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Malwani Chicken Sukka

Malwani Chicken Sukka

Anjali Venugopal March 9, 2017 NO COMMENTS

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Realization dawned on me this morning that it has been six whole months since we moved to this enchanted city, Vienna. That thought, coupled with the fact that we are on the third month of 2017, leaves me with my jaw on the floor. I cannot for anything believe that it has been almost a full year since I said goodbye to my bustling and not particularly exciting life in Mumbai; when my mom had come over to help me pack, into twenty thousand suitcases, all the earnings I had fetched for myself in the form of all sorts of garbage, over the seven years of my stint in Pune/Mumbai.

Today, as I sit around munching on a bowl of dried fruits and crunchy nuts, I get reminded that this will be my first spring ever. Spring to me, has always been confined within the hardbound covers of the books I have loved or behind the screen of the television. The closest I have got to spring was probably in my Social Studies classes in third grade, sitting in a boiling classroom in Kerala, when I was taught the four seasons. That piece of information obviously made little sense to that 8-year-old who came from that part of the world, where people would refuse to give the weather talk a break, if the temperature dared to fall as much as below a solid 30 degrees Celsius; where we wore the same kind of clothes all the year over; where we were taught to shower twice a day from January to December. Now that I am in a place where I get to witness spring for myself, I can finally accept that it is not as mythical as it seemed to that 8-year-old.  Watching the trees, the shrubs and the grass coyly coming back to life, is as exciting as the child once imagined it to be.

Sorry, the powerful desire for an afternoon siesta took over my soul and I dozed off. Now that I am up and have stuffed my face with a second lunch that comprised another bowl of the leftover chicken pulao from last night with a cold glass of orange juice to wash it down, I am ready to talk more. Yes, coming back to what I was saying. I lived a score and six years of my life in India. Apart from the occasional holidaying abroad, I have never ‘lived’ anywhere else. So, it goes without saying that Vienna is a land of firsts, for me. It is probably my first time when I don’t know a single other person living in my building. Coming from India, where the line between friendliness and psychotic intrusion got blurred a long time ago, if I am honest I am sometimes torn between feeling the need for someone to know me by my name versus the absolute pleasure of just going about doing your own sweet thing. I can’t tell if this particular emotion is a tiny prick to the ego because I don’t seem to bear any significance whatsoever, in the lives of the people around or if it that feeling of utter cheerful abandon, where you are more than welcome to just do what your heart tells you without the constant anxiety of what the neighbourbood would say.

Something else that is a first for me, is the miraculous public transport system here and how people, irrespective of their designation or bank balance, use public transport. I remember, in Mumbai, I would rather stay stuck in traffic for 2 hours than get my visceral organs squished out of my mouth on a local train. I used to be the one to call for an Uber every time I sneezed. Back in Kerala, beyond a certain level in the social strata (not that high up either), using public transport such as buses is looked at with disdain. Utterly illogical but that is unfortunately how a group of insecure people, who have nothing to their credit apart from the money they happened to recently get a hold of, living together thrive; the criteria that are prevelant while making the progress report for a person’s worth is ridiculously funny in most parts of our country but I shall reserve that for another day. Coming back to cabs, I learnt as soon as I moved here that I couldn’t do that primarily because the public transport is on point and also because I can’t afford cabs by habit.

What I am about to list out next, is something that warrants a longer rant, so, I shall leave just a precis here which will be developed on another day. It is nothing but the bizarre Indian practice of keeping people who speak English reasonably well, high up on a pedestal with a garland around their necks, and treating them like gods. Don’t be surprised to see other measly beings touching the god’s feet every now and then too. It could possibly be the aftermath our colonial masters left behind them, but it is more often than not, atrociously funny. I am used to seeing people around me being apologetic and filled with shame when (if ever they do) they need to introduce some family member of theirs who does not know English. It is invariably this line. “Hey, sorry man, my mom does not speak English.” I have heard that umpteen times since my Hindi was at that point, negligible and a work in progress. Why were they apologetic?! I was pleasantly surprised to see the change in how the same sentence is framed in this part of the world. “Oh my parents speak only Italian!” Do you spot the difference or are you thick? That was a first. When a single language became the yard stick for a person’s worth, I will never know. Most people in this part of the world are multi lingual to the extent that they are people who speak as much as seven languages fluently. That, I feel is reason enough to be proud. But you, measly creature, who barely manages to scrape the epidermis of English and says with utmost pride that you don’t understand/speak even your respective mother tongues, please go hang your head in shame for a good two hours. It really does not count for anything. And for those of you who think you have conquered the world with your subliminal English speaking skills, let me assure you, you haven’t. 🙂

Back in to business. Today I share with you the recipe for a dish that can make you look nothing short of an Indian chef-extraordinaire. It is a Malwani Chicken Sukka. Malwani cuisine comes from the Konkan region of Maharashtra and Goa. Typically a coastal area, the cooking in this part of the nation is extremely flavoursome and uses coconut liberally, which I love. So without further ado, here goes the recipe.

