Honey mustard grilled chicken & bamboo fried rice

Honey Mustard grilled chicken and Fried Bamboo rice

When I teeter between eating that last ladle of biryani and finding a dabba, transferring the last of the biryani into the dabba and putting it in the fridge I usually elect to eat it. It is so much simpler. While eating the extra biryani, I imagine myself determinedly jogging round after round the next morning burning away all those extra calories. When (if) I am jogging the next morning, I am panting like a crazy dog halfway through the first round and I stop and walk the rest of the way I imagine myself thoughtfully taking tiny bites off an un-buttered slice of toast. In short my life. Could bamboo rice be the redemption for all the biryani excesses? I doubt. But I gave it a shot anyway. Jagan bought a pack of bamboo rice while on our vacation in Kerala. We bought it in a small souvenir shop in Wayanad. The bamboo rice came in simple plain plastic packing. It was un-branded and un-processed. For the first time in nearly 2 decades, I transferred the rice onto a moram and sat outside in the portico to pick out stones from the rice. The last I saw someone doing this was my ammamma who’d take the rice in a moram and pick out stones and grit from the rice, everyday. I felt all nostalgic, got carried away and spent about half an hour going through the rice. This ain’t the green rice (rice that is infused with bamboo juices) that is popularly called bamboo rice in the west. This is the real deal. Bamboo rice looks almost like wheat. It takes much longer to cook than white rice. It is chewier and has a grassy, nutty undernote. I was sceptical if it’d taste good as fried rice. I was surprised that it actually tasted better in fried rice form.  We grilled the chicken on our barbecue. But you can grill it in your oven too. We loved the combination of hot, sweet and tangy flavours. I served the grilled chicken on the fried bamboo rice. Jagan was smitten with the combination and the kids ate with great gusto. Overall – big success. And to think it was healthy too. I am surprised it went down so well. Prep time: 15 mins (grilled chicken) + 25 mins (fried bamboo rice)Cooking time: 20-30 mins (grilled chicken) + 25 mins (fried bamboo...

Chicken Teriyaki – Grilled Chicken with Asian flavours

I’ve not been able to blog the past few days because I was busy with work. You see, got to work on work also in office. To all those millions who were eagerly waiting for my next recipe, here it is – Chicken Teriyaki. This chicken teriyaki is a hot and sweet grilled chicken – zesty, succulent and full of wonderful Asian flavours – ginger, soy and brown sugar. This teriyaki marinade is a delightful combination of flavours and a great alternative to tandoori chicken or plain roasted chicken (a la prime roaster, what happened to prime roaster?). The brown sugar is important, so don’t omit it. The brown sugar beautifully balances the heat from the red chillies and tartness of the tamarind and makes the marinade what it is. There are many like my husband who don’t like to taste “sweet” in their main dishes. To them, only desserts can be sweet. Food conservatism! But don’t worry, the chicken teriyaki doesn’t taste sweet. My husband really liked it. You could serve these grilled beauties as they are. It really doesn’t need any chutney or dip. It makes for an impressive starter for a dinner party. You could marinate these the day before in the refrigerator and grill them just before the party. Prep time: 10 minsMarinating time: 1 hour to overnightGrilling time: 20-40 minsServes: 5 Ingredients Chicken – 5 Leg pieces or any cut of chicken MarinadeGinger – 1 inch peeledGarlic – 5-6 cloves peeledTamarind – small marble sizedDry Red chillies – 5 soaked in a small cup of hot water for 20 minsSoy Sauce – 1 tbspVinegar – 1 tsp (I used white distilled vinegar)Brown sugar – 1 tbspSalt to tasteWater as necessary Method 1.      Clean chicken and make oblong cuts in the chicken so that the marinade can sink in. Pat dry and set aside. 2.      Grind together the ginger, garlic, tamarind and soaked red chillies in a mixer grinder to a fine paste. Transfer the ground paste to a large bowl. Add the soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar and salt and mix well. Add a little bit of water if necessary to thin the marinade. 3.      Rub the marinade on the chicken pieces making sure all the pieces are well coated. Cover and let marinate for a minimum of 1 hour. You could let it marinate overnight in the fridge also. 4.      Grill on a barbecue...

Chicken Satay with Thai Peanut dip

Chicken Satay and Thai Peanut dip is such a superb pair. They go so well with each other and they’re fun. Satay is a great option for a party appetizer, can be prepared well in advance and then grilled or barbecued at the last minute. Satay is super-quick to barbecue or grill, is done in less than 10 minutes. The best part of it is the Thai style peanut dip. It is a delightful medley of flavours and textures – hot, sweet, and nutty with the peanut butter and peanuts giving the dip a smooth yet crunchy texture. Yummy! There are lots of things going for this recipe. You don’t have to make a marinade and a dip separately. It’s all just one thing. You make the peanut dip and use half of it (or how much ever you require) as the marinade and the remaining as the dip. One dip fits all! How about that? A Somberi’s dream come true! This is such a delicious dip that I wouldn’t really mind having extra. I can imagine the dip being extremely chummy with Chinese spring rolls or wontons or any kind of fried fritters. It is really a cool dip to hang out with. I adapted the recipe from Mark Bittman’s book.         Barbecuing is fun. Kids find the whole thing so amusing they’re out of your way the whole time that the fire is being set up. That buys you enough time to prepare lunch, wash and clean up. My husband loves to barbecue, loves starting a fire, some kind of primordial instinct I suppose. So effectively he is also out of the way. Peace! Being able to cook un-plugged, un-interrupted, without being called a hundred times and without being tugged by a 2 ft. little one is what I call peace. Barbecuing is a great weekend family activity and I’d recommend anyone who doesn’t have a barbecue to go out and get one. It need not be any of those very expensive, tripod mounted ones. For weekend barbecuing and the occasional get-togethers, you could go in for a much smaller one. Preparation time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 5-8 minutesServes: 5 Ingredients Chicken breasts – 4 cut lengthwise into strips Marinade and Dip Peanut Butter – 2 tbspSoy Sauce – 2 tspSweet lime juice – 3 tbspPeanuts – 3 tbsp coarsely crushedBrown sugar – 1 tspGarlic – 4-5 cloves Shallots...
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