Family recipe: Masala Chicken

3/28/2019

The recipe that I am sharing with you today, lies very close to my heart, since it is a family recipe of Masala chicken that has been made for generations. This is not your typical chicken masala, it is different from the Indian curries that we know, but it is honestly so much better. The chicken almost falls off the bone, the sauce is packed with flavour, and the best thing is that it is made within 20 minutes. It's been in my family for generations for a reason.

Also, please tell me that you have seen Peaky Blinders, I am obsessed! Tommy Shelby is officially my new man crush.  I know that I am a little bit late to the party, but I recently got introduced and could not stop watching it ever since. Only six episodes in and I already completely understand why this man got the Peaky Blinders cast tattooed on his entire back. The cinematography is mind-blowing and there are so many diverse characters in this show. 
Peaky Blinders gives you a great sense of what Birmingham (UK) is like after the first world war. We follow a family that is known as the Peaky Blinders, who are all about power and money. A police man out of town is looking to stop this family, but that does not seem easy. 

The last time that I was this obsessed with a tv-series, was when I started watching Outlander, which is about Claire, a married nurse from 1945, who is swept back in time to Scotland in 1743. She is forced to marry Jamie Fraser, a young Scottish warrior (hello, man crush #2), their relationships makes Claire choose between two vastly different men in two different lives.
I was so obsessed with Outlander, that I actually went to Scotland for a few days, to attend a fan club weekend and travel all their film-sets. It was an amazing experience, since I got to meet the cast and walk around in the most beautiful handmade, 17th century inspired dress. 

Also, I have finished the series Dirty John a couple weeks ago. If you liked You, then you should definitely give Dirty John a go. Based on a true story and that makes it far more mind blowing and well, kinda scary. My mom recommended it to me one evening, and two days later I was done with the whole show already. The storyline was so unpredictable and it kept me hooked. Connie Britton was fantastic as Deb and the storytelling was phenomenal. Each episode was a rollercoaster and I was definitely shocked at the end. Highly recommend if you're looking for a new series to binge watch.

Something I have been making a lot recently is a recipe that has been in my family for decades. It is a special version of masala chicken, that my grandma used to make me whenever I came over to her place and my mom made it almost on a weekly basis.

Since I live on my own, I had to give it a go and make it myself. It took me a lot of practise and experimenting, but I finally got the hang of it and almost made it taste like I was home again. This recipe only takes 20 minutes maximum for me to make, and since I cook it in big batches, I will have enough chicken for the whole week. Which makes this a very cheap recipe as well.

I gave this recipe my own personal twist by adding Garam Masala powder, coriander on top and loads of ginger. The ginger combines the flavours in this dish, because, let me tell you, it is PACKED with so much flavour. I usually serve it with plain, white rice and some sautéed vegetables on the side.  

Family recipe: Masala Chicken


Ingredients
- 1kg chicken drumsticks
- 1 1/2 tbs tomato puree
- 1 1/2 tbs Kicap Manis
- 1tbs curry powder
- 1tbs garam masala powder
- 1 red onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/2 inch ginger, minced
- beef stock cube
- 1tbs coconut oil (or any other oil)
- Black pepper and salt
- 1 1/2 cup boiling water

For assembling 
- Coriander
- Sesame seeds
- Rice

Method
  1. In a large wok, heat a tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic and ginger, and cook until the onion to get golden and soften. Add the beef stock cube and break it up. Stir until the onion is coated.
  2. Add the tomato puree, Kicap Manis, curry and garam masala powder, some pepper and salt. Stir until it is all combined and leave it for 2 minutes. Add the boiling water and stir until all incorporated.
  3. Add the chicken in the pan, cover the wok and let it steam for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, turn the chicken around and reduce the heat to medium.
  4. Leave the chicken on for about 15 minutes. If needed, you can add some more boiling water. Serve warm, with rice. 

Do you have a typical family recipe?

