Asian stir fry paneer and veggies

Asian stir-fry of Paneer, sweet corn and Vegetables

I didn’t make much of it when in our early days Jagan’d say often how he loved travelling to far-off places, driving all the way. He loved being behind the wheel. Little did I know that that meant me becoming the ‘cleaner’ buckled into the passenger seat for hours together, fishing for change for toll booths, operating the GPS navigation keying in destinations and via-points and handing around water, snacks and cooling glasses, only relief being when the kids had to pee and I got to stand straight. I have a strong feeling I’ve taken the shape of XUV’s bucket seats after 5 days of travelling from morning till night. Every morning we’d wake up, shower, eat, pack up and pile into the car. We’d drive all day, reach our destination just in time for dinner, eat and sleep. Wake up next morning and drive to the next one. 5 nights – 5 places. We covered around 2000 km in just over 5 days. He has all the makings of a champion truck driver no doubt. It’s been more than a week since we returned. I still grope around for the seat belt even when I sit in my office chair and I feel faintly irritated whenever somebody asks me to sit. Thippanahalli home-stay in Chikmagalur The only time I willingly sat down was for the delicious home-cooked Malnad food – fresh Kadubus (rice balls), Akki rotis (rice flour rotis) served with a lip-smacking hot chutney, fragrant Tomato Rasam, steamed rice and Chicken Saaru in Chikmagalur. Heavenly! We stayed at an absolutely wonderful home-stay “Thippanahalli” set amidst a huge coffee estate in Chikmagalur.  Coffee beans, grown on the Thippanahalli estate I stalked the cook and helpers for the recipes the entire time I was there and managed to extract a quick abridged recipe rundown from the host’s mother who must have thought ‘Silly Apprentice cook – doesn’t know even Tomato Rasam’. My Maamiyaar must think the same thing too. I make a few nice rasams but I’ll go after every good rasam out there, think what people may. Rasams are some of the simplest yet soul-stirring foods there are.  Taking a walk through the coffee estate The recipe today is not from our drive-athon trip though (it’ll come soon). This is a simple light stir-fry that is great for after-trip guilt. Having stuffed my face with all the good food...
Chicken stir fry

Chicken & Bell Pepper stir fry

In the early days of my marriage, when we were in Bangalore less the joint-family, stir fries where the staple. We had stir-fries every-day for dinner. I had a kitchen all to myself (glorious times those) and all I did were stir fries those first few weeks (dumb me). But Stir-fries are the easiest, quickest and sometimes the healthiest options too. We’d have stir-fried vegetables, stir-fried sprouts.. This stir-fried chicken is quick and yummy. This stir-fried chicken was perfect for my little ones. They loved it. Each picture shows you a dynamically changing bowl of stir-fried chicken. Because my kids kept nibbling on the chicken while I tried to click these pictures. There are innumerable ways you can vary this stir fry but just make sure that you adhere to the basic principle of stir-fries. Always stir fry at high heat, while constantly moving the food around. You want your food to cook but you also want to retain the freshness and crunch. So the order in which you add vegetables is important. Capsicum/Bell peppers cook very fast and therefore you add them towards the end. If you were to add carrots or baby corn, you’d have to add them earlier or leave them to cook a little longer. If you want to add mushrooms, cook them separately till all the water evaporates and they’re nicely browned and then combine them towards the end. And don’t ever overcook chicken, it gets stringy and tasteless. I served this stir-fried chicken along with Thai red curry and steamed rice. My kids ate the stir fried chicken as is. You could also serve these alongside Mexican rice, sandwich them between two layers of toast slathered with some mayonnaise or roll them up in a tortilla along with your favourite sauces. Another great way to serve these to kids is to give them little toothpicks to pick out the chicken. My kids recently went crazy using their toothpicks at a restaurant. Try it. Prep time: 5 minsCooking time: 10 minsServes: 3 Ingredients Chicken Breasts – 2 cut into bite sized piecesCapsicum/Bell peppers – ½ cup chopped into bite sized piecesGarlic – 4 pods mincedGinger – 1 inch piece mincedOil – 3 tbspSoy sauce – 1 tspBlack pepper powder – 1 tspSalt to taste Method 1.      Wash and clean chicken. Pat dry and chop into bite sized pieces. 2.      Heat up a pan, add oil...
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