Thursday, September 15, 2011

A week of 10 year anniversaries...

It's been a week of remembering events that happened 10 years ago, and my personal story is no different. While we were engulfed in the 9/11 tragedy, I was preparing to move to a different state, further away from home than I had ever lived. People that week repeatedly asked me why I would move to the Washington, DC, area from Pittsburgh, given the awful attacks. Yet I didn't feel unsafe. Unfortunately, there is no area in the world that is truly safe. I was excited to start a new phase of my life, yet, like everyone else in this country at the time, I was in a cloud of uncertainty about what would happen next.

Now, 10 years later on this very day, I've gone from driving my car packed with my belongings, my dad following behind driving the moving van, wondering where I would find work and how I would make new friends, to a day where I woke up next to my husband of 6 years in our home in Clarendon, with our 1-year-old daughter peacefully sleeping in the next room. It's such a wonderful contrast, it brings tears to my eyes as I type. God is good.

It's good to reflect on where we've been and how far we've come. We can see hope in the midst of tragedy and uncertainty. We can see love bloom where we didn't know it would grow. We can see that some dreams do come true. We can know for certain that there is redemption.

In honor of 10 years of living in Northern Virginia, I submit to you one of my new favorite recipes for a cuisine I didn't try until I moved here -- Indian food. It's not spicy, just savory and delicious. (I know many people who say they don't want to eat Indian food because it's too spicy. Not so here.)

So here's to trying new things, to future hopes and dreams, and to the next 10 years!

Chicken Tikka Masala
(Courtesy of Redbook)


From the pantry -
2 T. unsalted butter
1 1/2 tsp. each garam masala, garlic puree, and minced fresh ginger
1 (14 oz) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, drained well
1 (15 oz) jar tikka masala cooking sauce
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk

Fresh ingredients -
1 1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 2-inch chunks
1 cup diced onion
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Accompaniments -
cooked basmati rice with green peas - (follow cooking directions on the rice package, adding frozen peas while the rice boils)
Cucumber Raita  - optional - (see below for recipe)


1. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add chicken and cook 4 minutes, turning pieces as they brown (chicken will still be raw in middle); remove to a plate.

2. Add onion, garam masala, garlic, and ginger to skillet; saute 5 minutes, or until onion is translucent. Stir in tomatoes and saute 2 minutes longer.

3. Add tikka masala sauce and bring mixture to a boil; cover skillet and simmer 10 minutes. Add chicken to sauce and stir in coconut milk. Continue to simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes, or until chicken is just cooked through. Stir in cilantro. Serve over cooked basmati rice with green peas and Cucumber Raita.

Makes 6 servings.
Each serving: 278 cal, 15 g fat, 25 g protein, 10 g carb

Cucumber Raita: Coarsely grate 1/2 of a long seedless cucumber and squeeze out most of its water. Combine in a bowl with 1 cup thick Greek yogurt and 1/2 tsp. each salt, ground cumin, and dried mint. Makes 1 cup.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds fantastic! I am going to hunt for said ingredients in our wee small, semi-remote, town! I will report back!