MOTHERING SUNDAY PEPPER CHICKEN

A tribute to my mother Lalitha. She was a doctor who worked full time. Whilst she did not cook very often because we always had a live-in cook in Singapore, when she did, the flavours were simple but unforgettably delicious.

I only wish she was still alive as I know she would have really enjoyed roasting her own spice mixes for South Indian dishes like rasam and sambar in my Thermomix rather than the three stage process, doing them in a pan, leaving them to cool and then using the mortar and pestle or the little coffee grinder.

Anyway, one thing I did do was make a little recipe book I called Curry Base in which I preserved some of her recipes. I share a video from my ebook for her pepper chicken here – a truly warming stew.

When I wrote the recipe I did not know of the existence of Thermomix (I’m still astounded by that given that it has been around since 1971!). Watching the video 12 years on, I realise how much easier cooking is now!

The aim of this post is to illustrate how any recipe can be adapted for the Thermomix and take flavours to another dimension!

My own Mother’s Day wish is that one day my children (one of whom already owns a Thermomix) will dig out this post and make their “Ammama’s pepper chicken” themselves and also pass the recipe on to their off spring keeping the memory of this wonderful woman alive!

Watch the video. If you don’t have a Thermomix you can follow the video. If you have a Thermomix, these are the simple steps to remember (I am not going to copy the whole recipe here so you will have to watch the video for quantities or email me (address in contacts) and I will send it to you).

1) do all the “dry” things first. With MC on, roast the cumin and black pepper for 8 minutes on 120C at speed 2. Then grind it for 1 minute/speed10. Then transfer to a small bowl.

2) next chop the ginger and garlic by dropping them through the hole in the lid onto the blade running at speed 8. It takes 3 or 4 seconds. Scrape down the sides and then with MC on, mince again for 3 secs/speed 5. Transfer to a small bowl.

3) now add 30g of oil in the TM bowl. Put the cinnamon bark in. With MC on, cook 3 minutes/100C/REVERSE/speed 2.

4) With tongs, take out the cinnamon.

5) Add halved onions in the TM bowl. Chop 5 seconds/speed 5. Put the cinnamon back in. With MC on, cook 5 minutes/100C/REVERSE/Speed 1.

6) Add the ginger garlic mixture. Cook 1 minute/100C/REVERSE/Speed 1.

6) Add the pepper and cumin powder and a teaspoon of turmeric and salt. Cook 1 min/100C/REVERSE/Speed 1. Scrape the bottom of the TM bowl with the spatula to ensure the masala doesn’t stick.

7) Now add the chicken thighs and tomatoes. Use the spatula to stir the chicken round to coat the meat in the spice mix. With MC on, cook for 25 minutes/100C/REVERSE/speed stir.

8) Add coriander leaves as garnish before serving with rice.

Notes: if I am cooking large amounts I use the Thermomix as my sous chef to chop and cook the initial curry base and then transfer the mixture with the chicken into a casserole dish and cook it on the stove whilst I make my rice in the Thermomix and also chop salads in it so the whole thing is ready in one go!

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

GORMEH SUBZI SO PERFECT IN THE THERMOMIX!

Elli Bakhtiar-Gharbi (amazing banker turned founder of Grip Pilates was the first of my friends to invest in a Thermomix.

I am so grateful to Elli for introducing me to the staple Iranian stew Gormeh Subzi. It was only quite recently when I was helping Elli to adapt her Iranian dishes for the Thermomix that I discovered the “green” was not spinach at all.

It is large bunches of parsley, coriander, mint, fenugreek and dill that give the stew the deep verdant hue. That explains why Persian, Middle Eastern produce stores like MiladGreen Valley and Phoenicia always have an abundant supply of said herbs on offer. Just think of all the amazing beneficial properties you are putting in your body when you eat this delicious dish!

The Thermomix chops the herbs in a matter of seconds making this rather labour intensive dish so simple. The best way is to drop the herbs, stalks, leaves and all through the hole in the lid onto the running blade at speed 8. This a also a neat way of chopping garlic, ginger and lemongrass!

Traditionally the herbs are cooked for quite awhile (some recipes talk of frying herbs till almost browned) and (often made with red meat) the dish is then stewed on the stove or in the oven for 2- 4 hours. My version, made with chicken thighs and tinned or pre-cooked black eyed peas is only cooked for 20-25 minutes. And again, traditionally leeks are used instead of onions… So forgive me in advance – I love it this way; it tastes as fresh and vibrant as it looks as it is perfectly temperature controlled.

RECIPE:

INGREDIENTS

A

600g onions peeled & halved/quartered

300g water

1/2 tsp salt

B

4-6 skinless boneless chicken thighs, chopped into bite sized pieces

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper, ground

1/4 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp tumeric powder

5g extra virgin olive oil

C

1 large bunch each:

parsley, coriander, dill, fenugreek, mint

15g extra virgin

D

400g cooked kidney, cannellini or black eyed beans

E

Seasoning:

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp tumeric

1 tsp garam masala

1 or 2 * dried limes pricked all over

1/2 to 1 tsp salt

Black pepper

1. Place ingredients A in TM bowl. Cook 30mins, 100C, speed 2.

2. Whilst the onion cooks, mix Ingredients B together. Heat a frying pan and when hot, flash fry the chicken till nicely browned. Set aside.

NOTE: when the TM6 arrives on 17th June 2019, you can brown meat in the Thermomix as the new model reaches a much higher temperature: 160C (the highest in the TM5 is 120C).

3. When the onion if done, blend it for 1 minute, Speed 5 gradually increasing to speed 10. Pour into a container and set aside.

4. Without washing TM bowl, without the measuring cup, set the blade running at speed 8 and push large handfuls of herbs (see ingredients C) through the hole in the lid. Use the spatula to scrape herbs from sides of the bowl whilst the blade is running (see video above).

5. Scrape down sides of TM bowl. Weigh in 15g of oil. Cook the herbs 3 minutes, 100C, speed 2.

6. Add the reserved onion “stock”. Add Ingredients E. Cook 10 mins, 100C, speed 2.

7. Add the browned chicken and Ingredient E (beans) to the TM bowl.

and cook a further 10 minutes, 100C, speed 2 on REVERSE.

8. Optional: Whilst the stew is cooking, I often wash, dry and season with salt, pepper and paprika and lightly toss in olive oil. Without washing the pan the chicken was fried in, i flash fry the okra.

9. Optional: transfer the stew to a serving bowl and keep warm.

Rinse TM bowl. On Cookidoo find and cook the Taste of India Cumin Rice – it is the perfect side!

*dried limes are a traditional condiment and add a lively depth of flavour. I have often made this stew without the lime (which my children prefer) and it is still absolutely delicious.