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August 19, 2011

Freshii Restaurant and Gobi Butter Masala with Chicken

B and I had a day together today, and thus went to try a new restaurant. I got a recommendation for Freshii from a co-worker, and so looked up the menu and ventured out there. It's a make-it-yourself kind of place, and you walk in a grab a clipboard with a pencil and a menu paper to write your selections on. They have a pre-made menu with items you can just write down and order, or you can make your own salad, wrap, bowl, or soup. You add the veggies and protein you want, along with toppings and sauce or dressing. Then they make your order that's made just for you. 

I had a spicy peanut noodle salad type deal, with rice noodles, cucumbers, wontons, carrots, mandarin oranges, edamame, grilled chicken, and spicy peanut sauce. It comes in a take out container, which was nice because I couldn't finish mine! B had a classic wrap and added sriracha to it, and his was really tasty! I think I liked his better than mine! But this is definitely on my list of places to grab food during my lunch break at work. Here's what I got...
So, then when B and I got back to my place, I started making dinner. Dinner consisted of cauliflower and chicken masala with rice and naan bread. I found this recipe on my favorite new way to procrastinate, Pinterest. I added chicken just to add another flavor, but could easily be left out and just have the cauliflower, for a vegetarian meal. In fact, I think I liked the cauliflower better than the chicken. This recipe does require a lot of spices you don't use often, so I substituted a lot, but I also have collected a few Indian spices over time, so that worked out. I was worried my substitutions would change the flavor too much, but it was a little spicy, and also flavorful.

Here's the recipe adapted from Journey Kitchen.

For Cauliflower:
½ medium Size Head Of Cauliflowersplit into small florets (about 500g)
1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 Tbsp Ginger Garlic Paste (I just peeled an inch of fresh ginger, grated it, along with 3 cloves of garlic, also grated)
1 tsp Garam Masala
1 Tbsp Butter
½ cup Water
Salt To Taste
For Masala:
3 Tbsp Butter
1 Red Onion (Largefinely cubed)
3 Tomatoes, diced (Mediumred, ripe)
2 Tbsp Tomato Paste
2 tsp Ginger Garlic Paste/ 2 Cloves Garlic With ½ Inch Cube Ginger
1 tsp Garam Masala
1 tsp
 Cayenne Pepper
1 Tbsp Crushed Cashew Nuts/Almond
1 Tbsp Coriander Powder
½ tsp Turmeric Powder
2 Tbsp Heavy Cream/Thick Cream
1 tsp Dried Fenugreek Leaves/Kasuri Methi (I substituted this with 1 tsp of dry mustard)
½ cup Water
1 Bay Leaf
1 Green Cardamomcracked
½ tsp Ground Cumin
1 Stick Cinnamon (2 Inch)
Salt To Taste

1 Whole Chicken Thigh, drizzled in olive oil, add salt and pepper, cooked with whatever method you chose, and shredded

1. For the cauliflower, wash and separate the cauliflower into small florets and add all the ingredients except water and butter. Heat the butter in a sauté pan and add the florets. Once the florets starts to brown add water and let the them cook covered for about 5-7 minutes. You just want the florets to be tender and not mushy. Pour everything into a bowl and set aside.

2. For the masala, heat the butter in the same sauté pan. Add the cinnamon stick, cloves, green cardamom, black cardamom, bay leaf and black cumin.

3. Add finely chopped onions and let it cook.

4. Once they are lightly golden, add the ginger garlic paste.

5. Tip in the turmeric, red chilly powder, cashew nuts, coriander powder, tomatoes and tomato paste. Let the tomatoes completely cook till they form a paste.

6. Add water and let it come to a boil. Remove the cinnamon stick and bay leaf. Pour mixture into a blender and blend the mixture to a smooth sauce.

7. Add the sauce back to the sauté pan and let it come to a boil.

8. Add the cauliflower (along with the water) back in and let it cook for 5 minutes. Mix in the cream and crushed kasuri methi (or dry mustard) and cook for another 5 minutes. Garnish with more cream and some coriander to perk it up. Serve with white basmati rice, and buttered naan.

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