Tuesday, January 24, 2017

INDO CHINESE COOKING - CHILLI CHICKEN GRAVY

When it comes to Indo Chinese cuisine one can rarely go wrong with chili chicken. This spicy dish is found in majority of Indo Chinese restaurants and is a favorite with all age groups. Cozying up to delicious, warm and spicy chili chicken on winter evenings can be picture I could easily get used to. This dish can be made dry, as an appetizer, or with gravy, as main course.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Marination time: 15 - 20 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Ingredients:
For marination
  • 500 grams chicken cut into 3/4 inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour or Maida
  • 3 tablespoons cornflour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chilli sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper powder
  • 1 egg
  • oil for frying
For the Stir Fry:
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons oil
  • 3-4 green chilies slit lengthwise
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger
  • 2-3 finely chopped spring onions
  • 3 onions cut into 1 inch squares
  • 1 capsicum cut into 1 inch squares
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chili sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato ketchup
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
Method:
- In a bowl mix the chicken with the ingredients needed for marination and set aside for 15-20 minutes
- Heat oil in a deep skillet and fry the marinated chicken till it is well cooked and golden brown. Remove on a plate lined by tissue paper to absorb the excess oil
- In another skillet or wok heat the 1 & 1/2 tablespoons of oil. Add green chilies, ginger and garlic and saute. 
- Add the onions and cook till they turn glassy.
- Add chicken and capsicum and cook for a few minutes
- In a small bowl mix together the chili sauce, soy sauce, tomato ketchup, red chili powder and vinegar along with a little water.
- Add the sauce mix to the chicken and mix well. Cover and cook for a few minutes
- If you desire to have some gravy, stop cooking when the chicken is still a little saucy. If you want a more dry version, cook uncovered till all the water evaporates.


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

COCONUT BARFI


                                                             COCONUT BARFI
I am a major coconut barfi fan. It is a thing I share in common with my mother. So when I came across this super simple recipe to make it, I simply could not resist. I used desiccated coconut but freshly grated coconut would work wonderfully, I'm sure.
COOKING TIME: 15 minutes
FREEZING TIME: About an hour
TOTAL PREPARATION TIME: 1 hour and 15 minutes
INGREDIENTS:
            desiccated/ grated coconut - 1 cup
            fine granulated sugar        - 3/4th cup
            milk                                - 1/2 cup 
            ghee                               - 2 Tbsp
            cardamon powder            - 1 Tsp
            saffron (optional)             - few strands

METHOD:

  • Take the coconut in a shallow pan and dry roast for about 2 minutes.
  • Add the sugar & mix well. 
  • Mix the saffron strands in the milk and add it to the coconut and sugar mix.
  • Add cardamon powder and mix.
  • Add the ghee and continue mixing for about 8 to 10 minutes, till the milk is dried out and the mix separates from the pan.
  • Remove in a dish or plate and flatten to make it like a square cake
  • Freeze for about an hour.
  • cut in to squares and serve

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

RASPBERRY YOGURT POPSICLE

Nothing says summer better than a popsicle! So here's an easy recipe for a simple, fruity, sweet treat
PREPARATION TIME: 5 minutes
FREEZING TIME: 2-3 hours
INGREDIENTS: 
Raspberries - 2 cups
Plain yogurt - 1 cup
Sugar - 1/2 cup
OTHER REQUIREMENTS:
Food processor or blender
Strainer
METHOD:
  • Combine all ingredients in the jar of a blender, and process until smooth
  • Press raspberry mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into another medium bowl (discard solids)
  • Pour in to popsicle molds. Insert ice-pop sticks, and freeze until solid, 2 to 3 hours. To unmold ice pops, run warm water briefly over the molds.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

CHEESY PASTA

Cooking time: 20 minutes
Ingredients:
Pasta - 1 cup (I used shell pasta but you can replace it with macaroni or farfelle)
Milk - 1 cup
Cheddar cheese - 1 cup
Salt - to taste
Pepper powder - 2 tsp or more if needed
Dried basil - 1 tsp
Water - to cook the pasta

Method:
  • Cook the pasta in the water, as per packet instructions, till al-dente
  • Drain the water and take the pasta in a non stick pan. Add the milk and cook on low heat
  • Add the cheddar cheese, salt and pepper. Cook until the milk thickens slightly 
  • Add the dried basil and any other seasonings of your choice
  • Cook till the milk thickens and the serve warm

Friday, April 10, 2015

DAHI PURI


Who doesn't crave some lip-smacking chaat? It appeases to all age groups, and in most Indian homes, at all times.The most gratifying feeling is when it is made at home, with the personal touch. So, here's one of my weeknight dinner experiments that turned out to be quite a special treat!
I normally do not use ready made products in a recipe as I don't stock too many prepared foods in the pantry, but this time I used prepared items. The things I used are easily available at most Indian stores in the U.S and in several supermarkets in India. I also gave the original recipe some minor tweeks of my own. I had Swad tamarind chutney, which I mixed with a spoonful of sugar to make the sweet tamarind chutney. The original recipe calls for tamarind & date chutney. For those who want to try making it, a link I'd recommend is http://www.vegrecipesofindia.com/tamarind-date-chutney-recipe-sweet-chutney-for-chaat/
I also used ready made Swad coriander & mint chutney. Again, this can also be prepared easily at home. The link for that is http://www.vegrecipesofindia.com/mint-coriander-chutney-recipe/
I used boiled, canned chick peas in the stuffing, but you can also use boiled, diced potatoes. I just like to save time on weeknights.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Serves: 2 or 3

