Chicken scallopine with cumin and mint
- 1-3 tablespoons oil (vegetable oil like canola)
- 1 tablespoon whole cumin seed
- 4 chopped shallots
- 1 pound think sliced chicken cutlets (enough for the 3 carnivores in our family when served with sides)
- Salt and pepper
- 1 cup chopped tomatoes (we used 1/2 can of del Valle chopped cherry tomatoes)
- 1-2 tablespoons tamarind puree/pulp (not concentrate)
- 1/2 teaspoon garam masala(optional)
- Handful of chopped fresh mint
- Heat oil on high in a large non-stick skillet.
- Add cumin and cook about a minute until it sizzles, smells fragrant, and darkens a bit -- do not burn.
- Add shallots and cook about 5 minutes on medium, stirring occasionally.
- Add cutlets and season with salt and pepper. Brown on both sides on high heat. Depending on thickness, they should cook through in 3-5 minutes.
- Remove cutlets, and add tomatoes, cook on high another 5 minutes. Stir in tamarind.
- Return cutlets to the skillet and warm through (or finish cooking through if necessary.
- Serve on a platter sprinkle with garam masala and mint.
- That's it!
You can vary the seasonings. Add some or all of chopped ginger, green chili or garlic when the shallots are almost done. Add 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric at the same time. Use fresh coriander instead of the mint (though I think the tamarind/mint combo is really nice here). Skip the tamarind and cook the tomatoes with some dry white wine, though you may need a few more minutes to cook it down. You could also substitute brown mustard seeds for the cumin, but this changes the regional character of the flavors drastically (from Northern to Southern India) so it deserves a separate recipe post.