It’s Indian Lasagna Time!

What does Italy and India have in common? Apparently lasagna.

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Some time ago I entered a local chef/cooking type competition; one of those mail in a photo of a dish you created for a spot in a real time cook-off. I created the not so lasagna, Goan Coconut Chicken Curry Lasagna recipe and entered the competition with a few embarrassing photos of me trying to look like a bad ass chef with my dish. I got a call from the competition organizers saying my dish won me a spot in the cook-off, which was awesome but then they said I would have to be at their office in Kingston straight away or I wouldn’t be able to participate. Now, I live in Manchester which is a good 2 1/2 hours away if you’re driving at a moderate pace, 1 hour if you’re driving like a crazy person so there’s no way I could be there straight away… That sucked.

But I got a great recipe out of the whole thing and I’m super excited to share it with you!

Shout out to Gordon who begged me to blog about this recipe smile face

Now before we get into this, I must admit that there is no lasagna (pasta) in this recipe instead I replaced the pasta with pooris which is an Indian fried bread.

The make up of this dish:

Pasta= pooris

Meat (protein)= Goan coconut chicken curry

Sauce= tomato sauce

Garnish= tomato and onion salsa and coriander leaves. The salsa is really optional; i love the acidity of it in this dish so I added it but it is not completely necessary especially if you find that the acidity from the tomato sauce is enough for you.

The star of this dish is definitely the sauce. The acidity and sweetness go extremely well with the spices in the curry and melts in with the sweet fleshy grated coconut. Choose super ripe tomatoes, organic if you can find; if you can get your hands on wild ones, that’s even better just watch out for prickly weeds.

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Wild cherry tomatoes

I must admit that this recipe is not 100% healthy, since the whole wheat pooris are in fact fried but other than those delicious pooris, I promise everything else is ‘A’ grade healthy.

Goan Coconut Chicken Curry Lasagna

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Print

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This recipe will have you looking like a super star chef at your next date night or dinner party plus you’re making Indian which is super impressive!

Heads up though, it takes a while to get everything together so some planning ahead is necessary. Thankfully, the chicken portion of this dish does well cooked ahead the day before so that will save you lots of time. But you can always get your date in the kitchen with you, giving you a chance to bond with him or her!

 

Ingredients

The Chicken

1 lb chicken thighs, boneless

Salt and pepper, to taste

1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder

1 teaspoon garam masala

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon coriander seeds

4 cloves

1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper (more if you like it spicy)

1/2 cinnamon stick

1 1/2 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste

1 medium onion

2 tablespoons oil

1 1/2 cup coconut milk

1/4 cup grated coconut

1 lime

1 tablespoon coriander leaves, chopped

The Tomato Chutney

1 lb tomatoes

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons water

1 tablespoon organic honey

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

The Tomato and Onion Salsa

5 ounces tomatoes

2 ounces onion

2 tablespoons lime juice

A pinch of salt

1 teaspoon chopped cilantro

The Pooris

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1/2 teaspoon oil or ghee

1/2 teaspoon salt

Water as needed

Oil for deep frying

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Slice chicken thighs into small strips and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Place all spices into a pan, including a pinch of salt, the garam masala and tumeric but not the cinnamon stick and heat over medium flame to toast. When you can smell them, take them out and grind them up using a pestle and mortar or a spice grinder. Set aside.
  3. Heat the oil in the same pan and add the paste, onion and cinnamon stick. Fry until translucent.
  4. Add the ground up spices and saute for five minutes before adding the chicken.
  5. Saute the chicken for about 6 minutes, allowing the flesh to take on the colour of the spices.
  6. Add the coconut milk and lower the heat. Allow the chicken to simmer in the curry, uncovered for 10 minutes.
  7. Add the grated coconut and cook for 5 more minutes; the coconut milk would have reduced and become thick, clinging to the pieces of chicken.
  8. Adjust the seasoning by adding more salt and pepper, if needed.
  9. Turn off the heat and add the chopped coriander leaves and a squeeze of lime.

The Tomato Chutney

  1. Dice the tomatoes into small pieces.
  2. Add all ingredients to a heavy bottom pot on low heat.
  3. Simmer for 30 minutes, covered.
  4. Remove the pot cover; the tomatoes should be soft and mushy.
  5. Taste the sauce and adjust the sweetness and acidity as you see fit but ensure that there is a balance between the flavours.
  6. Allow the sauce to reduce until you get a thick consistency similar to jam.

 

The Tomato and Onion Salsa

  1. Remove the tomato seeds and dice them into tiny pieces.
  2. Dice the onion the same size.
  3. Squeeze the lime juice over top and add the salt and cilantro.
  4. Toss and let it sit to get those flavours acquainted.

The Pooris

This needs to be the last thing you make after everything else is done because cold pooris aren’t bold pooris!

 

THE DOUGH

  1. Sift the whole wheat flour with the salt into a bowl.
  2. Add the oil or ghee and a little water and start to incorporate the ingredients with your hand (or a stand mixer).
  3. Add more water as you go and knead the dough to create a firm feeling dough that is not at all soft but tight.
  4. Cover the dough with a kitchen towel and allow it to sit for 15 minutes.

THE ROLLING

  1. Divide the dough into 8 small pieces then roll them into balls.
  2. Flatten the balls just a bit and brush them with a tad bit of oil or ghee.
  3. Using a rolling pin on a smooth, nonstick surface roll the flattened balls into round pooris. The trick is to gently roll out the dough away from you, turning it after each roll. Roll them thin but not too thin.
  4. Keep the pooris covered with a damp, clean kitchen towel to prevent them from drying out.

THE FRYING

  1. Heat oil on medium heat in a deep pan or dutch pot. Test the oil for readiness by dropping a tiny ball of dough into it. If it sizzles immediately and raised to the top at a steady pace, then the oil is hot enough for frying the pooris but if it sinks to the bottom with no sizzle action, wait a little longer and repeat the test again. If the ball browns way too quickly, lower your heat a bit.
  2. Add one poori to the oil by sliding it in from the side of the pan and watch it begin to puff up. Use a strainer spatula to lightly dip the sides of the poori in the oil to help it rise.
  3. Flip the poori over once it is golden brown and fry on the next side to achieve the same colour.
  4. Remove the poori and let drain on paper towel. Fry the remaining pooris.

THE GRAND FINALE

The Assembly

  1. Place a spoonful of tomato sauce on whatever your’e serving on.
  2. Put one poori on top of that and break the top. Spoon on some chicken.
  3. Cover the chicken with another poori and break the top. Add some sauce to that and top with more chicken.
  4. Finish with the tomato and onion salsa and chopped herbs.

A glass of sauvignon blanc and candle lights will go perfect with this meal.

If you try it out, let me know in the comments section or tag your photo of the dish on instagram with #indianlasagna.

I hope you shine today!heart

 

 

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