Channa Chaat -Pakistani Chickpeas Salad

Channa Chaat is nothing short of super food! Chickpea is Channa in the Urdu language and chaat is any snack that’s spicy and has the wonderful tang from tamarind. You’ll find Channa Chaat in the streets of Pakistan, and on the Eid and iftar tables. Since Ramadan started, I have been making a big bowl of this Channa Chaat for iftar. It also doesn’t hurt that it literally comes together in 10 minutes.

Channa Chaat
I’d be more than happy to toss myself a salad for iftar, but when your parents are in town, you just have to don on the dupatta and feed some desi appetite. Speaking of parents, my dad loves hanging out at the grocery store more than I do! Let’s just say my pantry is bursting with canned chickpeas and my fridge has never looked this full since I moved into my apartment.

Channa Chaat

I hope you guys give this nutritious, delicious, full of fiber, protein and gas (ahem) Channa Chaat a try! Ramadan Mubarak to all those observing the month! I feel you bruh… 16 hours is no joke.

 

Channa Chaat -Pakistani Chickpea Salad
 
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This is how Pakistanis turn chickpeas into a delicious tangy salad!
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: Pakistani
Ingredients
  • 2 cans garbanzo beans
  • 1 small onion, chopped (¾ cup roughly)
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 medium potato, boiled and chopped
  • 1 serrano chili, finely chopped
  • Cilantro, a handful
  • 2 tsp Chaat Masala or Channa Chaat spice mix (you can find this at any Pakistani/Indian grocery store)
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • ¼ cup Tamarind pulp (you can find this at any Pakistani/Indian grocery store)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Dump beans, onion, tomatoes, potato and green chili in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Sprinkle chaat masal and garam masala. Toss.
  3. To make tamarind chutney, add tamarind pulp, sugar and 1 cup of water in a saucepan and let this come to a boil. Continue cooking for 10-12 minutes or until the pulp breaks down. Use the back of the spoon to help the process.
  4. Next, strain the tamarind liquid into a bowl. Make sure to press down on the pulp with a spoon to extract as much juices as you can. Discard the pulp (I chew on it:p).
  5. Now pour the liquid back into the saucepan and cook for another 5 minutes. The chutney will be very liquidy.
  6. Remove from stove and let the chutney cool. as it cools it will thicken.
  7. Pour the cooled chutney into the chickpea salad and toss.
  8. Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro leaves and serve.
 

Fish Tacos

Fish Tacos

When you have the owner of the Best Fish Taco in Ensenada personally show you the secret to the best fish tacos, you know your taco-loving palate is taken care of. Being a regular customer of the taco joint, I secretly wished my fish taco game were stronger. And then lo and behold I run into the owner, Joseph, at the store and well… let’s just say my taco game never looked better! I had a lot of fun shooting this video with Joseph. Amidst the hilarity that ensued coupled with intriguing customers who thought that the taco joint would be featured on national television, I was able to get my act on and get this video to you guys!

Of course, I went back home to test out the recipe. OUTSTANDING! I think now I need Joseph to teach me how to make his secret salsas!

Fish Tacos

 

5.0 from 1 reviews
Fish Tacos
 
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This has to be the BEST fish tacos hands down!
Author:
Cuisine: Mexican
Ingredients
  • ½ pound white fish (Basa or any other kind)
  • ¾ cup complete buttermilk pancake mix
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1½ tsp black pepper
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup ice cold water
Instructions
  1. Cut fish into thin strips.
  2. In a bowl, add the pancake mix followed by the spices. Whisk until combined.
  3. Next, pour the ice cold water and mix until the batter is lumpfree but don't over mix.
  4. Pour the batter on the pre-cut fish and mix well. Let sit in the fridge for half an hour.
  5. Next, heat up oil to 375 degrees F.
  6. Slide the fish into the oil and cook until deep brown and crispy.
  7. To assemble the taco, heat up corn tortillas on a griddle, place two to three strips of fried fish, top with salsa and creme fraiche and enjoy!!
 

