Indian-Style Chicken Curry with Chickpeas and Raisins over Spiced Couscous #bookclubcookbookCC

Fragrant, rich chicken and chickpea curry incorporates great flavors to make an amazing dish! Serve it over spiced couscous for a special treat. 

Indian-Style Chicken Curry with Chickpeas and Raisins over Spiced Couscous | thepajamachef.com #thebookclubcookbookCC

Happy Friday! I joined a new blogging group… the Book Club Cookbook Cooking Crew. And guess what! YOU can join us. Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla organized a group of bloggers to read through some great books and make some great recipes inspired by them. We are using The Book Club Cookbook as our guide and inspiration… you can read more about the club on her blog, but here’s the gist. Each month, one blogger serves as hostess to choose a book and a recipe from the cookbook. From there, we can make the chosen recipes OR draw inspiration from the selected book to create a recipe. Camilla is our July hostess and she chose Jhumpa Lahir’s Interpreter of Maladies for our book of the month, and invited us to make curry and lassis with her. At the end of the month, you can win a copy of the cookbook so you can follow along! Go to Camilla’s blog to enter now! :)

On with the recipe though! Have you ever heard of Jhumpa Lahir’s Interpreter of Maladies? I had not, and was surprised when I picked up a copy at my local library. It’s actually a collection of short stories centering on the themes of family, home, marriage, belonging, and more. Many take place in America, but I thought some of the most interesting stories were set in India. You don’t think about adaptations to new life in your own country… this book is just lovely! The first and last stories were my favorites, but they are all good. Have you read this book before? If not, you should pick it up! I highly recommend it.

Food is an integral part to all of the stories, and nearly each one mentioned curry! An Indian classic for sure, with as many variations as there are people. One of the recipes Camilla chose for us to make this month was a hard boiled egg curry. It sounds SO interesting. But Ben hates hard boiled eggs with a passion, so that’s a no go for us [and I don’t think I could eat a whole batch alone]. Instead, chicken curry it is!

Indian-Style Chicken Curry with Chickpeas and Raisins over Spiced Couscous | thepajamachef.com #thebookclubcookbookCC

This is one of my very favorite curry recipes, and actually is the one that made me love Indian food! Ben and I have made this recipe a handful time over the past few years… it is absolutely delightful each time! Every bite is rich and flavorful, and your kitchen will smell absolutely wonderful while you’re cooking. Ginger! Garlic! Garam masala! Mmm, mmm, mmm. The tomato and coconut based curry sauce is fabulous over the chicken and chickpeas and plump, juicy raisins… and the flavors are magnified since it’s not just served over regular ‘ole rice, but instead over a spiced couscous that is just bursting with more raisins and rich spices. Yes, it’s a lengthy recipe with quite a few ingredients… BUT it is oh-so-good. A great dish for company, a great dish to make on a relaxing night at home. It’s just as fantastic as anything you could get at a restaurant, but easy to make at home with accessible ingredients too. Make it this weekend! :) Enjoy!

Indian Spiced Peas | thepajamachef.com

And oh! If you’re looking for an easy side dish to serve with this, try these easy Indian-spiced peas. No real recipe… just mix together a teaspoon or two of coconut oil, a 10 ounce bag of frozen peas, and a teaspoon each of curry powder and garam masala in a skillet. Cook over low heat until hot, then mix in a about a 1/4 cup of coconut flakes. Ahhhmazing! Next time I might toast the coconut to make it even better. Yum!

one year ago: Ginger Ice Cream
two years ago: Mom’s Potato Salad

three years ago: Mediterranean Feta Dip
four years ago: Lemon Crinkle Cookies
five years ago: Big Thumbs Up Bite Size Soft Pretzels –> yes! my blog is FIVE! :)

Indian-Style Chicken Curry with Chickpeas and Raisins over Spiced Couscous

  • Servings: 6
  • Time: 60 minutes
  • Print

from Jenna’s Everything Blog – go to either post for great step by step photos if that’s your thing!

