If you have seen Daddy Cooks Food’s Instagram account, it will be no surprise to you that food is a big part of our lives. We love eating daddy’s creations and he loves to prepare them – his own recipes and ones he finds. Although we try new meals regularly, there is certainly a comfort zone that we like to stick to. Italian food and pasta feature regularly in our weekly menus and, until recently, it was fairly rare that we tried flavours from anywhere a bit more exotic or new. That is where FreshPlaces from HelloFresh came in. We have been trying out some HelloFresh subscription recipe boxes over the last few week and we have been extremely impressed, most notably by their FreshPlaces recipes and ethos.
You can find out a bit more about HelloFresh FreshPlaces in this video:
What is FreshPlaces?
FreshPlaces are a series of fun and educational videos created around the world by HelloFresh Head Chef and Co-Founder, Patrick Drake, to help introduce you to a world of flavour without even having to leave your kitchen.
The first in the series of FreshPlaces, Patrick takes part in a culinary adventure across Sri Lanka, where he captures the very essence of Sri Lankan flavours and brings them to life in The Sri Lanka Diaries. Learning the culinary tricks of the trade from the country’s local chefs and fishermen, Patrick shows us how to cook quick and delicious dishes with a range of traditional Sri Lankan ingredients from mustard seeds to mango chutney.
There is a wealth of FreshPlaces content and recipe ideas, including Patrick’s travels around the country’s most exciting foodie places. We are sharing one of our favourite dishes from the Sri Lankan range, Sri Lankan Chicken with Coconut & Courgette Pilaf and Coconut Yoghurt. I loved this dish and we would have never discovered it without HelloFresh.
Sri Lankan Chicken with Coconut & Courgette Pilaf
- Onion, chopped 1
- Garlic Clove, grated 1
- Courgette, chopped 1
- Coriander, chopped 1 bunch
- Red Chilli, chopped ½
- Fennel Seeds ½ tbsp
- Ground Coriander 1½ tsp
- Ground Cumin 1½ tsp
- Turmeric ¾ tsp
- Basmati Rice 150g
- Water* 300ml
- Chicken Stock Pot 1
- Cinnamon Stick 1
- Olive Oil* 2 tbsp
- Chicken Thigh 4
- Desiccated Coconut 25g
- Natural Yoghurt 7) 1 small pot
Prep the vegetables
Firstly, halve, peel and finely chop the onion into ½cm pieces. Peel and grate the garlic (or use a garlic press). Remove the top and bottom from the courgette, halve length ways then chop into 1 cm cubes. Pick the coriander leaves from their stalks and finely chop both, but keep them separate. Halve the red chilli length ways, remove the seeds and finely chop them.
Start the rice
Put a large saucepan on medium heat with a drizzle of oil. Add the onion and cook until softened, 5 mins. Add the garlic, fennel seeds, ground coriander, ground cumin, chilli (use less if you don’t like spice!) and half the turmeric. Cook together for 1 minute. Add the basmati rice to your pan along with the courgette and the coriander stalks. Stir so the rice is nicely coated in the spices.
Cook the rice
Pour in the water. Add the chicken stock pot and cinnamon stick. Stir to dissolve the stock pot and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to medium low, pop on a lid and leave to cook for 10 mins then remove the pan from the heat and leave to rest with the lid on for another 10 mins. The rice will finish cooking in its own steam.
Prepare the chicken
In a mixing bowl combine half the coriander leaves with the remaining turmeric and the olive oil. Add the chicken thighs and season with a pinch of salt and black pepper. Mix well until the chicken is evenly coated. Heat a frying pan on medium-high heat (no oil) and add the desiccated coconut. Stir and toast until golden, 1-2 mins. Remove from your pan and set aside.
Cook the chicken
Next, wipe out the pan with some kitchen paper and pop it back on medium-high heat. Once hot, lay in the chicken, skin side down. Cook for 4-5 mins. Turn and cook for another 8 mins, turning every 3 mins until browned and cooked through. Once cooked, remove the chicken to a board to rest for 2 mins.
Finish and serve
Finally, remove the cinnamon stick from the rice and fluff it up with a fork. Stir through half the remaining coriander leaves and half the toasted coconut. Stir the remaining coconut into the yoghurt. Cut the chicken into 1 cm wide slices. Spoon the rice into bowls and pop the chicken on top. Finish with a dollop of coconut yoghurt and the rest of the coriander leaves. Enjoy!
HelloFresh – Verdict
If you know someone who loves to cook and eat new and exciting foods – but perhaps someone with a busy schedule who does not have the time to research recipes or find ingredients – then I honestly cannot think of a nicer thing to get them than a HelloFresh recipe subscription box. Over the last few weeks, we have had the opportunity to try several meals and there has not been a single one that I did not enjoy wholeheartedly.
It feels a little bit like Christmas every time a new box arrives. I text Matt excitedly, letting him know which meals have arrived and we discuss which recipe we will try first. It has also made us try foods that we would not usually pick. This has added to the magic and excitement of the subscription box experience and made us find new favourites that we will come back to again and again. I will definitely consider buying subscriptions to HelloFresh in the future.
You can try out HelloFresh here.
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Please note, this post is in collaboration with HelloFresh. We were given a month’s free trial of a family recipe subscription box in exchange for this post.