Easy Chicken Badami

by spiceaholic on August 30, 2016

Easy Chicken Badami

Yogurt and almond butter.  In a chicken dish.  Bet you didn’t see that one coming! But it totally works. This month’s challenge through the Stonyfield Organic Clean Plate Club was to use their yogurt and Justin’s Nut Butter in a recipe. I’ve tried some of their different nut butters before and enjoy them, but was intrigued by the maple almond butter. Rather than go the muffin or smoothie route, I decided to go rogue and go spicy.

I think this is my new favorite chicken recipe. I say that anytime I make something I like. But Mr. Spice really liked it so I really will be making this more often. Or at least whenever I need to make something for guests.

It’s basically a different variation of chicken korma, which I’ve made before.  Badam means nuts, so this is a chicken dish with a creamy, almond sauce. You can be super fancy and sprinkle thinly sliced almonds as a garnish but I’m too lazy for that. And traditionally you would grind your own almond paste, but again, I’m lazy and almond butter does the trick for me. Usually the body of the gravy/sauce would come from onions that have cooked down, but in this recipe it comes from the spiced yogurt and almond butter. The browned onion slices and whole spices give it that “fancy” taste that I associate with dinner parties.

*Disclosure: Stonyfield Organic provided me with coupons for their yogurt and compensated me for this post as part of their Clean Plate Club. Justin’s Nut Butter provided me with samples of their nut butters as part of this month’s campaign. All opinions are my own.

Easy Chicken Badami

Easy Chicken Badami

Ingredients

1 lb. boneless, skinkess chicken thighs

1 small onion, thinly sliced into half-rounds

2 tbsp. canola oil

1/2 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt – I used Stonyfield Organic plain non-fat Greek yogurt

1 tsp. ginger paste

1.5 tsp. minced garlic

1.5 tsp. ground coriander powder

1 tsp. red chili powder or paprika

1 tsp. garam masala powder

1/4 tsp. ground allspice

1 tsp. salt plus more as needed

3-4 black peppercorns

1 black cardamom

4 green cardamom

3 cloves

1 dried red chili – optional!

1 stick cinnamon

2-3 tsp. almond butter – I used Justin’s Maple Almond Butter

salt to taste

Preparation

Combine yogurt with garlic, ginger, salt and ground spices and set aside.

Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high.  Add onion slices and fry until they start to turn brown. Carefully drain and remove onion slices, setting aside.

Add whole spices to oil in pan, adding more oil as needed.  Cook for a couple minutes until spices begin to pop.

Add chicken thighs, cooking until they start to brown. Now add the browned onion slices back and cook another minute or two.

Carefully add spiced yogurt mixture to pan, stirring to combine. Add in the almond butter, making sure to incorporate into chicken mixture.  Add water to thin out a bit if necessary.

Cover and reduce heat to medium-low for about 20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Check periodically to add water as needed, but you should end up with a thick, creamy gravy.  Taste for salt and adjust as necessary.

Enjoy!

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Bengali-Style Chinese Noodles

by spiceaholic on July 11, 2016

Bengali-Style Chinese Noodles

This is a comfort food dish from my childhood that I love even to this day. It would make appearances on potluck dinner tables, a welcome reprieve to all the traditional Bengali dishes like pullao, korma, dal, vegetables, various beef/chicken/fish curries. I also remember eating it for lunch with my cousins when we’d go visit our relatives in Bangladesh. One of my aunties made it for my baby shower last year and I wanted to inhale the whole platter.

What exactly makes it Bengali-style? No clue, other than the fact that variations of it are made and served in Bengali households the world over. It’s a simple dish, just noodles sautéed and tossed with pieces of chicken, veggies, and omelet strips in a mix of soy sauce, black pepper, garlic, ginger, and some sesame oil. I’ve even had it with pieces of cooked sausages/hot dogs and pieces of cooked potato — that is definitely a Bengali thing, we like adding potatoes to things.

I’m not sure what exactly made me think of it recently. It was probably a combination of the sad news from Bangladesh that made me think back to our childhood visits, missing my family on Eid, craving carbs like crazy because I was trying to limit them to lose some weight, and wanting to make it for Baby N, who happily ate some when we were visiting relatives over Memorial Day weekend.

