And what does a Foodie do when he’s on a diet? Well, he gets creative! ;0
Getting creative is especially essential when
a) you are on a vacation, as I am now, and your mother insists on tempting you with rajma-chawal, matar-paneer, saagwala chicken, misi roti, gobi ke paranthe, chicken biriyanii…(damn, I gotta stop doing this *drool*) Ok, I agree, nothing helps with that but then you gotta do what you gotta do to survive a diet.
b) even when you are on your own, you can’t do boring routine meals and routinely cook for yourself scrumptiously random food that you then proceed to devour . The whole “I can’t cook just for myself” never did apply to me. And lastly…
c) most fancy diet cookbooks have ingredients that are either too expensive or not easily accessible.
Hence, here I was, rummaging about to find something to eat for dinner that has no carbs and is high in protein.
Problem is, I am at my mum’s place. Mum who has no space on her shelves for masala’s (or herbs and sauces) that aren’t primarily meant for Indian cooking. Mum, who says, “Beta, go rustle up something for yourself. By the way, we must go grocery shopping tomorrow. We’re out of tomatoes. Also, there’re hardly any fresh veggies either.”
A fine way that, to put one in a quandary. Anyway, I went hunting and came up with: Onions, garlic, capsicum, peas and chicken (there’s always chicken).
Then I stood back, eyes unfocussed, seemingly staring at the shelves, waiting for inspiration to strike. (Always works for me.) By the time I was done, I had:
LEMONY MINT CHICKEN
A stir fried chicken preparation primarily flavoured with dried mint that gives it a distinctive aroma and the first basic taste, followed by a tang of lemon and a hint of pepper in the background. A simple mix of flavours, not too cluttered.
Here’s how I made it:
I am not too good at quantifying ingredients, so bear with me. Also, this is for about 200 gms of chicken (serves one foodie). Vary the ingredients according to how much you are cooking.
- Heat some olive oil in a non stick pan (less than a tablespoon)
- Add thinly sliced garlic to it. (One fat clove)
- Then add the onion and stir. Be careful to do it on low flame so the onion doesn’t become brown or caramelize. (one medium sized onion, diced into small cubes.)
- Once translucent, add to it fresh green peas. Keep stirring. (A lose handful of peas)
- After a couple of minutes add the chicken and fry. Continue to stir. (About 200gms. That’s about 4 medium sized pieces.)
- Add salt to taste.
- About half a teaspoon of dried mint leaves. (Be careful to not add so much that it becomes bitter or overpowering, nor so less as to not be distinctly tasted.)
- Add crushed black pepper to taste. Again not so much that it overpowers the mint, yet enough that you can taste it, just a hint. I know, I know. I am not a very exact person. :/ (You can use powdered pepper, but I prefer to crush mine. Great if you have that pepper crushing thingy, but I use my trusty chakla belan. Works.)
- When the chicken is about done, add the capsicum. (Half a capsicum. Diced into small cubes.)
- Don’t let the capsicum get too soft.
- When it looks done to you, take it off the burner.
- Squeeze in the juice of half a lemon. (That actually depends on the size of the lemon. Squeeze in enough that it leaves a tangy aftertaste when you eat.)
Take a plate and arrange on it a bed of thinly sliced cucumber that has been tossed in lemon and sprinkled with salt.
P.S- Foodie on a diet is going to be a regular feature on my blog chronicling my tussle with weight, the 50 kilos I need to lose, and the bittersweet components of being a life-long fatty, titled: The Ignominy of Being FAT! Coming Soon…. J
-The Fat Chick on Stage.