Tag Archives: Rice

Chicken Korma

15 Sep

“Korma” (also kormaa, khorma or kurma)  is a dish from the Muglai area, now partitioned between India and Pakistan.  It’s made with yogurt, nuts, several spices (cinnamon, cardamom, garlic, red pepper, coriander, cumin, and turmeric yellow, among others), coconut and coconut milk.

Vegetarians and non-vegetarians kormas exist.  I had chicken korma, at Raja Rani (Friedrichstrasse, 15, Heidelberg/Germany), a restaurant I’ve mentioned in an earlier post.

Briefly, diced onions are fried in clarified butter (“ghee”) to which the spices are added.  The chicken,which in some variations is previously marinated in yogurt, is then added and left to cook until tender (keep it moist adding water as needed).  When almost ready it’s time to add fresh coconut and coconut milk.

Chicken korma over Basmati rice

Chicken korma over Basmati rice

The dish was served over Basmati rice with some sliced almonds on top.  The overall impression was very nice, although I believe the chef abused a bit too much on the coconut, which dominated the dish almost entirely.  It was a bargain though, only about US$ 5,00 for a “small”dish (enough to feed one hungry traveller – as a matter of fact the difference between “small” and “large” seemed to me to be the size of the plate itself, as food portions were rather similar).

Korma on Foodista

Chicken tandori masala

22 Jul

I just had my first experience with Indian food, on a restaurant called Raja Rani (Friedrichstrasse, 15, Heidelberg/Germany) and, although I don’t have any parameter for a fair comparison, I enjoyed it. The chosen dish to start this experience was the famous chicken tandori masala.

Raji Rani, place of my first experience with India food

Raji Rani, place of my first experience with Indian food

I’m quite sure everyone knows what a chicken is, although I can’t even imagine how many do know that it’s a member of the Phasianidae family of the species Gallus gallus.  Anyway, I’ll not waste my time (or yours) talking about that. On the other hand, I’m also not sure of how many of you do know the meaning of either “tandori” or “masala”.

Tandori refers to a traditional way of preparing food in several Middle East countries, as well as in India and Bangladesh.  It’s based on the “tandoor”, a cylindrical vertical clay oven where the heat is generated by charcoal or wood fire. That’s where the traditional chicken tandori is cooked.

Masala is a mixture of spices, with variations throughout India, usually containing cumin, coriander, cinnamon, ginger, garlic, chili and turmeric (curcuma) yellow.  In this case it’s a mixture used to cook in the tandoor, hence, “tandori masala”.

For this dish, typical of the Punjabi cuisine, the chicken is covered with a mixture of yogurt and the tandoori masala, and then slowly roasted in the tandoor.

It’s usually served with Basmati rice, a long grain delicate rice grown mainly in India and Pakistan.

Chicken tandori masala over Basmati rice

Chicken tandori masala over Basmati rice

I really enjoyed the dish, the chicken was tender and the sauce full of taste.  It mixed quite well with the Basmati rice, kind of breaking its natural delicate taste.  The price was also quite interesting, around US$ 5,00 for a small portion, which was more than enough for a single person.

Tandoori Chicken on Foodista
Indian Masala on Foodista
Tandoor Cooking on FoodistaTandoor Cooking

More basic impossible

7 Jul

Nothing much to say about that.  Fried fish (mullet in this case), white rice (fry some diced onions before cooking the rice) and black beans is a basic meal for Brazilian fisherman, and that’s what I had for lunch a few days ago.  If you’re a farm person substitute the fish for a steak, if you are an urban fellow add some french fries and if you’re specially hungry lay a fried egg on it.  One thing can’t be changed:  you have to have white rice and black beans.  Salads?  Yes, usually tomatoes and lettuce with some oil, vinegar and salt (I was not in the mood for that, though).


Fried mullet, white rice and black beans

“Carreteiro”, a peasant dish from Southern Brazil

26 Jun

Last night I was invited for dinner at a friend’s house, on the menu “Carreteiro”, a traditional peasant dish from the state of Rio Grande do Sul (southern Brazil).  Carreteiro means carriege (or wagon, or coach) driver, and is presently used as a reference to the large truck drivers.The basic idea behind the dish is to keep it cheap, simple, easy and fast to prepare, but at the same time nutritious.  Something that even a wagoner or truck driver could do during a short stop.

The most traditional recipe calls for a dried beef (known as “charque”), as no refrigeration was available for these workers, but it can also be prepared with sausages.  Last night my friend used a smoked German style sausage (similar to “mettwurst“).

The other basic ingredient is rice, and thus it may seem similar to risotto.  Nevertheless, differently from its Italian cousin, the rice is left alone during cooking, so that starch is not released (truck drivers usually don’t want to spend their time stirring rice). The final result is a quite looser, but still moist, rice.  These days, with the risotto invasion, unfortunately there has been a tendency to make carreteiro and risotto look and taste more and more similar.   Even some strange ingredients like soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce or ketchup have been added.  Diced tomatoes are added in some recipes.

Chop the sausages in small irregular cubes (around 0,5 cm).  In a cast iron casserole lay 2 spoons of oil (originally pork fat – “banha”) and fry for a couple of minutes some diced onion and garlic.  Add the sausage and fry it for another couple of minutes.  Then, add the rice, fry it for one minute, pour boiling water and salt to taste.  Now, leave the room!  Resist the temptation of stirring the rice like in a risotto.  Let the low heat do its job.  Leave the lid a bit open giving room to steam.  Add water if needed.  When ready (rice al dente) remove from the heat, close the lid, and let the carreteiro rest for another couple of minutes.  The cooking processes should take around 15-20 min.  Remember, no stirring.  As I’ve said, the rice should be loose but moist. Serve with freshly chopped parsley, spring onions and hard boiled egg.

As a side dish we had a green leaves salad with dried tomatoes and fresh mozzarella.

Sausage "carreteiro"

Sausage "carreteiro"

Green leaves, dried tomatoes and mozarella

Green leaves, dried tomatoes and mozzarella

German Sausage on Foodista

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