Showing posts with label Chicken. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chicken. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Chicken Foccaccia



Ingredients:

For the dough:
3 cups All Purpose Flour 
1tbs Active Dry Yeast                  
1 tsp Salt                    
1 tbs Olive Oil            
1cup Water


Toppings:
1/4 Cup Green Olives
1 Cup Shredded Chicken
1 Sliced Onion
1 Diced Tomato
1 TSP Dried Basil
1 TSP Dried Oregano
Red Cayenne Pepper flakes (optional)

Yield: Makes two 12 inch Focaccias or one big Focaccia.

   
Method: 

1. Heat 1 cup of water for 35 seconds in the microwave. It should feel lukewarm on your wrist. Mix 1 tbs active dry yeast and 1 tsp granulated sugar. If the yeast is active within 3 - 4 minutes it would become frothy and begin to rise to the surface, otherwise it will be flat which means it is stale so should not be used for baking. 

2. In a food processor pulse to combine 3 cups of sifted all purpose flour and salt. Pour the yeast solution through the feed tube and pulse 3 or 4 times until well incorporated and the whole mixture forms a ball. Add 1 tbs olive oil and pulse for 2 - 3 seconds till the dough becomes springy and starts to spin which means it is kneaded enough.

3. Remove the dough from the food processor bowl and with greased hands shape it into a ball by gathering towards the bottom and pinching to close, then place it in a greased bowl, cover with a lid or plastic wrap and leave it in a warm dry place on the counter to rise - 45 minutes to an hour till it is double in size. But yes, you have to check to see if your dough passed the window pane test. Donna Currie in her article on Serious Eats describes how to test "if the gluten has developed well enough for it to hold the bubbles while it rises, and stretch even more as the gases expand from the heat."

4. Place the puffed up dough in the centre of a greased pizza pan and slowly start spreading the dough  outward by pressing gently and evenly with the tip of your fingers greased with olive oil till it covers  the entire circumference of the pizza pan and is shaped into a 12 - 14 inch circle as big as the pizza  pan. Alternatively you could just press the dough on a lightly floured surface and start working on it with your fingers using the same technique till you stretch it to form a 12 - 14 inch circle. Transfer to a pizza pan or stone. 























5. Drizzle olive oil generously on the surface of the crust, then with the help of a fork prick everywhere. Alternatively you could use your fingers to make depressions all over. This is done to prevent the bubbles from popping up while baking.























6. Sprinkle dried oregano and basil on the crust.  Then use toppings of your choice. Below are pictures of focaccia with different toppings.


7. The focaccia in the above picture has shredded chicken, diced fresh tomatoes, onions, green olives as toppings. 

8. Focaccia with Mushrooms, Black Olives and Mozzarella Cheese. 

9. Sun Dried Tomatoes and Onions focaccia.

10. Portobello Mushrooms and Cheddar Cheese Focaccia. Enjoy!

Friday, April 7, 2017

Baked Spring Rolls


I have always fried spring rolls and have not tried baking them until today. I don't know why I always felt they would not be crispy enough. But this time they were as good as fried ones and my husband could not tell that they were baked  until I told him which kind of left him confused. They were not only crisp and crunchy but also not oily. I smeared them with olive oil and they turned out great. I can eat them without feeling guilty as they are healthy.   


Ingredients: For 12 Spring Rolls

24 Spring Roll Wrappers
1/2 Cup Shredded Chicken (1/2 Chicken breast)
1/2 Tsp Garlic paste
2 Cups Japanese style flat white Cabbage (finely grated)
1/4 Cup Carrot (thinly grated) 
2 Tbs finely chopped spring onions
1 Boiled egg
1/4 Tsp Black Pepper 
1/2 Tsp Hoisin Sauce
2 or 3 drops of Sesame oil
2 Tbs Olive oil
Flour and water paste
Sea Salt as required

Method:

1. Steam the chicken breast in a covered pot with a little water, garlic paste, salt and pepper till completely cooked. Remove and let it cool.

2. Grate the cabbage finely or slice thinly with a sharp knife to get long shreds. Add one tsp salt to the cabbage and mix it well by rubbing it with the salt with your fingers till the salt is dissolved and the cabbage starts oozing out water. Drain the water and repeat working with your fingers this time without the salt. Drain well again. Then wipe the shredded cabbage with paper towels till dry. Set aside.

3. Grate the carrot or make thin juliennes from thinly sliced carrots. Finely chop the spring onions.

4. Grate a hard boiled egg. Shred the steamed chicken with a fork and knife. 

5. Mix together the carrot, cabbage, spring onions, egg and chicken. Sprinkle some salt and black pepper as per taste, then 1/2 tsp hoisin sauce and 2 or 3 drops of sesame oil.

6. Place a portion of the filling in the near corner of the spring roll wrapper and apply the flour and water paste to the far corner away from you. You can also use egg white to seal instead of flour paste. Roll over neatly while tucking the near corner under the filling. When you roll to the centre of the square fold in both the sides then roll again tightly till the end (I used 2 wrappers for each roll coz my filling was a bit moist and I didn't want them to get soggy). For exact instructions please watch this video.

