The kichadi is based on a recipe I saw demonstrated at the Palmerston North Festival of Cultures a few years ago by the very accomplished Indian cook, Uma Subramanian. The chicken can be prepared up to a day in advance and then cooked to order, as it only takes about 10 minutes. The kichadi can be prepared in advance by toasting the polenta, cooking the quinoa and frying everything else to the point where the tomatoes are added. It is then finished in a short time. The raita is child’s play, in fact if there are any around, get a child to make it.
|800 g||Chicken thighs, free-range, boned and skinned (Main)|
|8 Tbsp||Vegetable oil|
|1 Tbsp||Sweet smoked paprika|
|1 Tbsp||Ground cumin|
|1||Chilli flakes, large pinch|
|1 handful||Curry leaves, a small one, stalks removed|
|2 tsp||Yellow mustard seeds|
|1||Cinnamon stick, small|
|¼ tsp||Cardamom seeds|
|4||Garlic cloves, finely chopped|
|1 knob||Ginger, about 4cm, peeled, finely chopped|
|2||Onions, finely chopped|
|3||Green chillies, sliced|
|250 g||Carrots, thinly sliced|
|250 g||Agria potatoes, peeled and diced 2cm|
|250 g||Cherry tomatoes, halved|
|1 cup||Frozen peas, thawed|
|3 Tbsp||Chopped fresh coriander|
|200 ml||Plain unsweetened yoghurt|
|1||Cucumber, peeled, seeded, flesh grated and squeezed dry|
|3 Tbsp||Mint leaves, sliced|
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- Put one of the chicken thighs, skin side down, on a clean surface. Slit any thick parts with a sharp knife but don't cut right through. Lightly beat the thigh out to an even 1.5cm thickness. Repeat for the remaining thighs.
- Put half the oil, the paprika, cumin and chilli flakes into a bowl and mix well.
- Add the chicken thighs and mix well so they are coated with the spice mix. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and reserve.
- Heat a frying pan over low heat and add the polenta. Toast the polenta for about 10 minutes, or until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat and cool.
- Rinse the quinoa in a sieve under cold water. Place into a saucepan and add enough water to come 1½ cm above the level of the quinoa. Bring to a rolling boil then move to your smallest stove element, cover and turn the heat to the lowest setting. Cook without uncovering for any reason for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and without uncovering, allow to stand for 5 minutes. Uncover and gently fluff up the quinoa with a fork. Cover again and reserve, it will stay hot.
- Heat the remaining oil in a deep frying pan over moderate heat and add the curry leaves, mustard seeds, cinnamon stick, cloves, cardamoms, garlic, ginger, onions, chillies, carrots and potato. Mix well and fry gently, without browning, for 15 minutes or until the onion and potatoes are soft.
- Add the tomatoes, salt, water and peas and bring to the boil. Fold in the polenta and quinoa and mix well. Simmer 4-5 minutes then add the coriander. Remove from the heat, cover and reserve while you cook the chicken.
- Heat a barbecue or frying pan over high heat and barbecue or panfry the chicken thighs in batches about 4 minutes on each side until well browned on each side and cooked through (cut one open to check if necessary). Place the yoghurt, cucumber and mint into a bowl, season with salt and mix well.
- Serve the chicken on the kichadi with the yoghurt raita on the side.
More of Ray's party recipes