IFR daily

Daily Indian food, as it's cooked in my kitchen. Sometimes, not-so-Indian. No frills. No props. Just good food. A phone blog.

Category: meat and poultry

Egg Curry

6-8 eggs
2-3 tbsp oil
1/2 heaped tsp black peppercorns
2 green cardamoms
1 inch piece of cinnamon
5-6 cloves
1 ‘petal’ star anise (optional)
1 cup chopped onion
2 large beefsteak tomatoes, diced
1 tsp grated ginger
1 tsp grated garlic
1/2 tsp red chile powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp garam masala (sambar masala also works well)
1/2 cup coconut milk (optional)
1 tsp salt or to taste

Place eggs in a saucepan, fill with water until eggs are covered by at least 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Turn off heat, cover, and set the timer for 10 minutes. When timer goes off, drain water, add some cold water to saucepan and add ice until eggs are covered.
In a medium pot, heat oil and add peppercorns, cardamoms, cinnamon, and cloves. Add a small ‘petal’ of star anise, if using.
Add chopped onions and 1/2 teaspoon salt and sauté on medium-high stirring frequently until soft, about 10-12 minutes.

Add diced tomatoes and cook down until you see some oil oozing out from the mixture.
Add ginger, garlic, garam masala, red chile powder and turmeric powder and cook on medium for 3-5 minutes. This is your masala.

Add coconut milk, if using, and mix well together. (I didn’t have any so I skipped this step but I really like it with coconut milk.) Reduce heat to low.

Drain water from pan with eggs. Bring the curry to a simmer. Shell the eggs, poke with a toothpick in several spots and add to the masala. Add 1/2 tsp of salt or more if needed.
It’s not the end of the world if you lose some egg white while peeling the eggs and they aren’t smooth all over.
If you aren’t using coconut milk, add water to the masala to make a curry of the thickness that you like. I usually add about 1/2 – 1 cup of water. There are times when I don’t add water or coconut milk but leave it like a thick coating over the eggs.
Bring the curry to a simmer. Adjust seasonings and serve hot with rotis or over steamed rice. 2015/05/img_2119.jpg


Easy Broiled Lamb Chops

~1.5 lbs lamb chops
3/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp IFR Chana Masala
1-2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

Mix together salt, IFR Chana Masala, lemon juice. Rub lamb chops with this mixture.
Cover and marinate for at least half an hour, preferably in the refrigerator.
Line a pan with aluminum foil (for quick clean-up), place a rack over it and put marinated lamb chops on the rack.

Broil on high, about 4-5 inches from heat, for about 5 minutes each side for medium cooked. More per side if you like it done more.

I forgot to turn the timer on for the first side and they went about 2 minutes longer than I wanted but were still pink on the inside. Phew!

Allow the chops to rest for about 5 minutes so that you don’t lose all those precious juices when you cut into them. Serve with your favorite salad. 2015/04/img_1792.jpg

You could add red chile powder and turmeric powder for additional heat and flavor. I didn’t think it was necessary.
You could also add the ubiquitous ginger, garlic and green chile trio for a variation. I was aiming for something very simple, quick and flavorful, with minor clean-up, that I can make on a weeknight. And this is it!

All it needs are these three ingredients besides the lamb chops themselves.
I have a few bottles of IFR Chana Masala spice blend left. If you’re interested, get in touch through this form.

Achaari Murgh Stir-Fry

1 lb (approx) boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
2-3 tbsp avocado oil
1/2 large white onion, sliced
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
1″ piece of ginger, minced
2-3 hot green Thai chiles, chopped fine (optional)
1 large beefsteak tomato, sliced
2-3 cups of sliced / chopped veggies (I used asparagus, with thick stems sliced vertically into two; sugar snap peas, and green peppers)
2-3 tbsp of Mother’s Amla Pickle (only the masala

Heat oil in a medium kadhai or wok.
Add onions and stir fry on high heat until soft.
Add ginger, garlic and green chiles and stir fry for a couple of minutes.
Add tomato slices and continue to stir fry for a couple of minutes.
Add the veggies and stir fry for a couple more minutes.
Add the chicken pieces.
Add the pickle masala. Mix well.
Stir fry on high for a couple of minutes and then spread it out as much as possible over the surface of your kadhai, cook on medium until chicken is done. Do not over-cook.

