Oh, if you could only get a taste of this one. There’s researched, tried and tested recipes and then there’s completely accidental hits. This one’s the latter. Chicken in chilli and garlic is probably common in most households, but adding a couple of extra things made this one even better. Firstly, the chilli garlic paste was home made with only deseeded Kashmiri chillies and lots of garlic. I keep this in my fridge for those times of spicy needs. Then, I pounded some coriander leaves and stems with more garlic, peppercorns and coriander seeds in my mortar and pestle. Lastly, some maple and chilli garlic glaze on the chicken – all this gave my favourte roast chicken a glamorous makeover.
It’s a continuous struggle to be able to eat relatively healthy and still have a lot of flavour in your food. I Crossfit thrice a week post work and I don’t have the time to cook (or even eat) elaborate meals. Which is also why I haven’t been able to post regularly on the blog. Anyhoo! One of the easiest and quickest meals I can think of making is a chicken stir-fry with a few veggies thrown in. Sometimes it turns into a stew with coconut milk. Other times it ends up becoming something in between. Like this dish for example, isn’t a stew or a stir-fry. But I ate it like a stew for dinner and added some cooked soba noodles for lunch.
It’s very hot here in Gurgaon and I’m keeping things light. Even my Sunday curries. No heavy masala to weigh me down and bring out the meat sweats. A delicious curry with a few spices that are meant to be cooling and some coconut milk makes it so good. It still is a spicy curry but without a ton of masala in it. The spices I used were peppercorns, cumin seeds and coriander seeds. I ground it with some fresh coconut and cooked the chicken in it with the coconut milk. With some rice and roti, this was an awesome Sunday lunch.
Thank heavens for bottled sauces. Sometimes all you have the energy and time for is to whisk in a sauce with meat and get going. For me, weekends are when I cook elaborate meals. I don’t have that kind of time during weekdays. So, it’s always quick cooking and quicker packing for lunch. Nothing easier and quicker than a bowl of minced chicken with some soba noodles to go with. A few days ago I got some chilli garlic sauce and spicy black bean sauce along with some minced chicken and it was a great time to open these jars.
Leftover greens in the fridge make for great curry bases. In this case I had a bunch of palak that were on the verge of wilting on their own. So I added some methi and coriander to the mix and cooked some chicken in it. It was perfectly light and delicious. As summer crawls back into our lives, food must also get lighter. Heavy masala based curries gives me the sweats and keeping Sunday lunches light is my main goal this summer. Even the spices I used were mostly pepper, coriander, cumin and fenugreek seeds. Helps cool off the body. No wonder these spices are a huge part of Mangalorean cuisine.
I’ve made Thai curry plenty times before and more often it’s been the red kind. I don’t have a reason why I never made the green one. But it’s never too late. Sunday lunch it was. In the red curry, Kashmiri chillies give it the colour and in yellow, it’s turmeric. For the green one, it’s green chillies, coriander and lemon leaves. Of course, I made the paste at home. Besides these three ingredients, there’s lemongrass, ginger (or galangal), garlic, cumin and shallots. It’s fragrant and delicious. You can alter the number of chillies according to how spicy you want it. I went a little low on these.
Another chicken curry. This one’s easy too. It’s always an easy curry for me when it’s got freshly ground spices and coconut milk. Trust me, I’d rather take 2 mins to grind the spices than sit and chop heaps of onions and tomatoes for the curry base. Marinate the chicken in chilli powder, yoghurt and ginger garlic paste overnight. Next afternoon, cook it with some sliced onions (not one kilo or something, I promise), ground spice paste and coconut milk. Simple. Great with rice, of course. And if you’re on a low carb sort of diet, swap the mustard oil for coconut or olive, skip the onions and up the coconut milk. Have it like stew.
For those days in the middle of the week when you feel like ordering in because you’re too lazy to cook, or want something spicy, this chilli chicken is perfect. I didn’t plan for it. I was going to order in some greasy Chinese on a cold weeknight. But I remembered I had some boneless chicken marinating in the fridge and that I should use it before it goes bad or something. The marinade was just ginger garlic paste and some paprika. Simply pan roast the chicken with onions and capsicum with soy, hoisin or honey, chillies and crushed pepper. It’s alright if you haven’t marinated it as well. Best part – it comes together in under 20 mins!
You want to eat healthy while at work but how do you do it when the cafeteria lunch is less than appetizing? Order in, then. With a growing client base, salad and juice places are delivering super healthy lunches to offices. But spending 300 bucks (rupees, of course) upwards on salads everyday gives my wallet an acid reflux. Packing lunch to work sounds like a lot of work. Is it really a lot of work? I’ve started packing my own salad lunches to work and here’s how I keep it simple and stress free and inexpensive.
Coming from Mangalore, most dishes at home was made with coconut. Either curry or a dry dish, they had a coconut base. Chicken sukka is a dry dish made with freshly ground spice paste and lots of freshly grated coconut to finish it off. Once the chicken in cooked, we wait for it most of the liquid to evaporate so it turns dry enough. When there’s still a little left we add the grated coconut and a tempering of fried onions and curry leaves. We often had this with rice and dal.