Indian Spicy Masala Porridge

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It’s been a busy start to the New Year! My other half and I decided it would be a good idea to begin 2016 by completing a job that had been collecting dust at the bottom of our “To Do” list for a little while. A task we had been putting off for months… redecorating the house. 

What followed were multiple trips to various DIY stores to pick everything from masking tape and sanding paper to paint brushes and light fittings. Annoyingly, we scrutinised over every detail. The combination of being indecisive and new to the situation did not help either. It also meant we learnt LOTS along the way. For example did you know that skirting board comes in more than one size – and that you should probably check you have the right size before cutting it. Who knew?! (Ps. If anyone needs some 14cm skirting board please holler… my shed will thank you). 

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If you have ever had work done in your home, you will know two things very well: 1) How disruptive it can be to your everyday routine… and… 2)How quickly dust becomes your arch enemy-it gets everywhere! We cleared most things into our guest room and kitchen which meant that cooking, was well… a royal pain in the bottom. It also meant that during that time, I often defaulted to cooking dishes that were stress free and quick and easy to make. That brings me to today’s recipe! (Excellent segue skills, I know). Spicy masala porridge is my go to dish when I’m craving something filling & comforting and it should be yours too. It also gets bonus points for only taking 10 minutes to make! It’s creamy & crunchy and topped with some mango pickle and plain yoghurt, it’s a real crowd pleaser. So much so that the dating website Match.com featured this recipe on their website! (Check it out here).

Ps. I am now very pleased to say that our decorating is now complete and we have now settled back into our fresher & somewhat newer looking, home (yay!). 

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Indian Spicy Masala Porridge
Serves 2
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup (240g) of porridge oats
  2. 1 tsp cumin seeds
  3. 2 ½ cups water
  4. 1/2 small onion, thinly sliced
  5. 1 tomato diced, diced into ½ cm pieces
  6. 1 small carrot, diced into ½ cm pieces
  7. 2 broccoli florets, cut into small chunks
  8. 1 green birds eye chilli, finely chopped (optional)
  9. 1tsp salt or according to taste
  10. ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  11. ¼ tsp paprika
  12. ¼ tsp garam masala
  13. 1/4 tsp amchur/mango powder (optional)
  14. handful fresh coriander, finely chopped
Instructions
  1. Heat a non-stick pan and add the porridge oats and cumin.
  2. Toast on medium heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring continuously.
  3. When you see the oats being to change colour and become slightly darker, add the water immediately.
  4. Increase the heat to high and add the onions, tomatoes, carrots, broccoli and chilli.
  5. Mix well. Now add salt, turmeric, paprika, garam masala and amchur.
  6. Allow the porridge to thicken and come to a boil. Reduce to medium heat and cook for a further 2 minutes.
  7. Sprinkle on fresh coriander and remove from heat.
  8. Enjoy on its own or with a dollop of yoghurt and mango pickle!
Monica's Spice Diary - Indian Food Blog http://spicediary.com/

Punjabi Chicken & Spinach Curry

curry

As the weather begins to cool, try out this hearty and spicy Punjabi chicken and spinach curry recipe. Disclaimer: Aromas from cooking this dish may result in random hungry neighbours knocking at your door (answer at your own risk).

Punjabi Chicken & Spinach Curry
Serves 2
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For the marinade
  1. 275g chicken breast, cut into 2” chunks
  2. 1 tbsp Greek yoghurt
  3. 1” ginger, grated
  4. 1/2 clove ginger, grated
  5. ½ tsp salt
For the masala
  1. 1 small white onion, peeled
  2. 2” ginger
  3. 1 clove garlic
  4. 3 tbsp olive oil
  5. 1 tsp cumin seeds
  6. 3” cinnamon stick
  7. 2 cloves
  8. 3 peppercorns
  9. 1 bay leaf
  10. 1 black cardamom
  11. 1 tsp salt
  12. 1 tsp garam masala
  13. ½ tsp paprika
  14. ½ tsp turmeric powder
  15. 2 tbsp chopped tomatoes & juice
  16. 2 tsp tomato puree
  17. ¼ cup fresh spinach leaves
  18. 1 green chilli
Instructions
  1. Turn your grill on or pre-heat your oven on the highest temperature
  2. Place all "marinade" ingredients into a bowl and mix together
  3. Place the marinated chicken on a foil lined oven tray. Grill or roast for 5-6 minutes until cooked (the chicken should be white all the way through once fully cooked)
  4. Remove from heat and cover with foil
  5. To make the masala, coarsely grind onions, ginger and garlic in a food processer
  6. Heat oil in a non stick pan. Once hot add the cumin alongside the cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns, bay leaf and black cardamom
  7. When they begin to sizzle in the oil, add the ground onion, ginger and garlic mixture. Add salt and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring continuously
  8. When they turn slightly golden, add the garam masala, paprika and turmeric powder and mix well. Now add the chopped tomatoes and tomato puree and mash into the masala.
  9. At this point, add the grilled chicken to the masala and mix together
  10. Using a food processor, grind together the spinach and green chilli. Now add this paste to the chicken masala.
  11. Add 1/4 cup of water and cook on high heat for 4-5 minutes
  12. Serve hot with delicious chapatis. Enjoy!
Monica's Spice Diary - Indian Food Blog http://spicediary.com/