Since the pickle masala is high in sodium, there is usually no need to add salt. However, taste it and adjust seasonings according to your tastes.

Skip the green chiles if you want to keep this mild. But, why?!

Use any veggies that hold their own when cooked on high heat. Any veggies that do well when roasted will work in this recipe. I don’t normally roast sugar snap peas but they worked really well.

Garnish with cilantro, if you like, before serving over rice or with any plain Indian rotis or parathas.

Quinoa-Turkey Sliders

20 oz ground turkey
1/2 cup cooked red quinoa
1/2 medium red onion, diced small
1 large clove of garlic, minced
1/2 tbsp of minced ginger
1-2 Thai green chiles, minced
1/3 cup chopped cilantro, loosely packed
Dash of fish sauce (optional)
1 tsp of sambal oelek (optional)
3/4 tsp salt

Mix all ingredients, except turkey, in a medium mixing bowl.
Add ground turkey and mix well.
To check for salt and seasonings, put 1/4 cup water in a glass bowl and drop a small ball of turkey mixture in it and microwave for 20-30 seconds. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Normally I would add more green chiles as well as sambal oelek but Medha is a tad bit sensitive to heat right now.

Take about a lime size amount of turkey mixture, and shape into a small patty. This makes about 20 small sliders.

Place baking rack on a large baking tray. Arrange sliders on the rack and broil on high on top rack for 4-5 minutes each side.

Put a small slice of cheese on each slider, wrap in romaine lettuce and eat right away.

A few things to note: since there is no oil or a binder like egg in this recipe, these sliders tend to become dry once stored in the refrigerator and reheated. To reheat, wrap in damp paper towel and only them reheat in your microwave. If you plan to freeze these, consider adding some olive oil so that they aren’t dry and chewy when reheated.

You could grill these instead of broiling them, too.


1 lb pork or lamb or firm tofu, diced
3-4 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly crushed black pepper
2-3 tbsp oil
1 cup finely chopped red onions
2 medium carrots, diced
1 cup cauliflower, diced
1/2 cup broccoli
2 medium red potatoes, diced
1.5 tbsp ginger, finely minced
1 tbsp garlic, finely minced
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp coriander seeds
1 Thai green chile
2 cartons chicken stock 32oz each
1 cup pearled farro
Salt to taste

Dust meat with flour, salt and pepper.
Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large stockpot.
Brown the meat in the hot oil, turning occasionally. Transfer to a platter or bowl.
Powder cumin and coriander seeds in your spice grinder.
If necessary, add another tbsp of oil to the pot.
Reduce heat to medium-low and add chopped onions, minced ginger, minced garlic, powdered cumin-coriander powder. Also add green chile, sliced down the middle.
Sauté for a few minutes and then add remaining vegetables. Stir to mix well and then add the chicken stock.
Bring to a boil and then add the meat back to the pot. Simmer on low heat.
Cook pearled farro according to instructions on the packet. When cooked, drain and add to stew.
When the potatoes are cooked and the carrots tender, this stew is ready.
Adjust salt, if required, and serve hot.

This is based on my Tunisian lamb stew. Use quinoa or bulgur or brown rice instead of farro. Add more green chiles to up the heat. Use vegetable stock or water instead of chicken stock, and skip the meat to make it vegan.

This is a nourishing stew, just perfect to cope with spring snowstorms as well as coughs and colds.

Thai-inspired Chicken Curry with Udon Noodles

1 lb chicken tenderloins, diced into bite size pieces
2 packets pre-cooked udon Annie Chun’s organic udon noodles
1/2 cup dried shiitake mushrooms
2-3 tbsp oil
1 medium onion, diced
3-4 splashes of Tamari sauce
1-2 splashes of fish sauce
2-3 splashes of rice vinegar
1 cup celery, sliced
1 cup sweet peppers, diced
2 tbsp Thai Kitchen red curry paste
1/2 can coconut milk
3-4 cups of water
1/4 cup roasted peanuts, crushed
Some cilantro for garnish

