Posts Tagged With: Curry

SUCCESS: Coconut Chicken Curry!

Okay, so if you have ever visited or lived in Athens, Ohio, you hopefully have had the pleasure of eating at Salaam, a Middle Eastern restaurant that is absolutely incredible!  When I first moved to Athens, Salaam was an eclectic hookah bar in the basement of a building in an alley that happened to serve the best food.  A year or two later, the state of Ohio passed a smoking ban (which I actually really appreciate because I have asthma AND a bad smoke allergy) and Salaam had to choose between being a hookah bar and a restaurant.  THANKFULLY, they chose the later because this was seriously one of my favorite restaurants there (I still go every time I return to Athens for a visit).

I kid you not, this place has incredible food.  Branden and I always start with a mezze platter of fresh hummus, warm baba ganoush, roasted red peppers and kalamata olives.  OH, and don’t forget piping hot pita bread!!  If that’s not enough, then we always order the coconut chicken curry which is unlike any other curry I’ve ever had…which leads me to the point of this post (and its not to praise Salaam although I do encourage you to visit if you ever find yourself in Athens).  The point is, I crave this delicious dish – like big time!  I have been trying for years to recreate it and have come really close before.  This time is different because this time, I think I’ve nailed it!

I made this for Branden’s birthday this year along with homemade Naan and baba ganoush (both of which you’ll see recipes for really soon).  This was one of those meals that made me really sad when it was over because there was so much love in this meal and I never wanted it to end!  So for all you Salaam lovers out there, eat your hearts out!

Salaam serves there’s with a beautiful trio of cilantro chutney, cucumber raita, and toasted coconut on the side…you can bet that I did the same!

Salaam’s Coconut Chicken Curry (not the restaurant’s exact recipe, but one that I changed to mimic their’s)

  • 2 tsp. coconut oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 3 to 4 jalapenos, seed removed and finely chopped
  • 1 dried ancho chile pepper, rehydrated in boiling water, chopped
  • 1 tsp. ground tumeric
  • 1 TBS ground coriander
  • ½ TBS cayenne pepper
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, separated from skin and bones
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1/2 c. chicken stock
  • 2-3 TBS coconut cream (Reserve some of the creamy part of the coconut milk if you can’t find coconut cream)
  • 3 dried kaffir lime leaves
  • 2 tbs lemon juice
  • salt to taste

Heat oil in a large dutch oven and add the onions. Sautee until soft. Add the garlic, chilies, tumeric, coriander, and cayenne. Reduce heat, sautee for another 2 minutes or so.  (NOTE: At this point, I threw my coconut milk in the blender and then added the above ingredients.  I gave it a few pulses and then continued on with the recipe – this isn’t necessary, but I wanted my sauce a little more uniformed).

Add chicken, coconut milk, stock, and lime leaves to a dutch oven and and cook on low for about 45 minutes until the sauce thickens.

Stir in them lemon juice and coconut cream. Salt to taste. Remove leaves.  Serve immediately over jasmine rice.

This was adapted from This Primal Life

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Categories: Entrees, Middle Eastern, Recipes, Restaurants | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

Saag Paneer (Spinach Curry with Fresh Cheese)

I love Indian food – the spices in Indian food are just so different from other cuisines!

Here’s a good weekend meal since its going to take a bit of time to press the homemade simple cheese and to allow the flavors to mingle.

Enjoy!

  • 8 c. whole milk
  • 1/4 c. plus 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 5 tsp. salt
  • 4 pounds spinach, well rinsed and thick stems removed
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 2 onions, roughly chopped
  • 2 serrano chiles, seeded
  • 1 piece ginger (3 in.), peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 TBS vegetable oil
  • Seeds from 7 cardamom pods
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 TBS ground coriander
  • 1 TBS ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 canned tomato, chopped
  • 1/4 c. whole-milk yogurt
  • 2 tsp. garam masala

Line a colander with 2 layers of cheesecloth and set in the sink. Bring milk to boil in a large pot over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. Let it boil 30 seconds (remove from heat if it starts to boil over) and stir in 1/4 cup lemon juice. Milk will curdle, separating into cheese curds and a clear yellow whey. Pour into cheesecloth-lined colander.

Rinse curds with cold water. Pull up edges of the cheesecloth, gently squeeze out as much water as possible, and form curds into a 6-in. disk. Put cheesecloth-wrapped disk on a large plate, top with a large cutting board, and weigh down with a heavy pot. Put in the refrigerator and let press at least 3 hours and up to overnight.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil. Fill a large bowl with ice water and set aside. To boiling water, add 3 tsp. salt and the spinach. Cook 1 minute, then drain and transfer spinach to ice water. Swirl around to cool spinach and drain again. Use your hands to squeeze water from spinach. Set aside.

