Monday, October 21, 2013

Chicken Afritada Recipe

If I were to call an Afritada dish something, it would be a "classic". Along with Adobo, Sinigang and Lumpia,  this is one dish, almost every Pinoy household knows how to cook.  This tomato based stew is sold in  every run the mill Carenderias, cooked in many feast and special celebrations  or simple lunches and dinners back home. 

There's something comforting about this dish, plus it is easy enough to make . FF embraced this dish like a Filipino when I first cooked it. After all, it has everything he likes in a dish. The chicken, the potatoes, the carrots, the paprika  and of course, the tomato sauce. He generally loves tomato based dishes, so having this on the table is no- brainer.  The vegetables and meat needed in this dish is present in every  local markets and conveniently enough, all grocery shops. 

Just like any other dishes, every household has its own way of cooking Afritada. Some fry the potatoes and carrots first, some put sausages and peas in it. Pork and chicken is commonly use in this recipe and one can even combine both. This is how I did mine.

The Ingredients:  

  •  2 chicken thighs and half chicken breast fillet, chopped into serving portions
  • 2 small or 1 medium sized onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • juice from 1 lime or 3 calamansi
  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 4 -5 potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 2 bell peppers, sliced
  • 2 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 400 ml tomato sauce 
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 3-4 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper ( you can use fish sauce instead of salt)
  • 350 ml warm water
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • optional: chili peppers ( if you want it spicy)

Cooking Instruction:

 Marinate chicken pieces in soy sauce, minced garlic and lime juice for about an hour.
Crack the stove up to high. Heat a bit of oil , brown the meat pieces ( marinade and all) and take out from the pan. In the same pan, saute onion until transparent and aromatic. Put the meat back into the pan, stir until well combined. Pour tomato sauce ,50 ml warm water and pineapple juice. Bring the dish to a boil and once bubbly, turn the heat down to medium, let the meat and tomato sauce simmer for 15 mins, covered.

 Add in bay leaves, sliced carrots and potatoes. Cover the pan and continue simmering for 10 more minutes. If the sauce dries up too quickly, add a cup full of warm water and lower the Heat.

 Once the potatoes and carrots are just-tender, add in chili slices ( if using) and sliced bell pepper. Season with salt and pepper or Fish sauce if you like. Let the dish cook for 5 to 7 more minutes.  Serve with white rice and enjoy !

Chicken Afritada ala Emily

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Namaskaar Baden Baden

There are things in life that make  you realize  you've been missing  until you finally tried it. In my case, it's the Indian foods. It's always been there  but the abundance of other cuisines  like the well-known Thai, the well-loved Italian and even the too-common-for its-own-good Chinese somehow kept Indian cuisine's existence out of my gustatory radar. If only I knew what treat I was missing, I could have dipped my finger into its culinary pie much sooner. There's something about Indian food that entices me. The aromatic smell, the spice-laden sauces, the spicy heat that that leaves a tingling sensation down my throat. It's like a spell that could make anyone simply forget about life's shenanigans for a while. Between appreciative mouthfuls and occasional burst of blissful aaaaahhs and hmmms, good Indian foods shut me up during a meal, only the satisfied shimmer of my eyeballs  speaks volume- I love it! 

I should be thankful to the restaurant that is responsible for this love at first bite . Namaskaar, in Baden Baden. This cozy, little restaurant  garnered quite a reputation for serving excellent Indian Foods in the region. The elegant setting with crisp white linen ,the wonderful smell from the kitchen, the soft Bollywood songs that serenade its guests, the efficient and fast service, the delicious food and generous  but not overwhelming servings . Everything about this restaurant ticks all my boxes. Even the Indian owner, who is renowned for his quick mouth and  witty but sometime dry humour. Confidently aware of his goods, he oftentimes engages in good banter with his patrons  and he tolerates no nonsense when it comes to his food. Love him or hate him , his unique character is almost written on his forehead. And oh yeah, he loves Obama so Republicans, look to your left if you please.

The restaurant is always full to the brim and reservation is a must. Regulars, curious locals from young couples to conservative pensioners, bosses and common employees, sleek suited  gents and their Prada trotting ladies and tourist with their DSLR all flock into this tiny space to gratify their Indian food cravings. Menu is not overly extensive but guest can choose if they want their food mild, medium and spicy .FF and I always go for the medium and our foods are always deliciously warming in the palate without burning a hole in our guts. It made us break a bit of sweat, which is easily tampered by ice cold King Fisher beer or mango lassi.

FF and I were often enough in this restaurant. This superb meal is what we had last Saturday.

Aloo Jheenga:  Potato-wrapped shrimps

Left: Trio of starters with chicken, lamb and vegetable fritters
Right: Complimentary Papadum 

Left:  Murgh Jal Frazie ( Chicken curry with fresh vegetables)
Middle: Freshly baked Naan bread which is available only at dinner.
Right:  Gosht Do Piaza (  Lamb with Ginger, Chili and Onion)

My Plate with shrimp, lamb and chicken dishes  and Naan Bread to to mop it all up!

Aam Bahar:  Mango Ice cream in Saffron sauce

Restaurant Namaskaar
Indische Spezialit├Ąten
Krezstra├če 1
76530 Baden Baden
Tel. number +49 (0) 7221 24681

Opening Hours: 12:00- 14:00 and 18:00-22:30
Closed on Tuesdays
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