I’ve been making kefir, and to keep the grains happy (it’s is like a natural tamagotchi, and so far has turned into a bit of an obsession) the milk needs replacing daily, leading to a steady (bordering on overwhelming) supply of kefir.

So, I’ve been thinking of things to do with it. Having it like natural yoghurt, with a drizzle of honey or dollop of jam, goes a long way towards using it all. Keeping it in the fridge slows the fermentation when I’ve really amassed a load. Marinades are one way to use the stuff, as it tenderizes meat gently.

So, this is my take on tandoori chicken. Originally intended for the bbq, these were (on account of the English weather) actually cooked in the oven. To go with them, a (naturally) slightly sweet butternut squash curry. I did a few wings for my 3 year-old son, then added chilli and did the rest.

Tandoori Marinade

Ingredients

  • 1 onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • an equal amount of ginger
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp dhana jeera (which is a mix of ground cumin and coriander, a 1tsp of each will do it)
  • 1 tsp of paprika
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of pepper
  • ~200 ml kefir (or natural yogurt or even buttermilk)
  • 1/2 a lemon’s juice
    To taste:
  • chilli (I used 2 tsp of chill powder and 4 small dried chilies which resulted in a ‘medium hot’ chicken)
  • 1 kg of chicken (or preferred protein!)

Method

  1. Blitz all but the wet ingredients together using a food processor or blender. When you have as smooth a paste as your patience will allow, add the the yogurt then the lemon and incorporate.
  2. I marinated 10 chicken wings (1 kg) for 24 hours in plastic food bags (you could whack them in the freezer at this stage, then defrost over 12-24 hours in the fridge for when you need them).
  3. I cooked them for 20 minutes at gas mark 8, (220C / 430F) then turned them over and gave them a further 5 minutes at 8 (230C / 450F).

Butternut Squash Curry

Ingredients

  • ~1 tbs of butter
  • ~1 tsp of veg oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • an equal amount of ginger
  • 2 tsp Korma curry powder (or 1/3 of a tsp of paprika, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, oregano, and desiccated coconut)
  • 2 tsp dhana jeera (see above)
  • 2 tsp of garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp of tumeric
  • 1 butternut squash
  • 4 (small-medium) tomatoes
  • 400 ml stock / 1 stock cube
  • Slat and pepper, to taste.
  • 1 tbs of cream cheese

Method

(The indented instructions are prep you can do for the following step while something it cooking/etc.)

  1. Put the butter, oil, and mustard seeds in a pan. Heat until the seeds start to pop.
    • Slice the onions.
  2. As soon as the mustard seeds have started to pop, add the onions and cook until they have browned. (Pretty much, the more the better.)
    • Finely chop/mash the garlic and ginger
  3. Add the garlic and ginger, stir in and allow to cook for a few secs then add all the spices and stir through. Fry for a minute (but don’t allow the spices to burn).
    • Peel, deseed, and cube the squash.
  4. Add the squash, stir though.
    • To peel the tomatoes, score the tomatoes in quarters. Then pop in a jug and cover in boiling water for 10-15 seconds. Remove and the skin should just peel off. Chop the tomatoes into small cubes.
  5. Add the water from the tomatoes plus a stock cube to pan. Add the tomatoes and bring to the boil.
  6. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the squash has cooked. Leave the lid off, so the sauce thickens. (I cooked them for 15 – they were pleasantly firm.)
  7. Finish by stirring in the cream cheese.
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