Recipes for Great Living (on a Budget)

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Dinner February 12, 2010

Filed under: Recipes — Detra @ 10:04 pm

This week has been a boring week as far as dinner goes so I haven’t been posting about it.  Not much to post about hamburgers, etc.  Tonight, however, we had an awesome dinner!  I went all out and tried two new recipes.  I have to admit that it was not the cheapest meal ever by a long shot and coupons weren’t much help either – but, we love chicken curry from a little place in town but have cut out our eating out so I had to attempt it at home.  The up front cost was more expensive than normal simply because the majority of the spices aren’t ones I typically have on hand.  However, now that I have them, they will last a long time.  SO, in the long run, the cost won’t be too bad.  I did shop around for the spices to get the best deals.  I even had to send my hubby to an Indian grocery store to get one of the spices.  This was VERY similar to the curry we have when we eat out.  It was so good!  Hubby said on a scale of 1-5 stars, he gives it 9!  The rice he said tasted exactly like what we get while eating out.  If you feel up to experimenting and like Indian cuisine, you should really give this a try.  It is a little labor intensive but the smell alone is worth it (smells fantastic!!).  Both of the recipes came from

Chicken Chicken Curry

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 red onion, thinly sliced, divided
salt to taste
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons ground ginger
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon water
2 1/4 pounds skinless, boneless chicken
breast, cut in bite-sized pieces
1 tomato, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon white sugar
3 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
3 whole cloves
1 (2 inch) cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon ghee (clarified butter)
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over high heat. Stir in 1/3 of the onion; cook and stir until the onion is golden brown and crisp, about 5 minutes. Season with salt. Remove the onion from the oil and drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Set aside.
2. Place the remaining 2/3 of onion and the bay leaf into the same skillet over high heat. Cook and stir until the onion has turned golden brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon of water, then add the turmeric, chili powder, paprika, ginger, and garlic. Reduce heat to medium-high and continue to cook and stir until the liquid has reduced, then stir in another tablespoon of water.
3. Place the chicken and tomato slices into the onion mixture. Season with salt and sugar. Stir in the cardamom pods, cloves, cinnamon stick, ghee, and 1 tablespoon of water. Cover and simmer on low until the liquid has reduced, 30 to 35 minutes. Stir in the coriander. Simmer until the liquid has evaporated. I did add more water and didn’t let it all reduce.  Next time I will add even more – we like it with more sauce.  Sprinkle with cilantro and reserved fried onions before serving. I burned the fried onions so we didn’t have them on ours.  Hubby added some red pepper to his to make it spicy.

Jeera (cumin) Rice


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 cup dry jasmine rice
  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • salt to taste


  1. Heat the oil in a medium size saucepan over a medium-high heat. Drop in the cumin seeds, and cook until they splutter. Do not allow the cumin seeds to burn or become really dark brown in color. Add the rice and fry it in the oil for about 1 minute.
  2. Add the water and salt and bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat to low and cover the saucepan. Cook the rice for approximately 15 minutes. If you feel the rice is getting burnt near the base of the pan as it cooks, one trick is to place the saucepan on another flat pan or griddle which is directly on the flame. Toss with a fork.


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