Oven Baked Goan Chicken Curry

goan chicken curry

I have said it before and I’ll say it again-I love the vastness and diversity that Indian cookery has to offer! I’m constantly learning about new regional dishes which continue to broaden my culinary perspective on Indian cuisine. I feel so lucky to have lots of family who reside in India and I visit them as often as I can-and as much as I love catching up and staying with my loved ones (how can I not love staying with my Grandma won’t stop feeding me until I look “healthy”?), I always endeavour to do as much exploring and traveling as I can in my motherland. Recently I got the opportunity to visit Go-a wonderful, former Portuguese province, that fuses Eastern & Western culture into one state. A popular tourist destination, Goa is well known for its beaches, markets, history, spice plantations and most importantly its food! Today’s recipe is inspired by this spicy, fresh and flavoursome cuisine and features ingredients typically found in Goan dishes such as chilli, tamarind & fresh coconut. It’s oven baked which adds a lovely depth and richness to the dish making it perfect to be mopped up with hot fresh chappatis and a cold winter’s evening!

 

Serves 4

What we need:
1/2 kg boneless skinned chicken thighs cut into 2″ cubes
4 tbsp plain yoghurt
Juice from 1/2 lemon
4 tsp salt
2 tsp garam masala
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder
4 small potatoes, peeled and cut into 8 pieces (optional)
1″ cinnamon stick
1 black cardamom 
1 green cardamom
2 cloves
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 bay leaves
3 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, peeled & roughly chopped
1 green chilli
4″ ginger, peeled & roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/4 cup fresh coconut grated or 1/4 tin coconut milk
1 tsp tamarind paste (optional)
2 plum tomatoes and 3 tbsp tomato juice (from tin)
1 handful fresh coriander

How to:

  • Place chicken in a bowl and add 2 tbsp yoghurt, lemon juice, 2 tsp salt, 1 tsp garam masala and 1 tsp paprika. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  • Pre-heat oven at 220C (or the highest temperature your oven goes to). In the mean time, place the chicken and the potatoes in a deep roasting tray.
  • Once the oven is hot,  cook for approximately 15 minutes. Turn the chicken pieces over and cook for a remaining 10-12 minutes or until the chicken is cooked and white all the way through. Remove the chicken but keep the oven on.
  • In a food processor add the onions, green chilli, ginger and garlic and blitz until a coarse paste forms.
  • Heat the oil in a non stick pan. Once hot, add the cinnamon stick, black cardamom, green cardamom, cloves, cumin seeds & bay leaves. When they begin to splatter in the oil, add the coarse masala paste into the pan alongside 2 tsp salt and cook on medium heat for 3-5 minutes. When the masala turns slightly golden in colour, add the coconut and continue to cook for 5-7 minutes. Now add 1 tsp garam masala, 1 tsp paprika and the turmeric. Mix well for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the tamarind paste and plum tomatoes & mash well. Continue to cook for 3-4 minutes or until you see the oil begin to separate from the masala.  Now add the coriander. Check for salt and adjust accordingly.
  • Add the masala to the roasting tray containing the chicken and mix. Cover with foil.
  • Place in the tray back into the oven and cook for 12 minutes.
  • Garnish with fresh grated coconut & coriander. Serve with fresh chappatis or basmati rice.

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