Aarhus eats: A Taste of India

Summer is finally here bringing with it the much-awaited holidays. If you do not have big plans for these months, fear not, Jutland Station comes to the rescue! Our new column “Aarhus Eats” offers a spin on armchair travelling through a gastronomic journey.

It’s a “gut feeling” we knew we couldn’t go wrong with (pun intended), for food is what brings people together. Be it a night of hygge or an Iftar party, food is at the center of any celebration and the intermingling of cultures and communities no matter how diverse. Speaking of which, no exploration of or initiation to a culture can be complete without savoring its cuisine. Food is the most honest storyteller that introduces one to the dynamic heritage of a land, a feat that would otherwise take laborious hours poring over history books or staying alert during lectures. In our new column, ‘Aarhus Eats’, we bring to you, recipes from around the globe which do not require mastery of the culinary arts and yet are just as delicious.

So, if you’ve been wondering about what to do when the sun doesn’t come out to play, here’s a chance for you to whip up some of these tasty treats that warm your soul and keep up the summer vibe!


Indian Spinach Chicken Curry

By Tanushree Basuroy, photos by Kankanit Wiriyasajja

It’s that time of the year again. Stuck in a limbo where Winter hasn’t lost its bite yet and Spring’s gait is still an amble. Too warm to be bundled up but too cold to be prancing around in a light jacket. To top it all there are those wet, windy days that leave you feeling miserable and defeated, wishing you could crawl deeper into your sheets. Worry not! We’re here with an awesome way to spice up your life. This Indian chicken recipe is the perfect kind of “chicken soup for the soul” to keep the grey at bay. Both prepping and savouring shall have you alive and kicking again in a jiffy!

Every spoonful is an explosion of flavour and the tangible warmth shall make you tingle with delight as it travels down the gullet. Impress your friends with an authentic Indian lunch or make it a special night for the family by dishing out this wholesome curry served either with rice or flatbread. Sure, it’s not the typical butter chicken or chicken tikka masala one often associates with Indian cuisine but that’s the whole point! Indian food comes in a dizzying variety be it the colours, aroma, flavour or ingredients. This spinach chicken curry, simply translated from ‘palak murgh’, is a culinary delight from the north of India that’s light on the stomach and yet filling.

Mouthwatering Indian spinach chicken curry (photo: Kankanit Wiriyasajja)

The punch from the cumin, heat from the spices and chilli powder, and delicate nearly-sweet flavour rendered by the kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves) when blended with the refreshing green of the spinach and soft chicken create the perfect umami. Believe me, your heart’s going to be doing a bhangra of its own! It’s one of those dishes which conjures all those fantasies of royal darbars and lavish feasts before the mind’s eye as you savour the rich, smooth texture of each morsel. One can’t help but hark back to the exotic, decadent images of India they’ve always harboured and rightly so. Indian cuisine is a celebration in itself and the association between the food and the land that provides it is rich. Both cooking and eating heartily is ingrained in our culture, all along enjoying some great conversation and company of course!

For those of you unacquainted with the Indian kitchen, this might require you to venture into an Indian store nearby. The recipe is my mother’s and is simple so her experimental cook for a daughter could whip it up without breaking a sweat in a European country. So, go ahead and have fun exploring and discovering these amazing flavours that tickle your taste buds.

 

Ingredients:

Marinade

The chicken should be left to marinate at least a few hours before cooking. Ideally overnight.

  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp plain yogurt/vinegar
  • 1 tbsp oil (mustard/sunflower)
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste

Cooking

  • 250gm chicken (breast/leg pcs)
  • 1 cup spinach finely chopped/blended
  • 2 tomatoes finely chopped or pureed
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • ½ tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 green chilli finely chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala (available at Indian stores)
  • Dried fenugreek leaves (ask for ‘kasuri methi’ at an Indian store)
  • Cream
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • Whole spices – 1 bay leaf, 2 cardamom pods, 4 cloves, ½ inch pc cinnamon
  • Salt to taste

Directions:

  • Heat the oil in a pot and add the whole spices. Allow to sizzle for a minute. Add the chopped onion with a pinch of salt.
  • When the onion appears translucent add the ginger garlic paste and green chilli and mix well. Allow it to brown and then add the tomatoes. Stir occasionally until it turns into a composite mixture.
  • Then mix in the cumin powder, coriander powder, chilli powder, garam masala and a bit of salt. Next, add the spinach and mix well. Cover it with a lid for a couple of minutes.
  • The mixture should now appear to be a smooth paste. Add the marinated chicken to this and mix. Cover again allowing the chicken to cook.
  • Next, add cream and stir. This forms a thick gravy. Add a little water if the gravy appears too thick.
  • Simmer for a while. Crush a pinch of dried fenugreek leaves in your palm and sprinkle it on the curry. Give it a good stir and taste for salt.
  • Your flavourful palak murgh is now ready. Serve with naan bread or rice and enjoy!

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