Friday, 17 December 2010

Chicken Shapta

I iz sad. Awl the pics I took of this dish came out awful. My heart iz broken.

Not really. I'm just so used to adding pictures to my recipes, it's a bit odd to write one without them. Tell you what, I'll take pics if I ever make it again, and then upload them. Okay? Okay.

Now, shapta. Wot eez eet? Eet eez, apparently, a Tibentan dish of the most delicious kind. I ate it first at the Blue Poppy yesterday, thanks to young Rhea and Mandy (who know their menu better than I). It's a very spicy dish of chicken cooked with vegetables. In the case of Blue Poppy, only onions, but in mine, baby corn, mushrooms AND onions. I'd have put in carrots and broccolis if I had them handy, too. I'm a dedicated vegetable-gobbler.

Cumin + coriander paste/powder -- preferably ground freshly from seeds.
Garam masala powder.
Black pepper -- ground.
Onions -- sliced.
Garlic -- crushed.
Tomatoes -- sliced.
Chicken -- chopped into pieces about an inch long and half an inch thick. Basically, small pieces.
Garlic, green chilies, onion, ginger -- pasted together for the marinade.
Flour or besan + water + salt + red chilli powder + black pepper for batter-dip.
Baby corn -- chopped and boiled till tender (optional).
Mushrooms -- sliced (optional).
Red chilli paste (optional).

Marinate the chopped chicken pieces in the pasted onion, garlic, ginger and green chilies for a couple of hours. To this I also add a dash of soya sauce, because I like the mixed flavour.

Now, just as an experiment, I made a batter with besan, pepper, red chilli powder, salt and water, and tried to make fried babycorn by dipping slices into it and then deep frying. First, the batter was rather thin and this is how the corn came out.

Then I thickened it (with more besan, of course) and tried again. This time, there was rather too much batter on the corn. So when I finally batter-fried the chicken, I used a very thin layer of the thick batter, and it was perfect! Third time's the charm, like Goldilocks and baby bear's bed. It's completely fine to not batter-fry the chicken.

Anyway, keep the batter-fried chicken aside, drain the fried oil (which should be a dark brown now, if you fried as many chicken pieces as I did) and splash some fresh in. Now toss the chopped, boiled baby corn in. When they're lightly fried (you'll smell it and see the colour change), drain and keep aside. You can also sauté the mushrooms in with the corn.

Now fry the chopped onions and crushed garlic. If NOT batter-frying the chicken, add now and keep tossing on medium till the chicken turns brown. If batter-frying, skip adding chicken and move onto red chilli paste. This will splutter, so turn down the flame and be careful. Add the vegetables back. Add the cumin and coriander paste, sugar, salt, garam masala. Toss on high for a couple of minutes and then add water. Cover and simmer for ten to fifteen minutes.

Uncover and check tenderness of vegetables and flavour of gravy. Make adjustments. Add the batter-fried chicken. Cook for three or four minutes, so the chicken absorbs the gravy and becomes tender. Serve over hot rice :-)

This is SO perfect for the winter, I can't BEGIN to tell you. Del.lee.shuss.


Dea-chan said...

You're pulling a 'me' and doing more than one post a day! Shocking!

Anything that involves batter fried chicken sounds delicious, so I'll have to try it out (with milder spices of course).

Monidipa said...

Bah, already ranna kora hoye gelo?

Abhishek Mukherjee said...

Sounds good, kintu eta ki?

Rimi said...

T--yes! I am, and I'm glad of it :D Try the version with just veggies, garlic, shallots and soy sauce. Works perfectly well.

Mandy--yusses! I iz... well, I wuz jobless.

Abhishek--allah janen. The menu in English said, "shapta". I faithfully copied it here.

Magically Bored said...

Have you had the Pork Shaapta at Sikkim House? It's heavenly.

Rimi said...

Ever since I found hair on bacon from Kalman, I don't trust pork in Cal anymore.

Dea-chan said...

So where is this magical post, o inspired one?

Rhea Silvia said...

Rimi, tumi boro baaje.

Anonymous said...

We had Shapta at Yak & Yeti in Anchorage, Alaska - I think it was pork, but the taste was absolutely fabuolous!!!