all of the ingredients except for the chicken into a food processor and blend until smooth. Place the chicken breasts into a ziploc freezer bag along with the pureed marinade. Zip closed. Massage the chicken and then place in the fridge for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
Preheat the broiler.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
Shake each chicken breast to remove excess marinade. Place them on the lined baking sheet. Broil until cooked and browned, flipping over halfway through (mine took 20-25 minutes).
Serve with a good sweet and sour chutney.
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