7. Brush the spring rolls with olive oil and place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. 

8. Bake in an oven preheated at 350 degrees fahrenheit for 30- 35 mins. The timing may differ with other ovens. When you are half way through baking turn them over and then bake till golden or evenly browned. Enjoy with sauces of your choice. 

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Green Masala Chicken Khorma

I was kind of inspired by Farruqh Aziz's "Hariyali chicken khorma" on her interesting blog "CubesandJuliennes". She had made it in mughlai style with a rich and creamy sauce. But I wanted to keep it simple and make it in my south indian style which I love too. The concept was good enough to get me going. Here's the recipe:








Ingredients:
 Chicken 2 legs and 2 wings
1 Onion thinly sliced
1/4 cup Yoghurt
1/2 cup Coconut milk 
2 tbs Olive oil
4 - 6 Green chillies
1 sprig of Cilantro
A few fresh Mint leaves
2 black Cardamoms
1 inch Cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp crushed Black pepper
2 tsp fresh Ginger Garlic paste

For the ground masala
2 green Chillies
1 sprig of Cilantro
1/2 tsp whole Black pepper
1 tsp Coriander seeds
1/2 tsp Fennel seeds
2 Cloves 
3 green Cardamoms

Method: 

1. Clean wash and drain the  chicken,  Cut the onion into thin slices.

2.Put all the dry masala ingredients in a grinder and pulse them first before adding the chillies and cilantro with a pinch of salt.

3. To a sauce pan on medium heat add the whole spices - black cardamom, cinnamon and bay leaf followed by the sliced onions and fry till golden brown.

4. Add the ginger garlic paste and the ground  masala to the fried onions and saute then add the chicken pieces. 

5. Turn over and roast the chicken in the masala till it changes colour.  Add the yoghurt, whole green chillies, coconut milk and let it cook on medium heat till done. 

6. For the last finishing touch which gives the extra flavour toss in the crushed black pepper, cilantro and mint. Cover with the lid and switch off the stove. Let it rest for 2 minutes then serve hot with saffron rice and pineapple kachumbar salad. 



Notes:

 For the coconut milk,  I always choose "A taste of Thai" if not available then I go for Aroy D.   Unlike the other brands. "A taste of Thai" has 85% coconut milk and 15% water while Aroy D has 60% coconut milk and 40%  water with no preservatives or guar gum. There is another brand "Thai Kitchen" looks similar to "A taste of Thai" but not as good. It has guar gum in it which gives the milk a gooey texture. In cooking if the quality of the ingredients is not good then all the taste and flavour is lost.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Chicken Kadai Roast


I had no onions at home as it was the end of the week and I wanted to make something different with the chicken, something flavourful and dry without any gravy, something quick and easy but also healthy. I finally decided to make roasted Kadai Chicken. The whole spices gave so much flavour to the chicken while it roasted in the pan and without the onions and tomatoes it tasted even better. Above all it was so quick and easy and ready in less than 30 minutes.


Here's the recipe:

Ingredients: 
1lb Chicken pieces
2 tsp Ginger garlic paste
1/2 tsp Deghi Mirch (Red chilli powder)
1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
1/2 tsp Cumin Powder
1 tsp Coriander Powder
2 Green Chillies
Chopped Cilantro for garnish
Salt to taste
1 tsp Lemon juice
2 tbs Vegetable Oil

Kadai Roast Spices:
1tsp Coriander seeds
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
1/2 tsp Fennel seeds
1tsp Black Pepper corns + 1/2 tsp for garnish
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes + 1/2 tsp for garnish
4 Cloves
4 Green Cardamoms
1 Black Cardamom
1/2 inch Cinnamon stick
2 Dried Red Chillies

Method: 

1. De skin, cut, clean and wash the chicken pieces. Keep aside to drain.

2. Heat oil in a non stick sauce pan or wok. Crush all the Kadai Roast spices with a mortar and pestle except the dried red chillies, just pounding them once or twice.

3. Add the dried red chillies to the medium hot oil in the pan, followed by the crushed kadai roast spices. Give it a quick stir and toss in the ginger garlic paste, then add the turmeric, chilli, coriander and cumin powders and red pepper flakes.

4. Quickly add the chicken pieces to this roast masala, turn over and roast well in the pan. Add the green chillies, cover the pan and let it roast on medium low heat for 5 minutes.


5. Do not add any water. After 5 minutes the chicken would sweat out and be a little runny as seen in the picture above. Turn over, cover with the lid and leave to roast on low heat for 5 more minutes. Keep checking the chicken from time to time, turning it over as it roasts in the pan. In 10- 15 minutes the chicken is well roasted and ready.

6. Sprinkle the lemon juice, adjust the salt till it reaches the bliss point, garnish with 1/2 tsp pounded black pepper, 1/2 tsp red chilli flakes and chopped cilantro.

7. Serve hot with rice. I served it with khichdi rice, cranberry tomato chutney and salad.

Tips: 

1. If you want to make it less spicy omit the red chilli powder.

2. Eat the chicken as soon as it is done.  The chicken would lose its flavour on reheating over and over again.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Tandoori Chicken

Barbecued Tandoori Chicken Biryani
Smoked Butter Chicken 
Butter Chicken, My Style!