Pad Thai Recipe From Thai Restaurant

Pad Thai

One thing I have an itch for when it comes to food is to experiment in my kitchen and I’d be damned if I was making Tandoori Chicken everyday (even though I totally could) and not venturing over to my beautiful neighboring countries to become, say, Thai for a day. This may or may not be the reason of idling around in the Asian aisle at the grocery store. I have to admit that Asian cooking especially Thai cooking has baffled me for quite a while. A few months ago I picked up a packet of rice noodles because I was in the mood to make Pad Thai. I grabbed a recipe from the internet to get started, altering it along the way. I was left with the smell of fish sauce in my hair and a dry stringy mess at my hands.
Pad Thai
Many thanks to a dear friend who only eats Halal food, I can proudly say I have a really good recipe for Pad Thai under my black leather belt! A couple of months ago, she took me to this Halal restaurant in North Hollywood. You may turn down your nose at the shabby, grungy interior that admittedly is decorated rather kitschy but let me tell you guys, this place makes the BEST Thai food hands down. I remember saying to my friend, “I need to get the recipe for everything!” Fast forward to last week, thanks to my quirky, overly excited self that is ready to befriend everybody, I went and stole the recipe for this Pad Thai and a few other favorites–Fried Rice, Beef Chilli Dry, killer Eggplant Basil–right under the nose of the chef who pretty much runs the place by himself with no help. Watch this video to see exactly how I stole this recipe!
Pad Thai
Pad Thai
Hard at work in the kitchen of Barn Rau making Spicy Eggplant
Below is the Pad Thai I made at home following the recipe and method I learned from the chef with minor substitutions (all noted in the recipe box) and I am proud to announce that it tasted like straight up takeout! Go make yourself this Pad Thai right now!
Pad Thai
5.0 from 1 reviews
The Easiest Pad Thai You Will Ever Make!
 
The easiest and foolproof, fail-safe Pad Thai you will ever make! This recipe is golden and comes straight from an authentic Thai restaurant!
Author:
Cuisine: Thai
Serves: 2-3
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup peanut oil
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ lb chicken thighs, skinless, boneless and in very thin strips
  • ½ a packet of rice noodles (I used the wider rice noodles at home but get the narrow one if you can find it)
  • 5 tbsp vinegar
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce (thin it out with 2 tbsp water)
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • Paprika to add color (I sprinkle about 1 tsp)
  • 1½- 2 cups of bean sprouts
  • Peanuts, green onions, and cilantro to garnish
Instructions
  1. First we're going to cook the rice noodles like pasta until it's al dente, meaning it should not be cooked all the way through but should still have a bite. For this, add your noodles to a pot of water. Place the pot on the stove and on a low heat let the noodles soften for about 10-12 minutes. Once done, drain the noodles.
  2. When noodles are done, heat up a wok on the highest flame. Once wok is hot, add oil and let it heat up.
  3. Next, crack in an egg directly in the wok and stir.
  4. To the eggs, add the chicken strips and stir until no longer pink and cooked through about 5-6 minutes. Make sure the chicken is in small strips so it cooks fast.
  5. Next, add in rice noodles and stir.
  6. Add the remaining ingredients: vinegar, lemon juice, fish sauce, oyster sauce, salt and sugar and stir really well. *Just throw it all in. This is why I love this recipe!*
  7. Sprinkle paprika to give the dish a little color.
  8. Pad Thai should not have a sauce so dry out the liquid by continuing to stir on the highest heat of the burner. *My wok is not restaurant quality so it took me about 10-15 minutes to dry out the sauce. So it is very important that your noodles are not fully cooked in step 1 because they will continue to cook in the wok.*
  9. Lastly add in the bean sprouts and stir for a minute or two because we want bean sprouts to still be a bit crunchy.
  10. Garnish with crushed peanuts, finely chopped green onions (just the green part) and cilantro and serve!

Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala

Oh where do I start about this dish–the only dish my non-desi friends know to be Indian. It pains every time I have to point out that Indian food and Pakistani food are really one and the same. The flavors running through, the spices lighting up the taste buds or really burning them up share a similar journey. Before I turn this into a history lesson about the partition of 1947, let’s focus our gaze back to this beautiful bowl of rich, saucy Chicken Tikka Masala. This along with my Seekh Kebab and Tandoori Chicken should have a permanent place in your arsenal of desi food recipes!

Chicken Tikka Masala

It took me a few tries to nail down this recipe. I decided that I did not want to use canned tomato puree, so I sliced up some juicy, fat tomatoes (along with my finger), and threw them in the oven with the marinated chicken at 425 degrees F. Roasting adds that touch of smokiness and wrinkles the tomatoes to a beautiful charred-around-the-edges look. Sometimes I even turn on the broiler because I love those black blisters on the chicken and tomatoes. So, if you feel me on this, just do it! Like Nike. Okay, maybe not. Do it at a slower pace, because baby it’s worth it. Give it to it, it’s worth it. I’m really sorry. I got some major wisdom tooth extraction done and clearly it wasn’t a good idea. So, I’ll just leave this recipe here for you guys and go search for it.

