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Monday, July 6, 2015

Black and White Chole Masala

Since last experimenting with black cardamom, Chole has been on my mind.  That deep smokey flavor of black cardamom in a cinnamon broth has been stroking my desire button and finally exposed itself last night.
This wonderful recreation developed inside me.. and in my kitchen...
Serves 5-6
5 oz kala (15cL) chana (black chickpeas), rinsed and soaked 12-24 hours
 5 oz (15cL) chole (white chickpeas), rinsed and soaked 12-24 hours
1 stick cinnamon
1 black cardamom
3 cloves
1 black teabag
1 Indian bay leaf
2 dried red chiles
1 tsp coarse sea salt
5 cups water
2 Tbsp oil
3 slit green chiles (I sliced 1 green Moroccan chile
1/4 tsp ajwain seeds (carom seeds)
1 tsp kala jeera (black cumin) seeds
1/4 tsp hing (asafoetida)
1 onion, minced
1/2 inch ginger, grated
5 cloves garlic, grated
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 can tomato pulp
1 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp chile powder
1 tsp amchur mango powder (or pomegranate powder)
salt to taste
plain yogurt for garnish (optional if vegan)
chopped cilantro for garnish
chopped green onions
1.  Cook the chickpeas.  Make sure to rinse the chickpeas well and change the water 2-3 times during the soaking period.  Place the soaked chickpeas in a slow cooker with the water, the cinnamon stick, black cardamom, cloves, bay leaf, dried red chiles, salt, and tea bag.  Cook on low for at least 8 hours.  You want the chickpeas to be very well cooked with little resistance when pinched between your fingers.. or smashed against the roof of your mouth with your tongue.  When done, remove the whole spices and teabag.
2.  Make the curry.  Heat the oil in a wok and add the ajwain and cumin seeds.  Cook until fragrant.
3.  Add the hing and turmeric until they fizz, then add the sliced chiles and onions.  Cook until translucent.
4.  Add the ginger and garlic.  The raw smell of ginger should come tickle your nostrils, then leave you with a distant memory.
5.  Add the tomato pulp and garam masala.  Stir and keep cooking on high.  Cook until it all comes together as some sort of thick paste, and oil will seep out.
6.  Add the cooked chickpeas and about half the cooking liquid.  Stir well and add the amchur and chile powder.  Bring to a boil, then simmer.  It will thicken.  Add more of the cooking liquid to thin it out.  I used all of the cooking liquid.  Let simmer for about 10 minutes on low heat.
7.  Taste and add salt if needed.  Adjust the spice as well.  At this point, it was pure perfection.
I served with a mix of basmati and red rice topped with chopped cilantro, chopped green onions (not pictured), and a dollop of plain yogurt.  I also let it cool down to room temperature before eating because the heat is just unbearable these days and I can't stand to eat anything that's a higher temp than my own body temp.

The broth is so delectable, I was gulping it down by the spoonful while putting away the cooled leftovers.  Something magical happens with the tea, black cardamom, and cinnamon that makes an almost sweet smell while the slow cooking is happening.  I was asked if I was making cookies (which isn't completely off.. I've made cinnamon cardamom chile cookies before..)
The kala chana works well here.  I like it's full nutty flavor and texture that is easy to tell apart from its white brother, which is creamier.
Have I mentioned how insane meals like this get me?
I'm ready to take off...

