Food Recipes Tried

2021 Project May :: Chana Masala

You thought I forgot to make the May Bon Appetit meal, didn’t you?

If you’re new here, I am currently working on a project where I make one meal per month from that month’s issue of Bon Appetit. I started this in January, if you want to go back to the beginning, here you go!

This month I chose the Chana Masala. I love Indian food, but I’m never really great at making it. It turns out good, but it’s never as good as restaurants’ Indian food. So I wanted to try this.

Chana Masala Ingredients

I made this May 27, 2021 for lunch. It was super easy, and tasty. However, I might have used too much cayenne. It was really hot! I halved the recipe since I only had one can of chickpeas and I knew I didn’t need 4 servings. I’m the only one who likes vegetarian dishes in this household.

Chana Masala

I didn’t have the coriander and cumin in seed form, just ground, so I skipped the step where you toast the seeds and then grind them. I hope the spices were toasted before ground and packaged. But even if they weren’t, it had great flavor.

Chana Masala
This was just before I started simmering it.

So other than that, I followed the recipe except I added spinach at the end for some color and vitamins. Here’s where I went rouge and added spinach.

Chana Masala almost done
This was after about 40 minutes of simmering. Just before adding cornstarch slurry.

I don’t know why it’s not as dark as the photo. It started out pretty dark but by the time it was done it was pretty yellow.

Chana Masala finished

Different lighting. Still not as dark as the photo.

Chana Masala finished

The garlic, onion, tomatoes, ginger, and maybe the rice (I’m not sure) were all from Imperfect Foods. Use my link and get $10 off your first box. Full disclosure, I get $10 too.

Food Meal kits Recipes Mine

Recipe :: Indian-Spiced Chicken with Brown Rice

This was a Plated dish called Indian-Spiced Chicken with Cardamom Brown Butter, Pistachios, and Roasted Carrots. I’ve made it a few times now, without the kit and make some changes.
Sine the meal kit it came from is discontinued I think I can share the recipe, especially since I’m not sharing their recipe, but my adaptation of it.
Here’s what it looked like when I made it with the kit:

Indian-spiced chicken
done with the meal kit

The second time I made it, I substituted thighs for breasts. I don’t recall why I made that choice, but I prefer dark meat, and usually have it on hand more than chicken breasts, so that’s probably it.

Indian-spiced chicken
without the kit, subbed meat and no nuts

The third time I made it, well…the new change was an accident. I prepped the carrots and put them in the oven. I set a timer, but I didn’t hear it and didn’t remember the carrots until we were done eating. Ooops! Luckily it was still amazing!

Indian-spiced chicken
on my own, who needs carrots?

Indian-Spiced Chicken with Brown Rice

3 ounces baby spinach
2 tablespoons sliced almonds
6 ounces boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 cup quick cooking brown rice
2½ cups water
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
¼ tablespoons golden raisins
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Dash of cayenne
black pepper

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil over high heat (if you’re making the rice on the stove). You’ll be draining it so you want at least 2 cups of water.

Rinse spinach and pat dry with paper towel; roughly chop.

Pat chicken very dry with paper towel and cut into 1/2″ pieces. Season all over with garam masala, a sprinkle of salt, and pepper.

Meanwhile, season boiling water generously with salt. Stir in rice and cook until tender, 22–25 minutes. Drain and return to pot, off heat, then cover to keep warm. Or you can make the rice in the Instant Pot, quick release and drain off excess water.

While rice cooks, heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a medium pan over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add chicken; sear until golden and pieces easily lift from pan, 6 minutes. Stir and sear other sides until cooked through and no longer pink, about 6 minutes more. Remove pan from heat. Transfer chicken to a plate and set aside to rest; wipe pan clean for the next step.

Place pan from chicken over medium heat, then add butter, cardamom, and almonds. Swirl pan occasionally until butter turns golden and fragrant and pistachios are toasted, 7–8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper as desired; remove pan from heat.

To pot with rice, still off heat, add golden raisins, spinach, and half of cardamom brown butter and pistachios. Stir everything to combine and wilt spinach slightly. Taste for salt and add as needed.

Divide rice between serving plates. Top with Indian-spiced chicken and spoon over remaining cardamom brown butter and almonds.

I did think that this would be great with roasted vegetables such as carrot (which the original recipe called for) or asparagus, green beans, brussels sprouts, or broccoli. Any veg that roasts well. I think I will do brussels next time.

Let me know if you try it (or if you have in the past!)

Recipes Tried

Dinner :: Indian Coconut Butter Cauliflower

I made this amazing dish back in March 2020, when we thought this virus nonsense would last 6 months, tops. Oh, how silly we were. (note I don’t mean thought the virus *was* nonsense, we all know it’s real and deadly).

Indian Cauliflower Curry and Naan

I made it with the naan, both of these recipes are from Half-Baked Harvest.

Well it was delicious and easy. Mine isn’t as pretty as hers, but hot damn, it was good.

The naan, I didn’t roll out the dough so it was too puffy but so delicious. I’d had a couple of wines and no longer cared. If you make this, be sure to roll out the dough thinner than you think you need to.

The curry was to die for. But I used the last can of coconut milk in the house and that gave me anxiety. It was at a time when we weren’t sure where our next can of coconut milk was coming from.

Next day, for the leftovers, I added some more milk and blended it into a soup. So yummy!!!

Indian Coconut Butter Cauliflower Recipe from Half-Baked Harvest

Naan bread from Half-Baked Harvest