Friday, May 5, 2017

Chicken Jalfrezi with Basmati Rice

This is a dish I order frequently at Indian Restaurants because I can get it without Yogurt.  I so love Indian flavors, but I just can't do that much dairy and if I'm going to do dairy, I will save it for Butter Chicken. Anyway, I decided to make it at home tonight and I'm so glad I did. For those of you who haven't had this dish, it is a mix of Chicken with Peppers, Onions and Tomatoes. I cut the Chicken, Onions and Peppers into smaller pieces than usual but I don't like picking up big chunks. This dish is seasoned with an assortment of warm spices that is part of the magic of Indian food and my favorite seasoning in it is the Kashmiri Chili Powder.  Now, I can't eat really hot food, so I toned this one down and I changed the Green Peppers to Yellow and Orange as I like them so much better. And, instead of hot Green Chiles, I used just two little Red Jalapeños with the seeds and membranes removed. I also leave them in half so I can pick them out. I know - I'm a lightweight!  Of course, you can add more Chili Powder and hotter Chiles to your taste, but I need to feel my tongue when I am done eating and I hate to sweat!  You can also add Yogurt if you like creamy sauces at the end.  So, this is a very moderate version that is simply so delicious!  I've been trying to add more warming foods to my diet and this dish fit the bill. It's really a kind of Indian stir fry and it tastes even better the next day, if there is any left over!

Chicken Jalfrezi with Basmati Rice

For Chicken:

1 pound of boneless, skinless Chicken Thighs
a 2" piece of Ginger, peeled and grated
4 small or 2 large Garlic cloves, peeled and grated
1 teaspoon ground Cumin
1 teaspoon ground Coriander
1 teaspoon Turmeric
1/2 teaspoon Garam Masala
1 teaspoon Salt
2 Tablespoons of Ghee for stir-frying

Cut the chicken into cubes about 3/4 - 1".  Place the pieces into a bowl and add all the other seasoning ingredients. Mix thoroughly and cover and place in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 2 hours.

For Sauce:

2 Tablespoons Ghee
2 small Onions, chopped roughly
10 small Yellow and Orange Peppers or 2 large Red, Green, Yellow or Orange Peppers cut into small pieces (about the same size as the Chicken)
2 Red Jalapeño Chiles top cut off, cut in half and seeds and membranes removed
4 - 5 Roma Tomatoes stem end removed and chopped coarsely
1/2 teaspoon Salt
2 - 3 Tablespoons Kashmiri Chili Powder
Optional:  1/4 cup Yogurt + additional 1/2 teaspoon Salt

Heat the Ghee in a large frying pan and add in Onions, Jalapeño Chili halves and Peppers. Cook until the Onions and Peppers soften. Add in the Tomatoes and cook for about 10 minutes or until the Tomatoes have softened into a sauce. Remove to a bowl.

Heat the additional 2 Tablespoons of Ghee in the frying pan and add in the Chicken. Cook until lightly browned on one side and then turn, browning the other side as well. Then stir and cook until the Chicken is no longer pink. Add the sauce back in and reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked and still tender.  If using Yogurt, add it off the heat and stir until mixed in thoroughly.  Serve over Basmati Rice.

Basmati Rice

1 cup Basmati Rice, rinsed and drained
1 3/4 cup Water
1 heaping Tablespoon of Ghee
1/2 teaspoon Salt

Place all ingredients in a small pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and turn down to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for an additional 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork before serving.

Five Element Analysis

Chicken belongs to the Wood Element. The Tomatoes, Peppers and Chili Powder make sure that the Fire Element is fully present. All of the Spices and Ghee along with the Ginger and Onions and Garlic make sure contribute a lot of the Metal Element and the Rice adds even more. This meal is missing the Water Element so an Eggplant dish would be a good side and the Earth Element is also not present, so plan on serving a sweet dessert to creat a balanced Five Element meal!

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