Chicken Tikka Masala

5.0 from 1 reviews
Chicken Tikka Masala
 
This Chicken Tikka Masala will make you forget the Pakistani/Indian restaurants. Learn how to make this with me!
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Pakistani/Indian
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
  • Marinade for chicken:
  • 1½ tsp red chilli powder such as cayenne
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp coriander powder
  • 2 tsp chickpea flour
  • 2 tbsp full fat yogurt (Indian-style such as Gopi or a plain greek yogurt)
  • cinnamon (just a pinch)
  • turmeric (just a pinch)
  • 2 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 2-3 tbsp lemon juice
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • Masala:
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 5 whole green cardamom pods (lightly crushed)
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • ½of a green chilli
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • ¾ tsp red chilli powder (cayenne)
  • 6 tomatoes on the vine (roasted in the oven)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves
  • ⅓ cup cream
  • 1 tsp honey
  • salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Wash and pat dry the the chicken thighs and cut them up in small to medium chunks.
  2. Mix the marinade ingredients in a bowl and rub into the chicken pieces really well.
  3. Refrigerate, covered, for 30 mins to an hour in the fridge.
  4. While the chicken is in the fridge, slice up tomatoes in circles and lay them on baking sheet lined with foil.
  5. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  6. Next, grab some metal skewers and skewer the chicken pieces through them. Place the skewers on another pan lined with foil.
  7. Put both the pans in the oven preheated at 425 degree F, and bake for 35-40 minutes.
  8. *Prepare the masala 10 minutes before the chicken and tomatoes are done*
  9. To prepare the masala, melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
  10. Add the whole cloves and cardamom pods and stir for about 30 seconds.
  11. Throw in the chopped onion and green chilli and continue to sautee for 5 minutes or until the onions are soft.
  12. Next, add in cumin, coriander and red chilli powder and stir for a minute.
  13. Add in 2 heaping spoonfuls of tomato paste and stir for another minutes until incorporated.
  14. At this point, add in the roasted tomatoes and stir really well.
  15. Pour in one cup of water.
  16. Dump the masala in a blender and puree until smooth.
  17. Now pour it back into the saucepan over medium heat.
  18. Add in the cooked chicken pieces and stir.
  19. Add salt to taste.
  20. Next, add heavy cream and stir.
  21. For the actual aroma of this dish, add in the fenugreek leaves.
  22. Next, drizzle honey to give it that touch of sweetness this dish needs.
  23. Finally taste for salt and serve with naan or pita bread.
 

Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

I have to admit I am that girl you see at the grocery store sampling soups at the soup bar. And this Tomato Basil Bisque or soup (but let’s go with bisque because it sounds more sophisticated) was inspired from one of those samplings. Anything I try lights up a tiny bulb in my head and I whisper to myself I need to make a video on this. So after sampling the tomato soup one fine afternoon, I brisk walked to the fresh produce, scooped up tomatoes on the vine into the plastic bag until the bag ballooned and threatened to rip, threw in carrots, onions, heavy cream from the refrigerator.

Tomato soup can be boring if you just throw tomatoes and other stuff in a pan and puree them. And people do that! But that’s not fun. I want that roasted punch. I have been hooked on roasting veggies lately. It brings out the sweetness in them and the slightly charred edges are worth picking at. So that’s what I did. Roast the veggies till they blister a bit and puree them. Voila! This is really a no-fail soup that will keep you filling your bowl again and again if only for the aroma of basil. KEY. The bisque is light and creamy. You want to serve it with a slice of buttery toasted baguette. Like my Chicken Tortilla soup and Clam Chowder, this Tomato Basil Soup is not fussy. I don’t like fussy soups and fussy people.

