For 4 people, you’ll need:
One medium (1.3kg) chicken
4 large chilies
2 onions, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
5 cm on ginger, finely chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 bay leaf (optional)
Salt, to taste
300ml water (or homemade chicken stock)
3 tbsp olive oil
1. Blend the tomatoes and the chilies together in a food processor.
2. In a pestle and mortar, pound the finely chopped ginger and garlic into a paste.
3. Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a casserole dish and fry the onions until soft, for about 5 minutes. Don’t let the onions brown on burn.
4. Add the garlic/ginger paste and the blended tomato/pepper mixture. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes.
5. Add the cumin, pepper, and 275ml of water, leaving a little bit on the side for later. Bring to the boil and cook briskly for 10 minutes. Season with salt. I added a bay leaf because I had it in the fridge, but it’s not necessary.
6. Meanwhile, heat the rest of the oil in a frying pan and fry the chicken pieces until slightly browned. I used 500g of pre-cut thigh meat for just two of us, but if cooking for more, then use a large chicken and either cut it up yourself or ask the meat counter at the supermarket to do it for you.
7. Add the chicken pieces to the casserole, then use the remaining small bit of water to deglaze the chicken pan-then add it to the casserole. Without the use of stock, I tried to suck every ounce of flavor from the chicken. 8. Cover the pan and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes.
It turned out wonderfully for a first trial. The tomatoes gave the stew a sweetness that probably would have been counteracted a bit more by the stock. I don’t mind it, but perhaps you might want to add another bay leaf, or more salt to balance it out. The chilies gave some warmth but it was not spicy at all – I think I might add one or two more large chilies next time, or perhaps one small Thai chili for a kick!
8. Cover the pan and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes.
I ate it with quinoa while PB ate it with plain white rice. If you are running late and need to cook rice quickly, the easiest way to do so is on the stove – rice cookers take way too long. It’s super easy, and all you need is a saucepan with a lid. It’s the method that my mother taught me before I headed off to university, and it’s stuck with me until now.
Measure out the rice and wash it twice. Add 1 cup of cold water for every cup of rice and a little bit more. My measuring aid is my pinky finger – the water should go up to just under the first joint of your finger 🙂
Boil the water until there is just a little layer of it left over the rice, cover the pan and turn the fire to the lowest heat possible. Cook for 10 minutes, then presto – fluffy white rice!
I also attempted to make baked sweet potato wedges, but failed miserably – burnt AND soggy – a double whammy of failure! Better luck next time 🙂
Exercise: 30 minutes on the elliptical machine
Feel good activities: None! (note to self: book a massage)
How I feel in 3 words or phrases: healthy, happy, cold!