The last rays of the setting sun still glimmered through the porch doors as we gathered for CEC (Culinary Experimentation Club) Monday night.
Perched on twirly stools at the bar we waited like little kids for Deborah and Jenny to serve us Avocado Shakes – our starter for a meal of Indian delights. In spite of their green hue and incongruous list of ingredients they were creamy, cool and utterly delicious.
In what happens to be a minor miracle at CEC, we actually had a complete meal of starter, salad, main course and dessert all ready on time and before the sun went down. We were duly impressed and eagerly piled our plates with an assortment of marvy dishes.
Kat made Raita, a divine summery dish of cucumber, onions, and herbs swimming in tangy plain yogurt. It was so good scooped up with…
…Ed’s garlicky herbed naan, toasty warm and chewy right out of the oven.
The naan also proved an excellent scoop for my Cilantro Green Chili Chicken and Jon’s fabulous purple basmati rice.
Jenny’s scrumptiously minty Lassi – a lovely yogurty drink – was the perfect thing to transition to…
…Darren’s moist and flavorful Tandoori Chicken hot off the grill.
We ended our evening lounging about the living room nibbling on ginger biscuits and swapping outrageous tales of beautiful places and interesting people. I do love hearing and telling good stories. Twas a grand night.
Do you like Indian food? What is your favorite dish?
Deb and Jenny’s Avocado Shakes
(From The Good Stuff Cookbook)
4 ripe avocados
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups creamy vanilla ice cream
1/2 cup whole milk
- Halve avocados, remove pit, and scoop out meat. Blend in blender about 1 minute until finely chopped.
- Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.
- Pour into four glasses, top with whipped cream.
Kat’s Cucumber Raita
2 cucumbers, sliced into small triangles
1 8 oz container of plain organic yogurt
a small onion or 2 large shallots, minced or sliced thinly
2 cloves garlice, minced
a drizzle of olive oil
a pinch of salt
a quarter of lime, juiced
seven 4 inch long sprigs of mint (about 25 leaves), minced
- Combine to taste in a large bowl.
- Enjoy with crispy naan or fresh pita bread.
Darren’s Tandoori Chicken
2 (6 ounce) containers plain yogurt
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground coriander
16 chicken thighs
olive oil spray
- In a medium bowl, stir together yogurt, salt, pepper, cloves, and ginger. Mix in garlic, paprika, cumin, cinnamon, and coriander. Set aside.
- Rinse chicken under cold water, and pat dry with paper towels. Place chicken in a large resealable plastic bag. Pour yogurt mixture over chicken, press air out of bag, and seal. Turn the bag over several times to distribute marinade. Place bag in a bowl, and refrigerate 8 hours, or overnight, turning bag occasionally.
- Preheat an outdoor grill for direct medium heat.
- Remove chicken from bag, and discard marinade. With paper towels, wipe off excess marinade. Spray chicken pieces with olive oil spray.
- Place chicken on the grill, and cook about 2 minutes. Turn, and cook 2 minutes more. Then arrange the chicken to receive indirect heat, and cook approximately 35 to 40 minutes, to an internal temperature of 180 degrees F.
Green Chili Cilantro Chicken
4 inch piece of ginger, peeled and coarsely chunked
6 large garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely chunked
1 tsp salt
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in two
2/3 cup fire-roasted diced tomatoes (or 1 medium tomato, diced)
3 cups fresh cilantro leaves and small stems
1 small can diced mild chilies (or 2-3 fresh hot chilies, chopped)
1 tsp tomato paste
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup plain yogurt
- Puree ginger, garlic, 1/2 tsp salt, lemon juice and 2 Tbsp water in blender or food processor.
- Place chicken in glass bowl, pour over ginger mixture and stir to coat. Let sit covered in refrigerator for 1-24 hours.
- Puree tomato, cilantro, chilies, tomato paste, remaining salt, and 2 Tbsp water.
- Heat oil in pot over high heat. When hot, add chicken and marinade and cook, stirring often, about 10 minutes or until chicken is browned.
- Add tomato mixture and cook, stirring often, another 10 minutes.
- Add yogurt and cook, stirring often, about 5 minutes.
- Serve over rice or with whole-grain naan.
Jenny’s Banana Lassi
1 cup plain non-fat Yogurt
1 peeled and sliced ripe Banana
2 Tbsp Sugar
1/4 tsp Cardamom Powder
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
- Combine all ingredients and blend until smooth in a blender.
- Pour in glasses, garnish with chopped mint leaves and serve chilled.