Indian Feast From the Pantry

Chicken Tikka & Aloo Gobi
Originally uploaded by kerner.

This morning when we talked about dinner we decided that we'd do something Indian to get rid of two chicken breasts we had in the fridge. The original plan was to use a prepackaged sauce, cook some rice, and make naan. Should have been simple. I missed a text from Sarah when I was leaving the church about our not having a sauce on hand and didn't go to the store. A quick pantry search confirmed her finding. I should have assumed she was right, I can't find anything. The naan was already rising so we had to do something. The solution was an aloo gobi type dish and a makeshift chicken tikka. The chicken came out perfectly, the aloo gobi didn't taste quite right, but it's good. Everything tastes inspired by the subcontinent. 

We ended up using evaporated milk instead of either yogurt or cream and incorporated other pantry staples like green chile sauce from New Mexico chiles. I'm pretty impressed that the entire meal was made from things we almost always have on hand. Served with homemade naan and jasmine rice with raisins it made the perfect meal.

Chicken Tikka


  • 3tbs butter
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 chicken breasts cut into bite sized pieces


  • 3tbs lemon juice
  • 2tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground red pepper
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup milk


  • 3tbs green chile sauce
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 3 tsp paprika
  • 8oz pureed tomato
  • 1 cup evaporated milk

Grind cumin seeds and add to other marinade ingredients. Cover chicken with marinade in a plastic bag or a bowl. We only marinated the chicken for 30 minutes, but it should probably marinate for two hours. Grind coriander and combine with other sauce ingredients, set aside until the chicken is done marinating. Drain marinade from chicken into sauce ingredients (this may not be necessary, but I did to offset the short marinade time). Melt butter in a saute pan over medium heat. Cook onions and garlic until slightly translucent and add chicken. Cook chicken. Add sauce ingredients, reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Aloo Gobi

  • 3tbs vegetable oil
  • 1/4tsp mustard seed
  • 1/4tsp cumin seeds
  • 1tsp ground turmeric
  • 3 chopped tomatoes (from a 28oz can)
  • 2tbs minced fresh ginger
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2tsp white sugar
  • 1tsp salt
  • 2 potato, cubed (we used cubed hash browns)
  • 1 head cauliflower, broken into small florets
  • 1/2 cup peas

Combine turmeric, tomatoes, ginger, garlic, sugar and salt in a bowl. Heat vegetable oil over medium heat in a dutch oven until shimmery. Add mustard and cumin seeds (whole), swirl them in the oil as they pop being careful not to burn them. Add onion, potatoes and cook (if using large potatoes this may take awhile, the hash browns cooked very quickly). Add the cauliflower and spice mixture to the pan. Stir to mix well (be careful not to turn it to mush). Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until cauliflower and potatoes are soft stirring occasionally. Stir in peas and cook until warmed.