June 17, 2011

Fridays of Intestinal Fortitude:
Stirring Things Up

Note: Fridays of Intestinal Fortitude is a weekly feature about food, food and more FOOD. No, I do not necessarily want to be a food blogger, but I do LOVE to talk about food prep, cooking food, eating food and making sweet love to food. Okay, maybe not the "sweet love" part. This is not meant to be some homage to 9 1/2 Weeks.

I believe that every cook needs a handful of stir fry recipes to go on those busy days when you just need to whip up something fast for lunch or dinner.  I have four recipes that I rotate in and out so that we don't get tired of them -- a South Indian (Keralite?) chicken stir-fry called piralen, a garlic pepper chicken Thai stir fry called kai kratium (recipe for next week!), PF Chang's Kung Pao chicken recipe and a Pakistani stir-fry called karahi chicken.  A karahi is a wok-like pan and I don't actually own one - I just use a regular frying pan.

I jokingly call karahi chicken a "backwards" curry - most curries follow a predictable pattern - caramelize the onions, add the garlic/ginger, add the spices for a quick "bhunifying", then finish with meat, veggies and tomatoes/yogurt.  Karahi chicken completely mixes up all the usual steps and the results are quite tasty.

This recipe was given to me by a lovely Pakistani lady who damned near became my mother-in-law.  While I am perfectly happy with who eventually became my husband, it still makes me sad that I missed out on what would been the best in-laws EVER.  Seriously, they were such lovely, truly nice people, I would have been proud to call them my Baba and Ami.

Ah well, at least I ended up with some kickass recipes.  Oh, if you have a karahi chicken recipe or another stir fry recipe that you would like to share, and/or if you have suggestions on how I can improve this karahi chicken recipe, please feel free to link to your own post in the comments.  I am always on the hunt for new recipes.

Karahi Chicken

1 lb chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 tbsp garlic, chopped
2 tsp ground ginger
1 onion,. thinly sliced
2 cups diced tomato
1 tsp cayenne pepper (or less if you prefer mild)
salt to taste (about 1 tsp)
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
2 tsp cumin powder
2 tsp coriander powder

1. Coat the bottom of a frying pan or wok with cooking oil and heat on medium-high.  Brown the chicken, stirring frequently.  After about 7 minutes, add the garlic and ginger.

2. When the chicken is pretty much done, add the salt, cayenne pepper, tomatoes and onions.  Fry for about 5 minutes or so, until the tomatoes break apart.

3. In another small frying pan, coat the bottom with a very small amount of cooking oil and heat on medium-high.   Add the cumin and coriander, stir constantly (add a teaspoon of water if it becomes sticky).  Cook for about 3 minutes, until the spices become aromatic.

4. Add the cumin/coriander mixture to the chicken and stir thoroughly.  Taste for salt, garnish with a handful of chopped cilantro.


Average Jane said...

Ooh, that sounds really good! I'll have to squirrel away that recipe for the near future.

luckyfatima said...

Very simple and nice recipe. Will give it a try. LOL I never use a real karhai for this dish, either.

AAD said...

Wow, sounds like a good one, may give it a try soon.
Btw, just came across your blog, and I saw that I share your daughter's name..:) I love my name, so you've named her well...:))