Spiced Satay Chicken Noodles

Oh man. These noodle bowls are so immensely satisfying. The combination of the spices against the fresh crunchiness of the vegetables and the curried cream sauce is just spot on! I’m a complete fan and I know I’ll come back to this recipe over and over again. I found this in the Women’s Weekly Wok cookbook and made a few adjustments! The best part? They look as beautiful as they taste! You can almost see how rich and creamy the sauce is in the pictures!

Its great if you use hokkein noodles for this recipe because these give it that real authentic flavour and texture! If you know me, I cannot live without garlic and gasp! I didn’t use it in this! Imagine! No garlic with meat! Serve them hot and of course don’t substitute the spices for anything – On to the recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 kg boneless chicken, chopped into cubes
  • 500g hokkein noodles (add more if necessary)
  • 1 big bunch of green onions, slivered
  • 4 tbsp peanut oil
  • 2 large carrots, sliced

Satay Sauce:

  • 1 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 cup coconut cream
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 5 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp leveled salt

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Mix the cumin, coriander and turmeric in a small bowl and coat the cubed chicken until evenly distributed. Heat the peanut oil in a pan and cook the chicken in batches until golden. Remove the cooked chicken and keep aside.

 

 
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Stir fry the carrot and the green onion in the same pan and add to the chicken, setting it aside.

Just showing off my knife skills heh.

 

 

 

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Prepare the noodles according to packet instructions. Hokkein noodles are pre-cooked so you will just have to separate them by opening them into a bowl and adding hot water and separate them with a fork. Drain them and set aside.

Now combine all the sauce ingredients and mix well. In the same pan that you used earlier for the stir-frying, heat up the sauce and then transfer to the chicken and vegetables. Add noodles and mix until the glorious spiced sauce coats everything! everything!

Serve immediately with an extra sprinkle of fresh chopped green onion! Ah!

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Ahhh! Glorious!

Achari Chicken Karahi

This recipe was a mix of a recipe I found online and other things I added as I went on. Its really super easy, as long as you have the spices on hand. And the best part is, you don’t need to add any of those achari masalas you get from the store! Ah replication! Success! Don’t get daunted by the long list of ingredients though!

I’d recommend using boneless chicken for this since it will taste better like a handi, as thats what is usually served in restaurants, but you can use karahi-cut chicken as well! Turns out just as great! Spiced fragrant curry coats the chicken perfectly, just the right amount of tangy and spice! Ditch the roti and have it straight away, hot off the stove with fresh naan!

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole chicken, cut into curry pieces. (1 kg if you’re using boneless meat)
  • 1 onion, chopped finely
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red chilli flakes
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp tamarind paste
  • 1 tsp level red chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • healthy pinch of fennel seeds
  • 1/2 cup yoghurt
  • water as necessary

Wash and prepare chicken as you would. This is the absolute hardest step and I have to literally meditate for around ten minutes hovering around the said chicken, but the faster you get done, the easier usually the rest of the process is!

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In a karahi or wok, heat up 3 tbsp of oil and add the ginger garlic paste, cumin seeds, red chilli flakes and sliced garlic. Let this sing in the oil for a bit till fragrant and drop in the chicken. Cook the chicken till its half done and then take it out on some random plate.

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To the same pan, add the finely chopped onion and diced tomatoes and cook this until it changes in color. Add the tamarind, salt, red chilli powder, garam masala, coriander and black pepper to this and cook until you can see bits of oil bubbling in the corner of the pan. Add a bit of water to this if it gets too thick, you’ll know when! Now take a hand blender and blend this mixture inside of the pan so it gets smooth. We want it to cover every part of the chicken.

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Once smooth, add the chicken and cook until the mix thickens. Add tiny bits of water as needed because this will start to stick to the pan once thick. We don’t want to dilute the spice, just add enough so that the mixture doesnt stick. Add bay leaves, kalonji and fennel seeds. And finally add the yoghurt. Cook until the chicken is absolutely cooked through and is almost falling apart from the bone.

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Serve with fresh naan and a slivers of ginger and a few fresh leaves of mint!

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Never use the packet mix again!

