Sharmi on the Trot

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Archive for the tag “easy Indian recipe”

Slowcooked Coriander Chicken

I will be called incorrect for the usage of the term slow cooking but I’m purely talking from a personal perspective. No I don’t use a slow cooker not do I cook for hours end which old Royal recipes call for. I’ve always favoured easy and jiffy cooking but when I get the luxury to relax, I make myself a cup of fragrant Darjeeling, bring out a book I’ve been trying to finish. I sip and read while I slow cook whatever I’ve put on the gas.
There’s nothing to beat the smell of fresh coriander and I love using the herb as a flavour base in cooking rather than just relegating it to garnishing. The combination of chicken and coriander is simply a way to greet winter. It sums up beautifully what a winter afternoon should be like.
This slow cooked chicken dish has the perfect combination of spice and fragrance. It’s not too hot neither too bland and is best served on the centre of the table with rice and raita as accompaniments!

Ingredients
For Marination
500g chicken
3 tbs yoghurt
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chilly powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
Pinch of salt

For Curry
Handful curry leaves
1 tbs black mustard seeds
Handful (or more) coriander (Chop the stalks and keep the leaves aside)
1 red chilly (deseeded, finely chopped)
1 onion (chopped)
3 cloves of garlic (chopped)
1 tomato (chopped)
2 tbs tomato puree
Salt to taste
1 tbs vegetable oil

– Wash and clean the chicken pieces and add the ginger-garlic paste. Mix the spice powders with the yoghurt. Add to the chicken with a pinch of salt and let it marinade overnight.
– In a hot wok add the oil.
– Add the mustard seeds and curry leaves. Once the seeds start to sputter add the chopped onion, garlic and red chilly. If you like it very hot, keep the chilly seeds in.
– Once this is well sauteed, add the coriander stalks.
– You’ll start to smell the frangrance of coriander in a bit. Add the tomato now and slowly let it become slightly mushy.
– Add the overnight marinaded chicken to this. Add the tomato puree and salt.
– Put the gas on low. Clamp on a lid and let it cook for about an hour.
– Halfway through, add some coriander leaves to the chicken and continue cooking.
– Garnish with more coriander leaves and eat hot with rotis/rice/bread.

A bowl of deliciousness!

A bowl of deliciousness! Top view!

Greens and chicken!

Greens and chicken!

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Chicken and Spinach tossed in Oyster Sauce

I was recently chatting with a friend on a day when Delhi experienced sudden showers. I was literally in bed all day and only dragged myself out to eat. The weather was perfect for deep-fried goodness and lots of coffee.
We Indians love the Indo-Chinese concoctions we’ve created – Sweetcorn soup, Chicken Manchurian and the classic Chilly Chicken. So when O mentioned her homemade versions of chilly chicken (she makes it dry, deep fried or lathered in gravy) it instantly made me drool. So out came the pans, laziness all forgotten. Keeping O’s recipe in mind, I played around with the basic to create something hot and delicious, perfect for a rainy evening.

Ingredients
500g boneless chicken (cut into bite-sized pieces)
1 cup baby spinach
8-10 cloves of garlic
1 inch ginger
1 big onion
1 green bell pepper
2 tbs Dark Soy sauce
2 tbs Vinegar
2 green chilly (optional)
3 tbs Oyster sauce
1 tbs vegetable oil
Salt to taste
Coriander to garnish

Method

– Grate about 5 cloves garlic and the ginger together. Mix with salt,
soy and vinegar and add to chicken. Marinade for 30 minutes.

– Chop the remaining cloves of garlic, onion, bell pepper and chilly.

– Heat the oil in a wok. Add the garlic, onion and chilly first. Once
softened, add the bell pepper and fry for about 2 minutes.

– At this point add the marinated chicken. Then the Oyster sauce.

– Once the chicken is almost cooked through, add the baby spinach and stir everything in the pan till done to perfection.

– Garnish with coriander and serve hot!

I felt like eating it straight out of the pan!

I felt like eating it straight out of the pan!

All pretty and healthy!

All pretty and healthy!

Star anise in a curry!

My sister hates to cook. (Well, living with an older food enthusiast sibling has its benefits I guess!) She’s learnt how to live alone when I’m away with dozens of 2 minute instant noodles packets, salads with lemon and salt dressings, salami sandwiches with mayo and mustard… you get the drift. But the day when she suddenly called me at work to ask how much yogurt was needed to marinate chicken, I kid you not, I fell off the chair!
Enough was enough she claimed, ‘I need to eat healthy,’ she said. When you weight 50 kgs and stand 5’3″ tall, with the lean athletic figure everyone secretly wishes for… well, you realise the world could end tomorrow!
But jokes apart, the baby sister has discovered that it’s the chopping, dicing, slicing pre-cooking and the clean up post she dislikes. Not the part where she actually cooks (Thanks to Masterchef re-runs). So, with me away for most of the month, she’s been experimenting in the kitchen (otherwise called the food lab) with chicken recipes. Sometimes with curry leaves and coconut milk, sometimes with ‘bhuna’ masala (the paste derived after cooking through onions, ginger, garlic and tomatoes with optional spices) or at times, simply grilled with a drizzle of olive oil and a scattering of dried herbs.
Having had the opportunity to taste some of the experiments, I’m left craving more. I tried my hand at one of her creations recently and it came out just great. A rather unlikely combination but a fantastic dinner party pleaser.

Yoghurt chicken with star anise

Ingredients
500g chicken with bones (tastes so much better!)
2 cups yoghurt
1 big tomato (finely chopped)
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon coriander poweder
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon chilly powder
4 cloves garlic
1 inch ginger
1 bay leaf
Half star anise
4 green cardamom
1 small cinnamon stick
salt to taste
Coriander (to garnish)

The process

Marinate the chicken with yogurt, dry powders and salt according to taste for an hour. Bash the ginger and 2 cloves of garlic. Add it to the marinade.

Heat 1 tablespoon of refined oil in a wok. Meanwhile, take the remaining cloves of garlic, cinnamon, star anise, cardamoms and bash them with all your might with a mortar and pestle. Add the brownish mixture to the hot oil till it sautes through. Then include the finely diced tomato and cook till it disintegrates. Then add the star – the marinated chicken – to the wok. Bring it to a boil, then cover it and let it simmer for 30 minutes. Once the chicken is tender and the gravy has become thick, strew coriander on top and serve hot, Rice or breads are good accompaniments.

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This is a great chicken recipe for the days you don’t have the inclination to cook a fancy meal. Marinate the meat in the morning before leaving for work (it takes exactly 5 minutes). Come back home and cook for 30 minutes while sipping a glass of chardonnay! Easy isn’t it!

PS What is star anise?

It’s the dried, star shaped fruit of Illicium verum indigenous to south eastern China. A signature flavour in Chinese and Vietnamese cuisines, it’s one of the stars in Chinese five-spice powder. A little bit goes a long way in terms of its licorice flavour and heavenly smell in meat and vegetable dishes. It’s easily available in any spice shop.

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