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Monday, March 07, 2011


Leftovers repurposed as an Indian dinner

by Nanette Geller

curry 2This Indian dinner from last week includes several repurposed leftover dishes. We had dinner the night before at the new Bangkok Chef in the Weyerhauser building and didn’t finish the chicken satay. Actually, it was dry and not very tasty but we took home the leftovers. I was inspired by chicken tikka masala to try to improve it. I sautéed a lot of ginger and onion with a couple of green chilies, then added a can of chopped tomatoes, cinnamon & bay leaf and a couple of cloves. Simmered to reduce, added the chicken and a spoonful of crème fraiche, and left it on low for the chicken to pick up some flavor and moisture. Shortly before serving I added some sugar snap peas and simmered until they were done. Not an authentic chicken tikka masala, but it tasted wonderful!

The toor dal was already cooked earlier in the week with ginger, cinnamon, cloves, chili and turmeric. I sautéed more ginger with onion, curry leaf & chilies, added tomato, cooked until the oil started to separate, then added it to the dal with a bunch of chopped purslane and cooked until the purslane was tender. I could eat this every day and not get bored.

I had some leftover kale with anchovies, garlic and sherry vinegar. It was tasty but I was a bit over-enthusiastic with the anchovy, so it was too salty to eat in large quantities. It worked well as a stand-in for a salty Indian pickle or relish.

A couple of spoonsful of leftover avocado & lime paired well with some Greek yogurt to make an improvised raita.

We had some frozen Indian flatbreads, which I won’t buy again – not bad, but Larry’s homemade chapatis are way better. That’s leftover frisee in the center. And yes, I’ve “repurposed” a pizza pan to use as a thali (Indian plate, usually metal).

An authentic Indian dinner? Not really, but it sure was good!


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