Sonntag, 12. Mai 2013

Tandoori chicken and spinach-potato curry made with edible wild plants

My cooking with wild plants is still going on. Soon the time will be over for most of the young greens so I have to use them up quickly.
Today I decided on indian cuisine. I did not have this for quite a long time and I wanted to make somethig healthy without much fat. I often make my own curry spice mixtures because freshly ground and fried spices taste better but there is no need if you don't want to - just use the common spice mixtures  for curry and tandoori.

Here we are: grilled chicken breasts Tandoori ( tandoori murghi without food colouring!!!)

Tandoori chicken
 and "green potato curry" Aloo palak

Made from cultivated and wild plants:

edible wild plants in a salad sieve

For the Aloo Palak (Potato curry) I sampled a 3 l bowl of edible wild plants. For measurement: About 70% young stinging nettles , 20 %  garlic mustard , some golden sage leaves , 8-10 small sorrel leaves , 1 handful ground elder .
Warning: Pick only young plants which are not blossoming yet. While and after blossoming nettle and sorrel can be harmful to your body.  Ground elder will taste bad, same goes for garlic mustard: not harmful but no more tastyness. 

Ground elder has an intense flavour so don't put too much in the dish, think parsley. Nettle tastes nearly the same as spinach use lots!
Sage can be used at all times but the taste is quite overwhelming so use only a few leaves. In my garden I have common sage, wild meadow sage and the cultivar golden sage. It has small bright yellow/golden leaves and is not that intense in taste and texture. Therefore I used 2 sprigs / fresh new branches.

I removed the stalks and stems and blanched the leaves of the plants for a few seconds in boiling water and chopped the squeezed dry green coarsely (for picking and preparing use gloves because nettles are nasty - they will lose their stingyness after boiling).
I added the same amount of blanched and squeezed young spinach leaves (all in all 350 g blanched and squeezed greens) after there were not enough greens leftover after blanching and squeezing. Sadly I weeded too well concerning the nettles and I had to leave some nettles for the butterflies. I don't pick nettles in the wilderness. Most of the time it is growing near pathes and there is a saying nettles only grow well were dogs and men were peeing a la freco. I don't need this... and I hope there is no one peeing in my garden except hedgehogs, cats and other small animals. There is only a small patch around my garden well were it grows.

For preparing the curry I fried:

  • 2 diced onions in a little roasted sesame oil mixed with mild olive oil until translucent and added 
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grinded ginger root,
  • 1 minced garlic glove
and fried it just a little longer.

In my spice mill I ground into a curry spice mix:

  • 2 teaspoons mustard  seeds
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 red hot chili
  • 2 cloves
I Added the spice powder to the onions and fried it a little longer. At least I stirred in all the greens and

  • 1 cup water, 
  • 1 good pinch salt, 
  • 100 ml yoghurt
and heated it up until bubbling.
With an immersion blender I purred half of the greens and added 8 small potatoes (cooked and peeled and cut into halves), tossed to coat in this mix. 
At least I adjusted the seasoning with more salt and a little Worcester sauce.

For the Tandoori chicken I marinated 3 chicken breasts (deboned, without skin). 
For marinade:

  • 125 ml thick yoghourt
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon  minced ginger root
  • ½ lemon, juice only
Spice mix* (freshly ground in the mill and roasted in a pan without oil until fragrant):

  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon allspice pepper corns
  • 2 red hot chilies
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • 1 small piece of cinnamon rind
  • 2 thumb nail sized pieces of mace 
  • 2 cardamom pods, seeds only
*) Can be substituted with typical garam masala spice  and yellow javanese curry mix to your taste.

Mix spice powder with yoghurt and ginger, garlic, lemon juice

With the point of a sharp knife pinch the chicken all over, make a few deep cuts at the outer side. Massage the chicken breast with marinade and let the meat rest in the marinade for 8 hours in the fridge (or overnight). For prearing just pat the breasts dry with a paper towel. Don't rub off the marinade just pat them a little.
Place breasts on a grill rack and bake in the oven at 180 C for 20 minutes max. depending on the size of the chicken breasts), after 15 min give it 5 minutes with the grill turned on to high heat. Make sure the breast are done, running liquid from pinching should be clear.
Before serving sprinkle with salt.
This can be served with rice, naan, white bread.


Hiroyuki hat gesagt…

Thank you for another good-looking dish using lots of wild plants!

Yes, you have to hurry because the young greens can be had around this time of year only!

Fräulein Trude hat gesagt…

Yes, the time of wild soft leave vegetable is over. Next comes the use of edible blossoms I suppose and afterwards roots, fruits, seeds and berries.

Sissi hat gesagt…

What a wonderful idea to make the potato curry go wild ;-) Sounds definitely more interesting than with spinach.