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Old 05-20-2018, 07:34 PM   #1
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Getting frustrated with Indian food!

Well, not Indian food itself, but cooking it. I have googled and YouTubed “chicken Biryani for two,” and paraphrased it every way I could think of, but apparently Indian food is only prepared for groups of eight or more! The only thing I came up with on YouTube used eight chicken thighs!

If I wanna cook these things for two (dhal is another one), do I just divide by 8, or 10, or 50? Or must I, without yet having a good understanding of how all the different spices meld and interact, just take note of what’s used in these mess ketches recipes, and create my own, pared down recipes, and see how they taste?

If any of you have a source for Indian cuisine recipes for two, please let me know!

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Old 05-20-2018, 07:36 PM   #2
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I don't see a problem with re-sizing any non-baking recipe. If the recipe feeds 8 and you want a recipe for two, divide each item by 4.
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
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Old 05-21-2018, 08:30 AM   #3
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We have a couple of Madhur Jaffrey's books that I got pretty cheaply off Amazon buying used books in good to like new condition. Ebay is a good place too. Just make sure to check reputation. Anyway, her main dishes for the most part serve 4-6 so could just be cut in half.

I had made a chicken biryani not long ago, but the web site is now private and I didn't copy the recipe.

There's a butter chicken recipe on here that was posted by an Australian lady, kylie I think was her name, who doesn't post anymore. It's for more than 2 but Craig and I like it so much we always want leftovers for lunch the next day. I'll see if I can find it or just repost it if you are interested.

Thank you for bringing this up, while looking through the recipes in the cookbook, I came across a recipe for chicken with roasted coriander in a coconut curry sauce I want to try next week.
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Old 05-21-2018, 11:47 AM   #4
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Indian cooking typically requires more work than, say, throwing a burger on the grill. Personally, I don't mind one bit cooking up recipes with larger yields, and then dividing up the leftovers into freezer containers and having them at another time. Indian food freezes well, and often tastes even better when reheated.

I live alone, by the way. There are no single serve Indian recipes I'm aware of, but I don't find it to be a problem. I like leftovers.

The other option is to go the shortcut route and purchase jarred sauces, such as those made by Patak. Some of them are very passable and solve my curry cravings without requiring that I make enough to feed a small army. I like to jazz them up a little with fresh herbs or maybe a dash of cream. I realize it's not "real" cooking, but sometimes it's nice to whip up a quick curry without much fuss and dirty dishes.
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Old 05-21-2018, 02:02 PM   #5
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I cook curry (spicy gravy) for 2, and I cook 4 servings each time. I usually make vegetarian curry. Each curry is different, some have more cinnamon or star anise, or more mustard seeds, or more heat or less.

We use the curry pastes for the galangal, chilies (for heat), lemon grass.
For us two, I put in 1+ tablespoon of curry paste and that is the amount of heat that we like.

Fry that curry paste and then I add coriander crushed, oregano (from the garden), turmeric, curry powder (which is a mix of turmeric, coriander and other spices), chopped garlic, chopped ginger, then optionally some garam masala (which I make, black pepper, anise, cinnamon), optional soaked and ground mustard seeds, then of course you can add whichever spice you want to emphasis for that particular dish.

After frying it to bring out the smell, vegetables for the sauce are added, like onions, tomatoes, or onions, pulp of sweet potato. Whatever you make you want it all for the sauce, so you can blend it with a hand blender.

Then the richness factor, you can add butter, or you can add sour cream, or you can add coconut milk or cream. Then I cook it down until it is a smooth, creamy, and fragrant sauce.

I add a touch of sweet, maybe 1 T sugar or honey, then a tsp. of salt. Tomatoes have a sourish taste but if not that, then add a little lime juice/lemon juice/tamarind to lift it up.

So you find a balance of spices, heat, slight salt, slight sweet, slight sour that you like. As rich as you like. (the missing flavor is bitter but you can add bitter vegetables as well)

Then I add the mixture of vegetables depending on how long I want them cooked, or I cook them separately and then add them at this point. Zucchini, chopped tomatoes, broccoli, asparagus, pea pods, green/red/yellow peppers, eggplant--not all of them, some of them, cooked to crisp cooked and not mushy. If you want to add fish or paneer or tofu, this is when you add that as well.

This morning I made a tomato/onion curry sauce with coconut milk (not garam masala, cinnamon, mustard seeds) until it was smooth and thick. Then I added pre-blanched/cooked, zucchini, broccoli, asparagus, pea pods. Then I divide it into 4 servings, one in a bowl, and three in containers for taking for lunches to work, frozen or refrigerated. I go weeks at a time, having this kind of vegetable curry once a day, a healthy vegetable dish 'with gravy'.

With DH, he won't eat hot or spicy or fragrant, so I make a gravy that is more bland with garlic/onions/tomatoes/thyme/S&P, with beef or pork, meatballs or chunks, then use the same premade vegetables as a base for him. He's happy with it.
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Old 05-21-2018, 02:25 PM   #6
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I went passed the 20 minute edit limit. I also often use cumin, ground cumin in the spice mix.
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