Tag Archives: oil

Gai Pad Bai Gaprow

This is my favorite Thai takeout dish, so why not try to make it myself? Well, it’s been a long journey, hamstrung by a lack of certain ingredients, but I finally managed. Those ingredients, by the way, are:

  • Chicken, minced, 2 pounds
  • Bell peppers, 1-2
  • Mushrooms, 1-2 cartons
  • Onions, 1-2
  • Jalapeno peppers, 3-12 (depending on how hot you want it!)
  • Hot basil leaves, 2 cups
  • Sugar, 4 tablespoons
  • Fish sauce, 1/2 cup
  • Oil
  • Canned green peppercorns, 2 teaspoons
  • Shallots, 8, minced
  • Garlic, 12 cloves, minced
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The ingredients.

The first one you may have trouble locating is canned green peppercorns. I had to go to an Asian market to obtain mine.

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Peppercorns.

But the other was harder still – hot basil, otherwise known as holy basil, or tulsi. I couldn’t find it anywhere, so I ultimately bought some seeds and grew my own. Which, you know, took a while, but the results were delicious.

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Happy hot basil.

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The prunings.

Once you’ve assembled your ingredients, the first step is to blend. Some recipes alternately call for mashing with a mortar and pestle, but I decided to blend instead. Blend what, you ask? The shallots, the hot peppers, the garlic, and the peppercorns.

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Pre-blend.

When you do you’ll get a paste like this:

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Post-blend.

Add that paste to your wok, after you’ve heated some oil.

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In the wok.

After you’ve warmed the paste for a minute or so, add in the chicken, sugar, and fish sauce.

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Adding the chicken.

Heat until the chicken is cooked.

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Chicken, cooked.

Then add in the veggies you’ve prepared.

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Veggies!

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Veggies!

When they’ve cooked down to your desired level of tenderness, add the basil leaves.

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So, so delicious.

Finally, serve over rice – with a fried egg on top, if you wish.

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Still not as good as takeout – but yummy nonetheless.

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Spicy Catfish

My note for this recipe is one word: “yummy.” The ingredients are:

  • Catfish, 2 lbs
  • Thai Eggplant, 1-2 cups, cut into wedges
  • Thai basil leaves, 1 cup or so
  • Lemon grass, 4 stalks
  • Garlic, 12 cloves, minced
  • Fish sauce, 1/2 cup
  • Sugar, 2 tablespoons
  • Lesser Ginger, 1/2 cup, thinly sliced
  • Oil
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The ingredients.

I have to say, I looked at the local Asian markets and couldn’t find fresh lesser ginger. So I bought it dried, online.

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Lesser ginger.

When you get it dried, you should soak it before you cook with it. I soaked it for half an hour or so, but I’d actually recommend 2-3 times as long.

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Soaking.

The cooking instructions are so simple, that you may find (like I did) that your first step should simply be to prepare the ingredients. This is the eggplant, basil, lemongrass.

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Prepped.

Oh, and garlic.

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Pre-mince.

Remember when I said the cooking instructions were simple? Well, they are. Heat the oil in a skillet, then add the catfish.

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The catfish.

And then, you know, everything else.

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In the skillet.

Cook until the catfish is done, and then the meal is done.

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Done.

We ate ours over rice!

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Yum!

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Egyptian Red Lentil Soup

This recipe didn’t turn out so well for me – it was a bit thick and felt like it stuck to my insides. Maybe it’ll work better with a bit more water? In any case, it was a great opportunity for us to break out the immersion blender. The ingredients:

  • Water, 5 cups
  • Red lentils, 2 cups
  • Onions, chopped, 2 cups
  • Potatoes, chopped, 1 cup
  • Garlic, 8-10 cloves
  • Cilantro, chopped, 1/3 cup
  • Lemon juice, 3 tablespoons
  • Oil, 1 tablespoon
  • Cumin, 2 teaspoons
  • Salt, 1 teaspoon
  • Turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
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The ingredients.

First, bring the water to a boil along with the potatoes, onions, lentils, and garlic. Then reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until everything is tender.

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Boil, and then simmer.

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Once the simmering is complete.

