Achari Murg Samosa – Samosa stuffed with chicken cooked in pickling spices

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Hello my Dear Wonderfull Readers!!

How are you all doing today? The weather here is slowly changing and the nights are getting colder. The evening’s are breezy and that is the perfect excuse to make hot samosas don’t you think? Traditionally, samosas are make with a potato based stuffing with a wide variety of spices. But today, I bring to you my perfect spicy twist to this much loved snack. Now given that it is only a snack, the idea of spending the least amount of time in the kitchen has to be a part of this recipe right? So I recommend buying samosa patty’s from your super market cause they save so much time!! So all you have to do, is make the filling, make the samosa cone and fry them!! So simple!

So firstly you need to know how to make the Achari Murgh. Now Achari Murgh literally translates to ” Pickled Chicken”. NO I am not going to ask you to pickle a chicken. We are going to cook the chicken in a medley of spices that usually are used while making pickles. The most prominent of these spices is the “KALONJI”. Samosas are the best sort of snack for a cold evening with a hot cup of coffee and this recipe is the right mix of spicy and crispy!

Ingredients for the stuffing :

  1. Chicken – 500 gms ( minced)
  2. Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
  3. Methi Seeds / Coriander Seeds – 1/2 tsp
  4. Kalonji – 1/ tsp
  5. Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
  6. Dry Red Chillies – 6 -8
  7. Oil – 2 tbsp
  8. Ginger Garlic Paste – 1 tbsp
  9. Green Chillies – 2 ( chopped fine)
  10. Salt – according to taste
  11. Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
  12. Lime Juice – 5 tbsp

Instructions :-

  1. In a large pan, add the minced chicken, lemon juice, ginger garlic paste and 1/2 tsp salt. Set aside to rest for 30 mins
  2. Once Β you are ready to cook the chicken, heat oil in a large khadai
  3. Once the oil is hot, add the cumin seeds, methi seeds, kalonji, mustard seeds and dry red chillies. Fry till the red chillies get roasted and plump
  4. Then add the green chillies and the marinated chicken
  5. Add the chilli powder and cook till the chicken is cooked well and all the water has evaporated.
  6. Set aside to cool down

Ingredients to assemble the samosa :-

  1. Samosa Patti / pastry – 1 pack ( around 15)
  2. Boiled Potatoes – 1/2 cup
  3. Deep fried Onions – 1/2 cup *
  4. Coriander Leaves – 1/4 cup ( chopped fine)
  5. Mint Leaves – 1/4 cup ( chopped fine)
  6. Flour paste – add 2 tbsp of flour to 1 tbsp of water to form a thick paste (set aside)
  7. Oil – for deep frying

Instructions :-

  1. In a large bowl, combine the cooked chicken, boiled potatoes, mint, coriander leaves and fried onions. add salt to taste
  2. Using the samosa patti / pastry, fold to form a cone.
  3. Then stuff the cone with the chicken mixture
  4. Using the flour paste, seal the corners
  5. Deep fry the samosas and serve right away with spicy mint chutney

 

 

 

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Ari “Rice” Muruku – Deep fried, crisp and with a touch of spice!

 

 

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Hello My Dear Wonderful Readers!

How are you all doing today? So my next recipe for the season is the Rice and Urad Dal Murukku. In case you have never had these before, let me tell you, this is the Indian version of a deep fried snack that comes in a number of variations that is a staple at your 4 o clock tea / coffee. Yes, we love to have a little some thing to “bite into” every evening. But of late these savory snacks have been reserved only to be savored during festivals such as Diwali etc. So I decided why not make a batch of these pinwheels. They are really easy to make but you do need a “Murukku Maker / Press” The theory is the same as a piping bag for cream, just that the mixture is tighter and thicker so you need a little more force when squeezing them.

