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I really enjoy cooking this type of dish on a Saturday evening - as it is very convenient - and allows the person eating it to do so whilst sitting on the sofa in your living room and watching your favourite TV show or a film.
Here is a picture of the ingredients I used tonight - but feel free to vary them according to what you have in your fridge - and even substituting the chicken for some more vegetables if you are a veggie! It really doesn't matter what you use - as long as you like the combination of ingredients!
And here is a picture of all the ingredients - chopped and prepared - and ready to go!
- 1 medium onion - chopped coarsely
- 1 cup of basmati rice - washed until there is no starch left
- 1 medium green pepper - again: chopped coarsely
- 1 packet of button mushrooms - chopped into quarters
- 1 bunch of asparagus - chopped coarsely - but separate the stems from the tips (as the tips are very tender)
- 1 tomato - deseeded and chopped finely
- 1 300g packet of chicken mini-fillets - chopped into coarse chunks (they cook real quick - so no need to chop too finely) [also - any cut of chicken will do fine - thigh is preferable - but i didn't have time to go to the High Street meat shop today - so i got a packet from the supermarket instead.)
- 1 generous chunk of frozen garlic pulp from your freezer
- 1 generous chunk of ginger pulp from your freezer (both of the above thawed by zapping for 20 seconds on full power in your microwave)
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of haldi (turmeric)
- 1 teaspoon of garam masala
- 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons of ground coriander
- 2 bay leaves (not shown in picture!)
- 1 pinch of whole cumin seed (not visible in picture)
First of all - get a large frying pan/wok/karahi (make sure it has a lid that you can see through)- heat up a couple of tablespoons of your usual vegetable oil in it - I use cholesterol-free sunflower oil
After a few mins - throw in the chopped asparagus stems and Mushrooms - and after about a minute throw in all the ground spices as per the measures given above. Keep on stir-frying until the mushrooms are reduced and the chicken is well cooked.
When the rice has been coated in all the juices of the pan - add just less than twice the amount of water as there was rice - and then immediately stir in the tender asparagus tips and chopped tomato pieces. Make sure the flame is on max - as you want to make the water boil violently.
Put the lid to the pan on top - and let it boil for about 1 minute - and then immediately reduce the flame to lowest possible - and set the timer on your cooker for 15 mins. keep the lid on - and DO NOT TAKE THE LID OFF AT ALL for 15 mins! (Otherwise you will ruin it!)
After 15 mins or so - switch off the flame - and then take the lid off - and fold the rice over a couple of times - and put the lid back on - and leave it to rest for about 15 more minutes. After that it will be ready to eat!
Recipe by Route 79 Edit
From London: By a British, European, 2nd-Generation Indian. Probably confused - but proud to be them all! Half of my journey to and from work is a 20-30 minute bus ride: London Bus Route 79 - between Alperton in West London and Kingsbury in North West London. I very frequently get pissed-off and frustrated waiting around in the DARK, WET and COLD - waiting for the 79 to turn up. But I have to be eternally grateful for the quality thinking time I get to myself.