XinXim (de Galinha)

Brazil is infamous for three things: Football, Carnival and Cuisine. I forgave them for their disappointing yet memorable defeat at the World Cup when I discovered their champion dish whilst dining in Las Iguanas during the football season.  Apparently one of Pele’s favourite dishes, Xinxim is a chicken stew which captures all that Brazil represents: a blend of  Portuguese, African and native Latin American Indian flavours. The marinated pieces of chicken are quickly browned and then cooked in this marvellously delicious thick rich sauce which is a combination of nuts and one key ingredient: Palm Oil.

Palm ‘fruit’ oil (as opposed to palm kernel which does not carry the same health benefits) is now sold in most supermarkets, and is commonly used in West African recipes from what I have tasted. I was surprised to find its distinguishing rusty red colour and mild fruity taste makes it healthier than olive, avocado or even coconut oil. Its colour is attributed to its high carotene content, the same antioxidant that gives tomatoes and carrots their rich red and orange colour. Palm oil is very high in vitamin E also.

My version of this recipe is made without crayfish as I don’t eat seafood, but you can still enjoy this rich stew with a side of fried plantain and rice.

XinXim

Ingredients

1 KG of Chicken thighs (de-boned and cut into medium pieces) or breast

1/3 cup palm oil

1/3 cup roasted peanuts

1/3 cup of cashew nuts

1/3 bunch chopped Coriander

1 tbsp spoon of grated ginger

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

3 cloves garlic

1 large onion – finely chopped

1 Tbsp of lime juice

1 Can of coconut milk

1 whole scotch bonnet

salt to season

Method

1. Cut the chicken into medium chunks, clean and marinate (in a combination of lime juice, salt, black pepper, salt, dried thyme, paprika, grated onion, garlic) overnight or at least 3 hours.

2. In a large saucepan, heat the palm oil and cook the chicken pieces for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally

3. In a blender add cashew nuts, peanuts, ginger and garlic. Blend it into a rough paste and add it to the chicken with the whole scotch bonnet pepper.

4. Cook over medium heat for a further 10 minutes, if the paste gets too dry, add some water

5. Add the coconut milk and simmer for another 15 min.

6. Serve with garlic and lime rice and a side of fried plantain

Nutritional value of 1 serving of XinXim

1 bowl
Calories(Calories from fat) 256
Sodium 148 mg
Total Fat 10 g
Potassium
Saturated Fat  4 g
Total Carbs
Polyunsaturated  1 g
Dietary Fibre 1 g
Monounsaturated  2 g
Sugars
Protein 29 g
Vitamin A
Calcium
Vitamin C
Iron 5%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Guyana: Paratha Roti

Oil-roti, buss-up-shot, Dhal puri. Some of the names I have grown to associate with the iconic national dish of both Guyana and Trinidad. From the Street Vendor in San Fernando to the Blue Hut on Mount Irvine Beach in Tobago, Roti is enjoyed by everyone, everywhere. The hardest task I have found however was not in the consuming, but finding someone who could do it well (or as well as my Mother…as we would all say). And I’m sad to report that those places and people are very few and hard to find. Many make the mistake of preparing Roti much like chapatti or some other flat bread, which is fine to those who don’t know any better, but to those who can sniff a good Roti from a far off it won’t be enjoyed as well.

The key to making a good Guyanese Paratha Roti is letting the dough rest adequately between each stage. The ratio of baking powder to flour is equally important. It’s also important that you use the right utensils. IMG_6930A Tawah (flat iron griddle) is what is used to cook the Roti on for the best results. There are several other stages not to mention the filling which varies if you are making Dhal Puri roti or simply oil-roti (plain). But essentially it is a tedious process, but once you get the hang of it its a really convenient side dish that can be stored in the freezer and used whenever you want to.

If you would like details of the recipe below, feel free to e-mail me: lovelorettaskitchen@gmail.com and I will be sure to send you the detailed directions (with step by step pictures).

Copyright © Ranette Prime and Love Loretta’s Kitchen, 2014. All Rights Reserved.