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  • Mango Chutney

    Mango_Chutney

    As with all events at the Bad Wolf Bar and Grille, Poker night would not be Poker night without food from the kitchen, and drinks from the bar.

    On one such evening, I decided on an Indian flair, and made my first attempt at Samosa’s. These were “passable”, as in passable to starving wolves, with several libations in them. The TRUE star of the snack table was a mango chutney, I had thrown together on a whim.

    Of course, having thrown this together on a whim, means no measuring, no recipe, no clue. (BAD ROGUECHEF!!!) Over the next several weeks, I made several attempts to recreate the chutney, and after many tries, and samples produced, tasted, and rejected, I managed to come very close to the original. And to make sure I DON’T have to do this again, I kept notes.

    From Wikipedia:

    Chutney is a loan word incorporated into English from Hindi-Urdu describing a pasty sauce in Indian[1] and other South Asian cuisines. It is a term for a class of spicy preparations used as an accompaniment for a main dish. Chutneys usually contain an idiosyncratic but complementary spice and vegetable mix.

    Chutneys are wet or dry, having a coarse to fine texture. The Anglo-Indian loan word refers to fresh and pickled preparations indiscriminately, with preserves often sweetened. At least several Northern Indian languages use the word for fresh preparations only. A different word achār applies to preserves that often contain oil but are rarely sweet. Vinegar or citrus juice may be added as preservatives, or fermentation in the presence of salt may be used to create acid.

    In the past, chutneys were ground with a mortar and pestle made of stone or an ammikkal (Tamil). Nowadays, electric blenders replace the stone implements. Various spices are added and ground, usually in a particular order; the wet paste thus made is sauteed in vegetable oil, usually gingelly or groundnut oil.

    American and European styled chutneys are usually fruit, vinegar and sugar, cooked down to a reduction. Flavorings are always added to the mix. These may include sugar, salt, garlic, tamarind, onion, or ginger.

  • Chicken Biryani

    In my last post I mentioned Biryani, it happens to be one of my favorite mid-easterd dishes. This is a simple chicken biryani, one can add all sorts of things, lamb, beef, etc, but for a basic fill your stomach meal, this is the one.

    Background

    Biryani is a set of rice-based foods made with spices, rice (usually basmati) and [[meat](chicken)]/vegetables. The name is derived from the Persian word beryā(n) which means “fried” or “roasted”.

    Biryani was brought to India and Pakistan by Persian travelers and merchants and local variants of this dish are not only popular in India and Pakistan but also in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and among Muslims in Sri Lanka.

    The spices and condiments used in biryani may include but are not limited to: ghee, peas, beans, cumin, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, bay leaves, coriander and mint leaves, ginger, onions, and garlic. The premium varieties include saffron. For a non-vegetarian biryani, the main ingredient that accompanies the spices is the meat—beef, chicken, goat, lamb, or shrimp. The dish may be served with dahi chutney or Raita, korma, curry, a sour dish of eggplant (brinjal) or a boiled egg.

    The difference between biryani and pullao is that while pullao may be made by cooking the items together, biryani is used to denote a dish where the rice is cooked separately from the other ingredients.

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  • Spicy Dahl

    dahl

    Ok, it’s windy, chilly, nasty, threatening snow. Almost what you see in all the mountain movies about the Himalayas. Soo, hmm, Himalayas, gurka’s, Dal and rice…. But a soup, with Asian chicken stock, one can forgo the chicken stock and use vegetable stock for a vegetarian twist. But as always, we’ll look at some dried red peppers, or maybe serve with a hot pepper / vinegar finishing sauce on the side…

    Background

    Dahl bhat is a traditional South / Central Asian and staple dish which is essentially rice (bhat) and lentil soup (dal). This is a very common food in South Asian countries specially Nepal. In general eaten twice a day with another (usually spicy, maybe hot /sour) dish called tarkari which can be either vegetarian or non-vegetarian..

    The recipes vary by locality, ethnic group, family, as well as the season. Dal generally contains lentils (different types are used according to taste), tomatoes, onion, chili and ginger along with herbs and spices such as coriander, garam-masala and turmeric.

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  • Mango Pops

    It’s really still too hot to cook, or at least cook on the stove. I am still looking for new and novel ideas to help beat that heat.

    The mango is a fleshy stone fruit belonging to the genus Mangifera, consisting of numerous tropical fruiting trees in the flowering plant family Anacardiaceae. The mango is native to the Indian subcontinent from where it spread all over the world. It is one of the most cultivated fruits of the tropical world. While other Mangifera species (e.g. horse mango, M. foetida) are also grown on a more localized basis, Mangifera indica – the ‘common mango’ or ‘Indian mango’ – is the only mango tree commonly cultivated in many tropical and subtropical regions, and its fruit is distributed essentially worldwide

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  • Butter Chicken and Naan

    Every so often I have a taste to eat something with lots of sauce for sopping. And this is special made for Naan, fresh naan…

    Butter Chicken is one of my favorite Indian dishes. It is a full flavored dish that complements the chicken well. It can be made as mild or spicy as you wish by adjusting the cayenne. Serve with basmati rice and naan bread

    Dressed chicken is marinated overnight in a yogurt and spice mixture usually including garam masala, ginger, garlic paste, lemon or lime, pepper, coriander, cumin, turmeric, and chili. The chicken is then grilled, roasted or pan fried, depending on convenience or the chef’s preference.

    Makhani, the sauce, is made by heating and mixing butter, tomato puree, and various spices, often including cumin, cloves, cinnamon, coriander, pepper, fenugreek and fresh cream. Cashew paste can also be added, and will make the gravy thicker.

    Once the sauce is prepared, the prepared chicken is chopped and cooked till the gravy and chicken have blended. Garnish it with white butter, fresh cream, sliced green chillies and crushed fenugreek leaves.

    Butter chicken is usually served with naan, roti, parathas or steamed rice. It is also confused with Chicken tikka masala.

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  • Cast Iron Flat Bread

    As I have said before I am a bread junkie. And I truly love flatbreads, with just a dash of ghee, or a stuffed prata, a puffy pita, or buttery naan. These go so well with hummus, and used as a wrap for chicken schwarma they are sublime.

    A superb flatbread is basically like a glorious steak; a crusty outside and a tender, just-cooked inside. The best steaks come out of a burning hot cast-iron skillet, so why not flatbreads? They are thin enough that while the surface is being crisped / charred up by intense heat the interior dough will cook enough to a just cooked but still tender fluffy goodness.

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