This is a throwback to a lovely day in spring a year ago when the changing temperatures, rising viral infections caught me and had me pinned to the bed, literally! The malaise and exhaustion of a cold and viral fever is excruciating. You cannot sleep the whole day because all you really have to take is a simple paracetamol and you cannot be of much use to anyone, yourself included, because the fever returns as soon as the medicine has waned.
The perfect time to have a helping hand, especially in the kitchen. I have found that in times of sickness I crave for rich, flavourful food. And so, one spring evening, my cravings were strong, there was a pack of chicken drumsticks thawing in the fridge and a spouse, surprisingly eager to yield the ladle!
Here’s A Recipe To Save A Bland Day
Serving Size: 2-3
Time: 40 minutes to 1 hour; active- 20 minutes and inactive- 30 minutes.
1.75 to 2 pounds chicken drumsticks & thighs. (i.e. 6-8 pieces),
2 tsp garlic paste,
3-4 tsp ginger paste,
1 green chilli,
1/2 bunch of coriander (15 or more stalks),
1 tsp haldi powder (turmeric),
1/2 to 1 tsp red chilli powder,
1/2 tsp coriander powder,
Crushed black pepper,
Salt to taste,
2 tbsp oil,
1 tsp cumin seeds.
To make the marinade, mix all ingredients except chicken and oil. First, wash coriander (cilantro) thoroughly, then chop it roughly and grind it with the green chilli and salt and pepper with a mortar and pestle. Transfer to a bowl and mix in ginger and garlic paste and dry ingredients.
Add chicken to the mix and let it sit for at least half an hour.
I almost always remove skin from chicken- drumsticks, breast or thighs. This is a personal choice. One really neat trick that I learned from my aunt is to use a paper towel to pull the skin from the chicken. The paper absorbs some moisture and provides traction to move is off the meat.
After the chicken has been marinating for 30 minutes, put a pan on the stove and heat 2-3 tablespoons of oil. You can use any cooking oil.
Next, add cumin seeds to the oil. If it is at the right temperature, the seeds will start spluttering straight away.
Add chicken and cook on each side for about 2 minutes each, until it is lightly browned. After this, add water to the bowl with leftover marinade, add to the chicken, cover and cook on medium heat for 15 minutes. Check the tenderness of the chicken with a fork and look for the colour in the center. If it is still pink then the meat needs to cook for a little longer.
That’s it! Serve warm with basmati rice.
For first time cooks, this is a recipe bound to get you hooked to cooking. I gave my husband an A+!