Roasted Tomato Basil Soup
 
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This Tomato Basil Soup is luscious and creamy. And best of all I roast all my veggies to kick up the flavors!
Author:
Recipe type: Tomato Basil Soup
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 6 tomatoes (preferably on the vine)
  • ½ medium onion
  • 4 carrots
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • ½ tsp crushed chili peppers
  • 4-5 basil leaves
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • ⅓ cup cream
  • salt to taste
  • Basil leaves for garnish
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and line two baking sheets with foil.
  2. Slice carrots, onion and tomatoes in circles. Lay tomatoes in one pan and the rest of the veggies in the other. Toss in garlic cloves with the peel on.
  3. Drizzle olive oil and sprinkle brown sugar and a pinch of salt evenly and give the veggies a toss. The brown sugar will help the veggies caramelize and bring out the sweetness.
  4. Bake at 425 degrees F for 35-40 minutes. The tomatoes take a little more time so take out the pan with the carrots, onions and garlic early if they look nice and roasted.
  5. In a pot oven medium heat, melt butter.
  6. Next, squeeze out the roasted garlic pulp out of the husk and stir for a few seconds.
  7. Next add tomato paste and crushed chili and stir for a few seconds to bring everything together.
  8. Tip all the roasted veggies into the pan. Scrape using a spoon if they are stuck to the foil. The charred bits are the best! (Make sure you don't accidentally add in the foil as you scrape.)
  9. Throw in basil leaves along with chicken stock. Let simmer gently for 3-4 minutes to allow the flavors to infuse together.
  10. To puree, pour everything into a blender and blend until smooth. If you have an immersion blender, that will work beautifully!
  11. Now pour the pureed soup back into the saucepan, add in cream, a few basil leaves and stir.
  12. On very low heat, let the soup warm up.
  13. Pour your tomato basil soup into bowls and top with a basil leaf and serve alongside a slice of baguette.
 

Pakistani Tandoori Chicken

Tandoori Chicken

Tandoori Chicken is probably one the most loved Pakistani BBQ items. I remember those late summer nights back in Pakistan when my dinner was only a good juicy tandoori chicken from Ambala foods. I would wait in the car outside the storefront with my sisters and watch the guy in his sweaty kurta effortlessly flip the birds on the grill often with tongs, but sometimes with his bare hands. The hot to-go container exudes that strong, charred smell mingled with the most aromatic blend of Pakistani spices that instantly makes your mouth water. It hits your nostrils so hard you almost start crying. OK, maybe not. But you know where I’m headed, don’t you?

Tandoori Chicken

 

Pakistani Tandoori Chicken

Now I’m 8000 miles away trying to replicate those flavors and smells of those nights back home when dinner was a family affair and meals were always taken at the table. Now I chow down everything right at the counter. But let me tell you I come so darn close to the restaurant-quality tandoori chicken that my brother (and yes, yet again I’m treating my brother’s word like it’s the holy word) said that I outdid myself with the roast! And because I make it in the oven, I’m not wasting time getting a grill going (I’d love to only if I had one). I give this Tandoori Chicken that smoky punch that we know a good tandoori chicken must have by placing a lit charcoal in the center of large pan, surrounding it with the oven-baked chicken, and finally “anointing” that coal with some vegetable oil. This is where the magic happens. As soon as the trickle of oil hits the burning coal, the smoke that materializes will seep into the chicken. So, pop the lid on and let the smoke penetrate and flavor the chicken. This Tandoori chicken with my Seekh Kebab is a duo that cannot be beat!

Pakistani Tandoori Chicken

4.6 from 5 reviews
Tandoori Chicken
 
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Learn how to make the best tandoori chicken in the comfort of your kitchen with all that smoky goodness!
Author:
Recipe type: Tandoori Chicken
Cuisine: Pakistani
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 6 Chicken Leg Quarters
  • Marinade:
  • 3 tsp red chilli powder (cayenne)
  • 4 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • ¾ tsp cumin powder
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1¾ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp chickpea/gram flour
  • 2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • ¼ cup full-fat yogurt
  • Juice of half a lemon (about 4 tbsp)
  • For the smoke:
  • 1 charcoal
  • A little Oil
Instructions
  1. Wash and pat dry the chicken really well. With a knife make cuts on the surface of the chicken at an angle.
  2. Mix together all the marinade ingredients. Rub the marinade onto the chicken working it into the slits.
  3. Cover with foil and let the chicken marinate in the fridge for at least 4 hours (overnight is best).
  4. When you are ready to bake, preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.
  5. Line a baking tray with foil and grease it with a little oil. Place your chicken face up on the foil and bake at 425 F for 15 minutes. Then lower the temperature to 400 and let the chicken bake for another 30 minutes flipping once during the baking time. (At this point you will not need to brush it with oil because unlike the open grill on which the chicken does not steam, the oven creates a lot of steam so the chicken will cook in its own juices. We're basically waiting for the juices to fully evaporate.)
  6. To create the charred texture, place the grill on the top rack and turn on the broiler. Let the chicken broil for 10-15 minutes (flipping once). If you don't have the broiler option, just put the grill on the top rack and turn up the temperature to the highest setting on your oven. At this point you should notice the chicken start to crisp up so brush it will a little oil if needed. (Although it's a little dangerous, but I try to hold up the chicken to the flame of the oven to get the black spots on the chicken but don't do this please!)
  7. Total baking time is around 60 minutes.
  8. Final step is to smoke the chicken. For this, light up a charcoal on the stove. Nestle the lit coal in a foil blanket.
  9. Next place the foil in the center of a large pan. Carefully place the chicken leg quarters around the coal.
  10. Next, pour a little oil (about a 2-3 tbsp) right on top of the burning coal.
  11. The smoke would release instantly. Pop the lid on and let the chicken smoke for 5-10 minutes. You are not turning on the stove at all, just smoking the chicken.
  12. Serve with my Coriander and Mint Raita and serve hot!
 