Ingredients:

for curry

  • 2 tablespoons curry powder [I used a sweet curry powder]
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 4 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 serrano chili, minced – remove seeds to reduce heat… or not, your call
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 1/4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 – 15 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 – 15 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts [I’ve also used chicken thighs]
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

for couscous

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 package Trader Joe’s Harvest Grains Blend [I forget what size it is…about 18 or 20 ounces I think] — can also substitute 1 pound Israeli couscous plus a couple tablespoons quinoa and orzo — or an equivalent amount of rice [I’ve made it all three ways!!]

Directions:

Set a small skillet over medium heat. Pour in curry powder and garam masala, then stir constantly for about 1-2 minutes to toast spices, until fragrant. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl.

In a Dutch oven or other large pot, heat 3 tablespoons oil over medium high heat. When hot, add onions and season with salt. Stirring occasionally, cook for about 15 minutes until onions are browned and caramelized. If you have you more time, cook the onions on medium-low heat for a longer amount of time to caramelize them more. But either way works!

After onions are cooked to your liking, add garlic, ginger, and chili pepper. Stir and cook for about a minute, then add in toasted spices and tomato paste. Pour in the chicken broth and crushed tomatoes, stirring to mix everything up. Add chickpeas, chicken, and raisins. Make sure the chicken is submerged as much as possible. Bring to a simmer, then cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for about 15 minutes, until chicken is just about done.

Meanwhile, prepare couscous while chicken is cooking.

In a saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add diced onion and cook for about 5-6 minutes, until soft. Stir in garam masala, cooking for about 30 seconds until fragrant. Add chicken broth, butter, and raisins. Stir and bring to a boil. Add couscous [or other grain], bring to a boil again, and cook for about 10-15 minutes until fully cooked. Liquid should be absorbed but exact time depends on what grains you use. Season to taste with salt or additional garam masala then set aside to serve with curry.

When chicken is fully cooked, remove to cutting board and chop it up into bite-sized pieces. If the chicken isn’t fully cooked, it will finish cooking in the sauce.

Return chicken to pot, then stir in coconut milk and peas [if using]. Cook for about 5 minutes, then add in half of the cilantro.

Serve curry over couscous, with additional cilantro on top. Enjoy!

SRC: Dijon Balsamic Orzo Salad

This orzo pasta salad is filled with all of my favorite flavors… dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar, tomatoes, basil, and garlic. Simple and sophisticated, this dish can fill all your summer party needs!

Dijon Balsamic Orzo Salad | thepajamachef.com | #summer #tomatoes #salad #secretrecipeclub #healthy

Ben and I moved to a new house this spring. Though we’re still in Nashville, we are on the other side of town, and as such, have had to get used to new everything. New grocery stores, new commutes, new running paths(!!!), new neighbors… and a new farmer’s market. Our local market is only a couple years old, and as such, is still pretty small. BUT size does not equal quality. Quality > quantity, ya know? Last weekend at the market, I couldn’t resist ALL the lovely tomatoes that have started to pop up. They’re juicy and sweet and oh-s0-pretty. And what better dish to celebrate summer tomatoes than a pasta salad?

Dijon Balsamic Orzo Salad | thepajamachef.com | #summer #tomatoes #salad #secretrecipeclub #healthy

This orzo and tomato pasta salad comes together, as its name implies, with a fantastic dijon-balsamic dressing. It’s funny, I found this recipe on Heather’s blog, Join Us, Pull Up a Chair. She’s my Secret Recipe Club assignment for the month of July… and her family didn’t care for the salad very much due to the tanginess of the dressing. But I made it anyway. HA! I read the recipe before the blog post so that explains it. And the dressing was tangy, for sure. I adjusted the proportions a little but the balsamic and dijon flavors are pretty prominent and strong. If the dressing is too tangy for your taste, add more extra virgin olive oil, or add some honey. Ben and I thought it was perfect, a great pairing with the sweet tomatoes and fresh basil. MMM!

