Saturday, 9 July 2016

Chicken Soup for a Rainy Evening


Finally it has started raining steadily in Pune. The entire state has been struggling with acute water crisis from almost a year due to poor rains last year. Everyone of us were eagerly praying for good rains this year. The rains from past two weeks has helped the water levels get better in the three major dams around pune which supplies water to the city and nearby areas.

Rains always seem romantic from the warm confines of our homes, but once we have to tread the murky waters on the streets it doesnt seem rosey anymore. But this year it has been different for me. I am not complaining even when I get drenched while going to office. Everyone needs the rain water badly this year. So let it rain and then some more.

The usual cravings on any rainy evening are garma garam onion pakoras and steaming chais. Or rather anything thats warm and heartfelt. Since I am not that fond of chais and also try to avoid fried food so my usual craving is for a good fulilling soup. Its another thing that I love soup irrespective of the season. The first thing I check for is the soup listing whenever I visit any restaurant. And spicy crab soup happens to be my all time favourite. I evaluate any seafood joint on the quality of its crab or seafood soup. If I am not hapy with my crab soup then its a fat chance that I will visit the restaurent again, unless they totally floor me with their maincourse offering. Yeah I am that picky about my soups. There are two places so far where I was happy with the seafood soup - Eddie's Kitchen in Camp Area and Bamboo House in Shivajinagar. Especially if you are in camp area and a Chinese food freak then never miss Eddies. They have awesome offerings in seafood varieties. I just wish this restaurent was not so far from my home!

Anyway since I dont happen to get good soups at any local restaurents around my home, I started making a chicken soup at home itself. One more thing, my soups should always be clear soups. I hate thick soups or the ones with a lot of cornflour in it. So when I started preparing my own soup I tried out many combinations of ingredients.  I wanted a hassel free soup which would not take more than 15-20 minutes to prepare and yet be as tasty and filling, so finally I came up with the concotion that totally matched my palate.

This particular chicken soup is super easy to make and needs very little ingredients which are almost always present in our pantry. I have had this soup in breakfast, evening snacks, when I had fever or soar throat, or just to satiate a hunger pang anytime during the day. And best thing you dont need to boil the chicken before hand. It gets cooked in its own juices within the 10 minutes of the soup making.



Preparation Time: 5 minutes  

Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Serves: 2

Cuisine: Oriental

Ingredients:
  • Chicken - 100 gm
  • Garlic cloves - 7-8 finely chopped
  • Onion - 1/2 small, finely chopped
  • Pepper Corn - 8 
  • Green Chilli - 1 small, finely chopped
  • Dried Parsley - 1/4 tsp (optional)
  • Butter - 1 1/2 tbsp
  • Chicken Bullion/prawn bullion/ Tom yum bullion - 1/4 tsp
  • Salt and sugar as per taste
  • Water - 4 cups


Procedure:

1. Clean the chicken and pat dry. Chop the chicken into small pieces. I prefer to keep the pieces a little smaller than bite size.

2. Grind the peppercorns coarsely. Chop all the ingredients as mentioned above.

3. Take a skillet and heat it. When the skillet is hot, add the butter, ground peppercorn, chopped garlic, chopped onion, chopped green chilli. Let it sizzle for a half a minute.

4. Add the chopped chicken pieces and adjust the salt and sugar. Fry everything on high heat  till the chicken pieces become white, taking care not to burn anything.

5. Add the water. You may increase the water depending on the amount of soup you want. Make sure you adjust the salt and sugar levels accordingly.

6. Add the bullion and fold in. I used Knor tom yum bullion to add to the flavour and colour, but you can also use any chicken bullion like the one that is available from Maggi or Knor. Also if you dont happen to have the bullion you may add a hint of ajinomoto.


7. Let the soup boil on high heat. Add the dried parsely. Parsely is totally optional. Even if you dont add it, the soup will still taste lovely.

After 10 minutes your soup will be ready. Serve the steaming chicken soup a dash of butter.

Note: 
If you are having a cold, fever or headache this soup is a very good remedy for bringing some respite to your cold. I prefer to increase the ppercorn in that case, as the heat from the pepper corn acts as a healer of cold.


Posting some of the views that I am seeing from my terrace. It's hard to find a place in a city with verdant hills as the landscape. I guess I am one of the lucky ones still to be able to enjoy such a view of the could and mountains right from my very own building. Every year I fall in love with the place some more :). 







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