What happens when you infuse Indian ingredients with Chinese concepts?
Short answer to that question is better illustrated with a picture that is worth a thousand words :)
But before I show you what's in that white casserole, I think I should tell you my journey into south Indian food. Now, for the uninitiated, there is nothing.-- I repeat *nothing*-- called Indian food. I mean we are talking of a million acres that houses a billion people with histories that go back thousands of years and more than a handful of sovereignties. Simple maths tells you that its impossible to have *a* Indian cuisine. It is as varied and as diverse as the land, its history and its people!
Having said that, I have to tell you that food from Southern part of India tastes very different that else where in India. Its got a lot of lime, curd and heat. But what many of us and a lot of people in India don't know is that food from south India comes with an unflinching variety. Especially meat and chicken. The spice concoction is very unique and fragrant. My ignorance disapeared the day a very good freind of mine took me to a south Indian gourmet restruant in Kolkata... a very long time back. I forget the name of the place. But Boy did I forget the food.! It was some of the most aromatic chicken dishes I ever had. And hence started my lovestory with south Indian food.
However I am not a heat loving person. In food I mean :) And I like crunchiness in my veggies. And there is comes my other love for Asian way of cooking. Stir fries with minimal heat. And taking it a step forward, stir frying with south Indian spices and ingredients. Many a dish has been borne from this idea. And here I unveil one of the most recent!
A south Indian stir fry! who ever heard of THAT?
1 lb of chicken. You can use bone in thighs, drumsticks.
1/4 cup of yogurt. I prefer Greek ones because they are super creamy :)
1/2 tsp of grated garlic
1/2 tsp of grated ginger.
A pinch of red/yellow food color. You can also simply use a pinch of turmeric and a pinch of cayenne pepper. I like mine mellow and colorful
1 small onion
1 big bell pepper. Green is good :)
3 big cloves of garlic
1/2 tsp of whole mustard. Optional
2-3 dried red chilli. Optional
5-6 Curry leaves chopped. You can also easily substitute with 1 sprig of Dill.
1 Jalapeno. Sliced.
1/3 tsp of corn startch. You can also use all pupose flour. Just any thickner you can think of
1 cup of hot water.
Salt for seasoning
2 tbsf regular oil
A handful of Cilantro for garnish
Marinade and cook!
Mix together grated garlic, ginger, yogurt and food color and marinate chicken for 20 min-1 hour. The longer you can marinate, the better. The yogurt breaks down the chicken and allows for more creamy chicken that cooks in less time :). In a skillet, heat oil and pop the mustard ( if you are using them). 10 secs. And then add the chicken with the marinade. Lower heat .Move the chicken around but not too much. You want the chicken to cook in the sauce. Takes about 20 mins. When the sauce starts to dry up, add the rest of the garlic, herbs, onion, bell peppers, Jalapeno and the dried red chillies (if you are using them). Mix around well. 2-3 mins. Mix the cornstarch with water and add and heat through. Season with salt and water. When the water dries up (or you can keep some water if you prefer your chicken with sauce), take it off the stove. Garnish with cilantro.
And you have a south Indian stir fry...right up your alley...:)
Happy eating and healthy living!