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Thursday, 30 April 2015

Grilled Pepper Chicken


          These Pepper flavoured grilled chicken are great appetizers at any small in-house party with family and friends. Spicy and tangy with some extra dash of lime, they will lift up your spirits. So come relish these delicious and healthy snacks with some onion rings, green chilies and sauce. They can also be served as a light meal along with some salads or soup.








  • 5-6 chicken pieces
  • 1 tbsp. whole peppercorns
  • 3-4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp. amchur powder (dry mango powder)
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp. oil + extra oil for basting








          Grind the pepper and garlic to a coarse paste along with some water. Mix with amchur powder, salt, turmeric powder and 1 tbsp. oil.

          Prick the chicken all over with a fork. Smear this paste all over the chicken pieces and marinate for 5- 6 hours, preferably overnight.

         Grease the upper rack of a microwave and place the marinated chicken on it. Pour the leftover marinade over it and grill for 15 minutes on one side.

         Flip it over and baste with some oil or the remaining marinade. Grill for 15 minutes more. Let it stand for 5 minutes. Serve hot along with a dash of lime, sliced onion and green chilies.














Beans & Chana Dal Stir Fry (Beans & Bengal Gram lentil - South Indian Style)


          A great combination of Beans with Chana Dal makes for a perfect side dish for either chapattis or rice. Prepared dry, I added some sambar powder for a bit of a South Indian flavour. The end result was this simple and an easy stir fry.

          It can be rolled in tortillas / parathas with some sliced onion thrown in for a quick on the go meal. I boiled the beans and the chana dal in an open pan so that the dal does not turn out too mushy. Both should be al dente. Finish it off with a dash of lime for a tangy taste. So check for a step by step guide with pictures to prepare it.








  • 2 cups Beans, chopped 
  • 1/2 cup chana dal, soaked for 30 minutes
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1" ginger, finely sliced
  • 1 tsp. garlic, finely sliced
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1 whole dry red chili, broken
  • 1 tsp. urad dal (split black gram)
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. sambar powder
  • 1 tsp. red chili powder
  • juice of 1/2 lime or to taste
  • 1 tbsp. coriander leaves to garnish





          Boil the beans and chana dal in enough water till soft. You can also pressure cook for 1 whistle. Drain and preserve the liquid for later use.

          Heat oil in a pan and temper with the red chily and mustard seeds. After it stops crackling, add the urad dal and saute till light brown.

          Now add the onion, ginger, garlic and curry leaves. Saute till light brown in colour. Then add the boiled dal and beans, followed by all the powdered spices.

          Saute for 2 minutes on low flame. When done, add the lime juice and serve, garnished with coriander leaves.




                          Heat oil in a pan and temper with mustard seeds and 1 dry red chily.



                        Add the urad dal, followed by onion, ginger, garlic and curry leaves.



                               Add the boiled beans and dal, followed by........



                               all the powdered spices.



                               Saute for 2 minutes on low flame. Add lime juice and mix well.



                               Serve, garnished with coriander leaves.













Chana-Moong Dal Fry (Bengal Gram & Split Green Gram Lentil fry)


          Dals or Lentils need to be included in our daily diet due to its nutritional value and is a great comfort food for many. They can be prepared in many ways, in combination too. This is my version of Chana and split Moong Dal Fry. 

          Do prepare this delicious dal fry, to be had with any Indian bread or rice. I first boiled both the dals along with onion, ginger and green chilies and then tempered with cumin seeds, asafoetida, garlic and tomatoes. This gave the dal a very good flavour. 

          Adjust the water accordingly if having with rice and you can relish it accompanied with some pickle and papad for a simple and a light wholesome meal. Please check for a step by step method with pictures to prepare it.








  • 1/2 cup chana dal (Bengal gram lentil)
  • 1/2 cup moong dal (split green gram lentil)
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1" ginger, grated
  • 2 green chilies, slit
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp. asafoetida
  • 1 tsp. garlic, chopped finely
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp. coriander leaves, chopped to garnish
  • 1 green chilly, chopped to garnish





          Soak both the dals for 30 minutes. Wash, rinse and boil in 2 cups water along with the onion, ginger, turmeric powder and green chilies for 4-5 whistles.

