Murgh Kofta – Rich chicken meat balls in a creamy tangy gravy

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Hello my Dear wonderful readers!!

Its the weekend and this time I have made some thing rich and indulgent for you. This dish is inspired from the famous Malai Kofta, which is a croquette made with paneer / cottage cheese and potatoes. It all started with the fact that I had a little white basmati rice left and I wasn’t sure what kind of gravy to prepare along with it. Now it might come as a surprise to you, but we usually serve red rice at home. I mean the fat grainy kind. So white basmati is like having refined sugar in our coffee ( we usually add palm sugar).

After last week festivities I also had some khoya left in the fridge. So I decided to go all out and make a rich, creamy indulgent curry to pair well with rice and a salad. The recipe is divided into two steps. First making the Kofta and then the curry. Just to give it an “imperial” feel, I wrapped the koftas in silver warq. That is totally optional.

Ingredients for the Kofta :-

  1. Chicken mince – 500 gms
  2. Onions – 1 cup ( chopped fine)
  3. Khoya – 200 gms
  4. Green Chillies – 3 medium (sliced)
  5. Ginger garlic Paste – 1 + 1/2 tbsp
  6. Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
  7. Garam Masala Powder – 1 tsp
  8. Besan / Gram Flour – 2 tbsp ( only if required)
  9. Oil – to deep fry + 2 tbsp
  10. Silver warq (optional)

 

Instructions :-

  1. In a heavy bottom pan, add the oil
  2. When the oil is hot, add the onions and ginger garlic paste. Fry till golden brown
  3. Then add the green chilies, chilli powder, garam masala powder and fry 1 min
  4. Add the chicken mince to the onion mixture and cook till all the water has dried out completely. Make sure you have all the water evaporated. Add salt according to taste
  5. Set aside to cook down
  6. In another bowl, slowly kneed the khoya till its nice and smooth
  7. Add to cooled chicken mixture into a blender jar and add the khoya
  8. Blend together for a nice thick paste
  9. Now grease your hand and make small lime size balls with the mixture. Add gram flour if you find that the mixture is not holding shape. But do not add too much as it will not taste that great
  10. Finally heat oil in a deep pan on medium. When the oil is hot, add the prepared chicken balls and fry till golden brown or slightly dark brown (that’s how we like it)
  11. Reserve on a paper towel to drain excess oil. Cover the balls with silver leaf at this stage ( optional)

 

Ingredients for the curry :-

  1. Onions – 2 cups
  2. Tomato – 1 cup
  3. Cardamom – 5
  4. Cinnamon – 1
  5. Bay Leaf – 1
  6. Oil – 2 tbsp
  7. Fresh Cream – 1/2 cup
  8. Turmeric – 1/2 tsp
  9. Chilli Powder – 1 tsp

Instructions :-

  1. Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan. When the oil is hot, add the cardamom, cinnamon and bay leaf
  2. Once the spices release their aroma, add the onions and fry till translucent
  3. Then add the tomato, turmeric and chilli powder. Season with salt according to taste
  4. Fry till the tomatoes are cooked well
  5. In a blender, puree the above mixture
  6. Now again reheat the same pan with the blended mixture. Add fresh cream and mix well to combine.
  7. When it begins to boil, add the chicken kofta and give it a mix without breaking the kofta
  8. Your Chicken Koftas are ready.
  9. This dish pairs well will simple hot rice , pappads and a salad or even chappati / naans

 

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Chettinad Milagu / Pepper Chicken

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Hello My Dear Wonderful Readers ,

So the festivities are just around the corner and I have tons of festive food recipes to share with you. But before that I would like to share this recipe. If you are the kind of person who loves rotti and chicken or plain rice and chicken, then this is the dish for you. Pepper chicken has been adapted to suit every taste bud around India. Infact every region has its own version of a pepper chicken. This recipe is from the chettinad region of India. Now the chettiyars are a class of people that loved money and had a fine eye for architecture. But personally I think their greatest contribution is their cuisine!  Every single dish has a distinct taste and unique flavour that keeps you coming back to it ever so often. This is one such dish. Traditionally, you would require a “arakal” to make this spice mixture but a mortar and pestle or even a blender would do the job. Another important aspect of this style of cooking is the fact that whole spices are used in the recipe and not the powder, this helps to enhance the pungency of the spices. Ok I have said enough about the dish. Here is the recipe. Do try it out and I promise that you will not be dissapointed!

