Showing posts with label Non-Vegetarian. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Non-Vegetarian. Show all posts

Monday, July 3, 2017

Gongkura Lamb Curry































Gongkura greens are edible Sorrel leaves most popularly used in South Indian Cuisine especially in the states of Andra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu in India. It has a distinctive tangy taste and is one of the main ingredients of Andhra Cuisine. It is also a wonderful source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that are beneficial to your overall health. 

I grew up eating a variety of dishes made with gongkura and I still cherish those memories. Here in Canada finding gongkura is like finding a lost treasure. When you find it you consider yourself lucky so you grab it at once with out thinking. I love all the dishes made with gongkura and I intend to post all the recipes here as and when I keep making them from time to time. I want to grow them in my backyard so I can cook them whenever I want to atleast during the summer months. 

The Gongkura lamb curry is made with lamb meat and bones. Using lamb meat from the rib area (sar seena) makes the best tasting Gongkura curry indeed! I was lucky to find the gonkura leaves in a store in Toronto and got to make it and enjoy it after so many years - with steamed rice it was insanely delicious!!

I made this in my instant pot and it was so convenient and quick. 

Here's the Recipe:

l lb Lamb bones with meat (from the rib cage and neck)
2 bunches  Sorrel leaves 
1 tbs  Channa dal 
1 tbs Ginger garlic paste 
3 - 4 Garlic cloves 
2 large onions
1 medium ripe tomato
2 tsp Turmeric 
1 tsp Kashmiri chilli pepper 
1 tsp Coriander powder 
1 tsp Garam Masala Powder 
4 - 6 Green chillies 
1small dried red chilli deseeded
2 tbs Oil 
Ghee - 1 tbs
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds 
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds 
 Fresh Curry leaves -  a few 

Method: 

1. Clean and wash the lamb rib & neck pieces with the bones and keep aside. 

2. Peel and thinly slice the onions. Wash the channa dal. Pluck the gongkura leaves only (no stems), wash, drain, chop them and set aside. 

3. Add 2 tbs of oil to the instant pot in the sauté mode on high followed by half of the sliced onions and fry them till soft and translucent. 

4. Add 1 heaped tbs ginger garlic paste, 1 tsp turmeric powder, 1/2 tsp kashmiri chilli powder and 1 tsp coriander powder, give it a stir then add the lamb pieces and roast them well in the onion masala. Add 3 whole green chillies, 1 tbs channa dal and 1/2 cup water then close the lid. Cancel the sauté mode and pressure cook on high for 15 minutes till tender. The valve should be turned to sealing position after closing the lid. When done let the steam vent out on its own. 

5. When all the steam is released on its own, switch off the instant pot, open the lid and empty the contents of the instant pot in a dish. Lightly rinse the pot inside with a little water which you can add to the lamb curry. Set aside.

6. Switch the instant pot on high in the sauté mode again.  Heat one tbs of oil and ghee, sprinkle the mustard seeds and let them crackle, add the deseeded dried red chilli, cumin seeds, then crushed garlic cloves with their peel and curry leaves followed immediately by the chopped gongkura leaves. Fry them well then add 1/2 cup water and simmer for 5 minutes.

7. Blend the gongkura with the other ingredients using an electric hand blender. Now throw in the remaining 3 whole green chillies and simmer on low sauté mode for 5 minutes. If we added them before the curry would be really spicy when blended.























8. Finally add the cooked lamb curry to the instant pot with the gongkura curry, sprinkle some garam masala powder, chopped cilantro, a little water and simmer on low for 5 minutes. The gongkura lamb curry is now ready to enjoy with steamed jasmine rice and ghee. So yummy and delicious!





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. 

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Broiled Golden Pomfret with Chaat Masala

The golden pomfret (pompano)  is a soft mild flavoured fleshy fish with a buttery flavour and no fishy or gamy smell. When fresh it tastes very delicious. You can use any kind of spicy or herb flavoured marinade on it and it works very well. This time I used chaat masala along with the other spices and it was just so delicious! My husband who is always quite reluctant when it comes to eating fish, actually enjoyed eating it.


