I bought a new cookbook. Pure India. I’m not sure if it’s sold in the US as well. It’s rare for me to buy a cook book—I prefer coming up with my own recipes—but with Indian food being pretty far outside my comfort zone, I figured I was better off starting with tried and true recipes.
The first thing I noticed was the sheer amount of onions used in Indian food. There are absolutely loads! Why didn’t anyone tell me this earlier? Gross neglect, guys! The second thing was the simplicity of the food photography. The same simple white bowl is used over and over again, only the background color changes. And then it hit me; the food looks so utterly delicious and colorful, it just doesn’t need props or any other type of adornment. That’s when I got really curious.
I tried this recipe and fell madly, passionately and head over heels in love with it. I did tweak it a little—can’t help myself, I’m a compulsive recipe tweaker.
1 pound chicken fillet
2 tsp black pepper (freshly grinded)
thumb-size piece of ginger
1/2 a tsp salt
1 tsp turmeric
5 tbsp oil
3 medium onions
3 garlic cloves
1 cup water
The original recipe called for a cut up fryer. I opted for chicken fillets that I cut up in coarse pieces.
Grate or mash 3 medium sized garlic cloves and put them in a bowl.
Peel and grate a thumb-size piece of fresh ginger and add it to the garlic. Grating ginger is by far the best method for me, you don’t get those annoying stringy bits and it gets really mashed.
Add the salt, turmeric and 1 tsp black pepper. Squeeze in some lemon juice, about 1/3 of a lemon should do. Add 1 tbsp oil.
Combine all ingredients and there’s your marinade. Looks wicked, doesn’t it? Be careful not to spill any on your clothes, though.
Place the chicken pieces in a baking tray with non-poroush surface and mix them with the marinade. Now seriously, trust me when I say you don’t want to do this with your bare hands. Unless you want to walk around looking like a partial Oompa Loompa for the weeks to come.
Cover the chicken with plastic wrap and let it marinade for at least 2 hours.
>>Fast forward to 3 hours later<<
I’m using 3 medium-sized onions for this.
I coarsely cut up 2 onions and transfer them to my blender bowl where I use my immersion blender to puree them. You can also use your regular blender for this.
Cry me a river. Here’s what you’ll be needing to wipe the mascara off your chin. Unless you’re a man of course. But men use make up as well these days. I’m not sure how I’d feel about a man spending more time in the bathroom than I do. Or having to hide my expensive eye shadows from him. Hmmm.
Peel the other onion, cut it in half and slice it in rings. Or in quartered slices, as I like to do.
Heat 4 tbsp high heat cooking oil, such as peanut oil, and add 1 tsp pepper to the oil. Stir-fry the pepper for about 30 seconds. This smells fabulous. Add the onion slices and cook until the onion is soft.
Then add the onion puree and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes.
Add your chicken pieces, combine everything and cook for another 5 minutes.
Pour in a cup of water, stir well and bring everything to a boil. Lower the heat and let the chicken simmer for 20 minutes. Season with salt to taste.
This was so good! It was a spicy dish but not in a real ‘fire shooting from your eyeballs’ kind of way. It was very flavorful and fragrant with a wonderful kick. You’re supposed to serve this with Naan bread, but we opted for rice and steamed green beans. I’m sorry, India, I just need my veggies.
Kay’s Recipe Card
Click here for printable size.