Chicken & Paneer Burrito Bowls
Weekends are a time to relax and unwind, wouldn’t you agree? There are two big reasons, among other, why my weekend could be crummy. First, if plans don’t work out, especially if they are plans to eat out and try a new cuisine.
Second, if I don’t get to indulge in a great meal! Have I said enough of the same already? Well, what else do you expect from a self-declared foodie?!
Anyway, so this past weekend wasn’t the greatest, until I decided to do assembly line burrito bowls for sunday dinner. 🙂
It was longish time commitment, about 2 hours. So don’t do it if you are running short of time. But, for me and judging from the praises I got, unless they were just face-saving acts of kindness, the results were scrumptiously delicious!
A big alert for those on a calorie count as my husband and I are, sort of, kinda on, do this on your day off the count. Otherwise your weekend will get crummier instead of coming to a satisfying end.
Akkta wrote a wonderful recipe for making burritos at home. This recipe is a jump off from there. I’ve added some homemade pulled chicken, paneer, making this assembly line burrito completely customisable for your vegetarian and non-vegetarian friends and family.
First let me list all the ingredients that are spread out in the picture above from left, salsa, steamed vegetables, greek yogurt instead of sour cream and cheese, paneer, cooked beans (kidney beans, black-eyed peas and lima beans), spiced onions, brown rice with peas, pulled chicken and whole wheat flatbreads (chapatis).
Ingredients and methods for each filling and topping:
1. For the Salsa
1 can of stewed tomatoes with green pepper, chopped.
Half an onion, chopped.
Coriander/cilantro, 4-5 twigs, washed, cleaned and chopped.
1 tbsp, lime juice i.e. juice of approximately half a lime.
Salt, pepper and red chilli powder to taste.
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. When using canned stewed tomatoes, do check for the salt in the tomatoes and adjust additional salt accordingly. If you don’t find stewed tomatoes with green pepper, chop half a green pepper i.e. capsicum into very fine pieces and mix it in. Finally, do add some of the liquid from the stewed tomatoes, this makes the salsa moist. Once you’ve mixed all the ingredients, transfer to the serving bowl and chill in the refrigerator before use.
2. Steamed vegetables
1 cup of mixed, frozen vegetables.
Salt and pepper to taste.
1 teaspoon lime juice.
I used one cup of frozen vegetables which included, chopped french beans, diced carrots, green peas and corn kernels. In a saucepan bring 2 cups of water to a boil. To this add the cup of vegetable and salt. Let them cook in boiling water for approximately 2 minutes or so, just enough to soften them. Strain them, move to a serving bowl and add lime juice. Sprinkle some black pepper over them and if you wish you can also add chilli flakes. Keep aside, serve warm.
3. Greek Yogurt
I used about half a cup of plain greek yogurt instead of cream cheese or sour cream.
This is a simple recipe which I have shared before on the post about a Quick Indian Dinner, read it here. In a nutshell it is paneer added to a base of sautéed garlic, onions and tomatoes, spiced with ground pepper and salt.
5. Cooked red beans
1/2 cup red kidney beans.
1/4 cup black-eyed peas.
1/4 cup lima beans.
1 can/6 oz tomato paste.
Salt and Pepper to taste.
2-3 cups water.
Wash and soak all the beans (i.e. if you have time) for about 2-3 hours before cooking them in a pressure cooker. To cook, measure about 3 cups of water, add this to the pressure cooker. Add the beans, tomato paste and salt and pepper. Close the lid and let it cook on high until the first whistle. Thereafter, let it cook on medium for at least 30-45 mins. Lower the heat and let some steam escape before opening the lid. If you are able to mash the beans between a ladle and the side of the cooker with minimal pressure, the beans are ready. Depending on how much gravy you like, cook them further or let them simmer until serving.
6. Spiced Onions
I used one white onion, thinly sliced.
Juice of half a lime.
Salt and Pepper.
