Devon Ave: Indian-Jewish Adventure!

Have you ever been to an ethnic market and feel a little lost in translation? Curious about ethnic ingredients and want to learn more about them? Interested in finding some great deals on fresh fruits/vegetables and exotic ingredients at reasonable prices? Well, my group is joining me as I explore Chicagoland ethnic neighborhoods each month.

This month, my tour is dedicated to Indian/Pakistani cuisine & culture located on the far north side of Chicago, on Devon Ave. But believe it or not, there is also a section of Devon highlighting European & Jewish culture as well. The second half of our tour will be focused on European (Russian & Georgian specifically) and Jewish cuisine & culture. So for this blogging adventure, create an Indian or Jewish inspired dish!


BLOGGERS: Join in the fun and share a recipe of an Indian or Jewish inspired dish for this blogging adventure!

1) Make a dish specific to your hometown, city, region, and/or country and create a blog post about it from now (the date of this post) until the midnight, November 30th. Any previous blog posts you have where you’ve created an Indian or Jewish inspired dish are happily accepted.

2) Add a link back to my blog within your blog post, Joelen’s Culinary Adventures.

3) Send an email with the following information to itsjoelen@gmail.com:
– Title of the blogging adventure in subject line
– Your first name
– Your state and/or country location if outside the U.S.
– Your food blog name & link to your event entry that includes pictures

You can participate even if you don’t have a blog. Non-bloggers can email the above information (sans blog details) and I’ll include it in the round up.

But wait… there’s also a GIVEAWAY! Participate and you just might receive a giveaway item related to the blogging event. The chosen blogger for the giveaway will be contacted via email when the round up is posted to obtain mailing information. Good luck and hope you can join me in my Culinary Adventures!

Chickenpea Salad w/Cilantro Lime dressing

The following recipe was prepared during my International Chefs Dinner. You can read about it and check out the other recipes that were made for the event HERE.

Chickenpea Salad w/Cilantro Lime dressing
shared at the event by Yumi
recipe courtesy of Vikas Khanna

2 (15 oz or 425 grams) chickpeas, washed and drained

1 medium red onion

1 medium ripe tomato

Juice of 2 limes

4 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro

1 tablespoon tamarind paste

Salt to taste

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Mix all the ingredients in a large (non-reactive) mixing bowl and serve cold as a salad or a side dish.

Coriander Lemon Chicken

The following recipe was prepared during my International Chefs Dinner. You can read about it and check out the other recipes that were made for the event HERE.

Coriander Lemon Chicken
shared at the event by Teresa
recipe courtesy of Madhur Jaffrey
2 lbs skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut in large chunks
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
5 cloves finely chopped garlic
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger, mixed with
4 tablespoons water
7 ounces fresh coriander leaves, washed and very finely chopped
1 finely chopped and deseeded green chili pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
salt
5 fluid ounces water
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Heat the oil and brown the chicken, you might have to do that in batches, remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add the garlic to the same oil, when that starts to brown lower the heat to medium and add the ginger/water mix, fry this for 1 minute Then add: coriander, chili, cayenne, cumin, coriander, turmeric and salt, cook for another minute and mix well.

Return the chicken to the pan, with the accumulated juices, add the water and the lemon juice.


Stir, bring to the boil, and then cover and simmer on a low heat for 15 minutes, depending what chicken meat is used.


When cooked and you find the sauce too thin, uncover the pot and reduce the sauce by using some higher heat.

Fragrant Korma Curry

Our palattes were in the mood for something exotic tonight. One of my favorite ethnic cuisines is Indian and the fragrant spices seemed to be just what we needed. Tonight I made a lamb korma curry.
Korma is a type of mild curry dish from Indian and is often made with a yogurt sauce, cream or peanuts. The flavor is based on a mixture of spices, combined with yogurt and/or cream kept below curdling temperature and incorporated slowly and carefully.

Here is my recipe for Lamb Korma Curry. Note there are a few traditional Indian ingredients, which I purchased from an Indian market:

1.5 lb lamb chops
1 large onion, chopped
2oz ghee
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon fenugreek
2 cardamom pods, crushed
1 teaspoon hot chilli powder
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cups water or beef broth
1-2 baking potatoes, chopped
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup plain yogurt
salt & pepper, to taste

In a dutch oven, heat ghee and saute onions, garlic.
When onions have softened, add lamb and brown.
Add the remaining ingredients except the potatoes, peas and yogurt.
Stir and cover, allowing the lamb to simmer on low.
Simmer for about 30-45 minutes to ensure the lamb is tender.
After 30 minutes, add chopped potatoes. Cover & simmer.
After 45 minutes, add frozen peas and stir.
Remove from heat and stir in yogurt.
Allow it to rest covered for 5-10 minutes before serving.

