Tag Archive | Cumin

Curry Yogurt Chicken with Naan Bread

chicken curry naan

I have missed blogging over the past year!  I have so many recipes that I want to blog about, but I just have not had the chance.

I got a job in June, Finally!  Then I lost it in August.  Then I was going to start school, and that fell through.  So, time to get back to blogging!

Yesterday I was shopping at Costco, and I found this package of Naan bread.  It looked light and fluffy, and made me crave Indian food.  So, After costco, I went to Winco and bought some curry powder in bulk.  I quickly looked up a yogurt chicken curry recipe and kind of got a list in my head of ingredients I would need at the store.  I got some yogurt and cilantro as well (coriander).  I wish I would have got some lime, but forgot about that.

So today, I thawed out some chicken, and got a marinade started.  I mixed the yogurt, curry powder, turmeric, cayenne powder, fresh ginger, paprika, garlic, cumin, and cilantro.

Mix all of the ingredients in a gallon zip lock bag, and separate half a cup for use later.  Next add 1 inch cubed slices of chicken to the bag.  Gently massage it all together for a few minutes, then let it marinade for several hours in the fridge.  I did it for about six hours.


Once your marinading is done, the cooking goes by very quickly.  Start a pot for rice.  I used pearl rice, which only takes about 15 minutes or so to cook.  First boil four cups of water, then turn it down to low and add 2 cups of rice and cover until all the water is gone.

While the rice was cooking, I pulled out my husband’s grill skewers, and started putting the chicken on.  I heated my large cast iron pizza tray over a large burner, and started cooking three skewers at a time with a total of 5.  I also made two skewers of green bell peppers to add some color.



kebabs 2

Next I toasted the naan bread for 30-40 seconds or so just to warm it up.  Turns out it is the perfect size to fit in my toaster!

naan in toaster

Then when all of the chicken, rice, bread, and bell peppers were cooked through, I assembled the plates. The first plate for my husband had naan with the extra yogurt curry sauce then chicken and peppers on top, with rice on the side.  I served this with a knife and fork.  Then I saw him picking up the naan, and thought eating it like a flat bread gyro was an awesome idea!  My plate had me put the rice on the bread as well, however this became problimatic to eat without a plate.  it was delicious, and I loved the fluffy rice mixed into the sandwich!  It just got very messy, as the naan is not very big, and everything came piling out.

I never thought I liked curry until my friend Niina introduced me to Panang pumpkin curry which I blogged about last December, but I do enjoy most Indian food I have tried, and I thought that I just wanted to try something new.  This recipe is also reminiscent of my Identity Crisis Chicken I blogged about several years ago, except that particular chicken did not have curry and was baked instead of grilled.  My husband RAVED about the recipe, and it is so simple.  It is filling without feeling heavy for sure!


Enjoy the recpie, and let me know if you make it and how you like it!


1.5 cups yogurt

3 tablespoons curry powder

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon ginger

1 teaspoon paprika

2 teaspoons cayenne pepper (more or less depending on how spicy you like it)

1-2 teaspoon cumin (not my favorite but works well with this)

2 cloves of garlic sliced up

1 gallon sized zip lock bag

1 small bunch of cilantro

Mix all ingredients in the gallon ziplock bag.  I find marinating in a bag is easy as you can suck out most of the air, and it coats meat well.  When you are done mixing all of the ingredients set aside half a cup of the yogurt mixture for use later.  Then slice up two or three large chicken breasts into one inch chunks and put them in the bag with the mixture.  Put this in a bowl sealed up with as little air as possible and let it sit for a few hours to marinade.  I think I let mine sit for about 6 hours.  Then I dug out all of the chicken and put in all on skewers, and made two skewers of bell peppers that all got cooked on a cast iron flat top.

Bread:  I used pre-made bread found at Costco, however, you can always make your own naan as well.  I thought I had a recipe for it in my blog but I cannot find it so if I do I will add the link.

I used pearl rice, as that is what I find most authentic to the white rice i got in Korea, and it is what I had on hand.  I think basmati or jasmine would work great with this recipe as well.

When all ingredients were done cooking, I assembled the plate as described above.


Mexican(ish) Super Foods!

