“Nah! It’s not really cold yet!” I’ve been repeating this to myself every day. Well… the weather hasn’t dipped that low yet. Come on, don’t frown – it’s Minnesota for goodness sake! If I complain of the cold, I might as well pack my bags and leave.
Walking to the bus stop yesterday morning was bitterly cold. I felts little streams of tears running down my face and no, I was not crying, my eyes were watering from the bitter wind blowing into them.
I headed back home and immediately sought out the temperature gauge. “What?! It was only 15F degrees, not that cold!” There’s still more cold to come I’m sure…..
Needing some comfort, I headed to my sanctuary, my kitchen. A nice spicy hot dish with chilis and fenugreek would do the trick. I immediately set to work. Several plates later of my Achaari Chicken and fresh hot rotis, I felt much better. A fuzzy heat engulfed my senses from the warming spices in the masala*.
The Achaari Chicken dish, did the trick for my husband too. Well, he did need some warming up after spending time outside dealing with a snowy driveway.
Heres a dish called Achaari Chicken. Achaari meaning indian pickle – Achaar is full of warming spices like fenugreek and red chilis. They are several versions of Achaar, every family has their own recipe and heres mine, Methi Mango Pickle. You can substitute a store bought mango pickle too and that is perfectly alright.
You will need
1lb chicken thighs, cut into strips
1 tablespoon ginger, chopped
1/2 teaspoon garlic, chopped
1 fresno or any red chili pepper, chopped finely
1 teaspoon red chili powder (you may use less depending on your taste)
2 tablespoons methi mango pickle (or store bought mango pickle)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon dried fenugreek leaves (kasoori methi)
Mix the above ingredients in a bowl and set aside to marinade for half an hour or longer.
1 tablespoon ghee
1 tablespoon grape seed oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
6 fresh curry leaves
1 medium onion, thickly sliced
Heat the ghee and oil over moderate heat in a wide based pan.
Throw in the cumin seeds and the curry leaves.
They will begin to sizzle and pop. The frantic popping will subside after a several seconds.
Toss in the thickly sliced onions and cook on medium low heat till they caramelize slightly and give off a lovely aroma.
Increase the temperature to a medium high.
Gently tumble in the spiced chicken marinade and stir-fry over the high heat for about a minute to sear in the amazing flavor.
Close the lid of the pot and simmer the chicken till done.
Serve with a side of your favorite vegetable simply sauteed in ghee and hot rotis.
- Fresh curry leaves are available at your local Indian store. If you must, simply use the dried version from a spice store but there is not comparison.
- If you don’t have homemade pickle on hand, Deep foods makes a really tasty Methi Mango Pickle, also available from the Indian Store.
- If you just can’t stand chicken thighs you can substitute with chicken breasts, it’ll just be a tad bit drier.
- * masala means a combination of spices to make a curry or marinade of some sort.
A trip to the Indian Store is definitely worth the heady and fragrant notes of the Fenugreek and the caramelized onions that will fill your kitchen later.
This tangy and spicy Chicken Indian Style Stir-fry will be your go to comfort food after you’ve tried making it for the first time. This is sure to become a favorite in YOUR KITCHEN!!