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Friday, July 22, 2016

Chicken In Tomato Sauce/ Chicken Kadhai

This week I'm trying to spend less time working and more time cooking and doing family stuff so I thought this would be the perfect recipe to make and share. This is one of  the quick and stunning recipe - Not because I am obsessed with flavorful Asian food, but it has some unique taste when blended with few spices or masala's. I always look for a one-pot meal which is quick to make, finger licking good dish. 

Karahi or Kadhai is basically a cooking utensil that resembles a wok with two handles. Chicken kadhai therefore is literally chicken cooked in kadhai on a naked flame. I personally like chicken kadhai in a pool of spicy oil, chicken with crisp edges and a medium consistency of tomato gravy, but you can also try chicken kadhai in a form of dry masala by simply frying the tomatoes and chicken on a medium-high heat when the tomatoes are jammed like in consistency.

I adapted this from my friend with some changes. I reduced the oil, added chili flakes and fenugreek leaves for spicy, flavorful combination. It doesn't require marination - just throw everything into a pot and you're done with cooking. You can also cook this recipe with goat or lamb. Since it was just me and my husband eating, I made this for two.

Chicken In Tomato Sauce/ Chicken Kadhai

Chicken Tomato Sauce Karahi Chicken

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: Less than 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Serves: 3-4 persons

Ingredients
5 pieces of Chicken 
4 tablespoon cooking oil
4 large size tomatoes, slice them into rings
1/2 cup, whisk yogurt
1 tablespoon red chili flakes
1 tablespoon grounded black pepper
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1/4 teaspoon fenugreek leaves or kasturi methi
1 tablespoon garlic paste
1 tablespoon ginger paste
Salt to taste

For Garnishing
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro or roughly chopped coriander leaves
1 teaspoon ginger Julienne
1 teaspoon lemon juice, optional
1 teaspoon chopped green chilies or chopped mint leaves

Method:
Chicken Food Recipe

  • Crush or pound the pieces of ginger and garlic in a pestle and mortar to a smooth paste.
  • In a pan, heat oil & fry chicken pieces with 1 tablespoon of garlic and 1 tablespoon of ginger paste. Fry until chicken changes its color and you spot crispy coating around its edges.
  • Now add tomatoes, 1 teaspoon cumin powder, 1/4  tablespoon fenugreek leaves or kasturi methi, 1 tablespoon grounded black pepper, 1 tablespoon red chili flakes and salt to taste. You can increase the spice as per your liking's. Cover the pan and allow the tomatoes cook on a medium flame.
  • You can substitute red chili flakes with red chili powder. You can also add 2-3 green and brown cardamom, half teaspoon cinnamon powder, 2-3 clove, mace, nutmeg powder and bay leaf for more aroma and character to this dish. I have avoided adding hot spices in this recipe. 
  • Once the tomatoes form a paste and dries up all its moisture, add 1/2 cup whisk yogurt & mix properly. Cover the pan and let the chicken cook in yogurt sauce.
  • As soon as the yogurt gravy becomes nice and thick, add chopped cilantro, ginger julienne and green chilies. Mix well & let it cook for another 5 minutes. If you want to add veggies you can add diced capsicum.
  • When done, taste and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper.
  • Remove this delicious & aromatic dish on a plate & serve hot with roti, naan or fried zeera rice.
It smells so yummy! Few changes in chicken dishes have always satisfied our taste buds if cooked with love & passion. Enjoy this easy & not so expensive dish at home and forget to order chicken kadhai from restaurants.

Note: While cooking, you will need to play around with the heat. For an instance, the chicken is initially seared on high heat but the ginger-garlic paste must be sauteed on lower heat so that the paste doesn't burn. 

Monday, July 18, 2016

Soft & Crispy Spinach Fritters

It's a rainy day and I die to snack on not-so-oily fritters with a lovely cup of milk tea! During the monsoon, if I was at home, chit chattering with my BFF and enjoying every bit of the weather with little munching are best part's of my life! Fritters always remind me of the monsoon in India, it is the memory of sharp lighting and gray skies that crack into mild & heavy showers. Earth releases its heat and transforming it into fresh and earthy scented smell. Smell in the air after a light rain, the smell of the wet leaves and wet soil just refreshes and relaxes my mind, body and soul! 