Things you will need:

  1. Chicken- 500 gms
  2. Onions- 2 medium thinly sliced
  3. Fresh coriander leaves- 1/4 cup

For the Malwani Masala

  1. Dried red chillies- 5
  2. Whole peppercorns- ½ tsp
  3. Cloves- 5
  4. Bay leaf-1
  5. Mustard seeds- ½ tsp
  6. Cinnamon stick- a small piece
  7. Cumin seeds- ½ tsp
  8. Star anise- 1
  9. Coriander seeds- 2 heaped tbsp.
  10. Turmeric powder- 1 tsp

For the paste

  1. Coconut grated- a little more than half cup
  2. Onion- 1 small
  3. Green chillies- 2
  4. Garlic pods- 3
  5. A small piece of ginger

How to go about it:

  1. Dry roast all the ingredients from 1-9 under the head “for the malwani masala” in a pan till they start releasing the aroma. Let the spices cool, before proceeding to make a smooth powder in a mixer grinder. Add the turmeric to this powder and keep it aside. “malwani spice mix”
  2. Next we move to the coconut paste. In the mixer grinder, grind all the ingredients from 1-5 under the head “for the paste” and keep it aside. “coconut paste”
  3. Next heat some cooking oil in a wok and sauté the onions till they are a nice golden brown.
  4. Add the coconut paste to the onions, stir well and keep sauteeing till the coconut is beginning to change colour. This should take about 7-8 minutes on medium flame. Keep sauteeing to make sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the wok.
  5. Add the malwani spice mix to the wok and stir well to form a homogenous texture.
  6. Add the chicken to the wok and mix it well to make sure the masala is coated well on all the pieces uniformly.
  7. Add about half a glass of water, mix well and keep the wok closed till the chicken is fully cooked. Open and check once in a while to make sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the wok.
  8. Once the chicken is cooked, open the wok and fry the chicken on a higher flame to ensure the gravy is thick and the dish attains the desired consistency.
  9. Add the coriander leaves, mix well and take the wok off the heat.
  10. Keep wok closed for about ten minutes before serving.
  11. Dig in! 🙂
Chicken Chettinad

Chicken Chettinad

Anjali Venugopal February 17, 2017 NO COMMENTS

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Today for some strange reason, feels like a super productive day; feels like I have achieved quite a bit. Whereas, in reality, all I have actually done is find my way around the city, relying solely on my phone or my instincts as I would rather believe. My exceedingly pitiable navigational skill is no secret. I currently hold the record for the maximum number of times a single person has circled the same area around my (ex)house in Mumbai before eventually ‘accidentally’ finding the house, that seemed to have miraculously risen from the ground sometime during the last lap. Keeping that in mind, you cannot blame me for gloating a slight bit for having successfully found the way back home, after my jaunt to the newly discovered salon.

It is a norm all the world over, that the lady at the salon would be talking nineteen to the dozen while tending to you. At least that is how it normally is with us women, I am not quite certain if that’s how it works with the men. Care to update me on that front? The nice lady at the salon today, was no exception. She was warm and friendly and refrained from asking any inappropriate questions whatsoever (brownie points right there). She was just happy to yap on about how she moved to Vienna 21 years ago, newly married and how she set up her home from scratch with her husband; how she knew absolutely no one in the city and how daunting it was at the beginning; how she made a drab little apartment her home and how she started warming up to the new environment.

I could relate to her banter on so many levels. Hearing that this path I am walking on has been trodden many many times before me, felt like a cool breeze on my forehead glistening with sweat on a sultry day in May. While walking back to the tram station I kept replaying the stories I had heard for the day in my head, as usual. What she had said was so true; there certainly is something incredibly beautiful about setting out on your journey of life, in a new city, with the love of your life. Something endearing about that strange emotion you encounter just as you hug your mother tight right before you set out to make your own home, just as your mother did, many years ago. Something unnerving about the responsibilities that await you in a foreign land.

