Did three quarters of 2014 just flew by? With the Mid-Autumn Festival just fleeting pass that marks the start of fall and that’s “hello” to cool weather. Well, not that we have Winter or Autumn on this little sunny island, but Mid-Autum Festival is tradition, so lets pretend.
In the Chinese calendar (lunar calendar). The start of Autumn begins with the biggest full moon of the year Where we all strolled around with lanterns (the old fashion type made of paper and glowed with a candle is my favourite) and sipped Chinese tea while savouring moon cakes to celebrate the moon or the love story of Chang’e. Wind took a cooler change after this day blowing Summer away like goodbye kisses. How was your Summer? Mine was dazy hot, humid, sweaty with lots of laughters and beers.
After this day, we are supposed to put away our summer tank tops and bring out the cardigans that were neatly vacuumed bagged at Spring. Our diet starts to change too, ditching the summer berries, salads and popsicles for warming heavier mains to bring the heat to the body. So, the weekend dinner table are heavier on spices that emits the dinning table with aromatics to welcome Autumn.
Tandoori Chicken with spiced buttered rice is easy, almost chore free. Prepping before hand, shoving chicken into an oven-toaster and clicking “cook” on the rice cooker. Dinner is served in 30 minutes. Cooking without dust, perfect for lazy Sunday dinners with friends gatherings. Serve with a vibrant salad (I am thinking, roared pumpkin, spinach and some feta) and keep the wine glasses filled.
TANDOORI CHICKEN WITH SPICED BUTTERED RICE
Serves 4-6 people
10 cardomon pods
3 star anise
1 teaspoonful mustard seed
1 teaspoonful white peppercorn
4 tablespoonful Tandoori spice (Store-bought)
4 Boneless chicken tights
1 cup greek yogurt (unsweetened)
2 tablespoon light soy sauce
2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon sugar or 1 teaspoon honey
Salt to taste
Toast the spices on a pan for a minute or two to release its aromatic oil. Tip the spice into the pestle and mortar. Grind the spice and set aside. (Leaving 1 tablespoon of the mix spice for the rice)
Mix the chicken with all the spices and marinate for at leave 6 hours preferably over night. When ready to cook, set your toaster oven or conventional oven on grill setting, lining your baking tray with foil for easy clean up, grill for 20 mins until chicken tight is cooked and skin is brown with medium char. Let it rest for 5-10mins before slicing. You can also grilled this on the barbecue.
While grilling the chicken, cook the rice.
When you marinate the chicken, mix up the minty yogurt sauce too.
Spiced Butter Rice
2 cups Jasmine/long grain/basmati rice
4 cups water (or according to rice package cooking instructions)
1 teaspoon salt
1 knob butter, approx 80g
1 tablespoon of the mixed spice
Put everything together and cook in a rice cooker.
If you do not have a rice cooker. See directions here via theKitchn.com to cook on a stove.
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
Handful of coriander or parsley leaves, roughly chop
Sliced chilli for some heat
Stir through with pine nuts and herbs before serving. Leaving some leaves and chilli for garnish.
Minty Yoghurt Sauce
1.5 cup greek yogurt
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 handful fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
Salt and black pepper to taste
Mix everything together. And spoon over chicken leaving more on the side to let your guests help themselves.
PS. This dish will go perfectly with chilled white wine or ice cold beer.
Till next post, ss.