Thursday, December 3, 2009

Swaagat hai! Welcome! and a Trip down memory lane...

After months and months of saying I was going to start a blog, I have finally decided to do it. I had a blog once, for about 5 or 6 years actually. It was around 2000 or so and they weren't quite popular yet. I was a teenager and it became some sort of theraputic outlet for me. Maybe this one will become the same.

I'll start with an introduction. My name is Shari, and I love to cook. Actually, I love to experiment. Once I find a recipe that works I seldom stick to that recipe. Once, I made Chicken Tikka Masala to perfection. Only once. Afterwards, I decided that since I've conquered it I could afford to improvise. It doesn't usually work. My unfortunate husband, Piyush ends up eating all sorts of wild, Indo-American creations. I call them the "Shari Specials". He doesn't complain though. No, he ne never complains, but he does critique. And between you and me, he is one hard critic.

Piyush is the one who taught me how to cook Indian food. He taught me Chicken Curry...and can you believe it, the first time I made it he told me I made better curry than he did. He may have been joking, but I took him seriously. I seldom ever use the recipe he taught me anymore, mostly because I like a little thicker gravy and he prefers a watery curry.

Look....Here is the very first time I ever learned to make curry, the photos are kind of silly, but they're all in good fun!  I'll also include a quick run-down of his recipe if you're interested.  There aren't really any measurements, and I guess with most of the things I cook there aren't.  I can guess, but really a lot of it depends on tasting your own food and deciding for yourself how spicey you like it.  I promise his curry tastes really good, I might even make it for him tomorrow as a surprise (with a few of my own special touches, of course!).

Piyush's Chicken Curry

First, heat some oil in a saucepan.  Pour some Cumin seeds in. 

That might be a lot of cumin, I'm not sure.  It's probably a tablespoon?  Let those heat in the oil until you hear them start to pop.  You don't want to let them sit unattended though, or else they will burn.  This will wreck the flavor of your entire dish.

This is the photo we took so that I would remember what ingredients to use to make the curry when I decided to try and make it myself.  Funny thing though, I never recall using the chicken curry masala...I don't even recall him using that.  ...weird.

Next Add 1 medium chopped onion.  Piyush prefers the purple ones.  Let the onion fry until it is translucent. Once it's at that point he likes to add his tomato sauce.  Piyush prefers Prego.  haha, I personally think the Italian seasonings mess with the Indian flavor, but he says it's easy.  If you would like you can use fresh tomatoes (as I do) or even just plain tomato sauce with a little tomato paste.
My hubby (then, boyfriend) chopping some chicken, I think.

After that simmers awhile (or once your fresh tomatoes break down and kind of turn to a mushy paste) you would add some ground corriander, turmeric, black pepper, garam masala, salt, cumin powder, ginger paste and garlic paste.

Now...add the chicken!   Stir and fry for a couple minutes and then add about 2 cups of water or maybe a little more, depending how watery you like your curry to be.

Let the curry sit on a medium-high heat for about 45 minutes or so, until the chicken is cooked through at least.  The longer it cooks, the better it will taste.

2 happy kids makin' some curry

...and that is a little about me, and how I learned to cook Indian food.

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