Mondays are supposed to be good days.
Today is the start of a new week and we're back an hour again (daylight savings time kicked in!). What was supposed to be a beautiful sunny spring Monday turned out to be a gloomy, cloudy, I-don't-feel-like-doing-anything day. Yet, I still dragged myself out of bed and spent all day feeling cold and dreary. Days like these remind me of the times, Yoginee and I would come back late from after-school tuitions (lecons) and were hungry as hell. We would smell the rich aroma of Mom's cooking and rush up the stairs screaming how hungry we were. Yes! Days like these bring back good memories so I decided to indulge into some comfort food myself. Now mind you, cooking a Kalia Poulet on a weekday is a treat but hey, I had a crappy Monday, I deserve it!
You will need:
- 5 Chicken thighs (or 3/4 kg Chicken, cut into reasonably large pieces)
- 3 Medium potatoes (peeled and quartered)
- 2 big Onions, sliced in discs
- 1 big Onion, grounded into a paste
- 2 tsps Ginger and Garlic paste
- 1/2 bunch Mint leaves, chopped
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro (coriander), chopped
- 3-4 Tbsp Sundaram Epices pour Briani
- 1 cup Plain Yoghurt
- Green Peas, frozen or canned
- 1 cup Oil for frying
- 2 tsp melted Ghee
- 2 Green Chillies (optional)
- 3-4 Saffron strands
- 2 cups Water
- Infuse the saffron strands in 3 Tbsp of hot water and keep.
- Season the potato quarters with salt and half the saffron infusion (for coloring) and deep-fry in hot oil for 5-10 mins (They have to be half-cooked). In the same oil, fry the sliced onions till golden brown and reserve.
- In a large stockpot, mix all the following ingredients together: the chicken pieces, Sundaram Epices pour Briani, fried potato quarters, yoghurt, mint and coriander, ginger & garlic paste, ground onion paste, ghee, saffron, 2 cups of water and the chillies (optional). Mix carefully and season. Cover and leave to rest for 30 minutes.
- Cook on high heat until you begin to see bubbles break through the surface.
- Turn heat down to medium low and simmer for 30 mins until you obtain a rich gravy. The potatoes should be soft and squishy.
- Serve hot with plain basmati rice and tomato salad (Chatini pomme d'amour).
Kalia is a variation of the traditional briani. It asks for the same ingredients except that you add the half-cooked rice before starting the cooking process. The good thing about cooking a kalia or a briani is the heavenly smell that takes over the house. My neighbor (whom I barely know, let alone talk) came over and asked what I was cooking. I was stunned.
I think she is just a wee bit nosy.