Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Go nuts about nuts!!!

Sunday meals are usually quite elaborate and sumptuous at ours. Since my husband can take care of our little son, I get enough time to devote to my favourite activities in the kitchen. Cooking on a holiday is, however, quite risky as well, e.g. when you are really desperate to try on some new recipe but are short of a necessary ingredient and all stores are closed. So, what I have started doing lately to avoid frustrating moments like these is that instead of following a recipe, I now try improvising with whatever I have on hand by using a little imagination.

The same happened this weekend as well... I had this nearly full jar of peanut butter resting in the fridge for a month and I wasn't just coming up with any idea about what to do with it. One thawed whole chicken was likewise shouting for my immediate attention. So, I grabbed my cooking notes and found a fantastic recipe of grilled satay chicken with peanut butter sauce....

Unfortunately, the size of the chicken breast was not enough to replace a meal for the three of us, and there were no fresh salad greens available either, so I decided to make rice to accompany it. But the thought of having plain boiled rice was somehow very underwhelming in my vision of an exquisite dinner. The entire confusion led to a very productive outcome which you can see in the picture below:

Grilled Chicken with Peanut Butter Sauce and Mixed Spice Rice:

For the chicken I used:

2 small chicken breasts
2 cloves garlic
4 tbs chopped fresh coriander
1 tbs sugar
1/2 tsp dry coriander powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1tbs white sesame seeds
4 tbs oil
1 tbs soy sauce
1 green chili (deseeded)
salt and pepper

wooden skewers soaked in water for at least half an hour in order to prevent burning in oven

Cut the chicken breasts lengthwise in strips (6-7) and thread the strips onto the skewers working the skewers in and out of the meat in a snake like form. Tip: In order to get a more finer finish, do this step after having the chicken meat been marinated for two hours.

Combine together rest of the ingredients and blend in the mixer to make the marinade. Place the chicken strips/skewers in the marinade and toss well until coated on all sides. Cover the dish and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

Grill the chicken at high for about 4 minutes on each side until the meat is well cooked from inside.

For the Peanut butter sauce, take

1 small onion, finely chopped
1 green chili, deseeded and chopped
2 tbs oil
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coconut
7 tbs peanut butter
7 tbs water
1 tbs fresh cream

 Heat the oil in a small pan and add in the chopped onion and chili. Cook for a minute till onions get their transparent look. Add coriander and cumin powder and cook for another 30 seconds. Add in rest of the ingredients and cook on very low for 5 minutes. Cover and keep warm until you serve.

Mixed spice rice:

2 cups basmati rice
1 tsp vinegar and 1 tbs salt for boiling rice

2 onions
4 tbs oil
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped/flaked almonds
3 tbs pine nuts
174 tsp yellow food colour

For the spice mix, grind together

1/2 tsp cumin
2 cloves
1 black cardamom
2 green cardamoms
a pinch of mace
a pinch of nutmeg
1 tbs sesame seeds
6 black peppercorns

Boil rice in 5 glasses of water with vinegar and salt. To determine when it has reached that stage that you require, remove a few grains from the pot and press between your thumb and forefinger. The rice should mostly mash but will have a firm whitish core. Strain and keep drained aside.

Fry onions in hot oil until they get a nice golden - brown colour. Add in the raisins, pine nuts and almonds and fry for a minute.

Now start assembling the layers by spreading 1/3 of rice at the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle 1/3 of spice mix and 1/3 of fried onions and nuts. Repeat the procedure twice and finish by sprinkling food colour on top. Immediately after this step, cover the pan with a tight lid and place on very low heat for another 7-10 minutes.

Carefully toss the rice after opening. Serve hot.


  1. As said earlier, I looovvvvee these nutty rice .... am surely gonna try it real soon now :) btw it would be quite a favor, if you could post some other rice recipes :)

  2. sure Zille:) You have my word on that!

  3. Fatima my darling you are a Culinary Genius Mashallah..it was such a tasteful delight looking at all those mouth watering delicasies..yummmmm! WOW you are truly an inspiration for Mums and Wives with just by using simple ingredients conjuring up a magnificent feast fit for a King :))..I am def a fan of yours...and will be trying all the mouth watering recipes you have posted and oh so elaborately explained to us.Thanks for sharing..looking fwd to the next posts already...:)

  4. Bhabhi! I wouldnt accept that you have made all this..Untill I taste all of them myself :).

  5. Thank you Samana:) Do try the recipes and tell the others readers as well which one you liked the most. Ill be waiting for your feedback...
    @Bashir..plz try them or visit anytime you want...:)

  6. all ov them are lookin super duper yummy..inshallah ill try them n then ill let u know keh KAISI BANI;)n thanx for sharing:)n ya where is the next baking blog..im waiting for it.:)

  7. Woww.. soo yummmmmm... can we omit nuts in rice? and do we have to serve the sauce separatley or add chiken to the sauce after grillingg/? Thanx

    1. You mean the pine nuts??? Sure, but dont leave out the raisins and almonds, they give it a very special kick:) And dont mix the sauce and chicken, enjoy the flavours seperately first and then do whatever you want:)