 

 Ingredients :-
1. Pepper Corns – 2 tbsp
2.Cumin Seeds -2 tsp
3. Fennel Seeds – 2 tsp
4. Dry Red Chillies – 6
5. Ginger – 1
6. Garlic – 1+ 1/2
7. Coriander Seeds – 2 tbsp
8. Turmeric Powder – 1 tsp

Instructions :
 1. In a khadai, dry roast the above ingredients (except the turmeric powder, ginger and garlic). Take care not to burn the spices
2.Then in a mortar add the spice and the other ingredients and grind to a fine paste. Use 1 tbsp of water if required

Set Aside

 Ingredients :-
1. Chicken – 1 kg
2. Vegetable Oil – 1/2 cup
3. Cardamom – 5
4. Onions – 1 + 1/2 cup finelly chopped
5. Tomato Puree – 1 cup
6. Salt – to taste
7. Water – 2/3 cup

Instructions :-
1. In the same Kadai, heat oil. Once the oil is hot, add cinnamon, cardamom and onions. Mix well and let the onions fry till golden brown
2. Then add the tomato puree. Mix well to combine. Then add the ground up spices (above) and mix well. Cook on medium flame till the oil seperates from the mixture
3.  Then add the chicken into the masala mixture. Let it come to a boil. Then lower the heat, add 2/3 cup of water and cover and cook for 20 mins on low
4. After 20 mins, open the cover and crank up the heat and cook till all the water has evporated and the masala coats the chicken.
5. Your Chettinad pepper chicken is ready! Serve with hot rice or flaky malabar parathas!

Adapted from The Bangala Table

Healthy Flax Seed and Oat, Raisin Thins

 

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Hello my Dear Wonderful Readers!!

How have you all been? Its been a long time since I got down to blogging and trust me when I say, the last week has been such a life changer! Have you ever looked down from a flight that is just about to land? That moment when you see tiny cars and thin trees and wormy roads? That’s the moment you realize how small you really are! We have been travelling a lot for the last few days and I have come to the firm belief that, no matter how hard you try, some things cannot be controlled. Its sad when people who drink and smoke their whole lives, live happy without a care are fit as a fiddle while people who are so cautious about their physical and mental health might have the worst medical condition. I guess what I am trying to say is that, what really matters, is that you live each minute of each day to its fullest and you do your part. There is no point living a vegetarian life when our mind is full of vengeful thoughts. There is no need for an argument with your spouse when life itself is full of challenges thrown at you every day. Every time I have fought or scolded some one its makes me feel like all I did was bring negativity into the room and nothing stands a chance to improve.

While such tumultuous thoughts run through my head, my cup of hot green tea was beckoning for a little some thing to go along with it. Much to my dismay, reaching for the cookie jar had only resulted in a depressing after thought of how many calories I have to burn the next day or why my greedy tongue has not been able to make its peace with 3 cookies undoubtedly made with much more sugar than flour or butter 😛 . So here was my answer!

A simple #NO GLUTEN! NO FLOUR, REFINED SUGAR FREE COOKIE- ( OH! did i mention no butter too)

These are so really simple to make all you need is a fork and two bowls. So lets get to it ….

 

Ingredients :-

  1. Instant Oats – 2 cups
  2. Raisins – 1/2 cup
  3. Flax Seed – 3 tbsp
  4. Virgin Coconut Oil – 1 cup
  5. Egg – 1
  6. Palm Sugar – 1 cup
  7. Cinnamon Powder – 1.2 tsp
  8. Vanilla Extract – 1.2 tsp

Instructions :-

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 150 C and line a baking tray with parchment paper
  2. In a bowl, mix oats, flax see, raisins, palm sugar, cinnamon powder and give it a good mix with a fork ( make sure you do not have any lumps of sugar)
  3. In another bowl, crack open the egg. Add the coconut oil and vanilla extract. Give it a good whisk with the fork
  4. Slowly pour the egg mixture over the oat mixture and set aside to soak for 10 mins
  5. Then using the same fork give it a good mix once again to coat the oats well with the egg mixture
  6. Now using a small ice cream spoon or a normal spoon scoop out even portions of the oats and egg mixture and place on the baking tray
  7. Then with the back of the fork press down to flatten
  8. I like these nice and thin, so they snap when I bite into them
  9. Bake in the pre heated oven for 10 – 15 mins (till they turn light brown )
  10. Once they are done leave to cool completely – remember they will be soft when they come out of the oven but leave to cool completely and they will crisp up soon!!
  11. Store in an air tight container once cooled

Easy Oregano and Chili Baked chicken, with Chili oil and a mint yogurt dip

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Hello my Dear Wonderful Readers!