Wow, I was going through my to be posted file tonight and realized I am really far behind on my posts!  I have about  4 recipes  that still need to go up here before I forget how I made them!

Mexican is one of the favorite food generas in this house.  Strangely enough, I have not really done Mexican food for a long time.  I am not sure why, it used to be one of my staples.  Well more recently, my husband and I discovered quinoa, and he mentioned that it would make a good Spanish rice substitute…got me thinking!  I decided to try this, only “beef” it up a bit.

I made what we might think of as traditional taco meat, with a few changes.

First, I took a small package of firm tofu, and crumbled it up.  I mixed it by hand with 500 grams of ground beef, and cooked it up.  I also added 1 small onion.

When the meat was done, and the onions were turning translucent, I drained them and followed the directions on my taco seasoning packet.  I added 2/3 of a cup of water, and the packet and mixed.  I let it continue cooking until it was almost dry and then removed it from the heat so I could continue to use the stove top.

My kitchen is so small I can only have one pot or pan on at a time.

Next, I got out all the cans I would need for my Spanish Quinoa.

I strained the tomatoes saving the juice, and rinsed the black beans and corn.

I sauteed another small diced onion, and garlic in the  bottom of a pot, and then added the tomato juice, a little jalapeno juice and enough water to bring the total liquid up to 2 1/3 cups.

Bring this to a boil, and then add the quinoa.

 Lower the temperature and cover the pot.  Let this simmer for about 15 minutes until the white ring starts coming off of the kernels  and they are soft.  It is okay to take the lid off and stir to check on it every once in a while, unlike rice!  Which is good cause I burned my first batch!

When all the water is soaked up, and the quinoa is done, add all the veggies in, as well as your spices.  I used chili powder, cumin, salt, paprika, and pepper.

This is what it looks like when it is done cooking.

Next is the super easy part…grate your cheese, get out your sour cream, and use your tortillas…

(yes you can make your own tortillas, however, the ones I made were actually store bought Paratha Indian bread)

Assemble your tacos as you normally would with rice and meat.

Spanish Quinoa and Ground Beef/Tofu Tacos:

Spanish Quinoa

1 cup quinoa

1  can corn

1 can black beans

1 can diced tomatos (I used S&W diced tomatoes with jalapenos)

½ cup jalapeno juice (optional if you have pickled jalapenos around)

1 medium onion

2 cloves garlic

1-2 teaspoons cumin, chili powder, paprika, pepper, salt to taste.


Strain tomatoes saving the juice.  Measure out the juice.  Fill the measuring cup to a total of 2 1/3 cup, of liquid using the water and jalapeno juice.

Dice one medium onion, and 2 cloves of garlic.  Sautee them in a pan until onions turn translucent.  Add the liquid and boil.  Reduce to a simmer and add quinoa.  Cook for 15 minutes or so, checking and stirring every once in a while (I burned my first batch cause there was not enough liquid).  Quinoa is not like rice, you can take the lid off and stir every once in a while.  While that is cooking, rinse out a can of black beans, and a can of corn. Add them to the tomatoes and set them aside.  When the water is absorbed and the quinoa is blown up, soft, and the white edges start separating it is done.  Add the tomatoes, beans, and corn, as well as your cumin, paprika, chili powder, and salt and pepper to taste.  I did about 2 teaspoons of cumin, 1 of paprika, 1 of chili powder, and just a dash of salt and pepper.  Heat on the stove until hot.

Taco meat:

500 grams ground beef

320 grams of firm tofu

1 packet of taco seasoning

1 small onion

Crumble up 1 small block of firm tofu.  Mix it by hand in with ground beef. Add the mixture to a pan and cook until meat is done.  Add one diced onion while cooking.  When the meat is no longer pink, follow the directions on the back of your taco seasoning packet.


Grate 2 oz of cheddar cheese for 10 tacos.

Use 10 flour tortillas.

And sour cream.

Also you can use salsa, guacamole, olives, cilantro, spinach or lettuce, and fresh tomatoes if you happen to have them.

