The Elaborate Monthly: Chicken Tikka & Samosas

Achievement: #34. Have One New Elaborate Homecooked Meal a Month

Well, this month, we decided to go all out and try something way too elaborate for our own good. This was inspired by the fact that I read in a recent issue of Cooking Light that there is, believe it or not, a way to make samosas at home. I was like, “You mightaswell have told me that I don’t have to order the Shake Weight from an 800 number on a TV commercial!”

Well, as it turns out, you can make a samosa at home, it just requires… a lot of work.

Michael wanted to make a repeat of this Indian dish that he had made once when we lived in LA. Moments after he began the task, he remembered that the last time he made the dinner, he said, “I swear I’m never making this again.” So yes, this was quite a trying meal.

It started with a trip to the India Market in the North Hills, where I met the most helpful person ever. She hooked me up with all of the things we needed to make a delicious dinner: brown mustard seeds, basmati rice (they’ll give you whatever amount you need in a sealed bag!), and garam masala. I also got some tamarind chutney to enjoy with my samosas, and I learned about why certain spices are used. Those little things they keep in a dish by the door at India Garden? They’re supposed to help with digestion. Who knew?

April Home Cooking
Michael had to make the marinade for the chicken early in the day so that it could soak up the flavor. It’s a yogurt base with Indian spices like cumin and ginger. After it was done marinating, he cooked the chicken cubes on the George Foreman grill to allow the excess sauce to cook off.

April Home Cooking
I tried my best to take an artsy picture of the spices I was using in my samosas, but it just didn’t quite turn out. There are brown mustard seeds, cumin, red pepper, ginger, and black pepper (the recipe I used is found here, although I made a few modifications and used dried spices for the most part, instead of fresh seeds or ginger).

April Home Cooking
Then it was time to mix up the veggies! I think that if I re-do this, I might mash up the chickpeas first. After making these, I feel like the samosas you get at the Indian restaurants might use ground chickpeas mixed with potatoes to get that specific texture and flavor. There are also green onions, green peas, and cilantro in this mix, plus chopped carrots and garlic that I cooked on the stove. Yum!

The next part of the recipe involved using phyllo dough sheets to stuff the samosas. This was tricky as all hell, because the phyllo sheets wanted to tear apart the moment I started folding them. Also, phyllo dough is not really what they use to make samosas at the restaurants (although it probably is healthier), so the samosas didn’t quite look how they should.

April Home Cooking
And then I had to balance them on Lucy’s pen while Michael needed the countertop for something, and she hid underneath them sadly (please note that the pen door is OPEN, she is just choosing to sit in there and pout).

April Home Cooking
Here is the final presentation of the samosas and naan! I bought frozen naan at the India Market, although it didn’t quite taste as good as the stuff from Trader Joe’s (Trader Joe’s is just far away).

April Home Cooking
We ran short on time, so we had the chicken tikka without the masala sauce, which was probably healthier in the long run. It was still tasty!

April Home Cooking
And here is the final meal, assembled on a plate. The samosas were actually less than 150 calories each, so I presume that this meal was healthier than I would have thought. Was it worth the 2+ hours to prepare? Well, maybe this once. In the future, I think we’ll just order takeout from India Garden 🙂

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Filed under #34, #34-11, cooking, indian food

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