I have been living on my own since I was about 17. For the longest time I thought I had mastered it all; living alone, cooking, cleaning, looking after your keys and other such belongings, dealing with homesickness, managing money, the list is endless. However, nothing can (or should be allowed to) take away the joy of setting up your own home as a couple. Starting from the first step of figuring out (to be read as arguing/ biting each others’ heads off) the expendable budget for a home, the journey is nothing like anything I have done before. I still remember the day we moved in and we were faced with the quick decision of who sleeps on which side of the bed. That was cake walk because the Husband picked the side with the plug points which meant that I got what I wanted; the side with the bed side shelf to store my lip balm and foot cream. Haha. Well, the point being, every single step is a joy in its own way. Be it picking that gigantic floor lamp together, or the visits to ikea and spending almost your life’s savings, be it the day you sit together under the blanket on a cold day browsing through fifty thousand pages on amazon trying to fix on the right vase for round wooden dining table, be the aimless walks through the supermarkets every weekend stocking up on groceries, be it that bottle of white wine that called to be opened since new wine glasses had joined the family or even the walks to the florist around the corner to decide whether to pick yellow tulips or those pretty white carnations.

I shall now make an abrupt detour and get into business. Today, I share with you the recipe to an incredibly yummy chicken gravy (yet again 🙁 I promise I am finalising a few of my vegetarian recipes and you shall get hold of them in no time). This time, a Chicken Chettinad recipe. This popular and much loved dish from south India does not need an introduction. For all those days your palate craves for some spicy south indian food,  here you go.

Things you will need:

  1. Chicken- 500 grams
  2. Onions- 2 large sliced
  3. Tomatoes- 2 medium chopped
  4. Ginger garlic paste- 1 tbsp
  5. Turmeric powder- 1 tsp
  6. Corinader leaves (chopped)- quarter cup

To roast:

  1. Cinnamon sticks- 2 pieces about an inch long
  2. Cloves- 6
  3. Peppercorns- 1 tbsp
  4. Whole coriander seeds- 1 tbsp
  5. Cardamom pods- 4
  6. Dried Kashmiri chillies- 3 large
  7. Grated Coconut/ desiccated coconut powder- 2 ½ tbsp.

How to go about it:

  1. First, in a pan, roast on a medium flame, the ingredients from 1-6 under the heading “to roast” till you get the aroma of the spices. This should take about 4 minutes.
  2. Then add to the pan (with the spices) the grated coconut or coconut powder and roast till the coconut turns a nice golden brown. The coconut powder will brown much faster in comparison with actual coconut. Once it reaches the golden brown colour, take the pan off the heat and keep it aside to cool. Once cool, grind the roasted mix in a grinder without using any water, to form a smooth powder, keep it aside. (“Roast Spices Powder”)
  3. Next, in a wok, heat some cooking oil. Sauté the onions well till they are turn a golden brown.
  4. Add the ginger garlic paste and keep sauteeing till the raw smell is lost.
  5. Add the chopped tomatoes, sauté for a couple of minutes and keep the wok closed for a minute or two.
  6. Once the onions and tomatoes are soft and cooked thoroughly, add the turmeric powder the Roast Spices Powder and mix well.
  7. Add the cleaned pieces of the chicken along with a teaspoon of vinegar, mix well and then keep the wok closed till the chicken fully cooked. (Stir occasionally to ensure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the wok).
  8. Once done, add the chopped coriander leaves to the gravy and mix well before taking the wok off the stove.
  9. Serve with hot white rice or chapatis or anything else that suits your fancy 🙂
Home-style Chicken Curry

Home-style Chicken Curry

Anjali Venugopal January 20, 2017 NO COMMENTS

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It is another one of those oxymoronic days in Vienna; when it looks so sunny that one wouldn’t for his life believe it’s a freezing -6 degrees outside. Well, at the moment I have have no complaints, since I am cooped up in my warm apartment wondering what to whip up for lunch. As I look up, I see them dishes from breakfast waving at me almost as a reminder to give them a shower but right now all I am gonna do is scowl.

