Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Narkel Kanchalonka Doi diye Chicken / Chicken cooked with coconut, green chillies and curd

 There are days when you make a recipe.
And then there are days when a recipe makes you.

I was running short of time today as I rushed through my daily chores while something kept nagging at the back of my head.
That something was important ... very important to me ... it had been almost a week since I had eaten a proper non vegetarian meal last.
Barring the one quick stir fried chilli chicken and a boiled egg one day with my soft, phyana bhaat ( if you are with me on instragram or facebook, you will know. )
So as I did the laundry and kept away the dishes, visions of a steaming hot mutton curry and some hot rice danced before my eyes.
By the time it was early noon, I could not take it any more.
More so because B's favourite summer combo meal was almost done.
And there was nothing to tempt me to sit down for lunch.
I had to have some mangshor jhol .... urgently.

The day had not started on a good note.
A sad news regarding a childhood friend's loss had already set a morbid spell and I desperately needed something to break it.
So dropped everything and went out to get mutton.
As luck would have it, there was no mutton ... "You will get it by 2:00 o'clock, Ma'am" was what I got.
I had no intention of waiting till two, so grabbed a half kilo pack of chicken and came home.
And then realised that I have run out of my homemade ginger garlic paste ... not a cube in the freezer.
Thankfully I had some already peeled garlic in the fridge.
And found the chutney jar of my mixer in the fridge .... with a good amount of coconut paste in it!!

I knew immediately what to do. No standing and frying and koshaoing for long.
All I would do was mix everything and set it to cook.
And that is how this beautiful recipe came by to brighten up my day .... or whatever was left of it.

 I had curd in the fridge ... it was a few days old as well as store bought ... which made it slightly sour and was perfect to cook meat with.
I decided to cook all the chicken at once and freeze batches ... that will save me a few hours of cooking for the next few days , when I can concentrate on my sewing.
So mixed the chicken with curd and masalas and let it sit for around 15 minutes while I made the Aamras ( pureed the mango ) for B's meal.
And then sat it on the stove to cook while I went back to my chores.
In less than half an hour, it was done ... slow cooked to perfection.
No frying, no stirring, no checking on, no hassles at all.

I am tempted to call this a no oil preparation but that one spoonful of mustard oil in the marination is holding me back.
Whatever oil you see in the picture is from the curd and the chicken's fat (there was not much ... I am just assuming. )

This curry turned out so darned good that I decided to make a post pronto .... almost as if the flavours will die away if I don't.
While clicking the photos, I had to adjust the gravy and wipe the sides and once I licked my fingers, I just could not get over with clicking and start eating.
It was just so, so good ... if I may say so.

Do give it a try ... I am sure you will love it.

Need :

To make the paste -

Grated coconut - around 8 tbsp
Garlic - 12 cloves of medium size
Ginger - half an inch piece
Green chillies - 2 (depending on the heat )

Run everything with a little water , in a grinder, to make a coarse paste.

For the curry -

Chicken - ½ kilo
Curd - 5 tbsp
Roasted jeera/cumin powder - 2 tsp
Dhania / Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Haldi / Turmeric powder - 1 tbsp
Red chilli powder - 1 tsp
Garam masala powder - 1 tsp ( I used a little biryani masala as I did not have garam masala )
Mustard oil - 1 tsp
Salt - to taste
Sugar - to taste

How to :

Mix all the ingredients and the coconut paste and let it sit for 15 minutes.

Pour in a heavy bottomed kadahi / pan and cover tightly.

Set it on low heat and let it cook till chicken is done and desired consistency of the gravy is reached.

Remove cover and check for salt and sweetness.
If needed, add and cover and simmer for a couple of minutes more.

Or else, remove from heat.

Serve hot.

Goes great with rice, rotis or parathas.
And while it looks rich and heavy, it is one of the lightest of dishes that I have ever cooked. 


Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Radhuni diye Parshe macher halka jhol

 Hello hello all!
I know I have been awol for some time now and 'truly beg to state that' I have not been upto much to be able to share here.
Yes, nothing happened much in the past month .... neither life nor recipes nor photos.
I have been in a pretty much zombie like state and have no idea how the days flew by.
Summer came and went by, people came and went by, travel came and went by, ... nothing actually could bring me out of my stupor.
It was like being encased in a shell of morbidity.
It was as if the whole world had stopped living.
It was as if I had stopped breathing.
I have no idea why I was so low since life was going on as usual otherwise.
I was cooking regularly; I had house guests for a while; a couple of road trips happened; paanto happened; mutton too happened; as did chingri .... but nothing could put that spark back into me.

And then a trip to the hills happened. And I was breathing again.
With every second person around me leaving for the mountains, I must say I was not surprised when B suggested a trip too.
And just like that, within a week, he had everything done .... bookings, tickets, et all.
I was a little overwhelmed at the pace but gave in a played along.
And end of the week saw us in the lap of the beautiful foothills of the Himalayas.

The fresh mountain air, the fresh local food, a little sightseeing and some shopping .... everything was like a dream. I was happy again.
We did not go too far into the hills .... we just wanted to unwind and rest.
And take long walks in the pine scented forests and roads.
And that was exactly what we did. ( I hope to update my travel blog soon ... fingers crossed. )

By the time we were back in the plains, we had enough fresh air in our lungs to last a year ( I hope to go back again in a few months though .... B has promised me snow in the mountains early next year ... let's see. 😄😄 )

Another good thing that happened is a long lost friend from school, who had lost her father around the same time as I did, as well as a sister, got back in touch.
So, right now, we are busy catching up on all the years that have passed by as well as old memories.
I am also looking forward to another trip to Rajasthan in the near future .... can't wait to see how Rajasthan behaves in the rains.

As for today's recipe ... it is an old one that I had cooked this last year I guess.
From euphoRHEA.
When I saw her plate on fb, I just had to make it.
It is a light jhol, perfect for summer and just my kind of food.
I have not made any changes to the recipe except for the fish.
All I had was some Parshe in the freezer and could not wait till I got my hands on some Rohu.
So used that.

And fell in love with it.
I have made it many more times after that but had somehow missed posting it.
Now that I have no more new photographs, I dug into my old folders and found these.

Do make this once and see how light, simple food is always the best kind of food.

Need :

Parshe fish - 2, cut , cleaned and marinated with turmeric powder + salt
Potatoes - 2, cut into long slices
Cauliflower - a few florets
Green chillies - 3
Kalo jeere / Nigella seeds - 1 tsp
Radhuni / Celery seeds - a pinch 
Jeera / Cumin powder - 1 tsp
Grated ginger - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Salt - to taste
Water - for gravy
Oil - 2 + 2 tbsp ( I use mustard oil )

How to :

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a kadahi.
When it starts to smoke, let in the fish pieces and fry on both sides.
Remove and keep aside.

Add the rest of the oil and add the kalo jeere + radhuni + green chilles.

Then add the vegetables and stir well.
Add salt + turmeric powder + jeera powder + water.
Cover and cook till the vegetables are done.

Remove cover and add the fish pieces, check water and add if necessary.
Check for salt.
Cover and simmer for 5 more minutes.


Light, soupy, summery .... perfect with some plain rice.

Leaving you with a shot of the pines that I managed from inside the car.

I will try to be more regular here.
Till then ... cheerio all!!