The secret to good tasting tandoori chicken lies not only in the marinade and the length of time the chicken is marinated, but also the technique of cooking it.

The rule #1 is to keep the chicken dry before rubbing in the marinade. The yoghurt and the ginger garlic paste should not be runny. You should use hung yoghurt or greek yoghurt and grind the ginger garlic in a wet grinder to get a thick paste without adding water. If you don't have a wet grinder then you could use grated ginger and garlic (1:1 ratio).

Next comes the technique of cooking. Of course the tandoori chicken is at its best when cooked in the tandoor which is a clay oven. Since we cannot cook in the tandoor at home we could barbeque or grill it and also bake it in the oven.

Soaking the chicken in brine for up to six hours and marinating in the tandoori masala for up to 4 hours before cooking, enhances the flavour and taste to a great extent.



Here's the recipe!

Ingredients: 
3 Chicken legs
2 tbs Hung sour yoghurt 
1 tbs tandoori masala 
1 tsp Kashmiri red chilly powder
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
1 tbs ginger garlic paste
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1tbs vegetable oil 
Salt to taste

Method:
1. Clean, wash, drain and towel dry the chicken legs each cut into 2 pieces (thigh and drumstick).  Make slits in the chicken pieces then rub with salt and lemon juice and set aside for 10 -15 minutes.

2. Mix together all the spices and the hung yoghurt in a bowl, add the vegetable oil and the required amount of salt to make the tandoori marinade.

3. Massage the chicken with this marinade and leave for up to 4 hours. 


4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit and bake for 40 - 45 minutes. I line the cookie sheet with tin foil and place the chicken pieces on it. This way it is easier to keep the cookie sheet clean. 

5. Remove from the oven when the chicken is well done - should be moist and juicy inside and brown and crispy outside. 

6. Serve hot on a bed of onion rings and lemon wedges sprinkled with chaat masala. Enjoy with Naan and dal or rice. 


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Chicken Filling























Here's the Recipe :

Ingredients: 
1 Whole Chicken breast
1 Large Onion
2 tsp Garlic chopped
1/2 tsp Black pepper ground
1/2 tsp Oregano dried 
1/2 tsp Basil dried


Method: 
1. Clean and place the chicken breast in a pot with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 a cup of boiling water, cover with a lid  and let it simmer till the water gets absorbed completely and the chicken is thoroughly cooked.  Remove and set aside to cool.

2. In another sauce pan, add olive oil and on medium heat, fry the sliced onions till they are soft and golden. Add the chopped garlic, basil, oregano and pepper. (You can substitute basil and oregano for cilantro and spring onions as per taste)

3. Shred the cooled cooked chicken with two forks and add it to the onion mixture in the sauce pan, Adjust the salt, turn over, stir fry it with the onion mixture till it gets mixed well. Remove and set aside. The filling is now ready for samosas, calzones, pastries, focaccia etc.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Husainy Malai chicken kebabs


Soft, tender, juicy and grilled to perfection, these cheesy chicken tikka kebabs just melt in your mouth when you eat them. The first marinade of salt and lemon juice breaks down their fibre and makes them soft and succulent. The second marinade in a blend of cream cheese, hung yoghurt and light spices tones them down adding more moisture and flavour. Also using the right technique of grilling kicks them up a notch. They are at their best when enjoyed as soon as they are done, hot from the grill as their juices run out. Heating them over and over again affects their taste and texture, so it should be avoided. I have made them many times and I realized that marinating them for 24 hours really makes a lot of difference as it enhances the flavour and taste very much. 

Here's the recipe:




Ingredients:
Chicken breasts - 2 (halves from 1 whole chicken) 
Green, red, orange and yellow bell peppers - 1 each
Onion - 1
Lemon - 1
Seven spices - 1 tsp (optional)
Vegetable/olive oil - 2 tbs plus more for basting
Heavy duty tin foil - as much as you need.

1st marinade
Lemon juice - 1/2 cup
Salt to taste

2nd Marinade:
Hung yoghurt - 1/2 cup
Cream cheese - 1/4 cup
Green Cardamoms - 12
Fennel powder - 1/2 tsp
Cumin powder - 1/4 tsp
Ginger garlic paste- 2 tsp
Green chillies - 2 - 4
Cilantro - 1/4 cup





Method:
1. Clean, wash and cut the chicken into cubes. Drain and towel dry them.

2. Rub the chicken cubes with salt and lemon juice, cover with plastic wrap and allow to marinate for 15 minutes. Remove from marinade, and leave to drain for sometime in a colander. 

3. Prepare the second marinade by whisking together the cream cheese, hung yoghurt, ginger garlic paste, ground green chilli cilantro paste (pound it using a mortar and pestle with just a little salt), freshly ground cardamom, cumin and fennel powder (grind together the green cardamoms with cumin and  fennel seeds in a dry grinder).

4. Add the drained chicken cubes to this marinade, mix well, then spoon in the oil and mix together again. Leave this to marinate for 15- 20 hours. 

