When in doubt, I make stew!
There are only so many days in the dreaded Canadian winter when the white blanket of snow is lovingly caressed by the intense warmth of the sun’s rays. It is often on days like these, which if accidentally fall on a weekend like today, that all I wish to do is have endless cups of hot cocoa and surround myself with the many sections of the bulky weekend newspaper.
It is also on days like these, where I bitterly sulk over Hubby Dear’s absence due to his frequent business trips. And that too just a day after returning from our fabulous vacation filled with sun, sand and laughter. Need I add how much I miss him already? And it’s just been a measly few hours since we bid adieu!
While my appetite tends to take a downward stroll while Hubby Dear is away, I still can’t quite refrain from spending most of my time in my kitchen. The time spent in prepping, visualizing and finally creating the meal is what enables me to unwind and reflect on my thoughts. I love listening to the sharp crunches from chopping an onion, the sizzling of chopped garlic in hot oil, or the whistles of the pressure cooker; each of which can be easily substituted for any form of melody in my mind.
By allowing myself to sleep in today, and waking up to a wonderfully warm sunny afternoon, the idea of a lunch that would summon me to stand over a hot stove didn’t quite make an inviting prospect. But good food on a day like this was something I was desperately craving for. So I took the slow and easy way out. The thought of having my lunch slowly simmer on the stove was tempting enough to compel me to get my lazy self into the kitchen and prep for it. And that’s all I needed to do. The rest as they say, will take care of itself!
CHICKEN & BEAN COCONUT STEW
Prep time: 20 min | Cooking time: 45 min | Serves: 2-4
- 2 large boneless chicken breasts, diced into 1-inch cubes
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 small tomato, chopped
- 1 tbsp garlic, finely chopped
- 1-2 atalks lemongrass, bruised and cut into 2-inch lengths
- 1 large potato, diced into cubes
- 1 can white kidney beans
- 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp coriander powder
- 3-4 cardamom pods, bruised
- 2-3 cloves
- salt, to taste
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 2 tbsp light cooking oil
- a handful fresh coriander leaves, chopped for garnish
Saute garlic, cardamom and cloves, in hot oil in a deep pan till fragrant. Add in onions and cook till tender and pink.
Add red chilli powder, turmeric and coriander powder, and fry for a few seconds before adding beans and chicken. Mix carefully to evenly coat with spices. Add coconut milk, lemon grass, potatoes, tomatoes and salt. Cover and let simmer for 30-40 minutes till chicken and potatoes cook through and become tender.
Stir occasionally in between, adding water if necessary to form desired consistency. Once done, garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve warm over a bed of rice or with a side of thick crusty bread.