When it comes to things I am passionate about, I like being forced to thoroughly investigate just one of those things. Maybe it is because I have trouble making up my mind. For this reason I enjoy book clubs, and for this reason I really enjoy food blog events that “force” me to cook from someone else’s blog. Let me be clear—it is not because there would not have been anything I wanted to make on that blog otherwise. On the contrary, it is because there are so many things I want to cook from so many blogs it is hard to find the time to do so—especially when you consider my cookbook addiction as well.
So when I saw the event, Tried And Tasted I knew I wanted to play. Especially because this month the blog they were cooking from is What’s For Lunch, Honey?, which I have long admired. My submission to the event is Meeta’s Chicken Curry. I served it with basmati rice and Seb Kachambar (see below), to make a weeknight Indian feast (i.e., not too elaborate). Be sure to check out Zlamushka’s Spicy Kitchen, and see what everyone else made from Meeta’s Blog!
We enjoyed the curry a lot. It was pretty basic, but in a good way–no crazy ingredients to look for or anything (not that I really mind that, but not every night). The kids DEVOURED it, each eating 2 servings. John and I liked it ok the first night and loved it the second night. I have found that dishes involving tomatoes almost always taste better the next day to both me and John (and of course dishes with spices do too, so it is doubly better for sitting).
My changes were minimal and in keeping with the spirit of the dish: I used 2 bone-in, skin-on breasts and 8 boneless, skinless thighs, for health reasons; I used 3 tablespoons oil for the same reason; I increased the onion, garlic and ginger because I am constitutionally incapable of not doing that; I left out the chile peppers because of my kids and we added red chili pepper flakes after cooking on individual servings; I used canned tomatoes because that was what I had (I did not include the juice, only the skinned roma tomatoes); I used a little more yogurt because it tasted better to me.
Seb Kachamber (Indian Apple Salad)
I hope I am still allowed to call this salad Seb Kachamber even though I made a few tiny changes. It just sounds so much more interesting than Apple Salad, but since I don’t know what the words mean, who knows–maybe the salad I made with basil is called Minty Apple salad in Hindi…
This is another winner from Yamuna Devi’s Lord Krishna’s Cuisine. And another good example of the fact that unless you really know Indian food, you might be surprised by some Indian dishes, that differ greatly from a lot of Americans’ preconceived notions of what Indian food is.
So my changes. The first is that the salad called for mint. I frequently sub basil for mint if I think it will work, and I am even more likely to in the summer when I have beautiful basil growing but would need to buy mint. So purple basil it was (and it gave the dressing a lovely lavender tint). The second change—and this was sheer laziness I admit it—I used sliced almonds instead of almond meal in the dressing. Last I added a smidgen of honey, which I would not have done had I used orange juice (which she lists as acceptable—she gives the choice of lemon or orange) but all I had was lemon, which, combined with the tartness of those yummy local cooking apples, was a bit too tart in my opinion. I added about 1 teaspoon, maybe slightly more.
Either way this salad was great. John and Sammy loved it. Alex had tunnel vision about Meeta’s Chicken Curry and never tried the salad the first night. However, tonight, she had us chop more apples and grapes for the dressing and kept trying to drink the dressing out of the bowl. So this salad was a big time winner and repeater for all 4 of us. It perfectly complemented the spicy, savory curry, as well.
Seb Kachamber (Indian Apple Salad)
Adapted from Lord Krishna’s Cuisine, Yamuna Devi
¼ cup plain yogurt (I used whole fat Greek style—sour cream is an acceptable substitute)
2 T fresh chopped purple basil (mint will work also)
1 small handful sliced almonds (she uses 3 T ground almonds whisked into the sauce)
¼ t ground cardamom
2 T orange or lemon juice (add 1 t honey if you use lemon and your apples are tart)
4 small or 3 medium sized apples, peeled, cored and diced (you can leave the peel on if you prefer)
1 cup grapes, halved (I used red since my apples were tart; if using a sweeter apple, such as
Blend the yogurt, basil, cardamom and lemon juice together in a mixing bowl. Fold in the apples and grapes. Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes to allow flavors to blend. Sprinkle with sliced almonds before serving.