A friend told me once that the reason for Americans not taking to football (soccer) like the rest of the world is the fact that the sport moves too fast and there are no natural breaks for commercials the way there are in basketball, football or baseball. It wasn't the commercial breaks I was worried about, it was the cooking breaks! Nothing's worse than trying to cook in one room and hear the game over the sound of vuvuzuelas. "Turn it up!" "No, turn it down!" "Turn it up!" "What's happening?"
That, was what I was trying to avoid. The answer was a simple, spicy marinated Indian chicken grilled in a few minutes, and a tasty soothing tomato salad to balance it all out.
The chicken was a breeze, no muss no fuss. I didn't even have to marinate it overnight, since I forgot and it turned out great anyway! Can't beat that!
So this post is in two parts, The Chicken and The Tomato. Which came first?
Gather some skinned pieces of chicken. I used chicken breasts. This rub is good for about 2 lbs worth of chicken.
Make up the spice paste. In a spice grinder or blender mix together:
1 Tbs of black peppercorns
1 Tbs of paprika
1/2 tsp of cayenne
1 Tbs of garam masala
2 tsp of ground cumin
2 tsp of dried oregano
1 and 1/4 tsp of salt
1 peeled chopped shallot
3 Tbs of vegetable oil
2 Tbs of lemon juice
2 Tbs of yogurt
When it's all together, slash the skinned chicken pieces with a knife. Go all Norman Bates on it.
Then rub the marinade in well.
When you're ready, grill the chicken.
Now for The Tomato.
This came about because the most insane, fresh, delicious tomatoes were on sale for 89 cents a pound. 89 cents! My magic number. Of course I had to have some. This is what I did.
In a deep skillet or kadhai heat :
1 Tbs of butter
When it's melted toss in:
1/2 tsp of cumin seeds
As soon as they start to turn color add in:
1/8 tsp of turmeric
2 chopped shallots
1 green chili finely chopped. Stir things around a bit.
Then add in 3 cups of chopped tomato.
Don't worry about peeling or seeding it's not necessary. Besides there's that Spanish coach to get back to.
Turn the heat down and cover the pan of tomatoes. Let them cook for about 10 minutes or so. Check in on them once in a while, make sure nothing's sticking.
When they're done, take the pan off the heat. Let the tomatoes cool down. Watch the players heat up until you see their Game Face.
When the tomatoes have cooled down put them in a bowl
1/4 tsp of salt
1/4 tsp of sugar
2 Tbs of peanut powder
Spicy grilled chicken, a side of simple green salad and the tomato and yogurt dish makes it an easy meal.