04 May 2011
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Recipes from the COC (Chief Operating Cook)

by Bulletin

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A spicy chickpea dish
© Kirti Poddar on Flickr

When Dean Nitin Nohria sat down for an interview with us last September, we asked: "What do you like to do for fun?" His answer: "I love to cook. I'm vegetarian, and I cook Indian and Italian food. At home, I'm the chef. If I don't cook, we eat cereal."

Thanks to reunion volunteer Laurel Skurko (MBA '91), who enticed the Dean to share three of his favorite recipes, HBS alumni can try these everyday main course dishes.

Channa Masala (Spicy Chickpeas)

Ingredients (to serve 4)

  • 2 cans of Goya (or other brand) chickpeas
  • 1 ½ cups of water
  • 1 tea bag
  • 2 tablespoons tamarind paste
  • ¼ cup Canola vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion (finely chopped)
  • 2 medium tomatoes (finely chopped)
  • 2 inches of fresh ginger (finely chopped)
  • 1 small green chili (finely chopped)
  • 1 clove of garlic (finely chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin powder
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro (chopped) for garnish

Thoroughly wash the chickpeas from the cans. Bring the chickpeas, water, tea bag, salt, and tamarind paste to a full boil. Remove the tea bag and let simmer.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, heat the vegetable oil on medium high heat. Fry the onion, ginger, garlic and green chili until the onion is a rich golden brown. Add the chopped tomato and fry on medium heat for another 3 minutes. Add the coriander powder, cumin seed powder, red chili powder, and turmeric powder and stir for another 2-3 minutes.

Add the mixture in the saucepan to the simmering chickpeas and stir well. Let simmer for another 10 minutes.

When ready to serve, add the garam masala, stir, and add the fresh cilantro as garnish.

Shahi Paneer (or Chicken)

Ingredients (to serve 4)

  • 16 oz fried cubed paneer (available at any Indian grocery store) or chicken (boneless breast cut into ½ inch cubes)
  • 3 tablespoons Canola cooking oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 4 medium tomatoes, pureed
  • ¼ cup cashew nuts
  • 10 cardamom pods (shelled)
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup cream
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons finely sliced almonds

In a large saucepan, heat the vegetable oil on medium high heat.

Fry the onion and garlic until the onion is a rich golden brown. Add the pureed tomato and fry on medium heat for another 3-5 minutes.

Puree the cashew nuts and cloves in a mixer with the cream and add to the mixture. Add the coriander powder, cumin powder, red chili powder, turmeric powder , cinnamon powder and stir for another 2-3 minutes.

Add the water and fried cubed paneer (or chicken) to the saucepan; stir gently to avoid breaking the paneer. Let simmer on medium low heat for 10 minutes (or 15 minutes if using chicken).

When ready to serve, add the fresh cilantro and finely sliced almonds as garnish.

Bombay Aloo

Ingredients (to serve 4)

  • 6 medium Idaho potatoes (peeled, cut into ½ inch cubes)
  • 3 tablespoons Canola or any other vegetable cooking oil
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 medium tomato (chopped)
  • 1 lime
  • 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro

In a large skillet, heat the oil on medium high heat. Take off the stove and add the mustard seeds.

Return to the stove and add the potato cubes. Cover the skillet and let the potatoes cook on medium heat for about 10-15 minutes until tender (cuts readily with a knife, but is not too soft).

Add the coriander powder, turmeric powder, and red chili powder, and stir for 3 minutes.

Add the chopped tomato and the juice of the lime; stir and let simmer for another 5 minutes. Garnish with the chopped cilantro when ready to serve.

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