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You may ask, “how does she figure out the menu?”  Well I had the tandoori marinade and chicken breasts in the freezer and started from there. I have some Indian dish recipes saved on my computer so I found the rice and chai there. I looked in the refrigerator to remind myself what vegetables I had. Then I searched for an Indian recipe to match what I had and Voila!

My Menu Board:

Tonight’s Menu

Tandoori Chicken

Cashew Rice with Golden Raisins

Broccoli Salad

Masala Chai

Indian cuisine all ready to serve


Tandoori Chicken (Tandoori Murghi) (1 9×12 or 2 8×8 Or 1 gallon freezer bag or 1 C container)

6-8 chicken breasts or any mixture of boneless skinless pieces or bone in pieces= 2 lbs. boneless, more if bone in (Can leave meat at home)

2/3 C plain yogurt

2 Ts fresh lemon juice or malt vinegar

1 T minced garlic

1 T peeled and grated or crushed ginger root

1 T ground cumin

1 t ground coriander

1/2 t cayenne pepper

1/4 t ground cardamom

1/4 t ground cloves

1/4 t fresh-ground black pepper

1  t salt

Prepare pans by spraying with nonstick spray.

Using a non-reactive bowl (stainless steel, glass, silicone) combine all marinade ingredients.

Place the individual’s chicken in their container and rub with the marinade, using approximately ½ Cup per order.

Place Plastic wrap over chicken, then lid.


Measure into the individual’s bag or container.



Thaw meat.

(Allow meat to marinate 8 hours. Do not marinate for longer than 2 days.) Remove the chicken from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before cooking.
Remove the chicken from the marinade, pressing lightly to extract excess marinade.


Brush with oil.

Place chicken on a well oiled or sprayed grill rack and grill covered with vents open, turning 3-4 times.

It is done when juices run clear.


Heat oven to 450ºF.

Place the chicken on a rack in a roasting pan, brush with oil, and cook, turning once, 20 to 30 minutes until the juices run clear when a piece is pierced.

Pan prepared to go into oven.

Fresh cilantro sprigs, slices of cucumber, red (Spanish) onion, tomato and lemon, for garnish.

Serve with rice and vegetables of your choice.


Broccoli Salad

Broccoli 1/4 large

2 T Sesame seeds , toasted

1 cup raisins (optional)


Salt to taste

3-4 cloves, Garlic, minced

Olive oil 2 tablespoons

1 t rice Vinegar

1 t Crushed red chillies (or to taste)

1 ½ T Honey

Toast sesame seeds in pan, watching and stirring constantly until light brown. Set aside.

Mix all dressing ingredients together and set aside.

Blanching the broccoli:

Blanching is a cooking process wherein the food substance, usually a vegetable or fruit, is plunged into boiling water, removed after a brief, timed interval, and finally plunged into iced water or placed under cold running water (shocked) to halt the cooking process.

The meaning of blanching is “to whiten”, but this is not always the purpose of blanching in cooking. Food is blanched to soften it, or to partly or fully cook it, or to remove a strong taste (for example of bacon, cabbage, or onions).


Blanching also kills bacteria.

Get pot half filled with water on stove and bring to boil.

Meanwhile, cut broccoli into big bite sizes. Trim woody part of stem off and cut stem into bite size pieces as well.

Get a large bowl filled with ice water.

When water comes to boil drop the broccoli into the water. Throw in a pinch of salt if desired.

Allow broccoli to be in boiling water for 1 minute, no longer than 2 minutes.

Immediately  take out of boiling water and drop into the ice water.

I have a metal colander that I put into the pan so that I can grab the colander and take all the broccoli out at once.

When broccoli chilled, remove it from the water and set on a towel and dry it.

If you choose not to blanch the broccoli you can cut it up into small pieces.

Toss the dry broccoli with the dressing and place into refrigerator until serving. Top with roasted sesame seeds and raisins when you are serving it.


Cashew Rice with Golden Raisins

“Brown Basmati rice is simmered with coconut milk and spices to make a colorful, fragrant Indian-style rice.”

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 1/2 cups brown basmati rice

1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk

1 1/4 (14 ounce) cans chickenstock

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander, 1 pinch crushed red pepperflakes, 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric, 1 bay leaf, 1/2 cup raisins, 3/4 cup cashew halves

Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Stir in rice, and cook for 2 minutes. Pour in the coconut milk, chicken stock, cumin, coriander, red pepper flakes, salt, turmeric, raisins and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook until rice is tender, about 40 minutes. Remove bay leaf and stir in cashew halves.

A boy in Mysore, India preparing Masala Chai

Masala Chai

4 bags black tea or equivalent in loose leaf


Cardamom seeds, 1 t

Cinnamon sticks, ½

Ginger cube (cut from root)

Star anise, 1


Cloves, 2

1 can sweetened condensed milk

2 Cups milk

2 T sugar (or to taste)

4-6 Cups water

You can use any or all of these spices. The first 3 are typical, in Western India the star anise and peppercorns are used.  The Kashmiri versions uses the cardamom, cinnamon and cloves. We are free to use what sounds good to us. If you don’t have the woody spices you can put in the powder equivalent.

Put all hard spices into a piece of cheesecloth and tie it.

If using powders, just toss them into the water.

Bring all ingredients to a low boil, turn to simmer for 6 minutes.

Strain into teapot and serve.

I learned about this recipe in a variety of books and websites and created this for my taste. I usually use the typical 3 spices for our home.