Northwest NEWS

May 17, 1999

Home & Garden

Dining In: Cuisine from India

   You'll love the intriguing and exotic flavors and spices of these recipes from the new selection of specialty dishes at Raga, Cuisine of India, 555 108th Ave. NE in Bellevue. Owner of Raga is Kamal Mroke; executive chef is Madan Sharma. The restaurant has been recognized in Seattle Magazine as one of the area's top Indian restaurants.

Malai Kebob

   6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
   1/2 c. raw cashews
   2 oz. (4 Tbsp.) cream cheese
   2 Jalapeno chilis, diced
   2 Tbsp. lemon juice
   3 cloves garlic
   1/4 tsp. ground ginger
   1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
   1 c. half and half
   Salt and pepper to taste

   Chicken breasts may be left whole, or cut into 1-inch cubes and threaded on skewers. Place the prepared chicken in a shallow baking dish and set aside. To prepare the marinade, combine the cream cheese, diced chilies, lemon juice, garlic, ginger, and oil, and process until smooth using either a food processor or a blender. Add the half and half and blend again. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour marinade over the chicken in the baking dish, turning the pieces or skewer to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 3 hours in the refrigerator. To cook in the oven, remove chicken from marinade and place in a casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until cooked through. To cook on a barbecue: remove chicken from marinade and put on a well-oiled grill rack set high over the heat source. The secret here is to cook the chicken slowly until thoroughly cooked through. Serve with Rice Pulao. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Rice Pulao

   2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
   1/2 large onion, finely diced
   1 tsp. cumin seed
   4 whole cloves
   4 whole black cardamom
   4 whole green cardamom
   2 bay leaves
   3 scrapes cinnamon (1/4 tsp.)
   1 tsp. salt
   3 c. water
   2 c. Basmati rice, rinsed in a fine sieve under running water

   In a medium sized saucepan, heat oil and add cumin seed. Cook until seeds puff and rise to the surface. Add onions and cook about 2 minutes. Add rest of ingredients, except rice, and bring to a boil. Add rice and cook 7-10 minutes until rice is just tender, but not mushy. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Curry Sauce

   4 large onions, finely chopped
   2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
   1 c. crushed tomatoes (fresh or canned)
   1/2 c. plain yogurt
   1 Tbsp. chopped garlic
   1 Tbsp. chopped ginger
   1 Tbsp. ground coriander
   1 Tbsp. ground cumin
   1/2 Tbsp. turmeric
   Cayenne to taste
   Salt and pepper to taste

   In a large pan, sauté the onions in the oil until golden. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook for five minutes. Let the mixture cool slightly, then blend in a food processor until smooth. Return to pan and cook until mixture becomes glazed. Add your choice of meats and vegetables to this mix and cook until done. If using leftovers, make sure they are thoroughly heated through. Serve with Rice Pualo. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Baked Tandoori Chicken

(from the American Institute for Cancer Research)
   1 c. fat-free yogurt
   1 small onion, chopped
   4 garlic cloves
   1 1/2-inch piece ginger root, peeled and coarsely chopped
   2 tsp. ground coriander
   1 tsp. ground cumin
   1/2 tsp. turmeric
   1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
   1/4 tsp. ground cloves
   1/4 tsp. ground mace
   1/4 tsp. grated nutmeg
   1 1/2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
   Juice of 1/2 lemon (2-3 tablespoons)
   2 whole chicken breasts, split and skinned

   In a blender or food processor, combine the yogurt, onion, garlic, and ginger; purée together. Add the coriander, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, cloves, mace nutmeg, oil, and lemon juice. Blend. Cut two slits in each piece of chicken, slashing it along the grain to make a slit 2 to 3 inches long and almost but not completely into the bone. Place the chicken in a plastic bag or a glass, stainless steel, or plastic container large enough to hold the pieces in one layer. Marinate the chicken in the refrigerator one hour to overnight. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Arrange the chicken in one layer in a shallow baking dish. Bake until the juices run clear when a breast is pierced with a knife at its thickest point and no pink shows in the center, 35-45 minutes, depending on the size of the breasts. Serve, accompanied by cooked Basmati rice and a green salad.