Here’s another recipe from Madhur Jaffrey, a healthy one. The more I make of Jaffrey’s recipes, the more I realize that real Indian food is often what’s different from dishes made for the American market. Not that that’s bad, but Indian restaurants in America serve delicious food, but its not the real thing. Almost like Americanized Japanese or Chinese food—good food, but sometimes so far from authentic that it would be unrecognizable in its home country.
Again, I’m not saying this is bad—ok, ok, bad Chinese and Japanese restaurants have no legitimate place in the culinary market—but Jaffrey’s Indian recipes are the real thing.
So…..let’s get on with it.
Once again—as with many Indian recipes—there are a lot of ingredients involved, but it’s well worth it.
What you’ll need to make enough for 6 or 7 people:
- 9 oz red spit lentils, washed and drained
- 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
- 0.5 or 1 fresh hot green chili, finely sliced
- 2t ground cumin
- .5t ground turmeric
- 1t peeled and finely chopped ginger
- 6.33 cups water
- about 3lbs chicken pieces, skinned
- 2t salt
- 2T vegetable oil
- 1t cumin seeds
- 2-4 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
- 0.25-0.75t cayenne pepper
- 2T lemon juice
- 0.5t sugar
- 0.25t garam masala
- 3T chopped cilantro (optional, as a garnish)
What to do:
- Combine lentils, onion, green chili ground cumin, turmeric, half the chopped ginger and the water in a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Bring to a simmer, then cover with the lid a little ajar for 45 minutes.
- Add the chicken and salt, mix and bring to a boil. Cover, turn the heat to low and simmer for 25 minutes.
- Put the oil in a small frypan over medium heat. When hot, add the cumin seeds After 10-15 seconds, add the remaining ginger and garlic—fry until slightly brown. Add the cayenne and immediately add everything from the frypan to the pot with the chicken and lentils.
- Now, add the lemon juice, sugar and garam masala and stir. Cook for 5 more minutes. When dishing out portions for serving, sprinkle cilantro over the top, if you’re using it.
Serve over rice.
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