A blog of hopeful, inspired living: cooking & baking & growing & harvesting & preserving & gleaning & eating & sharing food... while bringing positive change to my kitchen and our food system.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Chicken Tikka Masala

Continuing on my Indian food and memory kick, I made Bill's favorite Indian meal: Chicken Tikka Masala.  It is debated whether this is a true Indian dish.  If it is, it was invented within the last 50 years.  Some people believe (strongly) that it was invented in London or Glasgow.  A survey conducted in the U.K. concluded that chicken tikka masala is the country's most popular restaurant dish.  Whether it is authentic or not, it is a delicious marriage of fragrant Indian spices and tomatoes (still have some canned from last summer?) in a creamy sauce.    

Sunday, April 3, 2011


I have a pile of cookbooks, journals, food magazines and recipe-related newspaper articles piled high on the coffee table right now.  With a day off I had a chance to go through them.  I didn't make it far.  For my birthday last month I got Pushpesh Pant's, India: The Cookbook.  I ended up reading this one cookbook my entire day off.  This is one incredible, 816 page encyclopedia of 1000 Indian recipes from all over the 1,269,219 square mile country.

I spent hours of pouring over everything from Kamala Phoolkopi (Cauliflower with Oranges) to Tulasi Sherbet (Sweet Basil Seed Sherbet) to Karipatta Chutney (Curry Leaf Chutney).  Inspired, I took a break and went down to my storage shed.  I rifled around for a while until I found a personal journal from the winter of 2001/02 that I spent in India.  I worked for a fabulous organization, Shikshantar, in Rajasthan.  Every day at lunch we would gather for a home cooked meal.  I took notes on the cooking procedures when I could: hand scratched notes of approximations as fragrant Indian spices, lentils, vegetables and herbs came together to form each delicious concoction.  Spicy stuffed baby eggplants, tamarind sauce, cilantro chutney, flattened rice snack, palak paneer (spinach and cheese), homemade yogurt, spiced tea.