Chicken Tikka Masala

By xoxo

chicken tikka masala2[1]

RE-POST! Just made this for the hubby the other day…one of our favorites!

I am 100% Palestinian. But by the amount of Indian food I cook, you would think I have some Indian in me. My husband, Amer, is convinced that I do. If either of us have any Indian blood in us, it is my husband. After all, he is the one who got me to love and really appreciate the yumminess of Indian food. Not that I never really liked it, I just never was drawn to it. Maybe because it is similar to Middle Eastern food in the way they both are known for their stews and rice. I was always eating Middle Eastern stews at home, so I never really craved Indian food.

I a teenager, I was obsessed with bollywood movies that were in English. I loved the stories, the music and the beauty of the culture. I have now also added my love of Indian food to the list. When Amer and I were planning our honeymoon, India was actually on top of honeymoon destinations. We ended up going to Thailand (truly amazing), but still hope to go to India soon.

Chicken Tikka Masala is one of my favorite Indian dishes. I love the creaminess of the tomato, with the pops of different spices and the char on the grilled chicken. It makes for a perfect meal with some basmati rice and sweet green peas. This is my version of Chicken Tikka Masala.

Marinade
1 cup plain yogurt
3 tablespoons garlic, minced
2 tablespoon ginger, minced
1 tablespoon garam masala
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, poked with a fork, and cut into large bite-sized chunks

Sauce
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
1/2 onion, chopped
1 small jalapeño, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 1/2 tablespoon garam masala
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon coriander
8 roma tomatoes, diced
1 cup water
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped

Rice
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 ½ cups basmati rice
3 cups of water
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup frozen sweet green peas

For the marinade, add the plain yogurt, garlic, ginger, garam masala, salt and pepper to a bowl and mix well. Add your chicken thighs to the yogurt and mix in well. Marinate overnight.

When your ready to make the sauce, heat the olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté for 3 minutes and then add the garlic, ginger and jalapeño. Sauté for another minute. Add the tomato paste, mix well with the rest of the ingredients and sauté for about 3-4 minutes until the tomato paste cooks down and become a little dark. Add the garam masala and paprika. Sauté with the tomato paste for another couple of minutes.

Add the tomatoes and its juices, water and the salt. Bring to boil and then lower heat to simmer. Cover the skillet and cook for about 20 minutes until sauce is thickened.

For the rice, add the oil to a pot. Add the rice and mix with the oil for a couple minutes toasting the rice lightly. Add the water and salt. Bring to boil and then lower heat to simmer. Cover pot and cook for about 15 minutes until rice is fluffy and cooked through. Turn off heat and add the sweet green peas. Fluff the rice with the fork and integrate the sweet green peas.

Meanwhile, while your stew and rice are simmering, remove chicken from the refrigerate. Turn your grill on and brush it with olive oil. Once it is nice and hot, remove chicken from the marinade, shaking off extra liquid. Grill chicken on both sides for about 3 minutes until the chicken is charred. If it is not cooked through, that is okay because it will cook through in the sauce.

Place sauce an a blender and process until smooth. Add the chicken and cook for another 10 minutes. Add the heavy cream and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with basmati rice.

Chicken Tikka Masala[1]

Sujuk Egg Sandwich

By xoxo

Sujuk Egg sandwich

When I say I am a lucky girl, that’s an understatement. My hubby is truly the best. Such a gentleman that loves to spoil me. And of course I am a typical girl who loves her diamonds and jewelry, but the true way to my heart is through my stomach.

 

Although I am the one to cook most of the time, Amer give me a break once in awhile and will make me a ‘chefy’ meal, as he always describes. What I love about him is he is a risk taker in the kitchen. Whatever he is craving or whatever he can whip up from the ingredients in the fridge and pantry, he goes for it. Most of the time, his creations are delicious.

 

I wanted to blog the Sujok Egg Sandwich he made me today because in the five years he has been cooking for me, this one gets a ten out of ten. The sandwich was so simple, but absolutely amazing. I’m such a sandwich queen, and one of my favorite meats is sujok (Middle Eastern sausage–which you can get from any specialty Middle Eastern store), add some eggs, I was one happy girl!

 

1 French baguette loaf, lightly toasted in the oven

Sujuk, 1 to 2 sausage links

4 eggs

1 tablespoon of milk

Salt and black pepper

Lettuce

1 Tomato, sliced and season with salt and pepper

1-3 tablespoons of good mayo

 

In a medium size skillet, add a dash of canola oil over medium-high heat. Sear the sujok on each side for a couple minutes so it’s nicely browned and cooked through. Set aside.

 

In a bowl, add the eggs, milk and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Whisk until eggs are nice and fluffy. In the same medium skillet, add a tablespoon of canola oil over medium heat. Add eggs.Cook until eggs are done, but still moist. Cut into rectangles so the eggs fit nicely in the baguette. Set aside.

 

Now assemble the sandwich. Spread the mayo in the baguette (advised by my hubby, add a generous amount of mayo, but if you’d like, keep it light), sprinkle black pepper over the mayo, add the sujok, eggs, lettuce and tomatoes. Cut sandwich into two and enjoy!

 

 

Mediterranean Shakshouka

By xoxo

REPOSTING my favorite Middle Eastern Breakfast!

I was first introduced to Shakshouka in Jerusalem when I got married in 2009. Believed to be of Tunisian origin, Shakshouka is a breakfast dish of poached eggs in sauce of tomatoes, jalapeños and garlic. Jerusalem is known for their coffee shops that not only serve delicious coffee, but really good sandwiches, pastries and breakfast foods. It was at the coffee shop called Hillel that I tried a Shakshouka when my sister-in-law recommended it. One bite and I was instantly in love. This recipe is inspired by all those delicious Shakshoukas I had at Jerusalem coffee shops and to the last Shakshouka my father-in-law made for my husband and I before we moved to the US.

Mediterranean Shakshouka

Servings: 4

2 tablespoons garlic, minced
1/2 jalapeño, minced
Salt
Pepper
4 large tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup black olives, pitted and chopped
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
A handful of basil, roughly chopped
6 eggs

In a medium skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and jalapeño and sauté for 30 seconds, or until fragrant and garlic is pink. Add tomatoes, salt and pepper(to taste) and bring liquid of tomato to boil. Bring down to low heat and allow the tomatoes to simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes in their own juices. Cover and cook another 10 minutes until soft and tender. Add olives and sauté for a 1-2 minutes. Add 1/2 of the feta cheese and crack the eggs over the hash. Cover pan and cook until eggs have a thin layer of white over the yolk (be careful not to overcook egg, you want them to still be runny). Basically, we are pouching the eggs in the tomato sauce. Turn off heat and add the remaining feta cheese and basil. Serve with toasted bread.

Mediterranean Shakshouka