I am one of those people who gets so confused when it comes to cooking. So I had a very mini Super Bowl party on Sunday, and I looked through all my books and magazines – well not all but a lot of them. I wanted to cook everything but had no time to do the prep or the ingredients to make it happen on short notice. Hectic week and Saturday so it made it difficult to prep or marinate anything. So I decided to mix my Indian roots with TexMex food. I mean it is Super Bowl we need our nachos and tacos.
I am going to share two recipes here with you; one of them is very simple of black beans and other of tandoori chicken. I have always been a fan of Cuban black bean and rice, some of the best of course I have had in Miami area. These black beans are easily done in a crockpot and come back to healthy and delicious beans. I have no added oil with this chicken recipe as well. I decided to do mine in a Dutch oven. But am pretty sure you can do this in crockpot as well, but overall it turned out to be very good. I decided to do tandoori chicken tacos, black beans and flavored the corn with a bit of butter, taco seasoning and topped it with queso. Overall a successful evening, you know when people stop in the middle and go back for seconds and third; you must have done something right.
Black Beans –
- 1 cup dry black beans (I soaked them overnight – I read somewhere that washing them or not do not change the taste of the beans. I wash mine and soak them)
- 4 cloves of garlic whole
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 celery stalks with the leaves – cut in half
- 1 medium onion – Chopped in big chunks
- Salt to taste (beans take a lot of salt so be generous)
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp oregano (if you can find fresh Cuban oregano it will elevate the taste, but dry oregano is good as well)
- 2 whole dry red chilies (you can choose any kind here or you can add fresh green chilies if you want)
Transfer the black beans to a pot with the water that they were soaked in. Add all the ingredients in the pot and let it come to a boil. Turn it to medium and let it cook until done. You can add all of it to the crockpot and let it cook.
Once the beans are done, if you need to add a bit more cumin then you can after tasting. Just don’t overdo on it as it might make it bitter, both cumin and oregano has a pungent quality to them. Don’t drain the beans; the liquid here is what helps with the rice. Take some rice or even quinoa if you want to be healthy, add some of the black beans to it and top it with cilantro if you like it and gobble up. One of my comfort food, well I realize I have a lot of comfort foods.
Tandoori Chicken –
- 1 pound of chicken (I used chicken breast; you can use thighs – more flavor to it). Cut in small cubes
- 1 medium onion (cut in half moon)
- ¼ cup yogurt (I used nonfat, if you want a richer flavor you can sub it with sour cream as well)
- 1 heaping tbsp. of minced ginger
- 1 heaping tsp of minced garlic
- 1 tbsp. red chili powder
- 2 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tbsp. garam masala
- Salt to taste
- 2 squirt of tomato ketchup (sorry that is the best way I measure mine)
- 2 tsp kasturi methi (crush it between your palms for good flavor)
- 3 green chilies cut in half
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro (I do love cilantro, those who think it tastes like soap can skip it)
Mix yogurt with all the spices (not the onion) and taste it. This is where you can adjust the seasonings, prior to adding chicken to it. Adjust it as per your taste add more of whatever you would like to add. Once you are satisfied with the mix, add the chicken and marinate it. Marinate it at least for two hours, overnight is best.
Remove the chicken and let it come to room temperature. You can take the chicken and bake it in the oven at 375 degrees for about 25 minutes to done. I added the chopped onions to the bottom of Duth oven, put the chicken on top of the onions and cooked the chicken low and slow for 35 minutes at 350 degrees. Check for doneness, cook longer if needed. Serve it with rice, as it will have a bit of gravy to it or you can use it as a taco filling like I did.
Hope you guys enjoy the recipe, this is the most basic tandoori chicken recipe that my mother has taught me.