Then warm the oil until it’s hot, but not smoking pot. Then add the spices – the turmeric, cumin, and salt, stirring constantly until it becomes fragrant, or about 2-3 minutes.

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Adding spices to warm oil.

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Mixed.

Then remove from the heat and allow to cool for a minute or two before you add the mixture, along with the cilantro, to the main pot.

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All in the pot.

This is where you get to use the immersion blender.

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A fine machine.

Add the lemon juice, and then you’re done!

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The finished product.

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Kung Pao Chicken

This dish quickly became one of our favorites. The ingredients are:

The Marinade

  • Cornstarch, 3 teaspoons
  • Soy sauce, 2 tablespoons
  • Sake, 4 teaspoons

The Sauce

  • Ground Sichuan pepper, 1 teaspoon
  • Cornstarch, 2 teaspoons
  • Sugar, 4 teaspoons
  • Black vinegar, 2 tablespoons
  • Soy sauce, 2 teaspoons
  • Hoisin sauce, 2 teaspoons
  • Sesame oil, 2 teaspoons

Everything Else

  • Carrots, sliced
  • Bell pepper, chopped
  • Celery, sliced
  • Scallions, sliced
  • Chicken breasts or thighs, 2 lbs, cut into cubes
  • Unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts, 1/2 cup
  • Dried red chilis, 8-10
  • Garlic, 4 cloves, minced
  • Ginger, 2 teaspoons, minced or grated
  • Peanut or vegetable oil, 2 tablespoons
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The ingredients.

Some of the ingredients are a little obscure. For instance, ground sichuan pepper isn’t something you can find anywhere; I had to specially order mine.

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Sichuan pepper.

Also, black vinegar(on the left) which you may also have to specially order.

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Black vinegar.

The first step is to marinate the chicken: mix the cornstarch, sake, and soy sauce together until the former is dissolved. Then add the chicken and coat it as completely as you can. Let it marinate for about 10 minutes at room temperature.

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The marinade.

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Marinading.

Secondly, prepare the sauce by combining the black vinegar, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, sugar, cornstarch, and Sichuan pepper together in another bowl. Again, mix until everything is dissolved, and then set aside.

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The sauce.

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Prep the veggies.

Next, heat a wok, add the peanut oil, and then add the chilis, stir-frying for about 30 seconds. You’ll notice that the chilis start to blacken, and smoke in a way that may make you wheeze.

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Chili-frying.

Then add the chicken mixture and cook until the chicken is no longer pink.

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Chicken-frying.

This is the part of the story where you add everything else. First, the garlic and ginger, frying them for 30 seconds or so. Then, the sauce mixture.

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Chili-chicken-sauce frying.

Then add the veggies, peanuts, and everything else.

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Just fry everything.

I think you’ll find it’s delicious – nearly as good as what you’d get from a restaurant!

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Massaman Beef Curry

Despite its relative lack of vegetables, this recipe was delicious. The ingredients:

  • Beef, 2 lbs, cut into one-inch cubes
  • Onion, 1/2 cup, sliced
  • Red jalapeno peppers, 6, sliced
  • Garlic, 1/2 cup, minced
  • Peanuts, peeled, 1 cup
  • Coconut milk, 2 cans
  • Massaman curry paste, 6 tablespoons
  • Fish sauce, 1/2 cup
  • Sugar, 6 tablespoons
  • Oil
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The ingredients.

First, simmer the beef with half the coconut milk for 45 minutes, in order to tenderize the meat.

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Simmering the beef.

While you’re at it, fry the peanuts, while being careful to make sure they don’t burn.

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Frying peanuts.

When they’re done, they should have a golden hue, like these:

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Peanuts fried.

Next, prepare the jalapeno peppers, garlic, and onion.

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Slices.

Fry these as well.

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Frying slices.

Then, put these into a blender, and blend into a smooth paste.

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Slices fried.

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Slices blended.

Finally, combine everything – yes, everything – into a single pan or wok, heat to boiling, and cook for five minutes. Then, enjoy!

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Delicious!

