If there’s one dish guaranteed to be on every Indian restaurant menu in Canada, it’s chicken tikka masala, which usually involves marinating the chicken in full-fat yogurt and simmering it in a spice-infused tomato cream sauce. Undeniably, it’s big on flavour—but also just as packed with calories.
This simplified version is weeknight-friendly and omits the heavy cream for cashew cream to produce a dish that is just as enchanting but without the excess saturated fat. The added bonus is a kitchen suffused with appetizing aromas. Serve with whole wheat naan or rice.
2/3 cup (160 mL) raw, unsalted cashews
2 tsp (10 mL) grapeseed oil or other oil
1 yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp (15 mL) minced fresh ginger
2 tsp (10 mL) garam masala
1 tsp (5 mL) coriander powder
1/2 tsp (2 mL) turmeric powder
1/2 tsp (2 mL) hot paprika
1/2 tsp (2 mL) fenugreek seeds (optional)
1/4 tsp (1 mL) nutmeg
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
1 - 28 oz (796 mL) can crushed tomatoes
2 Tbsp (30 mL) tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1 lb (450 g) skinless, boneless chicken breast or thighs, cut into 1 in (2.5 cm) cubes
1/3 cup (80 mL) chopped cilantro
Place cashews in bowl, cover with water, and let soak for about 2 hours. Drain cashews, place in blender along with 2/3 cup (160 mL) water, and blend until very smooth.
Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute. Place garam masala, coriander, turmeric, paprika, fenugreek (if using), nutmeg, and salt in pan and heat 30 seconds. Pour in tomatoes, tomato paste, and bay leaf; bring to boil, reduce heat, and simmer until sauce thickens, about 10 minutes. Stir in cashew cream and chicken and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through, about 12 minutes. Serve garnished with cilantro.
source: "Perfect Poultry", alive #372, October 2013
These crab-stuffed portobello mushrooms can do double duty as a fancy starter for a casual dinner party or a light main course on any given night. Meaty and umami-rich portobellos serve as a holder for a light-tasting seafood salad. Gills begone Even though the gills of mushrooms are edible, they will darken and discolour everything they touch. Besides, after you scrape out the gills, you’ll have more room for stuffing. And don’t discard the stems; they can be saved and used when making veggie stock.
Serving saucy lentils in squash halves is a sure-fire way to elevate your plant-based menu. And, yes, the whole bowl is edible, skin and all. If desired, you can add dollops of Greek yogurt or sour cream. Spice of life Garam masala, a blend of spices traditionally used in Indian cooking, usually includes cardamom, black pepper, cloves, nutmeg, fennel, cumin, and coriander. It’s great on roasted meats and vegetables.
“Germans do potatoes in general very well,” says Canadian expat Chris Gilles, who now lives in Munich and has celebrated many an Oktoberfest there. “Knödel seem kind of rubbery. You don’t really think it’s potato when you first see it, but it’s tasty.” But he might be surprised to find that this alive -inspired version of Bavarian potato dumplings is made with a combination of potato and cauliflower, because as anyone who’s eaten cauliflower gnocchi knows, the low-carb vegetable is a great way to lighten up starch-heavy foods (and Biergarten menus). Happy Knödelfest! The original version of these snacks are so popular that it even gets its own food fest: Knödelfest, which happens in September in Austria, about a 1 1/2-hour drive from Munich. If alive threw a Knödelfest, these dumplings would definitely be on the menu, served simply as snacks with sliced radishes and fresh parsley or dill, or topped with butter, beer gravy, or mushroom sauce. The dumpling test You can test one dumpling by shaping it and then boiling it before shaping the rest. If the water is lower than a boil and it still falls apart, add more starch to the batter before shaping another ball and testing again.
This dark beer-marinated chicken uses the convection setting on your oven to create a crispy skinned bird. Convection cooking circulates air around the meat, crisping it like rotisserie without needing a spit or a lot of oil, similar to an air fryer (which you can also use!). If you don’t have a convection setting on your oven, you can simply bake the chicken for longer at the same temperatures as below, until a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh reads 165 F (74 C). You can use any dark beer, but our pick is, obviously, something German. Oktoberfest barbecue You can also grill the whole chicken on a barbecue—which makes for an impressive presentation and a gorgeously crispy bird—but it’s best to spatchcock it first (take out the backbone) so it cooks more evenly and quickly. Make it fast! If you don’t want to make an entire chicken—or if you want your dinner to cook faster—use this marinade (without stuffing the chicken cavity) on chicken breasts, thighs, or iron-rich chicken livers instead.