Namaste Spicy Chicken with Mint Sauce!

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Taken on camel safari in Jaisalmer, India 

Want to impress a first come over to my house and I’ll cook you dinner date?  Need some time for yourself but still have to feed your family?  This recipe fits the bill.

So you’ve met a new someone special.  You’ve been out a few times, and now it’s time to save some money and enjoy some cozy couch time.  This is an Indian inspired dish, which takes care of half of the planning for you.  What to watch: how about a Bollywood movie?  Mood music: soft Indian classical music on the Pandora channel will set a romantic tone.  Candles and floor seating with pillows?  Yes please!Bollywood movies work just as well for a family movie night.  They’re all great for the family with fun musical numbers.  Also, the kids will love sitting on the floor.  Serving some spinach raita with the spicy chicken will get them to eat spinach without even trying.  They will have to to cool off from the spicy chicken and practically shove the spinach in their little mouths.
IMG_2792If you’re like me, I get very nervous before dates.  Very nervous.  Can hardly think straight.  If you are hosting, there are many, many, many things to do.

  1.  Clean house.
  2. Make amazing meal.
  3. Make self look amazing.

You may be thinking, “But Mandy, that’s only three things.”  Yes, but in those three things are many sub steps that could trip you up.  Why this really works and you should make this recipe or look for a similar one (remember this book is only one penny on Amazon!) is it begins the night before.  Or three hours before if you forget or don’t read the steps until a few hours before you are making your meal.

To begin the chicken, you mix a few spices and oil to make a paste, which you then rub on the chicken and put in the fridge.  To marinate in the spicy goodness and make your house smell lovely.  Then make the raita.  This was a very easy process, and was in the fridge and ready to go for later.  Now you can move onto more important things.

As in a select your adventure book, you either:

a) Commence in cleaning the house and making it spotless for your new love interest.  Go ahead, turn up the music and get to it.  The tunes will help and distract from feelings of nervousness.
b) Sit down and read a book.  It’s time for you, baby.  Put the kids down for a nap or shove them outside to commune with nature (safely in the backyard, of course).  It’s your time to finally find out what happens in that book that you haven’t had time to read.  Go ahead and make yourself a cup of chai to go with it.

Right before date time, make some basmati rice.  Heat up some naan in the oven (I’ve seen it at the Indian food store or my local Sprouts carries it as well-it shouldn’t be too hard to track down).  You are practically ready.

Kids driving you crazy with their hunger pleas?  Set them to make mango lassis.  Delicious and on point with the theme of the night.

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The Jodhpur Lassi

There’s a knock at the door.  You welcome your date into your home.  You offer them a glass of Kingfisher beer or a nice champagne.  Fun fact: champagne or sparkling wines actually go great with spicy foods.  The sweetness of the wine offsets the spiciness of the dish.  And helllooooo romantic beverage.  You are going to have romance exuding from your pores.

Now is the point to impress: you’ve got a clean kitchen-all of the pre-cooking dishes are already cleaned and put away.  Now it’s just time to cook the chicken.  Heat up the skillet, cook the chicken which makes your house smell even more wonderful.  This dish is easy to plate in an aesthetically pleasing way: white rice next to beautiful chicken with a pop of green peas.  You pull the pre-dished raita from the fridge and pull the heated naan from the oven. Calmness and confidence exudes from you because this dish is incredibly delicious and does not have any places for you to actually make an error.  Trust me, I would have messed it up if I could!

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