Tuesday, February 27, 2007


I always have these great plans to cook a splendid meal for Oscar night. I think about the menu, and the dessert that I would bravely attempt. I go so far as to purchase all of the ingredients the day before the big event, so as not to detract from my task at hand on the day of. But something always inevitably happens to me the morning of the Academy Awards. This sort or…

Culinary Let Down…

This is how the "culinary let down" plays out for most people (or maybe just one person in particular, who happens to live on the East Coast, maybe…like…say Maryland, for instance...)

You wake up groggy, engage in your morning ritual of coffee and, since it is a Sunday, eat a breakfast, which doesn’t consist of a cheese stick. Then, you plop yourself down on the couch in anticipation of the big awards show. Mind you, this is about 10 hours before the actual show starts. By the time you should begin preparing your meticulously planned meal, your eyes are heavy from t.v. watching or reading, your legs are tingly from having a 16 pound cat on them for most of the day, and the only real task which your hands want to engage in is pushing the buttons on a phone to order take out. Before you know it, the pizza man is at your front door and you are handing over your money as if in a trance. The thin crust mushroom and jalapeno pizza is tasty. But not as tasty as the meal you should have prepared had you gotten your butt off the couch and into the kitchen. You eventually succumb to the fact that you are... LAZY!

And then you realize, two hours into the Oscar show, that it really is a boring Awards show, and that spending inordinate amounts of time preparing a meal for a show which features a pilobolus act is not really worth it. You realize that it’s ok that you didn’t make your meal because you would be wasting fresh ingredients and your valuable t.v. time cooking in honor of a show that, well…sucks.

Instead, you decide to save your precious ingredients and valuable time for a WAH Day!

Achar Chicken

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed

3 T vegetable oil

1 tsp. garlic, minced

1 tsp. ginger paste

1 ½ tsp. ground cumin

1 ½ tsp. ground coriander

1 tsp. mustard seeds

1 tsp. cumin seeds

1 dried red chili

1 garlic clove, sliced thinly

Juice of 1 lemon

½ tsp. salt

1 tsp. cayenne pepper

¼ tsp. turmeric

1 cup water

Part I:

In a medium-sized pot, add chicken, minced garlic, ginger paste, cayenne pepper, salt, turmeric and 1 cup of water. Simmer until chicken is tender – approximately 10 minutes.

Once the chicken is tender, add ground cumin and coriander, and the juice of 1 lemon. Simmer until the water has evaporated.

Part II:

In a small pan, heat on low 3 T of vegetable oil, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, dry chili pepper, and sliced garlic cloves. Once the seeds start to brown, add the entire oil mixture over the chicken. Allow the chicken to cook for another 5 minutes.

Serve with basmati rice or naan.

Bombay Potatoes

2 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 T Olive Oil
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 green chili, finely chopped
1 tsp. minced ginger
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. salt
Chopped fresh cilantro

Boil the cubed potatoes until tender - about 8-10 minutes. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat, brown the cumin seeds, then add green chili and minced ginger. Add cayenne pepper and ground coriander. Add the potatoes and cook for a few minutes. Add lemon juice, salt, and cilantro and cook for another 10 minutes. Serve warm.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Is "Achar" a name of a place?...in India?? It sure looks very hot, spicy but appetizing.