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Sunday, July 5, 2015

Guadalajara Style Ceviche with Blue Ling

I should rather call this Flashback to adolescence Ceviche...
Since I've been recently fiddling with a Tahitian version of ceviche, I've been flashing back to the very first ceviche I've ever had.  I must have been very young, probably a freshman in high school sleeping over at one of my best friends' house whose family is Mexican and where I learned most of the Spanish I still am able to speak today.  There must have been a social event that day or maybe the uncles were coming over, but everybody was cutting or chopping something at the kitchen table around a massive metallic bowl.  Each person had a task, and I happily joined in the fun (being slow at chopping at that age but glad to be participating nonetheless).  When I asked about the final product, I was told it was Ceviche and that I would love it.
Raw fish? No Way!
At that age, I didn't know anything.  I thought I didn't like fish, but oh how wrong I was about that!!
I was told not to worry, that it wasn't really raw because the lime juice would cook it, and that I should at least taste it.  If I didn't like it it wouldn't be a big deal (there were so many other things to eat.)
When the time came, my friend prepared the tostada for me and heavily squirted it with Valentina hot sauce.
I was seduced.
After that, I would order it whenever it was on a menu, and when I moved to France, I never saw it again until I found a Peruvian restaurant that had it (each country or even region has its own version of ceviche).  I found it exhilarating to be eating ceviche again.. especially in France, and made a mental note to myself to give it a shot.
After succeeding with the Tahitian Poisson Cru, and hearing about a wine bar in Lyon that served ceviche.. the time had come to make this myself.  I can't be letting some wine bar give my French friends their first introduction to ceviche!  I have to give them the same debut recipe that started me out on it.
This one.
And it's a perfect debut to the dinner parties I'll be hosting in my new house =)
Serves 5-6
450g (1 lb) blue ling (julienne in French) or other firm white fish
raw shrimp, deveined and cubed (I didn't have this)
1 red onion, chopped
1/2 cucumber, chopped
1 green onion, chopped
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1-2 jalapeños or serrano chiles, diced
few pinches fleur de sel
many grinds black pepper
juice from 3-4 limes
few hefty squirts Tapatio, Valentina, Cholula or equivalent hot sauce (salsa para botana)
1 avocado, sliced
tostadas for serving (I used tortilla chips)
1.  Remove any bones from the fish and chop into small cubes.  Do not make mincemeat out of it, but keep it only slightly bigger than your cucumber pieces.
2.  In a large bowl, place all the chopped veggies, salt, and pepper and place the chopped fish on top.
3.  Squeeze all the lime juice onto the fish and add some squirts of Tapatio sauce.  Stir well making the mixture homogenous.
4.  Once everything is evenly mixed, refrigerate for 2-4 hours.  This is where the lime juice will "cook" the fish and the cucumbers will release some liquid, making a nice tangy broth.
5.  Serve over tostadas with avocado slices and extra squirts of Tapatio.
If you are like me and live in a land too far away from Mexico for tostadas to be available, no access to masa, and the only corn tortillas available are ridiculously priced, and even if they were reasonably priced, it is too dang hot t be cooking anything in can in this case (and only in this case) use corn tortilla chips.
The result?
I would have to go back and taste the Madre's version again to be sure, but as far as my brain is concerned, this is exactly how it was (minus the shrimp).  My heart fluttered the same way with the first bite, and the expression on my guests faces satisfied my curiosity as well.
They just didn't have extra Tapatio squirted on theirs.
This is a perfect meal during blistering heat.  I know I shouldn't really complain about the heat.. I do come from the desert where 37°C 99°F is standard and we have even gone up to 53°C 127°F in August.  It's just that I never thought I'd end up missing A/C in France.

I named it Guadalajara Style because the family from which I extracted this recipe (that I based on my memory of that experience 18 years ago but is still vivid in my mind) is originally from that region of Mexico.  After looking around, though, I noticed it's mostly all of Baja that makes it this way.. including San Diego and LA.. and that awesome flea market somewhere near La Puente...
aaah the lovely memories...

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Friday, July 3, 2015

Black Bean and Chicken Salad with Pico de Gallo

I'm baaaAaaack!
And I'm broadcasting from a new kitchen.  A much bigger, fancier kitchen!  Unfortunately, it is too hot to light up the stove or the oven.  I'm having trouble keeping the indoor temperature under 90°F.. even at night (most likely because I'm not allowed to open the windows at night because a bird or bat might fly in.)
Seriously?  Who cares.. LET THEM IN!  
I'm going to have to go back to my desert days where I would pour a bunch of ice on my bed and lay in it to keep cool at night.
Once I even jumped in the pool in the middle of the night and came back in, laid my towel on the floor of my room, turned the fan on, and went to sleep without drying off.  That was kind of crazy but at least it worked.
So with temperatures as I have described, the only thing I'm comfortable using is my slow cooker.  I think it's great in the summer months because it really doesn't heat up the house like the oven or stove.  You can even take it outside or in the garage during cooking time if really you think the heat will be a problem.
My favorite thing to cook in my slow cooker?  Beans.  Hands down.
Beans are great for summer because if you eat them hot as a soup in the winter, in the summer you can eat them cold, as a dip, or as a salad (or even a cold soup because that broth is just incredible!!)
So after quite some time in a stressful business trip/remodeling/packing/in laws/moving out/unpacking/moving in/finding my computer and setting it up, here is the first meal I initiated my gigantic kitchen with that I am able to share..