Apple Caramel Cinnamon Pancakes + Exciting news

3/21/2019

You guys! You won't believe what just happened. I finally got an official work placement secured. And guess where this is? In the heart of Hong Kong, aka, the other side of the world and probably my favourite city! If you have been following my placement search along, you probably know how stressful it was to find a placement, so when I received this opportunity, I jumped 20 meters in the air.

I have been corresponding with this company for over a few weeks now. They are a freight-forwarding company, specialised in airfreight and sea freight. 
The plan for me is to start in the marketing department, with a focus on the Transpacific lane to the US/Canada/Latin-America. Later on, I will be going to different departments to develop a solid grasp of the freight forwarding industry and also be able to expand my horizon in order to better plan and develop my future career. 

I have been in England now for the past one and a half year and will be living in Shanghai for one month this June, to study at the Shanghai Maritime University. In Juli, I will be moving to Hong Kong for this placement of six months. After those six months, my options are still open. I have a study placement opportunity in Miami, but I am still awaiting of the response of a few universities in Australia. Unfortunately, I won't hear back from them until September.

To celebrate this news, I made these apple cinnamon pancakes, my favourite pancakes ever. Okay, picture this; Fluffy apple pancakes patiently waiting for the caramel sauce to drip down. The tea is hot, the pancakes are fluffy, and the chunky apple caramel compote is sweet with a slight stinginess of the apple and lemon. Your knife slides effortlessly into the tender and soft pancakes and you know you're in for a treat. To me, there isn't a more perfect way to celebrate this news than a plate of pancakes, piled high, topped with cream or fresh fruits. Or in this case, a homemade apple caramel compote.

I ate pancakes similar to these in a small brunch cafe in Rotterdam. They were so good, but I couldn't eat them all since they were so mighty. Ever since, I have been trying to perfect a recipe that would top theirs, and I think that I finally found a recipe that is even better. These are super light and fluffy, they will make your heart happy.

I know I say this about every recipe, but you have to promise me that you make these! They are an absolute game changer. Honestly. I always thought that pancakes are so much work and especially apple pancakes, since they probably need so many different ingredients. But that's not the case at all! I made a stack of 12 pancakes within 15 minutes, from start to finish.

What is your favourite pancake recipe?

Apple Caramel Cinnamon Pancakes

12 pancakes || 20 minutes

Ingredients
- 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1tbs baking powder
- 2tsp (coconut) sugar
- 1/4tsp salt
-1tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2tsp ground ginger
- 1/4tsp ground cardamon
- 1cup (almond) milk
- 1 large egg
- 1tsp vanilla extract
- 3tbs melted butter, cooled
- 1 apple, shredded

Apple compote
- 2 medium apples
- 1/2tsp ground cinnamon
- 1tbs (coconut) sugar
- 1tbs lemon juice
- 3tbs unsalted butter

Method

  1. To make the apple compote, dice up the apples, I kept the peel on. Heat a small saucepan over low to medium heat. Add the apples, cinnamon, sugar, butter and lemon juice, give it a stir and bring it to a gentle simmer. Cook, stirring from time to time, until the apples are fork tender, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
  2. For the pancakes, in a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cardamon. Add the milk, egg, vanilla extract, butter and shredded apple to the dry mixture and mix until well combined.
  3. Heat up a large skillet or a non stick pan, over medium heat. Scoop the batter in the warm pan and bake for 1-2 minutes, and then flip. Cook on both side until both sides are browned. Serve with the apple compote.

If you try this recipe, share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #chynnaskitchen so I can see your creations!

5 minute Yum yum sauce + 2019 goals

3/14/2019

Let's talk, it's been a while. The past three months I took a little break from this blog. this was a time where I was questioning everything, my life was pretty up side down and I basically had to reset my mindset. But, I am back! Happy and well. Probably the happiest I have been in months, which is pretty good. 
Today I have a pretty long blogpost for you, sharing my top three goals for 2019. I am also sharing a basic sauce recipe that you can use for anything. It is called Yum Yum sauce (say what?) and it is good on top of grilled chicken, as a salad dressing or maybe even as a dipping sauce. So, grab a cup of tea and make yourself comfortable, because this is a long one.

