Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Sweet-and-Sour Balti Chicken

Growing up in Northern Virginia, you'd think I would have at least tried a good number of different ethnic cuisines. Truth be told, my momma was more of an "American" kinda cook so we had meat loaf, chicken turnovers, pot roast and pork chops more than anything else, with a bonus treat of the occasional pizza delivery or Chinese take-out.

On my third date with my now-husband, I was treated to my first-ever Indian experience - yes, experience. Between our sopping-wet run to the parking garage from the Baltimore Aquarium and our lecture by a homeless man about the genocide of blacks in Baltimore County, I was kind of hoping our date would be on its way to a nice, quiet ride home. Nope!

Adam delightfully surprised me with dinner at Kumari Restaurant and Bar. Like two little lovebirds, we were nestled up in a window seat overlooking the rainy, sparkly street below. I won't go into all the mushy details of staring into his deep blue eyes or admiring him trying to hide his smile ::sighs::, but I will say it might have been the first night that I've ever enjoyed a new food so fully. (Come on - if you've tried fresh naan or good chicken korma, you know what I'm talking about!)

Since then, I've tried a handful of Indian dishes at home, all from "India's 500 Best Recipes" by a collection of authors. This is one of my go-to recipes when I'm craving a quick (and cheap) Indian fix.


  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp Greek (plain) yogurt
  • 1 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 2 tbsp mango chutney
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp white sugar
  • 4 tbsp corn oil
  • 1 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken, cubed
  • 2/3 C water
  • 2 fresh green chillies, chopped
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
  • 2 tbsp light cream
  • Rice (instant white or basmati if you have time)
  1. Mix the tomato paste, yogurt, garam masala, chilli powder, crushed garlic, mango chutney, salt and sugar in a medium mixing bowl. Stir well.

  2. Heat the oil in a karahi, wok or deep pan. Lower the heat slightly and pour in the spice mixture. Bring to a boil and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the chicken pieces and stir until they are well coated.
  4. Stir in the water to thin the sauce slightly. Continue cooking for 5-7 minutes, or until the chicken is fully cooked and tender.
  5. Make sure you've got your rice ready to be plated.
  6. Finally, add the fresh chillies, coriander and cream to the spice mix. Cook for another 2 minutes over low heat, then serve on rice bed.

    Et voila!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds delicious! I didn't try Indian for the first time until I came to Baltimore either--and it was with my now-husband. Hmmm.... Except it was down the street at the Akbar, a wonderful place. But we've been to Kumari as well and sat in those very seats. Bon appetit!