Friday, January 30, 2009

Goa in my Dreams

Last week a friend suggested I move to Goa for 5 months and work in another woman's restaurant for the season. My heart raced and I immediately saw myself in a long billowing skirt, wearing gold bangles on my wrists and bell like ankle bracelets. Long thick wavy hair flowing down my back and deliciously handsome men hanging on my every food quip. No kids, dogs or bills. Just an exotic, exciting adventure. All that night I just couldn't get the opportunity out of my head. As I slept, sounds of waves, a snake charmers flute and lilting Indian voices floated through my sub conscience. Morning came too soon as it always does when you're dreaming of adventure. I realized while I can't leave this year, I can make plans for next year. In the meantime I would make Indian dishes, wear those gold bangles and grow my hair.
Enjoy this Vindaloo Chicken, with the Cumin Scented Rice, Garlic Naan and Mango Sorbet for dessert. It's the next best thing.

Goan Chicken Vindaloo

Serves 6
10 cardamon pods, split and small seeds removed
1 cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
1 teaspoon black or yellow mustard seed
10 whole cloves
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 onion sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced into a paste
1 inch piece of ginger, grated

2 bay leaves
2 serrano chilies, slit, keep the seeds
3 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts, cut into 2 inch pieces
1 tablespoon tamarind paste*

2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ginger, grated
pinch nutmeg
1- 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon tamarind paste*
1 tablespoon brown sugar
*available in Asian markets or the international section of grocery stores

Heat a small skillet over high heat until hot. Add the cinnamon stick pieces, mustard seeds, cardamon pod seeds, and whole cloves. Toss around skillet until fragrant, remove to a bowl and allow to cool.
Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onions and cook until well browned. Browning the onions deeply will ensure a sweet and dark colored sauce. Add the chilies. Saute 1 minute and add the ground roasted spices. Cook 1 minute while stirring. Add the chicken and saute until cooked on all sides. Stir in the rest of the spices, cook one minute and add the water and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, immediately turn down the heat and simmer uncovered 20 minutes.
Stir in the tamarind paste and brown sugar. Cook another 5 minutes to develop the flavor.
Cumin Rice

1 tablespoon clarified butter (ghee) or oil
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 cups uncooked Basmati rice
1 1/2 cups water
Dash of lime juice

Lime wedges

In a heavy bottom sauce pan, heat butter until foaming. Add the cumin seeds and saute for 2 minutes, until the seeds sputter.
Add the rice, lime juice, water and salt. Stir well. Bring to a boil on high heat, turn the heat to very low, cover and cook 20 minutes until all water has evaporated. Turn off flame and leave on stove covered for 10 minutes before serving. Fluff with a fork.

All recipes and pictures are the sole property of The Gypsy Chef or Pamela Dockery Food, unless otherwise credited.