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Monday, 29 February 2016

Charcoal Smoked Chicken Tikka Biryani

         Make this delicious Smokey Chicken Tikka Biryani which is an easy version of Dum Biryani and minus too much effort. The end product is simply awesome with the aroma coming from the infused charcoal. 

          To make it more easy, you can use store bought Tikkas. It will save your time and will be a sure hit at any in-house party. So check out the step by step pictorial recipe to prepare this mouth watering delicacy.

  • 1 cup Basmati rice, soaked in water for 30 minutes
  • 2 cups Chicken Tikkas
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tbsp. ghee
  • 1 star anise
  • 1/2 blade of mace
  • 1" cinnamon stick
  • 2 green cardamoms
  • 4 cloves
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 1 onion
  • 1-2 green chilies, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. ginger-garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp. kashmiri red chili powder
  • 1 tsp. garam masala powder
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup fried onions
  • handful of coriander & mint leaves, chopped
  • 12-15 roasted cashews & almonds
  • pinch of saffron immersed in 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. rose water
  • 1 small piece of charcoal

          Rinse, wash and drain the soaked rice. Pressure cook in 1 1/2 cups water for one whistle. Spread it on a plate to cool down.

          Heat oil in a pan and temper with cinnamon, cardamoms, cloves, bay leaf, star anise and mace. Add the onion and green chilies. Sauté till light brown.

          Add the ginger-garlic paste, tomato paste and all the dry spices mixed with a little water. Sauté till oil separates.

          Now add the chicken tikkas. Mix everything well and cover. Cook on a low flame for 2-3 minutes. 

          Spread the cooked rice over the chicken followed by the coriander & mint leaves, fried onion, roasted cashews & almonds, ghee, rose water and saffron milk.

          Place a live charcoal on a foil and place the foil over the rice. Drizzle some ghee / oil over the coal and cover with a lid. 

           Simmer on a low flame for 4-5 minutes. When done, remove the charcoal along with the foil and serve hot with raita, sliced onions and lime for a satisfying meal.

                   Heat oil & temper with bay leaf, cinnamon, cardamoms, cloves, star anise
                   & mace.

                                Add onions & green chilies. Sauté till light brown.

                    Add ginger-garlic paste, tomato paste & all dry spices mixed with some
                     water. Fry till oil separates.

                                Add chicken tikkas & mix well.

                                Cover & cook on a low flame for 2-3 minutes.

                     Spread rice over it followed by coriander & mint leaves, fried onion, 
                     nuts, saffron milk, ghee & rose water.

                     Place a live charcoal over a foil & keep it on the rice. Drizzle some oil or 
                     ghee over it.

                               Cover with a lid & simmer on a low flame for 4-5 minutes.

                                When done, remove charcoal along with the foil. 

                                Serve hot with raita, sliced onions & lime wedges.


Leftover Mish Mash Tikki

          Make these yummy Tikkis for snacks with any leftover food that is sitting in your refrigerator. This is a very good way to use them up. I added some cooked rice, chapatis, few idli pieces and semi-dry potato curry. Do try them at home and create an awesome new dish. It will be gone in no time. You can relish them with either green chutney or ketchup. 

  • 2-3 chapatis, shredded
  • 2-3 idlis, crumbled
  • 1 cup cooked rice, mashed
  • 1 cup semi-dry potato curry (aloo sabzi), mashed
  • 1 onion, chopped 
  • 1 tsp. ginger, grated
  • 2 green chilies, chopped
  • few coriander & mint leaves, chopped
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. garam masala powder
  • 1/2 tsp. chaat masala powder
  • beaten yogurt to bind (opt)
  • oil to shallow fry

          Dry roast the shredded chapati till crisp. Blend into a coarse powder. Mix it along with the remaining ingredients, except oil.

          Knead into a dough by adding some beaten yoghurt if required. Form into round tikkis and refrigerate for an hour.

          Heat some oil on a tawa and fry few at a time on both sides till it is light golden in colour. 
Drain on a tissue paper. Fry the remaining tikkis and serve them hot with chutney or sauce.

