Indian Giver

Sing it, Joey*:

When we want Indian food at home, we often get take-out.  Typically from Shalimar, because it’s close and cheap.  It’s not the same caliber as Karavalli, but hey, it’s our neighborhood Indian place.  It’s just-the-ticket for a Tuesday night craving.  Sometimes though, we go nuts and make Indian at home.  Here’s my gora-fide version of Indian food.  I found this recipe online, but don’t make it as the link indicates or it will be way too salty.  Modify it a bit and make it like this:

The marinade:

  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 4 teaspoons salt, or to taste (use 1 tsp)
  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 4 long skewers 

In a large bowl (or better still, a Tupperware container), combine yogurt, lemon juice, 2 teaspoons cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, black pepper, ginger, and 1 teaspoon salt. Add chicken (or Turkey or whatever), shake and cover; refrigerate for 1 hour.
Preheat grill or use oven broiler to “grill” the chicken.  Lightly oil the grill grate. Place chicken chunks onto skewers, and discard marinade. Grill/broil until juices run clear, about 5 minutes on each side.

The tikka masala:

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 3 teaspoons salt, or to taste (use 1 tsp here too)
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro  

From here follow the recipe in the link: “Melt butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic and jalapeno for 1 minute. Season with 2 teaspoons cumin, paprika, and 3 teaspoons salt. Stir in tomato sauce and cream. Simmer on low heat until sauce thickens, about 20 minutes. Add grilled chicken, and simmer for 10 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter, and garnish with fresh cilantro.”

Make up some white rice, and enjoy with some naan.  See some photos of the process below:

The fixin’s

Grilling the marinated turkey

Chopping the turkey into pieces

Jalapeños and garlic

let simmer

You need to eat your greens, so I made a spinach side-dish.  Simple recipe with toasted pine nuts and raisins.

Prepared to meet its maker. mmmm

I especially like this recipe because you can buy all the ingredients at your local chain-grocery store.  I use turkey cutlets (from Misty Knoll Farms) instead of chicken, and it comes out great.  For you vegetarians out there; you can head to your local Indian grocery store and buy some paneer (in lieu of chicken or turkey).  Or I suppose you could marinate tofu and firm it up by roasting it under the broiler, but you’re on your own there.  Enjoy. 

*Joey Ramone died of lymphoma in 2001, just one month shy of his 50th birthday.  Apparently, near the end of his life, he really got into trading stocks on the internet.  While recording what would become his posthumously released solo album, he developed a small crush on CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo, and wrote a song about her (looking like a young Sophia Loren is never a bad thing, eh?).  Joey’s album was touchingly titled “Don’t Worry About Me.”  :(  

I am raising money for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to fund experimental new treatments for people who are afflicted with blood cancers, like lymphoma; treatments that are putting people’s cancer in full remission and saving/extending lives.  The LLS isn’t just a bunch of dreamy well-wishers; I have actually met people whose lives have been changed by their efforts.  I calculated how my fund-raising is going since I started.  See the data below:

Progress so far

I am super-thankful to all the generous folks who have already donated (you anonymous donors too).  At this rate though, I’ll fall short of my goal by June 1 (see above).  So, if you’ve been building suspense and waiting for the right time to contribute, now is that time.  Not only will you be helping cancer patients who need it, but you’ll be restoring the internet to the altruistic utopia that Al Gore intended when he invented it.  [wink

Click HERE to donate with reckless abandon. 

8 Responses to “Indian Giver”

  1. jess says:

    This looks delicious!

    I’m pretty partial to the LLS myself so it’s great to see you’re supporting it!

  2. Amelia says:

    Since you made Indian and you seem to be a fan of Karavalli’s, I have to ask: Does anyone know if Karavalli is still located in Schenectady/Rotterdam. It seems that it is no longer the third location on the website. Only Latham and Saratoga are mentioned. Also, does anyone know where to get good Indian in Schenectady???

  3. This looks great. I’m not to embarassed to admit that I am luring two new Indian friends to my wine group. It’s all in exchange for authentic South Indian food.
    Kathleen Lisson

  4. renee says:

    the rotterdam karavalli is no longer! skfl and i made a special trip out there and it was replaced by an indian restaurant with a different name. we turned around and went to the latham location.

    i know people that like the indian restaurant on jay street (i feel like the name has changed a few times). if i were you, i’d hop on route 7 and treat myself to the latham karavalli. but there is always the special naan at sitar on central, but that’s albany.

    alex, i sure hope we find a house near you so i can get invited over for meat dinners!

  5. alex|dimitri says:

    Jess, we figured you might be partial to the LLS cause ;)

    Amelia, renee knows stuff.

    Kathleen, you’re building a valuable network; no doubt.

    renee, I hope you find a place in our ‘hood too. Thanks for the donation!

  6. Amelia says:

    Thanks for the tips everybody! I think we are gonna checkout the place on Jay Street…Taj Mahal…

    Alex and Cati…love the blog…

  7. Kathleen says:

    Hmmmm… a lot salt in your indian recipes.

    There has to be a Ghandi walking to the ocean to make salt reference in there somewhere.

  8. alex|dimitri says:

    Well well well, looks like Kathleen has been reading some Kurlansky lately. That was an obscure reference that would make Dennis Miller proud.