Friday, April 15, 2011
Grilled Chicken with Tamarind Chutney and Basmati Rice
The husband and I recently enjoyed a tasty meal at a local Indian restaurant. One of our favorite appetizers, yes there were more than one, was ragda patties with tamarind chutney and chickpeas. Of course I had to make an attempt to replicate the taste at home.
I found this recipe online and made a few tweaks to it. The original recipe calls for a lot of sugar and we found it to be a bit too sweet so I'll be cutting it back next time I make this and I reflected that cut in my recipe below. Enjoy!
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup of basmati rice
1 3/4 cups of water
3/4 cup of white sugar
3 tbsp tamarind paste
2 cups of water
1 tbsp canola oil
2 tbsp garam masala
1 tsp cumin seeds or ground cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 white vinegar
2 tbsp garlic powder
2 tbsp onion powder
*A word about tamarind paste: You can find it at most Asian food markets. If you can't find the paste, you can purchase a block of tamarind and make your own paste. That's what I did for this recipe.
To make the paste you need to soak the block of tamarind in an equal part of water. In this case I soaked 14 oz. of tamarind in 14 oz. of warm water for fifteen to twenty minutes. Once the tamarind is soft you squeeze the block with your hand until it forms a liquidy paste. You then need to strain the paste to remove the pods and seeds. The remaining liquid is your tamarind paste.
Mix marinade ingredients together in a glass dish. Add chicken breasts and set aside for 30 minutes. Pre-heat grill to medium high heat.
In a medium saucepan soak rice in water for 20 minutes.
In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add garam masala, coriander, cumin, cayenne pepper and garlic powder. Toast for 2 minutes to release flavors. Add water, tamarind paste and sugar, stir until sugar dissolves. Bring mixture to a boil over high heat then reduce to medium heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Sauce will reduce and thicken, if not thick enough for your preference you can make a cornstarch slurry and add to the sauce.
While tamarind sauce is boiling, bring rice to a rapid boil then cover and let simmer for 15 minutes. Add chicken breasts to hot grill and cook thoroughly, discard marinade. Once chicken is cooked, slice into 1 inch chunks.
To plate, pile rice in middle of plate. Nestle chicken pieces into rice bed and top with tamarind sauce.
(A delicious warm piece of naan would make a generate utensil to eat this.)