Tag Archives: Dinner

Chana Masala

I think it’s pretty funny how I never really enjoyed eating or making Indian food when I lived in BC.  Now, since I can get any decent ‘ethnic’ meal in a restaurant out here, I crave it, and absolutely enjoy creating dishes for my friends and family.  One of my favourite things to make is Chana Masala, or curried chickpeas. 1) because they’re so easy to make and 2) they taste amazing >|with practically anything!

You can use canned chickpeas if you don’t have dried ones, just omit the step where you boil them until tender

Chana Masala

For the dried chickpeas

3 cups dried chickpeas.  Soak in 6 cups of water with 2 tea bags over night

When you’re ready to make them the next day:

Pour the soaked chickpeas into a saucepan, leave in the tea bags for now.  Add in some extra water to just cover the top of the chickpeas.  Boil over medium-high heat, adding more water as desired.

1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small green chili, or ½ tsp red chili powder (adjust to taste)
5 Tbsp Garam Masala (don’t be afraid to make some of these heaping)
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 tbsp Tumeric
1 tsp ground cumin (optional)
3 Tbsp oil or butter
1tsp black pepper
Salt to taste

Heat oil in a frying pan over med-high heat and add the onions, cook down for about two minutes and then add the garlic; cook until onions are translucent.

Add in everything else listed except for the chopped tomato.  Cook the onion and spice mixture for another three minutes, and then add in the tomatoes.  Cook for an additional 10 minutes on medium-low heat

Add the masala mixture to the chickpeas and give it a stir, keep cooking until the chickpeas are done.

**If you are using canned chickpeas, rinse and drain them and wait until the masala mix is cooked before you pour everthing in a pot and add as much water as you’d like, add in two tea bags and cook for approximately ten minutes.  Adjust the salt and heat as needed.

Serve over rice, with samosas, with roti or eat on their own.


Tandoori Chicken & Curried Couscous

So, like I predicted yesterday, I didn’t get a chance to update everything I wanted, I was tempted with chicken wings (Deep fried! AHHH) and mussels…how could a girl resist?  Well…resist is exactly what I should have done;  Me and deep-fried food have never gotten along, ever, so I woke up this morning with the most excruciating stomach ache I’ve ever had, I couldn’t even stand up straight! WHAT!?  I had to cancel my farm plans (boo!) and stayed in bed until I could breathe normally and my gut wasn’t all angry and knotted up.  I feel better now, but damn, what an intense pain!  No more fried food, ever.  I should have listened to myself; lesson learned.

Onwards! Life goes on, and yadda yadda.  Back to the food; recently I got a really great deal on chicken legs and thighs at the grocery store, so I stocked up and shoved a lot of the packs in the freezer.  One thing I love, is getting mail, especially care packages from back home.  Recently we received one from the in-laws, so great! Curtains (yay!  There are no Indian fabric stores out here, or none that I’ve found yet, so buying fabric for simple things around the house is a pain in the wallet), chocolate, and tandoori masala…mmmm.
Obviously I decided to make tandoori chicken since I haven’t had any since I got married last October! It’s best to let the chicken marinate overnight, but if you must have it right away, a couple of hours will do.  I paired this with masala couscous and some steamed green beans sautéed in some butter and garlic.

Tandoori Marinade

2 Tbsp Greek yogurt
2 tsp tandoori powder
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground coriander
1 small onion diced finely
1” piece of ginger grated
1-2 garlic cloves finely chopped
1 Tbsp lime juice
*I used about 8 skinless, bone-in chicken legs

Mix all ingredients together and add chicken, store in airtight container or in a freezer bag and refrigerate overnight or for at least 2 hours.  When you’re ready to eat, just grill on the BBQ or stick it in the oven at 350 until no longer pink on the inside. (*Note, tandoori chicken tastes BEST when it’s done on the grill*)

Masala Couscous

The best couscous to water/liquid ratio that I’ve found is one cup of couscous to 1 ¼ cups of liquid.
I always make extra couscous because I like having it the next day as a small snack or I add it to a salad.

2 cups couscous
2 ½ cups low sodium chicken/beef stock or water
2 Tbsp coconut oil (or any vegetable oil)
1 small onion chopped
1 clove of garlic
2-3 heaping teaspoons of garam masala
½ tsp turmeric
1 tomato chopped small
¼ tsp red chili powder
½ green chili
Salt to taste

  1. In a medium saucepan bring chicken stock to a boil, add couscous, remove from heat, cover and let sit for 5 minutes
  2. In a medium frying pan, heat oil over medium-high heat, add onions and garlic, cook until onions are translucent, approx. 4 minutes
  3. Reduce heat to medium and add in the tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes
  4. Add in the turmeric, salt, and garam masala and cook for approx. 8-10 minutes until you can ‘smush’ the tomatoes and the whole mix is paste-like
  5. Fluff the couscous and add to the masala mix, taste and adjust the seasonings, serve with the tandoori chicken and a side of garlic green beans.