Ingredients:
1 Golden Pomfret fish (around 1.25lbs)
 Juice of half a lemon
1/2 Tsp Turmeric Powder
1 Tsp Kashmiri red chilly Powder  
1 Tsp MDH Chaat Masala 
1 Tsp Ground Black Pepper 
1 Tsp ginger garlic paste
1 Tbs Olive oil 
Salt to taste

Method: 
1 Clean the fish by scraping the skin and cut into two filets with out removing the skin. You could ask the fish vendor to clean and make filets for you. 

2. Sprinkle salt and lemon juice on the fish filets and rub them well. 


3. Mix together the black pepper, turmeric, red chilly powder and chaat masala with the ginger garlic paste and smear this marinade on the fish filets well. Leave to rest for half an hour. 

4. Heat a cast iron frying pan, brush it with 1 or 2 tsp of olive oil and place the fish on the pan skin side down. Let the fish get fried on the bottom  well. 


5.  Switch off the stove, drizzle the remaining olive oil on top of the fish and then place the frying pan with the fish on the top rack of the pre heated oven.

6.  Broil the fish on high for 5 - 6 minutes till the fish is browned all over. Switch off the oven. Tranfer to a serving plate and enjoy the crispy delicious mouth watering fish. 


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. 


Monday, November 28, 2016

Lamb Shank Curry (Delhi Style)

It's been a long time since I made this curry in Delhi style. We used to relish it so much when we lived there. Luckily I happened to stumble upon it recently in one of those little trips into my past and therefore managed to bring this inanimate thing back to life. I had to make it the very next day otherwise it would have been a long lost forgotten thing again.

What makes it so unique in "Delhi style" is just one different spice and one finishing touch which changes its entire chemistry. It is the magic of the fried onions and the hint of the smoky flavour from the black cardamom that gives it the distinct flavour and taste which is so different from the traditional curries.

Here's the recipe!


Ingredients: 
2 Lamb shanks
2 medium onions
4 green chillies
1-2 Black cardamoms
1 Bay leaf
4 Cloves
2 tsp ginger garlic paste
2 tbs yoghurt
2 tbs vegetable oil
1 tsp kashmiri red chilli powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste.


Method: 
1. Cut each one of the lamb shanks into 2 pieces. This makes it easier to eat the bone marrow which is very delicious rather than keeping them whole. Then clean them by trimming away the fat and removing the skin carefully without chopping off the tender meat. Rinse well, drain and keep aside.

2. Slice the two onions. Heat 1 tbs oil in a pressure cooker, add the black cardamom, cloves and the bay leaf and fry half the onion slices to a light golden brown. Reserve the other half.

4. Add ginger garlic paste, turmeric, kashmiri chilli powder and coriander powder, give it a stir then add the lamb shanks and salt. Sauté well with the spices. 

5. Add the whisked yoghurt to the pot followed by green chillies, cilantro and 1-2  cups of water. The water should be 2 inches above the shanks. After the first whistle in the pressure cooker turn down the heat, close the lid air tight and pressure cook for 10 - 15 minutes.  (But if you are not using a pressure cooker you will have to cook on low to medium heat for at least 45minutes to an hour. They should be so tender as to come off the bone. You can also cook in the instant pot following the directions for cooking meat accordingly.)

6. Meanwhile fry the reserved onion in the remaining 1tbs of vegetable oil till nicely browned but not burnt. So extra care should be taken while frying the onions to have them rightly done. Set aside.

7. Once the shanks are done turn down the heat to low and add these fried onions to the pressure cooker, cover lightly not air tight and let it simmer slowly for some more time (5-10 mins).  The browned onions not only give colour to the curry but also a sweet nutty flavour which when combined with the smoky flavour from the black cardamom and other spices further enhances the taste and makes the curry insanely delicious! 

8. Do not let the curry thicken too much. If it tends to thicken then sprinkle a little water on all sides and let it simmer till the oil comes on top until you don't see those fried onions anymore. Add chopped fresh cilantro to garnish and enjoy with rotis (flat bread), naan or rice. 