5. Brush the metal skewers with oil and set them aside. 

6. Cut the bell peppers and onions into dices. Sprinkle them with with salt, pepper and a little of the cream cheese marinade

7. Start skewering the chicken cubes alternating with bell peppers and onions. Brush them with oil and set aside.

8. Place the skewers on a foil lined cookie sheet and broil on high for 5-6 mins on each side or until just rightly done which is when they turn opaque and slightly golden. Baste them with oil before turning them over. They would become hard if you overcook them, so do not, let them be juicy and tender to melt in your mouth. 

9. Slowly slide them down from the skewers on to a fresh heavy duty tin foil and quickly wrap them up to keep them hot. Use a silicon glove or clean moist paper towels when you do this otherwise you'll end up scorching your hands. Remove them from the pointed end one by one, otherwise they will break.

10. Finally as a finishing touch, sprinkle some lemon juice and garam madala powder optional) and serve them hot with the bell peppers, onions and lemon wedges. Enjoy them with rice, naan, yoghurt mint chutney etc. I made plain rice pulao, cranberry sauce and salad for a change. These juicy and delicious tikka kebabs just melt in the mouth. So yummy, enjoy!




Tips:

1. You could grill the chicken tikka kebabs and the vegetables separately too on different skewers if you want. But grilling them together keeps the chicken pieces moist.

2. Cherry tomatoes and pineapple can be used with the kebabs for grilling.

3. Wrapping them up in tin foil as soon as they are done retains their moisture as well as keeps them hot. You could prepare them early and keep them wrapped in foil. But before serving them, place them in a hot oven for 5 - 10 mins depending on the quantity.  (The oven should have been preheated at 400 degrees and then switched off ). Do not forget and leave them in the oven for a long time as they will dry out. It is better to set a timer on.

4. Using metal skewers is convenient. But if you want to use wooden skewers, soak them in water for a couple of hrs. I put them in a 2 litre soft drinks bottle filled with water, then closed the cap. This way it is easier to soak them rather than laying them down in a dish filled with water which takes up counter space.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Barbecued Tandoori Chicken Biryani

I wanted to give a different flavour to the usual traditional chicken biryani so gave this twist by using the barbecued chicken pieces in the biryani masala and it turned out just delicious. All the guests I had invited loved it too. 



Ingredients:
Chicken - 2 whole 1.5 kg / each cut into 12 pieces at the joints.
Onions - 5 - 6 medium size
Yoghurt - 1 cup
Fresh Mint - 1 cup
Fresh Cilantro - 2 cups
Fresh green chillies - 12
Ginger garlic paste - 1/2cup
Ripe tomatoes - 5 (1lb)
Cloves - 10
Green Cardamoms- 10
Cinnamon stick - 1 x 3"
Turmeric - 1 tsp
Chicken stock - 4 cups
Long Grain basumathi Rice - 5 1/2 cups
Saffron - a pinch
Salt to taste
Orange food colouring - a pinch (optional)
Vegetable oil - 1 cup

Tandoori Marinade
Hung yoghurt- 1/2 cup
Kashmiri red chilly powder - 1 tsp
Desi/Kissan Tandoori Masala - 2 tbs
Ginger garlic paste - 2 tbs
Vegetable oil - 2 tbs

Method:
1. Clean, wash, drain and dry the chicken with paper towels. Make slits all over the chicken pieces. Rub salt and lemon juice, leave for 10 minutes then massage the chicken with the tandoori marinade. Let it rest for at least 4 hours.

2. Preheat an outdoor gas or charcoal barbecue. Arrange the marinated chicken pieces on the preheated grill to roast them. Turn once mid way and quickly roast till half done as they will cook in the sauce later. Keep aside.

3. Heat the vegetable oil in a big pot. Add whole garam masala spices immediately followed by sliced onions. Fry them till they are golden brown. Stir in the ginger garlic paste and turmeric then add quartered tomatoes, yoghurt, whole green chillies followed by mint and cilantro.

4. Cook for sometime till the tomatoes soften a bit, then pour in the chicken stock and cook till everything blends well to a sauce consistency.  (The chicken stock should be made by slow cooking the chicken with the bones, water, salt and a little ginger garlic paste. Nothing else should be added to this stock).

5. Add the roasted chicken to the prepared sauce then toss in a few green cardamoms for extra flavour and leave it to simmer till the chicken absorbs the sauce a bit. 

6. Meanwhile boil water in a large pot.  Add 2 tbs of salt and basumathi rice previously washed and soaked in water for 1/2 an hour.

8. Let the water boil a second time after adding rice. Leave for 2 more minutes then check the rice to see if it is done by pressing a grain of rice between your finger and thumb.  It should be slightly soft on the outside but brittle and gritty inside which means it is 60% cooked. Do not overcook it. Turn off the stove and immediately drain the rice.

9. Take 1/4 tsp of saffron, crush it with the mortar and pestle, add it to warm milk, then add a blob of melted butter to it. 

10. Add 1/2 a cup of the steamed basumathi rice to the saffron mixture. Mix well and keep aside. If you want to give a colourful look add yellow food colouring to another 1/4 cup of the steamed rice to sprinkle on the top layer (optional). Keep aside.