How have you all been? Its getting chilly here in Bengaluru because of the rains and the morning weather is so inviting – just to have a cup of tea and blog while the baby sleeps. So this time I am back with a “de-clutter” sort of recipe. So you know how you buy pizzas from well known pizza chains and they give you a bunch of those small oregano and chili flake pouches? So we had friends over last weekend and since I was in no mood to cook anything, we ordered in pizza and with it came 10 to 20 sachets of spice mix and seasoning. So when all the cleaning was done with, I did not wanna throw them out. Instead I decided to use it in a quick week day dinner recipe. Its really simple and it does not take much time to put together. This recipe is for the perfect warm, week day dinner that doesn’t involve any prep and tastes great with some multi grain bread or hummus and pita.

Ingredients for the chicken :-

  1. Chicken Breast – 1 kg
  2. Dry Oregano – 4 tbsp
  3. Chili Flakes – 2 tbsp (more if you like it spicy)
  4. Cinnamon Powder – 1 tsp
  5. Apple Cider Vinegar – 2 tbsp
  6. Honey – 1 tsp
  7. Salt – 1 tsp

 

Instructions :-

  1. In a large bowl combine oregano + chili flakes + cinnamon powder + apple cider vinegar + honey and salt
  2. Mix well to form a nice wet mixture
  3. Then add the cubed chicken pieces. Coat the chicken well with the spice mix and pop into the fridge for an hour
  4. When you are ready to make the chicken, pre-heat your oven to 200 C
  5. Skewer the chicken evenly and brush lightly with some chili oil
  6. Grill for 45 min or till evenly charred on all sides of the chicken
  7. Serve right away with some lemon wedges and hot pita bread!

 

Mint Yogurt Dip – Ingredients :-

  1. Yogurt – 1 cup
  2. Fresh Mint leaves – 1/2 cup chopped fine
  3. Pepper powder – 1/2 tsp
  4. Salt  – a pinch
  5. Garlic – 2 cloves (chopped fine and mashed with the back of the knife)

Instructions :-

  1. In a bowl add all the ingredients
  2. Give it a good mix and garnish with some extra mint leaves

 

  • To make home made chill oil, just heat up some oil and when its nice and hot pour into a bowl full of chili flakes ( 4 tbsp)
  • Give it a good mix and set aside to rest
  • Slowly the chili will infuse with the oil and give you a wonderfully red and spicy flavored oil!

 

Beans and Veggy Salad Bowl with Mint and Garlic Vinaigrette

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Hello My Dear Wonderful People!!

Shhh.. the baby is asleep ;p …

LOL.. kidding. I think the heat is driving me insane!! lol.. Hey have you heard the Rihanna song “Work”. oh man it is so addictive!! I can’t stop sining it .. haha.. see I told you, its the SUN!! So I have decided, I have got to put up some of my salad recipes, that are so simple and need hardly any cooking really. Now first of all, not all my salads fall under the “Raw” category. Simply cause its very hard for me to jump from a nice bowl of rice and curry to just a basket of vegetables. Nope I am not saying all vegetables are bad, but I will share some later ok :p Now this recipe needs a little cooking for the beans. Which really gives this bowl a boost of flavour and spice. Its just basic Indian spices but just trust me, they all work together!! and will keep you full for quite a long time!!

Now I am sure you did not miss that big slice of mango on both the bowls, yeah baby!! It’s mango season and I am gonna make sure its there on everything I eat. lol.. ok maybe not on eggs. 😛

Both the boys at home absolute love mangoes, so I am quiet sure anything with mangoes would fly at home.

Ingredients for the Salad bowl :-

  1. Beans – 2 cups – ( i used double beans but you could use any beans) – used the dry kind but canned will also do
  2. Mango – 1 ripe
  3. Broccoli –  200 gms florets cut and washed
  4. Romaine Lettuce – 6 leaves
  5. Red Cabbage – 1 cup ( shredded)
  6. Tomato – 1 ( chopped fine)
  7. Onion – 1 medium (sliced fine)
  8. Garam Masala – 1 tsp
  9. Rice Bran Oil – 1 tsp

Ingredients for the Mint Garlic Dressing :-

  1. Fresh Mint leaves – 1 cup packed
  2. Garlic Cloves – 3 – 4
  3. Olive Oil – 1 cup
  4. Apple Cider Vinegar – 1/2 cup ( add more or less according to preference)
  5. Salt – according to taste
  6. Pepper – 1 tsp

