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. 

Sunday, March 8, 2015

KUNG PAO CHICKEN


Kung pao chicken is a very popular dish served at Chinese restaurants. My recipe here is a very close take at it. The original recipe calls for rice wine vinegar. I have made a slight change here & used lime juice instead. Since not many people have rice wine vinegar in their pantries, I think my recipe will be quite helpful to all. But, if you do have rice wine vinegar, you can add a tablespoon of that as well. I also used ginger garlic paste instead of fresh ginger & garlic.
Preparation time: 25 min

Ingredients:
Chicken breast (boneless, skinless) - 1 
Corn starch - 1 Tbsp
Spring onions - 4
Red chili flakes - 2 Tsp
Ginger garlic paste - 1 Tbsp
Soy sauce - 2 Tbsp
Lime juice - 1 Tbsp
Sugar - 2 Tsp
Salt - 1 Tsp
Roasted peanuts - 1/3 cup
Oil - 1 Tbsp

Method:
  • Wash & dice the chicken in to small pieces. 
  • In a bowl add the chicken pieces and mix in the cornstarch until the chicken pieces are well coated.
  • Heat oil in large non-stick skillet or wok on medium heat. Add the chicken.
  • Stir fry 5-7 minutes or until no longer pink in center & remove from heat
  • Add 3 chopped spring onions (with the tops), ginger garlic paste & red pepper flakes to the skillet & stir fry till the onions soften & turn pinkish. Remove from heat.
  • In a bowl, combine the soy sauce, lime juice & sugar & add it to the skillet.
  • Add chicken to the skillet and stir until the chicken is well coated.
  • Add the salt & roasted nuts to the chicken & cook on medium heat for 5 mins or until the chicken is well cooked.
  • Remove in a serving bowl & garnish with chopped spring onion.
  • Serve with hot plain rice or fried rice.

Friday, March 6, 2015

PUMPKIN SOUP

As it turned out, I had diced pumpkin sitting in my freezer for a while now. I have been on the look out for recipes using pumpkin, other than the conventional pumpkin pie or pumpkin halwa. I tried my hand at pumpkin roti but that didn't turn out too well. Next in the quest was this soup. It's not a conventional soup like the manchow soup or the corn soup. It has a thick consistency & a mild flavor. Since I normally like spice in my food, I took the liberty of adding a pinch of red chili powder. I must say, it worked amazing for me. But you can easily skip it if you don't like it.
Preparation time: 30 to 40 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients:
Pumpkin - 250 gms, peeled & diced
Onion - 1
Ginger garlic paste - 1 Tbsp
Oil - 1 Tbsp
Salt - to taste
Black Pepper powder - 1 tsp + additional for garnish
Red chili powder - a pinch (optional - if you would like the soup spicy)
Vegetable/ chicken stock cube - 1
Corn flour - 1 Tbsp
Butter - 1 Tbsp
Water - as needed
Spring onion / mint leaves - for garnish

Other requirements:
A pressure cooker
A food processor/ blender

Method:
  • Heat oil in a pressure cooker. Add chopped onions & ginger garlic paste. Sauté well.


  • When the onion becomes soft, add diced pumpkins and sauté 2 minutes. Add pepper powder, red chili powder, water and salt to the pumpkin. Cover and cook until the pressure cooker whistles twice. Keep aside to cool.

  • Blend cooked pumpkins in a food processor or blender and make a puree. (Blend it in 2 or 3 batches in order to prevent spillage.)
  • Heat the blended puree in a sauce pan in a low heat. 


  • Dissolve the chicken or vegetable stock cube in one cup of warm water and mix well.
  • Add this to the pumpkin mix
  • Dissolve the corn flour in 1 cup of water  & add this to the pumpkin, stirring continuously to prevent lumps forming.

  • Add butter for taste and mix well.Taste the Pumpkin Soup and add salt if required.
  • Wait for the soup to thicken slightly & then turn off the heat. 
  • Garnish with pepper powder and chopped spring onions or mint leaves.



Thursday, March 5, 2015

PEACH COBBLER

Ingredients:
Peaches - 4 to 6 (peeled & sliced)
Sugar - 2 cups
Milk - 1 cup
Flour - 1 cup
Unsalted Butter - 1/2 cup
Baking powder - 1 Tbsp
Salt - a pinch
Lemon juice - 1 Tbsp 
Ground cinnamon/ Nutmeg to top (optional)
This tastes best with vanilla ice cream, so I would highly recommend that too.