Serves 6
Black Beans
10 oz (30 cL) dried black beans, soaked overnight and drained
1 cube chicken bouillon (or salt or veg bouillon)
2 bay leaves
4 dried chile de arboles
4 dried morita chiles
4-5 cups water
Place everything in a slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours.  Let cool and refrigerate, reserving some of the liquid.  
I did this a day ahead of time without quite knowing what I was going to be doing with the beans, but just knowing I wanted black beans very very much... and ultimately deciding it was too hot to eat them hot.

Pico de Gallo Salsa
(yield about 2 cups)
2 tomatoes, diced
1/2 cucumber, diced
2 jalapeños or serrano chiles, minced
1/2 red onion, diced
1 green onion, chopped
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
juice from 1-2 limes
pinch fleur de sel
pinch ground cumin
many grinds black pepper
Stir everything together.
This is a nice refreshing salsa for anything, not just for this salad.

Assembly per plate
handful shredded cabbage (I used savoy)
handful shredded cooked cold chicken (or skip to make this vegan)
generous ladle cooked (cold) black beans with a bit of the juice
heaping tablespoon pico de gallo salsa
extra chiles if you need
I'll be creating many more happy moments like this in due time..

I followed this with Sandia (Watermelon) in tajin.. oooooohhhh!!

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Monday, June 22, 2015

Razor Clams and Trout on the Plancha

 Thanks to these little razors marinated in garlic, ginger, lime and olive oil,
 these big boys stuffed with red onion, red bell, and piment d'espelette...
nicely grilled, back to front..
and some heavenly grilled zucchini and asparagus that I was allowed to have a moment of sanity in my head this weekend...
Enough said.

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Sunday, June 14, 2015

Salmon 'Ota 'Ika with Mango

The last time I made Poisson Cru à la Tahitienne, I was smitten.  Everything about it was perfect, delicate, refreshing, and nourishing.  I couldn't wait to get a chance to make it again with a few tweaks here and there.  The thing is.. I haven't seen fresh white albacore tuna on the stalls at all.  It's as if he just made a cameo appearance to give me a taste of his beauty just to leave me there, lusting for his unattainable passion.  I've been wanting to pair him with a sweet tangy mango and watch the chemistry happen.  Last night I gave in.  With no tuna on the horizon, I let myself be seduced by salmon.  The two have nothing in common in terms of taste, but both make me swoon in different ways.
As it turns out, salmon works wonderfully with coconut milk, avocado, and of course, mango.  It's almost as if it was made to be..
Serves 7-8 as a starter
500g (1lb) fresh salmon, cut into cubes
1 large mango, cut into cubes
1 carrot, grated
1/2 cucumber, diced
2 tomatoes, diced
4 cloves garlic, grated
3 green onions, chopped
1/2 red onion, diced
1 avocado, chopped
1-2 green chiles, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
1/2 can premium coconut milk (about 1 cup)
juice from 3 limes
few grinds black pepper
Stir everything together and reserve in the fridge for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Serve cold as an appetizer alone or as a meal along with hot basmati rice.
I served as part of a trio of appetizers alongside some fresh spring rolls and grilled sardines.  It was a very emotional event.

As soon as I move and unpack, I'm buying better a better small dish service.  I don't have many matching small bowls or verrines, so when there is company nobody has the same size or shape.  We all know it's not the plate that makes the meal a hit, but now that I'm a grown woman and a homeowner, I will be upgrading certain things in my kitchen.

