Chicken Kofta with Roast Pumpkin Salad

Chicken on a stick

I was in a real hurry to go and play tennis with Steve (he’s been promising to thrash me for a while now). So this was basically the quickest thing i could think of to make that still required some creativeness (and didn’t involve opening any cans of processed food).

I had some chicken mince that i bought ages ago and can’t remember why, and half a pumpkin and half a bag of tomatoes that needed to be used.

So the recipe for the Koftas:


* Chicken mince
* Garlic (crushed)
* Onion, chopped finely
* Red chilli, chopped finely
* Bread Crumbs
* Coriander, Basil (basically any soft herbs you like) roughly chopped
* Tumeric
* 1 Egg

For the Salad

* Pumpkin (cut into bite sized pieces)
* Tomato (quartered)
* a few cloves of garlic
* Olive Oil
* Fresh Basil, roughly chopped
* Salt and Cracked Pepper


Basically just mix all the ingredients for the koftas together with your hands, until its a nice sticky consistency that holds together well. Soak some kebab sticks in cold water for a while and shape the chicken into little cylinders. Push the sticks through the chicken and make sure they’re good and sealed. Then heat your grilling pan or bbq or whatever you like to cook on, and fry/grill the koftas until they’re nice and crispy on the outside, but still moist on the inside.

With the salad, i just roasted the pumpkin by putting it on a tray and nestling a few cloves of garlic in amongst it. Then liberally poured olive oil over the top and seasoned with salt and pepper. This roasted for probably 20 minutes or so (my pumpkin was quite soft already). Then when the chicken is basically done, you pull the pumpkin out of the oven, combine it with the tomato (which has not been cooked) and the basil, add a bit more olive oil for good luck, and some more cracked pepper, and you’re done.

To serve them i found a few more things in the fridge i needed to use, namely some sour cream, ginger paste, a lime, and some more basil. I just combined all of these in a bowl (i would normally have processed it, but i had literally 10 minutes to eat before i needed to leave), and dolloped it on top.

This meal took me literally half an hour to prepare and make… So i was pretty happy with how it turned out. Plus i won the game of tennis, better luck next time Steve :)

Curried Chicken Risotto

Curried Chicken Risotto

I hadn’t made a risotto for a while so i felt in the mood for one. I decided to use a chicken/white wine base this time.

This is my standard procedure of cooking risotto…

  1. Cook the onion/leek/garlic,
  2. heat stock (wine, stock, water, salt),
  3. heat and coat the rice with onion/oil/butter
  4. add a cup of wine to start with
  5. stir
  6. add stock
  7. stir
  8. test rice…still hard
  9. add stock
  10. stir
  11. add stock
  12. stir
  13. test rice…getting soft
  14. add stock
  15. stir
  16. add stock
  17. stir
  18. test rice, close enough to being ready to add things that need a bit of heat
  19. add those things (meat,seafood, hard vegetables)
  20. add stock
  21. stir
  22. add more stock (stock getting low so hope i dont need much more)
  23. add seasoning (pepper, salt, ground spices, coriander, cumin, tumeric, fennel seed etc)
  24. add stock
  25. stir
  26. taste
  27. add more seasoning
  28. test rice, getting close to being done now
  29. add stock
  30. add cheese (parmesan, peccorino, whatever you like, skip if it doesn’t suit cheese)
  31. stir
  32. taste
  33. add more seasoning
  34. add spinach or greens that need to be wilted (bok choy, cabbage, roquette etc)
  35. stir
  36. taste
  37. add a bit of butter or cream to boost that fat content up and add extra creaminess to finish (can also skip this)
  38. stir
  39. taste, perfection on a spoon.
  40. done !

So for this recipe i added onion, garlic and fennel at step 1, chicken (pre cooked) and baby carrots at step 19, tumeric, cumin, salt, pepper, lemon juice at step 23… and skipped the cheese, green vegetables, and cream steps of my normal routine.

It turned out pretty nice… lovely creamy curry flavour coming through the rice and chicken. I also use Carnaroli rice instead of arborio. This is because im under the impression that it has a higher starch content than Arborio, and gives a much creamier finish than Arborio rice does.

Give it a try !