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Creamy Chicken & Broccoli Pasta-

A light, delicious and nutritious meal, mildly spiced and refreshingly zesty, easy to prepare and just the meal for those warm summery afternoons when almost everything else seems either too dull or too heavy.

This meal will serve 4 people.

First prepare the chicken. You will need:

250gm boneless chicken breast, cut into even sized cubes
half tsp chilli powder
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
pinch of turmeric powder
half a lemon's juice
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp yoghurt
pinch of orange colouring
salt to taste (about half tsp)

Marinate the chicken cubes in the above ingredients preferably overnight or for at least 4 hours. Skewer them and grill/bake/pan-fry until tender. This should take about 10-15 minutes per side if you're grilling/baking (200 C oven temp). You can dab a bit of oil on the pieces midway through grilling before turning the skewers over. Do not over-cook them, they will end up getting hard if you cook them any longer than the specified time.

If you plan on frying the chicken, use no more than 1-2 tbsp of oil in a non-stick frying pan, do not put the chicken in skewers, instead just fry the pieces as they are, in batches, for 3-4 minutes per side and drain well. Set aside.

You will also need:

400gm pasta of your choice, I used Rigatoni tube pasta
1 small head of broccoli, cleaned and cut into small florets
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 small green or red capsicum, cubed
1-2 green or red chilli, chopped
3 cups milk (I used skimmed milk)
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp plain flour
half tsp garlic paste
salt to taste
1 tsp black pepper powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
juice of half a lemon

Boil the pasta as per packet directions. Should take about 10-12 minutes. In the last 30-40 seconds before draining, throw in the broccoli florets into the boiling pasta. Count 30 seconds, and drain. This helps slightly cook the broccoli but leaving it with that delicious crunch so they don't get over-cooked. Set aside.

Using the same pan you boiled the pasta, add the butter. Next add the onions and fry for a few seconds, then add the garlic paste. Stir for a few more seconds and then sprinkle the flour and the garam masala. Keep the heat on low. Stir the flour for a minute or 2 until it loses its raw smell. Gradually add in the milk and keep stirring on medium heat until the sauce has thickened and is creamy. This takes about 5-8 minutes or so. Add a bit of salt. Remember not to over-salt the sauce as the chicken has salt and the pasta was boiled with salt.

Add the cooked chicken cubes, pasta, broccoli, chopped chilli and capsicum. Stir everything together gently until well combined. Sprinkle the chopped coriander and squeeze in the lemon juice. Taste and adjust salt/spice if needed. Once everything is warmed through and well coated, serve immediately

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