          Heat oil in a pan and temper with cumin seeds. After it stops crackling, add the garlic and asafoetida. Saute till the garlic becomes light brown in colour.

         Now add the tomato and continue to fry on low flame till it is mashed up. Add the boiled dal  and salt and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Adjust water according to the consistency required. Serve, garnished with coriander leaves and green chilies.




                           Heat oil in a pan and temper with cumin seeds.



                           Add garlic and asafoetida and saute till light brown.



                           Add tomato and saute till well mashed up.



                           Add the boiled dal and salt and simmer on low flame.



                          Serve, garnished with coriander leaves and green chilies.









Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Tomato Biscuit Soup


          This great combination of Tomato & Biscuit makes for a delicious soup full of flavour. I added some salty whole wheat biscuits and this gave a very smooth, creamy texture to the soup. I usually make Tomato Soup with some oats thrown in to give a body to it. But this time I thought why not with Biscuits. Hence this awesome one-pot meal. Have it as a light dinner with some bread sticks or croutons.
       






  • 3 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup salty biscuits / crackers, crumbled
  • 1 tbsp. oil
  • 3-4 garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. roasted cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper powder or to taste
  • 1 tsp. sambar powder
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
  • salt to taste
  • juice of 1/2 lime or to taste
  • 1 tsp. coriander leaves, chopped
  • pinch of red chili flakes





          Pressure cook the tomatoes in 3 1/2 cups water for 2-3 whistles. When cool, blend and then strain. keep aside.

         Heat oil in a pan and saute the garlic till they changes colour. Add the cumin powder, pepper powder, sambar powder and turmeric powder mixed with 2 tbsp. water.

         Saute till the oil separates. Add the strained tomato juice, salt and the crumbled biscuits. Simmer for 2-3 minutes. Set aside to cool.

          Blend till smooth. Heat through and add the lime juice. Serve, garnished with coriander leaves and a sprinkle of red chili flakes. Enjoy with some bread sticks or croutons for a light meal anytime of the day.


















Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Pasta Chaat (Savoury Snack)


          Chaats are savoury snacks that are found in every street corners of India. They are much loved by one and all and are of many types. For a variation, try serving pasta in a chaat form. Friends, family, especially kids will simply love this delectable dish. For a healthier version, whole wheat pasta if available are just perfect. I usually have this concoction as a light dinner with lots of green chutney and a sprinkle of chili flakes.
         







  • 2 cups whole wheat pasta. boiled al dente
  • 1 medium sweet potato / potato, boiled
  • 1/2 cup black chana (chickpeas), boiled
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1-2 green chilies, chopped
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. amchur powder / chaat masala
  • 1/2 cup yoghurt, beaten
  • 2 tbsp. green chutney
  • 2 tbsp. tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup sev
  • pinch of red chili flakes
  • 1 tbsp. coriander leaves, chopped





          In a bowl, mix together the boiled pasta, sweet potatoes, boiled chickpeas, onion, tomato, green chilies, salt  and amchur powder.

          Pour the beaten yoghurt over it, followed by the green chutney, tomato sauce, sev, coriander leaves and red chili flakes. Serve this yummy chaat as an appetizer or as an evening snack along with a hot cup of tea.















Pasta Kheer (Pudding)


          Kheer or Pudding are everyone's favourite dessert. In fact they can be had anytime of the day. Generally in India, the meal is finished off with a serving of some dessert. So lets come enjoy some Pasta Kheer for a change.

          This dessert is not much popular, but it is made in the similar way as we make Rice Kheer, Seviyan (Vermicelli) or Sooji Halwa (Semolina). I have used whole wheat pasta, a healthy option, but it an be done with any macaroni too.

          I have used evaporated milk instead of condensed milk, along with some fresh milk to thicken the kheer. You can increase the quantity of it according to your preference. Serve it at room temperature or chilled, garnished with some chopped nuts, saffron and rose water.











  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pasta, boiled al dente
  • 1 cup fresh milk
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • sugar to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. cardamom powder
  • few strands of saffron
  • 1 tsp. rose water (opt)
  • 2-3 tbsp. dry fruits, chopped (leaving few to garnish)





          Heat fresh milk and bring it to a boil. Add the evaporated milk, dry fruits, boiled pasta and sugar to taste.

