Simplicity at its best!

I’m always reading and pinning recipes that use a few simple ingredients because sometimes (close to month-end ;)) my pantry starts running low on things, especially speciality ingredients. I usually get those enough for one or two cooks because we don’t eat fancy meals everyday and I’d rather use fresh ingredients less frequently than stale ones that have been in the cupboard for a while. So yesterday while I was cutting up the boneless chicken breasts I had bought the day before my mind was racing with ideas of exotic culinary adventures. Like I said, when I opened my cupboard I found I have all but run out of exotic ingredients. Gosh, doesn’t my pantry sound all fancy šŸ™‚

Quickly, I came down to the basics at hand. Yogurt, vinegar, salt and pepper. Everything you are bound to have at home all the time; well at least in my home. This is a simple marinade my mum developed especially for me since I was never keen on too much spice in my food. I think her original intention was to get her picky eater (me) to not complain about dinner being too spicy but it turned out that everyone in my family loved the recipe so much that it quickly became a family favorite. And so it was made for family dinners, picnics, BBQ’s, sandwiches, parties and everything in between. The way my Ammi made it was such that it has a bit of a dry gravy hence the versitality in its use. But I have tried it with a bit more runny gravy and that goes down pretty well with my picky eater (Mr. Mazhar of course, who else?). Do try it and let me know how it’s received by your family. A side note here that a lot of my family and friends send me texts and messages, even emails that they tried my recipes and liked them, to all of you I request that you make those comments on my blog instead so that other readers also gain some confidence in trying out my recipes. Still, a great big thank you to all those who read my blog and share their feedback with me. Wouldn’t be doing this blog if it weren’t for your support and encouragement.

So here goes…. I’ve mentioned a few optional items in the ingredients list, but they are just that optional. Use them if you have them but you don’t need to go out and get them. Also my portion size is bit small and serves two people but you can easily increase the quantity and get the same delicious results  every time. With that said, happy cooking to you!


Chicken with yogurt and black pepper 


  • 500 gms chicken breast, boneless, cut into small cubes
  • 250 gms low-fat yogurt, whipped
  • 1 tbsp distilled white vinegar
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce (optional)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2-3 green chillies, whole (optional)
  • 1 tbsp cooking cream / cream cheese (optional)


  1. In a large bowl, place the chicken cubes. In a separate bowl mix together the yogurt, vinegar and seasoning. I like to keep innovating on existing goodness but since I mentioned that this recipe uses just the pantry basics, soy sauce is optional. If you happen to have it, mix it in. It gives a rich undertone to the recipe. If you don’t have don’t you worry about it at all. The original recipe tastes great without it. Mix in the marinade with the chicken and leave it for at least an hour, preferably overnight.
  2. In a medium pot, heat the oil on a medium high flame and add the chicken, marinade and all. Keep stirring the pot for about a minute and then turn the flame on low, cover the pot with a lid and let the meat cook for about 30 minutes. 
  3. After 30 minutes take a piece of chicken out to test that it’s cooked all the way through. At this stage turn the flame up to medium high, add in the green chillies only if you have them and sprinkle over some freshly cracked black peppers. They add a wonderful aroma to the dish. Stir the pot to make sure the chicken doesn’t catch on the bottom and the gravy dries up to a lovely, sticky consistency. 
  4. The original dish is ready at step #3 but if you would like to have yours with a bit more gravy then spoon in a dollop or two of cooking cream (my elder sister adds in cream cheese!). Mix it well. Be sure to check the seasoning. I’ve noticed that when you add the cream the taste turns a bit bland and you have to jack it up again with a bit more salt and fresh cracked black peppers.

Dinner’s ready. I serve this with rice or bread, whichever is easier. Enjoy! What do you think of the pictures below?



2 Comments Add yours

  1. Sherina says:

    Looks lucious ! must give it a try . Jazak Allah Nida for bringing good recipes to us šŸ™‚

    1. Nida Sami says:

      Thank you for your comment Sherina. Do write back with your comments on how this or any other recipe you’ve tried has turned out. I’d appreciate that very much!

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