These murukku makers are available in both brass and stainless steel. I have the brass one and they come with various ends / nozzles just like your piping tips. Best enjoyed with a cup of tea or coffee these Murukku’s can last 2 – 3 weeks if kept in an air tight container. Make sure to use a good brand of oil. I used rice bran oil and you areΒ sorted for a long time πŸ™‚

Ingredients :-

  1. Rice Flour – 3 cups
  2. Urad Dal – 6 tbsp
  3. White Sesame Seeds – 1 tsp
  4. Black Sesame Seeds – 1 tsp
  5. Red Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
  6. Pepper Powder – 1/2 tsp
  7. Asafoetida – 1/2 tsp ( more if you like it pungent )
  8. Salt – to taste
  9. Oil – 3 tbsp
  10. Oil to fry
  11. Water to bind ( depends on the quality of the rice flour)

Instructions :-

  1. Heat a heavy bottom Khadai and fry the urad dal till they start turning golden brown. Make sure to stir continuously or else the dal might burn
  2. Once they are ready , add into a blender and powder to a fine powder
  3. In a large plate/ even your kitchen counter, drop the rice flour, urad dal powder, salt, white and black sesame seeds, pepper powder and asafoetida. Give it all a nice mix with the tips of your finger to spread the ingredients evenly
  4. Then add the 3 tsp of oil and mix into the mixture till they almostΒ resemble Β bread crumbs
  5. Finally add water little bit at a time to make a nice tight dough. Remember all you need is the dough to come together
  6. Take small portion of the mixture and run it through the murukku maker to see if you are able to make nice round circles. If you find that the circle keeps falling or breaking then you need little more water in the dough
  7. Once you have your dough ready, heat oil in a khadai ( enough to be able to deep fry these wheels)
  8. Cut a baking paper into equal sqares and at the back draw circles of equal size. you can use these as a stencil to make all your murukkkus
  9. Now attach the start tip to the murukku maker and fill the barrel with the rice flour dough
  10. Slowly make round shapes of the murukku on your prepared baking paper
  11. Start from the inside and go round towards the outside
  12. Once you reach the outside, pinch the end towards the murukku
  13. Once you oil is nice and hot ( make sure the oil is always at medium flame not too hot and not too cold)
  14. Fry these in batches of 2 – 3 depending on the size of your khadai. Wait til they turn golden bown on both sides. Keep turning them when in the oil for even browning
  15. Lay them on kitchen paper tower to soak up the excess oil
  16. You Murukku is ready! Store in an air tight container

Peach Clafouti – Sweet and Tart Peaches in a soft cakey dessert

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Hello my Dear Wonderful Readers!!

How are you all doing today? Its been raining here all week and its been so cold, I am always in my socks and either I am eating some thing warm or drinking the same. While it is quite easy to make cold desserts, warm desserts are a little “different”. Now I know I could make a batch of warm cookies or brownies and eat them right out of the oven. But here is the thing, I wanted to incorporate fresh fruits in there as well. Now, synonymous to these cozy days, is the world Lazy! So the last thing on my mind is to bring everything to room temperature and adding raising agents etc! So this is my” no stress, just vegetate and eat warm gooey deserts” recipe.

Also this is a great option when you have surprise visitors over for dinner and you do want to make some thing sweet at the end of your meal. You could use anyΒ kind of fruit, the base remains the same and let me tell you, in my opinion, tart fruits work the best cause they cut through the sugar in the base and leave you with this wonderful warm happy feeling!

Ice cream or fresh cream, how ever you fashion to pair this dessert, it is a total win Β – win. Oh and did I forget to mention, its a ONE POT dessert!

My mum makes another version of the same thing and adds roasted cashew nuts and bananas too. Oh that one is out of this world and to compare the two wouldn’t be fair. So if you are looking for a warm, sweet, fruit and cakey dessert that doesn’t involve too much work but you would like to enjoy on a cold night, then I strongly recommend this recipe!

Ingredients :-

  1. Flour – 2 cups
  2. Powdered Sugar – 1 cup
  3. Butter – 100 gms
  4. Vanilla – seeds from one pod or 2 tsp
  5. Salt – just a pinch
  6. Fresh Peaches – 6 (sliced thin)
  7. Eggs – 3
  8. Butter ( just to grease the bowl)
  9. Milk – 1 cup

Instructions :-

  1. Pop the butter into a microwaveable dish and melt. Set it aside to cool
  2. While that is happening, place a kitchen towel on your counter and place your large bowl
  3. Slice peaches to desired thickness and set aside
  4. Add flour and sugar and whisk together
  5. Then add the milk, eggs, vanilla and salt
  6. Whisk well to for a lump free batter ( little thicker than a pancake batter)
  7. Grease your pie tray or enamel wear or even your cake tin with butter ( using a shallow tray makes the fruit pop out better through the cakey base)
  8. Pour the batter into the pan
  9. Then arrange the peaches over the batter. The batter is very runny so some of the fruit may sink but that’s ok, just add more πŸ™‚
  10. Pop the tray into a pre-heated over at 180 C for around 30 – 45Β mins
  11. Once done, pull it out of the oven and serve right away with a dusting of powdered sugar and fresh cream or ice cream!!