Assemble your tacos with a scoop of the Spanish quinoa (like you would Spanish rice), and a scoop of the meat.  Mixing the two together is actual an okay idea as well, and just serving from one pot.  Put a little cheese on, and a dollop of sour cream (about 2 teaspoons).  Add any other veggies you enjoy on tacos.

This meal is jam packed with protein, with the quinoa, beans, meat, and tofu, and is incredibly filling!

This whole meal is maximum 8 points per taco, but I actually wound up making enough filling for about 20  tacos, which I will use tomorrow night, so in actuality  they are probably about 5 points each counting enough tortillas in the recipe for 20 tacos.


I took some of the filling and some wanton wrappers the next night and made these delicious fried empenadas.  I filled the wrappers, and fried them in olive oil.  Then I had a bowl of finely grated cheese, and some sour cream.  Dip into the sour cream, then dip the cheese…I would have mixed the  cheese into the filling, but I forgot…also dip in hot sauce or salsa…very good…

I don’t want to know what weight watchers points are!

Identity Crisis…Yogurt Chicken from Turkey


At the end of July, Jeremy and I had two very special visitors to South Korea!
Our MOMS came to visit us on vacation!
We had an awesome vacation spending time with them, and one of the things we did was take them to Itaewon, the foreigner district in Seoul for some shopping and lunch.

 While they were here, we went to a beautiful Turkish restaurant called Kervan.  My meal at that restaurant inspired me to try to cook some Turkish food for this evening.  Before I get started on my recipe, I wanted to share a few beautiful photos from the restaurant.


I love Turkish Tiles!  They are so beautiful!

The kitchen behind clear glass

Protect yourself from the Evil Eye!

Our food was delicious, and the prices, although they are what you would expect in Itaewon, could have been worse.  I have not stopped thinking about that meal in a month, and decided that tonight, it is time to make it.  Although, the recipe I found at yummly.com is probably not anywhere near the same as what I had in the restaurant, I know there are a few things in common. I am making Turkish Yogurt Chicken for dinner tonight with the homemade yogurt that I made this week.
The meal at the restaurant was very nice.  We had hummus, Jeremy had lamb, Mom and I shared the yogurt chicken, and one of my favorite parts was dessert.  We did have baklava, but Jeremy and Mom also had Turkish Coffee.  I became familiar with it when I was in Kosova in 2000 and 2004, and although I can’t drink the stuff, I have turned both of them onto it.
Now what I can drink an what I thoroughly enjoy is drinking Turkish Tea.  I have a beautiful tea set in the United States that I bought when I went to Kosovo in 2004, and I miss being able to pull it out and brew black tea in my double decker tea pot, and serving it in my pretty little glasses with sugar cubes.  Well this experience brought me back to having tea in Korean living rooms, and enjoying conversation with friends.
My tea was deslish, and got me to think about a great experience in my life, that I was able to share with my family a little bit at this restaurant.
Anyway, Here is my experience cooking Turkish Yogurt Chicken:

This recipe needs at least 6 hours of marinating time, so think ahead when you want to try it!

Turkish Yogurt Chicken

Since I have never made this recipe before, I pretty much followed the recipe, all the way down to grating the onion.
I was only making three chicken breasts, but I didn’t modify the recipe at all, just to make measurments simple.  I started by raiding my cupboard for the spices I would need, so I could open them and get them all ready to scoop.  Here is a list of the ingredients:
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon cinnamon
I used about a tablespoon of minced garlic,
1/2 cup grated onion
I did three tablespoons of Lime juice (deviation from the recipe, as it calls for lemon juice but I didn’t have any)
1 cup plane yogurt (I used my homemade)

First you get 1 cup of yogurt into a bowl that you can mix.  My homemade yogurt was very thick and creamy.  It worked grate.

Next you combine all of the spices, garlic, onion, citrus juice, and oil mentioned in the recipe.
Yummy looking huh?
Stir it until well combined:
Okay, that looks a little better!
Next take up to 5-6 chicken breasts, and put them in a dish where they can marinate.
And add the sauce over the top.  Make sure to move them around a little so the sauce is all around them.
Okay, proof I made too much sauce for three chicken breasts…you can hardly
see the chicken breasts in there!
Lastly you cover the chicken and let the marinade do it’s thing for 6 or more hours in the refrigerator!

