I share meals with two of my flatmates, so I cook at least once a week now. Which is great, because if it's only once or twice a week I have the energy to try new things, be creative. Some of the things have turned out beautifully so I thought I'd share them with you! Starting with this:
Butter chicken soup
I ate the leftovers for lunch today and only remembered halfway through to document the process for you. Here is half a bowl of the yummiest soup I've had in a while. Unfortunately you can't see the white blob of yoghurt and the coriander scattered on top - because I ate them! - but it looked very pretty at the start.
I got this recipe a long time ago from a recipe book called "Destitute Gourmet", but didn't use it until last night.
Marinade for chicken:
1 TB lemon juice 1 t coriander 1 t grated fresh ginger
1 t cumin 1 t chilli powder 2 cloves garlic, crushed
(I cheated and used already crushed garlic and ginger.)
1 large boneless chicken breast 1 TB butter
1 finely chopped onion 1 t coriander
1 t cumin 1/4 t chilli powder
1 t ginger 1 can diced tomatoes (with juice) [400g/1 lb]
3 cups chicken stock 1/4 cup basmati rice
2 TB tomato paste 1 TB plain flour
2 TB brown sugar 1/4 cup cream or milk
Natural yoghurt and fresh coriander to garnish
Marinade thin slices of the chicken for at least one hour in the fridge.
To make the soup, melt the butter in a medium saucepan and add marinated chicken and chopped onion. Stir constantly until chicken is sealed and the onion is soft. Add the dried spices and ginger, then stir in the tomatoes and chicken stock.
When simmering, pour in the basmati rice, stir, and simmer for 10 minutes. Mix together the tomato paste and flour and whisk this, a little at a time, into the soup. Add the brown sugar and cream, and season to taste. Serve in soup bowls with a dollop of natural yoghurt and some chopped fresh coriander. Provide some torn-up naan bread for dunking. (Although I just used a baguette and that was better than fine!)
Such a yummy meal. If I do say so myself, I don't think I've ever had a nicer soup. And there are so many things in its favour - butter chicken without the fattiness of the original curry; a more authentic-tasting butter chicken without the skody Westernization that tastes like, well, butter and chicken; it's really quick - probably about 30-40 minutes including preparation; almost all the ingredients are things that we would have in the pantry or freezer anyway. The only things I had to go and buy were the coriander, which totally makes the meal (and which is now growing on our kitchen windowsill), a tiny tub of natural yoghurt, and the baguette.
It's a really good hearty meal for winter (we are freezing in our student flat, and meals have to warm us) but I have a feeling it would not be too much in summer either. It serves probably about four hungry people as a main, or if it was an entree it would serve six easily.