Indian Starter Kit

I have the distinct pleasure of working with colleagues from around the world during the day, including one lady from southern India. One day we were discussing Indian food and cookery and I asked if she had a “dabba.” (this is a special round metal spice kit with a tight fitting lid that I first learned about over here at my favorite blog: The Perfect  Pantry.)

She said “oh yes, but I don’t use that thing any more!” She had received it as a wedding gift from her mother and used it diligently as a young wife, but now, years later, had moved on to a different way of storing/accessing her daily spices for cooking. I must have look at her yearningly because she promptly said “Do you want it?” I tried to strike a balance between shouting YES! and “that would be amazing!”

So she brought it in for me – FILLED WITH SPICES!!

We discussed what recipe I should start with and settled on a basic chicken curry. So a few days later I got my new spice kit out and added in a few things that are essential to Indian cooking: fresh ginger, garlic, lemon, powered turmeric, cinnamon. And with little help via text I made my first ever chicken curry.  As soon as the first spices hit the hot oil, it smelled like a real Indian kitchen!!

Take a look at my first adventure …

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PS my colleague gave me a B+ for my efforts!



Can These Two Be Friends?

I had some chicken thighs defrosting and a hankering for some “Indian food.” So instead of following a recipe, I just got out two spices I think of  as “Indian.”

In reality “madras curry” is a British invention and “Sate/Satay” is from the Indonesian islands, not actually India. Fusion cooking right?

I coated my chicken in a heavy dose of the Sate seasoning and browned them in the skillet first.

After that, I removed the chicken and tossed in some sliced onions and my very own green peppers grown in my garden! (Toot-tooting my own horn!)

After that I added diced sweet red bell pepper, a couple fresh garlic cloves, lots of curry powder and some tomato paste and let that kinda “toast” for a minute. If you like it hot, add something hot like chili flakes or hot peppers. I de-glazed the pan with some stock and threw everybody into the hot tub! (slowcooker)

Cook for many hours, until you can’t stand how good it smells and add some frozen peas (my husband is obsessed with them) about 30 mins before serving (not shown here) and serve with the Naan you found in the freezer this morning, which started this whole fusion-travel-food journey in the first place!