Chai

Chai. Not tea. Chai.

It’s safe to say that all of South Asia thrives on chai. When guests come over, it’s customary to offer them “chai biscuit.” Similarly “evening chai” routine is ritually observed, at least in my household, and always taken out in the lawn in the company of mosquitoes that circle overhead.

Chai doodhpatti

To me, microwaving water or dipping teabags into water poured from the kettle is cardinal sin. It’s too English and never happening in my apartment. The real chai is the one that’s served in little glasses at the dhabas in Pakistan. Masala chai is more popular in India; it’s spiced with ginger and other stuff. But to be honest, chai is best when kept simple. Cooked on the stove and scented with cardamom (optional), chai is made with part milk part water. I’ve been making my chai this way and swear by it. Amongst my friends, I am the chai master, so this cup is worth hanging around the stove for.

 

Chai

While visiting Karachi a few months ago, I sat at a dhaba close to my house every single night, on plastic chairs, hot glasses of chai in hand. And because of the cool winter nights, I came back home unscathed (from mosquito attack and all else, if you know what I mean).

Chai
 
How to make the best chai. Dhaba-style!
Author:
Recipe type: Chai
Serves: 1 cup
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tsp loose tea (Tapal or Lipton from an Indian grocery store only)
  • 1-1/2 tsp sugar (or to taste)
  • 3-4 green cardamom pods
Instructions
  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, pour milk and water and let it come to a simmer.
  2. Next add the loose tea and give it a quick stir.
  3. Once the color changes to brown, add sugar and the opened (or lightly crushed) cardamom pods
  4. Now turn the flame a little higher and let the chai bubble and cook for 3-4 minutes. The milk won't split but make sure you do it on medium heat. Cooking the chai will make it richer and creamier, and deeper in color.
  5. Strain into a small glass or cup.
 

 

Clam Chowder

 

I don’t make soups all that often at the apartment. Usually, I throw down some tacos or a quick old-fashioned chicken curry with all the Pakistani spices to get myself out of a pickle on a work day. Honestly it’s more out of sympathy for my poor brother than anything. But when I make something good, I make it a lot of times until I tire from it. This Clam Chowder proudly simmers about twice a week in my apartment. Yes, I use canned clams for convenience and yes I cut corners, but I would totally scrub scrub scrub 3 lbs of fresh clam shells, boil it in salted water if i didn’t work and read books all day with bottomless mimosas…eh coffee in my case. But I’m being practical. Regardless, this chowder is delicious and thick and smells wonderful.

Clam Chowder

You are really just opening some canned clams, chopping some veggies, pouring some juice, adding some cream and before you know it, you’ll be chowing down on this chowder! But I don’t know which of my soups I like the best because I have a killer Chicken Tortilla Soup here that will knock your socks off.

