Saturday, July 31, 2010

Cinema, Cuisine and Cocktail : "Om Shanti Om"

I haven't had the pleasure of watching "Om Shanti Om" yet, but it's currently on my Netflix queue and should be in my possession in a matter of weeks. Several of my bollywood-loving friends have assured me that I too will fall head-over-heels in love with it, and when I found out Shahrukh Khan (from one of my favorite Bollywood flicks, "Devdas") was in it, I didn't need much more persuasion.


Since my hubby-to-be and I love Indian food (In fact, some of my favorite memories of our time in Corning was eating at Thali of India on Market Street), I thought that this particular film would be a perfect candidate for a Cinema, Cuisine and Cocktail post.

Chicken Tikka Masala
Recipe Courtesy of Indian Food Forever

Ingredients:

Part A:
2 lbs. boneless chicken breast
1/4 cup yogurt
3 tsp minced ginger
3 tsp crushed garlic
1/4 tsp white pepper
1/4 tsp cumin powder
1/4 tsp mace
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp green cardamom powder
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp turmeric
3 tbsp lemon juice
4 tbsp vegetable oil
Melted margarine (for basting)

Part B:
5 oz. tomato paste
10 oz. tomato puree
2 lbs. tomatoes, chopped
2 tsp ginger paste
2 tsp garlic paste
2 tsp green chilies
1 tbsp red chili powder
2 tsp cloves
8 green cardamoms
Salt To Taste
3 tbsp butter
2/3 cup cream
1 tsp fenugreek
2 tsp ginger, julienned
honey to taste

Preparation:

Whisk all of the ingredients in Part A together in a large bowl. Add the chicken breast, cut into 2 inch cubes.

Marinate overnight in the refrigerator. Preheat oven to 350º F. Bake the chicken for 8 minutes, basting with margarine twice. Drain excess marinade and bake for another 2 minutes.

While doing this, make the sauce in Part B. Deseed and chop green chilies. Put tomatoes, tomato paste and tomato puree in a pot and add approximately 4-1/4 cups of water.

Add ginger and garlic paste, green chilies, red chili powder, cloves, cardamoms, and salt. Cook over low heat until reduced to a thick sauce. Strain through a strainer and bring to a boil. Add butter and cream. Stir.

If the sauce tastes sour, add honey to taste. Add fenugreek and ginger juliennes, stir, and serve with the chicken tikka masala

Palak Paneer

Recipe Courtesy of AllRecipes.com

Ingredients

6 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger root
2 dried red chile peppers
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
3/4 cup sour cream
3 pounds fresh spinach, torn
1 large tomato, quartered
4 sprigs fresh cilantro leaves
8 ounces paneer (you can use ricotta cheese as an alternative)
coarse sea salt to taste

Directions

In a large saucepan heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil and saute garlic, 1/2 tablespoon of ginger, red chilies (optional ingredient) and onion until brown. Mix in the cumin, coriander, turmeric and sour cream (add more or less to achieve desired creaminess). Add the spinach, handfuls at a time until it is cooked down, about 15 minutes total. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

Pour spinach mixture into a blender or food processor and add the tomato, the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of ginger, and cilantro (add more or less according to taste). Blend for 15 to 30 seconds, or until the spinach is finely chopped. Pour back into the saucepan and keep warm over low heat.

In a medium frying pan heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat, and fry cheese until browned; drain and add to spinach. Cook for 10 minutes on low heat. Season with salt to taste.

Naan
Recipe Courtesy of Indian Food About.com

Ingredients:

1 1/2 tsps dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1 1/2 tsps sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
6 tbsps ghee (clarified butter)
3 tbsps yoghurt
3 teaspoons onion seeds

Preparation:

Add the dry yeast and sugar to the warm water and stir till the yeast is dissolved. Cover and leave aside for 10 minutes or until the mixture begins to froth. This indicates the yeast is active. Keep aside.

Mix the flour and salt to taste and sift through a very fine seive. Put it into a large mixing bowl and now add the yeast mixture, 3 tbsps of ghee and all the yogurt.

Use your fingertips to mix all this into a soft dough. Once mixed, flour a clean, flat surface (like your kitchen counter) and knead the dough till it is smooth and stretchy (elastic).
Grease a large bowl with a few drops of cooking oil and put the dough in it. Cover and allow to rest for about 90 minutes or till the dough doubles in volume.

Punch the dough down and knead again for 10 minutes.

Equally divide the dough and roll between your palms to form 8 round balls.

Lightly flour the same surface on which you kneaded the dough and roll out each ball until you have a circle, 7-8 inches in diameter (1/2 "thick). Gently pull on one edge of the circle to form the Naan into a teardrop shape. Do not pull too hard or you may tear the Naan. Instead of rolling the dough out (with a rolling pin) you can also pat it into a circle with your hands.
Preheat your oven 200 C/ 400 F or Gas Mark 6.

Lay a piece of aluminum foil in an oven tray (to cover) and grease it lightly with a few drops of cooking oil.

Place as many Naans as will fit without touching each other, on the tray.

Brush each Naan with some ghee and sprinkle a pinch of onion seeds all over its surface.

Put the tray into the oven and cook till the Naan begins to puff out and get lightly brown. Flip the Naan and repeat.

Remove from oven and serve hot in a foil-lined basket.

Mango Lassi Cocktail

Recipe Courtesy of Sandra Lee, FoodNetwork.com

Ingredients:

1 cup fresh pre-cut or canned mango
1 cup non-fat vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup mango nectar
1 cup vanilla vodka
Ice

Put all ingredients in a blender and whir until frothy. Serve.

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