Classic Combo : Rasam and Pepper Chicken

So a friend of ours is down sick with a cold and bad throat. We were headed towards his house to visit the #RBTGP and therefore decided to drop in on him and give him some rasam. For dinner, we added the pepper chicken to have a classic South Indian Combo : Rasam and Pepper Chicken served with rice. I once again remembered Sushila, albeit she used to serve Rasam with Mutton Chops.

I've come to realize that I use the terms heavenly food, comfort food for the stuff that is similar to what I have eaten as a kid. No matter how the day, a good bowl of comfort food, and all seems okay. May be it reminds one of the good ol' days. This is one of those meals.

For the rasam :
Cooking time : 15 minutes
Preparation time : 5 minutes

Ingredients (Serves 4) :

  1. Tomato - 1 large quartered
  2. Garlic - 2 pods crushed
  3. Tamarind paste - 1 tsp
  4. Water - 2 cups
  5. Pepper powder - 1 tbsp
  6. Jeera/Cumin powder - 1tsp
  7. Oil/Ghee(preferred) - 1 tbsp
  8. Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
  9. Jeera/Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
  10. Curry leaves - 1 sprig
  11. Salt to taste

How I made it:

  1. In a pressure cooker, heat up one cup of water. 
  2. Add the tomato quartered. Cook on high till one whistle and turn of heat. 
  3. While the pressure releases from the cooker, heat 1 tbsp ghee in another pan.
  4. Add the mustard seeds and wait till they stop spluttering.
  5. Add the jeera, crushed garlic and curry leaves.
  6. When the garlic starts to brown at the edges, add the tamarind paste mixed with 1 cup of water.
  7. Mash the tomato in the water that it was boiled in and add it to the pan.
  8. Add the pepper powder, jeera powder and adjust the salt.
  9. Turn off heat once it comes to a boil.
  10. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with rice or drink as a soup.

For the pepper chicken :
Cooking time : 30 minutes
Preparation time : 10 minutes

Ingredients (Serves 4) :

  1. Chicken - 500g
  2. Small/Pickling onion - 4
  3. Red onion - 1 small
  4. Garlic - 8 cloves
  5. Ginger - 2 inch piece
  6. Oil - 2 tbsp
  7. Pepper powder - 4 tbsp
  8. Salt to taste
  9. Red chilli powder - 1 tsp
  10. Coriander powder - 1 tsp
  11. Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
  12. Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  13. Water - 3/4 cup
  14. Curry leaves - 1 sprig

How I made it :

  1. Wash and marinate the chicken in salt, turmeric powder and 2 tbsp pepper.
  2. Grind the small onions, ginger, garlic, red chilli powder, coriander powder, cumin powder and 2 tbsp pepper powder to a paste with as little water as possible.
  3. Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a wide pan.
  4. Add the sliced red onions alongwith curry leaves and fry till light golden brown.
  5. Add the paste and fry until it stops sticking to the botton - usually 7-8 minutes on low to medium heat.
  6. Add the marinated chicken and fry till half cooked.
  7. Add water. 
  8. Adjust the salt. 
  9. Cover and cook till completely cooked. 
  10. If water remains, cover uncooked till water dries completely. We were too impatient to wait till the water dried and took it off heat in a semi gravy consistency.
  11. Garnish with chopped coriander and serve hot with rice and rasam.
This can also be had with rotis.

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