In a blender, whirl garlic, onions, chiles, ginger, and 1/4 cup of water to make a paste. Set aside.

In a medium pot over medium-high heat, add oil, cardamom, cloves, bay leaves, and cinnamon. Cook until spices darken, about 2 minutes. Add reserved onion paste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens and darkens, about 15 minutes. If the mixture starts to stick, add 1 tbsp. of water at a time, stirring, to help loosen it.

Stir in coriander, cumin, and turmeric. Cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add tomato and yogurt. Cook until thickened slightly, about 3 minutes. Stir in spinach and remaining salt. Turn heat to low and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, until flavors are blended, about 30 minutes.

Cut paneer into 1/2-in. cubes and gently stir into spinach mixture. Cook until paneer is heated through, about 2 minutes. Add garam masala and remaining lemon juice. Adjust salt and lemon juice to taste. Serve hot, with flatbread or rice.

Recipe from Sunset

Categories: Entrees, Indian, Recipes | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Lightened Up Samosas

One of my co-workers is from India and treats us every once in awhile to samosas that he makes the night before. They.  Are.  Incredible.  Like seriously.  I don’t know how he does it, but they’re even good reheated in the microwave.  What fried food is actually good reheated in the microwave?  None…accept for these.

Unfortunately for you, I don’t have that amazing recipe, BUT I did find a recipe for some lighter ones that are pan fried rather than deep fried.  The filling tasted pretty similar and I have to imagine these were easier to assemble than the treats I often look forward to.

Oh and make sure you make the chutney, too – its delicious!

Enjoy!

Chutney

  • 1/2 c. fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 c. fresh mint leaves
  • 1/4 c. chopped red onion
  • 2 TBS fresh lemon juice
  • 1 TBS water
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp. sugar
  • 1 serrano chile, coarsely chopped
  • 1 (1/2-inch) piece peeled fresh ginger

Samosas

  • 1 1/4 c. mashed cooked peeled baking potatoes
  • 1/4 c. cooked yellow lentils
  • 1 TBS minced fresh mint
  • 1 tsp. Madras curry powder
  • 1 tsp. butter, softened
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 c. frozen petite green peas, thawed
  • 10 egg roll wrappers
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

To prepare chutney, combine first 9 ingredients in a blender; process until smooth. Set aside.

To prepare samosas, combine potatoes, lentils, mint, curry powder, 1 teaspoon butter, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and cumin. Gently fold in peas.

Working with 1 egg roll wrapper at a time (cover remaining wrappers to prevent drying), cut down middle to form 2 long rectangles. Moisten edges of wrapper with egg. Spoon 1 tablespoon potato mixture near bottom edge of wrapper. Fold up from 1 corner to the opposite outer edge of the wrapper, making a triangle. Fold over to opposite side again as if folding up a flag. Repeat fold to opposite side to form a triangle. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling.

Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Lightly coat samosas with cooking spray. Add samosas to pan, and cook 1 minute on each side. Drain on paper towels. Serve with chutney.

Cooking Light

Categories: Appetizers, Condiments, Indian, Recipes, Sides | Tags: , , , | 5 Comments

Tilapia with Thai Coconut Curry Sauce

While I’ve been down, Branden and my Mom have been taking turns cooking and its been wonderful because the food has been delicious.  I definitely miss cooking (especially since its the way I de-stress), but it is nice to be taken care of from time to time.

As I’ve mentioned before, Branden and I love Thai food, so I was pretty excited when he presented me with this yummy dinner the other night.  He said this was really simple, but it was definitely worth prepping everything before starting the cooking process because it goes really quick.

This dish would work well with any mild fish (we used catfish because it was the only mild fresh fish we could get ahold of that day that was U.S. caught), chicken, or even shrimp.  Enjoy!

  • 1 teaspoon dark sesame oil, divided
  • 2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons red curry paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 4 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 4 (6-ounce) tilapia fillets (any mild white fish)
  • 3 cups hot cooked basmati rice
  • Lime wedges for serving
  1. Preheat broiler.
  2. Heat 1/2 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add ginger and garlic; cook 1 minute. Add pepper and onions; cook 1 minute. Stir in curry powder, curry paste, and cumin; cook 1 minute. Add soy sauce, sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and coconut milk; bring to a simmer (do not boil). Remove from heat; stir in cilantro.
  3. Brush fish with 1/2 teaspoon oil; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Place fish on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Broil 7 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Serve fish with sauce, rice, and lime wedges.

