Have a fabulous 2012


Gaga: Rest in Peace (b.2002 - d.2010)

Friday, December 7, 2012

Today's Menu: Chicken Tandoori Masala...

I think that I have tried almost every restaurant in Seoul that sells halal stuff. One such specialized area for Indian/Pakistani food is Itaewon. In good old days, I used to like the choices we had at Mogul restaurant - located behind Hamilton Hotel....established in 1988 by a Pakistani ... when Korea opened up to the world via Seoul Olympics. This place was always pricey but many of their dishes were fantastic and ambiance always great. With time, I found out that there were some really good chefs at some really small eateries around Itaewon but then not everything on their menu was up to the mark. Some dishes are good at one place and some are equally bad so ...one has to go through a trial-n-error process and they will find some of their favorite dishes. I have recently discovered this little place whose owner cum chef was the head chef of Mogul Restaurant for 22 years until he started his own place...which is down the road from Seoul mosques' main enterance. It is called Pak-Indo Restaurant....very small and modest but some dishes are great. I like their Tikka Masala, Seekh kebabs, Shami kebabs, Palak-gosht, Nans (roghni), samosa are "khasta"  - not like a stone that you can use for Intefadah and last but not the least, kheer! My friend liked their mango lassi and chai and qahvah !

Many a times,  after paying a hefty price and trying their food ...I regret eating out. Not that I love to cook but I'm left with no choice but to cook more often than not. For that matter, I'm happy that we have Foreign Food Mart(FFM), where I can find any ingredient, one would need in an Indian/Pakistani kitchen...no matter how typical it is. Actually, in the past one year, we in Seoul have been lucky to have yet another store called: National Foods. They own 2 shops - one is just across from FFM and the second store is across from Seoul Central Mosque.

Anyhow, so when I go out  - the biggest attraction for me is NOT the halal meat but the nans (tandoori nans).

Prices in Korea for Indian/Pakistani food starts from 10,000KRW for one serving (that means a plate of dal/meat/vege- it is considered very economical) to 40,000KRW.

If one choose to cook by themselves then the cost is much less and the quality is much better. My tragedy is that I simply can't prepare roti myself anymore in my kitchen which runs on solar energy with conduction stoves and that means breads are history. So I have got myself a replacement and that is tortillas. I have also tried frozen parathas and roti from Malaysia (4,000KRW for 5 pieces). One can buy a bag of forty tortillas from COSTCO or Foreign Food Mart for 11 to 12USD. It is a good alternative for a roti  that everyone must have in their fridge....just throw in whatever on it like raw veges/salad/cheese/egg and simply roll it and eat.

Back to my cooking: well, my chicken tikka masala was actually a failure...but still it tasted O.K. Originally, Tikka masala is a British-Indian dish created in Britain....but it is one of the dishes that sell a lot.

Food bloggers have so great photos and recipes to share but since my project failed and I don't take great picture so there you go.....all shame and failure aside, I will still do a post of Tikka masala since I tried and made a lot of effort despite having have fever.

What I did was: simply marinated the chicken in yogurt+chicken tikka masala powder +garlic and let it sit for an hour but overnight marination has better results. Finally, I fried onion and threw in my (not -so -grilled -but)  fried chicken pieces. Left it on slow cooking for 30 minutes....and that was all. I garnished it with ginger strips and mint.  It was good in taste but really wasn't what I had in mind.

Serve it with tortillas or rice.
You can roll it in the tortillas and add in fresh salad...that tastes great too!