Portugal, India, Japan, and Latkes

Saturday, 8 December 07
Minty Carrot Chicken
and Latkes for the holiday
a brief side-note into culinary history

128mintchiccook.jpgThere are Jews in India! According to Claudia Roden (“The Book of Jewish Food”), there are three distinct groups: the Cochinis, the Bene Israel, and the Baghdadis. The White Cochinis’ ancestors arrived as early as the 13th century from Spain, and in the 16th century from Portugal, Holland, and later the Middle East. They were spice traders. Ms. Roden includes a good summary of the history and culinary influence of Jews in India in her book. Of interest to me is the Portuguese influence because the Portuguese also affected Japanese food. An consider all the many recipes, mixes, and variations of Japanese curry!

Except for the mint, this recipe could be Japanese! At least it’s like the Portuguese and/or Indian (Japanese curry) inspired recipes I’ve tried from my book. This recipe includes sesame oil, garlic, ginger, green chilis, and tumeric to flavor the quickly braised chicken. Though the taste of mint might be foreign to the Japanese, I think its fresh accent would please a Japanese palette as much as the sparkling accent of yuzu juice or an umeboshi.

The chicken is also very colorful and pretty.

I’ll certainly make this recipe again. It really did cry out for rice to be served with it; the latkes would not absorb the delicious sauce, nor would we want them to.

128mintchickplate.jpg

128chickfat.jpg

128latke.jpgAs is our tradition, I burnt the latkes, even though I made gribenes in order to have schmalz to add to the oil to fry them.

But Mr. Tess made the applesauce (well, he cooked chopped apples)

and we were a happy pair.

128apples.jpg

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