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Thursday, June 11, 2015

Green Puy Lentil Salad with Feta

Sometimes you don't really have much to say except that you want to be cooled down by your dinner eaten in a hot appartment.
This is one of those.. except I NEED chile.. so I added chopped pepperoncini and a spoonful of harissa to make this classic French lentil salad my own.  Is it sacrilege?  Maybe.  But the French don't really take their lentils as seriously as they do their Choucroute... so I'm pretty safe.
Serves 4
To Simmer:
1 heaping cup green puy lentils, well rinsed
2 sprigs savory (sarriette)
1 tsp coarse sea salt
3 cloves garlic, grated
2 bay leaves
1 pinch angel hair chile strands
1 handful chopped celery ribs
4 cups water
1 Tbsp mustard
1 Tbsp extra special olive oil
1 Tbsp white balsamic vinegar
1 shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, grated
1 Tbsp capers
10 baby pepperoncini, halved
many grinds of black pepper
1 handful chopped parsley
1 handful crumbled feta
1 cup shredded cabbage
jarred harissa (not that tube stuff) - optional
1.  Place all the "To Simmer" ingredients together, bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until lentils are al dente.
2.  Drain, remove bay leaves and savory, then quickly rinse under cold water in a colander and let cool.  Don't overdo the rinsing or you'll wash away the flavor.
3.  Mix all the "Dressing" ingredients together and toss with the cooled lentils.

Plate with the garnish.. realize the inner beauty.. then realize the outer beauty... then let your eyes roll back

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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Agua Fresca de Jamaica

I have many things, but here are a few things you can't find in my home.
A vase.  Seriously... I like flowers, but I like them outside in plant form.  I hate being offered flowers for the simple reason that I have no idea what to do with them except for putting them in a vase.. which I don't have, and I don't want, because I don't really care for being offered flowers.
Plus, it takes up all the space on the table and just gets in the way and all you're really waiting for is for them to get ugly enough to throw out.  Oh.. and changing the flower water makes me gag.  I don't mind cleaning lizard poop, but flower water.. bleh!!
People who know me well know that the only flowers or plants I love being offered are the edible ones.  
Bouquet of basil?  oh you just made me blush...
Chiles in any form?  oh yes yes yes!
Ok ok, if you absolutely must, offer me flowers.. but make sure they're chive flower, zucchini flowers, or in the dried form.. hibiscus flowers!  Besides, the only purpose for which I would ever use a vase would be as a pitcher (which I don't have either, but for no apparent reason).
Yes, this is my guest etiquette and it's kind of an understanding.. never anything I actually impose.
I've been making hot hibiscus tea for some time now.. just the flowers steeped with no additions, but the weather has been getting sweaty hot, and although it is recommended to drink warm or hot when hot, I just can't bring myself to do it.  I want and crave ice cold water and iced tea!  The upside is that hibiscus has a cooling effect on the body (so does cucumber), so even if you drink it cold, it eventually ends up cooling you.
I grew up drinking agua de jamaica any time I had the opportunity.  I was never one for soda and mostly would just drink water, but whenever this iced tea was available, I would dive head first into it.
On top of being refreshing and deliciously tart, hibiscus has many health benefits.  It is loaded with antioxidants, can lower blood pressure, and reduce chronic inflammation.  Why wait?
Yield 2 Liters/Quarts
1 heaping handful dried hibiscus flowers
1 inch piece fresh ginger
1 cinnamon stick
2 Liters water
1/4 cup sugar or to taste (I completely omitted)
1.  Place the hibiscus, ginger, cinnamon, and sugar in a large enough bowl.
2.  Boil the water and pour over the arrangement in the bowl.
3.  Steep for 10 minutes, then strain.
4.  Let cool, then refrigerate.

Enjoy chilled, any time of the day.  This is a great "anytime" beverage.
I enjoyed it with happy hour to accompany my Nocellara del Belice amazing olives, slices of cold juicy melon, and some homemade hummus and dipping paraphernalia.
I love the tartness of this drink. Although the restaurants serve it with lots of sugar, I like it better the way I make it at home, sugar free.  Many people find it too sour, but I prefer it this way.

