Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Cooking Chicken Without Oil

I was on the path of recovery from Jaundice and the doctor was satisfied with the progress. His only concern was protein content in the body is just about swinging at lower end of the ladder in the mean-max matrix. So he advised me to eat chicken and fish but with a caveat. Just a pinch of salt and not even a drop of oil. The oil part was a tough condition since I tend to add a tad but of more oil in non-veg curries. I thought deeply about a possible solution, working intensely on paper to come to a conclusion on the ingredients and process. If I had worked this hard in my school, I would have understood the Pythagorean theorem. Here is the recipe. I will give the measurements for one KG chicken and you can adjust according to the weight.

Ingredients (Part-1) :

  • one kg chicken cut pieces of medium size. 
  • one Lemon
  • One medium size onion or two small onions
First part of the process:
  •  Wash the chicken pieces in a bowl thoroughly twice. Before second washing add a tsp of turmeric, mix well and wash. Drain the excess water from chicken pieces .
  •  Chop the onions to small pieces and put them in the chicken bowl.
  • Squeeze the juice of the lemon ( 4-5 tbsp) and add to the chicken and onions. Mix all thoroughly.
  • Keep a lid on the chicken bowl and keep aside for one hour. 
Ingredients ( Part-2 ) :
  • Curds 250-300 gms. ( 2-3 coffee cups for rough measurement ) . 
  • For NRIs, a piece of advice. I have no idea if packed yogurt works for this as most of them are sweetened and coloured too.  Then opt for plain yogurt and if unavailable, add 3-4 drops of Tabasco sauce in the yogurt.
  • Salt 2 tsp or to your liking
  • Red Chilli powder 2 tsp or to your liking. 
  • 1 tsp coriander powder ( Dhania)
  • 1 tsp cumin seed powder ( Jeera )
  •  Crushed garlic 5-6 pieces, chopped small ginger piece ( 2tbsp garlic ginger paste )
  • 1 tbsp garam masala powder
  • 4-5 green chilies slit vertically and seeds removed. If you want the curry to be hot , retain seeds in a couple of chilies.  
  • Chop 2 medium sized tomatoes ( Indian size ) to small pieces. Or 3-4 tbsp of tomato puree.
  • For those who want a lot of gravy, add 2-3 tbsp of cashew powder or ground nut powder. If not readily available, fry a handful of ground nuts / cashew nuts on a low flame for 5 minutes and powder them in a mixie.
Mix all the ingredients together just before they are mixed with chicken pieces.

Final Part of the Process :
  • Take a non-stick cooking bowl that is deep and has a lid. A transparent lid will help a  lot. 
  • Pour all the mixed part-2 ingredients on the chicken pieces and mix for a few seconds
  • Transfer the contents to the non-stick bowl and place it on a low flame first and after 5 minutes medium flame.. Water will  seep out from the chicken pieces once the bowl is hot. 
  • Keep a cup of water handy in case the water in the bowl evaporates. In that case add water. 
  • Remove the lid every 5 minutes and stir slowly so that the top pieces go to the bottom and vice versa. 
  • Keep in mind the water will not cover the entire chicken pieces. They get cooked by steam.
  • 25-30 minutes of medium flame cooking and 3-4 gentle stirs will do. 
  • Sprinkle coriander / Rosemary a minute before the bowl is put aside. 
  • Transfer to a serving bowl, relish it and remember me.

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