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New Year's Pantry Challenge, A Spicy Adventure, Day 10

Posted Jan 14 2011 5:58pm
Today's Menu
Breakfast Smoothie
Free Chik-Fil-A Egg & Cheese Biscuit

Lunch Potato-corn Chowder
Sliced apples & kiwis
Hard-boiled eggs

Snack Tangerine
Raisins

Dinner Curry Chicken Masala with Cauliflower
Basmati Rice
Yogurt-covered raisins

As I've been digging through my "pantry" this week, I discovered I have a mountain of spices. Since it's a challenge to use what's in my pantry, I had to reach back into my memory and cookbooks to try some recipes from long ago. More than five years ago, my friend Anjali was visiting. She took me to a local Indian grocery store and introduced me to the world of Indian spices. Anjali also showed me that buying these spices in bulk from these little markets is much cheaper than hunting them down at the traditional grocery store. They also have "spice mixes" for traditional dishes like Tandoori Chicken or Curry Masala. This saves time in mixing a bunch of spices and their mix often tastes more authentic.

My all-time fave Indian dish is Chicken Masala, which has a creamy tomato sauce and tastes divine served over basmati rice. I wanted to try to find a way to simplify this dish, make it child-friendly (not too spicy) and use what I found in my pantry. We also wanted to use up some fresh cauliflower we scored at the farmer's market. I recognize you all might not have these specific spices in your pantry but the lesson for today was rediscovering spices and recipes from my past. My 2-year-old was signing and saying, "More, more" for this chicken. I had to keep filling up her plate.

Easy Curry Chicken Masala with Cauliflower

Ingredients -1 cup plain yogurt
-1 tablespoons curry masala spice mix (*available and many Indian grocery stores)

-3 boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces

-1 large yellow onion, chopped
-2 tablespoons butter
-1 large head of cauliflower, chopped into large florets
-1 teaspoon turmeric
-1 small 6-oz. can of organic tomato paste
-1 pint whipping cream

1. Stir together yogurt and spice mix in a bowl. Add chicken pieces and lemon juice. Set in refrigerator to marinate for 30 minutes.
2. Saute onions in butter in a large skillet.
3. Add chicken and marinade to skillet.
4. Add cauliflower and saute additional 10 minutes.
5. When chicken and cauliflower are cooked, stir in turmeric, tomato paste and whipping cream. Bring to boil.
6.  Reduce heat to simmer. Stir occasionally until sauce thickens.

Serve over basmati rice or with Indian naan (flatbread).

*This mix includes coriander, cumin, chilies, turmeric, black pepper, salt, dry ginger, fenugreek, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom, caraway, garlic powder, onion powder. (I have a lot - so come borrow mine if you want to try this out!)

Serves 6.
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