Sunday, February 12, 2017

Spinach rotis/chapatis(Indian flatbread)

Seriously, I ponder about way too many offbeat things. A range of thoughts that can take me hours to recover from, sometimes never wanting to leave. Things that might have you wonder, as it does me, could it just be the results of my overwhelmed/ overworked mind(?) or maybe it's supposed to be that way. I fear on confessing this utterly random headstuff, you may not want to be friends with me again.
And that should never ever happen. Right?

With that said, I'll also mention most of these intentional broodings revolve around food. 

Perhaps now is when I should stop. 

You know, finding recipes and making things that interest my palate are not too difficult a task. The only condition that could have me not sharing would be an interest threshold unmatching yours. Like that bar of chocolate I melted yesterday and poured over my bread, with at least 6 slivers of banana (awesome!) fascinated me no end. I can see how it wouldn't appeal to the general recipe-seeking public.  It's then I believe I should always cede to your likes and demands, though sure can say the three part snack I just gave you is stupendous.

I have them, those peculiarly creative moods, where constant gray days demand bouts of chromatic pop. You've seen how I like to paint my food. It's a nostalgia that stems from grade school, the smell of crayons and playdo that I ate drew with, sentimenting that just doesn't leave you no matter how old you are.

Not that we're using crayons on food. This is where the strange cogitative mindstate I mentioned above shows me I need to color my rice, my dessertsmaybe, even my life.  Really, who wouldn't want to see a rainbow on their plate?

These here are chapatis. Chapatis (chup-aah-thees). What are they? Well, let me educate you, friend, real quick, if you've never encountered Indian food and the thing most normally seen as bread for the entire subcontinent. In loftier parts of the country they're known as rotis and can sometimes be what entire households fixate their meals on. They are made of a fine milled wheat flour, not similar to the horsefeed, some wholewheat often tastes and looks like. Mixed with liquid and kneaded to a soft dough, rotis/chapatis are rolled flat and cooked on a griddle with marginal(in my case plentiful) fat, sometimes not.

Chapatis compensate for the rice/ potatoes, even chewy bread that fill out the richer Western meal.  In actuality, rather than being a mere side, a stack of rotis are main spread on curry splashed plates. They provide a carb source much more nutrient dense than you really want to believe, which could be reason for the thousands of tons of wheat consumed in the world's second most crowded country. That, people, is something to laud. And perhaps model ourselves.

So are chapatis green? No. They are usually the color of wheat. But this is my recipe and if I wish to make them look like superhero skin on fleek, so be it.

They say we eat with our eyes. I did not know, because up until publishing recipes and clicking decently aesthetic pictures of the same, I really did believe my mouth did all the work. Honestly, I like it that way.

However, I do understand that a visually appealing plate of food would make someone with no appetite turn into a wolf... from experience ...hmm(?) Maybe.

The almost neon color is a result of a generous blender yielding me a bountiful supply of leaf-hue pulp to make it so. Fortified with as much as two cups spinach(I use the 16 oz frozen pack) just enough cilantro and a single green chili pepper atta-flour becomes an official foliage-like dough. A task that's actually an easy feat and way better than any smoothie bowl you decided to try this week. Who likes those anyway? 

So-called righteous roti pundits may claim I ruined a beloved staple. That simply cannot be true.  There are several frozen varieties filled and flavored with everything from cheese to pineapple.  Can't you see then I'm only contributing to the innumerable stunning ways to roll roti ?

These have been made in my kitchen quite a lot, with varying levels of leaf dye that sometimes make shades of green slightly unpredictable, but never short of utterly delicious. 

Finally, the below meal can be an archetype of what you place on your tables tonight. A pairing so astounding that it finds place on your weekly supper rotations and may never ever decide leave.

It is terribly hard to mess this up. And if you do, you can blame the two machines, a rolling pin and possibly the skillet for any wrong that could be. Since they do most of the work, I mean.

