Let me repeat that. “Damn dog!” For dinner tonight, S, obviously inspired by the recent Asia-Middle East Summit that was hosted here in Singapore a couple weeks ago (and that one of our relatives was involved in), had decided to make something from Claudia Roden’s The New Book of Middle Eastern Food.

The recipe she chose was Yogurtlu Basti (Chicken with Spiced Yogurt). Before she picked me up from work (yes, I am very spoilt by her), she prepped her mise en place. She mixed the required spices and the yogurt and set it aside. She chopped the onions. And most importantly, she took some fresh boneless chicken thighs out of the fridge, salted them, and put them on a plate on the kitchen counter, expecting them to reach room temperature by the time we reached home.

Of course, she had forgotten about our fluffy white kitchen-shark, Sascha. For those who don’t already know, Sascha is a 5 year old Golden Retriever with a penchant for gourmet foods and the skills of a ninja. Normally, Sascha is a sweet, lazy, fuzzy-wuzzy. But every so often, when our backs are turned, she dons her black ninja mask and whisks delectable goodies off the kitchen counter and into her tummy with amazing stealth and speed. Dog trainers tell us we should only scold a dog when catching it in the act of doing something bad. Suffice it to say, we’ve never caught Sascha in the act. All we usually catch is the sight of a dog sitting smugly, smiling to herself, and an empty space on our kitchen counter where our dinner was sitting just moments before.

Over the years, she’s stolen abalone, tofu, braised pork belly, and a whole host of other treats off our counter. But she’s smart. She doesn’t do it all the time. She lulls us into a false sense of security by being perfect for months. Then, when we’ve just forgotten about her last indiscretion, BAM! She’s done it again. Tonight, as you’ve already guessed, she did it again. When we came home, the chicken was missing, or rather, had found its way down our greedy pooch’s gullet.

Thankfully, we live near a supermarket, so went right back out again and came back with some chicken drumsticks, with which S made the Yogurtlu Basti.

Yogurtlu Basti (serves 4)

2 cups plain whole-milk yogurt
1 teaspoon ground cardamom seeds
1.5 inches ginger, grated
1 large onion, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
3.5 lb chicken, cut into quarters, or 4 filets
salt and pepper
1/4 cup toasted chopped almonds

In a bowl, mix the yogurt with the cardamom and ginger and let it infuse while you cook the chicken. In a large skillet, fry the onion till soft. Add the chicken and sauté until onions are golden and chicken browned. Add salt and pepper and a cup of water, and cook over low heat–12 minutes for breast meat, 20 minutes for dark–until chicken is tender and sauce reduced, turning the chicken over and adding a little water if it becomes too dry. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the yogurt. Serve sprinkled with almonds.

About Aun Koh

Aun has always loved food and travel, passions passed down to him from his parents. This foundation, plus a background in media, pushed him to start Chubby Hubby in 2005. He loves that this site allows him to write about the things he adores--food, style, travel, his wife and his three kids!


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11 July 2005


Sneaky dog! and well-fed too. The recipe sounds great, and it looks so easy to make. I will definitely be having it for dinner tomorrow night!

Smart dog! Fortunately, the first time my big dog ate food that wasn’t his was also the last (pizza off of a friend’s plate–the nerve).

The recipe looks wonderful!


Some tips after having tried the recipe which CH didn’t mention: if you want to get a delicious, caramelised crust on your chicken, sear it before rather than after you do the onions. Our chicken wasn’t properly browned because I followed the recipe and I was worried that the onions would burn. I also used chicken stock in place of water to give the sauce more flavour.

But it’s otherwise a fabulously easy dish to make.

Sneaky!!! I imagine Sascha could also be the “scapedog” for “missing items” which perhaps made it to a human’s tummy. Hmmmmmmmm! 😀

Hehe…them doggies. I remember when my dog gorged himself on 4 brownies off our table when we were all upstairs, and after that had the temerity to burp in my face!Anyway, the chicken sounds lovely. I must try making it one of these days.

michele: although S made it, it took her almost no time at all, and it was yummy! Did you make it?

jellygirl: ah, the wonderful aromas of a dog burp. I know them well. What kind of dog do you have?

jjsooner: first and last? wow. Sascha is much smarter than I am obviously, or at least much faster and sneakier.

saffron: oh, I use the other golden retriever, Alix, who is the world’s friendliest dog, as my “scapedog” for that. Of course, since Alix never steal food, S never believes me.

poems: Glad to be of service 😉

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