Murgh Dehin (updated)

Revised recipe (original here)

2 cups buttermilk
2 1/2 Tbsp spiced onion
2 1/2 Tbsp ketchup
2 1/2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
1 tsp table salt (omit if you’re using a kosher chicken)
1 fryer chicken, cut into 8 pieces (3 to 3.5 lbs)
2 Tbsp vegetable oil (plus more, if needed)
1 onion, sliced
2 Tbsp water (optional)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/4 tsp fresh ginger, minced
1 1/4 tsp ground cumin
2 1/2 tsp ground coriander
3/4 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cayenne pepper (add more or less to your taste)
1/4 tsp garam masala
2 1/2 tsp AP flour
1 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes, drained

Combine the buttermilk, spiced onion, ketchip, cilantro, and salt in a large bowl. Add the chicken pieces, rubbing the mixture into the skin. Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight or for at least 5 hours.

Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade. Use your fingers to get some of the extra liquid off. Reserve the marinade. Heat the oil over medium-high in a large pan or pot (the pan I used was 14″ in diameter and about 3″ deep). When the oil is shimmering, add the chicken pieces skin-side down. Cook for 3-4 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.

Lower the temperature to medium, and add more oil to the pan if it looks too dry. Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes, scraping up the fond and stirring contantly. If you’re worried things are going to burn, add the water (probably won’t need it if you’re using a nonstick pan) to deglaze. Next, add the garlic and ginger. Stir and cook for 1 minute.

Switch to a whisk. Add the cumin, coriander, turmeric, cayenne, garam masala, and flour to the pan. Whisk constantly for 2-3 minutes. Add the reserved marinade to the pan, continuing to whisk so there won’t be any lumps. Add the tomatoes (you can switch back to a wooden spoon or spatula at this point). Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.

Add the chicken pieces and any accumulated juices to the pan. Cover the chicken pieces with the sauce, then cover the pan and slowly simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the chicken in tender. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve over rice.

Smothered Pork Chops

Cook’s Illustrated, modified slightly by Sarah

3 ounces bacon (about 3 slices), cut into 1/4-inch pieces
2 Tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth (1 14-ounce can)
Vegetable oil
4 bone-in, rib-end pork chops, 3/4 to 1-inch thick
Ground black pepper
2 medium yellow onions, halved pole-to-pole and sliced thin (about 3 1/2 cups)
Table salt
2 Tbsp water
2 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press or minced (about 2 teaspoons)
1 tsp minced fresh thyme leaves
2 bay leaves
1 Tbsp minced fresh parsley leaves

Fry bacon in small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towel-lined plate, leaving fat in saucepan (you should have 2 tablespoons bacon fat; if not, supplement with vegetable oil). Reduce heat to medium-low and gradually whisk flour into fat until smooth. Cook, whisking frequently, until mixture is light brown, about the color of peanut butter, about 5 minutes. Whisk in chicken broth in slow, steady stream; increase heat to medium-high and bring to boil, stirring occasionally; cover and set aside off heat.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch skillet over high heat until almost smoking, about 3 minutes. Meanwhile, dry pork chops well with paper towels and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Brown chops in single layer until deep golden on first side, about 3 minutes. Flip chops and cook until browned on second side, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer chops to large plate and set aside.

Reduce heat to medium and add 1 tablespoon oil, onions, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and water to now-empty skillet. Using wooden spoon, scrape browned bits on pan bottom and cook, stirring frequently, until onions are softened and browned around the edges, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds longer. Return chops to skillet in single layer, covering chops with onions. Pour in warm sauce and any juices collected from pork; add bay leaves. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until pork is tender and paring knife inserted into chops meets very little resistance, about 30 to 35 minutes. Instant-read thermometer should read 210. (It’s a braise, so don’t worry that they’re going to be overcooked. Just keep it at a simmer.)

Transfer chops to warmed serving platter and tent with foil. Increase heat to medium-high and simmer sauce rapidly, stirring frequently, until thickened to gravy-like consistency, about 5 minutes. Discard bay leaves, stir in parsley, and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper. Cover chops with sauce, sprinkle with reserved bacon, and serve immediately over buttered noodles, mashed potatoes, or rice.