  • 1 ½ cups chopped frozen spinach, lightly thawed
  • 4-5 sprigs cilantro, chopped
  • 1 serrano pepper ( Indian green chili), chopped 
  • salt
  • water, if needed
  • 1 ½ cups finely ground wholewheat flour(Indian atta flour), plus more to knead
  • 3 tbsp olive oil or any cooking oil
  • salt
  • water
  • In a blender or mixer, process spinach, cilantro, pepper, salt to a smooth puree.
  • Add in only enough water for it to reach a thickish liquid consistency.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer using knead attachment or bowl of food processor, add green puree and upto 1 cup wheat flour, oil salt. Knead in machine till smooth dough turns out, sifting in additional flour, pouring in sufficient water for mixture to be elastic and pliable.
  • Take dough out on work surface and knead gently a few more times. At this stage it should be smooth and shiny. Cover with a damp clean kitchen towel 10-15 minutes.
  • Divide dough into 1- 2" balls. Roll out one and leave the rest covered.
  • Have a flat top pan or griddle heated to medium on stove. Place rolled out round onto skillet.
  • Heat on both sides, brushing with additional oil if needed(or butter:-) till cooked / burnished with brown spots on both sides.
  • Repeat with remaining balls.
  • These rotis/ chapatis make for an awesome meal with a magnificent accompaniment, such as this or this, this or this.. However, seved with nothing but a few smears of butter alone is also ridiculously epic.
Alternatively, if you need that arm muscle workout, something I definitely qualify for, yet have no desire to  fulfill, by all means use your hands to knead, pull and roll.

The story of Joseph in the OT(Genesis 37-50)❤️God had a divine purpose for Joseph and throughout the oft saddening events of his life, Joseph always kept his eyes on God. And in the end, we come to understand that intended evil can definitely become eventual good, in, by and through His sovereign hands.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Tandoori chicken salad with mint garlic buttermilk dressing

Just sitting here wasting hours on end wondering what the 2017 pilot feature of my here space(which is 5 years old, btw!) should look like had me delay it by more than a week. As you can see, I did decide to jump on the overtold, overused healthy resolution theme, much  similar to what I did same time, last year.  And we saw that to be a success. Right?

Taking that very reason into consideration, a quintessential January post should never run into February, where the internet will soon be flooded with pink, chocolate and edible hearts that obliterate any decent recipe demanding attention. So, it is important I rush this out the door. Today. Because the pictures taken two weeks ago are getting old. Even still, these first paragraphs I can't seem to end anytime soon.  It might be a record break, but I'm going to attempt the next ten sentences in less than an hour...maybe two..or even three. Really, who's keeping count?

I do not like resolutioning. Why do you need to tidy up eating habits, when it took all your time on earth to create the food lifestyle everyone desires to have? As many of you know, I can sometimes be that health/fitness/nutritive heathen, especially when it comes to committing my life solely to moderate and slim eating which, by the way, is truly counter intuitive to my very being. I believe healthful consumption (don't quote me on this) can also and not only be limited to slathers of butter and dashes of cream, well endowed bread, ghee laden casseroles and gloriously decked cakes. Much more than I have time to pen.

Really, though the whole spectrum of what I eat can never ever be an ending tale. It goes on. Just as the pages of this online recipe portfolio expand. Food experiences and their preparation can always be made and kept interesting. For the tastebuds. The tummy. The mind. Your existence. Hence, my theorem and guide to wellness and sanity, which I really can write an entire book on, but, then, that's a track for later, because you so need to hear this recipe.

Here is that invitation... to a salad which intrigues far more than any other food group has ever attempted. Moreover, it carries a cool factor that makes it unbelievably healthy in such a way. And by such a way, I mean the number of fusion flavors that commingle and produce a mad stunning plate of green. It is the canvas of garden contrasted with lean protein flavored better than your skinny thinking mind could ever imagine.

Tandoori chicken will just about up any salad ante. And while I've recorded here in detailed elaborateness, I did tailor this ingredient list to aid in speedy assembly, yet, still maintain pieces that scream loud enough mise en scene. Crunchy bites of bright red mini tomatoes and mellow from the avocado add adequate lift into a brilliant, right flavor direction.