 

 

 

Burrito Bake

Okay so I recently tried my first burrito and I was kind of disappointed. Maybe it didn’t have that much meat in it or maybe the beans weren’t that flavorful or maybe it was just the wrong place. But I wanted to make a bake with the same ingredients. Healthy but cheesy! 😉

This is kind of perfect for Ramzan because you do want to have something healthy for Iftar but also want to feel full and have a bit of an indulgence. Its your typical burrito ingredients piled into a bake! You won’t believe how easy this is! To make it more heavy, you can choose to fry the pita in a bit of butter before layering it. I didn’t because every once a year I like to pretend I can eat healthy. eheheh.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 kg chicken cut into small cubes
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 cups shredded lettuce
  • 1 tomato cubed
  • 1/2 a can of sweet corn
  • 1 can of mixed beans
  • Around 12 sliced jalapenos
  • 1/4 cup olives, sliced
  • 8 pita breads, quartered
  • 4 tbsp ketchup
  • 4 tbsp barbeque sauce
  • 2 cups grated tasty cheese
  • 1/2 tsp mixed italian herbs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Butter for greasing

FOODGOOD 025_FotorStart by greasing a big oven-proof dish with butter and layer half your quartered pita breads on the bottom. Heat this in the oven till the pita is crisp.

In a frying pan, heat the oil and fry the chicken with garlic and salt until done.

 

 

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Smatter the mix of mixed beans, corn, olives and tomatoes onto the pita.Cover with the cubed, cooked chicken and jalapenos. Season with salt and pepper. Layer with pita again.

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FOODGOOD 028_FotorBrush the pita with a bit more butter and splat around the ketchup and barbeque sauce. Be liberal with it. Use more if you want to.

 

 

 

 

End with sprinkling the grated cheese and herbs. I wouldn’t call this sprinkling tbh.

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Grill in the oven until the cheese is happily evenly browned, almost crisped.

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Just before serving, dollop sour cream oven the baked cheese and top with shredded lettuce. Not only will this give you the illusion of eating salad, but will stop the dish from getting cold unnecessarily beforehand.

I just used a hell lot of adjectives today. Enjoy! 😀

I promise this is healthy!

Rustic Apple Crumble

Holiday Season is here! Which means gathering around the table and sharing stories and eating, of course! Warm desserts complete the mealtimes, and there is nothing better than this winter-loving apple crumble! The best part? It is such an easy breezy dessert and makes everyone so so happy! Serve with fresh cream or vanilla ice-cream, whatever floats your boat!

Start with prepping your apples and stewing them, you can make the crumble in the same pan and put it in the oven while you have your main course. I double and triple the recipe for my large family! If you stick to this, this happily serves 4.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cooking apples, cored and peeled. Cut into small quarters (refer to picture)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4-5 tbsps sugar (I used brown sugar, but you can stick with white)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • Separately raisins.

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Stew the apples in a heavy based pan until done.

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Them sugar crystals look smashing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is what the stew should look like: Keep the raisins aside.

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For the Crumble:

  • 3 oz. Butter
  • 1 1/2 oz sugar
  • 3 oz plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3 oz fine semolina
  • 1 level tsp cinnamon

Melt butter in saucepan. Stir in sugar and flour and baking powder and the semolina and cinnamon.

Press half the crumble mix into a deep baking dish. Top with Apple mix and sprinkle the raisins on top. Top this generously with more crumb mixture.

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Bake in a moderately hot oven for 30-35 minutes, till well browned from the top.

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Serve hot or warm with cream!

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All the rustic goodness of classic apples and cinnamon with chewy raisins and a crumble so good you’ll run for seconds!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Crunchy Fish Fingers

winter is upon us! and winters mean lots of fried food and warm comforters and late night tv! i’m personally a huge fan of fried fish so this recipe perfectly fits in with my current mood. i made a huge platter of these for my daughter’s second birthday and had everyone raving. the fish was bought pre-cut and i used sole for this, you can use pangasius (not sure about the spellings) but that’s usually very tasteless so i don’t recommend.

You can make this at ahead and keep this, it freezes very well. Again, be sure to use fresh breadcrumbs otherwise the crunch on this is lost, make sure the oil for frying is hot but not too hot as to burn the crust – this will prevent soggy fish and result in that delectable golden crust that we see in food magazines. Don’t fry a large batch, keep it small and keep it warm in a hot oven till serving time. Remember, this is best served with a big batch of fresh hot potato chippies!

For the marination:

  • 1 kg Boneless fish fingers (I used sole) cleaned and washed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp white pepper powder
  • 1 tsp mustard paste
  • 4 tbsp vinegar

For coating:

  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 3 cups fresh breadcrumbs
  • 2 cups flour seasoned with 1/2 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper
  • Oil/ghee for frying

Method:

Amu's 2nd 003_FotorMarinate the fish fingers with all the ingredients from the marinade and coat well, leave these in a pretty little bowl for half an hour.