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Chicken Tikka Masala

         This is grilled boneless chicken cubes cooked in a creamy based gravy. This dish is very popular in most of the Indian restaurants and dhabas. They are served with hot kulchas or naans for a satisfying meal. It has many versions. But I cooked minus the cream and added instead some yoghurt to give a creamy texture to the gravy. 

          Any leftover Tikkas can be easily turned into this yummy side dish. It can also be relished with plain steamed rice, jeera rice, plain Biryani or tandoori roti. So check out the step by step pictorial recipe to prepare this delicacy.

  • 2-3 cups chicken tikka along with cubed capsicum & onion
  • 3 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1" cinnamon stick
  • 2 green cardamoms
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp. ginger-garlic paste
  • 2 tomatoes, pureed
  • 1 tsp. tomato paste
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp. red chili powder
  • 1 tbsp. coriander-cumin powder
  • 1 tsp. garam masala powder
  • 2 tbsp.  cashew paste
  • 3/4 cup yogurt, beaten
  • 2 tbsp. coriander leaves, chopped
  • few onion rings, a tsp. of yoghurt beaten and a sprig of mint to garnish

         Heat oil and butter in a pan and temper with bay leaves, cinnamon, cardamoms, cloves and cumin seeds. Saute for a few seconds and then add the onions. Fry till light brown.

          Add the ginger-garlic paste and all the powdered spices along with some water. Fry till oil separates. Add the tomato puree and the tomato paste. Combine everything well.

         Keep frying on a low flame till the oil leaves the sides. Now add the cashew paste and cook till the moisture reduces. 

          Add the chicken tikka. Give it a stir and add the beaten yoghurt. Cover and cook on a low flame for 2-3 minutes. 

          When done, add the coriander leaves and serve, garnished with beaten yoghurt, onion rings and a sprig of mint.

                         Heat oil & butter. Temper with cumin seeds, bay leaves  & whole 
                         garam masala.

                                Add onion & fry till light brown.

                           Add ginger-garlic paste & all dry spices mixed with some water. 
                           Saute till oil separates.

                                Add tomato puree & tomato paste.

                               Then add roasted cashew paste. Fry till dry.

                               Add chicken tikka.

                                Mix well.

                                Add beaten yoghurt.

                                Cover & simmer for 2-3 minutes.

                                When done, add coriander leaves. 

                      Serve with steamed rice, jeera rice, plain Biryani, naan or tandoori roti.

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Lau Ghonto (Bottle Gourd Curry - Bengali Style)

          This is a typical homemade style Bottle Gourd curry that is very commonly made in many Bengali household. Bori / vadi / dried lentil dumplings are used to prepare this simple recipe for a crunchy effect. 

          It is cooked with minimum of spices, the dominant flavour comes from the coriander leaves and the ghee that is added to the end product. It goes well as a side dish with both rice and chapattis. For the non-veg. version, generally it is cooked with prawns or fish head. So check out the step by step pictorial recipe to prepare it.

  • 1 medium size bottle gourd, diced
  • 2-3 tbsp. mustard oil
  • 8-10 bori / dried lentil dumplings
  • 1 tsp. panch phoron (equal quantities of fennel, mustard, cumin, fenugreek & nigella seeds)
  • 2-3 green chilies, slit
  • salt of taste
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin powder 
  • handful of coriander leaves, chopped
  • 1 tsp. ghee 

          Heat oil in a pan and temper with panch phoron. After it stops spluttering, add the lentil dumplings and fry till golden in colour.

          Now add the diced bottle gourd, salt, turmeric powder, cumin powder and green chilies. Mix everything well and cook, covered on a low flame till they turns soft and the moisture dries up. (Add water if needed)

         When done, add ghee and coriander leaves and give it a stir. Serve as a side dish with either rice or chapattis.

                      Heat oil & temper with panch phoron. Then add dried lentil dumplings
                      & fry till golden in colour.

                     Add diced bottle gourd, salt, turmeric powder, cumin powder & green 
                     chilies. Mix well & cook, covered on low flame till soft & moisture dries 
                     up. (Add water if needed)

                        When done, add ghee & coriander leaves & give it a stir.