Notes:

Kashmiri Chilli powder - Kashmiri chilli is a mild form of chilli which gives colour and flavour to the dish and not much heat. You can get the MDH brand of Kashmiri chilli powder from any indian grocery store.  I haven't found any other brands here. Or the other best alternative would be to soak the kashmiri chillies in water and grind them into a paste. Though this is a lengthy process, it is fresh and more flavourful. 

Black Cardamoms - Another variety of cardamoms. They are big and black and have a smoky flavour. All asian grocery stores carry it. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Chicken Calzones



















Chicken Calzones

Ingredients:
3 cups All Purpose Flour 
2 cups Mozzarella cheese(grated)
1tbs Yeast  
1/2tbs Sugar            
1 tsp Salt                    
1 tbs Olive oil              
1cup Water
1 tbs Olive oil
Pizza sauce
Mushrooms
Green/Red Peppers
Tomatoes
Olives
         
Method:
1. Add the yeast and sugar to 1 cup of luke warm water in a bowl and leave to rise for 5 mins.

2. In a food processor, add 3 cups of  flour and salt. Pulse to mix well.  Add the bubbly yeast water to the flour and pulse on and off till everything comes together and forms a dough. If you find it too dry then just sprinkle a little more water taking care not to make it soggy. Keep pulsing and pausing till the dough becomes springy and starts to spin.  Add 1 tbs of olive oil and pulse once more, then remove.

3. Make the dough into a ball  and place it in a greased bowl. Cover with a moist tea towel or cling wrap and leave it on the counter in a cozy corner to rise for 1- 2 hours.

4.  While the dough is rising prepare the chicken filling as given in the recipe here. After 2 hours the dough is double in size. It is now smooth, spongy and ready for making calzones, pizza, foccaccia or panza roti etc.

The Calzones:

1.Divide the dough into 4 equal parts and shape each like a round ball.  Cover and leave for 10-15 mins. Take each ball and roll it into a fairly thin circle. I prefer pressing it with my fingers lightly to make a small flat round. Drop 1 tbs of pizza sauce on it. Give it a quick swirl so that it stays in the inner circle leaving the circumference clean and dry.

2. Mix together the chicken filling and some grated mozarella cheese (as much as you want). Place a portion of the filling mixture on the flattened round of dough. Do not over or under load. The filling should be just enough for you to be able to seal the calzone neatly.

3. You can also add olives, green/red peppers, tomatoes and sliced mushrooms to the filling if you like. Drizzle some more pizza sauce, some blobs here and there if you want and sprinkle some more mozarella cheese.

4. With wet fingers moisten the edge of the calzone, then dust a little flour on it so that it becomes sticky enough to seal the edges.

5. Close the calzone in the shape of a crescent, press the edges with a fork and tightly seal them. Care should be taken not to let the filling bulge out and touch the edges, If the edges are not sealed well then there is a chance of the filling leaking out while the calzone is baking. Repeat the same process for each one of the calzones.

6. Take a baking sheet, line it with parchment paper and place the calzones on it. Glaze them with an egg wash (egg whites whisked with a little water) prick them with a fork and bake in the center of the oven preheated at 400 degrees fahrenheit for 15 - 20 mins or until done.

7. Remove from the oven, let them cool a bit before serving them.


8. Drizzle some warm pizza sauce and mozzarella cheese on top and enjoy!

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, November 20, 2016

Coconut Shrimp Poppers
























Everybody loves my coconut shrimp poppers and I have made these many times for get togethers at home, friends' parties, pot lucks etc and each time I made them they disappeared in no time. They have an extra crunch that awakens your senses when you take your first bite. Then the subtle heat from the dijon mustard infused with the Sriracha hot sauce kicks in resulting in a tongue tingling sensation. And the dipping soy sauce fired up with ginger and green chillies has enough zing to ignite your soul and take you to another level of flavour. Hmm, what an experience of flavours to enjoy!


 Ingredients:
Raw Jumbo Tiger shrimps -  1/2 Kg
Kellog's Corn flakes - 1 cup
Panko Crumbs           - 1 cup
White flour                -  1 cup
Black Pepper - 1tsp
Dijon Mustard - 1 tsp
Sriracha chilly sauce - 1 tsp
Garlic Powder - 1/4 tsp
Cumin Powder - 1/2 tsp
Black Pepper - 1 tsp
Egg - 1 -2
Flour - 1 cup
White sesame seeds - 1tbs
Unsweetened coconut flakes - 1/2 cup
Vegetable oil for frying
Salt to taste
           
1.Peel the shrimp but leave the tail, then devein, rinse, drain and dry on paper towels. Season them with salt and pepper and set them aside. 

