Scott and I began some time ago experimenting with having international themed nights; I thought this would be fun way to try cooking new things, and to learn about different places. We began with a Malaysian Night, then we had a Yemeni Night. Then we got busy and stopped.
Tonight we invited over Benjamin-David and revived the tradition with a India themed night with chicken tandoori and okra curry. I understand that both recipes are of Northern Indian origin.
I set the chicken to marinate this morning, and Scott grilled this evening. If you've never had it, it's super easy to make and the yogurt it's marinaded in makes the chicken very tender. I got this particular recipe from online, and made some substitutions (instead of using marsala tandoori, I took the lazy way out and just used the garam marsala that I already had.)
To accompany this we had curried okra, which was also very tasty. The okra was stuffed with the curry paste and lightly fried in vegetable oil and onion. I was a little worried that it would come out greasy, but it really didn't at all. The okra was bright green and flavorful. As I was making the okra however, I was unable to find the mango powder that the recipe called for and instead chopped-up dried mango. I don't know what difference this but the mango certainly added a nice sweetness.In the past I've only really had boiled okra (which is pretty bland, slimy and gross) and fried okra (which is amazing because its fried, but on the downside- its fried). I felt as this was a nice alternative to both these options- one that I will certainly do again.
Benjamin-David then brought with him nan for dinner...the perfect final touch. We celebrated the weather, eating on the back porch and then moved inside to Watch Monsoon Wedding. The recipes we used are below.
2 lbs skinless chicken
3 Tbsp garam marsala
1 c yogurt
3 cloves garlic, pressed
1 c vegetable oil
Prick chicken all over with fork. In a separate bowl, mix garam marsala, yoghurt, oil and salt into a paste. Cover the chicken well in this marinade, and refrigerate for 12-18 hours.
Grill chicken over medium heat, being careful not to over cook.
adapted from Petrina Verma Sarkar: http://indianfood.about.com/od/chickendishes/r/tandoorichicken.htm
1.5 lbs okra
2 Tbsp chili powder
2 Tbsp cumin powder
Salt to taste
2 Tbsp coriander powder
3 Tbsp finely diced dried mango
1 tsp Turmeric powder
2 Tbsp oil
half an onion, diced
Wash, dry and clean okra, removing the caps and the tips. Slit down the side. In a separate bowl, mix chili, coriander, mango, turmeric and salt. Stuff the okra with the past. Heat oil in a large skillet, add onions and cook until the onion begins to soften (1-2 min). Add stuffed okra and cook stirring occasionally. Add any left -over seasoning and continue cooking until tender (5-10 min).
adapted from Chef Sonali: