It’s strange how I write most of my articles in my head. Much before I put it down on paper (or the keyboard thanks to technology), I have already finished writing it. Have done the layout and structure, decided the tone, and even written most of the text.
Cooking is a similar experience for me. Much before I reach home (on the few days I feel like cooking after work), on my drive back, I am already planning on what to make, what I will need, how I will make it etc. I can almost taste the dish even before I have started.
So driving back on Monday, I decided that I needed something to lift my mood, drive away the Monday blues. And besides writing and traveling, only cooking can help me do that. The dish I finally decided on was Chicken Stroganoff. And wow what a dish. The quantity that was meant to serve 4 was cleaned out by the 2 of us within 10 minutes. Don’t believe me? Try it out for yourself!
Serves: 2 if you are foodies like we are. Else 3
Boneless chicken 200 gms
Mushrooms 200 gms
Capsicum (cut into thin strips) 1 small
Onion (chopped finely) 1
Garlic (crushed) 4 cloves
Oil 2 tbsp
Flour 1 ½ tbsp
Cream ¾ cup
Tomato puree 2tbsp
Tomato ketchup 1tbsp
Salt, Pepper, Chilli Pwd To taste
1)Cut the boneless chicken into small pieces or strips. Marinate with salt, pepper and chilli powder for half hour
2)In a thick bottomed pan or pressure cooker, heat 1tbsp oil (can be substituted with butter for better taste but more calories). Fry onions till lightly brown.
3)Wash mushrooms thoroughly and cut each into 2. Add to the onions and sauté for a minute or 2.
4)Remove the onions and mushrooms from the dish and keep aside. Add 1tbsp oil to the dish and sauté the chicken on medium heat till browned from both sides
5)Add 1 ½ cups water. If cooking in a pressure cooker, give one whistle and cook on low heat for 2 minutes. If in a pan, cook on medium heat for 15 minutes.
6)Remove ½ cup stock from the pan and cool. Add flour and stir so that no lumps are formed.
7)In the pan with the chicken and remaining stock, add onions, mushroom, salt, pepper, chilli pwd, tomato puree, ketchup and garlic. Give one boil. Add flour mixture while stirring continuesly. Just before it is about to boil, take it off the heat.
8)Add cream. Stir. I usually substitute the cream with milk for a healthier option. Put it back on the fire. Cook on low heat for a minute and remove.
9)Serve hot with sticky rice or garlic bread. Can also be served on top of a bed of fettuccini or fusilli.
I have made my own version and recipe for sticky rice. Try it at your own risk.
For sticky rice, take the appropriate amount of rice in a pan and add water. Do not wash the rice or drain the water. For one cup of rice, add 1 ¾ cup water. Cover (but leave a corner exposed so that it doesn’t boil over) and cook on medium heat. When the water is almost dried up, add ½ cup milk, salt and oregano. Cook covered for a few minutes. Add more milk if needed. When the rice tastes cooked but is still al dente, remove from fire and serve.