Weekends go fast don’t they?! The weekdays are so frantic these days that I never find time to cook dinners or lunches for the next day that we either grab something (pizza inevitably) and I always end up regretting my choice.
So, this weekend, I took time to cook an Indian meal complete with chicken tikka masala, channa masala, raita, and paratha. Enough to be a satisfying dinner through the middle of the week.
Of course prior to any of this, I had to start with inspiration – an awesome and energy-filled breakfast. Enter Overnight Oats!! Also to prelude my Indian meal, I had to have vegan chai to accompany breakfast. Traditionally, chai is made where the tea is steeped in the milk itself – not the steep-in-water-and-then-add-milk-later.
This recipe is my quick version. Traditionally – instead of ground ginger, pieces of ginger are used; instead of ground cinnamon, sticks are used; instead of ground cardamom, pods are used. But, this was a quick tea, and it just as much hit the spot as the real ingredient version!
Quick Vegan Chai – Serves 2
- 2 cups almond milk
- 1/8 tsp ground ginger
- 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp ground cardamom
- 3 cloves
- 3 peppercorn
- 2 tsp black tea (I use loose leaf black tea that I got from the Indian store, but I have used Lipton before and it turned out just fine)
- Sugar, to taste (I thought I would end up using turbinado sugar – pictured – but the almond milk was more than sweet enough for me, so I didn’t end up using any)
- In a small saucepan, combine all ingredients together.
- Turn the heat to medium. Bring the tea to a slow boil. Reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for approx. 5-10 minutes depending on the strength of the tea you want (I like it strong!).
- Strain into cups and serve!
My delicious breakfast! My overnight oats were topped with granola, almonds, and chocolate peanut butter. Totally held me over while I began my Indian menu.
My favorite Indian dish is chicken tikka masala. Something about this combination of spices brings it all home!
Here is how I started:
First, get your spices together for the marina-tion!!!
Here you see, clockwise from left: cayenne pepper, pepper, ginger/garlic paste, salt, turmeric, cumin and cinnamon. Then, you add lemon juice and yogurt and mix the chicken to get this:
Not the prettiest thing in the world but, hey – but it’s nice to witness the mawwiage of flavors!
While marinading, I cut up things that will be cooked later – saves tons of time!
First, we have the initial garlic/peppers/onions to sauté:
Do I suggest that you use this many peppers? NO! Did I? YES! Why? 1. I’m insane. 2. My Binks loves loves spicy food (and loves his meat dishes to be spicy). 3. I like it too.
After marinading, you cook the garlic/pepper/onion mix:
I sauté this until the onions are transparent. Then, comes the chicken:
After simmering on medium heat for about 15 minutes, add cream and fresh tomatoes.
I am telling you – this recipe is quick and truly competes with any restaurant chicken tikka masala!
Recipe – Serves 6
- 3 chicken breasts
- 1 cup yogurt
- juice from 1/2 small lemon
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper (adjust to taste)
- 1 tbsp garlic/ginger paste
- 1 tsp pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup onions
- 1 jalapeno pepper (adjust based on your spice requirements)
- 1 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1 – 4 oz can tomato paste
- 2 medium tomatoes
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- Combine chicken with yogurt, turmeric, lemon juice, salt, 2 tsp cumin, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, 1 tsp cayenne pepper, garlic/ginger paste, and pepper.
- Marinade for 1 hour.
- In large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.
- Sauté garlic, jalapeno pepper and onions until onion is translucent (about 2 minutes).
- Add 1 tsp cumin, 2 tsp paprika and cook for 1 minute.
- Add tomato paste and cook for 1 minute.
- Add chicken mixture and cook for approximately 15 minutes, until chicken is fully cooked.
- After the chicken and the sauce have combined, add the cream and diced tomatoes and simmer on medium-low heat for 10 minutes.
- Plate and serve piping hot with rice and/or roti – in my case paratha!
Source: adapted from AllRecipes.com