11. Now remove the chicken pieces from the sauce. Transfer half the sauce to the roaster.

12. Add a layer of rice over the sauce followed by a few chicken pieces , a little chopped cilantro and a few whole mint leaves.

13. Repeat another layer in the same manner using up all the rice and sauce.

14. Finally top it with the saffron rice layer. Sprinkle yellow coloured rice on top followed by cilantro and mint.

15. Steam in a preheated oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 - 15 minutes. 

16. Remove from oven when done. Mix the biryani gently before serving. Enjoy with yoghurt chutney.

Alternatively if you cannot barbecue the chicken, you may grill or bake it in the oven for 30 minutes then turn the heat off and smoke the chicken while in the oven. To do this place a burning charcoal with the help of tongs in a tinfoil bowl and add a blob of ghee to it. When it starts to smoke immediately place it in the roaster in between the chicken pieces and close the lid. Leave it for sometime to smoke. This gives the chicken the smoky barbecue flavour.  Then follow the rest of the recipe from step 5.




Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Jerk chicken meal


I have never tried jerk chicken from scratch, but always used either the dry jerk spices or the paste. I prefer the Grace jerk ground paste better than any other brand and I add some soya sauce, honey garlic barbeque sauce and ketchup to tone down the heat a bit and make it tangy and sweet.

Ingredients: 
Chicken drumsticks - 6
Grace jerk ground paste - 2 tbs
Honey garlic sauce - 2 tbs
Ketchup - 1 tbs
Soy sauce - 2 tsp
Vegetabl oil for deep frying - 1 cup

Method:
1. De-skin, clean and wash the drumsticks and drain them in a colander or dry with a tea towel,
2. Rub them with the jerk paste and steam in a pot with just a little water till they are cooked.  Allow them to cool.
3. Heat oil in a suace pan and deep fry the drumsticks on medium heat  Drain on wire rack and set aside .Do not throw away the left over juices from the steamed chicken.
4. In a small bowl mix together the soy sauce, the honey garlic sauce and the ketchup. Add this to the left over juices from the steamed chicken with a table spoon of hot oil (use the oil in which the chcken was fried).  Mix everything together on low heat.
5. Now throw in the fried chicken drumsticks and toss them in the sauce till it coats the drumsticks well and they get a glazed look.
6. Serve with steamed veggies of your choice. I served them with steamed beans and  corn wihch I cooked in the microwave. Enjoy your jerk chicken with the veggies!

Tips: 
1. For steaming the corn just place it with the husk in the microwave for 4-5 mins on power 10. It tastes so good, much better than boiling it in water. So quick and easy as well as delicious!

2. As for  the beans I sensor cook them in the microwave for 2 - 3 mins, then toss them in the pan with some butter and olive oil, dried red chillies, slivered almonds, salt and pepper, stir fry them on medium heat till they are just rightly done and serve.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Smoked Butter Chicken

"This is the best butter chicken you ever made" was the comment from my son when he tasted it. When I tasted it, I knew what he meant. The earthenware dish that I used to smoke the butter chicken in the oven did the magic. The earthenware flavor combined with the smoky flavor tasted heavenly. None of us could stop till we wiped everything off.

Here's the recipe:


For the Marinade:

Chicken breasts - 1 1/2 (or 3 halves)

For the tandoori masala 
Red chilly powder - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Garam masala powder - 1/4 tsp
Cumin powder - 1/4 tsp
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp
Coriander powder - 1/2 tsp
Greek Yoghurt / Labneh) - 1/2tbs
 Salt - to taste

For the gravy:
Cinnamon - 1" stick
Cloves - 4
Green cardamoms - 4
Black cardamoms -1
Fennel seeds - 1/4 tsp
Black peppercorns - 10
Bay leaf - 1
Onion - 1 medium sized
Fresh Tomatoes - 3 medium sized
Green Chillies - 2
Grated ginger - 1 tsp
Whipping cream - 1/2 a cup
Brown sugar - 1/2 tsp
Olive oil - 1tbs
Butter - 1tbs

Method:
1. Put the marinated chicken pieces in an earthenware pan and bake in the oven preheated at 350 degrees fahrenheit for 1/2 an hr. Switch off the oven. Light a piece of charcoal and place it in a tin foil cup (shape the tin foil like a small cup to hold the burning charcoal). Place the cup on top of the chicken pieces in the center of the earthenware pan. Add a small blob of ghee(clarified butter) to the coal. When it smokes, close the earthenware pan with a lid and leave it in the oven for sometime.

2. Meanwhile, melt the butter with the olive oil in a sauce pan on medium heat. Add the whole spices (the first seven ingredients for the gravy) and the sliced onion, cook on low heat till it sweats a little. Add to the sauce pan, the grated ginger, green chillies and chopped tomatoes.

3. Mash the tomatoes with the spatula, add 2 tsps tomato paste and mix well to form a gravy.

4. Remove the charcoal and transfer the chicken pieces to the sauce pan adding  a little water. Let it simmer on the stove top for sometime.

