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The Better Brown Bag

Saving money by bringing lunch does not have to feel like a punishment. We asked three chefs to cook up a savory sandwich, crisp salad, and spicy hot dish that will make eating at your desk almost luxurious.


Spiced Chicken Stew
Floyd Cardoz, Tabla
“This warms up well in the microwave with some rice, or makes a great filling for a sandwich or wrap. This recipe makes six servings—enough to get you through the week.”

4 tablespoons canola oil
1 cinnamon stick
4 green cardamom pods
3 cloves
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
2 bay leaves
3 sprigs curry leaves
6 shallots sliced
1/2 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
4 cloves minced garlic
Chiles, with seeds, quartered
1 teaspoon turmeric
4 tablespoons semolina
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
2 pounds boneless chicken, cubed (leg meat is preferable)
2 carrots, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup baby turnips
1 cup cooked chickpeas
1 cup potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 cups chicken stock
Juice of 2 limes
10 ounce can coconut milk

Salt the chicken and let it stand for 1 hour. In a pot, heat the canola oil and add the cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves; stir until the spices are fragrant. Strain out the spices and tie them in a sachet. Pour the canola oil back into the pot, then add the mustard seeds and bay leaves. Add the curry leaves, shallots, ginger, chiles, and garlic. Cook for 10 minutes. Add the spice sachet and semolina; cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Add chicken, vegetables, and stock, bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes. Then add the lime juice and season. Add the coconut milk and simmer for 5 more minutes.
Rough Cost: $4.12

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