22 July 2008

Chicken Do-Piaza

Now that I work long hours as does Lundulph, we end up eating salad many evenings during the week, but occasionally it's nice to have a cooked meal and chicken do-piaza is a very quick dish to make.

I originally got it from Mridula Baljekar's Fat Free Indian Cookery, which is sadly out of print now but seems to occasionally come up on Amazon.


Over the years, I've made changes to the recipe and here is what I did today.


2 large chicken breasts (300 - 400 g)
4 tbsp blended ginger
4 large cloves of garlic
4 pieces of cinnamon stick about 5 cm long
6 cardamom pods
6 cloves
4 bay leaves
2 large red onions
1 tsp turmeric
1 - 2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
4 tbsp plain yogurt
225 g boiled and blended onions
2 tsp salt
3 tbsp tomato puree
300 ml beef stock
1 tbsp plain flour (optional)
8 large button mushrooms
2 bell peppers
1 head of broccoli
2 large tomatoes
2 -4 green fresh chillies with stalks intact
6 tbsp chopped fresh coriander leaves
a handful of Thai basil leaves (optional)

  1. Clean, trim and cut the chicken breasts into bite sized chunks and place in a large non-stick wok or pan.
  2. Add the ginger, press in the garlic, add the cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods, cloves and bay leaves. The cardamom pods should first be bruised by placing them on a chopping board and hitting them with the end of a knife handle. Not too hard, or the whole thing will explode and spread the seeds all over the kitchen, just enough to crack the pod.
  3. Stir around, while heating up over medium heat and cooking until the chicken is browned, about 7-8 minutes.
  4. Add the sliced red onion and keep stirring for another 3-4 minutes until it releases its juices.
  5. Add the turmeric chili powder, ground cumin and coriander and stir vigorously for about 1 minute to mix and release the aromas.
  6. Add the yogurt and stir in. It'll melt and go thin and help distribute the spices more evenly.
  7. Add the boiled blended onions and leave to simmer for 5 minutes.
  8. Stir in the salt, tomato puree and beef stock and bring to the boil. If you want a thicker sauce, add the plain flour. Once boiling, reduce the heat and leave to cook uncovered for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  9. Peel and dice the mushrooms, wash, trim and dice the pepper and wash and cut the broccoli into small bite sized florets.
  10. Half-way through cooking, add the vegetables.
  11. While the dish continues to cook, dice the tomato and chop the coriander and Thai basil. Just before taking the curry off the hob, add the tomatoes, the whole chillies, the coriander and the Thai basil and stir in.
  12. Serve with naan bread or rice.

Because I cook Indian food quite often from this cookery book, I buy about 1 kg of fresh ginger a couple of times a year, spend an evening in front of the telly peeling it, then blend with a dash of water. I then distribute the pulp into ice cube trays and freeze. Each ice cube is about 1.5 tbsp and generally I go for one large clove of garlic for each ice cube of ginger.

The same goes for the boiled blended onions - I get a larger amount, boil with a couple of bruised cardamom pods, then blend with a little of the water. Then I distribute it into 225 g portions and freeze.

On the whole it may seem like a complicated dish, but it's easy and very quick if you line everything up ready to add.

And the best thing of all - no fat, besides what's in the yogurt and the chicken! And it becomes even leaner if you use turkey instead.

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