5. Now pour in the whipping cream little by little while reserving 1 or 2 tbsps to use as garnish. 

6. Simmer for 2 - 4 mins till the gravy thickens a bit. Garnish with the remaining whipping cream by drizzling it on the butter chicken just before serving. Serve hot with fresh baked naan or tandoori roti. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Chicken Dijon

This is a quick chicken dish for those who are pressed for time and want something quick and easy to make and at the same time is good to eat.

Here's the recipe:

Ingredients:
Chicken breast - 1 lb
Garlic paste - 2 tsp
Djon mustard - 2tsp
Mayonnaise- 4 tbs
Salt
Pepper
Olive oil- 2 tbs + 1 tsp

Method:
1. Cut chicken breast into bite size pieces.
2. Rub garlic paste, salt and pepper.
3. Add 2 tbs olive oil to a sauce pan. Stir fry on medium heat till they are well cooked  and are golden and crispy. 
4. Remove from pan into a serving bowl.
5. Combine dijon, mayonnaise and olive oil and add it to the chicken. Mix well and enjoy.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Kadai chicken


The flavour of the melted butter along with the pounded spices added a new dimension to the dish and it tasted intensely delicious!

Here's the recipe.

Ingredients:
Chicken - 2 legs and 2 wings
Butter - 1/4 cup
Olive oil- 2 tbs
Black pepper - 1 tsp
Whole Coriander- 1 tbs
Whole Cumin - 1/2 tsp
Green cardamom- 8
Green chillies - 2 
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Tomato - 1 medium size
Dried Kashmiri red chillies  - 2 
Garlic cloves - 5 medium size
Chopped ginger - 1 tsp for garnish
Chopped cilantro - 2 tbs for garnish


Method:

1. De skin, clean, wash and drain the chicken. Rub with salt and keep aside.

2. Melt the butter with the olive oil in a sauce pan on low heat.

3. Pound the coriander, black pepper, green cardamom and cumin separately. Break the dried kashmiri red chillies. 

4. Add the pounded spices to the pan followed by the crushed garlic cloves.  Stir on medium hear to release a whiff of aroma. 

5. Add the chicken to the sizzling spices in the pan.

6. Turn over and cook the chicken till it changes colour. 

7. Add the whole green chillies and chopped tomato and give it another stir. 

8. Add 1/2 a cup of water, cover with a lid and leave to cook on simmer for 15 - 20 mins or more till the chicken is soft, tender and juicy.

9.  Do not forget to stir from time to time. If the water dries up, sprinkle a little more water. 

10. At the final stage add chopped ginger and cilantro, simmer for 2 more minutes and serve hot with rice. 









Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Murmura chicken ( A Crispy Chicken Snack)

This is a quick chicken dish which I made for my son. It tastes more like a chicken snack than a main dish. It could be eaten on its own or with rice and curry. Great as an appetizer or side dish.  


Ingredients:
Chicken breast pieces - 1lb
Ginger garlic paste - 1 heaped tsp.
Red Chilli powder - 1 heaped tsp.
Turmeric - 1/2 a tsp.
Garam masala powder -1 tsp.
Fresh lemon juice – 1tbs.
Crispy fried onions - 1 handful
Curry leaves - a few
Mustard seeds – ¼ tsp.
Ginger chopped –1/2 tsp.
Dried red chillies – 2 small
Green chilli chopped –1 small
Onion chopped -1 small
 Vegetable oil –1 cup
Cilantro chopped – ½ cup

Method:
1.   Clean, wash and towel dry the chicken breast and cut into bite size pieces.
2.   Rub salt and lemon juice and leave aside for 5 minutes.
3.   Meanwhile mix together ginger garlic paste, turmeric, red chilli powder & garam masala powder and rub the chicken pieces with it.
4.   Heat the vegetable oil in a pot or frying pan and deep fry the chicken pieces till just crisp. Remove and drain on wire rack. (Draining on paper towels makes them soggy).
5.   Heat one teaspoon vegetable oil in a clean sauce pan. Add mustard seeds and when they crackle add dried red chillies (whole) and curry leaves followed by chopped onion & green chilli.
6.   Give it a good stir and quickly add the fried chicken pieces to the sauce pan.
7.   Throw in the crispy fried onions chopped ginger and chopped cilantro. Sprinkle some lemon juice and salt as required, then quickly give it another good stir and remove from pan.
8.   The crispy (murmura) chicken snack is now ready to enjoy.


Sunday, May 24, 2015

Green Masala Chicken

The Hara (Green) Masala Chicken has many variations. I like to keep it simple to bring out the flavors of the herbs and spices and not make it too heavy by using coconut, almonds, yoghurt and cream which I feel tones down the actual flavors and makes the dish tangy, sweet and heavy.
For this dish, I am using the same recipe my mom used for making lamb (hare masale ki phaal) which I loved so much. 

Again I forgot to take a picture for the blog.

