Sunday 9 June 2013

Backwards jeera chicken in a hurry

Since the playground opened across the road from our house, and a few days of nice weather, it has been harder to get prepared and start cooking dinner early enough for the young hungry tummies in our house. I had planned to make a pot of saayi daal yesterday after a council fun day but stayed out too long and completely forgot that the lentils needed soaking for half an hour before cooking. So I thought I'd switch tactics and improvise with the food that had just been delivered which I hadn't yet planned or put in the freezer. I took a pack of chicken, thinking about the simple yogurty jeera (cumin) chicken but then remembered that that needs an hour of marinating. 
I already had the pressure cooker out in preparation to make daal, so I thought that might hold the answer...
I began by frying some garlic purée in the pressure cooker. I used ghee, but veg oil would be fine too. I then added both ground cumin and cumin seeds and a pinch of turmeric. I then fried the chicken (in this case chunks of breast, it had been on offer) until brown, with half a teaspoon of salt, and once sealed, I put the lid on and cooked it under pressure for 13 minutes. 
Meanwhile I put the rice on and cleaned and prepped a bag of spinach. I steam-fried the spinach with some mustard seeds and a pinch of garam masala. Don't do what I did and burn the bottom tho :(
Once the chicken was done, I released the pressure quickly and then bringing the heat back, but gently, I then stirred in some plain yogurt. This made a lovely creamy sauce to mix in with the rice, and the finished dish looked and tasted virtually the same as the original version.  Well improvised, and something I shall bear in mind in the future.