What do you do when one Michelin-starred Indian chef and one renowned U.S based heart surgeon get together to cook a healthy dish? You sit back and take notes, what else? In their recent video Dr. Shriram Nene is joined by Chef Vikas Khanna, where they show us how to make a one pot meal that takes less than 30 minutes. It is healthy and easy enough for college students too, Dr. Nene says in his video. Chef Vikas also starts with speaking about how one can give it their own spin based on the ingredients available.  

For the recipe, he begins with chicken that is marinated with salt, ginger garlic paste and lemon juice. “Thigh has more flavour, I generally combine it too (with chicken breast)”, when asked to weigh in on the 'chicken breast versus chicken thigh' debate. He further goes on to smoke his chicken, a cooking technique he picked up from the city of Lucknow.

Once the chicken is smoked, Dr. Nene heats coconut oil to sear the chicken and speaks about its benefits. He says even if coconut oil “has 90 percent saturated fats... they are medium chain fats, as a result they help your good cholesterol go up”. 

“Searing seals juices inside”, adds chef Vikas Khanna.  

Searing is done on high heat, yet nothing sticks on pan because of coconut oil, says Dr. Nene. 

The meat is then removed and in the same pan goes, one chopped red onion, garlic, ginger , cumin, fennel seeds, star anise, mustard seeds.  

Speaking about the role of spices in Indian food, both the experts had something to say. Spices help “preserve the food, add various elements which are so essential”, noted Dr. Nene. “We have a long history of medicine that are part of our cooking”, noted Chef Vikas.  

Further in the recipe, the smoked chicken goes back into the pan, followed by turmeric, and powdered spices. Another interesting addition was of foxtail millet and chicken stock (to deglaze). Chef Vikas also adds some lemon zest to bring out the flavour of the curry.

For balance, lots of baby spinach leaves are added too and cooked on medium heat.

You can watch the complete video here.