          Simmer on low flame til it thickens or you get the desired consistency. When done, add the cardamom powder and rose water and stir. Garnish with chopped nuts and saffron. Serve at room temperature or chilled.



















Sunday, 26 April 2015

Sambar Dhokla - South Indian Style


         Dhokla is a very popular Gujarati snack. I gave a new twist to it and made in a South Indian style. I tried it for the first time and it turned out very delicious. Besides the usual spices, I added some sambar powder and few ground whole wheat biscuits. Any other biscuits will do.

          Then I gave a tempering of mustard seeds, sesame seeds, urad dal, curry leaves and asafoetida. Finally I served these awesome snacks with a garnish of coriander leaves and fresh coconut. These healthy fluffy bites can be enjoyed for breakfast, in fact anytime of the day.








  • 1/2 cup sooji (semolina)
  • 2 tbsp. yoghurt
  • 5-6 biscuits, ground
  • 1 tsp. sambar powder
  • 1/2 tsp. red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp. eno fruit salt
  • 3 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp. sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp. urad dal (split black gram)
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 1/4 tsp. asafoetida
  • 1 tbsp. fresh grated coconut
  • 1 tbsp. coriander leaves, chopped









         In a bowl, mix together all the ingredients from sooji - salt to taste along with 1 tbsp. oil and required quantity of water to make into a smooth batter. Leave aside for 30 minutes.

          Just before steaming add the eno fruit salt and combine well. Pour this batter in a greased steel container with a lid.

         Steam for 15-20 minutes (5 minutes on high flame and the remaining on low flame). When cool, cut into desired shapes.

          Heat remaining oil in a pan and temper with mustard seeds. After it stops crackling, add the the urad dal, sesame seeds, curry leaves and asafoetida. Switch off the flame and stir the ingredients till they turn light brown in colour.

         Add 2 tbsp. water to it and pour this tempering on the prepared dhoklas. Serve garnished with coriander leaves and fresh coconut.





       

       






Pasta N Veggies Soup


          This delicious and hearty soup is anytime welcome. I usually have this for a light dinner along with some grilled chicken or fish. A very good combination as you have all the goodness of veggies in the soup. 

          I added some whole wheat pasta to make it more wholesome. Any other veggies of your choice can be added. This soup can also be prepared with noodles too, for some variation.





  • 1 cup pasta, boiled al dente
  • 4 cups chicken / vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 cup sweet potato, chopped
  • 1 cup green papaya, chopped
  • 1 cup red cabbage, chopped
  • 1 cup green capsicum, chopped
  • 1 bunch pakchoy, roughly chopped
  • 1 bunch spring onion, roughly chopped
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper powder or to taste
  • juice of half lemon
  • coriander leaves 
  • pinch of red chili flakes (opt)





          Heat oil in a pan and saute the chopped garlic till it changes colour. Add the stock and bring it to a boil.

          Add the sweet potatoes and green papaya and simmer on low flame. When it is half done, add the red cabbage and simmer further for a minute or two.

          Now add the boiled pasta, capsicum, pakchoy, spring onion, salt and pepper powder. Simmer for a minute before adding the lemon juice. Serve, garnished with coriander leaves and a sprinkle of red chili flakes.










Grilled Achari Chicken (1) (Grilled Chicken with Pickle Masala)


          Grilled Chicken is an all time favourite with one and all and are perfect as appetizers with green chutney. In this recipe, I marinated it with ginger-garlic paste, some store bought bottled garlic pickle and other spices. It simply tasted awesome.

         Any bottled pickle can be used. Pair them with some soup or salad for a healthy and a light meal. So now there is no need to have any deep fried chicken. Try making these Grilled Chicken at home and I bet your family and friends will simply love these homemade gourmet delight.





  • 5-6 Chicken pieces 
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. ginger-garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp. red chili flakes
  • 1 tbsp. any bottled pickle masala 
  • 1/2 lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. oil
  • extra oil for basting





          Marinate the chicken pieces with all the above mentioned ingredients and leaves aside for 2-3 hours.

          Grease the upper rack of a microwave and place the marinated chicken over it. Drizzle the leftover marinade. Grill for the 15 minutes.

