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September 01, 2009

An Indian Inspired Dinner


My stomach is growling and this sounds absolutely delicious.  After looking at the pictures, though, I told Big Bear we've gotta whip this up this week.  Thank you Beth!  So, are you ready for something delicious? Howza bout Melon Curry and Kicked Up Coconut Chicken Tenders!! Here ya go ...



Gather your ingredients, an onion, fresh ginger, fresh lemon, a red chili pepper.


And your spices. Indian inspired spices. Ground cumin, coriander, turmeric and cardamom! Oh my goodness, let me find something else to make with cardamom! It was, shall we say, outrageously expensive!!! My suggestion is to go to a store that sells it in bulk and buy just a small amount. However, I am not worried. I will use this again!  I will make a curry dish again. I will put this in my fruit breads and cookies. P.S. My friend just told me that she puts it in her coffee in the morning and it is fantastic.  So, there you go.... another use for cardamom.


Start making your rice now. Brown rice takes longer, but it's worth it. Make enough for leftovers.

1/2 of a yellow onion
2 thin slices of fresh ginger root
1/4 to 1 hot red chili pepper
2 Tbs. vegetable oil (not olive oil)

1/4 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. ground coriander
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
1/4 tsp. salt

Juice of 1 lemon
1-2 Tbs. honey


3 cups of cubed melon, I used cantaloupe, but you can use what you like; cantaloupe, honeydew, casaba.


Cut like so.


And then magically it looks like this.


I was shocked when I saw this. I thought I was the Florida Honey. You're going to need 2 Tbs. of this.


Here's that onion and ginger again. Use only half the onion, save the rest. Cut two nice slices of ginger, peel it, and....


Drop it into your.... oh, hello gorgeous food processor and mince the onions, ginger and pepper. If you are faint-at-heart, go easy on the red chili pepper.


Awww, look at Peggy with the electric blue eyes. Even her tail is uncurled because it is storming out, and she can't go for her walk on time.


Back to this mixture, see how nicely it is minced. That's what you want, little pieces.


And now... Specimen A, the white gloves, plastic. Get some if you work with peppers! It'll save your eyesight if you inadvertently touch your face or eyes! No gloves? Just wash your hands very well afterwards.


I'm not kidding....


That's the whole pepper, but I'm only going to use....


about 1/2 of it. I'm no dummy, they ain't called chili peppers for nothing.


Mince that in with your onion and ginger.


And prepare a lemon by juicing it.


Uh-oh, it's storming out. It's dark in the kitchen. I'm using a flash. Don't hold it against me. This is just what the mixture should be looking like. Saute your onion, ginger and pepper in the oil until soft but not brown, a few minutes.


Add all the spices at once and stir for another minute.The mixture will start to look thicker as the spices heat up.  No more flash pictures. I just can't do it to you.

Add the 3 cups of cantaloupe, stir and fry for another minute, and then reduce the heat to medium low and simmer another minute or so.

Add the lemon juice and honey and simmer one to two minutes longer.

Serve this with white or brown rice and the Kicked Up Chicken Fillets for a dinner that is Indian inspired and full of great international flavor. (Recipes below!)


See, I told you there was a storm. Peggy was so happy to get outside, and so was I to discover this gigantic rainbow!


Beautiful.  Now to finish dinner ...


You will need:
1 cup flaked coconut
½ cup Panko bread crumbs
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. ground cardamom
¼ tsp. ground coriander
¼ tsp. garlic powder
¼ tsp. ground black pepper
½ cup flour
1 ½  lb. boneless chicken breast tenders
1 or 2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup butter, melted


Here is about a pound of chicken tenders, about 8 pieces. I would plan on 3 or 4 pieces per serving.


Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Combine the coconut, Panko and spices on a flat plate.


Place the flour on another plate, and lightly beat the eggs in a bowl.


Dip the chicken in the flour first, then the egg, and then coat with the coconut/Panko/spice mixture. Place the pieces on a cookie sheet that has been coated with cooking spray.Drizzle the tenders with about 1/3 cup of melted butter, less to suit your taste. 


I'm serving mine tonight with brown rice and my melon curry along with some warm Naan, the traditional Indian bread, kind of like a flatbread, pita, etc. 

If warm melon curry and these particular spices don't appeal to you, make this chicken anyway omitting the cardamom and coriander and just use the salt and pepper and garlic powder!  Serve with chutney (recipe below) as a dipping sauce, or make a simple sauce using preserves such as apricot or pineapple and Dijon mustard. (I don’t think they use Dijon mustard in Indian cooking, but I could be wrong….)



¼ cup coconut
½ of a large sweet red pepper, seeded
¼ cup or more plain yogurt
½ tsp. salt
1/4  cup or so of very small dice melon (you’ll have leftovers from the whole one that you bought for the curry, so this is a good time to use some of it)
Place the coconut and red pepper into your processor or blender and process to a paste.  In a bowl, combine the yogurt and salt. Add the coconut/red pepper, and then fold in the diced fruit. Stir gently until combined. Chill until ready to serve. Excellent served with chicken, this adds a savory sweetness to the meal.

Now, was that a great meal or what?!!!

Of course, you've gotta get Beth's wonderful cookbook!  She worked her booty off for over a year putting together her favorite family recipes just for you (and me because I bugged her about it for over 20 years) and here's how to get yours ...

Happy Holidays

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