Ingredients:
Puris or golgappas - 20 to 25
Boiled chick peas - 1 cup, washed & drained
Red onion - 1 small
Tamarind chutney - 1/2 cup 
Sugar - 1 Tbsp
Mint & Coriander chutney - 1/2 cup
Yogurt - 1/2 to 3/4 cup
Red chili powder - to taste
cumin powder - to taste
Sev - about 1/2 cup or more, as needed

Method:
  • In a small bowl take the tamarind chutney & mix the sugar in it. This step can be skipped if you are using the tamarind and date chutney
  • Dice the red onion finely
  • Beat the yogurt with a wired whisk till smooth. You can add a teaspoon or two of water if the yogurt is very thick
  • In a plate, arrange the puris or golgappas as per portion size. Break the puris in the center on one side
  • Stuff the boiled chick peas in to the puris
  • Then add the diced red onions in each of the puris
  • Add half a teaspoon each of the mint & coriander chutney and the tamarind chutney in to the puri.
  • Top it with the yogurt, according to taste.
  • Sprinkle the red chilli powder & cumin powder on the puris, as per taste
  • Add the sev on top in a way that each puri gets covered with sev. Eat as soon as possible, so that the puris do not turn soggy
NOTE: you can also add boiled potatoes, peas, tomatoes as stuffing. If you have chaat masala, you can sprinkle that on top as well. Garnish can be done with coriander leaves or mint leaves, to make the dish look pretty.

Monday, April 6, 2015

MOONG DAL KHICHDI

Everyone needs some comfort food from time to time. Whether you're under the weather or just plain tired to put in serious work in the kitchen, there's not much that can't be fixed with a hot plate of khichdi. This is that yummy, soft, flavorful food that satiates like no other. There are several variants of Khichdi in India, but here's one that I personally love.
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Ingredients:
Rice: 2 cups
Whole green gram (Sabut hari moong) - 3/4th cup
Ghee - 1 Tbsp
Salt - to taste
Whole peppercorns - 3 or 4 (optional)
Water -  3 or 4 cups
Special requirements:
A pressure cooker - this is more of a convenience device, actually. It halves the cooking time and makes it easier to make the rice and moong soft. You can avoid this by cooking in a regular pan
Method:
  • Wash the rice & green gram and put in a pressure cooker
  • Fill it with 3 cups of water. Add 1 Tbsp of ghee, salt & whole peppercorns & stir lightly. Set the pressure cooker for 3 whistles. Alternately, cook the rice till it is soft.
  • If you like your khichdi soft and slightly runny, you may have to add another cup of water and cook the rice without the lid of the cooker.
  • Serve hot with pickle, papad or yogurt.

EGGLESS BANANA BREAD

This is a simple, egg-less, no-yeast banana bread recipe that is so delectable that it vanishes in minutes, every time I make it.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 40-50 minutes

Ingredients:
Ripe or over ripe bananas - 2 big / 3-4 small
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Vegetable oil - 1/2 cup
Whole wheat flour - 1.5 cups
Baking powder - 1.5 tsp
Baking soda - 1/2 tsp
Vanilla essence - 1/2 tsp
Salt - a pinch (optional)
Dry fruits (like walnuts, pistachios, almonds) - about a small handful (optional)
Butter or oil to grease the bread pan

Special requirements
A bread pan
Toothpick to check if the bread is done
A baking tray to roast the dry fruits

Method
  • Preheat the oven to 180 degree Celsius OR 375 Fahrenheit
  • Roast the dry fruits in the baking tray for 10 minutes, shaking to toss them once in between
  • Meanwhile, grease a bread tin or a rectangular cake pan with some butter or oil
  • Take bananas and sugar in a mixing bowl.
  • Mash the bananas well or puree them with a hand blender.
  • now add the oil, vanilla to the banana and mix well.
  • sieve the flour with the baking soda, baking powder, salt directly in the bowl containing the mashed bananas.
  • Fold the sieved flour really well. Add the roasted dry fruits and mix well
  • Pour the bread mixture into the loaf pan.
  • Bake at 375F for 0- 50 minutes or till a toothpick inserted in the bread comes out clean
  • remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack. When it is slightly warm or cooled, you can remove the bread from the pan. Slice & serve.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

CHICKEN 65

Preparation time:15 mins
Marination time: 1 hour
Ingredients:
Chicken - 500grams (diced in to small pieces)
Red Chili powder - 4 tsp
Coriander powder - 2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4th tsp
Garam masala powder - 1/4th tsp
Lemon juice - 4 tsp
Curd - 2 tsp
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp
Red food color - 4 pinches
Salt - 1 tsp
Oil for deep frying
Cilantro leaves - for garnish
Curry leaves - 2 twigs
Green chilis - 2 to 3 (slit longitudinally)
Onion - half (cut as rings or julienned for garnish)
Method:
  • Clean & wash the chicken. Drain all the water.
  • Mix all the powders, lemon juice, curd, ginger garlic paste & food color in a bowl & make a paste
  • Add the chicken to the paste & marinate for an hour in the fridge
  • Heat oil for deep frying in a pan and deep fry the chicken pieces. Remove on a paper towel to drain excess oil.