I served this over couscous cooked in beef broth and a side of garlic naan.

Devon-A-Thon!

Today, a local Chicago food community hosted an outing focused on Indian & Pakistani food & culture. We did a small walking tour of our own along Devon Avenue, hence the term “Devon-A-Thon!”

Here in Chicago, Devon Avenue is synonymous with the South Asian community. Devon Avenue is a street that is rich in culture and caters to people from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Thailand, Croatia, and many others. Sections of Devon Avenue have been given secondary names in honor of the people that inhabit the respective areas. Devon Avenue also goes by the names of Gandhi Marg, Mohammed Ali Jinnah Way, and Golda Meier Blvd. Here are some places that we visited along with a few pictures of interesting (and delicious!) food finds:
Patel Brothers Grocery Store
2542 W. Devon

Patel Brothers is a well known grocery store on Devon. It has amazing stock of spices, unique flavored ice creams, many frozen indian & pakistani foods as well as quite a few ethnic ingredients I’m anxious to learn more about. I plan on visiting there soon after more research on the cuisine, ingredients and culture, and perhaps trying my hand at more authentic recipes.

Sabri Nihari Restaurant
2511 W. Devon

Sabri Nihari is a wonderful Pakistani restaurant. The food was so good, I’m thrilled that I live near by to stop in more often. Here are some of the things we ordered with some unpictured – it was too good I forgot to pull out the camera!:

Vegetable Samosas
Handmade flaky golden pastry, stuffed with potatoes &
special mixed vegetables which were deep fried.
Onion Kulcha
A variation of a naan bread that has minced onion & spices.

Chicken Charga
An outstanding dishes of Punjab, Pakistan
deep fried whole chicken marinated with secret spices.
Frontier Chicken
Boneless pieces of tender chicken cooked on low flame grill
with tomato, onion, green pepper, ginger, garlic, cilantro & organic herbs.

Vegetable Pakora
Lightly battered vegetables, fried to a golden finish.

Sabri Nihari

Tender beef which has been cooked with a flavorful & rich gravy

Kahari Gosht
Tender goat that is cooked with ginger, garlic,
tomato and chili powder in a traditional pot.

King Sweets
2308 W. Devon
For dessert, we hit up King Sweets, which is a very interesting sweet shop filled with various Pakistani sweets. I wasn’t familiar with many of their offerings but the folks there were kind enough to allow me to sample quite a few to determine which I liked. They were all good but here’s the sweet stuff I got to enjoy to myself along with pictures of all their goodies!
Carrot Halwa
… tastes like a dense carrot cake
Jalebi
… made from deep-fried, syrup-soaked batter & shaped into a large,
chaotic pretzel shape. It can be served dripping warm or cold.
It has a somewhat chewy texture with a crystallized sugary crunch.
Galub Jamun
…a popular Indian/ Pakistani sweet dish comprised of fried dough
(made of condensed milk solid and very little flour)
in a sugar syrup flavoured with cardamom seeds and rosewater or saffron.
I got one that was filled with an almond paste… yum!
Kalakand
…a concoction of cheese curds, pistachios, sugar, butter, and cardamom
Ajamari Kalakand
…made of nuts, pure Ghee and milk

While on our leisurely walk, there happened to be a Hari Krishna parade! I love how Chicago is so culturally rich and this definitely added some color and fun to our walking tour!

After the parade, we hit up a Cuban grocer & restaurant. Shortly after I headed home since it was within walking distance. I’ll save the Cuban grocer/restaurant for another time dedicated to cuban cuisine.

MMMMasala

I love ethnic food because its my little way of traveling the globe. So tonight I was craving some Indian flavors and decided to make Chicken Curry (also known as Murgh Masala). A Pubjabi speciality from North India, this chicken curry is fragrant with cumin and cilantro.
Here is my recipe for Murgh Masala:

4 chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
2 medium onions, chopped
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespon paprika
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 can of tomato sauce
1 cup water
2 teaspoons ground cumin or Garam Masala
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
Salt to taste
1 can of sweet peas
1 can of garbanzo beans

Heat a large pan over medium high heat.
Add a little cooking oil and saute garlic, ginger and onions.
Add chicken and saute.
Add paprika, tomatoes, tomato sauce and salt to taste.
Add water and bring to a boil.
Decrease heat and simmer, covered until chicken is cooked – about 30 mins.
Add peas and garbanzo beans.
Increase the heat and cook uncovered for 5-10 minutes.
Stir in cumin and chopped cilantro.

* I served this over couscous cooked in chicken broth with chopped cilantro.