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August 2002 Issue
The Spice is Right
by Ronda L. Halpin
Table of Contents | Single-page view

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To give you a taste of the kinds of recipes you can find in The Spice is Right, here are a few choice examples for you to try out. In the cookbook, both English and metric units are included, as well as nutritional information.


Chicken Tikka

From the "Backyard Grilling" chapter.
  • 1 cup fat-free plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander
  • 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon red chile powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Garnish: Onion rings
In a medium bowl combine the yogurt, lemon juice, fresh coriander, ginger garlic paste, ground coriander, chile powder, cumin, and pepper; mix well. Add the chicken, turning to coat. Marinate, covered and refrigerated, for about 3 hours.

Preheat the grill.

Thread the chicken onto skewers. Grill for 8 to 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through, turning the skewers occasionally and basting with cooking oil.

Remove tikka from skewers. Serve garnished with onion rings.

Variations: This is also a wonderful marinade for shrimp.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 35 minutes, plus 3 to 4 hours for marinating


Indian Chex Mix

From the "Happy Birthday to You" chapter -- this mix has replaced popcorn as our favorite movie munch mix!

For the Tadka:

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon mango powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 2 cups plain corn flakes
  • 2 tablespoons peanuts (optional)
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of sugar
To make the tadka, heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the cumin, coriander seeds, mango powder, and mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds start to splatter, remove from the heat. (You can cover with a splatter guard if you wish.)

Add the cornflakes, peanuts, salt and sugar. Mix well.

Variations: Add salted peanuts to the mix.

  • Yields: 6 servings
  • Preparation Time: 10 minutes


Shrimp in Coconut Milk

From the "Seafood Sunday" chapter.
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • Leaves from 3 sprigs of curry
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, grated
  • 6 cloves garlic, mashed
  • 2 to 3 green chiles, chopped
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and devined
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chile powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup light coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Garnish: Finely chopped fresh coriander
In a large saucepan heat the oil over medium heat. Add the mustard seeds; as soon as they crackle add the curry leaves, tomato, ginger, garlic, and green chiles. Saute gently for 5 minutes or until the tomatoes are soft. Stir in the shrimp; cook for 5 minutes. Add the chile powder, turmeric, and salt; cook for 1 minute.

Add the coconut milk and water. Let the mixture come to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp are tender.

Garnish with the coriander before serving.

Variations: If you do not like coconut milk, you can replace it with water.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 35 minutes

With a blend of time-tested cooking approaches and a light and friendly attitude, The Spice is Right is a great cookbook for anyone wishing to add a taste of India to their kitchen routine. It encourages creativity but gives you just enough guidance to make the experience refreshing and fun. It's a welcomed addition to any outgoing home chef's cookbook collection.

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