 

 

 

Amu's 2nd 001_FotorRoll the fish fingers in seasoned flour making sure that a thick layer of flour stays on, repeat with egg and then breadcrumbs. damn, they make you work it.

 

If you’re planning on gorging on these beauties right after you make them, refrigerate for 10-15 minutes before frying. If you’re planning on freezing them for some alone time later, then they can go straight in the freezer.

Heat oil in a deep frying wok and fry the fingers in batches until golden. Serve immediately!

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OH. this is the kind of bed everyone wants to lay on.

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Dahi Phulki Chaat

Dahi phulki or dahi boondi is a popular street food in this part of the world. a lot of people don’t want to attempt making this at home because they feel its a lot of trouble or that they won’t be able to achieve a soft boondi. BUT THAT’S WHERE I SWOOP IN TO SAVE THE DAY, OR RATHER, MY MOTHER – BECAUSE ITS HER RECIPE AND SHE MIGHT HAVE COPYRIGHT ISSUES, YOU NEVER KNOW!

The phulki is basically a soft fluffy fried cloud that is made to soak a mixture of spiced yoghurt and is accompanied with boiled diced potatoes and fresh onion and tomato, served with lashings of chaat masala and imli chutney and crunchy bits of papri, this is really the perfect chaat. Gloriously fresh and tangy and spicy and sweet, I’m craving a big bowl of it even now! Make this recipe and you won’t be disappointed, I’ve learnt the technique from my mom so you might not get it right the first time – but the pictures will make it very easy to follow I hope!

Ingredients for the Phulki:

  • 8 oz gram flour (besan)
  • 1/4 tsp cumin (zeera)
  • 1/2 tsp flaked red chilli
  • 1 pinch carom seeds (ajwain)
  • less than 1/4 tsp bicarbonate soda (meetha soda)
  • Oil for frying
  • Large bowl of water mixed with 1/4 cup milk

Other ingredients:

  • 4 cups Unsweetened yoghurt whisked with 1/2 tsp salt and 1 tsp of crushed roasted cumin
  • 1 potato, cubed and boiled
  • 1/2 onion thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tomato thinly sliced
  • Crushed Papri (available at most markets)
  • Imli chutney
  • chaat masala (as required)

Mix all the dry phulki ingredients, be sure to use a measuring jug, this will make frying easier as well!

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food 006_FotorMix in lukewarm water until the batter is of a fluid consistency like so.

Heat up around 1 1/2 inch oil in a shallow frying pan until hot enough for frying.

Add spoonfuls of batter in the pan, your phulki should swell up and assume the cloud shape:

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After frying, dunk the phulki into a weak mix of milk and water in a large bowl and quickly take them out. They should be soft and spongy to the touch. Set these aside in the fridge to chill.

Roast the cumin and add this to the whisked yoghurt, add the salt as well. I find that I have to thin out the yoghurt with milk and water to my desired consistency, so if you’re using thick store-bought yoghurt, I’d suggest thinning it out.

food 012_FotorArrange the chilled phulki and cubed potatoes in a serving dish and top off with yoghurt.

Let the phulki absorb all of that goodness and chuck it in the fridge to chill for at least half an hour.

Garnish with tomatoes and onions aplenty and make sure you have a crazy amount of chaat masala to go with! I like to serve it simple and put the condiments (imli chutney, papri and chaat masala) on the side so that the family can go ahead make their own bowls.

You are beautiful, hope you know that.

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Phulki had me like:

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Want. this. right. NOW.

Skinny Cheese Sandwiches

Wait, what? Skinny and cheese in the same title? it’s true folks, the big fat is on a mission to eat healthy and since that involves whipping up dinner and lunch every day, i’ve been a tad busy, unable to document anything. But the great part is, i have delicious healthy, almost fat free recipes to share which don’t compromise on the taste!

I guarantee you that this sandwich is going to give you happy dreams, so you can kiss your grease ridden nightmares goodbye and give your tummy a reason to love you back. This is very filling, and I’ve used low-fat cottage cheese in two ways, one as meat and the other, as well – cheese.

All aboard the low-fat train? CHOO CHOO!

