Chicken Pepper Masala

I am sure that moms of kids under age five will agree that even a trip to the grocery - all alone - is like a vacation. I had the privilege yesterday when I ran some errands for myself all alone. My older one was at school and the little one blissfully unaware that her mom was gallivanting. The journey to and fro helped me get into an introspective mood. I was getting a few important things done for myself - things which I would normally fret over, would want to perfect - not anymore I realised. I was happy if things just got done in the simplest possible way. Without any hassle or stress. It was important to keep an open and free mind - these are things that one learns along life's way. 'Motherhood' is no crash course - there are little things that teach us a great deal - to deal with situations and individuals and get a grip on life. 

I have now realised that sometimes it is impossible to plan things much ahead of time - because things are bound to happen exactly the way they are supposed to - whether we like it or not, so it is better to take them in one's stride and keep a free mind.

Today's recipe is something which I just put together sometime ago when I was trying to look for chicken dishes that would go well with chapathis. Since it turned out well the first time around, it has been prepared several times over and has only improved in its taste. I play around with the ingredients and quantities everytime, so I can say that it is something that simply evolves. Sometimes the best tasting dishes are when you expect the least out of them.

About the dish:
It's really a no nonsense dish that you can put together in no time. I have named it the Chicken Pepper Masala because it has different types of 'peppers' - green chillies, red chilli powder and peppercorns and not just peppercorns which lend the basic character to dish simply named as 'Pepper Chicken'. This is a simple side dish to anything you wish to eat it with - rice, dosa, neer dosa or chapathis. You can make it more peppery if you desire - just play around with the ingredients. 

Chicken Pepper Masala
Prep time: 5-10mins | Cook time 15-20mins | Serves 3

You Need:
1. Cut the chicken into small pieces, wash & allow to drain. Marinate it with salt, lime juice and 1 tsp ginger garlic paste and keep aside for 20-30 mins
2. Heat oil or ghee in a pan and fry the slit chillies, 2 tsp ginger garlic paste and chopped onions till golden brown. Add the marinated chicken and fry for a couple of minutes.
3. Toss in the pepper, cumin, red chilli & turmeric powders, mix well and add 1/2 cup of water and adjust salt to taste (remember that the marination has salt in it). Cover and cook on a slow flame till the chicken is cooked halfway. Add the chopped tomatoes and coriander leaves and continue to cook till the chicken is done.
4. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with chapathis, dosa or rice.

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