The yogurt dressing is not an afterthought. It adds sufficient drama to have you actually believe you are eating at a grand Indian table as opposed to, maybe, a blah package of mixed greens(which, for sure, you shouldn't be doing). Moreover, you could enhance the same dressing with a sprinkle of Madras curry powder, a pinch of cayenne, maybe bring in a naan or two, evening out the whole show to a well rounded dinner setting.

In all definiteness, this take on Magnificence will own your tastebuds. Not because it can go into a pure eating guru's recipe file. It is one of those things you should experience and will most surely benefit from. Further, you need to hear the tried testimony of a few good people, in particular, the teenager who shuns edible grass and slams any sort of vegetable that lands in her plate. It's with this almost-adult where I saw the impossible happen, all twenty times. With not a sigh of hesitation, not even an eye roll, and second servings taken , she was fascinated enough to lick the plate clean. But, we shall keep that between us. Since maintaining adolescent integrity is topmost on my list of priorities these days.

There you go. The meal that mimics a fine Indian dhaba. And a salad you'll want to spend the rest of your life with. Happy healthful 2017.
Halfway through this very first month of a New Twelve has me naturally think it could be rather unneedful to exchange pleasantries and greetings. Still, I sense a conscience driven pull to bide and wish. So, before you decide I'm an inconsiderate ape who wants you just read her random unscheduled, uncoordinated scripts which are usually put together in throes of madness....I do...wish you...
A joyous and abundant year. All hopes that it be filled in overflow with fun, family, friends and, no doubt, fabulous food.

For the salad~
  • ½ cup yogurt
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 2 tbsp ground garlic
  • 1 serrano pepper, minced finely
  • 1-2 tsp cayenne pepper or Indian red chili powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes
  • 1 english cucumber sliced thin
  • 2-3 avocado diced
  • juice of half lemon
  • salt, as required 
For the dressing~
  • 2-3 sprigs mint 
  • ½ tsp ground garlic
  • juice of half lemon 
  • 1 cup fat free plain yogurt
  • 2-3 tbsp mayonnaise(optional)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • ½ tsp sesame seeds(optional)
For the salad~
  • Combine yogurt ginger, garlic, serrano, cayanne, garam masala, salt and pepper in a large bowl.
  • Add chicken and coat with the above ingredients. 
  • Cover and chill. Keep for 30 minutes upto one hour.
  • Make dressing(below)
  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Take chicken out of refrigerator. Bake for 20 minutes.
  • Turn chicken over and bake for another 20-25 minutes until juices run clear.
  • Keep chicken aside. 
  • In a large bowl, combine spinach, tomatoes, cucumber.
  • When chicken is cooled, slice and place over or toss with vegetables.
  • Stir together avocado and lemon juice. Sprinkle salt if required. Add to salad.
For the dressing~
  • Throw in the all ingredients from mint to pepper, leaving out sesame seeds, into a food processor or blender and blend till combined. Add upto 1/4 water to create the desired consistency for dressing.
  • Mix in sesame seeds.
  • Add to salad when serving.
Grind ginger and garlic in an electric mixer/ mini food processor or even with a mortar and pestle. You can also sub in powdered to timesave.
Adjust any or all spice to your liking for the chicken marinade. We inherently like to breathe heat, so have twice the amount of some of those beautifully colored powders:-)

This. Deemed to debut on Friday the 13th, though that's a thing that hardly fazes me. Instead, procrastination and a hyper busy weekend( it was take-down-Cmastree weekend:)) has the salad dialogue reach you the Monday after, which whether you believe, in luck, providence or not, should set off any qualms on the verity of my words and the magnificence of the late-out-the-door compilation. 
Yay!! BKMK is 5 years old. Thinking it through, I find no logical explanation for how a slacker, such as myself, could keep it going this long. Thank you for your page visits, your likings or just coming by to pay me a visit. Hopefully 2017 will show me greater ways to surprise you (why, just being here does that, right?:)) and bigger, badder, more epics recipes to lay at your doorsteps.

Where tandoori has also starred~
"God never wastes a hurt." Christine Caine
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God."2 Corinthians 1:3-4