Friday, 12 August 2011

White Chili: Hearty Chicken Meal

My mom’s favourite western meal is Chili Con Carne with Rice. Well, apart from steak. And spaghetti with meatballs.  And... Anyhow, we grew up on a lot of Chili (for short!). It is a wholesome, rich, fulfilling stew of meat and red (kidney) beans. Recently, I chanced upon a recipe for WHITE Chili on PW’s site. What is that, you might ask?!?!!! It’s the white version of Chili. Duh. But seriously, its a stew of chicken and white beans! I decided I HAD to try it since AK is definitely more of a Chicken than Red Meat person. I obviously modified it to use available ingredients...

Here’s what I used (for 8 people)

2 chicken breasts
1-1/2 cup black eyed peas (lobiya/ raungi/ chawli)
2 tbsp Cornmeal (makki ka atta – which I couldn’t get hold of anywhere because it’s the summer. Fortunately, my life-saver mother had a leftover packet from the winter!!)
1 cup (whole/ full fat) milk
2 onions, chopped
3-4 green chillies, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp roasted cumin (jeera) powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
Salt & pepper
For garnish:
Grated cheese
Sour Cream
Cilantro/ Coriander Leaves
Fried Onions

First, I placed the beans in a pan and covered them with water. I let them soak all day, while I was at work...

By the time I returned, they had swollen and looked like this  - almost triple their size and soft enough to split, if I was to press a bean between 2 fingertips.

I put the 2 chicken breasts in a pressure cooker, added about 8 cups of water along with ½ tsp of salt. I pressure cooked it until I got 1 whistle. Allowed it to cool a little and reserved all the water (chicken stock).

I then shredded the chicken (well my brother did. I should give him credit when due...!)

I heated about 2 tbsp butter and 2 tbsp oil in the (now washed) pressure cooker and added the chopped onions.

When they were pale and translucent, I added the chopped chillies and minced garlic.

Having stirred it for a minute, I added the drained beans and gave it all a good stir.

I then added the red chilli powder, cumin powder, 1 tsp salt and some fresh ground pepper and gave it a good stir...

Pictures from this part on are sparse. Sorry I was juggling too many things and AK sprained his ankle so couldn’t help with photos of this entire session...

Anyhow, I added 6 cups of the reserved chicken stock, stirred the mixture and put the lid on. I gave it one whistle and turned the heat off to allow it to cool enough that I could handle the cooker.

I let out the steam/ pressure, opened the lid and added the chicken. I cooked it on a slow fire for almost an hour. By this time, I was quite distressed that my white chilli looked red. Result of the red chilli powder...

Anyhow, I then took the cornmeal in a cup...

Added the milk to it and stirred it well to get rid of all the lumps...

I added this mix to the stew and let it cook for another 15 mins. And lo behold. My chilli wasn’t red anymore!!! Well, it wasn’t quite white, but I was happy with it.

To assemble, I poured it in a bowl. Grated some cheese on it. Sprinkled it with lots of cilantro/ coriander. Added a dollop of sour cream. Lastly, sprinkled some of my heaven (read Mom) sent fried onions!!

Note on the Sour Cream: so we don’t really get sour cream easily here. So I used my Mom’s method. I took a few tbsp of cream/ top-of-the-milk in a small dish with a lid. Added a tsp of homemade curd/ yoghurt to it. Mixed it gently, covered and left it in a warm place all day. When I needed it, I whipped it up with a beater for about 2 mins and voila!!

1 comment:

  1. This meal sounds awesome! I'm impressed you were able to make a pretty authentic Mexican meal when lacking certain ingredients because they aren't available there. Good job!