Monday, July 26, 2010

Turkey Kebabs with Tomato, Onion, and Cilantro Relish, and "Dry" Potatoes with Ginger and Garlic

I have been craving Indian food on and off for the past few weeks.  Rather than going out to eat Indian, I decided to use one of our Madhur Jaffrey cookbooks to make something since I got home early from work this evening.  Of course once I opened up Indian Cooking there were only about a dozen recipes that appealed to me.  But we had some ground turkey so the decision on what to make for our entree was fairly simple - Turkey Kebabs.  Madhur recommends serving these kebabs in pita pockets with cilantro chutney, or wrapped in parathas.  Since we grilled burgers the other night at a friend's place, I wasn't really feeling what sounded entirely too much like an Indian turkey burger.  Instead I wanted to eat it solo topped with some form of chutney or relish.  The relish that sounded the best to me with the combination of spices and ingredients in the turkey kebabs was her Tomato, Onion, and Cilantro Relish.  Then to go with it I originally wanted to make the Spicy Cucumber Wedges, but then we realized that our English cucumber had seen better days.  So I went back to the cookbook and picked out the "Dry" Potatoes with Ginger and Garlic.  We had some of the world's teensiest and most adorable new potatoes left from our CSA haul last week that I wanted to use and it seemed like a great side dish for our kebabs.

I think that Madhur Jaffrey's cookbooks are among the most successful cookbooks I own.  I am very rarely disappointed when I try out one of her recipes.  The kebabs were intensely flavorful, not to mention moist.  I loved the interplay between all of the flavors.  With the addition of the relish they were amazing.  I am a ridiculously large fan of both these kebabs and the relish.  Alex said that the relish at first reminded him of a standard pico de gallo, but then you get hit with the taste of cumin and cayenne and you realize this is no pico de gallo, but something else entirely.  Delicious.  The potatoes were pretty good too, but I'm just not a potato lover - unless of course those potatoes are in really good french fry form.  Alex is a potato lover, but his complaint was that the potatoes didn't carry quite as much of the "spice flavor" as he expected.  Although the potatoes weren't exactly a smashing success, this Indian meal was more successful than some restaurant Indian meals.  Madhur Jaffrey is officially my hero.

Recipes after the jump!

Turkey Kebabs
Adapted from Indian Cooking
By Madhur Jaffrey

1 1/3 lb. ground turkey
1 cup panko breadcrumbs, separated
1 tsp fine kosher salt
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
1 jalapeno (with seeds), minced
1/2 large onion, minced
1 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1/2 medium tomato, minced
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
vegetable oil
Lemon wedges

Combine turkey, 1/4 cup breadcrumbs, salt, garam masala, cumin seeds, coriander, cilantro, jalapenos, onion, ginger, tomato paste, and cayenne in a medium mixing bowl.  Using your hands, mix ingredients to combine, taking care not to overmix.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.  Form turkey into 8 hamburger-shaped patties.  Dredge patties in remaining panko breadcrumbs.  Place formed and breadcrumb-coated kebabs on baking sheet.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you are ready to cook them.

Add enough vegetable oil to a large skillet to coat the bottom lightly.  Heat over medium-high heat.  Once the oil is hot, add the patties.  Do not overcrowd.  Depending on the size of your pan, you might need to cook the patties in two batches.  Cook patties for 3 minutes on each side at medium-high heat.  Lower heat to medium and cook patties for another 2-3 minutes per side.

Remove turkey patties from skillet and serve with Tomato, Onion, and Cilantro Relish.

Tomato, Onion, and Cilantro Relish
Adapted from Indian Cooking
By Madhur Jaffrey

2 medium tomatoes, diced into 1/4-inch pieces
1 medium onion, peeled and diced into 1/4-inch pieces
1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
1 tsp fine kosher salt
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp ground cumin

Combine all ingredients together in a medium-sized nonreactive mixing bowl.  Taste for seasonings.

"Dry" Potatoes with Ginger and Garlic
Adapted from Indian Cooking
By Madhur Jaffrey

1 lb. potatoes(we used new potatoes, but yukon golds would work too)
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 large garlic cloves, peeled
3 tbsp water
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp fine kosher salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
5 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp fennel seeds (optional)

Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water.  Add salt (roughly 1 tsp).  Cover, bring to a boil.  To check and see if the potatoes are done, carefully remove one from the water.  Poke a fork or knife through the potato.  If it slides through easily, the potatoes are done.  If not, wait a few more minutes and try again.  If the potatoes you cook are all the same size, then they should all be done at the same time.  Drain potatoes and let them cool completely.  If using new potatoes, leave the skins on, but otherwise, peel the potatoes and dice them into a 3/4-1 inch pieces.

Put ginger, garlic, water, turmeric, salt, and cayenne pepper into a food processor (we used our mini food-prep and it was the perfect size).  Blend until it forms a paste.

Meanwhile heat a large cast-iron skillet or non-stick frying pan over medium heat.  Add oil.  When the oil is hot, add the fennel seeds (if using).  After fennel seeds sizzle for 10-15 seconds, add ginger-garlic paste.  Stir-fry to combine for about 2 minutes.  Add potatoes.  Increase heat to medium-high.  Stir and fry potatoes until they have a nice, golden brown crust, about 5-7 minutes.  Taste and add more salt if necessary.


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