I’ve been happily experimenting in the kitchen much to Flo’s delight, or chagrin. He never knows what kind of dinner he’ll come home to most days and it’s fun gathering ingredients and preparing food that I hope turns out delicious.
The other day, I decided to cater to Flo’s quarter-Indian blood and prepare a meal consisting of Tumeric Cauliflower Rice, Tandoori Chicken, and Palak
Paneer Tofu. I’d done my research online and found some pretty straight-forward recipes. I also had a look in our pantry to make sure we had the necessary spices and gathered the few that we had missing. And I went hunting for alternative items that the supermarkets here generally do not carry.
I worked on the tandoori chicken in the morning since I knew I had to have it marinated as long as possible. So I quickly made my marinade – into a small rice bowl I added:
1 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Tumeric
1/2 tsp Garam Masala
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
1/4 tsp Sea Salt
1/2 tsp Fresh Ginger
A squeeze of Lemon (About 1 Tablespoon)
1/2 cup of Greek Yoghurt
When it came evening, I happily took the chicken fillets out from the fridge to warm to room temperature, before grilling them in my precious non-stick pan. Yes yes, I know that the very reason why Tandoori Chicken in known as ‘Tandoori Chicken’ is because it’s cooked in a Tandoor. Ain’t nobody got a tandoor in their home kitchen, at least not in Singapore… Right?
I felt immensely proud of my cooking skills and could smell the Indian aromats weaving through our home. I squeezed the lemon wedge over all the fillets with a flourish and Flo and I dug into our meal. Alas! The Tandoori Chicken felt under seasoned and wasn’t quite on par with any of the Indian restaurants we have dined at together – Current count: 1. I think it was in part because I didn’t add enough salt, and also was a bit sparing with the spices in general? Or maybe I need to do it the proper Indian way and start right from the fresh spices, toasting them and grinding them before creating the marinade. Either way, I’m adamant that I will make awesome Tandoori Chicken before the year is up!
My Palak Tofu turned out to be a lot closer to the real thing. I used firm tofu instead because Paneer isn’t quite so easy to find here. I basically cubed it up and baked the tofu in the oven to dry it out a bit and crisp it up before swirling them into the blended spinach mix. I got my recipe from Mustard Plates. I realised too late that I was missing Ground Coriander so I substituted that with Ground Cumin which may have contributed to the slight veer off the authentic flavours of palak paneer.
Still, I have to say that I was pleased with my efforts because Flo declared that he really liked the chicken (say whuuuuuuut?) and happily helped himself to more after the ones on his plate were in his tummy. That alone, made me feel like the best cook in the Rennetan household – Population: 2.