Once you are done marinading, you can choose how you wish to cook this chicken.  You can bake it, grill it,  or broil it, however you desire.  I am going to bake it.

Okay, so I accidentally published this before I was ready, and I don’t know how to go back and take it off and just save it in draft form, so I have just had half of a recipe up all day.  I am sorry about that.
My plan was to have this chicken for dinner, and cook it after it had been marinating all day, to serve for our evening meal, but plans changed a little bit.  We were out and about trying to get my new computer fixed, and wound up going to an Indian restaurant.  Click here to see the review for that restaurant..

When I got home, I put this mixture in the oven at 175 degrees C, or about 350 F uncovered.  After about

15 minutes, the top was starting to get darker than the rest, so I took it out and covered it with foil.  I will pull it out of the oven when the internal temperature of the chicken is at 160 F.

This is what it looks like right out of the oven:

From here, I am just putting the lid on and waiting for tomorrow.  I used maybe a whole tablespoon of cayenne pepper, so this one is SPICY!


Since we ate Indian food last night for dinner, we turned our chicken into lunch today.

First I washed and sliced up some cherry tomatoes and some cucumber.  I also got the Simplot tortillas that we are going to wrap them in. for all you Idaho people, you know the name.

I sliced up the chicken into strips.

Next, I made some lime sour cream to cool the spice down just a little.

I put it all together,

And rolled it up.

It tasted really yummy!  The flavors were not something that is in our every day palate, but it really turned out well.  I think Next time I make this, I will try to grill it, rather than just baking it in the yogurt sauce!


Beans Beans the Magical Fruit…

For now my main picture is of the ingredients that go into my beans, because I forgot to get a final picture of just the beans.  Oops!
I have been complemented many times on my re-fried beans.  Because of that, I am separating them out, as their own topic, even though I used them on this night to make taco salads…which will be another post.  The best part of my re-fried beans, is that they are not re-fried!  They are super simple with canned beans, which is the easiest for me now that my local store finally carries black beans.  You could do this with pinto or black, but I have always preferred black, and can’t even get pinto (although you might need to adjust the flavors for pinto, I don’t know)…My recipe is going to be with the canned beans cause I never have such good luck with dry ones.
In this particular case, I forgot the garlic, and cooked up a whole onion.
I set half of the onion aside to cook with the meat I cooked when the beans
were done.
First you dice up half of a medium sized onion into fairly small slices.  Put a little oil in your frying pan and cook the onion on medium until transparent.  Add a clove of garlic or two minced or crushed to the pan as well.   Then when the onions are transparent, maybe even a little over done, pour in 2 cans of black beans.  Use the water and everything.  If there is startch at the bottom of the can, rinse it around with a little water (or chicken stock), and dump that in the pan also.  Because these are not truly re-fried, you need the starchy water to help thicken up the beans.
Next add your seasonings.  I did about 2 teaspoons of cumin, 1 of coriander, and 1 of turmeric, as well as a tablespoon of Chicken bouillon.  If you have chicken broth instead, maybe use that to rinse out your bean cans, so maybe 1/2 a cup.  You don’t want to add a lot of extra liquid.
Next I chop up a maybe 1/4 cup of jarred jalapenos and add them to the mix.  Once all of the ingredients are mixed and simmering on the stove, I do the part that gives them the real re-fried bean texture.  The trick is mashing them with a potato masher!
As you do this, the mixture starts to thicken.  You can scrape the sides of the pan and keep adding the starch back into the mix, and it gets thicker and thicker.  Once you have mashed about 1/3-1/2 of the beans you should start getting a really thick texture on the bottom and a more liquid texture on top, make sure you are stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan.  Take the beans off of the heat when it is just a little runnier than the texture you like.  As it cools, they will thicken a bit more.  If they thicken too much, just add some chicken stock or some water to get them back to the consistency that you like.
This is the closest picture I have to the beans done, I was trying to show that I added garlic powder cause I forgot to cook garlic with the onions…It really is important to the recipe though.
Don’t the beans look re-fried?
So, my recipe is super simple, takes less than 20 minutes to make, and always provides at least four servings of my family of two.