Sunday, September 15, 2013

Restaurant Favorites at Home - Part 1 (Indian)

I love Indian food...and Italian food...and Thai food...and Mexican food...okay, let's be real... I happen to love FOOD in general, regardless of it's ethnic background. I, like most people, go out for all of these types of foods because its more convenient than making the same items at home. The downside is that is not healthy to eat out all the time. So to promote clean eating, I endeavored to make some of my favorite restaurant favorites at home but without as many of the unhealthy components. By making these dishes at home I can control the ingredients I use as well as the amount of salt, oil, and fat that are typically called for. Also, I can have them whenever I want! I hope you enjoy the first in a four part series geared towards revamping restaurant favorites in a fresh and healthy way.

Chicken Tikka
recipe by Sweet'N'Spicy food app for iPhone and Android (my changes in italics)  

2 lbs. Boneless Chicken (I used one package of chicken tenders)
1 cup Yogurt (I used Greek Yogurt )
1 tbsp. Ginger/garlic paste (I used freshly grated ginger and garlic)
1 tbsp. Lemon Juice
2 tsp. Red Chili Powder
1 tsp. Cumin Powder
1 tsp. Pepper Powder
Cilantro, chopped fine for garnish
Salt as needed


1. Mix all of the spices, ginger/garlic paste freshly grated ginger and garlic and salt. Add to the yogurt and lemon juice (At this point you can refrigerate or even freeze the marinade for later use. All you would have to do is defrost it, if frozen, and add the chicken).

2. Prick the chicken and marinate in the yogurt mixtures for three hours  (I didn't prick the chicken and I was only able to marinade it for 2 hours).

3. Thread the chicken pieces onto skewers, brush with oil and grill or BBQ (I used my cast iron grill pan and grilled the chicken on the stovetop).

4. Garnish with cilantro and serve warm. 

Egg Curry
recipe by my mom

2 tbsp. Olive Oil
2 Bay leaves
1 tsp. Cumin Seeds
Two large Onions, chopped
2 Green chili peppers, finely diced
4 small cloves Garlic, finely diced
1 tbsp. Ginger, grated
2 tsp. Red Chili Powder
1/2 tbsp. Garam Masala (adjust for your taste)
2 tsp. Ground Cumin
1/2 tbsp. Ground Coriander
3 to 4 Roma tomatoes, diced
1 cup water
9 eggs, boiled and chopped (I used an egg slicer twice on each egg to get a smaller cut.)
1/4 cup Red Onion, chopped
1/4 cup Cilantro, chopped
Salt as needed


1. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a deep pot until hot, then add the cumin and bay leaves.  Cook until the seeds sizzle and brown. 

2. Add the onions, garlic, ginger, and green chili peppers. Cook until the onion is translucent.

3. Add the red chili powder, garam masala, ground cumin, ground coriander and salt. Cook for a few minutes and then add the tomatoes and water. Turn heat to low, cover, and let simmer for approximately 15 to 20 minutes (at this point, you can let the curry cool and then freeze it for later use. All you would need to do then would be to boil eggs and then warm up the defrosted curry). 

4. Add the chopped eggs to the curry and gently fold the eggs into the curry.

5. Top with red onion and cilantro. 

6. Serve warm with naan and rice (I used naan and quinoa)

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