Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Chicken Tikka Masala and Sweet Potato Roti

I'm a sucker for everything Indian. It's definitely not the easiest cuisine to perfect. The flavors are different, they're strong, and they're not always easily available.

When I see a curry recipe (or any Indian recipe) I am always inclined to try it. Unfortunately the dumb boyfriend isn't excited about Indian food, but this is why I cook things I like, even when he's around. Tonight it didn't matter though.

During college I went to India with my mom for a 2 week excursion. In India (despite eating some of the tastiest food of my life) we participated in an event put on by WAGGGS (World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts). The 2 week session involved planning and running a 4 day summer camp for some of the poorest children in India. These children all were the children of construction worker families. I learned so much in India, things I never could have learned from a textbook. I learned about the beauty of other cultures. I experienced true culture shock. I saw that things that I find normal are not normal everywhere and that some things that I find atrocious are not universally seen as such. I learned about the spirituality in India, learning about both the Hindu and Buddhist religions. I became even more aware of the caste system and saw more oppressed people than I've seen in my life. I befriended a beautiful little girl, Prema, despite us not speaking the same language. I learned how to communicate beyond words. I saw the biggest smiles on the faces of these children.

I miss it so much and I really wish I could go back, but I doubt I'll ever have that opportunity again.

When I eat Indian food though, it reminds me.

Chicken Tikka Masala
from here

2 tsp canola oil
1 small onion, minced
1 tbsp ginger, peeled and minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups crushed tomatoes
4 oz fat free plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup skim milk
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp chili powder
16 oz boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite size chunks


1. Heat oil in a skillet. Add the onions and cook until golden. Add the garlic and ginger until fragrant.

2. Mix in the spices and cook for less than a minute.

3. Mix in the tomatoes, milk, and yogurt. Bring to a simmer and add the chicken. Simmer the sauce with the chicken for 15 minutes.

* serves 4

CALORIES: 226 calories
CHOLESTEROL: 60 milligrams
FAT: 4 grams
SODIUM: 437 milligrams

Sweet Potato Roti
from here

1 sweet potato
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tbsp brown sugar
salt to taste
1/2 tsp cardamom powder


1. Peel potato and cut into chunks. Place in a pot of water and cook until soft.

2. In a food processor pulse the sweet potato until mushy.

3. Mix the rest of the ingredients together to create a soft, pliable dough. If the dough is too dry add water. If it's too sticky add flour.

4. Pull the dough into small ping pong size balls. Flatten with your hands and roll thin with a rolling pin.

5. Cook in a skillet covered with Pam, butter, or oil until golden brown. Flip and repeat.

* makes 10 rotis

CALORIES: 115 calories
CHOLESTEROL: 0 milligrams
FAT: 0 grams
SODIUM: 5 milligrams

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