I have the whole day to myself since the Husband is working on a crazy deadline and in all probability will not be home for a while. This means that I will whip up a lazy lunch, maybe some stir fried veggies and rice, get a good hour of my afternoon siesta, hit the gym, roam around in this gorgeous city dressed like an eskimo, may be get my plants at home a new friend, make a short visit to the Indian store around the corner, while watching the world get ready to welcome the weekend. It is so fascinating to watch the expressions on the faces on the street change as you get closer to the weekend. The droopy sides of the lips on a Monday morning are never to be seen on a Friday. The sober nude lip colours are almost always replaced by gorgeous reds and pinks; it is almost like every single soul on the road gets an added spring in their step.

I was blown away by how seriously people here take their weekends. Nobody works on a weekend in this part of the world and that left me with my jaw on the floor, since I come from the legal fraternity in India where people seem to have forgotten as much as what day they are on. People do make a lot of money, but at the end of the day, apart from the occasional debaucherous splurge on alcohol, when do they get to spend it with joy, as a treat to themselves for having laboured so hard right through the week? Maybe never?

Here, the sights on the streets or even in a supermarket on a Friday evening keep me charmed. You see youngsters grabbing packs of beer, women stacking up on groceries for the weekend, the lone guy who roams around looking as confused as I would in a calculus class, old couples checking out bottles in the wine section, kids in a frenzy upsetting everything within their reach. It looks like they all have their own plans, sweet in their own way, but that one thing that strikes me as common on all their faces is the undeniable happiness.

As creepy as it may sound, I have always, ever since I was a child, taken to watching people and their expressions, wondering what it must be that they would be thinking. Some people look delighted, may be they just got a bonus or a pay hike at work; some people look excited, maybe they are getting ready to go out on a date with someone they’ve had on their mind for a month now; some people look passive, maybe the day gifted them with a yelling at work or maybe got told off by a spouse for their lack of tidiness; some people look low or forlorn, maybe they have a financial crisis to deal with, maybe they are dealing with death, a heartbreak; and I wish I could go tell them it’s all right and that things just have a miraculous way of falling back in to place and that time heals all wounds.

Okay, getting into business.

Today, I have yet another insanely easy recipe for you to help you have a happier weekend. It is my go-to recipe for the easiest chicken curry on the planet. This is a nice and thick, medium spiced gravy that is bound to make you feel at home if you have it with a few round, soft chapatis or with a bowl of hot white rice. A lot of you have been mentioning that you are rather stoked about how easy my recipes are. That’s the point, trust me. Each and every one of us have that palate that is most tingled with flavours only a home cooked meal can offer. I intend to share recipes only fit for beginners, since that is the bunch I want to cater to, since well seasoned chefs would not by any means need me to spoon feed them with my versions. Haha. So here goes.

Things you will need:

  • Chicken- 500 gms (cut into small pieces)
  • Onions- 2 large
  • Tomato- 1 large
  • Chilly powder- 1 tbsp
  • Corriander powder- 2tbsp
  • Turmeric powder- 1 tsp
  • Garam masala- 1 tsp
  • Cashews- plain, unsalted- 7-8 soaked in water for 15 mins
  • Mustard seeds, dried red chillies, curry leaves- for tempering

How to go about it

  1. Grind the onions and tomato in a mixer grinder to form a nice smooth paste.
  2. Heat 2 tbsps cooking oil in a wok and once hot, temper the mustard seeds, dried chillies and curry leaves.
  3. Add the onion and tomato paste to the wok.
  4. Add some salt to it and keep sautéing till the water content is lost and the oil starts to leave the edges. (Add more oil if required during this process)
  5. Add the powders to the wok at this stage and keep sautéing for about 3 minutes.
  6. Add the cleaned chicken to the mix and stir well so that all the pieces are evenly coated with the gravy.
  7. Add half a glass of water and mix well.
  8. Keep the wok closed till the chicken is cooked well.
  9. In the meanwhile, make a paste of the soaked cashews after adding 2 tbsps of water.
  10. Once the chicken is cooked well, add this paste and mix well.
  11. Check the salt, and keep the wok closed for another 3-4 minutes.
  12. The gravy would have thickened by now.
  13. You chicken curry is done.

Wasn’t that just supremely easy? Enjoy your happy weekend meal! 🙂

Chicken Perattu

Chicken Perattu

Anjali Venugopal January 12, 2017 2 COMMENTS

 

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Hello hello!

