Monday, 6 February 2012

Jamaican Grilled Jerk Chicken

I love Caribbean cuisine and whenever we get a chance, we visit "Yeahman" our favourite family run Caribbean joint in Bournemouth to have some delicious Jerk Chicken or Goat curry served along with a satisfying kidney bean rice and salsa.

I have tried many versions of the jerk chicken and this grilled version I find simple and irresistible. It is herby, spicy, tangy and delicious. A favourite for barbeques. You could use the jerk seasoning available in most large supermarkets or you could use this simple recipe to make your own jerk seasoning. I add a few more ingredients to spice up the jerk seasoning and let the chicken soak in this lovely marinade for a few hours before baking/ barbecuing.

To make my version of the Grilled Jamaican Jerk Chicken you require:
Chicken : 1kg with skin
Jerk Seasoning (Commercial) or to make your own jamaican jerk seasoning: 2 tbsp
Peri Peri /Red Chilli Sauce: 2 tsps

Dried thyme leaves: 1 tsp
Sugar: 2 pinches
Lemon Juice: to taste
Salt to taste
Any cooking oil to make a paste

For Garnish: optional
Lemon juice: 1/2 lemon
Jerk seasoning: 1/2 tsp

1. Make deep slits all along the chicken. Pat the skin dry.
2. Put all the ingredients for the marinade in a bowl. Mix well and make a paste using oil. Check for salt and sourness and adjust accordingly.
3. Apply marinade all over the chicken, make sure the marinade seeps through the slits well. Apply the marinade inside the cavity as well. Keep aside for atleast 3-4 hours covered in the fridge or overnight. Remove chicken from fridge atleast an hour before cooking to allow it to come to room temperature.
4. Place the marinaded chicken on a rack in a roasting tin, and place the tin in the centre of a preheated oven at 180C or 350F and cook for an hour, turning once after 30 mins and baste with the juices from the bottom of the baking tin.  (If in the last 15 minutes the chicken is browning too much cover lightly with a piece of foil and allow it to complete cooking covered). Check whether the chicken is done by using a knife, make a gash along the thigh or leg of chicken, the juices should run clear.
5. Rest the cooked chicken for atleast ten minutes before serving. Cut the chicken into 8-10  large pieces, squeeze over lemon juice and 1/2 tsp of jerk seasoning(optional) and serve along with red bean rice and salsa  or simply with a fresh salad and potato wedges.

Leftover chicken can be used to make chicken sandwiches. Simply shred the left over chicken, add a couple of chopped black olives, a tsp of shredded cheddar cheese, a few lettuce leaves,  add a little mayonaisse to moisten the mixture,  a tsp of chilli sauce if you like it hot or sprinkle a little pepper powder, check for seasoning, place between 2 slices of bread and voila you've got yourself a wholesome tasty sandwich.


Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Spicy Beef Chilli Fry.

My fondest memory of this flavoursome, spicy, earthy and fiery beef chilli fry was on a house boat cruising along the backwaters of Kerala during our honeymoon 6 years ago. Our chef on board made us a special lunch to accompany this awesome beef chilli fry. I did ask him how it was made and made a note of it on a paper napkin, which I lost somewhere along the way.........however before leaving Kerala hubby bought me an authentic Kerala cook book called "Flavours of Kerala" which I truly enjoy cooking from. 

I find a lot of similarities between Mangalorean and Kerala dishes, I suppose as both places share the same coastal belt....our love for spices, coconuts, fresh fish and beef go unparalleled........ I have tried most recipes from this book. This one has been adapted from there. Do give it a go......the wholesome flavours will transport you to "God's own country"

To make Spicy Beef Chilli fry

Ingredients for the Spice powder :-
Roast and Grind -
Coriander seeds -1.5 tbsp
Black Pepper corns - 1/2 tsp
Cinnamon - 4 inches
Cardamom - 4
Cloves - 5
Star anise -1
Ajwain /Oma- pinch
Fennel seeds - 1 tsp
Naked Urad dhal- 1tsp
to add without roasting:
Kashmiri Chili powder 1 table spoon

Beef (Stewing/ undercut/ tenderloin)- 1 kg 
Tamarind extract- 2 tsps
Spice powder - 2 tbsps
Salt to taste
Water- to cover meat partly

To Fry :
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tea spoon
Curry Leaves- 2 sprigs
Shallots or onion chopped - 1.5 medium
Garlic sliced - 4-5 cloves
Ginger finely chopped - 1 inch
Green chilli slit - 3
Coconut slices- small handful
Salt to taste
Oil- 3tbsps

Lemon juice- 1/2 no.
Coriander leaves- handful chopped (optional)

 1. Make the spice powder-Heat a small pan and add all the ingredients to make the spice powder except the chilli powder. Dry roast it for a couple of mins (3-5 minutes) on a medium flame till fragnant. Place in a coffee grinder, add the kashmiri chilli powder on top of the roasted mixture and coarsely grind to a powder. Keep aside.
2.Clean and slice the beef into medium sized pieces. Marinate the meat with 1.5-2 tbsps of  prepared spice powder, keep aside for half an hour. Then add salt to taste, tamarind extract, and sufficient water to cover the meat, pressure cook it for 3-4 whistles or until the beef is tender. Once the meat is cooked, keep the pressure cooker open on a high flame and allow most of the gravy dry up.
3. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed cooking pan and add the turmeric powder and fry for 15 secs, then add the curry leaves and coconut slices. Fry for 3-4 minutes then and add the sliced onions. Saute for 7-8 minutes, then add sliced ginge, garlic and slit green chillies. Fry well until onion and garlic start browning. Add the remaining spice powder (according to your spice levels/ preference) and fry for a minute or two. Add the cooked beef along with any gravy and simmer until it is dry. Check for seasoning, squeeze over half a squeezed fresh lemon and sprinkle over chopped coriander leaves (optional).

Enjoy as an accompaniment with drinks or along with boiled/ white rice, and daalisosaar/ lentil soup.