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September 13, 2006
Chicken donburi, Indian-style

[bento with donburi, fruit, veggies]

Left: Indian-style chicken donburi over rice
Upper right: Italian plum, mandarin oranges
Lower right: cucumber tulips, carrot flowers

Donburi is a bento favorite of many Japanese. It is a "rice bowl dish" that generally consists of some form of protein and vegetables that are cooked or simmered together and then served over rice, usually in an oversized bowl (also called a donburi). There are many different varieties, some featuring chicken and egg (oyakodon), deep-fried pork cutlets (katsudon), tempura shrimp and vegetables (tendon), beef and onion (gyudon), and eel (unadon).

I made chicken donburi using Indian spices, and it turned out really well!

1-1/2 tbsp canola oil
1 cinnamon stick
2 cardamom pods
1 bay leaf
1/2 medium onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1-inch chunk of ginger, peeled and minced
3/4 pound of ground chicken
1/4 pound fresh peas (frozen is ok too)
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
freshly ground black pepper
  1. Heat the oil in a wok or large saute pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the cinnamon, cardamom, and bay leaf. Stir-fry for 15 seconds.
  2. Add onion and stir-fry until the onion begins to brown, then add the garlic and ginger and stir to incorporate it into the onion.
  3. Add the chicken and stir-fry, using a spatula to break up the chicken into small chunks.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients and stir-fry, mixing everything well, until everything is heated through, about 3-4 minutes.

P.S. Don't eat the bay leaf, cinnamon stick, or cardamom pods!

* Use gluten-free products
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