Dijon Balsamic Orzo Salad | thepajamachef.com | #summer #tomatoes #salad #secretrecipeclub #healthy

One of the reasons I love participating in the SRC is getting to check out the blogs of other foodies. There’s always SO many good recipes to choose from. Heather started her blog several years ago as way to organize all her recipes because they were taking over her office. I can relate to that! Some of the other recipes I found on her blog that I can’t wait to try include snickerdoodle biscotti, Kung Pao chickpeas, cranberry hootiecreeks [what an awesome name for a cookie!], and cranberry vanilla shortbread cookies. If any of those recipes sound up your alley, be sure to check out Heather’s blog! I’m sure you’ll love it as much as I do. And don’t forget to make this dijon balsamic orzo salad, stat! Enjoy!

one year ago: Spicy Peanut Noodles with Kale and Edamame
two years ago: Ginger Banana Waffles
three years ago: Minty Asian Slaw
four years ago: Lemon Crinkle Cookies

Dijon Balsamic Orzo Salad

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Time: 30 minutes
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slightly adapted from Join Us, Pull Up a Chair

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces orzo pasta [another small shape would work too]
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 – 15 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons whole grain dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced [if you really like garlic… if not, use 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder]
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, cut into a chiffonade

Directions:

Cook orzo according to package directions. While orzo is cooking, toss tomatoes and chickpeas together in a medium bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, mustard, oregano, and garlic. When pasta is cooked, drain and then place in bowl with the tomatoes. Stir together, then pour dressing and toss to coat. Season with pepper to taste, then stir in basil or use as a garnish.

If the dressing is too tangy for your taste, add more extra virgin olive oil, or add some honey.

Salad tastes great warm, at room temperature, or cold. Also, it doubles easily! Add other veggies or some cheese if desired.

Click below for more recipes from this month’s edition of the Secret Recipe Club!

Turkey Sloppy Joes

These turkey sloppy joes are full of great flavors and are super easy to throw together after a long day! Plus, this recipe freezes well so make a big batch to enjoy another time too!

Turkey Sloppy Joes | an easy, healthy meal that everyone will love! | thepajamachef.comSummertime makes me think of sloppy joes. I know they’re stereotypically a “kid food” that comes out of a can. However, I don’t really remember eating them until later in life. I always skipped over them in the lunch line in elementary school, so it wasn’t until I worked at a summer camp in college that I really ate them regularly. At camp, you eat what you get… or you eat PBJs. :) And you’re hungry from being outdoors ALL day long, so you really DO want to eat, no matter what’s on the menu. Those were some of the best summers of my life and I wouldn’t trade them for anything. If you work at camp, you’ll understand I’m sure.

Turkey Sloppy Joes | an easy, healthy meal that everyone will love! | thepajamachef.comAround this time, my mom started making homemade sloppy joes using this recipe from the Neely’s. While I love that recipe, it isn’t quite as good with ground turkey so I started trying other recipes online. And this is a recent one I tried that we LOVED! So of course, I had to share it. :) It’s BBQ sauce based, meaning it tastes like a million bucks with minimal effort [read: no measuring a zillion spices]. Just give this a quick 20 minute simmer after cooking the turkey and veggies, and you are golden! It’s not too sweet, not too tangy… absolutely perfect.

Turkey Sloppy Joes | an easy, healthy meal that everyone will love! | thepajamachef.comI’m not much of a “freezer cooking” kind of girl but I do like to make big batches of our favorite meals and freeze some of it for a future busy night. This recipe freezes great, and is a great one to double! I like to let it cool and pop half into a freezer bag for another time, but something else you could try is portioning it out into smaller tupperware containers that you could grab for a work lunch or single serving dinner. I think I’m too messy of an eater to eat sloppy joes in the middle of the work day, but I really like the idea now so I just might try it! :) Enjoy!

one year ago: BBQ Baked Spaghetti
two years ago: Honey Lemon Thyme Iced Tea
three years ago: Chocolate Chip Banana Pancakes
four years ago: Spiced Waffles

Turkey Sloppy Joes

  • Servings: 6
  • Time: 45 minutes
  • Print

slightly adapted from Ambitious Kitchen

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 cup sweet yellow onion, diced
  • 1 cup sweet bell peppers [I used red, yellow, and orange mini peppers]
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup BBQ sauce [I like Sweet Baby Ray’s]
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • red pepper flakes, if desired
  • hamburger buns, for serving
Directions:
In a large skillet set over medium heat, heat olive oil. When it’s hot, add onion and peppers and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic at the end and cook an extra 30 seconds or so, until fragrant. Remove veggies from pan and place in a bowl.
Then, add the turkey to the skillet and cook until no longer pink, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as you go. Drain any grease if necessary. Then add veggies back to the pan, along with the tomato sauce, BBQ sauce, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, tomato paste, hot sauce, and brown sugar. Stir to combine.
Reduce heat to medium-low, then simmer for 15-20 minutes. Taste and season with red pepper flakes and freshly ground black pepper as desired. Additional brown sugar or even ketchup can be used if the sauce is too tangy/tart. Serve on hamburger buns and enjoy!
This recipe also freezes well!

