How bazaar

Party on a plate
My dad visited this week to see his new grandson (my handsome nephew!) and be with us on Father’s Day. He brought me gifts from his recent trip to Turkey and several other countries. One of those gifts was a small bag with a tiny jar inside. I immediately knew what it was: saffron! It’s no secret among my family that I've wanted to experiment with this spice. My mom gave me some saffron for my birthday, but I hadn't used it yet. Cut to me making an Indian inspired meal for Father’s Day using the saffron that just a week before was in the bustling Istanbul Grand Bazaar.

I started the meal with an endive appetizer because they looked so good at the store. I filled the endive leaves with lobster and crab salad and garnished each one with a pinch of paprika. To counteract my hot apartment, I served freshly brewed iced Chai tea. My dad had a gin and tonic, which I thought was fitting since I developed my love for Indian cuisine while living abroad in England.

Lobster and crab stuffed endive
The next course was chicken satay with peanut sauce. I now want to invest in a cast iron grill for my stove since I had to partially overcook the chicken in order to cook them all the way through (the bamboo skewers don’t fit well in a pan!)

The main entrée was tikka masala. I seasoned the diced chicken with curry, garam masala, salt and pepper. The vegetables included purple and regular sweet potatoes fresh from NC (thanks, dad!), carrots, onions, red bell peppers (If my mother wasn't sensitive to hot food, I would have used chilies), broccoli, fresh ginger and tomatoes. Once everything was mostly cooked, I simmered everything together in the tikka sauce with half a cup of coconut milk. Cucumber from NC (notched using a lemon zester) was used as a garnish.
Chicken Satay

I followed this recipe to use my saffron. I was very pleased with the results. The only thing I changed was putting the rice in a bowl to keep warm and firm instead of fluffing it with a fork (I’m partial to neither). The saffron created wonderful aromatics and went well with the jasmine and onion flavors.

To cool hot mouths during the meal, I made a cabbage and radish salad. The organic radishes were also fresh from NC and looked beautiful. There’s an Indian recipe for this salad that uses a citrus dressing. The dressing consisted simply of fresh squeezed orange and lemon juice, mustard (I used my grandmother’s homemade mustard), honey and a pinch of salt. I microwaved the dressed a few seconds to help emulsify the ingredients. 

Other things that helped put out the fire included toasted naan bread and mango lassi, which I made using Greek yogurt with honey, fresh mangoes, and almond milk. 

For dessert I served donuts and ice cream. The donuts were apple cider donuts from the Wooster Sq. farmer's market and the ice cream was Talenti's coffee flavor, my new favorite gelato.

Tikka Masala
Saffron rice

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