Here in Dubai, I am usually snuggled up in my bean bag or bed, watching a cute animated movie (my recent one was "Zootopia") munching in nachos along with a yummy creamy cheese dip! As the breeze cooled, hubby opened the windows and the house came alive with the sound of rain drops. And soon after that, there was a call for fresh pakoda's or fritters and a hot cup of tea!

It seems like monsoon gives a natural weakness for fried and crispy snacks. Hubby would ask for something spicy, salty, savory snacks with garlic sauce and green cilantro or minty yogurt chutney! Monsoon showers have always kept me busy in making appetizers to settle down his craving. One of the quick and easy teatime snack that we overlook are Fritters! And this one is the most healthiest form of spinach fritters that we always make at home during monsoons!

Fresh spinach combined with onions, the uncomfortable levels of spices and flavors, with a bountiful of tomato ketchup and green chutney taste like a piece of heaven. I have spent my whole Ramadan in making fritters and other snacks in Iftari for my dearest husband. Well, I have re-created this recipe a bit, mama makes the fritters only by using spinach. I have added a gentle amount of onions dominated by few spices. There is no much time and effort needed in making and preparing these fritters, all you need is to cook with love. 

Soft & Crispy Spinach Fritters/Palak Fritters

Spinach Fritters Palak Pakode Recipe
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 10-15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Serves: 2-3 persons

Ingredients:
1 cup of freshly chopped Spinach
2 medium size, finely diced onions
1 cup gram flour or besan
3-4 Anaheim green peppers, depends on your spice buds
1 tablespoon red chili flakes
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon roasted and roughly grounded coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon garlic paste
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon freshly chopped cilantro
a pinch of asafoetida/hing
Salt to taste
1/2-1 cup water

Method:

Spinach Fritters Palak Pakode
  • Firstly, lets start with spinach. Remove the stems of the spinach and do not discard the stems as you can use them later in vegetable stock preparation. Wash the spinach leaves thoroughly and roughly chop them. 
  • In a big bowl, add chopped spinach along with finely chopped onions with 1 tablespoon red chili flakes, 1 teaspoon roasted and grounded coriander seeds, 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, 3 chopped Anaheim green peppers, 1/2 teaspoon garlic paste, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon freshly chopped cilantro, a pinch of asafoetida/hing and salt to taste. Mix everything together with the help of a spoon.
  • Now, add half cup gram flour into the mixture and mix well. Slowly add water and mix until the mixture turns into a smooth, medium and lumps free batter. Adjust the gram flour, water, seasoning and salt. Gram flour holds all the ingredients firmly.
  • In a frying pan, heat cooking oil and drop the paste at a time in a shape of a tikki or a cutlet. Or place tablespoons full of batter into the hot oil.
  • Let one side of the fritters cook for at least 5 minutes until it turns crisp and golden brown in color. Now flip it to the other side and let it shallow fry. Fritters are cooked once the tester comes out clean!
  • Once the fritters changes its color to golden brown, remove them on a plate. Enjoy eating with ketchup or garlic sauce!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Yummy Nutty Chicken Recipe

I have tried cooking chicken in almost everything but I had never risked my menu with nuts. In our Indian houses, I have often seen certain white ingredients like basmati rice and milk cooked in a slow pot on a low flame, coming together to form a yummy sweet dish "kheer". Mixed in with lots of finely chopped crunchy almonds, cashew nuts, elaichi and saffron! The fragrance of white basmati rice and the crunch of nuts goes along very well. Nuts plays a very important role in sweet and rice dishes in Asian cooking. 

Mama used to make Gajar Halwa packed full with almonds and sometimes paratha or wheat flat bread stuffed with almonds, cinnamon, khoya and sugar. As children, it was the perfect brunch, mama used to make it on a thick non-stick pan, we used to watch TV while enjoying nutty paratha's with tea!

