Wednesday, April 9, 2014

::: তিল দিয়া কুকুৰাৰ মাংস (Sesame Chicken) :::

If you happen to browse through my first food related post, you already know that I am always after easy-to-cook recipes. Plus, I am not a very versatile cook. Because of my work and lifestyle, I am kind of compelled to eat outside for most of the time. And so, whenever I cook, I tend to favor recipes of Assamese cuisines that reminds me of my childhood. It is kind of my way to deal with the fact that I miss home and my mom's awesome cooking.

Sesame seeds are very popular in Assam and are widely used in our cooking. I remember my mother spicing up a monotonous everyday meal with a simple sesame chutney made with garlic, chilies and tiny drops of mustard oil. As I have heard from my elder generation, sesame seed helps in maintaining jet black color of hair, if you prefer black as your hair color :),  as well as nourishing them. The same sesame paste can also be used to flavor up a simple chicken curry

I don't remember having this specific delicacy very often back home in India. Recently one of my very adorable friend prepared this recipe one day for a dinner invitation. It was just too good to taste this flavor after so many years. I was immediately intrigued , because, like me, she also prefers recipes that require less time and effort. A big thanks to her for sharing the recipe.

So here it goes

Ingredients: Chicken, Sesame Seed, Red Chili, Bay Leaves, Pas Furon (five spices mix), Garlic, Cumin Powder, Coriander Powder (Optional), Turmeric Powder, Salt, Chili, Ginger, Garlic, Onion, Big Pieces of Potato (optional)

1. Make a paste of ginger and garlic. Chop some onions.
2. Heat mustard oil in a wok (you can replace mustard with any other oil of your preference, but I like the authentic flavour of mustard oil). Add dry red chilies, bay leaves, pas furon and chopped onions.
3. After 2-3 minutes, add the garlic-ginger paste, chillies, turmeric powder, cumin powder, and coriander powder if you like. I am not much fan of coriander powder, so I always skip it :). One key aspect of this recipe is the absence of Garam Masala which is almost a must have in any chicken curries. I believe the flavour of both sesame seed and Garam Masala will be clashing.
4. Add chicken pieces, potatoes and salt.
5. After the chicken is almost cooked, add the sesame paste. Stir till you feel the paste is cooked.
6. Add water per your required consistency. I like it to be a little thick.
7. Serve with rice or naan.

I am not very rigid about ingredient measurement while cooking. For me, cooking is an experiment with trial and error method. This is the first time I cooked Sesame Chicken. When finished, I realized that I put a little too many spoons of the paste and hence the sesame flavour came out a little bit overpowering. But that happens with experiments :) The bottom line is, you should be a little bit careful about the ratio of chicken to sesame paste. I think 3 teaspoons for 1/2 KG (i.e. 1.1 lb) of chicken should be good.

Hope you all enjoyed an easy-to-cook yet flavourful dish from my home state of Assam, a very beautiful place in north-east India.

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