Aloo Paratha

Weekend breakfasts at my mom’s house were always ones worth waking up on time for. My all time favourite was “aloo anday” essentially, potatoes and eggs. I think it was a Quesnel thing; actually, I’m almost 100% sure it is a Quesnel thing. You make hashbrowns, that’s right, no packaged crap here, with onions and garlic, and then when they are forkish tender you crack a bunch of eggs on top, and cook until the whites are no longer runny. Serve up with some Heinz canned beans (yup, this foodie goes wild for that canned goodness), toast and OJ, OH MAMA! I’m drooling now just thinking about it.

With all that being said, this blog post is not for that dish, haha. It’s actually for my second favourite breakfast, aloo paratha; potato filled Indian flatbread. Serve these hot, smeared with butter and with buttermilk, or, scrap the butter (nooooo) and serve up with some mango pickle. Whichever way you choose to eat these, you’ll be sure to love them as much as we do.

Aloo Paratha

Potato Filling

6 potatoes
1 medium onion, diced
2 Tbsp oil (we use coconut oil)
1 tsp Jeera (Cumin seed)
½ green chili, chopped or
½ tsp of red chili (omit all together if you don’t like spice, or add as much as you want)
Salt to taste
2-3 heaping Tbsp Garam Masala

Dough:

2 cups duram atta flour (available at any South Asian grocery store. See photo below)
Water
1 tsp oil

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Filling Directions

Boil the potatoes until fork tender, let them cool slightly, peel and set aside

Over medium heat, add oil to a large frying pan, add the jeera and toast slightly (about 30 seconds), add in the onions (and green chili if using) and cook until translucent. Once onions are cooked, add in the red chili, garam masala and salt, cook for another 2-3 minutes. Turn off heat and set aside.

Mash the peeled potatoes and add the onion mixture. Mix well until everything is combined, adjust the salt/chili to your preference now if not enough.

Dough Directions

In a medium sized mixing bowl, measure out the flour

Add a small amount of water at a time, mix with your hands as you’re adding it in, you want the dough to just come together; if you add too much water, just add a bit more flour until it feels almost like pizza dough. Knead for about a minute, cover the ball with a tsp of oil and set aside.

Putting it all together!

Have a small bowl with oil nearby, or, if you’re being bad, melted vegetable shortening.

Heat a flat cast iron pan over medium-high heat, or you can use a pancake pan, or any pan for that matter with low sides

Make a small ball of dough (approx 2 inches high and across – no need to be exact, the size of your ball just determines the size of the finished paratha)

Roll out the dough until it’s about the size of a small plate (keep your surface lightly floured throughout the whole process so the dough doesn’t stick)

dough ball; rolled out dough

Take some of the potato filling, shape into a ball, and place in the middle of the dough

Filling goes in...

Bring the edges of the dough up and over the filling, squish it together at the top and give it a little twist to secure it

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Carefully twist and press the filled dough down into a flat disc

filled

Start rolling out the dough. Here’s what I do:

Roll one side about three times, lift, flour the surface, flip to the other side, roll again a few more times, continue until the dough is about 1/8 of an inch thick.

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ImageLift the parauntha and place onto the hot pan, let cook for about 1-1 ½ minutes and then flip, oil the cooked side and after another 1-1 ½ flip again and oil that side. Cook again for the same amount of time, flip, oil, do it once more and your parauntha should be ready, if not, cook a bit longer on each side but don’t oil anymore (unless you want to).

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Place in a plate on top of a piece of paper towel, make as many as you’d like (the filling and dough will keep in the refrigerator for a few days.

Eat as they are, or serve with buttermilk; sour cream; butter; mango pickle, or anything pickled for that matter. My favourite is pickled lemon…mmmmm.

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Slow Cooker Pulled Beef Sandwiches

I am so fortunate to have been blessed with some amazing friends, seriously, I consider myself to be a very lucky lady. I’m even more lucky to have friends who can cook, or in this case, a friend’s awesome boyfriend that can cook! I’ll refer to them as Mr. D and Ms. N, they had me over before I moved out East, and Mr. D made these amazing Pulled Beef sandwiches and Ms. N made this intensely seductive chocolate cake (which I’ll post soon), ever since then, me and mine have been making these at least once a month. The best part? You put the meat in the slow cooker and pull it out (literally and figuratively) in the evening when you’re ready for dinner! You MUST try this; it will blow your mind.

Slow Cooker Pulled Beef

1 Tbsp Canola oil or olive oil for searing
1 eye of round or top round beef roast
2 onions, halved and thinly sliced
1 ½ cups beef stock
1 ½ cups Barbecue sauce
2 Tbsp Brown sugar
2 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp Grainy mustard
A few cloves of garlic, crushed
Hot pepper flakes to taste
1 tsp pepper

  1. Heat oil in frying pan over medium-high heat, sear both sides of beef
  2. Add all remaining ingredients into the slow cooker
  3. Add beef
  4. Cook for 8-10 hours on low

That’s it! We serve it on hamburger buns with mixed greens, mayo, cheese and Dijon mustard (yes, in the photo above I jammed some plain ruffled potato chips in there as well, heh). Sometimes I just put it on top of a salad or in my eggs in the morning. Delish.