The other day, I was fannying about in my blogger dashboard, reading others' posts, when I noticed that my own blog listing had "99 posts" next to it.
I've only been blogging since the beginning of Feb, but like many other things I do, I have become a little obsessed. I was posting daily, sometimes more at the beginning, and had thrown myself into my new blog with the same gusto I have for every new creative adventure.
As I don't make an absolutely new dish every day, the posts are less frequent now, as I don't think anyone wants to read four different ragu alla bolgnese or roast chicken posts and frankly, I just couldn't keep up that kind of pace.
Since realizing that my next post was to be my 100th, I've been thinking a lot about what I should write about, as well as whether or not I have arrived here too quickly. I keep hearing "less is more! " and "Quality over quantity!" ringing in my head and wondering if perhaps my excitement about sharing my culinary life and gastronomical endeavours has sacrificed the quality of my posts.
I suffer daily from blog envy, camera jealousy and frustration with my lack of photography skills and the struggle to find new ways to make yet another chicken dish sound so delectable that you simply have to drop what you're doing and go make it.
Before I launch into today's recipe, which is one of my favourite dishes, I want to give a shout out to some of the bloggers who have helped me so much along the way, both directly and by just being inspirational.
These guys make me want to be a better blogger, both by being incredibly inspirational in their own writing, recipes and photography and also by being pillars of a fantastic network of foodie writers who prop each other up and cheer each other on. In finding these people, I have got so much more out of keeping this blog than I ever could have imagined. Thanks guys!
In no particular order:
Stella at The Witchy Kitchen
Liam at My So Called Knife
Alex at Just Cook It
Monet at Anecdotes and Apple Cores
Ali at Three Baking Sheets to the Wind
Ms. Humble at Not So Humble Pie
Susan at Food Blogga
Robin at A Chow Life
Cassie at Chow Bella
Monica at Floating Cloudberries
Natasha at Five Star Foodie
Wendy at Upstart Kitchen
and Angie at Angie's Recipes
All of these people inspire me to try harder at all this, and if I can learn to take a decent photo and be more conscientious in general, I hope that the next 100 posts will be much better than the first.
In other good news, Olive magazine is publishing my chipotle-rubbed pork shoulder tacos in their September issue, so if you fancy a flip through my favourite cookery mag, check it out! I'll be on the Over to You page, as Reader Recipe of the Month. (Finally, a decent photo of one of my dishes!)
And now onto the food.
I had one of my favourite childhood friends Lillah and her delightful 8-month old daughter Daisy for a sleep over last Thursday. Stepson had requested his favourite Indian dish for dinner and so I turned it into a bit of a feast befitting the occasion.
Chicken korma is not one of the most authentic, nor one of the most adventurous of curries but what it lacks in fire and sizzle, it more than makes up with fragrance and luscious creaminess. I made cauliflower and red onion pakoras to the same recipe as my asparagus pakoras and served the whole lot with a selection of chutneys and riata, saffron rice and some cumin puppadoms.
My Favourite Chicken Korma
serves 6, takes 24 hours, including marinading. 90 minutes work tops.
1 whole free-range chicken, boned and skinned, cut into 3 1/2cm (1 1/2") chunks (or equivalent in boneless thighs.)
2 medium onions, roughly chopped
2 tbsp ground coriander
1 tbsp ground tumeric
2 tsp ground fenugreek
2 tsp ground red chilli
5cm (2") ginger root, grated
5 cloves garlic, grated
300ml (13 oz) plain yogurt
150g (5.25oz) coconut cream
100g (3.5oz) ground almonds
3 tbsp ghee or veg oil
150 ml double cream (heavy whipping)
sea salt to taste
In a food processor, puree the onion with a little bit of water and the red chillies into a smooth paste.
Heat the ghee or oil over a medium heat in a large sautee pan, then sweat the onions for 10-12 minutes until they're translucent and very fragrant. Stir in the coriander, turmeric and fenugreek, stir-frying for several minutes until the flavours have developed well and the oil is brightly coloured. Add the chicken, along with all of the yoghurty marinade and stir into the spicy onions.
Add the coconut cream and the ground almonds, then enough water to almost cover the chicken. Bring to a low simmer and allow it all to cook for 40 minutes.
Check periodically to make sure it doesn't get too dry and catch on the bottom.
When the sauce has reduced and is very thick, add as much of the cream as you need to to loosen it a little and turn it into something unctuous and silky. Season to taste.
Serve with basmati rice boiled with green cardamom pods and cloves, stirred through with saffron soaked in 1tbsp of milk right before serving.
Cucumber and Radish Raita:
300ml plain yoghurt
5" de-seeded cucumber, finely diced
6 French breakfast radishes, thinly sliced
1 tbsp mint sauce
Mix all the ingredients together well and chill for 30 mins before serving
Coriander, Green Chilli and Mint Chutney:
2 tbsp mint sauce
handful coriander, leaves picked and very finely chopped
1 green chilli, deseeded and very finely chopped
juice of half a lime
Mix all the ingredients together and serve at room temperature.
The mango chutney was from Waitrose. What? I didn't make the puppadoms either, Sharwoods did!
pinch of sea salt.