Ingredients:

  • Multi-grain bread, sliced
  • 1 cup cottage cheese, sliced
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 1 cucumber, sliced into rounds
  • 1 small tomato, sliced
  • Sprinkle of Paprika
  • Sprinkle of salt
  • Mayonnaise (optional – I only used a little smidgen)
  • 1 tsp BBQ sauce
  • Olive oil (as needed)
  • Soy sauce (as needed)
  • Honey mustard (as needed)

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Prepare your veggies and set aside. They should be sliced up and ready to be used for the sandwich, otherwise you’ll probably cut a finger off in between prep. Divide the cheese into two portions, we will imagine one portion as the meat substitute in the sandwich.

food 003Fry half of the sliced cottage cheese in a pan over a slight drizzle of olive oil and season with paprika and salt. Keep going till your sliced have a golden crunchy crust. This will be the winning layer, I kid you not.

 

 

food 006Saute the onions in the same pan, without adding more oil, you can add a bit of soy sauce to achieve a slight caramelization but the purpose is to have glistening pink sweet onion in the end. Set these two on a plate. Looks gorgeous already, doesn’t it?

 

Toast the bread and start with a little smidge of mayonnaise. I would have skipped this altogether, but you can use some to hold the sandwich together. Wish we could use mayonnaise on humans to hold them together too. eheheheh :3

Layer with fresh cheese, then cucumbers, then tomato. Add the onion and lastly, the grilled and seasoned cottage cheese.

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Finish it off by spreading BBQ sauce on the other toast and a slight spatter of honey-mustard. The sandwich now should come forth and get ready to be devoured.

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YUMM.

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Spicy Chicken Biryani

Its raining like anything in lahore. and the downpour isn’t ending any time soon, looks like the whole monsoon season decided to get crazy on one day! amazing weather obviously calls for food which fits the hot, spicy, fiery category, so here i am, cooking up for you -the very essence of pakistani cuisine – biryani!

Every household has a specific favorite recipe for Biryani – the dish is made up of three core ingredients : meat (usually chicken), potatoes and rice. The rice are layered in the final steam with a spiced chicken gravy which seeps to the bottom of the pan and flavors every spoonful of rice ensuring that you get the taste of all the spices in every mouthful. Best served piping hot with a side of cool mint raita, this is sure to get your taste buds kicking!

Ingredients:

  • 3 glass rice
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 whole chicken, cut into 3 inch pieces approx
  • 3 large potatoes, cut into chunks
  • 3 tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 1 cup oil
  • Garam masala*
  • 2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 2 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp tamarind/Imli dissolved in 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp yellow food coloring, dissolved in a tbsp of water
  • 2 lemons, sliced in thin rounds
  • 2 green chillies chopped finely
  • 1 small handful mint, chopped.
  • water, as required

For the Garam Masala:

Pulverize the following ingredients in a spice grinder to make your spice blend:

  • 1 piece jaifel (nutmeg)
  • 1 piece javitri (mace)
  • 1 tsp zeera (cumin)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 3-4 pieces long (clove)
  • 1 black cardamom
  • 1 dry taiz patta (bay leaf)

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Start by preparing the chicken gravy in a large heavy based pot. Cook the sliced onions in 1 cup of oil and add ginger and garlic. The onions should turn pink and gold and transparent. If this begins to burn the bottom of the pan, give a slight sprinkle of water to the pot.

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Add the tomatoes and the chicken and cook till tomatoes soften and start resembling a thick paste. Add the chicken and seal it completely in the heat from the pan. Cover the pan for some time so that the tomatoes can become more lazy and eventually start to hug the chicken.

This is your cue to add the spices – the garam masala, salt, red chilli powder and the imli water with the imli pods.

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When the chicken has cooked and left oil on the sides of the pan, add your potatoes and fry this on high heat till the potatoes have cooked halfway.

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Now add 1/3 cup of water to this and let it cook completely and evenly for around 7 minutes before removing from heat.

For the rice:

Soak the cleaned and washed rice for 20 minutes

Boil almost 2 litres of water in a wide pan and add 1 tsp of coriander seeds.

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Boil the rice for 10 minutes before draining the water. Now its the time you’ve been waiting for!

Layering the rice into delicious levels of chicken and potato!

In the same pan, start of with a smattering of rice for the base. Add the gravy and sprinkle half the lemon slices, half the mint and half the chillies. Now add another layer of rice – by this time my mouth usually starts to water because the spices start to tease me. Sigh, well on with it! Repeat till you finally have the pan covered with rice. Dot the rice with yellow food coloring.

