I haven’t been making much Indian since going mostly Primal. I think it has something to do with not having the rice and naan to go with the curries. It’s not as though I’ve cut it out completely but it’s definitely not been in my diet as much as it was at one time.
I really enjoy making Indian. I have accumulated a lot of the spices that are common in Indian and scoff at the “optional” entries in recipes because, 1) I have those ingredients and have a slight superiority complex come out, and 2) I can’t imagine the recipe without them because after having used them I feel like the recipe just wouldn’t be the same without them. Curry leaves are one of those ingredients that I just can’t imagine going without when listed in a recipe.
I was going through my cookbooks this morning trying to find an Indian recipe for some goat stew meat that I had defrosted. In addition to a crockpot recipe for the goat, I came across 2 other recipes that I had marked as wanting to try and had all of the spices on hand. It was a great day to tinker in the kitchen given that we’ve been pretty much snowed in and it’s still too cold to go out and enjoy the outdoors. At least in my opinion.
The two recipes are adaptations of Chicken in Cardamom Cream Sauce in “Complete Indian Cooking” by Meena Pathak to go with Sweet Potato Chaat in “American Masala” by Suvir Saran. I felt that the sweet potato recipe would be a great accompaniment/primal substitute for basmati rice. And I was right! Both dishes are delish, pair well together and I didn’t even miss the rice.
One note on spices: if you can or have the time, I would recommend freshly grinding the coriander. It’s an easy spice to grind, the little globes just simply crush in on themselves. The difference between store bought and freshly ground coriander is significant. And this can make your dish that much more stellar!
I prepped my Chaat root vegetables and started roasting them when I started the Chicken Cardamom recipe.
CHICKEN IN CARDAMOM CREAM SAUCE
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 whole cloves
- 3 green cardamom pods, lightly crushed
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 tsp freshly ground coriander
- 1 can chopped tomatoes
- 12 oz boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2″ to 1″ cubes
- 200 ml cream
- 2 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/2 tsp dried fenugreek leaves
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1/2 tsp coconut sugar
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Add cumin seeds, cloves, cardamom pods and bay leaves. Turn heat to medium and cook, swirling pan occasionally, until they begin to crackle, approximately 10 minutes.
Add the ground coriander and canned tomatoes and fry for 2 minutes.
Add the diced chicken and fry, stirring continuously for 5 minutes.
Add the single cream, ground cardamom, fenugreek leaves and garam masala. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Add coconut sugar and salt to taste. Serve alongside Chaat Roasted Vegetables.
Chaat Spiced Roasted Vegetables
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- 3 large parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/2″ dice
- 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2″ dice
- 1 – 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp salt
- 2 Tbsp roasted cumin seeds, ground
- 2 Tbsp Chaat masala
- 1/8 tsp cayenne
- 1 lime
Toast cumin seeds in a small cast iron skillet or frying pan over medium heat. They are done when they are lightly brown and smell fragrant. Let cool before grinding.
Prep the vegetables, adding others if you see fit. Beets might be a good option. Place vegetables in a large mixing bowl.
Mix the dry spices together in a small mixing bowl.
Drizzle olive oil over vegetables. Stir vegetables so that they are evenly coated. Sprinkle some of the spice mixture over vegetables. Turn vegetables to spread the seasoning evenly on the vegetables. Do not feel that you have to use all of the spice, I kept some back to use for later.
Line a sheet pan with tin foil or parchment paper. Spread your vegetables evenly over the sheet pan. Roast for 15 minutes. Stir vegetables and roast for another 10 to 15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and lightly brown. Remove from the oven and squeeze 1/2 to 1 full lime over the vegetables depending on your flavor preference.