While most of us automatically think of bhajias and chai when it starts raining, it can get boring after a while with the monsoons lasting more than three months! That said the mosoons also bring dampness and dreariness, colds and coughs. And as much as one would like, one cant really forget nutrition. The rains offer the perfect excuse to up the spice quotient in our food. I like to keep convenient chilled, packaged pre-cut chicken in stock. Available conveniently at my neighbourhood store, it saves me the unpleasant journey to the butchery & guarantees great hygiene & quality. It allows me to quickly and conveniently cook up comforting meals that are protein packed and full of immunity boosting properties (a boon in the rainy season which brings along with it a fair share of infections). Add to that the medicinal properties of spices like ginger, pepper, chillies, garlic that I add generously, to fortify the family against sniffles and fevers
The beauty of cooking with chicken is that it can easily be used in different dishes ranging from comforting soups to stews, kebabs and khichdis – one bowl meals, noodle broths, soul satisfying curries and so much more! I love to play around with flavours from different cuisines so khichdi topped with a spicy stir fry of diced boneless chicken on my dining table would not be uninmaginable. Trust me, it’s yum!
The versatility of chicken is hard to resist and it appears regularly on my home menus. My family loves soups and soupy dishes so I always have stock made of soup bones on hand for soup bases. Full of the nutrients that chicken has to offer, and of course, flavour it makes the perfect base for everything from Noodle bowls, Japanese Ramen, Vietnamese Pho to a fantastic chicken rasam loaded with pepper that’s just perfect for the rains. Warm up stock, add diced boneless pieces, vegetables, noodles or even rice, and sauce of choice for a steaming nourishing bowl of soup..
Packaged Curry cut chicken that keeps all the great bone-in & boneless meat pieces is the apt pack for my curry-based dishes. I use it in all my stews, curries and a variety of spicy Indian preparations. But that said, a peppery chicken stew with root vegetables, onions, peppers, fresh herbs, and garlic cant go wrong and is really easy to put together. We love Thai curries and chicken tastes wonderful in these flavourful coconuty gravies served with steamed rice. The ginger in the curry helps digestion and the heat from the chillies keep the body warm – perfect for clammy rainy days.
I add chicken to a whole lot of rice dishes too – from regular fried rice to khichdi, and even to masale bhaat. You can even use mince to make a dumpling pulao. Having chicken mince (Kheema) handy is also a great idea. You can make lasagne, bolognaise sauce, samosa stuffing, or a pot full of spicy kheema to be eaten with hot parathas in a jiffy when required. Kheema cooks quickly and tastes great too. Getting it in clean and convenient packing only makes it better!
Stock up on plenty of hygienically processed, clean and nutritious chilled chicken, before the monsoons, to stir up healthy delicious meals for the family when the rain is dampening spirits! Nothing like a spicy hot real good food ideas something to get everyone perked up. I know I will be stocking up!