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Monday, June 8, 2015

Chile Cumin Meatballs

So in case you were wondering, here is how I function:
While writing about one recipe, I may need to link back to a different one, which is a good way for me to reread or to just not forget some of my concoctions of the past.  This leads me into rediscovery mode and urges start sprouting up here and there.  I become fixated on making that fixation become reality and my mind races through all the delicious things I'll be preparing.
Then, at the last minute, while still fixating on the initial idea, I completely change directions and do a whole different thing and it ends up bringing out of me things I had forgotten.
This recipe is the different thing.
The other day, while I was going on and on about black cardamom and how it's crazy different from green cardamom, I searched for that one other time I had used it.  Chole Masala became my fixation and I prepared some chickpeas that I would let soak overnight.  Since that moment I've been hallucinating the taste of chickpeas cooked in a tea and spice broth with an almost smokey flavor all Indian style.  As I changed the chickpea soaking water, I imagined crushing one with my tongue and the roof of my mouth and letting its creamy goodness explode.
Up until the moment I placed them in my crockpot, I thought I was making Chole... and then I decided I wanted to make Lebanese style meatballs and have hummus on my plate.
I didn't actually search for this recipe.  I must have seen it peripherally while scrolling through my blog feed which had mostly Chinese recipes on it and my brain must have captured that one non-Asian recipe of the list and tricked me into soaking those chickpeas for this exact purpose.
Thank you brain, but I'm not completely forgetting about Chole, ok?
Adapted from Seamus Mullen via Lottie+Doof
Yields 27-30 meatballs
1 1/4 lb ground lamb (I used a mixture of veal and beef)
1/4 onion, minced
8 cloves garlic, grated
1 Tbsp parsley, chopped
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp sage
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 Tbsp kosher salt
1 tbsp rice flour
2-3 Tbsp olive oil to cook
1.  Mix together with your hands or a food processor.  I always use my hands..
 2.  Shape meatballs into 1 1/2 inch balls, then cook in olive oil until brown.  You may want to do this in batches.

Chile Sauce
3 dried pasilla chiles
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1 Tbsp cumin seeds
1/4 cup mix of red and white balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp paprika
1 clove garlic
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt to taste
1.  Dry roast the pasillas, cumin seeds, and crushed red pepper until fragrant, then grind.
2.  Blend everything together while streaming in the olive oil a little at a time.  You may not use all the oil.  Bring it to desired thickness.

Plate Assembly
Sexy Salad:
1 sliced cucumber
chopped mint and parsley
1/2 red onion, sliced
1 chopped tomato
1 1/2 cups shredded red cabbage
juice from 1 lime
drizzle olive oil
few cracks black pepper
feta (Gazi)
Additional Ingredients:
beaten yogurt stirred with 1 clove grated garlic to sit under the meatballs
red pepper flakes
hummus with extra virgin olive oil
That one on the far right is Falafel.. you mix your Mezze however you want, right?
Things I didn't do but would work well:
romaine lettuce and/or man'ouche for wrapping

These were as much a pleasure to eat as they were to conceive..

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Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Three-way Daal

No Indian meal is ever complete without daal.  This is an undisputed fact (in my house anyway).  Dal holds a precious place in my heart and stomach.  It is great as a side, a whole meal, hot, warm, cold, for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  It's true!  Sambar is pretty much daal and it is mostly eaten in the morning with idlis or dosas.  I love it not only because of it's varieties of participants along with their different tastes and textures, but also for all the nutritional power the little beans contain.  I ate a bowl of this dal for breakfast one morning and an hour later I wanted to make an obstacle course, run through it, and do push ups to no end.  Unfortunately I was at the office when this urge crept up on me, so I had to contain my energy and focus on my current projet.
This dal is a nice spin on an ordinary dal (does that even exist?  any dal I've ever made has been extraordinary) because of the blend.  It's like having 3 recipes in one!  The toor dal stays firm and gives texture to the dish.  It is also the most vegetable tasting dal.. probably because they are split peas and not really lentils.  For me, the toor dal stimulates the sides of my mouth.  The split urad dal becomes creamy and almost melts.  The urad stimulates the center of my tongue.  The split mung has a more subtle flavor, but provides the energy in the dish.  These stimulate my throat.  The mung is also essential to my diet because it balances out all the heat I take in through chiles.
I don't know how to explain, but each and every dal is appealing to a certain part of my mouth, tongue, throat, or stomach.  Sometimes the happy euphoric feeling happens as I am eating, other times it's 30 minutes later.  Either way, there is always some sort of euphoria associated with eating daal.. which is why it is always an integral part of my Indian works of art.
Serves 6-8
1/3 cup split mung, unhusked, rinsed thoroughly
1/3 cup toor dal, rinsed thoroughly
1/3 cup split urad dal, unhusked, rinsed thoroughly
4 cups water
1 bay leaf
1 tsp coarse sea salt
1 Tbsp oil
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 pinch hing (asafoetida)
1 onion, chopped
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp chile powder
tadka seasoning:
1 Tbsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 pinch hing (asafoetida)
1 sprig curry leaves
2 cloves garlic, grated
1 tsp ginger, grated
1 slit green chile
squeeze of lime
chopped cilantro
1.  Simmer the different daals in the water with the bay leaf and salt until almost tender, about 15 minutes.
2.  Heat the oil in a wok and add the turmeric and hing until they fizz, then add the onion and cook until soft.
3.  Add the cumin powder, garam masala, and chile powder an stir evenly.  Add this mixture to the simmering daal and cook for 5 minutes more or until tender.
4.  Make the tadka seasoning.  The the oil in a wok and add the cumin and mustard seeds until they sputter.  You should have this down to a science by now if you are a regular reader.
5.  Add the hing until it fizzes, then add the curry leaves, garlic, ginger, and green chile.  Cook, stirring until the raw aroma disappears, then add this seasoning to the simmering daal and stir.
6.  Let simmer a few more minutes, then remove from heat until ready to serve.