Serving size: 6 to 8 servings
Preparation time: 20 min
Baking time: 15 min

Method:
  • Place the butter in a 13x9 baking dish & place in the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit to melt
  • Meanwhile, combine 1 cup of sugar, flour baking powder, salt & milk in a bowl.

  • Place a pan on the stove. Mix the peaches, 1 cup of sugar & the lemon juice & stir constantly till the peaches soften .
  • Pour the milk batter in to the baking dish. Pour the peaches over the batter evenly but do not stir.
  • Top with ground cinnamon or nutmeg, if desired.

  • Bake until golden brown at 375F for about 15 minutes.
  • Scoop into bowls & serve while warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream



Wednesday, March 4, 2015

NO BAKE CHOCOLATE SOUFFLE


Preparation time: 30 min
Setting time: minimum 2 hours

Ingredients:
Cocoa powder - 3tbsp
Milk - 2 cups
Eggs - 3 
Cream - 200 gm
Gelatin - 11gm (1sachet)
Castor sugar - 8 tbsp
Vanilla essence - 1 tsp
Chocolate - 1 bar/40 gm (for decoration)

Special equipment:
Egg whisk
A big pan to boil water & a small bowl for the gelatin (the set up of a double boiler)
Ice cubes & a flat dish to hold them

Method:
  • Take 3 tbsp cold water in a bowl & sprinkle gelatin on the surface. Leave to sponge for 5 min
  • Boil water in a larger pan on the stove and place the gelatin bowl lightly dipping in the water, & stir to dissolve the gelatin (this is called the double boiler)
  • Separate egg yolks & egg whites
  • Add sugar to the egg yolks & beat till it gets a creamy texture
  • mix cocoa powder & milk in a bowl & add to the egg yolk mixture
  • Put this mixture on medium heat on the stove & stir regularly to make a custard.
  • when the mixture thickens, remove from flame & cool completely
  • Add melted gelatin & mix gently 
  • Place this mix over ice cubes that have been laid in a flat dish. Keep stirring the mix
  • Beat the cream in a bowl gently and add to the custard.
  • Now take the egg white and beat them till they peak & add into the custard. 
  • Add vanilla essence and mix gently
  • Pour the entire mixture in to a single fancy bowl or smaller bowls and set in the fridge for at least 2 hours
  • Grate the chocolate bar and decorate the souffle when it is set


EVERYDAY WHITE BREAD

Ingredients:
Flour - 1kg (Keep some aside for flouring the kneading surface)
Sugar - 50gm
Instant yeast - 12gm
Salt - 20gm
Butter/margarine - 20gm
Water - 400 to 500ml
Oil to grease the mould

Easy tip: It may be helpful to know that ~3gm=1tsp


Special requirements

A fairly large flat surface for kneading the dough
A greased pan for letting the dough rise
A bread baking dish
Cling wrap or a moist muslin cloth
A brush to grease the bread

Method:

  • Knead all the ingredients into a soft ball. The dough should be tacky but not sticky.
  • Place the dough in a slightly greased bowl, cover the bowl with a cling film or damp muslin cloth & allow it to rise at room temperature for about an hour, or until it doubles in size
  • Scrape the dough onto a well floured surface. Tap the dough to deflate the air
  • Shape the dough into a loaf and place in a greased loaf pan

  • Allow it rise again for about 45 minutes
  • preheat the oven to 200 centigrade and bake the loaf for about 20-30 min till golden brown
  • once the loaf is out of the oven, brush some oil on the surface of the hot loaf
  • Allow it to cool. Slice. Smear butter & eat.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

HASHBROWNS


Ingredients: 
Potatoes - 2
Clarified butter - 2 or 3 Tbsp
Salt & pepper as needed

Other equipment:
Grater
Non stick pan

Method:
  • Shred potatoes into a large bowl filled with cold water. Stir until water is cloudy, drain, and cover potatoes again with fresh cold water
  • Dry the shredded potatoes on a paper towel
  • Heat clarified butter in a non stick pan over medium heat
  • Cook potatoes until a brown crust forms on the bottom, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle salt & pepper as needed
  • Flip over and let the other side cook till brown as well