 Cooking Light

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Categories: Entrees, Recipes, Thai | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

Spicy Coconut Shrimp Soup

This was a really yummy soup that I made the other day when it was kind of rainy and chilly outside.  Yes, chilly.  I’m rather upset about it actually, especially since everyone was talking about how it felt like fall.  But I’m not ready for fall!!  I feel like summer just started since it rained and was kind of cold the entire month of May (which was an improvement from April’s definite cold and rain).   While I love fall, I think that mid-August is the most depressing time of the year because I know up here in Ohio, September will be here before we know it,  bringing with it beautiful weather and then October comes even faster and we often see snow.  Ugh, snow.  I really do hate winter (mostly because I won’t see the sun consistently again until June)…sorry, I just had to get that off my chest!  I feel much better now…

So on to the recipe.  This was a delicious soup that is reminiscent of one of my favorite Thai dishes, Red Coconut Curry with Veggies.  YUM!  All the flavors of my my favorite dish were packed into this soup, but about half of the normal fat that comes with it.  If you’re looking for a little extra something, I would also suggest pouring the soup over some hot sticky rice before serving (I didn’t do this, but my mouth is kind of watering thinking about it right now).  To adjust the heat, use more or less curry paste.

Enjoy!

  • 3 1/2 c. chicken stock
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms (I used wood mushrooms, but shitake would be good too)
  • 1 finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 TBS light brown sugar
  • 1 TBS fish sauce
  • 1 tsp grated, peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 TBS red curry paste
  • 1 cup coconut milk (remember my rule here, full fat is always the best!)
  • 1 lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 c. thinly sliced green onions
  • 2 TBS thinly sliced fresh basil
  • 2 TBS fresh lime juice

Combine the first 7 ingredients (through curry paste) in a large saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.  Stir in coconut milk, cook 2 minutes or until hot.  Add shrimp to pan; cook 3 minutes or until shrimp are done.  Remove pan from heat, stir in onions, basil, and juice.

Adapted from Cooking Light, March 2008

Categories: Asian, Entrees, Recipes, Soup, Thai | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Green Curry with Bok Choy

I’ve never cooked with tofu before but was curious.  I’ve had it before at Asian restaurants and didn’t mind it so I thought I’d take a stab at it in this Thai dish…it saved me about 100 calories per serving versus chicken, so what did I have to loose?

As for the flavors of this dish?  Awesome.  I will definitely be making this sauce again.  The original recipe called for reduced fat coconut milk, but I know I’ve sworn up and down in other posts that I just can’t do it…I have to use full-fat coconut milk; its just not worth the flavor sacrifice to me (plus, it holds up better as its not near as runny when heated as reduced fat or fat free).  This sauce was simple and really delicious- I think I’m going to use this sauce as a base for my next attempt at recreating Branden and I’s favorite Coconut Chicken Curry from a hole-in-the-wall Middle-Eastern restaurant in Athens, Ohio that we love.  I have been working diligently to try to recreate it over the last year or so with some semi-success…I’ll let you know how this next attempt goes!

Now you’re probably wondering about my thoughts on tofu.  Interesting.  I think next time beside draining it, I may try pan frying it before adding it to the curry.  Reason being is because even though I used extra-firm tofu, I felt it started to fall apart the more I stirred the dish (and even more so as leftovers).  My thought with pan frying it would be that it would kind of form a crust around the pieces that would hold them together…my theory could be totally wrong here, but its worth a shot next time.  I also think this dish would be really yummy with chicken or shrimp as well (another “next time”).

Enjoy!

  • 1/2 c. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 TBS chopped, peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 8 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 small Serrano chiles, seeded (I couldn’t’ find Serrano (surprise, surprise) so I used 3 jalapenos instead)
  • 2 large shallots, coarsely chopped
  • 4 c. coarsely chopped broccoli florets (about 1 head)
  • 2 c. (1/2 inch thick) slices bok choy
  • 2 tsp. dark sesame oil
  • 4 tsp sugar
  • 1 TBS soy sauce
  • 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves (I found some that were dried, similar to bay leaves, since fresh are so hard to find around here.  Not quite the same, but they’re better than nothing.  Look for these at specialty Asian grocers)
  • 1 (13.5 oz.) can coconut milk
  • 1 (14 oz.) pkg water-packed, organic extra firm tofu, drained and cut into 3/4″ cubes
  • 1/4 c. fresh lime juice
  • 2 cups hot, cooked long-grain white rice (I used jasmine)
  • 1/4 c. chopped fresh basil
  • 2 TBS chopped fresh mint
  1. Combine first 7 ingredients in a food processor; process until smooth (may need to add 1/2 c. of water to make smooth).  Set aside
  2. Cook broccoli florets in boiling water in a large dutch oven for 3 minutes or until crisp tender.  Remove broccoli from water with a slotted spoon, drain, and rinse with cold water.  Drain and set aside.
  3. Heat Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add oil to pan, swirling to coat.  Add cilantro mixture to pan; saute 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Add sugar and next 4 ingredients (through coconut milk) to pan; bring to a boil.  Add tofu; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 6 minutes or until slightly thick.  Add broccoli, bok choy, and juice; cook 1 minutes or until heated; tossing to combine.  Discard lime leaves.  Serve over rice and sprinkle with basil and mint.