 

Instructions :- 

  1. For the dressing – with the help of the mortar and petal crush the garlic and mint leaves and set aside
  2. In another bottle add the olive oil + apple cider vinegar + salt  and pepper
  3. Then add the mint and garlic mash into the bottle and close the lit tightly
  4. Give the bottle a good shake to combine all the ingredients. Set aside
  5. Soak beans over night in ample water to soak the beans completely
  6. Next day pressure cook till soft and tender with salt
  7. Set aside to cool down. – (Please skip this step if using canned pre cooked beans)
  8. Heat rice bran oil in a wok. Add onions  and tomatoes
  9. Once the vegetables have cooled down, add garam masala and the cooked beans
  10. Mix well and cover and cook for 5 mins
  11. Turn off the flame and set aside
  12. In a large pot heat water to boil
  13. Add the broccoli florets and turn off the flame. After 5 mins drain the broccoli and rinse in cold water. Set aside
  14. Now to assemble the salad in a bowl, arrange the broccoli, romaine lettuce, red cabbage, cooked beans, mango and drizzle the mint garlic dressing

The Infinity Burger – Chinese 5 Spice Chicken Burger with Caramelised Pineapples and Home made Chilli Mayo

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Hello my Dear Wonderful Readers!!

How are you all doing today? This the weekend and I have so much lined up to do. Starting with cleaning the fridge! lol. But before I get to the “Work” we have scheduled a little fun time with the baby boy too. I had decided to sleep in today but as usual, my son wakes up early only on the weekend! I think babies have a way of sensing when it is the weekend and how to make sure our day circles around their needs and desires. So Cute.

Have you tried the Chinese 5 spices mix?? Its insane!!! Its just everything I love about spices. Its got heat, aroma, sweetness! its got everything. Its like the Chinese Garam Masala 😛 I love this spice mix and its so so easy to make. The ingredients are always readily available in any Indian Kitchen and its super easy to make. Dry roasting the spices first makes sure to bring out the maximum flavour from them. You could always buy the spice mix at any local market but why would you when it is soo easy to make at home and tastes 100 times better! The 5 spices are – cinnamon, clove, star anise, fennel seeds and pepper corns. Make sure to dry roast them till you get this wonderful aroma of the spices (take care not to burn them). Also when you powder them make sure your blender is absolutely dry!! I mean no moisture at all. This way they spices can be stored in an air tight container and used for later too.

This burger is absolutely the best thing to have on a Friday night with a glass of any alcohol you like. It pairs really well with Vodka (:p). Like most burgers I haven’t used cheese or any type of sauce in the burger but I did make a creamy chilli mayo to go along with the burger. I do not like sloppy burgers so I did not add the mayo to the burger but we dipped the potato wedges into the mayo and had it along with the burgers. Oh it was heaven!!!  I have used chicken breasts and marinated them overnight, but even 3 hours should also work. To make the best burgers you have to use the freshest ingredients (be it the meat, the bread and the veggies). So make sure you take a trip to your local market and get fresh produce for the burger. I make sure I don’t store meat, I find it tastes different and it absorbs less of the marinade if it’s old meat( by old i mean – left in the freezer for a few days).

PS: – My husband named it the Infinity Burger. Lol.

Ingredients for the 5 spice powder – 

  1. Cinnamon  – 3 large sticks   or 1 tbsp cinnamon powder
  2. Cloves – 1 tbsp
  3. Star Anise – 5 large
  4. Fenne Seeds – 1 tbsp
  5. Pepper Corns  – 1 tbsp

Instructions :-

  1. Heat a large heavy bottom pan
  2. When the pan is hot add all the spices and dry fry till they start to emit a wonderful aroma
  3. Make sure to stir constantly and fry on low flame
  4. Now transfer the spices into a grinder and grind to fine dust
  5. Store in a dry air tight container

Ingredients for the Chicken :-

  1. Chinese 5 spice powder – 2 tbsp
  2. Chicken Breast – 6 ( large)
  3. Soya Sauce – 3 tbsp
  4. Apple Cider Vinegar – 3 tbsp
  5. Ginger – 1 tbsp
  6. Garlic – 1 tbsp
  7. Chilli Powder – 1 tsp ( or according to taste)
  8. Brown Sugar – 1 tbsp
  9. Oil – 2 tbsp
  10. Lime Juice – juice of one lime
  11. Oil – 3 – tbsp –  for frying the chicken
  12. Pineapple Slices – 12