Garnish with a squeeze of lime and some chopped cilantro (which I didn't have this time).
I served it many ways.. one of which was in a thali with some Punjabi Chicken Curry and Paneer Korma.
I don't know which way I liked it best.  Each and every time I have daal leftovers, it is a distinct experience..

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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Punjabi Chicken and Cauliflower Curry

While looking through various chicken curry recipes, my heart stopped at this one.  The ingredient that spoke to me was Ms Black Cardamom.  Before actually holding one in my hands, I was persuaded that black and green cardamom were interchangeable, such as black and yellow mustard seeds, and that one was maybe a riper version of the other.  After buying them, I thought the black was the whole cardamom and the green was just the pod inside, much like when you buy whole nuts that you must shell to get to the good stuff.  As it turns out, the two are more like cousins.  They each come from a different variety of cardamom plants and have absolutely nothing in common taste-wise.    I've noticed it's more often used in Punjabi cuisine than any other type of Indian cuisine.  I've used it once before in Chole, but I didn't really grasp the distinct flavor of it then as I do now.  Ooh Chole!!  I shall be doing that again soon.
The black is slightly smokey and gives off a unique flavor after being simmered for some time.  It is unique, just as its green cousin is, but in a different world...
Serves 4 if served alone.
Inspired by IndianKhana.
300g (10.6oz) chicken (I used thigh meat)
300g (10.6oz) cauliflower florets
2 Tbsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/4 tsp hing (asafoetida)
2 tej patta (Indian bay leaves)
1 black cardamom
2 green cardamoms, crushed
4 cloves
1/2 inch piece cinnamon
3 onions, chopped
1 Tbsp grated ginger
1 Tbsp grated garlic
2 green chiles, slit
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp chile powder
2 tsp ground coriander
1 cup yogurt, beaten
1 cup water
1 tsp garam masala
salt to taste
1.  Heat the oil in a wok or heavy based pan.  Add the cumin and fennel seeds and cook until they sputter, about 30 seconds.
2.  Add the hing and wait for the fizz, then add the bay leaves, black and green cardamoms, cloves, and cinnamon.  There should be an interesting aroma wafting around you.
3.  Add the green chiles, onion, ginger, and garlic.  Cook until the onion softens and lightly browns, then add the chile and coriander powder and stir.
4.  Add in the chicken pieces and coat.  Cook 10-12 minutes on medium heat, stirring, then add the cauliflower florets.
5.  Add in the yogurt and let come to a simmer.  Cook this way until the oil starts to come to the top, about 5 minutes.
6.  Stir un the water and add a bit of salt if needed.  Bring to a boil and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 more minutes.
7.  Add the garam masala, stir, then cover and remove from heat.  Let sit so the flavors meld together. When ready to serve, place back onto the heat for a few minutes.

I served mine in a thali with Paneer Korma, Basmati Rice, and Three-way Daal.

This dish was a nice contrast to the creamy korma.  It would work well with just naan as well.  I loved the depth the black cardamom offered.  This type of cuisine takes my brain to a completely different level, where I turn inside out and enjoy the moment from within.

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