When COVID19 happened, and a lockdown was announced, for weeks and then months, it was time to put to use those resources at hand. Here is what I put together with the help of family, friends and fellow food bloggers. I experimented their Goan recipes and modified some of them to suit my mood and taste and even to make up for the shortage of ingredients on my kitchen shelf.
I started with “Oil-Free Chicken Roast Recipe“, primarily because the words “oil-free” caught my eye. And when you’re on an intermittent diet of sorts, anything that is oil-free looks inviting. If you look at a lockdown with a positive mindset, there are bound to be positive outcomes from your experiments. What better experiment than in cooking Goan recipes, from “tried, tested and trusted” sources. Here’s the chicken roast Goan style story, with an ending that fairy tales would envy. The owner of the recipe is none other than cousin, Chrisan Fernandes, whose blog ChrizzosGrubScene provides a step-by-step approach to this Goan chicken recipe creation.
Chicken Roast sans Oil
- 1 kg boneless chicken (or chicken with bones, if that's the only thing available)
- 6 cloves garlic (crushed)
- 2 green chillies (cut in two)
- 4 dry red chillies (torn in two)
- 8-10 curry leaves
- 1 tbsp jeerem meerem powder (check the link for the recipe)
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- ½ tbsp palm vinegar
- 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
- 1 tsp sweet tomato sauce
- ½ cup green coriander leaves (chopped)
- Salt (as per your discretion)
- Wash and cut the boneless chicken into medium pieces
- Place it in a non-stick pan with some depth, add all the above ingredients except for the coriander leaves which is saved for the last.
- Mix well, cover and let the chicken marinate for half an hour at least, if not a couple of hours.
- Add one-fourth of a cup of water into the marinated chicken, cover and cook on a medium flame. Ignore the water that oozes but don’t forget to check for the taste as far as salt, sour and spice is concerned.
- At this stage add whatever you think is out of balance. Then cook uncovered, on a high flame. When you notice the thickening of the gravy add the chopped green coriander leaves. Stir well to allow a good marriage between the gravy and the chicken which would by now be geared up for serving. Nothing like a chicken roast Goan style.
You can see that such recipes – especially the authentic Goan chicken roast recipes – are not within the realms of possibility – to catch up with while “on the way” to work or back. Not, at least, in the way one catches up with reading a book or listening to a podcast on the go. It’s not as if one is high on energy in the evenings either, or nights as is often the case after long work hours. With the stress of completing a host of work projects and coping with local travel, it can be hellish to indulge in a pastime even if the pastime is as enjoyable as cooking.
At present, in the lockdown phase, time is saved in working from home and not spending it in circumventing traffic gridlocks. And despite the lull in the markets and marketplace, it has offered an opportunity to step up everyone’s latent homemaking skills. By homemaking, I explicitly refer to the culinary section. It isn’t as if one gets a chance to cook and conjure up an assortment of dishes with a daily menu at that, let alone think up creative ideas with sparkling clarity. Under normal circumstances, that is in the pre-COVID19 phase, there was limited time to indulge in “ideating” as early as 7 am in the rush hour mornings. Even waking up as early as 5.30 am wouldn’t allow time for anything beyond a snacky breakfast, a quick shower and a dash to dress and catch the nearest shuttle to town.
One of those resources came in the form of my laptop/internet, and of course, my kitchen. I used both optimally to serve fruitful results – that of a satisfied cook and a happy husband.
More on my experiments with COVID19 on Goan recipes will follow in Part 2 of this article. This part will elucidate the benefits of Prawns Amotik, yet another of Chrisan’s creations. My website has dedicated the month of May to celebrated cooks from the Goan cooking fraternity. Don’t miss the sequel to this article, in the upcoming post.