Saturday, March 23, 2013

Indian Cooking Class - Recipes

It's been impossible to find delicious yet affordable restaurants in Zürich. Cheap and tasty staples like Indian, Mexican, & Asian food are (1) very expensive (2) gross - when compared to NYC, Berlin, and I'm sure many other large cities. Although our small fridge limits the amount of leftovers I can store or freeze, I have been cooking much more than I did in the US. 

Once a year the American Women's Club in Zürich has a Workshop Week which is open to non-members. The club is organized by and for women who do not work 9 - 5. This year I was only able to sign up for an Indian cooking class. It was worth the CHF 50. My belly is full of delicious food and the recipes are not overwhelming. 

Our teacher said in India you don't eat out. You cook at home. Restaurants are said to have gross food. After having eaten home cooked Indian food a few times, I agree there is no comparison.

This is the one Indian store in Zürich where you can buy curry leaves, fenugreek leaves, whole spices like cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, and vermicelli, plus more I'm sure.
Aggarwals Mirch masala AG - Kernstrasse 27 - 8004 Zürich

Butter Chicken
Mix & marinade overnight:
- 1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken pieces
- 3 tbsp. coriander powder
- 1.5 tbsp. turmeric powder
- 1.5 tbsp. chili powder (optional) 
- salt to taste

Use enough sunflower oil so it's 0.25 inches deep in the pan. When the oil is hot, add the chicken and fry it on medium heat, turning it over, for ca. 10 min. When it's done, put the chicken in a dish, saving the oil in the pan.

Add a chunk of butter (2 tbsp) to the chicken grease, as well as some more sunflower oil. Add the following crushed spices and fry them for 2 min.:
- cardamon pods 
- pepper
- cloves 
- nutmeg skin
- cinnamon stick
- whole bay leaves

Add 3 chopped red onions and salt and fry them till the onions are golden. Then add a 1 inch chopped ginger and 1 large garlic clove. Add a handful of crushed cashew nuts. When onion starts to brown, add and then fry for 1 min. with some extra oil:
- 2 tsp. coriander powder
- 0.5 tsp. turmeric
- 0.5 tsp. chili powder (optional)
- 0.5 tsp. garam masala
- 1 tsp. bombay curry mix (for meat)

Add 1 can of Longobordi (brand name) pureed tomatoes. You can also add ketchup for extra sweetness. Add 1 tsp. of crushed fenugreek leaves. You can crush them in your palms. 

* You can use the same sauce but add it to boiled eggs vs. meat.

Puree the sauce in a blender or with a soup blender until it's pearly smooth paste. Add 1 cup of water to the paste and mix over heat. Add salt to taste. Add the chicken and bring it to a boil on low heat, for 15 - 20 min. You can also keep the chicken in the sauce for 3 - 4 hours and reheat it before eating. 

Now add ca. 20 ml. of full fat cream. 

Spicy Dal Fry
Soak 500 gr. "gelbe linsen" (yellow lentils) for 3 - 5 hrs. or overnight. Boil them on low for 1 hour. (Look up amount of water). At the end you will want to have the consistency of a paste. 

To make the curry, heat up some sunflower oil. Add and fry 0.5 tsp. brown mustard seeds to get the aroma out. Add fresh curry leaves (2 tbsp cut up), 2 dried red chillies, and 2 cut red onions. Lower heat and fry with salt. When onions are golden, add cut/crushed garlic (2 cloves) and cut ginger (1 inch). Then add 0.5 tsp. turmeric, 1 tsp. chili powder, 1 tsp. coriander powder, 0.5 tsp. garam masala, 1 tsp. curry for vegetables. Add more oil and cook 2 min. You can also add some water so it doesn't burn. Then add cut tomatoes OR spinach OR red beans. Can also add green/red chillies. Cook until the tomatoes are mushed. Add 1 tsp. of dried fenugreek leaves which you mash in your palms. Add a bunch of fresh cut coriander. Now add the daal (lentils) and more fresh coriander. You can also pressure cook this recipe.

Basmati Rice
Soak it 1 hr. beforehand. For each cup of rice you need bet. 1.5 - 2 cups of water. 

Melt butter and vegetable oil in a pot. Add cut fresh coriander, cut fresh mint leaves, cumin seeds, and then add the rice. Don't cook the rice too long or it will become sticky. You cook it on low heat with the cover on. Check on it now and then. If you have too much liquid, you can drain the rice after it's cooked.

Add butter in another pot and sunflower oil. Fry a white onion cut in strips. Add 0.5 cups crushed cashews and salt. Add a cut up garlic clove. When the onions are brown, add the rice and mix. It's done. 

Mix 1 cut red onion, fresh ginger, 2 cut red chillies (spicy alert), and cut up fresh curry leaves. *You can buy and freeze the curry leaves. They're hard to find in Zürich. Add salt. If the onion acid bothers your tummy, add vinegar and salt to the cut up onion and then drain the juice. Use the remaining onion.  Add 500 gr. of yogurt. You can add cut up tomatoes OR cucumber OR carrots. Add fresh cut coriander at the end. 

You buy them pre-made. You cook them in very hot oil for less than 30 seconds. They will curl up and become golden. You can store them in an air tight container for a week. 

Payasam: Vermicelli Desert
Melt butter in a pot. Add cut up cashews and crushed cardamom (only the round seeds). Add 3 fist fulls of vermicelli that you crush in your hands. They should be 1 - 0.5 inches long. Stir over heat and add more butter. Now add 500 ml milk. You can also add the remaining full fat cream if you like. Add sugar to sweeten the milk. The milk should not float - if it does, add more vermicelli. Add safron. Cook 10 min. over low heat. 

You eat the desert warm. 

No comments:

Post a Comment