Tag: Indian cooking

Mint: Ridgefield’s fine new Indian restaurant

Mint: Ridgefield’s fine new Indian restaurant

Mint opened only a month ago on Route 7 (296 Ethan Allen Hwy) and is already serving excellent Indian cuisine to happy diners for lunch and dinner every night of the week. They also offer takeout of their entire menu.

Anticipating that it might get crowded later, we went about 6:15pm last Saturday, and there were already 3-4 tables occupied, and they continued to fill up all the time we were there.  The menu offers appetizers, breads, tandoori grilled kebabs, salads, soups, and lamb, chicken, seafood, vegetarian and Indian Chinese items, as well as a few desserts. There is also a Kid’s Menu. Their drinks menu consists of wines and beers.

Even though you might think this is a small restaurant from the façade, it opens into quite a nice sized dining area with simple, but elegant décor. When we were seated, we were immediately given a basket of light, crunchy Indian breads and three sauces for them: chutney, sweet soy and a mildly spicy green dipping sauce. All were very good.

We decided to throw caution to the winds and order one appetizer and three entrees so we could try out more of their cuisine. This turned out to be an excellent idea, because everything we tried was excellent. All if their dishes come in serving bowls with ladles, to facilitate sharing, which we definitely did.

mancurian shrimp

Our appetizer was Shrimp Manchurian ($9): crispy shrimp with hot cilantro garlic sauce. If you are concerned about being overwhelmed with hot Indian spices, just ask for “medium” which is only mildly spicy. And, don’t worry if you don’t want the cilantro, it was only in the sprinkled leaves and easily avoided. The shrimp were indeed crispy, sweet and hot and a truly delightful appetizer.

lamb rogan

One of our entrees was Lamp Rogan Josh ($20), a north Indian spicy lamb stew, although it was pretty mild as delivered to us. The lamb was extraordinarily tender and the stew smooth and elegant. Usually recipes for this delightful stew include garam masala (blend), ginger, turmeric, cardamom and garlic, and we detected hints of all those in this delicious stew. Note that they provided rice, “decorated” with a few pieces of crunchy carrots and some peas.

butter chicken

We’ve made Butter Chicken ourselves, but theirs ($17) is way better: smooth and silky with butter, cream, tomatoes, and the usual garam masala among the excellent blend of flavors in this dish. They suggested that this dish is easy to take home leftovers from, and that you could even make sandwiches from it.

coconut shrimp

Finally, their Shrimp Moilee ($22) was an exceptional dish, made with curry leaf, ginger, onion, blended into a smooth coconut milk sauce. It is surprising dishes like this that make you want to come back and try the rest of the items on the menu (and there are many).

Mint is an excellent new restaurant just up the road, in the complex with the Day’s Inn. The food and service are outstanding, and we expect to return often.

Mint’s online menu emphasizes their ability to provide nearly all of their menu for take out, and this might be great for surprise guests as well as a last minute dinner. But we really liked the atmosphere in their elegant restaurant and suggest you give it a try.  It is really quite impressive!

 

 

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Butter chicken: an authentic Indian dish

Butter chicken: an authentic Indian dish

Butter chicken
Butter chicken

We came across a really simple and delicious recipe for Butter Chicken (murgh makhani) published  on the 12tomatoes web site. It amounts to spices, chicken breast, tomatoes and adding cream at the end. Needless to say we had to try it and make it our own. While the recipe author suggests a mix of spices, they also note that that mixture replaces using Garam Masala which is easily available at Penzeys, or you might have made it yourself: there are many similar recipes here, here and here, just know that you can now order indian food online if don’t happen to have that much time.

parsley
Parsley

We also made some recipe changes, substituting parsley for cilantro, because of a cilantro allergy. In addition, some Indian chefs have suggested that this recipe is incomplete without fenugreek, which we include in our recipe below.

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp minced ginger root
  • ¼ tsp fenugreek
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 Tb garam masala (or see spice mix below)
  • Juice of one lime
  • 1 onion, diced
  • ¼ cup (4 Tb) butter
  • 1 22-oz can plum tomatoes in sauce
  • 1 pint whipping cream
  • 1 bunch chopped parsley (or cilantro)
  • Brown rice

Spice mix (if you don’t have garam masala)

  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp chipotle pepper or red pepper
  • ¼ tsp ground coriander
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves (we used a mortar and pestle)
  • ¼ tsp cardamom
  1. Add the garlic, ginger, spices and lime juice to a Ziplock bag and add the chicken. Toss to make sure the chicken is covered, and marinate, refrigerated for 4 hours or overnight.
  2. Melt the butter in a large skillet and sauté the onion until soft.
  3. Add the marinated chicken and sauté for 10 minutes over medium heat.
  4. Pour all the tomato sauce out of the tomato can and add to the chicken mixture
  5. Chop the plum tomatoes and add them as well.

    Tomatoes added
    Tomatoes added
  6. Stir until uniform and cook covered for 30 minutes at medium-low heat.
  7. Add the whipping cream just before serving, and sprinkle with the parsley or cilantro.
  8. Serve over rice.
parslied
Cream and parsley added