Thursday, March 7, 2013

Chicken Stew

Slurp it or sop it, you are gonna love it. I am yet to meet one who doesn't love chicken stew and it is mind-bogglingly delicious, albeit healthy. Contrary to traditional belief that chicken stew is worth consumption when one is sick, it is actually a hearty soup teeming with nutrition that can be taken daily. What I most like about this soup is its versatility, you may use whatever vegetables you wish to and still bring out the same heartwarming taste. Personally, I like to use green papaya, radish, carrots, green beans, turnips, potato, corns and so much as green peas. This time while cooking the stew, I didn't have green papaya handy, my husband bought a Caribbean papaya from the store though which turned out to be sweet in texture and hence not use worthy. The papaya has to be young and raw for adding taste.
As I said, you may use whatever vegetables you like, but take care not to clutter the soup. Keep the number of veggies limited to 3 or 4 types only.

Ingredients:                                                              Cooking time: 30 minutes
ü  1 kg chicken (on the bones)
ü  1 red onion (chopped)
ü  1 inch long ginger (chopped)
ü  4-5 cloves of garlic (chopped)
ü  4-5 green chillies, split in half (optional)
ü  2 carrots (chopped)
ü  1 cup of green beans (chopped)
ü  1 medium size radish (chopped)
ü  2 cups of light coconut milk
ü  1/2 tbsp garam masala powder
ü  Black pepper, taste wise
ü  Salt to taste
ü  2 tbsp of oil
ü  1 tsp ghee (optional)
For sauté:
ü  8-10 black peppercorns
ü  5 cloves
ü  3 green cardamoms
ü  1 inch long cinnamon stick
ü  2 bay leaves
ü  10 -12 fresh curry leaves (available in Indian grocery stores)
1) Heat oil in a pressure cooker or a heavy bottom stock pot. Add the ingredients for sauté and allow to crackle.
2) Add chopped ginger and garlic, shallow fry till garlic changes to golden brown in color. Add onion and fry till translucent.
3) Add all the veggies including radish, green chillies, carrot and green beans. Add coconut milk, garam masala powder, black pepper, 2 or 3 cups of water and salt. Slide the chicken in.
4) If cooking in pressure cooker, then snap the lid tightly in place and cook on medium heat until the pressure cooker lets off two full-blown whistles. If cooking on stove top in a stock pot, cook on medium heat till chicken and veggies are tender.
5) Finally, add ghee and mix in.
6) Serve warm.


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