Rehydrate shiitake mushrooms according to instructions on packet. I do not bother to squeeze them out before I add them to my soups and curries.
In a large saucepan or wok, heat oil and sauté diced onions for a couple of minutes. Add splashes of Tamari, fish sauce and rice vinegar.
Add other diced vegetables. I was trying to finish off my celery and my sweet peppers. You could use zucchini, broccoli, carrots (thin slices), or any combination of veggies that appeal to you. I also had some shoots growing out of my onions. Since these are edible, I added them with the diced onions to mellow their sharp flavor. Stir fry for a couple of minutes.
Add diced chicken and Thai red curry paste and mix well. Spread everything out so that the chicken cooks quickly. Stir only a couple of times.
Add coconut milk. Stir to mix and add 2-3 cups of water. Add more to thin it down to the consistency you like. Since we are adding noodles, I thinned the sauce down to almost soup-like consistency.

Drain shiitake mushrooms and add them to the curry.
Bring to a simmer and add udon noodles. Use a fork to break them up as they warm. Gently fold them into the curry as they separate.
Sprinkle crushed peanuts, garnish with cilantro and enjoy hot!

This is a quick one-pot meal for weeknights. If you make your own Thai curry paste, more power to you! Use that as it will no doubt be more flavorful than the bottled stuff. If you have dried udon noodles, use those or use any other noodles of your choice. I stock Annie Chun’s pre-cooked organic noodles as they help cut prep time in the mornings if I find I have to put together a lunchbox quickly. They are a boon on busy weeknights as well. If I’m out of noodles, I serve this curry over steamed rice.

If you have Thai basil, use that instead of cilantro. I brought my Thai basil inside before winter but it didn’t do well.

Simple Chicken Curry (bone-in)

1 whole chicken
1 tsp red chile powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 two-inch small pieces of desi cinnamon,
3-4 whole green cardamom
5-6 cloves
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 ‘petal’ of star anise
2 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
2-3 whole dried Kashmiri red chiles
3 tbsp oil
1/2 large yellow onion (about 2 cups), thinly sliced
1 tsp salt + 1 tsp salt
1 jar or 14oz can of tomatoes
2-3 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp grated garlic
3 tsp grated ginger

Remove the giblet packet inside the chicken, if any. Rinse and pat dry. Cut the whole chicken into 8 large pieces using this excellent method. Dice into smaller pieces leaving as many bones in as possible. I take the skin off but you can leave that on, if you prefer. Add any parts from the giblet packet that you like. Rub with red chile powder and turmeric powder and set aside. If you have the luxury of doing this several hours in advance, please do. Refrigerate it, if you do.
Toast the whole masala (from cinnamon to dried red chiles) on a cast iron skillet on medium-low until fragrant, about 3-4 minutes. Allow to cool and grind to a powder. The yield is about 2 tbsp of freshly-made garam masala.
Heat oil in large kadhai or saucepan. When it shimmers, add sliced onion and 1 tsp salt and sweat on medium-high until golden-brown and lightly caramelized. This takes at least 15 minutes. Do not believe anyone who tells you otherwise.
Add tomatoes and cook down until all moisture has evaporated and you can see oil separating out from the thick mixture. I use my home-canned pint jars that have lemon juice added to them before canning.

Turn the heat down to medium-low. Add grated ginger and garlic, mix well and cook for a couple of minutes.

Add freshly-ground garam masala, mix and cook for 4-5 minutes at the very least. This way the flavors meld better into the mixture. If you add the garam masala before cooking down the tomatoes, you will boil the masala in the moisture and lose the depth of flavor that goes with adding it at this stage. Small details but they matter.
Add the chicken pieces, 1 tsp salt, lemon juice and mix well. I don’t add lemon juice at this point as my tomatoes have added lemon juice for acidity.
Add upto 2 cups of water, mix well, cover and cook on low for 25-30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
Garnish with cilantro, if you wish. I didn’t have any cilantro so I didn’t. Serve over hot steamed rice or with tortas.

I had 4 boiled red potatoes, which I diced and added to the curry in the last 10 minutes of cooking.

This was dinner last night. I also got several lunch boxes worth of chicken curry. And, I made chicken stock in my pressure cooker as the curry was cooking.