Just as I got done with my mad weekly cleaning of the house, I thought I had to sit down to write just a little something before I got tempted to abandon the blog all over again. So here I am, back at my small, dark, wooden round table sipping on a tall glass of Tang (orange and my favourite), nurturing a holiday hangover, missing the Amma’s hugs and the absolute luxury, the concept of ‘home’ offers; where the house is miraculously clean, and food just somehow finds its way to the dining table without one having to even as much as bat an eyelid.

As I look up from my computer, I realize the sun is out paying Wien a visit, and I can see the snow glistening in the light, rehearsing well to make the city a wet mess and a small black birdie out to play in the withering bush right outside my window. Every time I have the house to myself, I have the habit of playing music and today, I have the Dixie Chicks playing in the background. And that just reminds me of the long way I have come. Let me explain.

Flash back to the 18-year-old me. Acne covered face, an old worn out broom for a pony tail, a black tee and a pair of pretty awful looking jeans and how could I forget them sneakers. This person swore to the world (and to herself) that she was a head-banging heavy metal addict; listening to Pantera or Lamb of God or Judas Priest or Slayer made her feel like she could be a part of that elite clique looking down upon the measly beings, listening to “lame” music; in short, feel “cool” for whatever unfounded reason.

Down the lane, now may be at the start of my twenties, something my dad said really pulled at a few chords in my heart. I will not quote it here but I can tell you that it was meant to bring my head down from the clouds and to start looking at the world in a different light; a lovely golden yellow light.

Just think about this; how many times have you read posts on social media that really meant a lot to you, maybe brought a tear or two to your eyes, heart of hearts wanted to share the emotion with the world by showing it them, but never dared ONLY because of the fear of being “judged” by the “cool kids” (or overgrown adults) for feeling so strongly about something that wasn’t globally recognized in the list of “cool things”? How many times have you desperately used every ounce of sweat and tears in your body to try to portray to the world that you, are the fulcrum of a huge social circle of uber cool, fun people while knowing deep down in your heart that you had just two or maybe three people whom you’d call on a genuinely lonely night?

Well, I was certainly one of them. Covert, yes, but definitely one from that lot. But today, as I stand at 27, I can proudly say that I do not belong to that lot any longer. I honestly do not care if I am thought of as “uncool” or boring or dumb. It was a decision I took many years ago that I would not lie to myself any more. Coming to think of it, there was a point in time where I, myself didn’t know what I liked and what I disliked only because of the mask I was so used to wearing that it actually started to feel like my own skin. Please, pretty please, if you can relate to this emotion, do not look left or right, pull the mask right off, right now! I cannot begin to elaborate on the kind of freedom and happiness it brings to your life. 🙂

Today, I am happy to let the world know that I am a cheap drunk; that my body cannot handle anything more than 2 beers; that I am NOT the rum and coke person I would have liked to showcase myself to be, maybe 6 years ago. Today, I have no qualms in telling the world that, as much as I still love a few of the evergreen metal tracks, I love my country music, my old Hindi playlist, lovely mushy acoustics and even cheesy pop sometimes, for that matter. Haha. Today, I can admit with no shame that although I may not cry often, I have the innate capability to fill buckets when I do start. (I lived under a rock of misconception that crying was a sign of weakness). I can also happily let the world know that I still have horrible skin and hair days and days when I look like a grey rag on the road. Trust me, everybody does. It is just that you don’t get to see it on their social media profiles, just like you don’t see it on mine. 😛

Good Lord, that glass of Tang ran deep. Let me quickly get in to what I came here for in the first place. 😐

Today, I am going to share with you a recipe of a Kerala style Chicken Perattu. It is a lovely, dry, chicken dish that works best with Rice or Rotis or Appams. You may want to try this out on a day you call in for some cold beer with friends (the 2 or 3 referred to hereinabove :P).

Things you will need:

  • Chicken- 500 gms, cut into small pieces
  • Shallots- 10
  • Ginger- 1 inch stick
  • Garlic- 6 pods
  • Turmeric powder- ¼ tsp
  • Coriander Powder- 2 tbsp
  • Chilli Powder- 1 tbsp
  • Garam masala- 1 tsp
  • Pepper- 1 tsp
  • Onions- 2 large or 3 medium (long fine slices)
  • Mustard seeds, curry leaves and dried red chillies for tempering

 

How to go about it:

