India – Butter Chicken

Next stop: India.

January is often a time when people make food resolutions, vowing to cut something out completely or maybe just for a few weeks. I’ve fallen into that trap, and decided to do the 28 Day Reset popularized by Blogilates where you cut out dairy, gluten, processed foods, added sugar, and alcohol. That being said, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to find compliant recipes for this blog. Enter Whole 30 Butter Chicken.

I came across this recipe and it looked absolutely amazing. Given it was a Whole30 recipe, the suggestion was to serve with cauliflower rice but I’ll need an entirely separate post to describe to you just how much I despise cauliflower rice….

Luckily, rice is gluten free so I am in the clear! If none of this matters to you, serving with naan would be ideal.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 C diced onion
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 2 Tbls Garam Masala
  • 1 Tsp Cumin
  • 1 Tbls Chili Powder
  • 1 Tsp Cinammon
  • 1/4 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 2 lbs Chicken Thighs boneless; skinless cubed
  • 1 Can Coconut Milk, full fat
  • 14.5 oz. Can of Tomato Sauce
  • 2 Tbls Ghee
  • 2 Tbls Lemon Juice
  • 3 Cloves Garlic minced
  • 1 Tbls Fresh Ginger grated
  • 1 Tbls Corn Starch
  • 2 Tbls Fresh Cilantro chopped

Notes

  • We added onions to the recipe for more flavor/texture, cooking them using the sauté function on the Instant Pot until translucent
  • To deepen the flavors, we tossed the spices in the pot after the onions were cooked, and toasted until fragrant
  • We loved this dish and it has already become part of our regular dinner rotation
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Singapore – Laksa Noodle Soup

Alright, let’s do this. First recipe in the books!

I had no idea where to start on this journey of cooking a recipe from every country in the world, but that was no problem for my trusted friend, Excel. I imported a list of all the countries and used a random number formula to ‘spin the wheel’ for me and select my first stop on the journey: Singapore.

I let out a huge sigh of relief because Asian flavors are in my wheelhouse. It’s a relatively safe choice that will allow me to eaaaaase into the process. After doing some Googling of Singaporean cuisine, I finally decided that I would try to tackle Laksa Noodle Soup! It sounded perfect for the chilly weather we had: fiery and comforting, loaded with delicious noodles and TONS of toppings.

For Laksa, I would say there aren’t a lot of direct substitutions for the heart of the dish: the Laksa paste. It may not be sold at your local grocery store but there are online options as well as specialty stores that should have it. If you want to get overwhelmed, go to a huge Asian grocery store you’ve never been to looking for ingredients you’ve never worked with in the middle of a pandemic. It’s a great time!

I found this recipe from The Woks of Life blog, which is one of my go to sites for Asian recipes. I followed the majority of those ingredients/steps, cutting the recipe in half to make a two person serving. I’ll list out the ingredients we used and any modifications we made to the original recipe in the notes.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (divided)
  • 0.5 clove garlic (minced)
  • 0.75 tablespoons ginger (minced) – HIGHLY recommend the frozen pre-minced ginger from Trader Joe’s
  • 0.5 stalk lemongrass (tough woody parts removed, minced)
  • 1 serrano pepper (minced) – we didn’t have the Thai chilis but would use those for more authentic flavor
  • 0.25 cup laksa paste
  • 0.5 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 0.5 can coconut milk
  • 0.5 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 0.5 package soy puffs (halved)
  • egg noodles
  • 0.5-1.5 limes (for juicing, and additional lime wedges for serving)
  • 1.5 large shallots (thinly sliced)
  • 1/8 cup all purpose flour
  • 6 large shrimp
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 0.25 cup fresh cilantro leaves

Notes

  • We decided to omit the chicken from the original recipe and just use shrimp and soy puffs as the protein
  • When cooking the shallots, there is a very fine line between crispy and burnt. Ours may or may not have been slightly beyond that line…
  • Overall, this dish was a huge hit–the soup is creamy and luscious and packed with flavor. I love the fact that there are so many layers from the toppings to the chewy noodles. I would definitely make this again!