Chicken Tikka Misala

I have never eaten a proper curry. I don’t go out to eat much here in Norway, and the few times I do it’s rarely Indian restaurants that seem to attract me (there aren’t that many to choose between either…) The solution to this was, of course, to just make curry myself. I’ve started out a little careful as the recipe is probably more British-Indian than Indian.

The recipe is from Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food and I love how easy it is to reduce the amount of everything spicy and make this a lovely dish for those of us with a sensitive palate. The dish is easily made and doesn’t take too long. Served with a properly sized yoghurt topping, it has become one of Son’s favourite dishes.

You first need to make a paste:

  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds

(These should be toasted slightly in the pan before mashed up with the rest of the ingredients)

  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • a bit of fresh ginger
  • 1tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1,5 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp groundnut oil
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 fresh red chillies
  • a small bunch of fresh coriander
  • 1 tbsp desiccated coconut
  • 2 tbsp ground almonds

Mix all ingredients together until you have a smooth paste.

(The paste can be swapped with a ready-made tikka masala curry paste found in the supermarket)

  • 4 chicken filets
  • 2 onions
  • 1 fresh red chilli
  • a bit of fresh ginger
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes (400g)
  • 1 tin of coconut milk (400ml)

Use a sauté-pan and melt a knob of butter with a bit of vegetable oil. Add chopped onions, chilli, ginger, and coriander stalks and cook for ten minutes. Meanwhile dice the chicken filets before you add these with the paste. Stir well to coat everything with the paste. Add a bit of salt and pepper, and then the tins of coconut milk and tomatoes. Fill one of the tins with water and add to the mix. Bring to a boil and then turn down the heat and let it all simmer under a lid for about 20 mins.

Serve with rice, yoghurt, flaked almonds, and lemon wedges.

Jamie Oliver and Yorkshire Puddings

Few inspire me more in the kitchen than Jamie Oliver. These days his show “Jamie Oliver’s Great Britain” is on and now I enjoy one show per week and try to take on some of the recipes as challenges. Last week I saw an episode where he made Yorkshire puddings. It looked easy enough but comments connected to the recipe online suggested it wasn’t as easy as it first seemed.

The dish was made as a starter with yorkshire pudding and a creamy pate with horseradish and smoked trout. I wanted to serve it as dinner and thus served it with crispy cod filets and asparagus.

The dish was divine! The combination of the soft pudding and the pate was incredible. The pate was a bit on the sour side, but I have a tendency to squeeze out more juice from a lemon than recipes seem to expect. Son used the pate to dip the cod, he wasn’t too fond of the asparagus, but the pate worked wonderful as a dip for that too. The yorkshire puddings were easier than expected and rose more than I expected them to.

The recipe for Jamie’s starter can be found here. The cod was simply dipped in eggs and breadcrumbs and fried in a non-stick pan with a wee bit of oil. The asparagus were treated to a few minutes in the pan as well, drizzled with a few drops of lemon juice and a sprinkle of sea salt.

Why can’t you see what I see?

During my day off in London I walked about as far as I could, and saw as much as time would allow, and while walking and looking my camera never left my hand. I didn’t take as many photos as I could have, but I was busy soaking up everything myself, and wanting to see as much as possible I didn’t want to spend too much time trying to capture what I saw in a few megabytes. But there were a few details that looked as good on screen as in real life. And those details I had to try and capture.

I stopped to take this photo. I was fascinated with the shining black over the rustic bricks, the angles and the straight lines. I shot a few photos, trying to get the light as I wanted it (I rarely edit my photos). While standing in front of this scene, a man came over and stood next to me. He glanced up at the roof, tilted his head before he looked at me with a quizzical expression. He looked up again, back at me with my camera, back up, shook his head and took off. I guess he failed to see what I saw…

London – the city of contrasts

Who would have thought? With 2012 comes a new chance to visit London. We’re looking at four nights, four days – just like the previous visit – but this time in company with dear Husband and a couple of friends. I can barely wait!

This photo was taken where Shaftesbury Avenue meets Oxford Street (or thereabout) and the contrast between those buildings cried to be combined in one photo.

Out hiking and getting warm

Geocaching, which I talked about here, gave me a good excuse to discover new and exciting places last time we visited my in-laws. But it became a lot more fun as soon as I had convinced them all that this was a fun hobby. One of days we took out, there were six of us: Husband, Son, Uncle T3 (there are three uncle Ts, this is the youngest), Granny, Grandpa and me. And Rambo the dog (a small papillon who lives up to his name only when encountering small birds).

We had two posts we wanted to find. We drove for a few minuted and then found a small, gravel road to take us up into the forrest. The first post was found quickly, we practically ran up. The road led us to its vicinity, and the post was located only a few metres off the road. The second however, was not connected to any of the paths we could find. It was getting cold, we had two arguing about which way to go (arguing for exact opposite directions). We knew in which direction the post was, but we were faced with two paths, non going in the direction of the post.

So we stopped. Made a fire. And watched the sun set in-between the trees. And if we hadn’t already reached perfection: we now have to set out for the second post some other time, which means another splendid day out in the wild.

Rose painted porch

We awoke to a cold, clear, and sunny morning. I moved at a slow pace, not fully awake, but with a wee child running beside me who obviously does mornings better than I do. The cat wanted some space and nagged me to follow her to the door. I shuffled over the kitchen floor towards the door. Opened the door, child still in tow, entered the small hallway, unlocked the door and opened it for the cat. Skeptical as she is I had to wait a wee while before she ventured outside. And as I stood there, my eyes almost shut, the sun reflected off something on the floorboards in front of me.

Magical fairies had rose painted them during the night…

I ran to get the camera and told Son that breakfast would have to wait a few minutes.

Snow!

We awoke on Friday to a landscape radically different to the one we had seen outside our windows on Thursday evening. Snow, quite a few inches deep, covered everything: houses, cars, trees, lawns, roads. It was beautiful. With a temperature dipping below -5 the snow was like a powder, a small gust of wind would whirl up a cloud of white. Although beautiful, the cold did not look tempting and required no close inspection. Luckily I was able to work from home.

Or, at least I could for a while. Around noon we lost our internet connection, just after I had finished a project that I had to send off. It was cold outside, but as soon as I stood ankle-deep in snow, with snowflakes falling from above, I took on the mental state of a five-year-old. A rather responsible five-year-old with no interest of getting too cold or wet, and with a driver’s license. So…

I found a road going downhill. It was deserted as far as I could see. It was broad and the snow lay packed. It was slippery. And I did everything I could to take advantage of it (which really isn’t much…). I sped on a bit, hit the breaks, and for a few seconds (or probably less than a whole second) I felt like I had no control of the car. In a controlled situation like that I could argue that I do it for the greater good: it’s important to know how easily one can lose control of a car. Anyway, the short drive was quite an adventure. The city looked like it belonged in a fairy-tale. I saw a woman on skis, on the pavement, with skis! (I know this is Norway, but this is in fact not a common sight!) After I arrived home Husband and I found a toboggan and walked to get Son home from kindergarten. Joy!! 😀