just a smidgen

Dry Spiced Chicken & Coconut Mango Rice

Wow!  Something really strange and out of the ordinary is going on around here today. But you can’t fool me!  I’m sure the guy who just let me merge into his lane was the same guy that cut me off and swore at me two days ago!  The grocery store clerk was really excited about helping me ring up my order, my kids offered to sort through their clothes for charity right away, and my crabby neighbor actually waved at me.  People everywhere are driving slowly and more leisurely.  Neighbors are smiling as they walk by with a lilt in their step and even my little dog has stopped whining.  Have I moved to Wisteria Lane?  Is this The Truman Show?

No, it is the “Two Days in a Row without Rain in Calgary” phenomenon. I’m sure there must be a textbook somewhere that describes this in proper psychological terms.  But I think there is a little known prayer that everyone whispers under their breath when no one is listening.  It goes something like this:

“Please God, I promise to drive without texting, I promise to be kind to my family and friends.  I will donate to all charities who knock at my door and I will smile at complete strangers.  Then if I hold my breath, cross my fingers and count to 3… please, will you let the sun stay out for just one more day?”

Yeah, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.

Well then, I say, if it’s hot outside you might just as well crank up the heat another notch in the kitchen and soak it all in while you can…. at least you will have hot leftovers if it starts raining again.

Meena Pathak’s Indian Cooking for Family and Friends is one of my favorite cookbooks.  It’s not too challenging (once you have all the spices) and it actually looks like the photo in her book when you’re done.  Just judge for yourself!!


Dry Spiced Chicken

Dry Spiced Chicken & Coconut Mango Rice
  • 1-2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 medium onions, sliced
  • 3 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 pkg (abt 12) chicken thighs, boneless, skinless (or 12 oz chicken breast)
  • cut into 1 ½ inch pieces
  • 1 large jalapeno chili, quarter, scrape out seeds and finely mince
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp cilantro for garnish
  1. Heat oil in the pan. Add cumin seeds, fennel seeds and bay leaf. When they begin to crackle and lightly brown add sliced onions and fry for 10-15 minutes over a low heat.
  2. Add the ground coriander, chili powder, garam masala, and ground turmeric. Sprinkle a little water and continue to fry over a low heat.
  3. Add the diced chicken and jalapeno pepper and fry, stirring continuously. Sprinkle with more water if needed. Reduce heat and cover, cook for about 10-15 minutes more.
  4. Add black pepper and salt to taste. Remove the lid and cook off any extra moisture by increasing the heat and continually stirring.
  5. Serve garnished with fresh cilantro.
  6. By Meena Pathak

I loved this together with another every day cooking cookbook, the Best of Bridge Bravo

Coconut Mango Rice

Coconut Mango Rice
  • 1 ½ cups jasmine rice, rinsed
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp minced gingerroot
  • 1 tbsp madras curry powder (I used mild curry powder)
  • 1 14 oz can coconut milk (low fat if you wish)
  • 2 ½ cups water
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 mango, peeled and chopped
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds (optional)
  1. In large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat and saute onion and red pepper for about 5 minutes until softened. Add garlic and ginger and continue to saute for 15 seconds or until fragrant. Add the rice and curry powder, stirring to mix thoroughly. Add coconut milk and water and bring to a simmer. Reduce and cook for about 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and rice is cooked. Remove from heat and stir in green onion, mango and cilantro. Top with almonds.

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