One Cheer For Jerusalem

‘Fess up! Who has not heard about Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi? Bad, bad you, though to be honest, I am still holding out from ordering a copy. I don’t think the french version exists yet (I’m partial to buying a cook book in the language of country I live in, that makes ingredient hunting much, much easier). Few days ago, NY Times published a recipe from Jerusalem that piqued my curiosity. It is one of the “simpler” recipe from the book that I have seen. No unheard of ingredients. Umm, hang on, yeah there is.. barberries, the Persian currants.

Chicken Cardamom Rice Jerusalem

This dish reminds me so much of the Indian Pulao. Cloves? Check. Cinnamon stick? Check. Cardamom? Check. Plain yogurt? Check. One pot wonder? Check check check!! I keep on waiting the turmeric or saffron, anything to color the dish. But nope, it wasn’t meant to be coloured, except from the red barberries.

If your curiosity is also piqued, one note: do not hold back the herbs nor the seasoning.. Also watch out for the rice and your fire/stove setting. I followed the timing indicated in the recipe, but I found the rice is overcooked – probably need to cook on even lower fire. I also wonder what would happen if chicken stock is used, instead of water. Hmmm.. 😉

Chicken Cardamom Rice Jerusalem 2

I really like the dish. A little greasy but hey, it’s practically still weekend! I’ll just do an extra kilometer tomorrow.


Time To Stand Still

These days I wish time would stand still so that I could soak all the perfectness in my life right this second. Not perfect as in dictionary-definition perfect sans glitch or that I have it all. But the mind-heart balance I have right now, like I have no doubt, no fear about tomorrow. It is as if I’m back to my childhood, knowing only the goodness in life exists. This everyday-is-thanksgiving doesn’t happen often, but when it happens, every moment needs to be savoured.

I also suspect I have a hairline crack in my ring finger, as a result of wrestling with H on our sofa. Typing needs to be done slowly. I couldn’t lift up things that require all five fingers. But I want to give it few more days before I visit the nice doctor, just to confirm. Besides, it’s been nice exploiting H’s remorse and guilt. I have bigger ice cream portion, and extra Kit Kat. Ha! Who needs doctor?

Cardamom Yogurt Grill ChickenI don’t feel like cooking recently. Ever since we have our flights confirmed, I have been looking at the calendar every other hour, wishing the snow is waiting for me to arrive. But I made this cardamom yogurt chicken over the weekend, something simple and fuss free. It can be prepped the night before and takes minimum effort. There is no lack of flavor from the spices, and because I’m not supposed to, I poured the juices from the pan onto the rice.

Cardamom Yogurt Chicken 02

My Current Obsession: Cardamom

CardamomAs any other cooks, I collect herbs and spices. I have several racks just full of them: in ziplocks, in bottles or jars. My favourite spices are lemongrass and cumin seeds. But I use cumin seeds far more regularly. I love the smell of them cracking in the hot oil. I love the whiff they emanate when I pound them in my mortar and pestle. I love adding them in kofta briouats and curries and burgers. But then Meesh allowed me to raid her pantry and she broke the chains that I didn’t know exist.

I rarely cook with cardamoms. I have cardamom pods primarily to prepare H’s beloved butter chicken and on the cold days when I’m dreaming of Chai Masala. But I have never used this ingredient for anything else. Until I saw the cute lil’ jar of ground cardamom. And suddenly, I am on a hunt for a good cardamom recipe.

The first one was a roast chicken with yogurt-cardamom marinade. I was skeptical about it at first but I’m so happy to be proven wrong (I need to make this again so I can tell you guys about it). Then just because it’s friday, I’m making Pancake Friday with cardamom and oatmeal.

Cardamom Oatmeal Pancake 02