Have to start somewhere


One of the flavor profiles I have rarely attempted to work with, Indian food is heavy on the spice and pure in technique. The majority of the dishes are crafted to blend the bold flavors of the common spices (curiander, tumeric, ginger, chile pepper, cumin, cinnamon, etc.) often rounded out by the addition of yogurt. As I’ve recently admitted, Indian food had never been one of my favorite cuisines. But the more I’ve gone recently, the more I’ve enjoyed and the more I’ve grown to respect the wonderful flavors combined with refined simplicity.

Rather than reaching for a recipe, I decided to give these flavors a go on my own using experience and memory as a guide. I decided to make two components that I thought would work well together (I find I enjoy sharing a few options rather than focusing on own dish when out at an Indian restaurant). The first component I made was a marinated baked chicken breast. The chicken was marinated in a yogurt and spice blend of tumeric, paprika, coriander, cumin, ginger, celery seed, cloves, and cayenne. They make some great curry powders pre-mixed if you don’t have these spices in your cupboard but it is nice to mess around with the ratios you prefer. I also added some red onion and garlic to the marinate with a dash of vinegar. I was really happy with the outcome. The breast were cooked perfectly and were extremely moist and flavorful. It reminded me a bit of Tandoori Chicken.

The second component of the dish was a shrimp curry. I used crimini mushrooms, red onion, carrots, and red peppers to make the foundation of the sauce with the same spice blend I used in the chicken. The sauce was pulled together by chicken stock and yogurt and finished with some shell on shrimp. Despite the flavors being spot on, the look and the texture wasn’t exactly what I was going for. However, the overall meal was fantastic. I’m really excited to give this curry another go (maybe I’ll poke around at a few recipes before hand). And maybe I’ll have to go do a bit more reseach at Raj Mahal.


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