Karahi Chicken, with love.

I love cooking, cooking at home at least. When I was working as a chef I hated it, to the point that I broke and had to quit. I was having “restaurant dreams” where I would wake up during the night, sitting on the edge of the bed shouting orders, and going through the motions of preparing, and sending out food. Not good. Now I’m away from that nightmare, making a meal relaxes me, (probably something to do with the Keith Floyd culinary style that I employ, slurp). I try to do everything with love, from cooking, reading the Tarot to making a simple pot of coffee, everything. That’s the main ingredient. If you can get that right, you can do anything. This recipe is awesome, (well, it is if you like curry). If you follow it, please try to make it over the three days, I guarantee you will not be disappointed. Everything is such a big rush these days, chill out, calm down and enjoy, the cooking and the eating.

IMG_4541

I’m no food photographer, and I forgot the coriander.

 

Karahi Chicken (serves two).

1 large or 2 small breasts of chicken, cubed
4 large tablespoons of natural yoghurt
1 teaspoon of freshly chopped ginger
1 teaspoon of freshly chopped garlic
Mix all these together in a bowl, cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.

Next day.

Remove the chicken and yoghurt mix from the ‘fridge so that it gets to room temperature before cooking.
1 teaspoon of freshly chopped ginger
1 teaspoon of freshly chopped garlic
75g butter
1 large onion, finely sliced
Crushed red chillies, (this is a preference, hot 1½ teaspoons, mild ½ teaspoon, up to you and of course how hot the chillies are).
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 large fresh tomatoes, skin off and chopped (a tin? Go away!)
100 ml warm chicken or vegetable stock. (Heaps of you will use a stock cube or whatever, please don’t. Try to make it from scratch, a carrot, the skin from the onion, a chicken bone, it’s not rocket science).

– Heat your pan/wok over a medium heat, melt the butter, add the onion and stir fry until they start to colour.
– Add the ginger, garlic and the crushed chillies and stir fry to mix for about a minute. Add the turmeric and coriander, stir fry for about a minute but do not let the mixture burn, if you need to add a tablespoon or two of stock, go for it.
– Now add the tomatoes, mix and allow to cook for about four minutes.
– Add the chicken with all the yoghurt mixture, turn the heat up to high for 4/5 minutes and stir fry, then add the stock, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes. Is the sauce thick and the chicken cooked? Great!
– Yes, you can eat it now, but the real magic happens when you allow it to cool, refrigerate, then heat through and eat the next day. Garnish your meal with 2 or 3 tablespoons of fresh coriander and a few whole green chillies.

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Kodak Moments

You know those perfect “Kodak Moments”, where you wish you had a camera to take that perfect snap? I’ve had plenty, but the one that always springs to mind is when I worked in a bank and my boss gave me an ultimatum. I didn’t really want to be there, I did it because this is what was expected of me, you know the scenario, you leave school, get a job, grow old and die. I wanted to travel the world though, but at 17 I figured I was a bit too young. Hey, common sense may not be so common anymore, but I have plenty, and really? The trouble I could have gotten into just doesn’t bear thinking about. So I applied for a job in a bank, was granted an interview and the idiots hired me.

After working there for a while, they gave me a credit card, I didn’t ask for it, (and now as I write, the cynic in me wonders about that). Man did I work that piece of plastic, within six months my boss came to see me at my desk, asked to see my card and, in front of all my work-mates cut it in two. In the great scheme of things I wasn’t in serious debt, but my dream of pissing off around the world was slowly disappearing. That night after work, I was having a pint in the pub over the road from the bank, (yes I was underage, but I was wearing a suit and feeling terribly important, as you do). On the spur of the moment I asked for an evening job, in those days it was relatively easy to get work under the table, and they didn’t really need to know that I was still only 17?¿! And thus began my grand career in pubs. It was easy, and I loved it, plus I was being paid to socialise. This went on for about a while, considering I was working in the nearest pub to the bank, I cannot believe it went unnoticed for so long. I didn’t even know that it was frowned upon, it may have just been Bruce Willis that brought the term “moonlighting” into the collective conscience?¿!jaw_drop_5966751

Anyhoo, my debt was paid, I was now actually saving money and the dream was back to the point where I had a date set to go around Europe, then onto Australia for a year. I was going to be handing my notice in to the bank in a matter of weeks when, of all people, my immediate boss walks into the pub while I was working. He didn’t acknowledge me, just ordered his drink, I served him and off he trotted. Next morning, I’m called into his office. He gave me this long spiel about how the bank prides itself on its employees, and how working two jobs is detrimental to how one conducts oneself, blah blah blah. Then he proposed that I would have to choose which of the two jobs would be better for my future. With no hesitation I said that I felt the pub would be my better option. Well, you should have seen his chin drop, in different circumstances (and a different person), the bank would have to have been the better option, but by now my rucksack was packed and I was ready to go. I have never forgotten the look on that man’s face, his jaw dropped to his desk and he was speechless. I worked my notice and within two weeks of leaving the bank I was InterRailing around Europe, fan-bloody-tastic.