Many of my favorite foods were mostly made with dry fruits. During my favorite festival of Ganesh Chaturthi, mama used to make modaks shaped like a dumpling. Their surfaces were soft and spongy and the insides with dry coconut, jaggery, almonds! This festival was a complete satisfying treat to my sweet tooth. 

I have tasted almonds in almost every sweet and vegetable dish, but this was the very first time. This recipe is the color of cilantro and green chilies, and the greens is lightened with the mixture of yogurt, chili flakes and almond paste, the heat also affects the shade. I served this flavorful recipe on a bed with a sesame studded naan and a bowl of steamed rice.

Nutty Chicken Gravy Recipe

Nutty Chicken Recipe, Chicken Cooked In Almonds

Preparation Time: 25 minutes
Cooking Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Serves: 2-3 persons

Ingredients:
3-4 Chicken pieces, you can even use boneless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon olive oil or ghee.
1 cup, whisk yogurt
1 large size onion, cut into fine half moons
2-3 Anaheim green chili pepper
1 teaspoon garlic paste
1 tablespoon ginger paste
1 tablespoon red chili flakes
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 bay leaf
3-4 black pepper
3-4 small cardamom
3-4 whole cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg powder
1/2 cup cilantro or coriander leaves
1/2 cup almonds paste
Salt to taste
1 cup water

Method:


Nutty Chicken Recipe
  • In a wok, add cooking oil and 1 large size finely chopped onions. Fry them on a medium flame until the onions change its color to golden brown. Remove the fried onions to a wide plate with absorbent paper, and let it cool down. 
  • In a blender, add yogurt, 2-3 Anaheim green chili pepper, fried brown onions and fresh cilantro or coriander leaves. Blend everything into a smooth paste. 
  • In a wok, add olive oil, 1 bay leaf, 3-4 black pepper, 3-4 small cardamoms. 3-4 whole cloves and saute for few minutes until fragrant. 
  • Add ginger-garlic paste and chicken pieces. Fry chicken pieces on a low flame until the chicken changes its color. The paste will begin to smell aromatic and the chicken turn little brown in color.
  • Now add the yogurt and cilantro paste, almonds paste into the wok and let it simmer until the oil separates from the sides. 
  • Add 1 cup of water and cover the wok and let the chicken cook on a low flame until the chicken is done and the consistency becomes thick. Adjust the salt and the seasoning.
  • Garnish with coriander or ginger julienne and serve hot with roti's, naan or steam rice. Tuck in!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Healthy Sapodilla/Chikoo Milkshake

Well, today I just checked my fruit basket and I found these cute little fruits lying besides a bunch of mangoes. I brought them from a fruit market last week and I forgot to use them while making fruit custard. Maybe that is why these little chikoo's got overly ripe and soft! But as they are too sweet and soft, I'm stopping myself from throwing them away. So today I am out with this chikoo shake recipe. Before making this shake do make sure that the chikoo's that you're using are sweet in taste and they have not turned sour or bad otherwise your hard work can be a total waste of time.

My husband hates simple chikoo milkshake so he adds chopped mixed fruits with lots of milk cream! I love the marriage of a scoop of chocolate ice-cream with chikoo shake and this yummy idea, is a treat for my husband. I always understand his mood and I try to make him happy with different types of milkshakes. And this one was truly a win-win situation to change his not-so good mood! 

This shake tasted so good when served chilled in breakfast and therefore voracious appetites would most certainly mean that the chikoo milkshake was guzzled down within minutes. I also love to sit out on the veranda, preferring a good music playing around the background with a glass of chilled chikoo milkshake and a bowl chocolate chip cookies! Simply Perfect!

Let's start blending!