Clam Chowder
 
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A few ingredients will whip up the best clam chowder!
Author:
Serves: 6-8 bowls
Ingredients
  • 3 cans of clams in clam juice
  • 4 tbsp butter, divided
  • 5 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 2 cups potatoes
  • 1 medium onion
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2½ cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup half and half (or cream if you like a really thick chowder)
  • Croutons for garnish
Instructions
  1. Open the can of clams and drain them. Reserve the clam juice.
  2. Dice the vegetables.
  3. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 tbsp butter and saute vegetables for five minutes with the spices.
  4. Next, add 2 more tbsp of butter and let it melt.
  5. Sprinkle flour and stir really well to incorporate.
  6. Add in the reserved clam juice. Give it a quick stir then pour in chicken stock.
  7. Add bay leaves and let the soup simmer for 25-30 minutes or until the vegetables are very soft.
  8. Next, add half and half or cream.
  9. Finally, throw in the clams and simmer only until clams are heated through. If you cook the clams for too long, they will get tough.
  10. Serve hot, top with croutons and enjoy!
 

 

Best Chicken Tortilla Soup

At the time of filming this video, it was 80 degrees outside–temperature that definitely doesn’t warrant standing before a hot stove to cook soup. But if weather deterred me from making soup on a hot day, I wouldn’t take my coffee extra hot at the coffee shops I frequent. So my solution is to turn up the AC to full blast and get cooking. And just to be in the spirit of the changing “season,” I’ll throw on the coziest knitted sweatshirt because there is nothing like holding a warm bowl in hands gloved loosely with the sleeves of your sweatshirt. If the weather is particularly overcast, I would pull away my blinds, turn on some nostalgia-evoking classic movie and enjoy this bowl of comfort.

Chicken Tortilla Soup
  Now about this soup, I must admit with a great deal of humility that this chicken tortilla soup is very different from the ones I have tried at restaurants. The roasted pepper adds a wonderful smoky flavor and the tart tomatillos balance out the sweetness of the tomatoes and sweet onion. And of course, the spices are there to bring all these flavors together in holy matrimony... or something like that. Also, I am happy to report that the heat is finally letting up now. My a/c is turned off, so aside from me clicking way on my laptop and the fridge slumbering away in the kitchen, the night is pretty quiet and cozy. I've slipped on that cozy sweatshirt for real this time, too. The only thing that makes sense right now is to pour some of that amazing soup and build a canopy of tortilla strips!
Best Chicken Tortilla Soup
 
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A chicken Tortilla Soup that will make you want to cozy up in front of the TV watching some classics!
Author:
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Mexican
Ingredients
  • 1 lb chicken breast
  • ¼ tsp each cumin powder, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper (roasted on stove and chopped)
  • 4 tomatillos, husk removed and chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes in jalapenos (OR diced tomatoes in chilli, OR just diced tomatoes if you can't find the other two AND ½ of a jalapeno pepper deseeded and chopped)
  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 1 15 oz can black beans
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2-3 corn tortillas
  • cheese (optional)
  • coriander leaves for garnish
Instructions
  1. Sprinkle chicken breast with cumin, cayenne, salt and pepper and rub evenly.
  2. In a saucepan with high sides, add about a tbsp of oil and cook the chicken on high flame until brown on both sides. Remove to a clean plate. *The chicken doesn't need to be fully cooked right now.*
  3. To roast the green bell pepper, simply place it directly on the burner with the flame on. Rotate the bell pepper until the skin is charred and you get black spots around it. Remove from burner. Let cool for a few minutes, then chop.
  4. In the same saucepan in which you seared the chicken, throw in chopped onion, bell pepper and chopped tomatillo. Sautee the vegetables until soft, about 2-3 minutes on medium heat.
  5. Next, add garlic, stir, then add in cumin and cayenne pepper.
  6. Stir the vegetables really well until they're coated in the spices.
  7. Next, tip in the can of diced tomatoes in jalapeno along with the chicken stock and black beans.
  8. Squeeze the juice from one lime and let the soup come to a boil.
  9. Once the soup is bubbling, immerse the half-cooked chicken breast into the soup and turn the flame to medium-low and let it simmer for 20-25 minutes.
  10. Remove the chicken from the soup to a clean plate and shred it thinly.
  11. To thicken the soup, ladle half the soup into a blender and puree until smooth.
  12. Pour this back into the soup along with the shredded chicken and let the soup simmer for about 5 minutes.
  13. To make the tortilla strips, cut corn tortilla length wise.
  14. Next, heat up a few tablespoons of oil in a pan for frying. Add in your tortilla strips and fry them until they are golden brown and crispy. Remove them to a kitchen towel.
  15. To assemble, ladle the soup into a bowl, add shredded cheese, crushed tortilla strips, and a few cilantro leaves. Serve warm and become a couch potato!
  16. This easily serves 6-7 people!