Here's the recipe

Ingredients: 
Chicken - 4 legs
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Vegetable oil - 2 tbs

Green masala paste:
Green chillies - 2- 4 (medium size)
Onions - 1 medium size 
Garlic clove - 2 medium size
Fresh coriander - 1/2 cup
Fresh Mint - 1/4 cup
Cloves - 4 
Green Cardamom - 4
Black Pepper corns - 1 tbs
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp

Method: 

1. Clean, wash the chicken legs, put them in a pot, add a glass of water, 1 tsp ginger garlic paste and 1/2 a tsp turmeric, salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and let it simmer for sometime till it is cooked.

2. Meanwhile grind together first the dry spices (black pepper, cumin, cloves and cardamoms). Now add the garlic, 1/2 onion, green chillies and fresh mint and coriander leaves. Grind again to make a paste and set aside. 

3. Heat 2 tbs of oil in a sauce pan. Slice the other 1/2 of the onion and fry in the oil till they caramelize.

4. Take the cooked chicken pieces from the soup and add them to the pan with the onions. Turn down the heat and lightly fry them turning them over gently from side to side till they are evenly golden brown.

5. Now add the soup left from the cooked chicken followed by the ground masala and cook till the mixture thickens. Adjust the salt. The green chicken is now ready.

6. Garnish with some chopped fresh coriander on top and serve hot with some jasmine rice. 

Boiling the chicken first in water spiced up with turmeric, salt and ginger garlic paste makes it soft, juicy and aromatic. Then, sautéing it with caramelised onions enhances its flavour. Finally adding the ground green masala after the chicken has browned in the pan retains the flavours of the herbs and spices ground together. This chicken is so delicious!!


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Red bell pepper & chicken meat ball curry

The sweetness of the red bell pepper in the chicken mince gives a new dimension to the dish. This is one of the chicken dishes which is quick and easy to make.

Here's the recipe:

Ingredients for the koftas (meat balls): 
1kg chicken breast cut into cubes
1 large onion chopped
2 garlic cloves chopped
1/2 a red bell pepper chopped
1 strand of cilantro
1 strand of parsley
1-2 small green chillies
2 tsp ginger garlic paste
1 tbs corn flour
3/4 tsp green cardamom powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp juice of lime/lemon
Salt as required

Ingredients for the curry:
1 large onion
2 tsp ginger garlic paste
1tsp coriander powder
1 tsp turmeric
4 green chillies
A little cilantro and parsley chopped
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Salt as required.
Wholes spices (1/2" cinnamon stick, 4 cloves, 1bayleaf and 4 green cardamoms)

Yield: 15 Koftas

Method: 

1. Clean, rinse, towel dry the chicken breast, cut into cubes and keep aside.

2. Finely chop the onions, the red pepper,  cilantro, parsley, green chillies and keep aside.

3. Make ginger garlic paste.

4. Rub the chicken cubes with salt, lemon juice and leave to marinate in the freezer for half an hour.
















5. Add turmeric, cumin, black pepper, green cardamom powder, ginger garlic paste, corn flour and all the chopped vegetables to the partially frozen marinated chicken.  Mince everything together in a mincer/grinder using the medium mincing plate. Sprinkle a little more salt for the vegetables before grinding.  It is easier to grind and get a good texture when the chicken cubes are a bit frozen.

6. Make round balls with the chicken mince. Set aside 2 tbs of vegetable oil for the curry and heat the remaining oil in a non-stick frying pan with a handle.
7. Shallow fry the chicken meat balls quickly, 2 or 3 at a time by turning and tossing them over. Remove them as soon as they turn opaque. No problem if they are still raw inside as they are going to cook in the curry. This way they remain soft. They would harden if you over cook them.
8. Meanwhile fry the onions with the whole spices to golden brown in the reserved 2 tbs of oil in a sauce pan. Add ginger garlic paste, turmeric, coriander powder and salt, stir for a few seconds,  then add thick yoghurt. Mix well to make a smooth sauce. You could remove the whole spices and the green chillies and use a hand blender or just mash the onions with the back of a wooden spoon. All depends on how finely you slice the onions and how gently and slowly you brown them on medium to low heat which helps them soften easily and blend in with the other ingredients to make a smooth sauce. In that case you don't require a hand blender at all.
9. Now poke the meat balls lightly with a tooth pick and gently drop them in the curry. Sprinkle 1/2 a cup of water around the sides of the sauce pan, cover with a lid and leave it to simmer for sometime till they get cooked completely. 

10. Add chopped coriander and when the sauce thickens and reaches the desired consistency remove from the stove. Garnish with some chopped coriander and serve hot with rice or chappatis. Enjoy!


Saturday, November 8, 2014

Butter Chicken, My Style!


