Chicken Korma & Bharta
When I first moved to Amsterdam, I quickly discovered the food scene here is quite lacking in comparison to New York City. Yes, they have momos, ramen, pho, korma, and other Asian food I love here, but they’re sadly nowhere near as good as the restaurants in New York.
(If you hadn’t noticed, that’s the very pretentious yet very honest New Yorker in me talking.)
Oh, what’s a foodie to do?
I decided to up the home cooking game especially in the Asian realm. I’ve finally perfected my homemade kimchi recipe after four batches, am working on the best Chinese beef and broccoli (my favorite hangover food), and even decided to give it a go with Indian chicken korma and bharta.
I was a bit nervous because I never cooked anything legitimately Indian at home but found Papa Kuzmi’s Pure Cookbook, which has a modern take on the classic Indian cuisine. The modern bit was exactly what I needed.
I made bharta, which is essentially potatoes, cumin seeds, pepper, scallions, and hot pepper, for the side dish. I loved it so much that I immediately sent the recipe to a friend who decided to make this for dinner with an egg on top. I copied her and made this again for breakfast but with an egg on top. #yum
I also made the chicken korma to go with the bharta because frankly, potatoes as a side dish doesn’t satisfy my greedy palate.
At first, I was overwhelmed with the list of ingredients needed to make the korma but quickly realized, they’re really just a huge variety of spices that make the dish taste bangin’. The actual prep work and cooking is much less intimidating than the list of ingredients. It seems as long as you have all the spices then the cooking part is just like cooking any other dish– easy as reading one, two, and three.
Anyways, I’m satisfied with my newfound ability to make Indian food so am planning on using this cookbook more. So far, it tastes awesome, and bonus, it uses ingredients such as rice bran oil, coconut sugar, and other healthier alternatives that new age, hipsterish-like home cooks like me like to use.
My only critiques on the book is that:
- It doesn’t use standard cooking words that I’m used to. For example, on the korma recipe page, it said to “roast” the chicken, but I’m pretty sure it just meant for me to leave the chicken on the stove top until cooked. To me, roast means putting it in the oven, but this could just be a difference in our respective uses of English.
- The book doesn’t follow a normal layout of appetizers, main meals, side dishes, drinks, etc. It kind of goes all over the place, but this is because it’s not a normal cookbook! It’s more a story line, and recipes fall into place where life events happen. For example, there are a bunch of dishes under the chapter “Events” or “Day Off”.
This book follows more of a story line because the chef’s family made it all together to outline the stories of their father’s life and dishes, which is super sweet! Family and food definitely go together.
By the way, did I mention this chef has a restaurant, Hills & Mills, in Delft? Hoping to make it out there sometime soon, and try out his food in person. This will be the Indian restaurant that changes my mind about Indian restaurants in the Netherlands. #thinkpositive
Have you tried making anything new at home lately that you normally wouldn’t think of cooking? Share with me below!