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Bitter Melon Curry

This is another dish from the Thai cookbook I’m working through, and it involved a new ingredient for me – bitter melon. And its bitterness, while not completely unpleasant, did end up spoiling the dish for us. But if you want to try, the ingredients are:

  • Pork, sliced, 1 lb
  • Bitter melon, sliced, 1 lb
  • Red curry paste, 2 tablespoons
  • Coconut milk, 2 cans
  • Fish sauce, 1/2 cup
  • Sugar, 4 tablespoons
  • Oil
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The ingredients.

The first step is to cut up the bitter melon. I took out the seeds and the fibrous innards, and then sliced into portions about two inches long by half an inch wide. Slice up the pork as well.

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The inside of a bitter melon.

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Bitter melon, all sliced up.

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Frying curry paste.

Then, heat some oil and the curry paste, and then add the pork.

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Pork added.

When it’s not completely cooked through (but close enough) add the bitter melon, stir-fry for a couple of minutes, and then add all the other ingredients. Heat to boiling and you’re done.

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Melon added.

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The final dish.

In retrospect, I think a few things may have helped with the flavor. Using less bitter melon; not cooking the melon for so long; removing the melon from the dish prior to eating, so some of its flavor remained but not all of it. But obviously, people like different flavors, and this may be worth trying. Even though I didn’t like it, I’m glad I did.

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Square Thai Omelets

These were yummy, but I couldn’t get them to be square – they ended up as more of a scramble. Sorry. The ingredients are:

  • Pork, 4 oz, ground
  • Shrimp, 4 oz, ground
  • Eggs, 6, beaten
  • Garlic, 1 clove, minced
  • Tomato, 1, chopped
  • Onion, 1, chopped
  • Carrots, 1/8 cup, chopped
  • Sugar peas, 2 tablespoons
  • Fish sauce, 2 tablespoons
  • Maggi seasoning, 1 tablespoon
  • Sugar, 2 tablespoons
  • White pepper, 1/4 teaspoon
  • Oil, 3 tablespoons
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The ingredients.

The first step was preparing a few of the ingredients. I could but the pork ground, but I had to mince the shrimp myself. A knife was a relatively crude tool, but it worked well enough.

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Mincing meat.

I sliced the peas along with the other veggies, and I liked it that way. But you do you.

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Slicing veggies.

The next step starts with frying the garlic in a tablespoon of the oil.

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Garlic in a pan.

Then add the meat.

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Meat in a pan.

Then add the sugar, pepper, fish sauce, and Maggi seasoning.

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More stuff in a pan.

Then add the veggies, and cook until your desired level of tenderness.

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Still more stuff in a pan.

The rest is simple. In another pan, you’ll make four omelets. Add oil and about a quarter of the eggs.

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Eggs in a pan.

Then add some of the goodness from the other pan.

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The omelet in process.

You can try to make a square omelet, like I did, but you may end up with a scramble, like I did. Regardless, it’s good. Repeat until you’ve made everything, and enjoy.

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Good stuff.

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Beef with Broccoli

This is another dish from the Thai cookbook I’m working through. The ingredients:

  • Beef, 1 pound, thinly sliced
  • Broccoli, 2 pounds, cut into bite-sized chunks
  • Straw mushrooms, 1 can
  • Oyster sauce, 6 tablespoons
  • Oil

And for the marinade, the ingredients are:

  • Eggs, 2
  • Garlic, 8 cloves, minced
  • Sugar, 4 tablespoons
  • Fish sauce, 4 tablespoons
  • Cornstarch, 2 tablespoons
  • Rice wine, 4 tablespoons
  • Sesame oil, 2 teaspoons
  • White pepper, ground, 1 teaspoon
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The ingredients.

Like me, you may have some trouble locating straw mushrooms. I didn’t even know there was such a thing before I made this recipe. But there is. Believe me. They look like this:

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The mushrooms in question. In a can.

I found this can at my local Giant supermarket, in the ethnic foods aisle. But undoubtedly some groceries won’t carry them. And to be honest, it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world if you substituted some other kind of mushroom.

The first step is to combine all the marinade ingredients, like so:

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The marinade, pre-mix.

Mix them all together, like so:

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The marinade, post-mix.

But what’s the use of a marinade if you’re not marinading anything? This is where the beef comes in. Cut it into thin slices, like so:

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The beef, pre-marinade.

