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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 meal on the go. I boiled the beans and the soaked 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 out the step by step pictorial recipe 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 chili and mustard seeds. After it stops crackling, add the urad dal and sauté till light brown.

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

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

                                Heat oil & temper with mustard seeds & 1 dry red chili.

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

                                 Add boiled beans & dal, followed by........

                                all the dry spices.

                               Saute for 2 minutes on low flame. Add lime juice & 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. So check out the step by step pictorial recipe 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. Sauté 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 & temper with cumin seeds.

                                Add garlic & asafoetida. Saute till light brown.

                                Add tomato & saute till well mashed up.

                                Add boiled dal & salt. Simmer on low flame.

                               Serve, garnished with coriander leaves & 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 sauté the garlic till they changes color. Add the cumin powder, pepper powder, sambar powder and turmeric powder mixed with 2 tbsp. water.

         Sauté 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 yogurt, 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

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. 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, brunch or as snacks. 

  • 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 tsp. eno fruit salt
  • 3 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp. sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp. urad dal (split black gram)
  • 1 tsp. sesame seeds
  • 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 Vegetable 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 interesting and 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 capsicum, chopped
  • 1 bunch bok choy, roughly chopped
  • 1 bunch spring onion, roughly chopped
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper powder or to taste
  • juice of half lemon
  • 1 tbsp. coriander leaves, chopped 
  • pinch of red chili flakes (opt)

          Heat oil in a pan and sauté 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, bok choy, 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 and grill for 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.

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