#HotSummerEats: Cherry Chipotle Chicken Salad with Cherry Lime Salsa

Inspired by your favorite summer drink, this tangy sweet ‘n savory Cherry Lime Salsa is phenomenal with tortilla chips or atop a crunchy chicken salad. Salads in summer just taste better. Fresh ingredients, lots of textures, veggies, fruit… what’s not to love? This is a new favorite!

Cherry Chipotle Chicken Salad with Cherry Lime Salsa for #HotSummerEats | thepajamachef.com #salad #recipe #summer

Cherry Limeade is the quintessential summer drink, isn’t it? Whether you have a Sonic nearby or not, it just sounds like summer! Cherries, limes, sugar… mmm. This fantastic summer salad/salsa combo is inspired by the refreshing beverage and I’m sure you’re going to love it! Before I tell you all about it, can I let you in on a little secret? I don’t think I’ve ever had a whole Cherry Limeade of my own! Seriously. I think I just steal sips from Ben’s. :) But that’s okay, this salsa MORE than makes up for it. The salsa is incredibly simple–only three ingredients. Cherries, a lime, and some Cherry Chipotle Not Ketchup. “No’chup” as Ben calls it is fantastic. I’ve been able to try a few flavors, and this one is amazing. It’s sweet and smoky with a hint of spice. Thanks, Erika, for your sponsorship! The salsa is sweet, smoky, and tangy all at once. I was sampling it with tortilla chips when I had a flashback to this BBQ chicken salad I made every other week last summer and decided to shake it up with some cherry chipotle flavors.

Cherry Chipotle Chicken Salad with Cherry Lime Salsa for #HotSummerEats | thepajamachef.com #salad #recipe #summer

The combination of crisp romaine, crunchy corn, and sweet tomatoes is awesome on its own. But add in that Cherry Lime Salsa and some chicken tossed in more of the Cherry Chipotle Not Ketchup and you have a masterpiece! Admittedly, this salad is simple but it is very tasty and looks fancy to impress your friends and family. You can purchase Not Ketchup online or in select stores in CA, MI, and a few other states, but in a pinch I think you could get some of the same flavors with cherry jam and chipotle peppers. [Not Ketchup is awesome and I’d purchase it on my own for sure but I always like to give people options, ya know?!] This salad is full of all things delicious and I’m excited to eat the leftovers for lunch today!

Cherry Chipotle Chicken Salad with Cherry Lime Salsa for #HotSummerEats | thepajamachef.com #salad #recipe #summer

By the way, making this salsa was made a zillion times easier with the help of a cherry pitter. I received one as part of #HotSummerEats from Casabella and it’s quite easy to use. I highly recommend it and can’t wait to use it to make my first cherry pie later this summer. Thanks for the gift! :) You can win one and some great other prizes as part of #HotSummerEats this week. Go here for the giveaway! Good luck!

one year ago: Dark Chocolate Double Coconut Macaroons
two years ago: Blueberry Burgers

Cherry Chipotle Chicken Salad with Cherry Lime Salsa

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 15 minutes
  • Print

Ingredients:

for salsa

  • 1/2 pound cherries [approximately 1 1/2 cups]
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced
  • 3-4 tablespoons Cherry Chipotle Not Ketchup

for salad

  • 2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
  • 3/4 cup Cherry Chipotle Not Ketchup
  • 1 medium head romaine lettuce, torn
  • 1 cup corn [frozen or sliced off the cob]
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • crushed tortilla chips, for topping

Directions:

Wash and pit cherries, then slice into quarters and place in a bowl. Stir in zest and juice from 1  lime, then add 3 tablespoons Cherry Chipotle Not Ketchup. Taste and add another tablespoon or so if desired. Set aside while preparing salad.

