September 08, 2003
Leftover cooking

Tonight it was my turn to cook.

Only I hadn’t prepared for it. So I raided the fridge. What did I find:

2 decaying peppers: one green, one red.
1 decaying red onion
2 cooked chicken thighs from safeway
1 decaying carrot
2 ripe tomatoes
2 ripe sweetcorn cobs from the Indian shop on the High Street

So - I hit upon an idea …

Finely chop all of the above ingredients (except for the sweetcorn). Wash some Basmati rice. Put some spices on standby …

And here goes:

Fry the onions and carrots first for a few minutes:

Then add the chopped halves of green and red pepper. Thaw some pre-pulped ginger, garlic and chillie from the freezer and toss it in. Stir and fry for a few minutes - an then add the chopped and de-seeded tomato:

Keep stirring this for a few more minutes - and then add the ground spices: 1 teaspoon ground coriander, 1 teaspoon haldi (tumeric), 1 teaspoon salt, and 2 teaspoons garam masala. Stir in and fry/roast until the aroma prevails - will take a few minutes - and then toss in the washed Basmati rice:

After the rice has been stirred in - splash generously some lemon juice - and then stir it around - and then add 1.5 times the volume of rice of water:

Let the mixture sizzle on high heat - and then add the cooked chopped chicken. And whilst that is all sizzling away - prepare a really low-flame burner on the hob:

After the pot gets to a fierce boil - transfer to the low flame burner and simmer for 15 minutes. (DON’T TAKE THE LID OFF DURING THIS TIME!) And then afterwards - give it a gentle turning over before returning to the low flame:

Whilst the rice mixture is simmering on its home run - prepare some fresh corn-on-the-cob for boiling and grilling. Right now - sweetcorn cobs are approaching end-of-season - so you should be able to pick up sweetcorn cobs for around 4 for £1 - anything more and you’re being ripped off! Asda are doing 2 for 50p at the moment - and your local Asian grocer will probably be doing 4 for under £1. Get them while you can!

After boiling the corn-on-the-cobs for around 8 minutes - take out of pan and then sprinkle some salt and pepper on them - and skewer them with barbeque sticks - and then butter them all around generously before placing under a hot grill:

Grill the corn-on-the-cobs untill you get golden brown edges to them - and then server up with the spicy-chicken-rice. It makes for a delicious meal. Wash down with some McGuigan Black Label Merlot. Perfect for marking the end of Summer:

Posted by jag at September 08, 2003 12:01 AM

perfect meal if i must say, anything with chicken is perfect to me anywho :)

Posted by: Jaina on September 8, 2003 12:24 PM

Well - it’s not bad given that it was scraped together from stuff in the fridge that would have been thrown out today. The chicken was leftover from a Route79 toasted club sandwich with avocado we had a few days ago …

Tonight it’s back to daal/roti …

Posted by: Jag on September 8, 2003 12:31 PM

Jag - you’re the online version of Delia Smith.

Or perhaps the online version of that bloke out of Delhi Belly (except he is “non PC comment warning” as camp as a row of tents)

Delhi Belly is my absolute favourite cookery programme.

Posted by: Annie Mole on September 9, 2003 03:20 AM

He he - I remember that series - and I remember that bloke very well - he sure was funny. Thoroughly enjoyable series - I recorded all the episodes for my Mum when they ran the whole series in one day on one of the Food channels a few months ago - and she thinks he’s a really nice boy.

Posted by: Jag on September 9, 2003 10:03 AM

Perhaps you should also be on Ready Steady Cook - I am particularly impressed that not only do you have cut up bits of ginger, chili and garlic in your freezer, but that you actually use them.

I bought some mint to make taboulleh the other day and instead of throwing half the packet away after it had gone off when I left it either in the fridge or on the side. I put it in a little plastic bag and froze it. Two weeks down the line and I still haven’t used it though!

I too spent a whole day once watching episodes of Delhi Belly on UK Food and it was like watching an episode of Are You Being Served
but with more food in it and with Asians. John Inman (Mr Humphries) and the bloke from Delhi Belly are virtual twins.

Posted by: Annie Mole on September 10, 2003 01:17 AM

Hi Jag : This sounds like an excellent khichdi recipe without the dal. Or would you call it a pulao a la’Jag ? I am definitely going to try out this recipe…sounds so good. Though I would wash it down with McWilliam’s Inheritance Fruitwood, about A$6 and simply yummy :) The label says “It may be enjoyed on its own, or as an accompaniment…especially rich,spicy Asian dishes. Cheers!

