A fajita in Tex-Mex and Mexican cuisine is usually any grilled meat that is served as a taco on a flour or corn tortilla. The term originally referred to skirt steak, the cut of beef originally used in the dish. Popular meats you can now use include chicken and other cuts of beef, as well as vegetables instead of meat. This was a favourite dish of both me and my husband at Tex-Mex eateries. Now we do our own version at home often. I will share with the recipe for the chicken, tomato salsa, salsa verde, flour tortillas and the sour cream.
- 500 gm boneless chicken cut into strips
- 1 Red bell pepper thinly sliced
- 1 Yellow bell pepper thinly sliced
- 1 Onion sliced
- ½ Cup sweet corn kernels
- 2 Teaspoon ginger garlic paste
- 2 Teaspoon paprika powder
- ½ Teaspoon cumin powder
- ½ Teaspoon coriander powder
- ½ Teaspoon on powdered sugar
- Juice of one lemon
- Salt as per taste
- 2 Teaspoons oil
- In a bowl marinate the chicken with the lemon juice, ginger and garlic paste, paprika powder, cumin powder, coriander powder and salt as per taste.
- In a pan heat the oil and cook the chicken till cooked through and slightly browned. Now add the sliced onions. Fry till a little translucent. To this add the peppers, and corn. Check the salt and add more if needed.
- Serve into a large bowl. Set aside.
In my life time I’ve come across so many salsa recipes from so many different sources. I’ve seen being prepared in such varied ways even in restaurants we’ve visited. Everyone claims theirs is authentic. Some insist it should be cooked slightly, or one must roast the tomatoes. I picked up the basics of this Salsa from a flatmate of mine while I was studying abroad. She made a little chunkier and oh my god so much spicier. I’ve tweaked the recipe over the years and now I have a no fail version that is what I am sharing the recipe of with you today.
- 4 Large tomatoes
- 10-12 cloves of garlic
- 1 Big onion
- 2-3 green chillies
- Juice of 1 lemon
- A bunch of coriander
- Salt (add according to taste).
- Add the green chillies, onion cut into chunks and garlic in a food processor and blitz till finely chopped.
- Add the tomato cut into chunks and run the food processor in short pulses to make sure it all doesn’t turn into a puree and is fine but relatively chunky.
- Add the sugar and salt as per taste) and lemon juice, pulse again.
- Add the coarsely cut coriander and pulse once. to just mix it all up but not let the coriander be ground. You should have thick salsa with very fine onions and garlic and whole coriander leaves. The taste is tangy, garlicky, sweet and sour, and of course ending with the heat of the green chillies.
- Empty out into a serving dish and set aside.
Salsa Verde (Green Salsa)
This wonderfully flavoursome dip is my go to if I can get my hands on some fresh jalapeños. I roast them before i grind them into this glorious green mush. Roasting adds a beautiful smoky flavour to the salsa as well as adding a natural sweetness to the peppers flesh. Its a simple recipe with few but all robust ingredients.
- 5-6 Plump jalapeños
- 1 medium onion
- Juice on one lemon
- 8-10 cloves of garlic
- A pinch of sugar just to balance out the taste)
- Roast the jalapeños till the skin is completely scorched and blackened. Set them aside to cool. Once cool gently remove the skin and stems.
- In a food processor chop the onions until very fine. Set aside in a bowl (we will add this back to the salsa) .
- Take the roasted jalapeños and garlic, salt and sugar and grind till you get chunky paste. Add the onions and the lemon juice and blitz once to mix every thing together.
- Empty out into a serving dish and keep aside.
Homemade flour tortillas
Though some people insist that corn tortillas are the only way to go, i believe a well made flour tortilla is also wonderful with the right condiments. once you master this flat bread you can use it for your soft tacos, quesadillas, burritos alike. Its a basic dough and easy cook. The best part is how little rime it takes to make.
- 3 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil, vegetable oil or other fairly neutral flavoured oil
- 1 cup warm water
- Combine flour, salt and baking powder in a large mixing bowl, and mix the dry ingredients until well combined.
- Add oil and water and start to bring the flour together. Knead the dough well until it is smooth.
- Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface. Divide into 16 equal portions. Turn each piece to coat with flour. Form each piece into a ball and flatten with the palm of your hand. Cover flattened balls of dough with a clean kitchen towel and allow to rest for at least 15 minutes (or as much as 2 hours) before proceeding.
- After the rest period, heat a large pan ( a normal tawa works well) over medium heat. Roll each dough piece into a rough circle, about 6-7 inches in diameter as thin as a roti , keep work surface and rolling pin lightly floured. Don’t stack uncooked tortillas on top of each other or they will stick together.
- When the pan is hot, place one dough circle into the pan and allow to cook about 1 minute or until the bottom surface has a few pale brown spots and the uncooked surface is bubbly. If browning too fast, reduce the heat a bit. If it’s taking longer than a minute to see a few pale golden brown spots on the underside of tortillas, increase the heat a bit. Flip to other side and cook for 15-20 seconds. The tortillas should be nice and soft but have a few small brown spots on the surface.
- Remove from pan with tongs and stack in a covered container or ziplock bag to keep the tortillas soft.
- Serve warm or allow to cool for later use. When ready to use, place a slightly damp paper towel in the bottom of a microwave-safe container (with a cover) that will hold the stacked tortillas. Microwave uncovered for 15-30 seconds (start with 15) or until warm, then keep covered to hold heat while serving.
- Store in an airtight container or zippered bag at room temperature for 24 hours or refrigerate for up to 1 week. To freeze, separate tortillas with parchment paper or waxed paper and place in a ziplock bag before placing in the freezer.
Homemade sour cream
It is one of my favourite condiments to have in my pantry. Goes perfectly with such a wide array of dishes and so wonderfully refreshing always. Most of us have been dependent on store bought sour cream but since I figured out ht his method to make sour cream at home I’ve been s very happy soul. Like most of my recipes its simple and relatively quick.
- 200 ml Fresh cream kept chilled
- 100 gm slightly soured yogurt
- lemon juice
- In a chilled bowl whip the yogurt till smooth and a little fluffy.
- To this add the chilled fresh cream and whip till a little firm add some lemon juice to this checking for sourness. Whip this until firm.
- Transfer to a chilled serving bowl and place into the fridge to set. The yogurt should help the cream in getting a little firm but if you whip the cream well you will still manage a decent consistency. One must remember that store bought sour cream will always be thicker than homemade versions but the homemade one tastes better.
- Keep chilled until you are ready to eat. With sour cream the longer you can keep it chilled after preparing the better the results.
Assembling a Fajita
There is no real right way to do this. In my opinion make sure you have everything on your tortilla from the recipes above and plenty of chopped onions and lettuce and cheese. Top it off with the sour cream and roll up the tortilla and enjoy a bite full of pure love!