2.Mix together dijon mustard, sriracha sauce, garlic and cumin powders and marinate the shrimps with this paste. Leave for half an hour. 

3.Put the corn flakes in a ziplock bag and crush them with a rolling pin. Do not make a fine powder. they should be coarsely crushed. Mix together the crushed corn flakes with the panko crumbs. Add some salt, pepper, coconut flakes and sesame seeds.  

 4.Place the beaten egg, flour and Panko Corn flakes mixture separately in 3 different bowls.

5.Take each shrimp, first coat with flour, next dip in the beaten egg and then roll in the panko corn flakes mixture. Repeat for all the shrimps with patience taking care to coat them evenly. 

6.Heat oil in a frying pan and fry them till golden brown and crisp. Drain on paper towels and serve hot with soy dipping sauce. Enjoy!

Dipping Sauce: 

Ingredients: 
Soy sauce                      -  1/2 cup  
Chopped ginger             - 1 tsp
Chopped green chillies - 1 tsp
White Vinegar               - 2 tsp
Franks Red hot sauce    - 1 tsp

Method:
1.Mix together all the above ingredients and leave aside for at least 15 mins. The soy dipping sauce infused with the flavours of ginger, green chillies and red hot sauce is now ready for use. Enjoy the Shrimp Poppers with the dipping sauce.
               



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, May 10, 2016

Methi Fish Curry

I love to eat fish especially south indian style fish curries which are mouth watering. I keep trying all kinds of fish recipes - baked, fried, grilled, kebabs, cutlets, curries, etc each time looking for exotic and unique flavours which I haven't tasted. Today I wanted to make a fish curry to eat with rice but with a different flavour. I happened to hop on this blog on this blog "Cubes and Juliennes" and the recipe "Methi Machli" on this blog caught my attention. I could imagine the magic aroma of "methi" emanating from the dish as I read the recipe and saw the pictures which made me fall in love with her food. This was inspiration enough for me to create my fish curry with the flavour of methi (fenugreek) which for sometime made me methi crazy too just like the author Farruqh Aziz Ansari. A look at her recipes tells me that she is an amazing cook. I am sure going to try some of her recipes and post them here.

Here's my version of Methi fish curry:



Ingredients:

Trout fish filets - 6 (1/2 a pound)
Methi (Fenugreek) seeds - 1 tsp
Zeera (Cumin) seeds - 1/2 tsp
Tomato paste - 1 tbs
Ginger garlic paste - 2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Kashmiri red chilly powder - 1 tsp
Whole green chillies - 2 medium size
Kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves) - 1 tbs
Cilantro chopped - 1 tbs
Lemon juice - 1- 2tsp
Canola oil - 3 tbs
Salt to taste

Method: 
1. Clean, wash and drain the fish filets. 
2. Rub salt on the fish filets. Mix together 1/2 tsp red chilly powder and 1/2 tsp turmeric with 1 tsp lemon juice and marinate the fish filets with this paste for 10 mins. 
3. Heat 1 tbs canola oil in a non stick or cast iron pan and lightly fry the fish filets on both the sides. Remove and set aside. 
4. Heat 2 tbs of the remaining oil in a Kadai (pot) add the methi seeds and as soon as they change color a bit and you get a whiff of their aroma, quickly add the cumin seeds followed by the ginger garlic paste, whole green chillies (with stems removed) coriander powder, turmeric powder, kashmiri chilly powder and tomato paste. 
5. Fry the mixture in the oil till the raw smell of the spices and tomato paste is gone. Add 1/2 a cup water, stir well.
6. When it comes to a boil, add the fried fish, cover and let it simmer on low for 5 minutes. 
7. Add the chopped cilantro and Kasuri methi, sprinkle the remaining lemon juice. Simmer for another minute and serve hot with boiled rice or tomato dosa. Enjoy the fish curry with the exotic flavour of methi.