I love ethnic dance, food and culture. And I was lucky enough to make friends with an incredible woman, ‘Aparna‘ at my dance studio. She is a private chef, cooking instructor and Ayurvedic lifestyle coach – Of course, I showed up in her next cooking class. I’ve never been to India ( the only indian dish I know is from the restaurants ) so I was super excited to see what homemade ‘real’ indian food is like. And I made what I learned at home!!! Now I can proudly say I cooked ‘real’ indian food. This curry is not thick and creamy..it’s supposed to be runny and liquidy. I probably had this for dinner for the next 3 days…eh I confess…on the 4th day, I scrapped the bottom of my tupperware….gosh I mean, it even tastes better as the day goes by! Now I’m out of my indian food, I’m going to have to make another batch of Aparna’s amazing food from her cook book and stock up my fridge!! (Check out her website, facebook, and if you are in santa barbara, please join her cooking classes, workshops. Also check out her cook book: has amazing vegan recipes!!!)
Ok, now let’s make onion chutney first!
1 teaspoon oil
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
2 teaspoon urad dal (divided)
2 medium onions coarsely chopped
2 Thai chilies
one 1/2 inch piece of tamarind
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground fenugreek
1. Heat the oil in a skillet and add the mustard seeds. Place a lid on the skillet and allow the seeds to pop. When they stop popping, add 1 tsp of the urad dal. Cook for 45 seconds and keep aside.
2. In another skillet, heat another tablespoon of oil and add the onions, the remaining tsp of urad dal and chilies and fry on medium heat till it turns golden brown. It is important that you don’t cook the onions on high heat. Otherwise, you will have a raw taste in your chutney.
3. Soak the tamarind in 3 Tablespoon hot water and keep aside for 4-5 mins. Next, squeeze the tamarind and get all the pulp you can. Discard the seeds and fibers. When the onions are cooked, place them in a blender along with the tamarind, salt, funugreek and sugar and blend to a find paste. Transfer the chutney to a bowl, add the popped mustard seeds and mix well. Serve at room temperature.
Chutney done! Now let’s make green curry!
:: Spicy green chicken curry ::
4-6 tbsp oil
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 large onions thinly slice
2 tbsp grated ginger and garlic
1 1/2 tsp tumeric
3 lb bone-in chicken cut up into small pieces (Marinate in plain yogurt and a pinch of turmeric for a few hours or overnight)
For the sauce :: 1 big bunch cilantro, 1 bunch of mint leaves only, 4 cloves, 1 thai chilies, 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder, 1/2 cup water, salt to taste.
1. Heat oil in a large pot and add cumin seeds. Fry it for about 40 seconds and add the onions. Cook in high heat for about 3-4 mins. (translucent, not brown). Turn down the heat and cook on medium heat for about 10 mins. Add ginger and garlic, cook for 4-5 mins. Now add turmeric and chicken (salt and pepper the chicken please before adding) and turn the heat up to high for about 3 mins.
2. Make the sauce : place all the sauce ingredients in the blender and grind to a smooth paste. And add it to the chicken. Mix well to coat the chicken pieces in the sauce. Place a tight-fitting lid and cook on medium low heat for 30 mins. Cooking the curry on low heat is essential for making sure the chicken is very tender.
* I added chicken for my husband and I enjoyed it without chicken. Feel free to add some chopped spinach for vegetarian version!
Now time to make cumin scented Bastami Rice to go with curry and chutney….
:: Perfect cumin rice ::
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 medium onion thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups of white Basmati rice
1 tsp salt
2 3/4 cups water
1. Wash the rice in three change of water. Drain completely and keep aside.
2. Heat the oil in a medium sized pot and add the oil and cumin seeds. When the cumin seeds sizzle, add the onions and cook on medium heat till they turn light brown.
3. Now add the washed and drained rice and salt and stir fry gently for about 2-3 mins. Add the water and bring to a rapid boil.