Saturday, May 30, 2015

Chicken Jalfrezi and Culinary Attempts...

In our home we love to cook...  We love to gather around the dinner table and partake in the eating of a delicious homecooked meal, whilst enoying wholesome conversation and fellowship...


As we are young women who hope to one day have families of our own, we believe it is extremely important for us to learn to cook, and each of us have started at an early age... 
 I can remember assiting my mother as a little girl and then moving on to trying simple recipes by myself.
I can recall the first loaf of bread I ever made at the tender age of ten, and the meals I prepared as a twelve year old when my mom was expecting Gabrielle and too ill to cook...

Now my sisters are the ones in training and as I have a passion for cooking, I count it as a privilege to be able to let them help me and teach them things I have learnt along the way...

They also cook and bake quite a bit with my mom, and she allows them much more freedom than I do...I am sure this is a special gift as I find myself worrying about trivial things and not giving them enough room to try, fail and I did.

Each week Nancy and I take turns to cook.  Right now the younger girls keep my mother pretty occupied with their schooling, and as we love to grow in our abilities in the kitchen, we have the responsibility of seeing to each evening meal, with the exception of one day a week when Beth cooks with Mom.


This works very well for our family, and while it may not work for yours, I would heartily encourage any young woman to work on her cooking skills as it is not only a richly rewarding experience, but it prepares her for the highest calling of any woman - being a homemaker...


Last week was my cooking week, and it is always a good challenge to work within a budget and also cater for the various preferances of each family member. 
Fortunately none of the girls are very particular about what they eat, but I do have to ensure that a meal isn't too spicy for their tastes.  
And my friends, can you imagine what I did one evening...?  I added too much cayenne pepper to a meat ragout, and spent many anxious moments trying various 'remedies' to cool it down a bit!

Now, I love hot food and so does my dad, but my poor sisters and mother have very sensitive mouths and I knew the second I tasted it that I had made a serious error...  
Thank goodness there was a spare meal in the freezer which was just large enough for the younger girls.
Despite my fervent efforts to cool it down, it was still hot, but thankfully quite bearable and also wonderfully tasty!  
I shall attempt the recipe again sometime, but I have crossed out the 'teaspon of cayenne pepper' and replaced it with, 'cayenne pepper - to taste'...:)

Thus ends my sad story of the meat ragout, but I am sad to admit that I repeated my mistake two evenings later and made this meal a bit too spicy for certain people in the family...  
It was not hot, only spicy...  I did reduce the amount of spices considerably, just not enough.

But, as the flavour of this dish was truly delicious, I thought I would share the recipe with you...
Just please do remember to adjust the amount of spices according to your own preferences...:)


This spicy chicken dish has a lovely tomato sauce which is complimented by the addition of the peppers...  The fresh ginger gives it a wonderful tang, while the fresh coriander finishes off the delicious flavour perfectly...

Chicken Jelfrezi
Serves:  4-6
Preparation time:  10 minutes
Cooking time:  10  minutes

30ml olive oil
10ml each ground cumin, garam masala, tumeric and mustard seeds (adjust if necessary)
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 red pepper, seeded and chopped (I used 1 cup homegrown bell peppers which I had preserved)
5ml each finely chopped garlic and root ginger
4 chicken breast fillets, cubed
1 tin chopped tomatoes (I don't use tinned tomatoes, so I just cut up 6 whole tomatoes and added a 50g tin of tomato paste)
Rice and fresh coriander, to serve

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan.  Add spices and fry for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
Add the onion and red pepper (if using bell peppers, add later on) and saute for four to five minutes or until the onion is soft.
Add the garlic and ginger and fry for another two minutes.
Add the chicken and tomato and stir well.  If using bell peppers, add them now.
Lower the heat, cover and simmer for seven to 10 minutes or until the chicken is just cooked.
Season to taste and serve with rice and fresh coriander.

Bon Appettit!


Have you ever made a dish too spicy before?
Do you enjoy spending time in the kitchen?

~ Blessings ~

''She is like merchant ships, bringing her food from afar."  Proverbs 31:14

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Anonymous said...

Hello Kelly-Anne. It is important to learn to cook, budget, and please others' taste buds. My mother and grandmother were wonderful cooks and lovingly shared their knowledge with me when I was growing up. I remember making my dad a shrimp/rice dish once that I added too much pepper to. Nothing would take the heat away! We learn by experience, though. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I love the addition of fresh herbs and green pepper, especially this time of the year. Wishing you a wonderful afternoon.

Vicky Hunt said...

This does indeed look quite delicious! I am not a fan of anything too spicy and neither is my husband so I never really get anything too spicy. I just might have to try this recipe sometime soon. I love how you and your sister cook for your family. So special and how wonderful that you let the younger ones cook with you too. WOnderful memories for you and for them! Have a blessed and beautiful weekend.

