The first time I had chicken choila, Peter and I were sitting happily on a rug around a low table at a local Nepalese restaurant in Hong Kong. It was my first time eating Nepalese food and this dish surprised me with both its spice and its bold flavors. As always, when you make it home you can adjust the chilies to your liking and tastes.
I won’t speak too much about the chicken choila recipe today (although trust me or e-mail me–it’s delicious and you need to try it), but instead I’ll fill you in on why we were all gathered together for that particular Nepalese dinner.
That night we were all gathered together for the early discussions that led to the creation of DEFT Community. DEFT Community is a Hong Kong-based non-profit organization dedicated to creating safe, sustainable, and cost-efficient community projects in developing countries in partnership with respected professionals in the fields of vernacular architecture and earthquake engineering.
The first project on the table? Rebuilding the local community center and school for a rural village in Nepal called Dhungkharka. Dhungkharka is the village of our friend (and dinner host that evening) and it was severely damaged in the earthquakes last spring.
Together with our technical advisor, Rammed Earth Solutions, and our Earthquake Engineering Advisor, Dr. Richard Sharpe, DEFT Community will rebuild in Nepal while also educating local villagers on safe, sustainable (and earthquake resistant!) construction techniques that they can repeat in the future.
Last month, Peter and one of his business partners at DEFT Community traveled to Dhungkharka and were asked by village elders for help with rebuilding these two key buildings in the community. Next month I will be joining Peter and DEFT Community in traveling to Dhungkharka to review building designs and the timeline of the project with the villagers.
How You Can Help
To rebuild the community center and primary school, we need your help to raise US$50,000.
- Join our community and donate (follow our Facebook page here)
- Share the campaign with your friends and family and organizations you are involved with
- Promote the project on social media (tag us using #DEFTCommunity or @designeightfivetwo)
As of August 1, 2015 we have raised US$5,000 and the villagers from Dhungkharka have pledged to personally contribute US$5,000.
We need your support to fund the remainder of the project (US$40,000) through the Indiegogo campaign so we can begin construction by mid-October, 2015.
If anyone would like more information or has any comments, ideas, or concerns please feel free to contact me personally– firstname.lastname@example.org
- salt, pepper
- 2 lbs boneless chicken thighs (skin on)
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 inch piece ginger, minced
- 2-3 birds eye chilies, diced
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1 tsp chili flakes
- 1 tbsp ground coriander
- 1 large handful fresh coriander, chopped
- 1 red onion, diced
- juice of one lime
- salt, pepper, to taste
- Cook chicken on a grill until cooked through
- Allow chicken to rest for 10 minutes before removing skin and cutting in to bite sized pieces
- In a large pan, heat oil over medium heat
- Add cumin seeds and fenugreek seeds and toast until seeds are brown
- Mix in garlic, ginger and birds eye chilies
- When garlic is golden brown, add in chicken pieces
- Sprinkle paprika, chili flakes, and ground coriander evenly over chicken
- Mix well until chicken is well coated
- Toss in coriander and red onion
- Squeeze juice of one lime over entire dish
- Stir well
- Salt and pepper to taste
Adapted from http://www.nickspalate.com/2012/04/chicken-choila-recipe.html
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