  • In another pan, take just 1 tsp of oil and add the curry leaves & green chilies. Add the fried chicken pieces & stir for about  minutes.

  • Remove from heat and serve garnished with cilantro and onion rings.
  • Note: If you wish to avoid deep frying, you can bake the chicken pieces at 375F for 15-20 minutes and the toss them with the curry leaves & green chilies 

Friday, March 27, 2015

SIMPLE SOOJI HALWA

Cook time: 15 minutes
Ingredients:
Rawa/ Sooji/ Semolina: 1.5 cups
Ghee: 1.5 Tbsp
Sugar - 1 cup
Cashew - 4 to 5
Raisins - 5 to 10
Chironji/ Charoli - 1 tsp
Water - 2 cups
Things needed:
Deep non stick pan
Saucepan to heat water 
Method:
  • Heat water in the saucepan until it reaches a boil. Add sugar and let in dissolve
  • In the non stick pan put the ghee and heat it till it melts. Add the dry fruits and roast lightly
  • Add the sooji to the dry fruits and ghee and stir.
  • Roast the sooji till it attains a light brown color
  • Add the sugar water and stir. Be careful as the water may sputter for a few second.
  • Stir and cook till the mixture is thick and comes away from the wall of the pan
  • Remove from heat & let it cool slightly. Serve warm 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

STIR FRY MUSHROOMS

This simple & beautiful mushroom dish can be served as a starter or a snack or a side. It is simple, quick, healthy & delicious!
Preparation Time: 2 Minutes
Cook Time: 5 Minutes

Ingredients:
Mushrooms: 1 cup
Butter: 1 Tbsp
Soy Sauce: 2 tsp
Spring Onion: 1 sprig (for garnish)
*Extra note: Sometimes I like to sprinkle just a pinch of garlic powder for additional flavor

Method: 
  • Cut the mushrooms in to halves & wash lightly
  • In a pan, heat the butter till it melts & add the mushrooms
  • Saute a little bit and let it cook for a minute. Mushrooms lose a lot of water and acquire a golden color as they cook
  • Add the soy sauce and stir. Let them cook for 2 minutes more. The mushrooms will have reduced almost 2/3rd to 1/2 the original size. Add a pinch of garlic powder, if you choose to.
  • Take it out in a bowl & garnish with chopped spring onion greens.




Wednesday, March 18, 2015

NANKHATAI - An easy Indian cookie


Preparation time: 20 mins    
Cook time: 15 mins
Makes: 15 - 20

Ingredients:
Wheat flour(atta) - 3/4 cup
All purpose flour (maida) - 1/4 cup
Sugar - 1/2 cup 
Ghee, melted - 1/2 cup (you made need lesser) 
Cardamom - 3-4 
Baking powder - a pinch 
Pistachios - 10-12 (for decoration)
Other requirements:

A mixer grinder
Baking tray lined with parchment paper

Method:
  • Grind the sugar & cardamon into a fine powder using the mixer grinder & remove in a bowl
  • Next, coarsely grind the pistachios in the grinder & keep aside for decoration
  • Add the wheat flour & all purpose flour to the sugar & cardamon & mix well
  • Add ghee little by little, rubbing as you add. You may not need all of it, may be 1 Tbsp you can reserve. You should add only ghee to form a dough. No water.
  • Make equal sized balls (15) out of the dough. Flatten slightly, not too much & place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper
  • Preheat the oven to 190C or 375F
  • With a knife make a cross pattern on the top of the cookie. Add a pinch of powdered pistachios over each cut.

  • Bake the cookies for about 12 - 15 minutes. DO NOT wait for the cookies to turn dark brown. They will be done when they turn golden in color. 
  • Remove & let cool for 5 - 10 minutes & serve with tea or store away in air tight container.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

EASY FISH FRY


This is my personal favorite form of fish. It's easy, quick & delicious. I used Tilapia this time, but the same can be made with any flat fish - Sole, Murrel, etc
Marination time: 15 minutes
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Ingredients:
Fish fillets - 2 
Red chili powder - 1 tsp
Salt - to taste
Ginger Garlic paste - 1 tsp
Lime juice - 2 Tbsp
Oil - 4 Tbsp (for frying)

Method:
  • Wash the fish fillets & cut into 2 inch pieces
  • In a bowl, mix the ginger garlic paste, salt, red chili powder & lime juice.
  • Add the fish pieces to the bowl and mix such that all the pieces all well coated with the mixture
  • Let it marinate for 15 minutes
  • Heat oil in a pan & fry the fish pieces until well cooked on both sides. Be careful as the hot oil will sputter.
  • Remove the fish on a paper towel to absorb any excess oil. Serve warm.