Posted by: Ritu on September 10, 2003 03:28 AM

Annie: The cut up bits of chillie, ginger and garlic in the freezer are absolutely essential in our household. Every couple of months we go to our local Asian grocer and buy in bulk - and then spend the Sunday morning peeling, chopping and pulping it all in the food processor - and then pasting it out into freezer bags. By the end of the day - they are frozen hard - so we then smash them all up with rolling-pin into roughly bite-size chunks before putting them back in the freezer. And we use them practically every day! (How can you cook anything Indian without chillie, ginger and garlic?)

Posted by: Jag on September 10, 2003 04:26 PM

Ritu: yes - you’re right - it is like a khichdi (which I absolutely love - especially on cold winter days) without the daal ! It’s funny - because my mum is always telling me that we eat far too much rice in our house - Punjabi’s tend to save rice dishes for weekends or special occasions - but we eat it almost every day! And because of that - it’s really easy to experiment with different ingredients - for example - see my last rice recipe at:

.. which is my absolute favourite!

Thanks for the tip-off on the McWilliams - I’d never heard of that before - but I will look out for it now. Sounds good.

Posted by: Jag on September 10, 2003 04:37 PM

Keeping to this subject - I was in Tiffin Bites today on Wardour Street which I go into about once a week and the co-owner Jonathan Marks offered me a free pani poori. I had seen these on Delhi Belly and had never had one in my life. After I got over the concept of filling this little deepfried puffball with some gravy and then putting the whole thing in my mouth it was great actually and very refreshing and as Jonathan had said “an explosion of tastes in your mouth”.

Posted by: Annie Mole on September 11, 2003 05:08 PM

Now just found their website and also forgot to add today was the day I got my loyalty card completed so I get 25% of two meals the next time I go in

Posted by: Annie Mole on September 11, 2003 05:11 PM

Aha … the pani puri experience is truly one to uphold! I’m glad you liked it - we make them at home on special occasions - and sometimes we treat ourselves at our local Indian-fast-food-type places on our local high street at the weekend.

Yes - I have experienced Tiffin Bites - Cannon Street - they are quite good (and they will deliver for parties too) - and the tiffin concept works quite well. But if you really want to experience pani puri and other “chaat” style (spicy Indian “street” fast food) dishes at their most authentic in terms of quality/value/atmosphere - then you must visit Southall Broadway or Ealing Road (Wembley) on a Saturday or Sunday lunchtime!

Posted by: Jag on September 11, 2003 05:34 PM

i’m impressed. the Twat’s cooking involves heating up ready-made lasagnes, moussakas, sun-dried tomato sauce to pour over tortellini or if he wants to go ‘thai’, he’ll chop up a piece of meat or two and throw it in with some thai sauce.

you could be the new nigella.

Posted by: zed on September 11, 2003 06:04 PM

Nigella? Delia? Ready Steady Cook? For what do I deserve such anti-accolades? I mean, I just flung some stuff that in was in my fridge and was about to go off - into a pan and stirred it around a bit and added some spices until it semlled good and cooked through and tasted vaguely good. But I suppose that’s what Indian cooking is all about: a bit of random improvisation, garam masala and fresh coriander - and you have a tasty meal! Get with it - it’s not hard - just don’t frig around with measuring anything - just go with the force Luke .…

Posted by: Jag on September 11, 2003 09:47 PM

Reza Mahammed( the camp one off Delhi Belly) is an Indian Freddie Mercury outta Queen!!!! Love the bloke all the same tho!!

Posted by: Amanda on December 2, 2003 02:37 PM

Hi Amanda - thanks for commenting here! And thanks for reminding us of his name - he sure is a great bloke!

Posted by: Jag on December 2, 2003 09:32 PM

I do not fear computers. I fear lack of them.

Posted by: McKelvey Janet on March 16, 2004 08:10 AM

Nice page. Enjoyed the cooking demo above.
Could you do the same demonstration with
Roti bread.? You sound like you know what
you’re talking about…

Posted by: G. on May 13, 2004 02:00 PM

Hi there G - well: I recently did a short video of Ms.79 making roti in our kitchen. Go to the following page:

Hope that helps!

Posted by: Jag on May 14, 2004 08:21 AM

Just wanna say to Jag; couldn’t agree with you more i’ve always said Reza’s an indian Freddie!!!
(Freddie Mercury rocks my world!!!)

Posted by: Alex on May 31, 2004 02:06 PM

actually i’ve just noticed Amanda posted that.…sorry

Posted by: Alex on May 31, 2004 02:08 PM

No worries Alex! Reza rocks!

Posted by: Jag on May 31, 2004 02:29 PM
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