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Cover the pot with a damp cloth and steam for 10 minutes. Finally mix in the layers and serve as soon as possible!

Just look at that hot steaming plate of golden spiced rice and the chicken cooked to perfection!

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Pistachio-Rose and Almond Kulfi

I’ll be honest, I haven’t been cooking a lot these days because of the insane amount of humidity and the fact that I can’t breathe most of the time. but i tried out a recipe today that i felt should DEFINITELY be posted, i experimented, and it turned out to be a great success!

Kulfi is a traditional  Pakistani frozen dessert which usually is made from thickened cream and nuts. I’ve played around with a recipe I had on hand and the result was delicious! Cold, nutty, milky ice cream topped off with even more nuts promises the taste of the subcontinent in every spoonful – the addition of rose water made it taste royal, almost perfumery. Its easy to pull off and tastes spectacular! On we go to the recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 2 x 390g sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 1/2 cup cream
  • 3 cups milk
  • 10 pods cardamom, split
  • 2 tbsp rose water
  • 1/4 cup pistachios
  • 1/4 cup almonds

Grind the Pistachios and Almonds in a food processor until finely blitzed but not powdery. Set aside.

In a large heavy pan, bring the condensed milk, cream and milk to a boil, adding the split cardamom seeds. Simmer for ten minutes until mixture changes color, regulating, stirring with a spoon.

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Strain the mixture into a rectangular baking pan (If you use a round one, I promise I won’t judge you for it :P) and cool this till it reaches room temperatureFotorCreated2

Add the chopped up nuts and rose water and stir well making sure they are combined. Chuck this in the freezer for 3 hours until set.

After the ice cream is set, put it out till it softens for a bit and then blend the mixture. Now line your pan with clingfilm and re-pour your mixture in the pan. Set it in the freezer for two hours.

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And now, its ready to serve!

Add more crushed nuts if desired!

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So refreshing after a tiring day – and nuts, nuts, more nuts!

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Don’t forget to remember me when you make it!

Chicken Corn Soup

These days, the weather in Lahore is stifling when the sun is shining. Humidity is so thick it can be cut with a knife, but the evenings have turned pleasant and the breeze makes you feel like taking long walks and having soup. My allergies keep kicking in and I crave a hot bowl which banish the blues away. This is obviously the best soup because well – chicken and corn.

This makes a huge pot. Which you can slurp down yourself (but I don’t want to kill you so) or it can feed 7 hungry soup starved people! I made the stock at home by boiling down almost a 1 1/2 liter of water with 1/2 kg bones with meat to a liter of water. Seal the meat by sauteing it with a large sliced onion in the pan before adding the water – this will make a nice flavorful broth which won’t need as many ingredients.

I’m sorry for not having the step-by step pictures but only the end result. I was busy cooking something else on the side so my apologies. I  promise this comes out delicious and will please your soul.

Ingredients:

  • 1 liter chicken stock
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1/4 cabbage, sliced thinly
  • 1 small can sweet corn, blitzed in the blender for a second
  • 1 stock cube (without msg preferably)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 4 tbsp hot sauce
  • 4 tbsp vinegar
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 kg chicken, cut into very small bits and stir fried with a tablespoon of soy sauce.
  • 2 tablespoons cornflour dissolved in a tablespoon of cold water
  • 1 egg, beaten.

Stir fry 1/4 kg of chicken bits in a pan with some soy sauce. I added a bit of garlic to this – but you can skip if you want. Once the chicken is completely cooked, transfer this to a plate and keep on hand.

Get a big pot and start off the soup by adding stock. Once the stock has heated up, add the carrot, cabbage and the blitzed up sweet corn. Don’t overdo the blitzing on the corn – you don’t want to make this into a slurry, you want the corn meshed up into very tiny golden knobs that surprise you when you drink up the soup!

Add the stock cube and the seasonings and the cooked chicken to the stock. Bring to a boil and simmer. You can add more salt or pepper depending on your taste – I personally think the seasonings I’ve added suffice.

Now add the dissolved cornflour and cook till your soup has thickened and achieved that glistening soupy consistency.

Lastly, pour the beaten egg slowly in the prepared soup – it should amount to a drizzle and keep stirring the pot so that the egg cooks and dissipates evenly.

Serve piping hot in your favorite bowl!

UMMM. YUM!

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