Monday, 20 October 2014

Roast chicken sandwich with Tahini sauce, grilled bellpeppers and fried egg

Alright I will say it. It is my birthday today. I turn 28. And life has never been better. No really. These days I keep seeing these viral posts on "30 things to do before you turn 30", "10 things you should do in your 20s" etc, etc. These posts are fun, but freak me out at times. I haven't done 3,7, 8, 15, 17, and 19, I exclaim, and for a moment feel like a failure. I am merely 2 birthdays away from turning 30 and there is so much to do. But this post is not about things to do, it is about counting blessings, looking back at things I have done. In retrospect, my life looks pretty great to me, which in itself is a blessing. No regrets, no lingering disappointment. Hey that doesn't mean my life has been a smooth ride, it only means I remember the good, more than I mull over the bad. So I compiled my list of  5 mantras I learnt till date that I am taking forward with me. I am not claiming these are originals, but they are honest.

1. Laugh at yourself harder than anyone else can 
As a child I had an Aesop's fables compilation. There in was the story of a brave knight with strength unsurpassed. But the knight was bald and he always wore a wig. Once on a hunting expedition, his wig flew off his head. Every one roared in laughter. But soon they went quiet because the one laughing the hardest was the knight himself. Never did anyone make fun of the knight again. This story stayed with me. And when someone laughs at me, whatever the reason might be, I laugh harder. Trust me it helps. It doesn't mean you are demeaning yourself, it simply means you are at absolute ease and completely secure about whoever it is that you are.

2. If you wish for something, wish hard enough
This might sound like a passage from The Secret, but the truth is there is nothing as powerful as a wish wished hard enough. If you wish for something and keep wishing enough, you will be surprised how your wishes come true. Mine have, I know.

3. Love yourself more than you love anyone else 
Well some might cringe and say that's being selfish. But I do not think so. How you feel about yourself reflects on your feelings for others. For most of my adult life I have been obese, which means I have heard many a crude comment from people, loved ones, strangers alike. And all the while I have had to fight the strong urge to dismiss the world as a dark place and all human beings as insensitive *beep* But I always give myself a thousand reasons why I am awesome and why I love myself. And that alone helps me in seeing the good in others. That and the urge to be better.

4. You do not make compromises in relationships
Anything that comes from love can never involve compromise. Compromise is a bad word. It comes back to haunt you. Leaves you with a sense of dissatisfaction. I wouldn't settle for it. If you do something out of love, even if it means giving up on something, it cannot be tagged a compromise. You should only give it up with the knowledge that you are doing so only to receive a greater joy. Or do not do it.

5. It is okay to be impulsive, in fact it is better 
The best decisions of my life have been taken on an impulse. Each and every one of them. I think thinking, weighing and calculating is overrated. It is great if you look before you leap, but then again I tell myself the leap you take without looking is a leap of faith and it almost always lands you right where you should be.

Ok Now about my Birthday celebration. My family, and it is one huge family, thank God, gave me a wonderful midnight surprise. I woke up to the phone ringing and it hasn't stopped yet, and lots of flowers, chocolates and more cake. And the good person I am, I decided to cook breakfast for the lovely people I have the pleasure of calling my family. Actually I had already made plans last night and marinated the chicken with a Middle Eastern inspired mix of spices. Grilled Chicken and Vegetable Open Sandwich topped with tahini and fried egg.

For the chicken filling 


Boneless chicken breast - 1 kg (cut is supreme-like strips)
Juice of 2 limes
Minced Garlic - 1 tbsp
Minced Ginger - 1 tbsp
Coriander powder 1 tbsp
Cumin powder - 1.25 tbsp
Nutmeg powder - a large pinch
Crushed cardamom seeds- 1/2 tsp
Cinnamon powder - 1/2 tsp
Red Chili powder - 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
Finely chopped parsley - 4-5 tbsp
Olive oil

Marinate the chicken with all the ingredients and refrigerate overnight.

Grease a baking tray with butter. Spread out the chicken pieces, roast in a pre heated oven at 180 degree centigrade for 20-25 minutes.

For the vegetables

Red, green and yellow bell peppers - 1 large each
Onion cut in rings - 2-3 medium sized
Olive oil to drizzle
Salt and pepper
Dried parsley - 14 tsp


Toss the vegetables with  pepper, parsley and olive oil in a zip-locked bag. Grease a baking tray with butter, lay out the veggies and grill at 175 degree centigrade for 10-15 minutes. Sprinkle salt once out of the oven, toss well. Squeeze some lime juice and keep aside.

Tahini sauce 

Sesame seeds - 200 g
Olive oil - 1/2 cup
Salt and powdered sugar to taste.

In a food processor grind the sesame seeds to a smooth paste. Add a couple of tablespoons of water if absolutely necessary. Add salt and sugar and give a whiz again. Remove into a bowl and stream in the olive oil while whisking vigorously.

For assembling the sandwich 

Sandwich bread - 8-10 slices
Butter to spread on the bread.
Fried eggs

Lightly toast the bread and spread butter on one surface of each slice. Now spoon on veggies on each slice, on the buttered surface, followed by the roasted chicken shreds. Top it up with Tahini sauce and dried egg.

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