Quick Indian Cooking

“No one who cooks, cooks alone. Even at her most solitary, a cook in the kitchen is surrounded by generations of cooks past, the advice and menus of cooks present, the wisdom of cookbook writers.”
Laurie Colwin

On twitter a few days ago, I had a conversation with Eleanor @ WokStar and we discussed woks we use for curries. For foodies like me interested in Asian cooking, woks, steamers, rice pots etc hold an endless charm. I LOVE my pots and pans and was happy to be introduced to a new Asian Cuisine resource at For those interested in Asian cuisine, this place is loaded with interesting information about equipment, supplies, photos, and educational articles, and includes topics such as food pairings, wok buying guides, and more.

I spent a couple of hours browsing Asian Kitchen and Dining Supplies where you can find everything you need to cook authentic-tasting Asian food in your home (or restaurant); shop for Asian woks, steamers, sushi mats and other numerous other products. I loved their quote –  ‘Unique cuisine requires unique serving dishes‘, and they have an array to gladden the heart. Interestingly, they also include a Asian Restaurant Education section which I thoroughly enjoyed reading.

The amount of information on offer is amazing … sushi, Asian knives, seasoning a wok, top 10 Asian ingredients, sushi etiquette, Asian utensils, spices, vegetables, pairing Asian beer with Asian food … the list is endless! Do you want to know the difference between Cast Iron and Carbon Steel Woks? You can find it here! I also enjoyed perusing the Food Service Education centre where there are 45 articles on Going Green. In addition you can follow new trends in becoming environmentally conscious. Other interesting food bites include a Guide to Thai Curries, Curries From Around The World, and Indian Curries: A Guide by Region.

My curry today is a curry in a hurry, and is ready in next to no time. It’s from one of my fave Indian cooking sites, Quick Indian Cooking written by the glamorous & oh-so-fun Mallika, or Miss Masala as she is called, and I will tell you a little more about that in a moment. If I need to make something different from my everyday cooking, find a new flavour, I need to get to Mallikas. Just being there rejuvenates me, and makes me want to get the quick Indian curry on the simmer! Have you been there? She and me have a strong curry connect. I’ve made a finger licking good Fenugreek Chicken Curry and Gosht Kali Mirch (Spicy Lamb in Black Pepper) from her blog in the past.

Which is what happened with this chicken too. Back from the meat shop, I marinated the chicken in lime juice, paprika and salt, and left it for a bit, and stopped over at  Mallikas to grab a recipe. Found this one, and I knew it was the perfect one for now, in the midst of my Follow Friday fury on Twitter. Had it on the simmer in next to no time, and once made, left it to rest for dinner.

Before we get to the recipe, I am thrilled to share with you that this super talented Mallika Basu, who is based in London, has cut a book deal with Harper Collins. Her book, Miss Masala: Real Indian Cooking for Busy Living, is soon to be released.  It’s a lifestyle and narrative cookbook with lots of quirky, no nonsense tips that no one ever tells beginner Indian cooks. In her words,  “I started my quickindiancooking blog some four years ago to dispel the myth that Indian cooking is unhealthy, time consuming, difficult and uses hard to source ingredients. I just got sick and tired of seeing how people loved the food but didn’t really take to cooking it at home. The idea was to show through my life working, juggling all those social and family commitments, that anyone could take to it if I could.”

Cookery goddess and girl about town Mallika Basu reveals her secrets for cooking gorgeous Indian food in this highly covetable book, inspired by her blog. Her no-nonsense kitchen advice demystifies all those glorious, exotic ingredients and spices, and shows just how easy and rewarding it is to cook Indian cuisine at home. Miss Masala has done the hard work in the kitchen so that you don’t have to. So much more than just a cookbook, this beautiful, handbag-sized journal fuses irresistible Indian recipes with Mallika’s quirky and hilarious tales – it will make ethnic cooking an effortless part of your goddess lifestyle. Alongside easy instructions for making aromatic Kerala Chicken or the best Seekh Kebabs, Mallika shares witty anecdotes about her high-flying city life, and gives handy hints on how to cook a jalfrezi and still head to the bar an hour later without reeking of eau de curry. Bollywood finally meets Sex and the City, and anyone who wants to whip up a meal for friends will be basking in the glory. This is real Indian cooking for busy city living! There’s even Vodka Chilli Cocktails (For those who dare!)”

Adapted from Quick Indian Cooking
1 small chicken, bone in , cut into 8-12 pieces
Juice of 1 lime
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp paprika
3 small red onions, sliced fine
5-6 cloves of garlic, minced
1″ piece of ginger, minced
5-6 medium tomatoes, 2 chopped, rest pureed
4 small green cardamoms
2 black cardamoms
1-2 green chillies
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp fresh roasted cumin powder
Salt to taste
3-4 tbsps oil
Salt to taste

Slice the onions finely and sauté in a large pot with the oil over a high flame. If you stir viciously they should go the perfect shade of pale gold in about 15 minutes.
In between stirring, puree or finely mince the ginger and garlic. (I microplane zester it!). Add this to the onions along with the chopped green chili and fry for another five minutes. If at any stage the ingredients start getting stuck to the bottom of the pot, just add a bit of hot water and scrape off.
Next, chuck in the cardamoms stirring for two minutes and then mix in the turmeric and chili powders.
Now add the chicken and fry for a few minutes until it goes white all over. Add in the tomatoes, 1/4 cup of water and leave to cook on a simmer, covered, stirring once in a while. The gravy will turn pulpy and dark red while the chicken softens in all those beautiful spices.
In about 30 minutes, the chicken will start separating from the bone. Open a piece to make sure it is cooked through. If it is, stick the cumin seeds under a medium grill for 10 seconds until you can smell it. Then grind it and stir in the roasted cumin powder and chopped fresh coriander into the curry to finish.
Serve with hot, freshly made Basmati rice. It doesn’t need anything else.
Note: As Mallika notes ...Maninas makes an important point here. The curry will taste much better if you leave it for a few hours and preferably overnight. That goes for most curries. I made enough to feed a friend and then my sister the next day. And boy, is this one recipe that’s going to be a firm favourite in my home.” I agree completely. Curry needs some rest in the pan, and the flavours mature beautifully, and the gravy thickens luxuriously. Reheat on simmer and you have the perfect dish before you! 
♥ Thank you for stopping by ♥

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