Chopped cilantro, about 4-5 twigs. I usually wash them well, the best way is to use a water bath and repeat it at least thrice to get rid of all the dust. Chop off the ends of the twigs, but keep the rest of the stem and chop it fine. The stem in addition to the leaves is full of flavour.
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and keep refrigerated until serving.
7. Brown rice
1 cup brown basmati rice
1 tsp olive/canola oil
1 tsp jeera/cumin seeds
1/4 cup green peas
2-3 cups water
In a large pot, heat oil and add jeera. Let the cumin seeds heat until they flutter, then add the green peas. Let them cook for a few minutes then add in the rice. Saute the rice for a few minutes until coated with the oil and mixed well with the cumin seeds and peas. Add water and cook covered, at medium heat for at least 30 minutes. Brown rice take longer to cook than white basmati. Incase they aren’t done and the water has evaporated, add increment of half a cup of water and cover cooked until the grains reach desired softness.
8. Pulled Chicken
1 skinless, whole chicken breast
1 onion, diced into 1 inch pieces
1 tsp canola/olive oil
3-4 garlic cloves, crushed and sliced
2 bay leaves
2-3 whole, dried red chillies
Salt and pepper to taste.
Water, 2 cups approximately.
You may also add whole black cardamom.
In a pressure cooker or a slow cooker or any large vessel with a lid, heat oil. To this add the dry ingredients (bay leaves, chillies and cardamom) followed by garlic. Saute until the garlic starts turning brown. Now add the onions. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Then, add the chicken breast, whole. Sear both sides, it takes about 2 minutes on each side. Finally, add enough water to just about cover the chicken. Close the lid and cook on medium heat. If using a pressure cooker, let it reach the first whistle on high heat, after which turn it down to low and let the chicken cook for another half an hour. To check if its done, press down with a spoon and the chicken should easily break apart. If this happens the chicken is ready. You might want to cook it a little longer if there is still a lot of water. The longer you cook the chicken the better its going to taste, but make sure it’s on low heat.
There are a lot of things that can cook simultaneously, like the rice and chicken. So even though individually they take a half hour or more each, you will save time if you put them on the stove at the same time.
9. Whole Wheat flat bread / chapati
4 cups, Whole wheat flour.
3 cups, Milk. I use 2% reduced fat milk.
Dry herbs, basil, thyme, rosemary etc.
A pinch of salt.
Before kneading the flour, add salt and herbs and mix them with a spatula or with your hands to spread them evenly. Then knead the flour with milk. Incase you feel like you can mix milk and water. Milk, it is believed makes the dough soft and thus leads to soft chapatis. The trick in getting soft chapatis lies in kneading a good dough. Knead longer and when done, check by poking the dough. If there is some elasticity, i.e. the dough bounces back to its original position, then you have done a superb job!
Make balls of dough the size of a tennis ball, or slightly smaller. With this quantity you will get about 6-8.
Roll this, it should be a large circle, enough to cover your griddle/tawa. To cook, put the griddle/tawa on high heat, once the surface is hot, you can tell this by keeping your palm facing down in mid-air a couple of inches above the surface. The warmth rising from the griddle will be an estimate of its readiness. Put the rolled chapati on the griddle, cook one side until you see little mounds rising on the side facing you. Flip. Cook for a few minutes. Lift to check the surface in contact with the griddle. If it is turning light brown, flip again. Now with a rolled cloth or a pancake spatula press down on the pocket of air developing in the chapati. This will help spread the vapour and cook the insides. Take it off the tawa, and keep the chapatis in a casserole lined with a bread cloth/napkin.
Phew! Lot of work, isn’t it?
The end result is delicious. And as is the case, it is infused with flavours from the subcontinent.
Now for eating the burrito, take a chapati in a large bowl and places it at the bottom. Add a serving of rice, top it with beans, then add chicken/paneer or both depending on your preference. A spoonful of vegetables, followed by salsa. Add a dollop of greek yogurt. Finally garnish with onions. 🙂
My mouth is watering writing this recipe!!
Hope you will find the time and energy to indulge yourself. Or if you feel like just make the constituents of the burritos separately. Do leave your feedback and comments.
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