Wednesday, April 13, 2011

What to Do?

     It rarely happens that a day comes and I have no idea what I am going to cook. There are either days where I know there is no way I am making anything or days where I know exactly what to do. But, days like this? Days where I am going through my grocery list in my mind and nothing is inspiring me even though I have a whole exam to procrastinate for? These days are rare. I don't like them. I need clarity, Right Now. Maybe if I talk it out with you that will help.

This is my life 
Me: Hi.
You: Hello.
Me: I have frozen chicken, but I was going to make curry on Thursday with that.
You: I thought you promised NO you would make Asian food on Thursday?
* Note: You are knowledgeable
Me: Oh. Right. So, should I make pork shoulder on Thursday? Should I make the chicken curry today?
You: That would make sense.

     Yay! Thank you all you people. You may think that was all a show, but I had no intention of making chicken curry at all today. And now I do! This talking to you, or the internet I suppose, thing really works. Especially if the you or the internet is just your alter ego. The internet does contain a lot of people alter egos. It is interesting to think about, my thoughts spin wildly out of control. But now they have a direction: chicken curry.

It was good...I promise, I just couldn't take proper pictures...
     OK, well, I have chicken. I also have spinach! I would totally have forgotten and it would have wilted, that would have been sad. I was having a conversation with CV once where he said that he thinks he has only ever eaten baby spinach and not real spinach. And, right then, I could not remember the difference between baby spinach and spinach at all. I think I have got it (kind of): you have to prep spinach by taking the backbone out of it (you know, that stick in between the leaf) and spinach is darker Baby spinach is lighter, flatter, and easier to cook with because it requires less prep! But I bought spinach, and I'm pretty sure saag chicken (which is what I plan to make) would not be saag chicken with baby spinach.

Look, it's DL! Just because.
     I think I've officially gotten over my fear of the stove. Not that the maintenance came to check it, sigh. Or, at least, I'm assuming he didn't because don't they leave notes when they do these things? Who knows, I shall have to find out. But, anyway, making Saag Chicken was a breeze. I cut up my chicken and cooked it a little. I cut up my spinach and cooked it a little. I cut up some onions and cooked them and then cooked everything together. You know what I didn't do? I didn't take pictures. Oh right, no wonder it all went by so fast. No obsessive hand washing and picture taking between each step. Pictures will be back soon, I promise, I just have an exam tomorrow so picture taking was not a priority today. The chicken came out great by the way. Even though, I definitely did not have enough spinach to call it Saag Chicken. It ended up being more of a Chicken Curry with Spinach, and thus it shall be named. I packed it up in my tiffin with a paratha and took it to work, and that just made my day a little bit brighter. Good food and a cute lunchbox, what else does one need?

Chicken Curry with Spinach

2 cups Water
2 cups Spinach Leaves
4 large Chicken Thighs, de-skinned and de-boned
1 tbsp Vegetable Oil 
1/2 mid-sized Yellow Onion, finely chopped 
1/2 tsp Turmeric
1 tsp Garam Masala
1 tsp Coriander
2 Green Cardamom Pods
1/2 cup Yogurt
1/2 cup Water

Place your chicken thighs in a large bowl filled with water, a spoon of salt and a spoon of sugar while getting out the rest of your ingredients. Next, boil 2 cups of water in a large saucepan. Trim and wash your spinach, and then dump it into the boiling water. Stir it around until it is thoroughly wilted. Dump out the water, take out the spinach, and let it cool. Set is aside.

Cut the pieces of chicken into bite-sized (1'' cube) pieces. Heat up the oil at medium heat in a large saucepan, and add the chicken. Cook it on both sides to seal, and do this in batches if all the chicken won't fit in your pan at once. Take the chicken out and set it aside. Your spinach should have cooled by now, so place it on a chopping board and chop it till it is very small and fine.

Next, heat up more oil in your pan (if you need it, or if you have dumped out the chicken oil) at medium heat, and fry the onions until they are translucent. Add the turmeric, stirring it into the onions for a minute, then add the garam masala, coriander and cardamom pods. Fry everything at medium for two minutes, then add the yogurt. Stir until it is well mixed with the spices. Then, add the spinach and the chicken. Stir everything together, and add the water. Let it come to a boil, reduce to low-medium heat, and simmer for ten minutes. You are ready to serve!

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