30 May 2017 | Last updated 11:41 PM

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Strip tease
Anjali Jhangiani | Thursday, 16 February 2017 AT 08:23 PM IST
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Chef Dinesh Nagaraj from Independence Brewing Company tells us all about, Fajita, a popular Mexican dish.

Before you start reading about the dish, there’s one important thing you should know — it’s pronounced ‘fahita’ with the ‘j’ replaced with an ‘h’ phonetically, just like Mojito.

Now, if you search any restaurant — search on the app for good fajitas in the city, you’ll find a short list. But you’ll come across Independence Brewing Company in Mundhwa that has Chicken Fajitas, a Mexican-style sizzler with smoky chicken preparation. They have it on their menu because it goes great with the range of in-house beers they serve.

Chef Dinesh Nagaraj tells us, “The word Fajita is derived from ‘faja’ a Spanish word for ‘strip’, and originally it referred to the cut of beef used to make the dish — a piece from the boneless portion of the diaphragm muscle attached to the 6th through the 12th ribs on the underside of the short plate. But over the years, the recipe has modified and now Fajitas are available in a variety of meats, and there are vegetarian versions too.”

Fajitas are the result of American influence on the Mexican cuisine. “We serve it in a Do-it-Yourself style, where the chicken preparation, tortilla and accompaniments are served separately,” says Nagaraj. While one hot plate contains a generous portion of chicken strips sautéed with onions and bell peppers, another has four soft flour tortillas, and portions of processed cheese, sour cream with spring onions and homemade salsa with onions and tomatoes.

“The chicken strips are marinated with a special Mexican spice powder, and stir fried on a pan with paprika, garlic, onions, green bell pepper, onions and cilantro. We use the breast portion of the chicken to make the dish because it is the juiciest,” says Nagaraj. The best way to eat it is to spread some sour cream on the tortilla, add the chicken preparation in the centre, put some salsa and cheese. Holding the ends of the tortilla to contain the filling, bring it up to your mouth and take a big bite, repeat till you finish one piece and continue the process with the other three tortillas.  

Chicken Fajitas
Chicken (cut into strips)    500 gm
Onions (sliced)...    1 big
Green bell pepper (sliced)    ...1 medium
Paprika...    2 tsp
Garlic (chopped)...    3 tsp
Cilantro (chopped)...    3 tsp
Olive oil...    2 tbsp
Soft flour tortillas...    5
Sour cream..    .1 small bowl
Cheese (grated)...    1 small bowl
Salsa sauce..    .1 small bowl
Salt as per taste

For the marinade
Olive oil..    .2 tbsp
Red chilli powder...     1 1/2 tsp
Cumin powder..    .2 tsp
Lime juice...    3 tsp

-  Mix chicken strips with all the ingredients of the marinade and keep aside.
-  In a frying pan, add olive oil and chopped garlic and stir. Wait for a few seconds, add sliced onions and fry till translucent. Add sliced green bell pepper and stir.
-  Add the chicken with the marinade and cook well till it is done. Add cilantro and stir fry till all the ingredients are mixed well.
-  Serve along with bowlfuls of grated cheese, sour cream, salsa sauce and tortillas.

The author can be followed on Twitter @purplesaga

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