Thursday, November 04, 2010

Chicken Lababdar

*Grunt* *Groan* *Sigh* Those are the sounds that you would be privy to if you were indulging in some light stalking activities around us over the weekend. Sadly, those weren't groans and sighs of delight, but rather of anguish. Yes people, moving day arrived this past weekend, bright and sunny (although luckily not too hot), and taxed our poor muscles to the max.

By the end of Friday we were ready to call it quits. Let me tell you, a queen-sized mattress is a lot harder to carry than it looks. We still had to move the cats across though, as well as some odds and ends over at the flat. TheHusband was keen to do it all that same night, but reason (i.e me) prevailed and we settled on just taking the kitties across that evening. And if you thought moving furniture was a tough job, try moving a cat. Suffice to say, many Houdini-esque attempts later and with me scratched to within an inch of my life (no jokes), we finally arrived at the New Place and the cats were allowed to explore all the nooks and crannies. 

Timid JD sulked the whole of the next day by refusing to come out from underneath our duvet or to eat, while boisterous Ellie ran all over the place even paying our next door neighbours a visit early Saturday morning. The rest of the weekend passed by in a haze of sorting out, unpacking, repacking, braais, kittens playing on the grass and take-aways. By Monday I was itching to use my new kitchen (save for peanut butter, banana & choc-chip baked oats on Saturday morning my magnificent new oven had gone untouched), but alas we had a dinner invitation for that evening. 

Tuesday would have to be D-Day. I pondered what I would make for such a momentous occasion - the first real meal prepped in my our new kitchen. In the end it was easy - I was coerced into making Indian food by a festering craving that had been building up over the weekend. And although there were a few awkward moments and bumping heads (like with any first time), I'd like to think that I lost my new kitchen virginity in style. 

{Edit: Between writing and publishing this post, we received the sad news that JD had died on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning, presumably at the hands of dogs. She was not even a year old and the next few days will be very teary ones in the Creative household as we come to grips with the loss. JD, we love you & you will be sorely missed.}

Chicken Lababdar
Adapted from Indian Kitchen Food
Serves 4

This is my good friend N's standard order at their local Indian restaurant and it's easy to see why. Delicately spiced and laced with butter, cream and tomatoes, chicken lababdar is sure to become one of your favourites too. Serve with a simple rice pilaf or some naan bread to soak up the delicious sauce.

2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 medium onions, grated
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tin (400g) chopped tomatoes 
1/2 tsp cumin seeds, ground
1/2 tsp fenugreek (methi) seeds, ground
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp chili powder
500g chicken fillets, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 cup cream
3 tbsp butter
salt, to taste
chopped tomatoes, optional
handful of chopped coriander (cilantro), optional

1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and cumin seeds and fry for a minute or two until fragrant, then add tomato paste and tinned tomatoes.
2. Cook for 6 - 7 minutes to reduce and thicken slightly, then add ground cumin, fenugreek, garam masala and chili powder. Stir through before adding the chicken pieces. Cover and allow to cook for 5 minutes, then turn heat down and allow to cook for a further 5 - 7 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
3. Stir cream and butter through, allowing the butter to melt. Season to taste with salt and serve warm, topped with chopped tomatoes and coriander (cilantro). 


Rosemary Gough on November 04, 2010 10:14 am said...

Thank goodness, I never thought I would get a chance to comment! I love your recipe. All the best in your new home. Welcome to the North! Sorry to hear about JD, a very sad loss for you during which should be only filled with happiness.

Colleen said...

Oh sweetie, Im so sorry to hear about your little sad. Sending you a big hug....this dish looks like something I could thoroughly enjoy right now. Delicious!! Congrats with the move to your new abode. Despite the sad beginning I hope that you will have many happy times there....

Marisa on November 04, 2010 10:18 am said...

Thanks for persevering with the commenting Rose! :-) And thank you for the condolences, it means a lot.

NicolaGeorge on November 04, 2010 10:22 am said...

So sorry to hear about JD :(

But congrats on your new place and on this delicious looking curry. May it be the first of many more successful meals prepared in your new kitchen.

Marisa on November 04, 2010 10:22 am said...

Thanks Colleen, really enjoying the new house, and I suppose things can only get better from here. Your kind words means a lot to us.

Tandy said...

sorry about your little kitty - that is so sad :(

Tara on November 04, 2010 10:32 am said...

Oh No! I'm so sorry to hear about your kitty! My thoughts are with you xox

Marisa on November 04, 2010 10:44 am said...

Thanks Nicola! Trying to focus on the positives - it can only get better from here, right?

Marisa on November 04, 2010 10:45 am said...

Thank you Tara! Appreciate the sentiment.

Marisa on November 04, 2010 10:45 am said...

Thanks Tandy, everyone's kind words mean so much to me.

polkadotcupcake on November 04, 2010 12:58 pm said...

ah dearie, so sad about kitty JD.. started life as a boy, then had to have her bits out, then moved to a new house to meet her end.. Least she had loadsa lovin, hey?
on the upside, you christened your kitchen with a delish dish that I'll have to make, and pronto.. Maybe when I make those cookies, hey? Love from this side of the curtain, enjoy the boerewors side!

Nina said...

If you have posts, photographs and styling under control, I take it for granted you are settled in fully!! A lovely recipe for this slightly winterish weather we've been having!!

Marisa on November 04, 2010 2:27 pm said...

I made sure to pack all my photography goodies into one box. :-)

Marisa on November 04, 2010 2:28 pm said...

She had & gave loadsa love, you're right!

Boerewors side is the best side... ;-)

Joanne on November 04, 2010 7:26 pm said...

Oh babe I'm so sorry to hear about JD! So sad.

On a brighter note, I'm glad to hear that your kitchen virginity was successfully lost. That's not the kind of thing you want to hold onto for extended periods of time. This Indian dish looks fantastic and is one that I've never heard of before. Which actually just means that my kitchen is calling me to make it!

Jane-Anne said...

What stunning photographs Marisa. Really beautiful. And, as for the dish, well all I can say is that I have such a severe curry craving that I could eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner (and I sometimes do!) Lovely.

Eliana on November 04, 2010 10:38 pm said...

Oh no - so sorry to hear about your kitty :( My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Scandifoodie said...

I'm sorry to hear about JD!

This dish sounds delicious with all the different spices!

LaBellaCook said...

So sorry about kitty, how sad! Your photography is wonderful and this dish sounds perfectly comforting.

Marisa on November 05, 2010 8:40 am said...

Thanks for stopping by! This definitely was a comforting dish.

Marisa on November 05, 2010 8:41 am said...

Thanks Eliana - really appreciate it!

Marisa on November 05, 2010 8:41 am said...

I think you should heed your kitchen's calls! ;-) Thank you for your kind words re JD too.

Jeanne @ Cooksister ! said...

Glad to hear the move went well - and I can imagine the kitties' exploring every inch of the new place as they scoot about nervously! The chicken sounds divine :)

Ann said...

oh dear, you poor thing, so sorry about your kitty =(

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