Feel free to play around with the type of noodles (try spaghetti, linguine, Chinese egg noodles), vegetables (broccoli slaw, French-cut green beans, julienned carrots or peppers), and protein (omelet strips, chicken, sausages). Don’t be too alarmed by the amount of soy sauce — you are seasoning a lot of noodles and vegetables and quite honestly, the soy sauce is what makes the noodles so good. And don’t forget the black pepper, that’s also key!

Since these noodles taste great at room temperature, they make a great contribution to a potluck or picnic!

I was recently given the opportunity to play around with OXO’s  8-piece SNAP Glass Round Container set, as well as their 2-in-1 Salad Servers and Little Salad Dressing Shaker as part of OXO’s SNAP Into Summer campaign, and these are perfect for those summer potlucks or picnics.

OXO SNAP set

Some quick facts about the glass containers:

  • Made from BPA-free borosilicate glass, the SNAP Glass Food Storage Containers can withstand extreme temperature changes without the risk of cracking or shattering
  • The SNAP lids have four locking tabs and a removable gasket which ensures a leakproof seal
  • SNAP Glass Containers are both nestable and stackable, which means whether they’re full or empty, it’s easy to fit them in your cabinets

I love the look of the clear glass with the bright teal in the rim of the lids, and the containers weren’t too heavy to hold. The set consists of 1-cup, 2-cup, 4-cup, and 7-cup containers and corresponding lids. The 2-in-1 Salad Server worked great to serve the noodles – there’s a button at the top that you can push to change the configuration from tongs to single-use, though I found it a bit difficult to push.

Overall though, I feel like the glass storage containers and the salad server will get a lot of use. I’m trying not to use plastic as much for food storage, so having a BPA-free option is good.

But what I like most of all is how beautifully they show off these noodles!

*Disclosure: OXO provided me with the 8-piece SNAP Glass Round Container set, as well as a 2-in-1 Salad Server and a Little Salad Dressing Shaker as part of their Blogger Outreach program. All opinions are my own.

Bengali-Style Chinese Noodles

Bengali-Style Chinese Noodles

Ingredients

8 oz. dried pasta such as linguine, fettuccine, or spaghetti (break in half to make it easier to eat)

3 tbsp. canola oil, divided

3 large eggs, beaten

10 oz. uncooked chicken breast tenders, sliced into 1-inch pieces

1/2 cup sliced green onions; reserve 1 tbsp. for garnish

8 oz. thinly sliced or julienned vegetables (I used broccoli slaw)

2 tsp. minced garlic

1 tsp. ginger paste

3-4 tbsp. soy sauce or to taste

1 tbsp. oyster sauce (optional)

ground black pepper to taste

1 tsp. sesame oil (optional)

 

Preparation

Bring a large pot of water to a boil on high heat.

While water is coming to a boil, make the omelet strips.  Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a frying pan over medium heat, then add beaten eggs. Make a quick omelet and fold into thirds. Slice into julienne strips and set aside.

Once water has come to a boil, add the pasta and cook for amount of time indicated on box.

While pasta is cooking, take a large deep skillet and heat 2 tbsp. oil over medium-high heat.  Add sliced green onions, reserving some for garnish, then the garlic and ginger and cook for a minute or two.

Add the chicken pieces, seasoning with black pepper and 1 tbsp. soy sauce. Cook until no longer pink.

Add the vegetables to the chicken and add 1 tbsp. soy sauce and the oyster sauce if using.  Stir fry until veggies begin to soften.

Once pasta is done, drain and return to pot.  Depending on how deep your skillet is or how big your pot is, you can either dump the pasta into the skillet or dump the chicken and veggie mixture into the pot. Either way, combine noodles with the chicken and veggies, adding more soy sauce and black pepper as needed. If needed, add more oil to prevent noodles from sticking. Carefully add omelet strips and adjust seasoning once more.

If using sesame oil, add and give noodles one last stir.

Garnish with remaining sliced green onions. Enjoy!

 

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