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Everyday Indian

Bal Arneson - May 28, 2010

If you’re ready to expand your dinner options and try something a bit different, we’ve got the thing for you. Don’t let the uncommon ingredients scare you away—items such as garam masala, mango powder, and grapeseed oil are usually available at grocery or ethnic stores. Take this opportunity to explore one of the world’s greatest cuisines!

Papaya Chicken
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon asafetida
  • 2 tablespoons grated garlic
  • 2 tablespoons grated ginger
  • 1 green chili, finely chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon Spanish paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut in small cubes
  • 1/4 cup low-fat, plain yogurt
  • 1 cup cubed ripe papaya
Place the oil, fenugreek seeds, and asafetida in a nonstick skillet over medium heat and cook for 10 seconds. Add the garlic, ginger, and green chili, and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Increase the heat to medium-high, add the onion, and saute for 4 minutes until caramelized. Add the whole cumin seeds, ground cumin, coriander, turmeric, cardamom, paprika, and salt, and cook for 10 seconds.

Add the chicken and cook until almost done, about 8 minutes. Stir in the yogurt and cook until chicken is fully done, another 2 minutes. Add papaya chunks, and remove from heat. Serve over rice or with naan.

Tandoori Quesadillas

  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon grated garlic
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 1/4 cup tandoori paste
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup low-fat plain yogurt
  • 6 large whole wheat tortillas
  • 3/4 cup grated mozzarella cheese
Place the oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat and saute the onion, garlic, and ginger for 3 minutes. Add the tandoori paste and cook for 1 minute. Add the chicken and cook until it's almost cooked through, about 8 minutes. Add the yogurt and cook until the chicken is completely cooked through, another 2 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400° F. Place one tortilla on a baking sheet and spread one-third of the chicken mixture on it, spreading it evenly over the entire tortilla. Sprinkle 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese over the top and cover it with another tortilla. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Bake until the cheese is melted, about 3 to 5 minutes. Cut into 6 wedges and serve with any kind of chutney.

Red Pepper Soup with Toasted Cumin Seeds

  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 1 teaspoon asafetida
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons grated garlic
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon Spanish paprika
  • 1 pound red bell peppers, sliced
  • 1/2 cup organic vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
Combine the oil, asafetida, mustard seeds, and cumin seeds in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and cook for 10 seconds. Stir in the onion and garlic, and cook for 3 minutes. Add the garam masala and paprika and cook for 1 minute. Mix in the red peppers and cook for 2 minutes. Add stock and broth and cook over medium-low heat for 5 minutes.

Remove from the heat and place the mixture in a blender. Process until completely smooth. Serve in individual bowls, topping each serving with 1 tablespoon of grated parmesan cheese.

Excerpted from Everyday Indian: 100 Fast, Fresh, and Healthy Recipes by Bal Arneson. Now available at amazon.com.

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