Want to go Tex-Mex this weekend ? Craving some juicy, hot fajitas with fresh Salsa Fresca ? There is no need to stop by at the takeaway or get them home delivered. A healthier, less oily and less salty version can be prepared in a matter of minutes at home.

From their early and humble beginnings in the North and South Texas ranch lands, where the main ingredient was the discarded parts or the cheapest cut of beef, fajitas has come a long way as one of the most popular fast foods all over the world. Now even expensive cuts and other varieties of meat are also used for filling. You can easily find chicken, shrimp and even vegetable fajitas on the menus or make them at home in no time.

Salsa Fresca or “fresh salsa” is an essential condiment with fajitas. This mixture of raw tomatoes, lime juice, chili peppers, onions, cilantro leaves, and other coarsely chopped raw ingredients is also known by other names, such as salsa picada “chopped sauce” or salsa mexicana “Mexican sauce”. It adds crunch and juiciness to the tortilla roll and freshly home made one is so much better than the jarred version.

If you can’t find ready to use tortillas ( thin wheat wraps) where you live, they are the easiest thing to make at home. Just mix flour, water, olive oil and a pinch salt. Knead to make a firm but pliable dough and roll out as you would any other flatbread like rotis.

This is one of the most delicious and fun meal to serve when you have a family or friends’ get together.

For Chicken Fajitas :

1/2 kg chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
1 medium onion, sliced
1 green or red bell pepper, cut into strips
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon black pepper
Salt to taste
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 wheat tortillas

For Salsa Fresca :

4 ripe tomatoes, diced
1 onion, diced
1 green chilli pepper, finely chopped
A small bunch coriander, finely chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Salt to taste

This Is What You Do :

Mix garlic, lemon juice, brown sugar, paprika, black pepper and salt in a big mixing bowl. Add chicken strips.

Cover and set aside for 5-10 minutes.

Meanwhile prepare the other ingredients. Slice onions and cut bell pepper into thin strips.

Prepare the fresh salsa. Mix all the salsa ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

Warm tortillas briefly on a skillet or in the microwave ( for 5 seconds each) , cover and keep warm.

Heat a skillet griddle or a heavy bottomed frying pan on medium high heat.
Drizzle a little oil to keep the chicken and vegetables from sticking.

Add chicken strips and vegetables, cook for 6-7 minutes or till everything is cooked and slightly charred. Don’t overcook to dry out the chicken.

Serving Suggestions :

Serve as a mini buffet on the table to allow everyone to roll their own fajitas with condiments of their choice.
Take the sizzling griddle to the table and place it over a heat proof surface, like your wooden chopping board.
Popular condiments to serve with are shredded cheddar cheese, thick yogurt or sour cream and Guacamole.
Guacamole is also a salsa like dip, with avocado flesh as its main ingredient. To make, half and stone avocado, scoop out its flesh, mix with chopped tomatoes, cilantro, garlic, lime juice and salt n pepper. Because nobody is a fan of avocado in my family so I substitute it with grated cucumber.
Makes 8 tortillas

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