  1. Make a paste out of the shallots, ginger, garlic and all the powders. A slightly coarse paste will do.
  2. Marinate the chicken in this paste for about 20 minutes.
  3. Heat a wok and add this marinated chicken in to the wok directly and add about a quarter cup water and salt to the chicken. Keep the wok closed till the chicken is cooked well.
  4. Simultaneously, in another pan, heat some oil and temper some mustard seeds and dried red chillies.
  5. Add the sliced onions to this and sauté until golden brown. (Don’t be lazy)
  6. Once the chicken is well done in the wok, add the sautéed onions to the chicken and mix well.
  7. At this stage, also add some fresh curry leaves and half a teaspoon of garam masala. Mix well.
  8. Leave the wok open and get the gravy to completely evaporate.
  9. Once the water content has left, add a slight bit more oil, and lightly fry the dish.
  10. Tuck in well, folks! 🙂
Chicken Pepper Roast

Chicken Pepper Roast

Anjali Venugopal December 29, 2016 NO COMMENTS

 

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Namaskaaram from God’s own Country this time. Just as we saw that Winter was about to show her nastiest face in Wien, we caught the next flight and made the quickest escape to the land of the (atrocious amounts of) sun, sand and sea; Trivandrum.

As much as I love my life in Vienna, there are certain cockles of my heart which refuse to be warmed by anything but the sights, sounds and smells of my hometown. And as much as we try to deny it, I am positive that this holds true for all of us. In spite of my incessant complaints of the sun all set to burn every inch of skin he sees, or the mutant mosquitos, or about having to reexamine my outfits each time I step out of my home, lest the ‘aunties’ in the neighbourhood be scandalized, or even about the wondrously slow internet in this city, I have always known from the time I left home at 17, that I need my timely dosage of mallu-land to keep me rejuvenated.

This city somehow makes me realize that even the simplest of things can make me happy; and by that I do not in anyway mean that life is problem free. We all have our share of woes, be it in terms of work or finance or staying away from the ones we love the most or even the bad skin and hair days for that matter. Haha.

What I do mean to say is, on the days I spend with my goofball sister, at my doorstep at home, watching the day draw to a close, the silhouettes of the birds flying back to their nests, the twinkle of the lights on the verandahs of all the homes nearby, the daily wage earners walking back home in their thin, airy cotton shirts with the lungis folded up to their knees, carrying bags of what I always assume is rice and some fresh catch of fish for the night, makes me happy. As the twilight sets in, the breeze brings with it the music from the temple down the lane or sometimes the sound of the church bells or even the prayer call from the mosque in the distance. As the sun goes down, the smell of agarbati in the air reminds me that it is prayer time in every home in the vicinity irrespective of the names of the gods at the receiving end. And one cannot help but wonder, as to when we grew old and our days complex.

Today, I will share with you a recipe that reminds me of home. As always, this recipe is wonderfully easy and uses nothing more that the ingredients most of our homes would already have in store. It is a chicken dish in some a thick, spicy semi gravy and trust me, the wok has been wiped clean every single time. So here goes.

Things you will need:

  • Chicken- 500 gms (cut into very small pieces)
  • Onions- 2 large or 3 medium (long thin slices)
  • Whole peppercorns- 2 tablespoons (ground until smooth)
  • Garam Masala Powder- 1 teaspoon
  • Turmeric- 1 teaspoon
  • Vinegar or lime juice
  • Soya sauce- 2 tablespoons
  • Mustard seeds, Cooking oil, dried red chillies and curry leaves for tempering

How to go about it

  1. Marinate the chicken in ½ a tablespoon ground pepper, vinegar, salt and the turmeric powder.
  2. In a wok, heat some cooking oil and temper some mustard seeds and dried red chillies. Keep the curry leaves for later.
  3. In the oil sauté the onions till they turn deep brown. Add salt to the onions to make sure they get browned fast. It is important to sauté the onions very well for this recipe since that is the fulcrum for the entire dish.
  4. Next, add the garam masala and the remaining ground pepper to the onions. Mix well.
  5. Add the soya sauce to the onions along with a teaspoon of vinegar or lime juice.
  6. Next, add half a glass of water and mix the gravy well.
  7. Add to the gravy the marinated chicken and mix well.
  8. Keep the wok closed until the chicken is cooked well.
  9. Open the wok, add the curry leaves and get the water content to evaporate fully while stirring occasionally. Check the salt and add more if required.
  10. Add a bit more oil to the wok after the water content has reduced well and mix until the chicken pieces are nicely coated with the thick gravy.
  11. Tuck in well! 🙂
A One-Pot Chicken Rice

A One-Pot Chicken Rice

Anjali Venugopal December 7, 2016 NO COMMENTS

Hello again!
Here I am, guilty as charged for abandonment of blog (yet again!).