Drink enough water and eat healthier
I like to believe that I already eat very healthy, and I do! Like, I eat vegetables with every single meal of the day and I have at least two pieces of fruit a day. But sometimes that chocolate bar slips in, and you know, Sunday morning is pancake morning? I have always had problematic skin and I am a firm believer of what you eat is what you become. If you eat loads of sugar, you will see that in your skin. There is actually a really interesting podcast by SecondLife, who was interviewing Kelly LeVeque, she is an expert on this topic. You can listen to that podcast here. 
Lately, I have been making an effort to watch my sugar, diary and gluten intake. It's not that I am super strict with it, I don't want it to dominate my life (I still like my pancakes!), but I do have seen a difference in my health and skin after cutting these three things out. My skin has been lots better, I still break out from now and then, but less dramatic. Not only that, I also feel like I have a constant energy level and a better overall health.
I also want to drink at least 2 litres of water a day, this doesn't include the cups of green tea that I drink as well (I do love my tea). Again, this is mainly for skin care reasons, but water also has other health benefits. So far, so good.

Get a placement sorted
I am in my second year of my studies now, and my third year is going to be a year abroad. This can be anywhere in the world. In my past blogposts, you could have read that I applied for a position at the United Nations. Unfortunately, they couldn't offer a place to a second year student so I had to keep on searching.
Luckily, I got enrolled into a Shanghai summer school for a whole month this June, which is going to be great! It is mainly focussed on Maritime business and the Chinese language. After this, I would love to work in HongKong. At the moment, I am discussing a placement opportunity with a freight forwarding company there, which would be an absolute dream if I could get the job. This would be for six months, and after those six months I will probably be studying in Australia or New Zealand, which isn't that bad either. Unfortunately, I won't hear back from the uni's in Aussie or NZ till September, but luckily I do got a back up place sorted in Florida, USA. 

Get moving
I recently got an Apple watch, which tracks how much you move a day. I must say, I never thought I would use it, but it is really interesting. It inspires me to move every day, for at least half an hour. Like a walk to the seafront, or even going to the gym. As long as I completed my workout circle on the watch and got 10,000 steps in, I am happy. 
I do go to the gym 3 times a week (most weeks) and still ride horses once a week. So, I like to believe that I am quite active, but I would love to be active every day. 
On the 7th of April, I will be doing a 1/4 marathon in Rotterdam. I haven't trained for it yet and this the first 1/4 marathon I will be running in 2 years! The last one was the exact same marathon, but in 2017. oops. Should start training now.. Maybe tomorrow ;)

Other goals I have include practising self-care and gratitude. This is one of the more important goals I have for the year, but so far I am doing really good. I have been the happiest I have ever been in months, made new friends and found loads of new opportunities.
Another goal I have is to read 25 pages of a book every night, or listen to a podcast. At the moment, I am reading the Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. I would love to review books on this blog as well as sharing recipes of course. Maybe when I do, I share a recipe inspired by that book? That sounds quite fun. 

Yum Yum Sauce

The recipe that I have for you today is a basic sauce, that is absolutely delicious. You can have it with chips, on a burrito or a wrap, grilled chicken or maybe even as a salad dressing. It is slightly sweet and a little bit smokey from the smoked paprika powder.
Yum Yum sauce, isn't that the best name ever? No, I did not make that up. This sauce is often served at Japanese hibachi restaurants and has the best given name ever. Another good thing about this sauce? It's made within 5 minutes.

Ingredients
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- Salt to taste
- 2 tablespoons water

Method
Whisk all the ingredients together, and thats it. You're done. Rock on!

I like to add the water last, so I can control the thickness. I sometimes like it quite runny to drizzle on top of things, but for as a dipping sauce, I like it a bit more thick. 

    What are your goals for 2019?

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