And add it all to the marinade, like so:

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The beef, in marinade.

Let it marinade for at least five minutes. Meanwhile, you can cut up your broccoli, in pieces as big as you may prefer:

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The broccoli, pre-beef.

When the marinade is done, heat the oil in a large wok and saute the beef until it’s done, or close to it. Then add the broccoli and the other ingredients and cook until the veggies have reached your desired level of tenderness.

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The broccoli, with beef.

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Everything together!

Eat and enjoy!

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Pork Omelet

I hate to say it, but these Pork Omelets (courtesy, again, of the Thai cookbook I’m working through) were just okay. The ingredients:

  • Ground pork (1 pound)
  • Eggs (4, scrambled)
  • Green onions/scallions (1/2 cup, chopped)
  • Fish sauce (4 tablespoons)
  • Maggi seasoning (2 teaspoons)
  • Oil (any kind; I used peanut; a cup or so)
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The ingredients.

First, scramble the eggs, like so:

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Scramble those eggs.

Then add some of the other stuff – the Maggi seasoning, fish sauce, and scallions – and mix them in.

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Mixing ingredients.

Then mix in the ground pork. You’ll find that the pork/egg ratio is heavily skewed towards pork. Don’t worry – that’s how they’re supposed to be.

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Mixing ingredients.

Next, heat some of the oil in a pan, and when it’s hot, add in some of the pork mixture. How much is up to you, and depends on the size of the pan, how big you want the omelets to be, the circumference of the moon, and other factors.

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Meat in a hot pan.

Flip when appropriate and cook until it looks done to you. When it’s done it should look something like this:

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The finished product

Make as many as need be. You’ll find that they’re rather salty. I enjoy salt, so that wasn’t a problem for me; I just found the flavors uninspiring overall. But hopefully you’ll enjoy!

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Chicken Jalfrezi

Yes, I know – it’s been a while since I’ve posted a recipe. But not because I’ve stopped cooking! Instead it’s because I recently moved to a new house and got a new job, and food blogging – much as I love it – had been set to the side. Meanwhile I’ve been accumulating photos and recipes, and now that I have the time, I’ll start posting them.

I love Jalfrezi. This version isn’t quite as good as the ones I’ve had at the restaurant, but still – it was pretty good. The ingredients:

  • Chicken Thighs, 6-8, chunked
  • Bell Peppers, 4 (different colors make a prettier dish), chopped
  • Onion, 1, chunked
  • Chilies, 4, sliced
  • Tomatoes, 6 or so, chopped
  • Garlic, 4 cloves, sliced
  • Garam Masala, 1 tsp
  • Cumin seeds, 2 tsp
  • Salt, 1 and 1/2 tsp
  • Tumeric, 1/2 tsp
  • Oil (I prefer coconut)
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The ingredients

The first step is simple: you cook things. More specifically, you add 1 tsp of cumin seeds, the sliced chilies, and the sliced garlic to a pan with some oil and fry them until they’ve become lightly browned. Like so:

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Cooking things

The next step is simple: you cook some more things. More specifically, you add 1 tsp of the salt, the tumeric, and most of the chopped tomatoes (4 or so). Let them feel the wrath of your iron pan. You want the tomatoes to begin to break down, divulge their information, and form a gravy.

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Cooking more things.

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More things cooking.

Like so. The best way to do so is to let them cook on low heat, while covering your pan.This would also be a good time to add your chicken and let it cook for a while.

Meanwhile, heat some oil in another pan and fry 1 tsp of those cumin seeds on medium-high heat for 30-60 seconds. They should turn a deeper shade of brown, become more fragrant, and beg for mercy. Don’t give them any.

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So much cooking.

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When will it end?

Then add the chunked bell pepper and onion you’ve created, as well as the remaining chopped tomato. I like large chunks, partially because you want them to retain some of their crispiness in the dish. This is also the time to add the rest of your salt and the garam masala.

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Wait for it…

When they’ve cooked enough to leave them crispy enough to satisfy your preferences enough, add them in to the main pan with your chicken and gravy.

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Okay, now.

And you’re done!

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