Real Food for Real Life

Monday, March 15, 2010

A mistaken purchase...

Tandoori Pork with Coconut Rice and Indian Style Broccoli

I love vanilla yogurt, especially if I have some fruit to spoon it on top of, and sprinkling it with a handful of a nice granola cereal is especially nice too, with or without the fruit.  Imagine my surprise Saturday morning when I bit into my yogurt topped cantaloupe to discover that I had mistakenly picked up PLAIN yogurt, not necessarily a bad thing, but certainly pucker inducing when the mouth is anticipating the lightly sweetened vanilla version.  

This mistaken purchase led me to thoughts of a dish that I had always meant to try, but never seemed to get around to- Chicken Tandoori. I did not have the tandoori masala necessary to season the yogurt, but a quick internet search later and I was pulling a variety of spices from my spice drawer.  I didn't have everything called for, but I think I came up with a fine tasting variation (as attested to by the 10 year old who did all the mixing).  A dig through the freezer failed to uncover any chicken breasts, boneless or otherwise, a very odd thing because I ALWAYS have chicken around.  I did find an agreeable substitute in the form of a boneless pork loin.  After defrosting, I sliced off five nice chops and wrapped the rest up for use later in the week.  Those chops were tossed into a gallon bag with the seasoned yogurt and put in the fridge to await Sunday's dinner.

But now, what to serve it this Indian style pork.  Coconut rice was a given (don;t know if it is authentic, but we all love it), but I needed a green veg (yes, I cook by color).  A check of the veggie bins revealed avocados, asparagus, broccoli, romaine, and a lonely little lime.  Wanting something appropriate for the pork, I found, and a recipe for broccoli that sounded good.

Now for the verdict- the the rice, as usual, was delicious, and the pork was soo yummylicious that this recipe is a keeper (I am going to try it next with some skin on chicken parts).  The broccoli?  It was okay, but the family would have preferred plain steamed broccoli (one of our staples), so I won't make this again (why make more work for myself?).  And the leftovers?  Mine, all mine...

Tandoori Pork (or Chicken)

1 1/2 to 3 lbs, pork or chicken of choice
1 cup plain yogurt (I used low fat)
4 tbs, lemon juice
2 tbs. minced garlic (about 6 cloves)
2 tbs. paprika(I think chili powder would be good too)
2 tsp. minced fresh ginger (I used jarred ginger)
2 tsp.cumin
2 tsp. cardamom
1 tsp. cayenne
1 tsp. coarse salt
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. black pepper
Combine the yogurt and seasonings to form a thick paste.  Place meat of choice into a gallon zippered bag.  If using chicken with skin, slash the skin in several places to allow the marinade to penetrate.  Spoon in the marinade, zip the bag, and massage the marinade into the meat.  Refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to 2 days.  Place the bag on the counter and hour before grilling to allow it to come to room temperature.  Remove the meat from the marinade, leaving a thick coating, discard remaining marinade,.  Grill over direct heat to get pretty grill marks; remove to indirect heat to finish cooking (this didn't take long with my boneless pork chops). 

Coconut Rice (and a tasty variation)

1 1/2 cups uncooked rice, your choice (I used brown basmati)
1 can coconut milk (I have used both regular and "light" with success)
1 cup + about 2oz. chicken stock or water

Prepare your rice however you desire, for the needed cooking time (I used my rice cooker, sooo easy).  For the liquid, use the coconut milk with enough stock or water to make 2 cups, about 2 ounces, plus an additional cup of stock or water.  If desired, toss in a handful of unsweetened shredded coconut when the rice is done

Coconut Rice and Red Beans

When the rice is done cooking, stir in one 15 oz. can of rinsed and drained red beans.  Cover and allow to sit for a few minutes to warm the beans.  This is good sprinkled with thinly sliced scallions, white and green parts.
I always make this when I make jerk chicken.  The rice is so good that Chris doesn't even complain about the beans, and the leftovers are wonderful.


  1. Tracey C. on Facebook said:
    sounds delish! I love indian food and I adore coconut rice..I am a lover of anythign coconut :)
    Mon at 12:46pm

  2. Mary on Facebook said: too...I just had a glass of coconut milk and a banana as a snack :)
    Mon at 1:45pm

  3. Tracey C. on Facebook said:
    i have never tried the milk by itself?? what does that taste like?
    Mon at 2:41pm

  4. Mary on Facebook said:

    It's not the canned milk, I get it by the half gallon in the refrigerated organic section at's available in original (which I like), and vanilla (which Chris likes). It just tastes GOOD, all coconutty, but not thick. I won't drink cow's milk (yuck), but I will drink this :)

    PS I also have coconut ice cream bars (from Aldi) in the freezer...
    Mon at 2:47pm

  5. Tracey C. on Facebook said:
    Oh god I will have to stop by aldi now :) yum
    Mon at 7:02pm


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