Chikoo Milkshake

Yummy Sapodilla Chikoo Milkshake Recipe
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 2 persons

Ingredients for Chikoo Milkshake
4-5 unseeded and chopped Chikoo
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup ice cubes
Sugar or honey as needed

Method:

  • With the help of a knife, roughly chop the chikoo into pieces and remove its seeds. If chikoo's are not overly ripe than simply peel the skin of chikoo with the help of a peeler.
  • In a blender, add 5 unseeded, peeled and chopped ripe chikoo and blend it with 1/2 cup milk and 1 teaspoon of sugar.
  • Blend well into a smooth paste. Note that chikoo's are already sweet when turned ripe, so initially always add the least amount of sugar. Later you can adjust the sweetness and thickness of chikoo milkshake.
  • If you're doing it for your kids then try adding chocolate syrup or chopped mixed fruits or ice-cream as a fun element for them.
I hope you too enjoy drinking this healthy and not so difficult drink at home! Enjoy hoggerz! 

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Yummy Chocolate Custard Recipe

Chocolate is everyone's favorite in our house. We love to eat chocolate pudding, chocolate cookies, chocolate ice creams and much more. For me, chocolate a day that keeps the doctor away! Chocolate is loved by everyone from all ages if used in a right way and proportion. I personally love to drink a chocolate smoothie or chocolate milk in my breakfast, but by the time I could grab chocolate bars, my dearest husband would wolf down my whole chocolate bar. It's like a cat and dog fight to win a chocolate bar, I think we haven't grown up yet even after our marriage ;)

Well! Now you can surely understand our love and craze behind chocolates and if you too have the same bonding with chocolate bars then this sweet and delicious recipe is just made for satisfying your sweet buds too! Sweet is just an incomplete dish if served without chocolate. Melted chocolate, powder chocolate or chocolate bar I think this is all I needed since the day I first tasted this heavenly eatable. I think this is the best invention of human's on this planet earth. 


Dark chocolate, white chocolate or any mismatch version of chocolates can simply be a treat for me. Girls majorly love shopping or partying and I simply love eating, drinking and ending my day with chocolates!! I have always suffered from bad tooth aches for loving chocolates. But,  tooth aches couldn't stop my love from chocolates! I know this sounds quite like a love story, but this is how it is supposed to be when you are too much in love, so what if it's chocolate and not a guy!

Today, I have a very yummy and chocolicious recipe made completely from chocolate. This is my husband's childhood favorite recipe that my mom-in-law used to prepare for him every week! He loves to eat custard and especially this one. After a long, tiring day from work whenever he faced an awful day, we used to surprise him with this dessert. How can I forget his million dollar happy face after fulfilling his appetency for chocolate custard! His mom has always shown her love by taking out time from her eventful day in preparing this sweet dish just for him. Isn't this cute! We all love surprises and specially the surprise wrapped in our favorite sweet item! Now, I have tried this recipe and it tasted exactly like the one she makes! We do miss those days where we used to dig our spoons in one bowl like the mad lad. Anyways, now it's time to dig in our spoons and feast on delicious, soft  and completely chilled chocolate custard!

Chocolate Custard

Yummy Chocolate Custard Dessert Sweet Recipe
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 3-4 persons

Ingredients:
3 cups of full cream milk
4-5 tablespoons of Sugar
5-6 tablespoons of Chocolate custard powder
1/2 cup chocolate bars

Method:
  • In a bowl, pour 1 cup of full cream milk.
  • Add 5-6 tablespoons of chocolate custard powder which is readily available in any store or market, I have used Rafhan chocolate custard powder. Slowly add 2 tablespoons of custard powder one-by-one and keep mixing the powder in full cream milk to avoid lumps.
  • Keep adding chocolate custard powder until the milk mixture turns thick without any formation of lumps. Mix until the custard powder gets dissolved properly.
  • In a saucepan, bring 2 cups of full cream milk to boil. Once milk starts boiling add 4 tablespoons of sugar, Adjust the sweetness as desired.
  • Now add the mixture of custard powder which we had prepared earlier. Keep stirring under medium flame for a few minutes.
  • As soon as the mixture thickens you can mix a half cup of chocolate bars and stir well.
  • Now, immediately remove the mixture into the serving bowl and garnish with chocolate. Refrigerate it and serve chilled.
Everyone of us love to use less ingredients as less is easy, but can, less effort and less ingredients give as tasty and amazing results like tasted somewhere in your favorite restaurants?

Try this desert and do share your views with us!!


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