Ah... one of the comforts of the winter is the warm kitchen.. the same kitchen that used to swelter me in the summer is now a warm hearth, making me find reasons to be there and cook even if there is food in the fridge. (Its 23F outside.. a scant -5 Celsius and I am so glad to be at home and not working outside.)
As Nigella Lawson said in her book, "How to be a Domestic Goddess"(A must flip through for all you aspiring goddesses)" I've always thought that bad weather has its compensations, most of them culinary." The book has pretty simple recipes for a starting off baker and more than that it is jolly wonderful to read her take on each recipe.
So I don't need another cookie or another cake, but that's what I feel like making.. if they don't have bread, let them eat cake.. but to stay practical, I opt for a chicken item instead...curry today..with peppers..and lots of onions..though not a gravy based curry..more a cry.
Yet another spicy chicken curry. It's your regular chicken curry but with bell peppers added to it to change the taste. Green peppers have the best taste, but yellow and red peppers are good too, they add a sweetness to the dish if you like that.
You will need:
Chicken-1 ½ lb, (700gm) cleaned and cut into small pieces.
Onions-2 or 3 medium sized ones sliced finely
Bell Peppers-2 green ones sliced thinly in strips( or use a mix of red, green and yellow)
Tomatoes-1 chopped into dices.
Hot Green chilies - 6 slit
Ginger–Garlic coarsely ground – 2-3 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Lemon juice-1 tsp
Red hot chili powder- 1 1/2 tsp (more or less as per taste)
Coriander powder-2 tsp
Garam Masala-1/2 tsp
Black Pepper powder- 1/4 tsp
Coriander, curry leaves- each a small handful, chopped
Salt - to taste
Wash the chicken and lightly toss it with lemon juice and rinse again. Drain well onto a slotted drainer. Marinate with the turmeric,half the red chili powder, salt and lemon juice.
Heat the 2tbsp oil in a large shallow pan and add onions. When they are slightly transparent, add the peppers and continue sauteing. Add the slit chilies and curry leaves and stir. When the peppers wilt, remove most of the onions, all the peppers and keep aside.
Add ginger and garlic to the remaining onions, and saute. Add more oil if the mix looks dry. When the raw smell goes, add the tomatoes, remaining chili powder, coriander and saute till the tomatoes soften. Then add the chicken and cook uncovered on medium heat for 3-4 minutes till water comes out. Do not add any water: it will prevent the spice powders from getting cooked. Then cover and cook 10-15 minutes. The amount of time depends on the size of the chicken pieces. Smaller pieces cook faster.
Add more salt if needed and then add the pepper and garam masala. Check to see if the chicken is cooked. Now add back the onions and peppers sauteed earlier to the chicken and stir well. If there is no water, add 1/4 cup water and cook it covered for five minutes to let the flavors blend. Add the coriander leaves last, after switching off the flame. Let it rest covered for a while before serving.