Woo hoo!! It's Sunday and I am wondering yet again how the week has flown by. My son started schooling and thankfully its been a great experience for him as well as for us as parents. I think with the new teaching techniques kids find it a lot more fun to attend school and they actually look forward to it. As a parent I was really worried and prepared for a few days of tantrums from my little one as I got him dressed for school, but to my amazement none of that happened. Thanks to the playschool concept that is in vogue these days, he was very prepared and actually looking forward to attending a 'big school'. This ofcourse took a whole load off my mind as I didn't have to battle with a 3 year old every morning and reason out why he needed to attend school. This is something my mum went through with me every single day when I was a kid. So, these are definitely moments I truly treasure. Simple pleasures of life are those that just put a smile on your face and a song in your heart.
Well, a smile and a song reminds me of the movie I watched last Sunday - Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (roughly meaning that you live only once). Although I am not very good at writing movie reviews, I cannot help but write about that beautifully made movie with such a striking theme. It's all about the simplicity of life and taking each day as it comes and most importantly seizing the day and making the most of it doing the things you love and spending it with people you love. The movie is set in Spain where 3 Indian childhood buddies spend a short vacation after years and decide to go on a road trip to explore the country. I won't give away the story for those who haven't watched it yet, but for those who have already, I am sure you'll agree that the movie in itself does not rush through the sequences. There are plenty of scenes to promote tourism for Spain but most importantly a lot of footage is dedicated to just showing flowers or horses running - just so beautiful, there's a kind of laziness there which makes you want to do all of those things that the protagonists try to do while on their break from the mad rush of their lives. The entire movie is peppered with great humour and easy breezy camaraderie between the star cast. Great songs & great picturisation keep you entertained throughout and the best part is that it does not have a typical Bollywood style melodramatic ending. Very practical and logical ending - what else do we need? Larger than life is passe! It's time to watch something closer to reality.
So if you are wondering what to make this Sunday for lunch, why don't you give this beautiful Chicken curry a try? Chicken soaked in a spicy curry sweetened by Coconut milk that also gives it the sweetness and flavour it deserves. So, go make it, enjoy your meal and Carpe Diem
Simple Chicken Stew
- 1kg chicken
- 8 dry red chillies * see notes
- 2 tbsp poppy seeds (khus khus)
- 1 inch ginger
- 1 pod or about 10 flakes garlic (Indian) with skin
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 2 large onions thinly sliced (add an extra onion for a rich gravy)
- 2 cups thick coconut milk *see notes
- 1-1/2 tbsp vinegar
- 5-6 cloves
- 1 inch cinnamon
- few coriander leaves
- salt to taste
- 2-3 tbsp ghee or oil
1. Cut the chicken into medium size pieces, wash & drain well.
2. Grind the red chillies, poppy seeds, salt, turmeric, ginger, garlic in a little water to a fine paste.
3. Heat some ghee or oil in a pan and fry the onions for about 3-4 till they turn golden brown (they should be fried well and not just limp/translucent - but take care to see that they don't burn).
4. Add the masala and fry it well. Add the chicken and fry on a slow flame. Toss in the cinnamon & cloves. Don't add any extra water. Keep stirring in between and fry till all the pieces are well coated and appear reddish.
5. Add the coconut milk and bring it to a boil. Adjust the thickness of the gravy by adding some masala water (from the mixer grinder). Add the vinegar and adjust the salt and cook till the chicken is done.
6. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with rice, sannas, panpole
- Although I like moderate spice in my curries, I went ahead & used 8 Kumti (Bedgi/Kundapur) chillies as the sweetness in the coconut milk balanced out the spiciness. You can use Kashmiri chillies instead of Bedgi.
- To make this stew in a jiffy I use Maggi instant coconut milk powder. To make 2 cups of milk, take about 1-1/2 cups of warm water and add about 5-6 tbsps of powder to get thick coconut milk. Alternatively you can extract milk from about 1-1/2 coconuts (depending on how large they are).