Tikka is a type of Indian and Pakistani type food. It usually consists of a meat or poultry marinaded in plain yogurt and aromatic spices and then cooked in a tandoor -which is a large clay oven that can get up to 900F! Chicken tikka or Tandoori chicken are well known. Some people love Indian food, or they hate it. I can picture my mom reading this going “yuck” and making some ridiculous face. She is not a fan. I, on the other hand, really enjoy the use of exotic spices and would eat it any day.
Since kosher law prohibits mixing meat/poultry with dairy – I decided to use fish instead. Here, I used cod. It works well because it is a firm fleshed fish (say that 5 times fast) and holds up well to the marinade. And since I don’t have a tandoor oven readily available to me – I just cranked up the oven to the highest setting. Be careful! It cooks very fast. I am not sure why, but I decided to cube up the fish? You could just as well marinade it and cook it whole. A nice addition (that I did not have on hand) would be a nice garnish of chopped cilantro at the end.
You literally just use your senses on this one. I cubed up the fish and put it in a bowl. I then covered it completely with PLAIN yogurt. (don’t get vanilla – that won’t taste good) and starting going spice crazy! I added cumin, coriander, turmeric, chili powder, red pepper flakes, black pepper, and ginger. I did not add salt until I was about to cook it. After marinating for several hours [insert manageable amount of marinating time here] I layed it out on foiled covered sheet pans, sprinkled with salt and cooked it for about 7 minutes.
We don’t eat that much fish at home, mostly because I rather eat it fresh – which is why Sundays after our food shopping day works best. So, today I decided to pair it up with a rice that I had in a Persian restaurant and it was really delicious.
I cooked jasmine rice with onions, and then took ribbons of carrots, orange zest and toasted almonds. It makes for a good combination of flavors. To achieve the ribbons, you just keep peeling the carrot until you can’t peel no mo…
I saute onions until they are translucent. Next, I add 1 cup of rice and toast it a bit – I make sure to coat it in the olive oil. I then add 2 cups of water [you can use vegetable broth] and carrot ribbons – simmer until the water is evaporated. At the last moment, add the zest of an entire orange and fold in toasted almonds (I used slivered almonds for good texture)
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