I don't think that I ever had Indian food until I was in college, but since then, I've loved it. Chicken tikka masala is definitely on my short-list of death-row meals. So, I'm glad that The Book has a number of Indian dishes for me to try as I work through The Project. This recipe was the first of The Book's Indian recipes that I've made, and I was pretty happy with it for the most part.
First I rinsed and drained some basmati rice in a few changes of cold water, then I set it aside to drain for a while. Next I heated some canola oil in my large Dutch oven and cooked some slivered almonds until they were golden. Or at least that was the goal. As usual, I let the almonds cook for just a few seconds too long, and many of them got overcooked. This is becoming a routine whenever The Book calls for toasting or frying anything. I always over-do it. I'll get the hang of it, eventually. I took the nuts out of the hot oil, and let them drain on some paper towels.
Next I cooked some onion in the hot oil, and added some garlic, jalapeno, grated fresh ginger, salt, and some of the garam masala I made. Then I added the rice and cooked it with the onion and spices for a little while. I added some chicken broth and cooked it on the stove for a bit and then covered it and moved it to the oven for a while longer. Once all of the liquid had been absorbed, I removed the rice from the oven and let it sit for a while. I sprinkled it with the fried almonds and served it with some garam-masala-rubbed grilled chicken breasts and some braised leeks.
This dish was good, but not great. The rice was a little dry, which might have been my fault. But the flavor wasn't as intense as I would have liked it to be. The scent and flavor of the garam masala was there, but it was a bit more subtle than it could have been. If you make this, I'd suggest using a heavy hand with the seasonings.
Date Cooked: April 26, 2009
Degree of Difficulty: Medium
2 years ago