Life is beautiful. Beauty-full, yes.
I have a crush, I must confess. Nah, nah, don’t get me wrong. It’s nothing complicated. Just, er, this.
Have you joined Pinterest yet? If not, you’re in for a treat. It’s visual addiction. Bewitching, simply.
Lately, I’ve been clicking around www for hours, perusing my passions in this fascinating space. Discovering. Sharing. Stumbling upon inspiring sites, learning new ideas, falling in love with fresh talents. Finding products that whisper my name, images that flutter my heart, words that touch my soul. It’s a stage for relentless eye-candy, particularly for the text-weary eyes. I find myself sucked into this tempting time wrap every time I log in. The best part? It does not demand much. For all you do is, click, drool, pin—as simple as that. I’ve become a pinning enthusiast constantly cataloging delicious food, lovely props, inspiring quotes, amazing photographs and all kinds of interests to my ever-increasing pinboards that work like a visual curation.
I’m sure even this will pass—just like my obsession with facebooking, blogging and tweeting has mellowed. I’m no social media fanatic, nah. Most especially, not these days. But, for now, I’m smitten. With Pinterest.
Care to see my love lists? Check here. Even better, why don’t you sign up and get inspired? It sure is great fun. All you need is an invitation from someone to join, or you can request an invite from the Pinterest team. And oh, be prepared to fritter away a good couple of hours daydreaming, plus extra time for dealing with the traffic in your inbox each time your pin goes viral. And yeah, don’t hesitate to give me a shout once you sign in!
Now that I’ve disclosed my little giddy secret, let’s talk business. And today’s topic is chicken roast. Fiery, hot roast. A dish guaranteed to warm you up from the insides out, possibly make you sweat too—think about a warm woolly sweater on a cold chilly day! It is winter comfort food. At least, for us, it is. Sounds exciting, huh?
Perhaps not surprisingly, we all bring a bit of history and culture to the dining table—authentic tastes we grew up with, tantalizing aromas from our childhood days. It’s universal.
My memories are steeped in the allure of simmering spices, toasty smell of spluttering mustards, comfort of bubbling lentils. Fresh curry leaves and dried red chilies frying in the kadhai on a typical day, or the seductive smell of biryani warming the whole house and whetting our appetite on special occasions.
Sure I’ve tasted and prepared my fare share of cuisines of the world. Nonetheless, my preferences are largely influenced by my Indian heritage. Just like my family’s. For instance, we prefer meat—be it fish, poultry, lamb or beef—packed with robust flavors. Flavors that make us swoon in delight, ooh.
Growing up in a culture with spicy cuisine, our tolerance for fiery food is pretty high. Though naturally spice fiends, there are times we’ve literally blushed pink from the taste, even cried our way through the fire in our mouth. But, we always enjoy the kick.
Roast chicken has always been a favorite in our home. I like to spice things up when the weather is chilly, because that’s when I find myself craving hot food. Mind you, I'm talking food that’s hot and fiery without being too greasy. I’m most conscious of the calories, and prefer to cook dishes that don’t pack on the pounds. Even if I do, I like to limit them to an occasional splurge that’s sinful enough.
Those who can’t take the tingle, I’m sorry to say, this roast is not for you. However, if you are feeling feisty, there’s good news. Spices like chili, pepper and turmeric have calorie burning properties that will boost metabolism. Plus lean protein from the chicken will help keep you fuller for longer. A win-win situation, don’t you agree?
Just keep a jug of cold water nearby before you polish off the dish, because we are talking some serious fire here. Hey, don’t chicken out before you try—it’s really delicious and totally addictive.
This is one of the easiest and most rewarding meat recipes. The preparation leans more on my prawn roast—no mincing or chopping, no daunting spice list, no sweat and tears. It’s sinfully easy. Just boil away all the ingredients on high heat so that the meat sucks in all the flavors, leaving it really tender and juicy. The delicious aroma of the roast alone is very appetizing.
Serve it as an appetizer at parties; a light meal with a simple green salad; or as a side to go with the main meal alongside rice or bread, desi style. Don’t hesitate to scale back on the hot spices and tweak the recipe to suit your personal taste.
Fiery Chicken Roast
Prep 5 min, cooking 25 min
500g boneless, skinless chicken breasts, defrosted (use thigh meat, if you like)
2 cups water, divided
salt, to taste
For the masala
4 teaspoon Kashmiri chili powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika powder
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste
2 teaspoon black pepper powder
½ teaspoon garam masala powder
½ teaspoon aniseed (perumjeerikam)
8 curry leaves
packed handful curry leaves
5 green chilies, slit lengthwise (adjust to tolerance)
oil (use coconut for authentic taste)
Take the chicken breasts out of their packing and cut into chunks or bite-size portions per your preference.
Whiz all masala ingredients along with ½ cup water in a food processor or chopper until smooth.
In a heavy-bottomed nonstick skillet, mix together the masala blend with the remaining water (1½ cups), then add the chicken pieces and season to taste. Cook over high heat for about 15-18 minutes, until the liquid is reduced, thick and completely coating the meat.
Turn the heat to medium-low, push the meat to the sides of the pan and make a well in the center. Drizzle a bit of oil to the middle, stir in curry leaves and chilies and fry for a minute until crisp. Taste for seasoning, then increase heat to medium-high and stir-fry everything for 2-3 minutes until the meat is seared and golden brown to your preference, adding extra oil if the pan starts to seem too dry. Serve with lemon wedge, for drizzling, alongside a simple green salad, hot steamed rice or paratha (Indian bread). And oh, don't forget a jug of cold water.
It’s dangerously addictive and just the thing to lift the winter doldrums, enjoy!
In other news, have you checked my fb page recently? I’ve shared recipes for lemon delicious pudding, spicy chickpea roast and caramelized chickpeas in my album titled Make it Tonight: Simple & Easy Recipes. Besides the recipes published here on the blog, I plan to add new recipes to my fb page too. Definitely head over to my page and catch up on the action.
Happy weekend, my friends! Valentines is just a few days away, any special plans?