Instructions :-

  1. Firstly using a mortar and pestle grind the ginger and garlic to from a nice paste
  2. In a large bowl mix all the ingredients for the marinade (expect the chicken pieces)
  3. It should form a nice thick paste. Add 1 tbsp of water if required to bring it to a nice thick saucy consistency
  4. Then add the chicken breast and coat the breast properly with the marinade
  5. Cover and set in the fridge for 3 hours or overnight
  6. When you are ready to fry the chicken, heat oil in a frying pan
  7. Then add the chicken pieces two at a time. Cook with the cover on for the first 10 mins on medium flame
  8. Then take off the cover and crank up the heat – this will give you that charred dark brown caramelisation on the chicken
  9. Set aside on kitchen paper to soak up any excess oil
  10. In the same pan when the pan is hot, add the pineapple slices and fry on high. This gives the pineapple a nice caramelised exterior and it gets coated with the spices left in the pan ( Yuuummmmm!!!)

To Assemble the burger – 

Ingredients :-

  1. Burger Bread  – 3
  2. Lettuce leaves – 12
  3. Red Onions Slices – 2 large onions sliced
  4. Pineapple slices – 2 for each burger (more if you like)
  5. Chilli Mayo – as required

Instructions :-

  1. Cut the burger bun into two halves
  2. Then place lettuce on the bottom half
  3. Then add 3 onions slices
  4. Then add two of the fried chicken breasts
  5. Add another layer of lettuce
  6. Then the caramelised pineapple
  7. And finally the top half of the burger bun
  8. Serve right away with a side of chilli mayo and some potatoes wedge!!

 

Enjoy!!!!!!

 

Nadan Mutta Roast – Egg roast the Malayali Way (Kerala style)

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Hello my Dear Wonderful Readers!

So this week has been full of ups and downs, and I cannot begin to tell you how happy I am that it is coming to an end!! My camera and my phone died on the same day, my husband falls sick the next and then it got a little better and now I am just exhausted! So I really did not have time to invent or go through my recipe library. So this one is my simple Kerala style egg roast. It is so easy to make and this is my husband’s favourite egg recipe! The key ingredient is onion. Roast the onions well and you will add the most amazing flavour to the eggs.

I love curry leaves! In fact, I prefer them to coriander leaves. They just add so much more to a dish. This is partly because of my Malayalee roots. We add curry leaves to everything!! including our drinks. Ohh!! There is this drink called “Sambharam” (“flavoured buttermilk”) which is the best thing to beat the heat during these hot summer afternoons. I will have to make a post about that! Its just butter milk and a few spices with curry leaves but it is so good and refreshing (also good for hangovers, no kidding!!).

If you look at it, the traditional “Sadhya” is the most perfectly balanced meal  ever! It starts with rice and a green gram curry, move to sambar, and finally the yogurt based curry. All the way you have a array of vegetables and pickles to go along with it. Ok maybe the 4 different “Payasams” are not that healthy, but hey! How many people make it every day! My mum is a “Payasam” expert!! She can whip up a payasam in no time and it will taste just like the ones they serve you at the temples. Yes I do think that the real ingredient is love!! I may have digressed a little bit here. lol.

Ok so back to this recipe. This is your ideal week night,”I do not want take out, I do not want to make any thing too complex”, “Oh I want some spicy egg based side” – kind of dish.

Ingredients :-

  1. Hard Boiled Eggs – 6 -7
  2. Onions – 5 large – julienned
  3. Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp
  4. Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
  5. Pepper powder – 1/2 tsp
  6. Coriander Powder – 2 tsp
  7. Garam Masala Powder – 1 + 1/2 tsp
  8. Curry leaves – 14
  9. Coconut Oil – 3 tbsp
  10. Green Chillies – 4 ( slit into two)
  11. Water – 1 tbsp + 1/2 cup (optional)

Instructions :-

  1. In a large heavy bottom kadai / wok, heat oil
  2. Once the oil is hot, add the onions and half of the curry leaves  and fry till golden brown
  3. Then add the turmeric, chilli, pepper, garam masala powder and coriander powder and give it a nice mix. Add 1 tbsp of water to the mixture. This will prevent the spice powders from getting burnt
  4. Now add the green chillies and the eggs.
  5. Season with salt and give it a good mix. Mix gently so as to not tear the boiled eggs but make sure to coat the eggs well with the onion masala
  6. Cover and cook for 5 min
  7. Garnish with the remaining curry leaves and serve with hot Rotis or Rice