Adapted from Cooking Light, January 2011

Categories: Asian, Entrees, Recipes, Thai | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Chickpea Curry with Yogurt

If only I would have had the desire to make homemade naan to go with this dinner!  I would have dug in and in true Indian fashion, eaten the meal with my fingers!  Next time!  This had delicious flavors from all the spices and was very filling.  I loved the different textures that stood out (beans, onions, tomatoes, and smooth yogurt) which is a bit different from other Indian dishes where everything has kind of been stewed together.  This reminded me of a curried lentil dish which is probably why I had the desire to dig in with my hands…unfortunately my several-day-old store-bought pita bread didn’t really stand up to the challenge.

Enjoy!

  • 2 tsp. peanut oil
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 1/2 c. chopped onion
  • 2 TBS minced, peeled fresh ginger
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp. garam masala
  • 1 c. water
  • 1/2 c. chopped plum tomato (about 1 large)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 (15.5 oz.) cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 c. plain whole milk yogurt
  • 1/2 c. chopped fresh cilantro

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add cumin, coriander, cardamom, bay leaves, and cinnamon sticks; cook 30 seconds or until fragrant, stirring frequently.  Add ginger and garlic; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly.  Stir in garam masala, and cook 10 seconds, stirring constantly.  Stir in 1 cup water, tomato, salt, and chickpeas; bring to a simmer.  Cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat; discard cinnamon sticks and bay leaves.  Stir in yogurt and cilantro.

Adapted from Cooking Light, April 2005

Categories: Entrees, Indian, Recipes | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Restaurant Roundup: Eating in the San Francisco Financial District

During my time in the Financial District each day, I often was in search of a decent, quick meal that wasn’t from a traditional fast food restaurant.  I’ve compiled this brief list of a few places I tried that didn’t necessarily need an entire post, but could be helpful to someone traveling for business in San Francisco.

Rotee Express

I really enjoy some good Indian food, so when my class’ instructor told me that Rotee Express had good Indian takeout, I was intrigued.  For around $10, you get your choice of two entrees (the selections change daily), rice, and naan bread.  Not too bad for San Francisco where the prices for a meal can be a bit steep.  I was more than happy with with the food quality and the flavors were more than you would expect for Indian takeout (a foreign concept where I come from).

Specialty’s

These little bakeries are all over the city and tout fresh baked goods sold through the windows on the street.  Everything here is incredibly fresh and delicious.  I had a breakfast egg sandwich here one morning that was excellent and made to order.  I also sampled a few of their cookies including a dark chocolate cookie with white chocolate chunks and a oatmeal, buckwheat, and chocolate chip cookie, both which were warm and delicious.  I’ve heard that you have to eat the cookies while they’re fresh or they turn rock solid due to the lower than usual fat content.  Specialty’s is worth checking out if you’re looking for quick baked goods on the go.

Seller’s Markets Artisan Kitchen

Seller’s Markets are a chain of local restaurants and stands spread throughout the Financial District in San Fran.  The whole premise is that its a restaurant that uses local food and practices sustainability.  Obviously, the food is organic and its made to order.  I had a turkey sandwich on sourdough with arugula, Havarti cheese, and avocados that was paired with a fresh bowl of tomato bisque, perfect for a chilly, rainy day.  If you’re looking for a quick, healthy lunch, you’ll find it at Seller’s Markets.

Out the Door (The Slanted Door takeout)

The famed Vietnamese restaurant called The Slanted Door that is located in the Ferry Building on the bay has a takeout version that’s also located in the Ferry Building.  Out the Door features daily specials like Lemongrass Chicken over Vermicelli.  The regular menu includes fresh and fried spring rolls, steamed buns, fresh salads, and a selected of Boba teas.  Very yummy, healthy, and most of all fresh!

Cafe Madeleine’s

We found this French bakery one morning while walking to our training and decided we had to stop based on the gorgeous display of French pastries in the display case.  Since breakfast time probably wasn’t the most appropriate time to have a chocolate-laden pastry, I settled on a ham and cheese croissant and a latte.  I have to say, my croissant was pretty close to those I enjoyed while actually in France, soCafe Madeleine’s was a nice, unexpected trip down memory lane for me.  Get there early, as the breakfast pastries tend to get picked over rather quickly!

Categories: American, French, Indian, Restaurants, Thai | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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