It’s funny how the palette knows of season change even before the mind is ready and willing to accept it. A week ago, I found myself craving for soup. No matter how much I tried talking myself out of it, it only grew stronger. Suddenly visions of warm spicy curry drowned rice began dancing in front of my eyes.
Growing up, I remember coming home to the warm comforting aroma of Mom’s chicken soup simmering on the stove on cold winter evenings. She would throw in a variety of vegetables and serve ladles of it over warm rice. It was a sure shot way to melt away the frozen senses.
The minute I walk in from the wet cold air outside, I can’t help but be overcome with a calmness that’s only characteristic of ambience in my home. As I stroll into my kitchen and look at my stove, as if waiting for some kind of sign for tonight’s dinner, I picture Mom pouring ladles full of warm hearty soup in big bowls around the dining table. That was it then, it had to be done. That was the sign and there would be no ignoring it. We were having soup, that would be hearty enough to double up as curry. I set out my ingredients and got to work.
A couple of minutes later as Hubby Dear walked in through the door, he was greeted with a warm aroma floating in the air. And I couldn’t help but notice the smirk on his face when he walked into the kitchen and saw a big pot of hearty goodness simmering on the stove.
HOT AND SOUR CHICKEN CURRY
Prep time: 10 min, Cooking time: 25 min | Serves: 2-4Â
2 Chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes 1 medium-sized onion, thinly sliced 1 large tomato, roughly chopped 5-6 dry curry leaves 2 stalks lemon grass, cut into chunks 2-3 fresh green chillies, slit midway Â 1 tsp fresh garlic, finely chopped 1/2 tsp red chilli powder 1/4 tsp turmeric powder 1 tsp tamarind extract 2 tbsp light cooking oil 1 tsp mustard seeds salt, to taste water, as needed
ADD mustard seeds and curry leaves to warm oil and allow to sizzle. Once they begin to splutter, add sliced onions and fry till lightly browned.
ADD tomatoes, garlic, chilli powder, turmeric and salt, and cook for 5-6 minutes till tomatoes pulp. Add chicken and tamarind extract and stir to blend well. Allow chicken to fry for a few minutes till firm.
ADD water, green chillies and lemon grass, and cover cook for 15-20 minutes till chicken is cooked through, adding water if necessary.
SERVE in big bowls over warm rice.