When I opened my refrigerator the other day, I saw rice, rice and more rice. It's easy to make rice. It's even easier when Medha makes it.
And also staring at me was the rotisserie chicken, begging to be eaten. But we'd eaten it with salad, in salad, sandwiched it and no matter what I did, there was always some leftover. There was next to no choice but to pair them together.
Leftover Chicken and Rice
- 3 cups of steamed rice
- 1 cup of cooked rotisserie chicken, deboned and diced into small pieces
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
- pinch asafetida (optional)
- 2-3 tsp of kanda lassun masala
- 2-3 tbsp water
- dash of lemon juice
- salt to taste
- chopped cilantro for garnish
- Heat oil in a kadhai
- Add mustard seeds and when they splutter, add asafetida (or not)
- Add chicken pieces and kanda lassun masala and stir fry for a couple of minutes
- Add cooked rice and mix well
- Sprinkle water over the rice to moisten it unless you are using rice that was just cooked. If your rice has been sitting in the refrigerator for more than a couple of days, then that little bit of water helps.
- Cover and cook on medium-low till the rice and chicken have been warmed through and the flavors have come together
- Add lemon juice, stir and do a taste test for salt. Kanda lassun masala has some salt in it, so you may or may not need more salt, depending on your sodium intake.
- Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve right away
Kanda Lassun masala powder is very versatile and I get a quick ride to Bombay and back when I have anything that has been liberally spiced with it. Vada-pau is what comes to my mind!
There are, of course, a myriad variations: add some green chillies or dried red chillies and/or curry leaves in the phodni, add some fresh julienned ginger, add some steamed veggies and so on. Rotisserie chicken and rice is by far the simplest and the fastest, especially for lunch when I don't have much time to spend in the kitchen or think about food.
My days are very hectic and long, and they get doubly so in summer when I have a demanding 9 year old at home. No leisurely cups of tea or time to sit and plan the next meal. Lately I have been wondering why I didn't learn from the previous year and keep Medha busy at a summer camp. But, no matter how much I am looking forward to the first day of school - just 2 more weeks, yay! - I have really enjoyed having her at home. And, she's been a great help in the kitchen. She can now boil eggs, make her own breakfast as well as a simple lunch. She helps lay the table, too; although I had to stop her from using up so many paper napkins. She was very disappointed when I told her that we don't need our silverware wrapped in a napkin. But she cheered up considerably when I told her to do it to save the Earth. That works like a charm, every time! I must admit that what I was not prepared for this summer were the pre-pubertal hormones that are kicking in and the quick repartees. Especially the conversation after we had Leftover Chicken and Rice for lunch! I had to rush back to my office for a meeting, leaving me just enough time to clear up in the kitchen but not the table.
Me: Medha, could you please clear and wipe the table?
Her: But, Mumma, why do I have to do it?
Instead of giving her a list of reasons or dipping into the Why-do-I-have-to syndrome, I simply glared at her
Me: Let me put it this way: I am going to remember this!
Her: But...but...but, Mumma! That would be a waste of memory space!
Right. No carry-forwards. No leftovers.
I hope your summers are going as well as mine! Despite a persistent but mild migraine, we went on a 5.4+ mile hike to Ouzel Falls in Rocky Mountain National Park this weekend. Here's a picture of Calypso Cascades that we encountered on the way. It's raw nature in your face up in the mountains.
Have a good one!
Update: I just realized that this fits in very nicely with Mallugirl's Summer Express Event. So off it goes!
Credits: Bowl and plate by Medha