Well, honestly, I have come to realise that juggling a law firm job, managing the house (in spite of considerable help from the Husband), cooking, living with my obsessive cleaning tendencies, keeping the finances in check, making sure that I am involved as much as possible with the families back home and working out, all in one day, is not as easy as I may have foreseen, a couple of months ago.

However, despite all the hustle and bustle I must say that I am quite enjoying this new phase. Although, not a day of mine passes by without my wondering as to how my Amma has been doing this and more for all these years without grumbling. Some superstars we have as moms!

Well, the good news is, despite all these daily activities I just listed out, my cooking has not taken a back seat. I make it a point to cook at least a simple meal every day after I get home from work. I have come to realise that this little hobby of mine does to my mind just what a long hot bath with some exotic essential oils does to my body. It is not oft that one’s passion and profession end up being one and the same thing. And as much I would push anyone to run after their passion with all their might, I would never preach that they do so, at the cost of leading a financially independent life. But! Even amidst all the busyness your work life throws at you, it is absolutely essential that you keep aside a tiny portion of your day, only to do that one thing that makes you happy; that one thing that does not ask for that extra bit of effort from you; that one thing that you look forward to with a twinkle in your eye, just as the long day at work draws to a close.

Cooking does that for me. It just peps up my mind in no time. In fact, it need not even be full-fledged cooking. There are days when I just come back from work, struggle with the multiple layers of clothing (thank you, Wien!), change into an oversized tee and a pair of over used shorts, probably get myself a cold beer from the fridge, and then plonk myself on the couch to read the recipes I may have bookmarked through the day. The Husband now realizes that this is when I get in to my zone for a bit, before I have the energy to get into planning dinner or blabber about my day at work, and he goes about doing his own thing. I cannot stress enough on how absolutely important this half an hour is for me. Why don’t you start with keeping aside half an hour of your day ONLY for yourself? Don’t forget to come back to thank me. Haha.

Anyway, getting down to business. Today I am going to share with you a recipe that I came up with on a pretty long day when there wasn’t much energy left in me to cook an elaborate dinner. It is a one pot chicken and vegetable rice. And by that I mean, the whole dish is cooked in a single pot and you have a yummy meal on the table in less than 40 minutes flat.

Things you will need: (serves 2 giants and 3 normal eaters)

· Chicken breast- 2 (You may use some pieces of boneless chicken too. About a 100 grams)

· Basmati Rice- 1.5 rice cooker cups

· Spring onions- 2 sticks cut into small pieces

· Onion- 1 small, sliced

· Carrot- 1 grated

· Green chillies- 2 slit

· Soya sauce- 2 tbsp

· Chilly garlic sauce- 2-3 tbsp (I used sriracha)

· Ginger garlic paste- 1 tsp

· Thyme- optional ½ tsp

· Salt and pepper to taste

· White vinegar- 1 tsp (can be substituted by half a lime’s juice)

How to go about it

1. The first step would be to boil the chicken in a saucepan with about two cups of water, enough salt, pepper (1 tsp) and thyme. Just make sure there is enough water since we would need enough chicken stock to proceed with the recipe. This would take only around 5-8 minutes.

2. Take the boiled chicken out and shred it into small pieces. Keep the stock aside.

3. Next in a deep wok, heat some cooking oil. Add the ginger garlic paste and sauté till the oil becomes fragrant.

4. Add all the vegetables and sauté in the oil only till they begin to soften. This should not take more than another 5 minutes.

5. Add all the sauces to the vegetables. Here, there is honestly no fixed quantity. I like some flavor in my food so added some extra chilly garlic sauce too. By two tbsps each should be good.

6. Also add a tsp of white vinegar.

7. Sauté for around a minute.

8. Next add the rice straight into the wok. Mix well. With the sauces and veggies.

9. Add 3-4 cups of the chicken stock to the rice. Mix well.

10. Keep the wok closed for about 10 mins.

11. When the rice starts to cook, add the shredded chicken and more stock, just in case you feel it is insufficient for the rice to cook thoroughly.

12. The rice takes about 20 mins in toto to cook completely and for the water to dry up.

13. Your one pot meal is ready. Dig in! 🙂
This recipe works well for a working day dinner or even for a quick date night meal at home! Bring out the chef in you. Your body and your bank balance will thank you for life! 🙂