By the time the Navratri days come to an end, we have had our fill of fruits, potatoes, kuttu ka atta and saindha namak! My favoured finale after these nine days is a brown rice dish with chicken and veggies. It’s a nourishing yet delicious combination that satiates without guilt. Brown rice is the darling carbohydrate of the health conscious community. When seasoned well, it has a rich flavour and a nutty aroma.
Chicken and brown rice
- 400 gm chicken (breast joints)
- 1 cup brown rice (soaked for 3-4 hours)
- 1½ cups chopped tomatoes
- ¾ cup chopped onion
- 6 cloves garlic, crushed or sliced
- 2tbsp butter
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 large bell pepper, sliced into strips.
- 200 gm shelled peas
- Rub some salt and pepper onto the chicken pieces, keep aside for 10-15 minutes.
- Heat half the butter in a deep pan and lightly brown the chicken pieces. (8-10 minutes). Remove and keep covered.
- Add the remaining butter and saute the chopped onion, followed by the addition of garlic, salt and pepper. Stir briefly till fragrant.
- Tip the peppers and peas into the pan, stir once, then tip in the rice and 1¾ cups of water.
- Lower the chicken pieces into the centre of the pan.
- Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to simmer. Cook till the rice is tender and the water has evaporated. (30-40 minutes).
- Serve hot with a squeeze of lemon juice.
Note: Don’t add too much water to the rice. It will make it mushy. For an impressive presentation, lift out the chicken from the pan, scoop all the rice and veggies into a bowl. Now thinly slice the chicken and fan out across the top of the rice. You can drizzle it with a teriyaki sauce or tabasco.
(Nijhowne is a Chandigarh-based culinary expert)
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