                                Serve as a side dish with either rice or chapattis.

Baby marrow Curry - South Indian Style

          This is a simple and delicious baby marrow curry in the South Indian Style. Marrows are from the Zucchini family. It is a wonder veggie as it has a lot of health benefits. It lowers cholesterol, aids in weight management, is good for diabetic patients, etc. 

          This is a dry preparation and can be enjoyed as a side dish with either rice or chapattis. I added some sambar powder to the end product. You can also add idli podi to give it a new flavour. 

  • 5-6 baby marrow, diced
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp. asafoetida
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 1 tsp. urad dal (split blak gram lentil)
  • 2 fresh red chilies, slit
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. red chili powder
  • 1 tsp. sambar powder / idli podi
  • 1 tsp. coriander powder

         Heat oil and temper with mustard seeds. After it stops spluttering, add asafoetida, curry leaves and urad dal. Saute for a few seconds.

          Add the diced baby marrow, chilies, salt, turmeric powder, chili powder and coriander powder. Mix well and cook, covered on a low flame.

          Sprinkle water and stir at intervals till they turns soft. When done, add sambar powder and give it a stir. Serve as a side dish with either rice or chapattis.

Steamed Strawberry Jam Sandesh

          Sandesh is a very popular Bengali sweet that is made out of homemade chenna or paneer. Here is a quick method - the steamed version made out of Amul Paneer. It cuts down a lot of your precious time. The flavour I gave is that of strawberry jam. So do try this amazingly yummy dessert by checking out the step by step pictorial recipe to prepare it.

  • 400 gms Amul Paneer Cubes
  • 6-7 tbsp. powdered sugar or to taste
  • 3 tbsp. strawberry jam
  • 1/2 tsp. ghee to grease
  • few almonds and extra jam for garnishing

          Blend the paneer in a mixi till smooth. Add sugar and jam and mix well till there are no lumps. 

          Transfer to a greased steel container / tiffin box with a lid (you can cover with a aluminium foil too). Steam for 12-15 minutes (5 minutes on high and the remaining on low flame).

          When cool, refrigerate. Cut them into slices and top them up with more jam and almonds. Serve chilled.

                                Mix together paneer, sugar & jam.

                                Transfer to a greased plate.

                                 Steam for 12-15 minutes.

                                Garnish with jam & almonds. Serve chilled.

Cake Phirni / Pudding - Fusion Style

          Phirni is a traditional sweet / pudding that has its origins in the Northern regions of India. It is traditionally made of ground rice paste / powder in a milk based creamy dessert. But how about some 'Cake Phirni' for a change? As I like experimenting and giving a new touch to any original recipe, I came up with this idea. 

          It is a great fusion dish and it turned out simply delicious. Any leftover cake of any flavour can come handy here. Do try this phirni in a new avatar by checking out the step by step pictorial recipe  to prepare it.

  • 1 litre full cream milk
  • 1" cinnamon stick
  • 4-5 green cardamoms
  • 6-7 tbsp. sugar or to taste
  • 1 cup cake crumble
  • 1 tsp. rose water
  • 1 tbsp. chopped nuts
  • few saffron strands

         Bring the milk to a boil in a pan along with cardamoms and cinnamon. Add the cake crumble and the nuts (preserve some for garnishing). Simmer, stirring at intervals on a low flame.

         When it is almost half reduced add the sugar and simmer till it is dissolved. Check for consistency. Put off the flame and add the rose water. 

          Keep aside to cool and then refrigerate. Serve chilled topped with chopped nuts and saffron strands.

                                  Cake of any flavour is fine.

                                 Crumble the cake.

                                 Bring milk to a boil along with cinnamon & cardamoms.

                                 Add crumbled cake & nuts. Simmer on a low flame.

                           When almost half reduced, add sugar & simmer till it is dissolved.

                      Check for the right consistency. Switch off the flame & add rose water. 
                      Set aside to cool. 

                                  Serve, chilled, garnished with chopped nuts & saffron.

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