My family just enjoyed such a delightfully delicious Indian-inspired meal, featuring grilled chicken skewers, that I just have to share it with you. But, before we get to the yummy stuff, let me tell you a quick story.
Thirty-six years ago, just about this time of the year, I was blessed to meet one of my forever friends on the steps of the Boucke Building on the Penn State Campus. It was the first day of classes my freshman year and Suzy and I ended up in the same English class, became roommates the following year and maids of honor in each other's weddings several years later. My family was a 12-hour ride from Penn State and so Suzy's family took me under their wing and treated me like a daughter (even when I caused Suzy to overdraft her bank account!)
One of my favorite memories was when Suzy's dad, who is probably 6″ shorter than I am, kept referring to me as one of his daughters to the Pennsylvania State trooper who pulled him over while he was taking us back to school. That recollection is one that still makes my heart smile.
Although I was pretty well traveled as a Navy junior and had tasted many different cuisines; the Indian cuisine I was introduced to through Suzy and her family was new to me. Not surprisingly though, it's a cuisine that I immediately embraced, especially the kheer that Suzy's mom would send on a regular basis. And what's not to love? The judicious use of spices that are unique to Indian food; cardamom, chili, cumin, coriander, turmeric combine with garlic and ginger to create a vast repertoire of savory, fragrant and spicy foods.
Not surprisingly, my family has also adopted my relish of Indian cuisine. So, when I was approached by a local North Carolina company with products that incorporate healthy, eclectic ingredients with an Indian twist, I jumped at the opportunity. Apex Food Company was started by 2 Indian-American women, self described ‘Foodies', who felt compelled to stir in some of their family recipes into the melting pot of the world's cuisine. Their blog and Facebook page are filled with other recipes incorporating their products and information about the healthy ingredients they use.
I received a bottle of Zukti Tamarind Sauce and a jar of Piaz Onion Relish in exchange for my reviews of the product in this post. But please know that if I wouldn't have purchased it on my own, I won't promote here. Additionally, some of the following links are affiliate links which means that if you purchase those products I receive a small percentage of the sale, which does help offset our blog expenses. However, the price you are charged does not increase. See my full disclosure policy here.
When their Piaz Onion Relish and Zukti Tamarind Sauce arrived, it didn't take long for me to decide use the Zukti Tamarind Sauce as one of the ingredients in a marinade for grilled chicken skewers, which also featured turmeric and garam masala. Bright yellow turmeric is such a powerhouse of healthy benefits spice that I used it in both the chicken and cauliflower.
The Piaz Onion Relish was perfect with the grilled chicken, as were the sides of Tawa Paneer and Tandoori Gobi (cauliflower) that I made as accompaniments. I mixed up a batch of delightfully green Coriander and Mint Chutney and purchased naan at our local grocery store to hold the delicious chicken and sauces.
It goes without saying that this meal of grilled chicken, paneer and cauliflower was heartily enjoyed by all…and I'm thrilled because there are even a few leftovers in the refrigerator for my lunch one day this week. But more that the enjoyment of the nourishment is the enjoyment of the memories of and thankfulness for a friendship that started on my first day of my college career. I can't eat Indian food without thinking of my friend and her family who made me a part of their family and who introduced me to this delightful cuisine.
Thanks for stopping by to visit today, I appreciate more than you'll ever know. And when you leave a comment…ah, it makes my heart sing!
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Until next time,