          Flip it over and drizzle some oil over it and further grill for another 15 minutes. Let it stand for 5-10 minutes.

          When Serving, drizzle some pickle oil over it and garnish with coriander leaves. Relish with any salad of your choice or some onion rings.














Saturday, 25 April 2015

Upside Down Mutton Biryani


          Biryani both veg. and non-veg. are universally liked by one and all. So here is an unique way of making any Biryani. I named it "Upside down Mutton Biryani" as it is basically a layered version of the cooked meat and rice, followed by all the other flavouring ingredients, in a greased bowl and then flipping it over while serving.

          Same method can be applied while making with chicken, eggs, prawns, fish or vegetables. Serve them hot with any raita, sliced onion and lemon wedges and surprise your family and friends with this one-pot meal. So check for a step by step guide with pictures to prepare it.








  • few strands of saffron, soaked in 2 tbsp milk
  • 300-400 gms. mutton on bones
  • 1 1/4 cup basmati rice, soaked for 20 minutes
  • 2-3 tbsp. oil
  • 1/2 tsp. shahjeera
  • 2-3 green cardamoms
  • 4-5 cloves
  • 1" cinnamon stick
  • 1 mace (javithri)
  • pinch of nutmeg powder (jaiphal) 
  • 1 star anise
  • 1-2 onion, sliced
  • 1 tbsp. ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1-2 green chilies, chopped
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. red chili powder
  • 1 tsp. garam masala powder
  • 1 tbsp. yoghurt
  • few roasted cashewnuts
  • 2 cup fried onions
  • 1/2 cup coriander leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. ghee / melted butter
  • 1 tsp. rose water
  • sliced onion, sliced lemon & mint leaves to garnish








          Pressure cook the mutton with salt to taste and turmeric powder for 25-30 minutes on low flame after the first whistle. When cool, drain and keep aside. (The stock can be used later).

          Pressure cook the rice in 1 3/4 cups water for 1 whistle. Spread it on a plate to cool down.

          Heat oil in a pan and temper with cardamoms, cloves, star anise, cinnamon, mace, and shahjeera. Saute for a few seconds.

          Add the onion and fry till light brown. Then add the ginger-garlic paste and saute till the raw smell disappears. Now add the tomatoes and continue to saute till it is well mashed up.

          Add the mutton, green chilies, turmeric powder, salt, red chili powder, nutmeg powder and garam masala powder. Fry for a minute or two on low flame. You can add little water if it sticks to the pan.

          Add the yoghurt and cook further for 2 minutes or till dry. Switch off the flame and keep it aside.

          Now to assemble, take a dish of your choice and grease it with some ghee / butter. Spread a layer of half of the boiled rice, followed by some more fried onions, coriander and mint leaves.

          Now spread the prepared mutton, followed again by some chopped coriander and mint leaves. The last layer should be of the leftover rice with a sprinkle of some fried onions.

          Drizzle the ghee / melted butter and rose water. Heat through  in the microwave for 2-3 minutes. 

          While serving, flip it over onto a plate and garnish with fried onions, cashew nuts, coriander & mint leaves and a drizzle of the saffron milk. Serve with an accompaniment of         sliced onion, sliced lemon and mint leaves.




                               Boil the mutton with salt to taste and a pinch of turmeric.



                      Temper the oil with cardamoms, cloves, cinnamon, star anise, mace, nutmeg
                      and shahjeera. Saute for a few seconds.



                               Add the onion and saute till light brown.



                              Add the ginger-garlic paste and saute.



                               Add the tomatoes and continue to fry till it is mashed.



                          Add the boiled mutton, green chilies and all the powdered spices.



                                Add the yoghurt and cook till dry.                   
       

              
                  To assemble, in a greased bowl of any shape, spread a layer of half the boiled
                   rice, fried onions, coriander & mint leaves.



                                Spread the cooked mutton, coriander and mint leaves.



                 Spread the last layer with rice & fried onions. Drizzle the ghee/melted butter 
                 and rose water. Heat through in the microwave for 2 minutes before serving.



                   Serve, garnished with fried onions, coriander & mint leaves, cashew nuts, 
                   sliced onion, lemon, mint leaves and a drizzle of the saffron milk.














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