In a small bowl, stir together cooked, shredded chicken and Cherry Chipotle Not Ketchup. Heat on the stove or in the microwave until warm. Divide lettuce, corn, and tomatoes between four plates or large bowls. Top with chicken, cherry lime salsa, and crushed tortilla chips. Enjoy!

For more delicious #HotSummerEats recipes, check out the link below!

Disclaimer: Thank you to Not Ketchup and Casabella for providing samples and product to use for#HotSummerEats recipes without additional compensation. I was not asked to provide positive feedback. All opinions are my own. Please check Not Ketchup out on Facebook, TwitterInstagram, Google+, and Pinterest for more information on their products. You can also find Casabella on Twitter and Facebook to learn more.

 

#HotSummerEats: Southwestern Cilantro Mac and Cheese

An easy, creamy baked macaroni and cheese with corn and tomatoes… and a kick of Southwestern flair!

Southwest Cilantro Mac and Cheese for #HotSummerEats on thepajamachef.com

Welcome to day 1 of #HotSummerEats! Don’t forget to read all about the event and check out the giveaway here. There are lots of great items up for grabs and I’d love for my readers to win. :) </end plug> When I first started thinking about the concept of hot summer eats, barbecue foods were the first to come to mind. And thanks to the sweet lady who served as our cook in my sorority house in college [shout out to RV!], when I hear barbecue, I also think “mac and cheese.” She’d always serve BBQ chicken with mac and cheese, and that combo is fabulous!

Southwest Cilantro Mac and Cheese for #HotSummerEats on thepajamachef.com

There are several mac and cheese recipes that I love–a stovetop version and a baked version–but both can be kind of fussy and time consuming. In the summer, especially when preparing food for a party or barbecue, speed is imperative. So when I found a recipe for a baked mac and cheese dish that used sour cream and shredded cheese for the sauce, I was pumped! That is SO easy and sounded fabulous. I also stirred in some of my kitchen staples–canned tomatoes and frozen corn–to kick up this dish a notch.

Southwest Cilantro Mac and Cheese for #HotSummerEats on thepajamachef.com

For flavors, I used some Gourmet Garden stir-in pastes: cilantro and chili pepper. I’ve used these so much in the past and am so glad to say that they’re a sponsor of #HotSummerEats! They’re so easy and convenient to use, and add a ton of flavor in one easy package! The result? This mac and cheese was super cheesy, super flavorful, and super delicious! The easy sauce was just as tasty as some of its more fussy counterparts, though you do have to give it a good stir after baking to evenly distribute to cheese. Small problems though, when this dish is so good! I hope you love it as much as we do. :)

one year ago: Black Bean and Rice Soup
four years ago: Lemony Kale Pasta

Southwestern Cilantro Mac and Cheese

  • Servings: 8
  • Time: 60 minutes
  • Print

adapted from Good Cheap Eats

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound cavatappi pasta
  • 8 ounces Jalapeno Light Cheddar Cheese, cut into chunks [I used Cabot; a pepperjack would also work]
  • 4 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded – divided
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 – 10 ounce can diced tomato and green chiles, drained
  • 1/2 cup corn, from an ear of cooked corn or frozen works too
  • 1/4 cup Cilantro Paste – from Gourmet Garden [or about 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro]
  • 2 tablespoons Chili Pepper Paste – from Gourmet Garden  [or other spice like red pepper flakes or hot sauce, to taste]
  • Lightly Dried Cilantro – from Gourmet Garden, for topping [or chopped fresh cilantro]

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees while a large pot of water comes to a boil. Grease a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray.

Cook pasta until just under al dente, since it will cook further in the oven. In a large bowl, stir together Jalapeno cheese, half of the shredded cheddar cheese, tomatoes, corn, cilantro, and chili pepper paste.

When pasta is done, drain and add pasta to the sauce in the bowl. Stir together to combine, then transfer to the baking dish. Note: there will not be tons of extra sauce, just enough to coat the noodles. Place in preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown.

Stir pasta and sauce together in baking dish to recombine and then serve with additional cilantro.

For more #HotSummerEats recipes, click the link below:

Disclaimer: Thank you to Gourmet Garden for providing samples and product to use for#HotSummerEats recipes without additional compensation. I was not asked to provide positive feedback. All opinions are my own. Please check them out on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest for more information on their products.