Hugs, Vicky

Anonymous said...

Lovely post, dear friend! I, too, love cooking- it's one of my most favorite things to do! You're absolutely right- spending time in the kitchen and gaining new skills and putting them into practice is such great preparation for the most noble calling of all- that of being a keeper at home and serving the Lord by taking care of our family. It's such a blessing to have that opportunity to prepare now, and I'm so thankful for these years at home. They are a precious time, for sure, and a time that we will never be able to get back.

Thanks for sharing this beautiful post! Hope you're having a lovely weekend! Sending you love and blessings <3

Mari said...

I've made a few meals too hot and spicy, although my husband and I like a little heat, so it hasn't happened often.
I love the way you talk of your family eating together and cooking together. My daughters always cooked with me too, and were good cooks by the time they were married. As for the patience when cooking with others, that comes as time goes on. I am way more patient with my 3 year old granddaughter who loves to "help" me cook, than I was when my kids were that age. You should see the mess that ensues when a 3 year old tried to crack an egg into a dish. :)
Your meal looks delicious!

Mary Hutchins said...

Yummy...Now I'm hungry!! Hope your weekend is happy and blessed!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

We like spicy foods too. I don't think we've made it too hot lately but I've noticed that the leftovers are even spicier! Enjoy your weekend! Bon Appetite! Hugs!

My little ✂ cottage said...

Lovely post!

CherylQuilts said...

Oh, Kelly-Anne, what a delightful post to read this evening before I got to bed. I loved reading about how you and your sisters have been learning to cook with the goal of becoming homemakers. I so admire that. I remember well how I started to learn to cook with my mom and did preparation and then progressed into more responsibilities. And I also remember how I was the oldest and learned how to iron (while my three younger sisters did not). To this day I still enjoy ironing! Praise God for a wonderful family and how your mom and dad are raising you to be godly and Proverbs 31 women. And, yes, I believe we've all made our mistakes in recipes. But we often learn best when we make mistakes. Have a wonderful day, dear friend! Hugs!

Sheryl S. said...

Oh, lovely recipe, just what I like, spicy chicken and rice and taking just the abount of time I like to spend in the kitchen. I do not like cooking at all.

living from glory to glory said...

Morning. I agree that we all need to learn to cook meals that are good for us, but a bit of spice can be wonderful. I enjoyed the pictures and I could just see you all sitting down to a family dinner!
Hugs, Roxy

Ida said...

I enjoy cooking but sometimes find it hard to fix things that everyone can eat since I also prepare meals for my mom (she lives next door) and her tastes have changed as she has aged. I like spicy so this would be something I would enjoy but not my mom nor my granddaughter.

kitty@ Kitty's Kozy Kitchen said...

How nice that you and your sisters enjoy cooking together, Kelly-Anne, and you are sharing your love for cooking with them. I'm sure I would love your spicy food, along with you and your dad!!! The recipe sounds so tasty to me.
Thank you for praying for my son. I so appreciate your prayers and concern, sweet friend.

Gwen AnIslandFamilyByGrace said...

We love curries in our family, and it made my mouth water just reading this! I will be pinning your recipe to try at a later date. It's great that you and your sisters are learning to cook well now, and I hope that my daughters will do the same. Thank you for sharing :-)

Ana said...

This recipe looks delicious Kelly-Anne. My daughter and I love spicy food...however Hubby prefers dishes on the mild side. My daughter loves to cook too and I taught her at an early age too. Now she teaches me a thing or two. Cooking is an art form. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

Hugs and Blessings,

SpicingUpIdaho said...

I had to smile at your "heat" dilemma... I just love things with a bit of heat to them, and often forget when company comes to tone it down some, lol! Your chicken recipe looks really delicious, and easy too. I've never added spices in just with the oil to saute them, sounds like a trick I need to try! I am really enjoying your blog, and getting to know you. It is wonderful that your parents have a home that is a lovely place for you and your sisters to grow and mature into wonderful young women. :)

Hamlette said...

Neither my husband nor I like very spicy foods, but we do like something with a nice kick to it. (I prefer medium salsa, but sometimes he likes to be bold and use hot.) However, none of our children like spicy food at all, so a lot of our recipes have two amounts listed for things like cayenne -- what it's supposed to be, and what the kids will accept :-)

Stephanie said...

Good day...or evening, my friend :) My, this has my mouth watering - it looks delicious! My husband loves spicy food so this is right up his alley :)

It's such a joy to hear of your love for cooking. I love to bake and could make cakes, cookies, and sweet treats all day long. It's probably a good thing my husband doesn't have a terrible sweet tooth...if he did than we'd probably eat too many sugary delights :)

Thanks for sharing with Roses of Inspiration. Enjoy the upcoming weekend. Love and hugs!