Friday, February 8, 2019

Exploring India

We found some high-quality books at our library to enhance Katherine's study of India.  I am SO grateful for our local library.  I have sweet memories of walking to the library (built in 1896 and now listed on the National Register of Historic Places) as a child and breathing in the smell of old wood and books while perusing the shelves on a hot summer afternoon.  Now our library is housed in a new, much bigger building, and they offer so many amazing resources!

Our book basket had some gems this time.  Family unity showed up again and again in both the fiction and non-fiction books.  

The Five Fingered Family by Shakta Kaur Khalsa (love how this promotes family working together!)

Civilizations of the World:  Exploring the Life, Myth, and Art of India by Chakravarthi Ram-Prasad (this book is absolutely beautiful, and I hope to buy it for our personal collection)

Katherine made several recipes from "The Cooking of India", it was hard to choose!  I'm seriously thinking about trying more of them, just for fun, especially since I also checked out a "grownup" cookbook, "Made in India:  Recipes from an Indian Family Kitchen" by Meera Sodha.  We all loved the Spicy Chicken (Bhooni Murgh), and it was super easy because Aaron has a way with chopping up a whole chicken!

Spicy Chicken
Bhooni Murgh

Spice Mix
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

The Chicken
3 1/2 pound skinless chicken cut into 8 to 10 pieces
1 garlic clove
1 lime
4 tablespoons vegetable oil or ghee

Wash the chicken pieces and dry thoroughly with paper towels.  Place the chicken in a bowl large enough to hold all the pieces.  Combine the ingredients for the spice mix in a small bowl.  Add the spice mix to the chicken and, using a spoon, toss well to evenly coat the pieces.  

Slightly crush the garlic by laying the flat side of a chef's knife on the clove and pressing evenly to break open the skin.  Remove and discard the skin, chop the garlic, measure 1 teaspoon, and add to the chicken.  Cut the lime in half, squeeze the juice into a small bowl, remove any seeds, measure 2 teaspoons, and add to the chicken.  

Toss the chicken pieces a second time with the spoon and marinate for 15 to 30 minutes in the refrigerator.  Lightly oil an ovenproof baking dish large enough to hold all the chicken pieces and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.  Remove the chicken from the refrigerator.  Using a pair of tongs, place the chicken pieces in a single layer in the prepared baking dish.  Drizzle the oil over the chicken and roll the pieces back and forth so they are evenly coated.  

Place the chicken in the preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes.  Set a timer so you don't forget.  After 15 minutes, reduce the heat to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and continue to bake for 35 to 40 minutes.  Serve hot or cold.

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