The origins of Murgh Makhani or Butter Chicken can be traced back to a man named Kundan Lal Gujral who opened a restaurant called Moti Mahal in Daryaganj, Old Delhi after fleeing from Peshawar in Pakistan during the partition in 1947. This is the man who first created the famous Tandoori chicken by trying to cook chicken in the tandoor (locally used for baking naans) and placed India on the culinary map of the world. Then came his next creation – the mouth watering butter chicken. It so happened that the cooks in his restaurant recycled the left over chicken juices in the marinade trays by adding tomatoes and butter and cooking it to make a creamy sauce and then tossing the left over tandoori chicken pieces in this sauce. Lo and behold,the butter chicken was born! Legend has it that the butter chicken was accidentally created by a punjabi house wife who had lot of left over tandoori chicken, so she prepared a tomato based gravy with fresh cream and added the tandoori chicken pieces to it and simmered for a while. The result was the great butter chicken which we enjoy to this day. Now if we connect this legend with history, who knows this punjabi woman could have been Gujral’s wife too. Kundan Lal Gujral is still remembered as one who would personally serve his guests, while his wife would begin each day by grinding the masalas, a closely guarded secret that went into the signature dishes. Visiting dignitaries such as John F. Kennedy, Soviet Premier Kruschev, Shah of Iran have enjoyed eating at the Moti Mahal restaurant in New Delhi.

My style of butter chicken evolved after trying and testing with different proportions and variations of ingredients. I prefer using whole spices as they give a subtle dimension of flavor to the dish compared to ground spices which lose their flavour quickly. It is better to use chopped tomatoes and soften them in the butter instead of using tomato puree for the richness in taste. Also it is true, as one great chef puts it, that”tomatoes lose their colour and tartness when pureed”. The method and ingredients described in the recipe below if followed exactly brings out the taste and flavor very close to the original dish as made in some of the famous restaurants in New Delhi where I have dined.

Butter chicken can be made with whole chicken or chicken breasts that is with or without bones though the original butter chicken when first created by Chef Gujral was made with whole tandoori chicken pieces.

Here's the recipe:

Ingredients:

For the marinade:
1.5 kg Whole chicken (cut into 12 pieces at the joints)
1/2 Cup Hung Yogurt
 4 Tbs Desi tandoori masala
1 Tbs Vegetable oil
1 Tsp Red chilly powder (Kashmiri mirch or resham patti)
Salt to taste
2 Tbs Lemon juice

For the butter sauce:
1 cup  Whipping cream
1 Tsp Fresh garlic chopped
1/2 cup Ginger juliennes
1 Tbs Kasoori Methi
1/2 Cup Diced onion
2 - 4 Slit green chilies deseeded
2 Black cardamom
2 Bay leaves
4 Cloves
1Tsp Fennel seeds
1/2 Tsp Cumin seeds
1/4 Tsp Mace (crushed)
1/2 Tsp Black pepper corns (whole)
1 large fresh ripe deseeded plum tomato (chopped) + 2 tsp tomato paste
2 Tbs Butter(substitute with 2 tbs olive oil if you are health conscious)

Method:

1. Clean, wash and drain the chicken pieces. Rub with salt and lemon juice and keep aside for 15 minutes.

2. Mix together  hung yoghurt, tandoori masala, chilly powder, salt and 1 tbs vegetable oil. Rub the chicken pieces well with this marinade and leave for 3 - 4 hrs in the fridge.

3. Bake the chicken in a preheated oven set at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 30-35 mins. Remove and allow it to cool. 

4. Meanwhile prepare the butter sauce. Take a sauce pan, set it on medium heat. Add 2 tbs butter and before it melts completely add all the whole spices (cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, fennel seeds, mace and lastly bay leaf) stir for 2 to 3 seconds and when you get a whiff of the aroma add the slit green chilies and chopped garlic followed immediately by diced onions. Stir for sometime, then add the chopped tomato plus 2 tsp tomato paste.


5. Cook on medium while stirring continuously till it blends in. Pour in 1/2 a cup of the whipping cream, give a quick stir and then add the chicken with all its juices to the sauce. Mix well, cover with a lid and let it simmer for 5 - 10 mins till it is nicely cooked and thickens a bit. (If you are health conscious then cook the chicken in 1/2 a cup of skimmed milk instead of the cream). 


6. Now drizzle the remaining cream on top of the chicken. Give the sauce pan a gentle shake and let it simmer for just 2 to 3 mins. Garnish with the ginger juliennes and serve hot with Naan or Basumati rice. 


 


Tips:
1. If you do not find Desi tandoori masala, you can try Minar or Kissan brands. Any other store bought tandoori masala would not be a good substitute. The best thing would be to use this home made tandoori masala paste for the marinade : 1/2 a cup of hung sour yogurt, 2 tsp of ginger garlic paste, 1 tsp of coriander powder, 1/2 tsp of cumin powder, 1tsp garam masala powder and food colouring for marinating one whole chicken.

2. To give the tandoori chicken a barbecue flavor, smoke the chicken soon after baking. Take a piece of charcoal, light it and put it in a small tin foil cup (shape the tinfoil into a cup to hold the charcoal). Switch off the oven. Place the tin foil cup with the burning charcoal in between the chicken pieces, then add a blob of butter or ghee to it. When it starts smoking, cover the baking pan with its lid or foil and leave it to smoke for 5 mins in the oven. This gives a smoky barbecue flavor to the chicken.

3. If you want to cut down on the cream and butter, use skimmed milk and olive oil instead. But you will have to compromise on the taste. Butter chicken is not butter chicken without butter and cream.


4. As an alternative to brown sugar you could add a bit of tomato ketchup as a finishing touch in order to enhance the taste.