I have eaten Mole Poblano before a few times and really enjoyed it. Pronounced “Moe-lay” not “Mole” like the animal, this is a Mexican dish with slices of meat covered with a thick dark sauce that is made of bitter chocolate and chili. If you weren’t told that there was chocolate in it, you probably wouldn’t even realise.
However, chicken and chocolate don’t always go together that well as you will find out…
Saturday was one of the first fine days in weeks, actually one of the first since Easter, following which parts of the UK have seen pretty much 40 days and 40 nights of rain. Indeed it was almost Biblical, but I digress…
Having spent some time working in the garden, then sitting out on our new deck for the first time since it was completed over Easter weekend, Debbie suggested that we order in an Indian take-away instead of cooking something for dinner.
She had seen a new Indian take-away restaurant open recently close to us, and had looked it up online, and found that you could place an order over the internet and they would deliver.
The take-away location belongs to an established restaurant in town, and their web site proclaims:
Winning the Mega Chef award has allowed us to built up a reputation for innovation, pushing the boundaries of Indian cuisine, initiating the revolution of ‘Fusion’ cooking. On our menu you will find dishes inspired by the food of Indian Mughals, as well as some rather unusual creations such as the Zyava, a spicy tamarind and our famous chocolate and chilli dish.
Well it sounded good, and there were a lot of choices on the menu, but no Chicken Dansak which is what I like to order most of the time.
So I chose instead one of their featured specials, the Chicken Zyava, mentioned above and which is described as follows:
Dark chocolate is given a twist of sharpness by tamarind, jazzed by fresh chilli and then soothed with a mellow creamy sauce
Well although I know chocolate is not a traditional Indian ingredient, having previously really enjoyed Mole Poblano, and with there not being anything else on the menu that caught my eye, I thought I would try it. I love chillis and tamarind too, so why not be daring.
Well the food arrived, early too, but disappointingly the appetisers were not very good, and lukewarm, and the Spicy Chips that we ordered turned out to be like McDonalds Fries coated in something like Cayenne Pepper and were cold and rubbery.
Then on to the main course, only to find that Debbie’s Chicken Biryani was very stodgy, and my Chicken Zyava, well I could tell as soon as I took the lid off the container that I was not going to enjoy this take-away meal.
Hot Chocolate! Everyone is familiar with Hot Chocolate right? Can you visualise a take-away container, filled with Hot Chocolate and with some cubes of spicy chicken in it?
The smell is what got me first – Hot Chocolate! It looked just like Hot Chocolate! Guess what – it tasted like Hot Chocolate!
Trust me when I say that a mug of Hot Chocolate goes down a treat on a cold day, but with spicy chicken… well quite honestly it made me feel queasy, especially trying to eat it with fluffy Pilau Rice too.
Debbie could tell you that I very rarely leave anything on my plate, but this was so awful that I couldn’t even eat half of it, I was beginning to gag.
It’s a real shame, because I like to try new dishes, and I have eaten some really exotic meals in my time, but Chicken and Chocolate – I think I will leave it to the Mexicans…