Vegetable Pullao

from Indian Cooking by Madhur Jaffrey

15 fl. oz. long-grain rice
2 pints and 1 pint water
4 oz. potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/2 medium carrot, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 oz. fresh green beans, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
Vegetable oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 fresh hot green chile pepper, finely chopped
2 Tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
1/2 tsp fresh ginger, finely grated
1 clove garlic, minced or put through a press

Put the rice in a bowl and wash in several changes of water. Drain. Add 2 pints of water and leave to soak for 30 minutes. Drain and leave in a sieve for 20 minutes.

Choose a large, heavy pan with a tight-fitting lid. Put 2-4 tablespoons of oil in the pan. When hot, add the cumin seeds, and let them sizzle for 5-10 seconds. Then, add the potato, carrot, and green beans. Stir and saute for a minute. Turn the heat to medium-low anmd add the drained rice, salt, turmeric, ground cumin, coriander, cayenne, green chile pepper, cilantro, ginger, and garlic. Stir and saute the rice for 2-3 minutes. Add 1 pint of water and bring to a boil. Cover tightly, turn the heat to very, very low, and cook for 30 minutes. Turn off the heart and let the pan sit, covered and undisturbed, for another 10 minutes.

Tomato Sauce with Eggplant

Olive oil
1 to 1 1/2 pound eggplant, peeled and cut into roughly 1-cm cubes
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced or put through a garlic press
1/4 cup red wine
1 28-oz. can Trader Joe’s whole peeled plum tomatoes with basil, undrained
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
Pinch cumin
Pinch sugar
Salt and pepper, to taste
Grated parmesan and chopped fresh parsley, to serve

Salt the chopped eggplant liberally and place in a colander. Allow to sit for a half hour, then dry with a paper towel. Set a large saucepan over medium heat and add the oil. When hot, add the eggplant and cook, stirring, until the pieces have softened and taken on some color, 5-7 minutes. Remove from pan.

If the pan is looking dry, add some more oil. Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the pieces have turned translucent. Add the garlic and cook for about thirty seconds to a minute, being careful not to burn it. Add the wine and scrape up any fond from the bottom of the pan. Stir in the tomatoes and all the sauce from the can. Use a spatula or wooden spoon to break up the tomatoes. Return the eggplant to the pan. Add the spices. Simmer for ten minutes or up to an hour or until however long it takes you to get the pasta done (could be no time at all if you timed it well, however, taking a little simmer time to let the flavors meld is always a good idea). Serve atop pasta with parmesan and parsley.

Khatte Chhole (sour chickpeas)

From Indian Cooking by Madhur Jaffrey

12 oz. dried chickpeas, picked over and rinsed
3 pints water
10-11 oz. onions, finely chopped
2 1/2 tsp salt
1 hot green chile, finely chopped
1 Tbsp fresh ginger, very finely grated
4 Tbsp lemon juice
3-6 Tbsp vegetable oil
8 oz. tomatoes, finely chopped (or a drained 15-oz. can of chopped tomatoes)
1 Tbsp ground coriander
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp garam masala
1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Soak the chickpeas overnight. Pour the beans and their soaking liquid into a large pan and bring to a boil. Cover, lower the heat and simmer gently for 1 1/2 hours or until the chickpeas are tender. Strain the chickpeas and save the cooking liquid.

Put 2 tablespoons of the chopped onions, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, the green chile, ginger, and the lemon juice into a teacup. Mix well and set aside.

Put the oil in a heavy, wide, casserole-type pan and set over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the remaining chopped onions. Stir and fry for 8-10 minutes, or until the onions bits develop reddish-0brown spots. Add the tomatoes. Continue to stir and fry for another 5-6 minutes, mashing the tomato pieces with the back of a wooden spoon. Add the coriander, cumin, and turmeric. Stir and cook for about 30 seconds. Next, add the drained chickpeas along with 14 fluid ounces of their cooking liquid, plus the garam masala, cayenne pepper, and 2 teaspoons of salt. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer. Cover, turn heat to low, and cook very gently for 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Add the mixture in the teacup. Stir to combine, and serve. (Good with rice.)