A few weeks ago, Matt and I used our date night card to go see a movie of my choice. I've been wanting to see The Hundred-Foot Journey for quite some time, and I was very excited to see it while it was still in the theaters.
I'm a such a huge fan of gourmand movies. After the movie, Matt and I both left the theater with a new and humble understanding of Indian Cuisine--which I have always found intimidating.
Since I was so motivated by the movie, I decided to try out my hand at combining two ethnic cuisine recipes. I was lucky enough to find an awesome Indian-Mexican Pistachio Mole recipe through one of my favorite gourmet recipe databases, Tasting Table. The ingredient list looked something out of the ordinary, so I wasn't sure how it would turn out. No surprise here, that this turned out spectacular, and I received the seal of approval from Matt and our friend!
This particular chef dared to introduce his Indian heritage into a well known Mexican favorite to give it a whole new modern flair. And although, cumin is my least favorite spice next to coriander, this recipe kept it simple and classy. The cumin wasn't over powering, and it balanced well with the cinnamon and mango--making this sauce a perfect blend of subtle exotic Indian and bold Mexican flavor.
Indian-Mexican Pistachio Street Tacos
Ingredients for Pistachio Mole (yields 1 1/4 quarts):
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced.
- 3 pounds tomatillos
- 2 serrano chilies, stemmed
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons whole cumin seed, toasted
- 2 whole cloves
- 3 cups chicken stock (preferably homemade)
- 1 1/2 cups shelled pistachios, unsalted and roasted
- 1 packed cup cilantro leaves
- salt and pepper
Ingredients for Indian-Mexican Pistachio Tacos (serves 2)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
- 2 four ounce mahi mahi steaks (white fish, pork, or chicken are also good options)
- 12 corn tortillas, warmed (grain free option: use butter lettuce)
- 1 mango, diced
- mexican cotija cheese, crumbled (dairy free option: use pistachio, finely chopped)
- 1 cup purple cabbage, shredded
- 1/2 cup cilantro, leaves only
- salt to taste
Directions for Pistachio Mole:
1. Remove husks from tomatillos, and wash. In a large mixing bowl, combine the olive oil, red onion, tomatillos, chiles and garlic and toss, making sure everything is evenly coated with oil. Transfer to an aluminum-lined sheet tray and place on the middle rack under a broiler, gently stirring occasionally, until all the vegetables are deeply charred but not burnt, 25 to 30 minutes.
2. Remove the sheet tray from the oven and transfer the vegetables to a medium saucepan placed over medium-high heat. Add the cinnamon, cumin, cloves and stock. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Add the pistachios and cilantro and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
3. Working in batches, purée the mixture in a blender on high speed until smooth. Season with salt; cool, then refrigerate or freeze until needed. Serve with grilled whole fish or braised chicken legs.
Directions for Indian-Mexican Pistachio Tacos:
1. Using the same medium saucepan as used to prepare the mole sauce, heat extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil in a large non-stick skillet on medium-high heat. Place meat of choice into saucepan, and until cooked thoroughly. Slice into strips, set aside, and cover. Note: Using the same saucepan as was used to prepare the mole, will insure a flavor infusion directly onto your meat.
2. Using a clean paper towel, wipe the inside of saucepan and place back on burner. Reduce heat to low-medium, and place 2-3 corn tortillas in skillet. Warm corn tortillas until slightly toasted on each side. Set aside, and cover. Note: If using grain free version, skip this step.
3. Peel and chop mango into 1/2 inch cubes, set aside.
4. In stacks of two, arrange warmed tortillas on a plate. If using the grain free version, assemble three large leaves of butter lettuce onto a plate.
5. Using tortilla/butter lettuce as the base, spread 2 teaspoons of pistachio mole sauce evenly on top of the base. Layer up meat strips, purple cabbage, mango, and cilantro. Finish with crumbled mexican cotija cheese. Note: If using dairy free version, substitute mexican cotija cheese with finely chopped pistachio nut.
The sauce can be made ahead of time and refrigerated until ready to use.