Vindaloo Spiced Breakfast Tacos

As you know, Amanda and I recently took a little run-cation to Nashville where we enjoyed the best experiences the city had to offer and of course the best food. I quite enjoy researching a new town and seeing what restaurant I would be sorry to miss while visiting. When I came across the Chauhan Ale & Masala House in my research I knew I was in love. If you’ve seen these posts, you definitely know that we both have a favorite place in our hearts for both Indian cuisine as well as brunch, and this place does….BOTH!? I had to go. Not even realizing this restaurant is co-owned by the James Beard Award winner Maneet Chauhan, we made our reservation as soon as we could for a nice, lazy Sunday brunch to help our legs heal from the beating the previous morning. While choosing just one thing from the menu was difficult, I chose the Breakfast Parantha Taco and it was absolutely wonderful. It was a flaky Malaysian paratha flatbread with vindaloo sausage, scrambled eggs, provel cheese, kachumber and mango-mint chutney. My only regret is that I could not enjoy more dishes from this restaurant but I knew I wanted to take this idea of a dish home with me.

Paratha/Parantha is an Indian flatbread that does seem some variation across regions. I did make my own for this recipe since I like to go as little store-bought as possible for these posts at least in initial tests. I used a recipe from my favorite cookbook, Hot Bread Kitchen (check them out–they’re pretty cool), and let me tell you–these were unbelievably delicious. However, making them involved a lot of brushing with butter (see previous sentence about deliciousness), folding, rolling, and more brushing, then folding, rolling, then brushing, then cooking–it was a lot. I was pretty exhausted when i finished the batch. So, if you’re a flatbread expert, have at it (I mean, I don’t regret the results)! Otherwise, grab some tortillas.

You’ll notice I did not make my own mango-mint chutney but I have included recipes below for Kachumber (which is delicious on its own) as well as an Indian spiced sausage, which I found to be the real star. Now, there are scrambled eggs involved with this one but I have not included a recipe. While I prefer my scrambled eggs Gordon Ramsay style, not everyone does (much to my embarrassment when I tried to make Amanda these style eggs while visiting). It seems as though every chef has a slightly different technique for “perfect scrambled eggs” so you go with the technique most suited to you whether that be creamy, fluffy or any texture in between. Once you have all these elements ready, you can’t go wrong with a delicious taco and an extremely enjoyable brunch. Enjoy!

Kachumber Salad Topping:

  • 1/2 medium cucumber, seeded
  • 1/2 beefsteak tomato, seeded
  • 1/2 medium red onion
  • 1-2 small green Serrano chiles, seeded
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • salt & pepper to taste

To Make:

  • Dice the cucumber, tomato, onion and chiles as evenly as possible. Roughly chop the cilantro leaves.
  • Combine all ingredients including everything you just chopped so beautifully into a small bowl and allow to sit in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
  • Then this is ready to serve on its own as a salad, but also the delicious topping for our breakfast.

Vindaloo Breakfast Sausage Crumbles

  • 1 lb ground sausage meat of your choice
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1sp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • Salt & pepper to taste

To make: 

  • Combine all spices except for salt and pepper in a small bowl so it is easier to add to the meat.
  • Place meat into a small skillet/saucepan and pour in spice mix. Brown the meat and ensure the spices are well combined while cooking (your kitchen will smell amazing).
  • Salt and pepper to your liking and once everything is evenly browned the sausage is ready to top your taco!

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Other Taco Fixin’s:

  • Scrambled Eggs to your liking (seems like every chef has an opinion these days on the perfect way to cook)
  • Flour tortillas (or paratha if you can get/make it)
  • Crumbled feta or shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Assembly: 

  • Although I think this part probably self-explanatory and customizable, here’s what I like: I like to add about 2 eggs worth of scrambled eggs on top of my tortilla, top with about 2 tablespoons of sausage, 2 big tablespoons of kachumber and top with cheese.
  • You will have leftover toppings unless you’re cooking for a brunch party (jealous!), so I’d recommend looking into making some freezer burritos for later enjoyment. It’s pretty easy–assemble, roll, wrap well with plastic wrap in a freezer bag and freeze. To reheat, remove plastic wrap and wrap in a paper towel. Then, microwave on high for 2-3 minutes.

Wine pairing: Well, if we’re doing brunch, have a mimosa! Although any aromatic white wine would also be good–and what I had when I had this for dinner.

Chicken Tikka Masala

 

Indian food is my favorite cuisine – the flavors are so complex and warm. Chicken tikka masala is a great introductory dish for someone unfamiliar with Indian cuisine. The familiar tomato based sauce and glorious spicy smell will win over even the most suspicious and picky eater! This recipe is an adaptation from Christine Ha’s Recipes from my Home Kitchen, which Merideth got me for Christmas this past year! An “adaptation” because it has my new favorite secret ingredient: fenugreek! When I was in Boston earlier this spring, I happened to grab a barstool next to a Nepalese chef visit for “research” (excellent excuse to tour Boston’s culinary scene!). I told him about my favorite tikka masala dish and he gave me three suggestions: 1) marinate the chicken overnight instead of the hour that this recipe instructs; 2) don’t discard the marinade when adding in the chicken; and 3), use fenugreek! I added 1 tablespoon to have a similar balance with the other spices.

Ingredients

1 cup plain yogurt

1 tablespoon lemon juice

4 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground red pepper (I substituted red pepper flakes once, but I don’t recommend it since the flavors do not blend as well).

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 tablespoon peeled, minced ginger (I typically grate it)

1 teaspoon cinnamon

salt

 

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into cubes

2 tablespoons butter

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon paprika

1 1/2 cups tomato sauce

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

Top with cilantro (optional)

 

Instructions

1) In large bowl, combine yogurt, lemon juice, 2 teaspoons of the cumin (half), red pepper, pepper, ginger, cinnamon, and salt. Add the chicken and marinate overnight (or at least one hour).

2) In a large saucepan, melt the butter, stir in garlic, and cook. Add paprika , remaining cumin, and salt to taste. Stir in the tomato sauce and cream and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the sauce thickens.

3) Add the chicken to the simmering sauce for an additional 10 minutes. Serve over basmati rice. I also serve it with fresh baked naan (more info on naan to come)!

Wine Pairing

For this dish, we paired with a nice merlot. Not toobold, but complimented the flavors nicely with it’s slightly spicy flavor and hints of berries–it matched the spiciness of the dish while  also adding calming notes between bites. IMG_0246.JPG