Coconut Rice with a Red chilli, Curry Leaf and Gram Tempering

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Hello my Dear Wonderful Readers!!

How are you all doing today? So this is what I made for our dinner last night. It is so simple and hardly takes any time. If you have any left over rice, you can use that too. I make a new batch of rice everyday so I can add that to my sons diet. Rice is a staple at my place. It could be fermented like in Dosas and Idilis, or plain rice and Pulav/ Pilaf or just various kinds of flavoured rice. Its not really the best thing to have a lot of rice in your diet and trust me I know that, but its just the easiest thing to cook when you can’t spend too much time in the kitchen. One question I get very often is how do I cook my rice? Now heres the thing, cooking rice purely depends on the type of rice!

If you are using a good quality Basmati rice, then one cup of rice with 2 cups of water is perfect! But if is red rice, or any kind of wild rice, its a whole different story. We make a lot of red rice at home, but that involves soaking the rice for one whole night and then using tons of water and then draining out the excess water! Its a long procedure, but personally I love the flavour of red rice. Back in my village we always have red rice. Ah the taste of red rice and avial!

My son loves it too!! We make Kanji – ( rice cooked in lots of water) and have it with Payar (green gram curry) with Papapdam and pickle. It is just the simplest dish on this planet and yet the most healthy and power packed meal ever!

Ok so back to this recipe. This recipe is super simple!! All you have to do is make the tempering and mix them both! Finished!

Ingredients :-

  1. Basmati Rice – 1 cup Β ( soaked for 15 – 20 mins)
  2. Water – 2 cups
  3. Salt – 1 tsp
  4. Coconut Oil – 4 tbsp
  5. Dry Red Chillies – 6
  6. Mustards Seeds – 2 tbsp
  7. Urad Dal – 1 tbsp
  8. Channa Dal – 1 tbsp
  9. Cashew Nuts – 10
  10. Curry Leaves – 15 ( cleaned and dried)
  11. Asafoetida – a pinch
  12. Salt – to taste ( for the final dish)
  13. Fresh desiccated coconut – 1 cup

 

Instructions :-

  1. Pour 2 cups of water into a large dish with a lid. Once the water comes to a boil, add the soaked rice and salt. Stir gently and cover and cook for 10 mins
  2. Then using a spoon, take one grain of rice and check if the rice is cooked. If so, turn the flame off and set aside
  3. In a large wok / Khadai, heat coconut oil
  4. When the oil is nice and hot, add mustard seeds. When the seeds begin to crackle, add the dry red chillies, asafoetida, urad dal, channa dal and cashew nuts . Fry till the urad dal turns a light golden yellow
  5. Then add the curry leaves and stir
  6. Then add the coconut and the cooked rice
  7. Stir well to combine all the ingredients
  8. Add salt according to taste and your dish is done!
  9. Serve right away with your choice of curry or just with yogurt and popopdams

 

Strawberry and Cream Cheese Tart

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Hello my Dear Wonderful Readers!

How are you all doing today? Summer is here. Its just March and it is so hot and sticky that by afternoons I have to make tons of buttermilk and juice to keep my son hydrated. Given that little babies are always running around, they are constantly sweating and losing so much water from their bodies. While making theΒ juice, it suddenly dawned on me that strawberries will be out of the market very soon. so before they go away for another year, I wanted to make the best of it with a little strawberry cream cheese tart. But I wanted my own little twist to it, so I added green cardamom powder to the filling. Oh! I would be lying if I said I dint have more than a piece of the tart. IT WAS HEAVENLY!! Its really simple to make and it doesn’t need a lot of prep work. You could buy pre baked short crust tart shells but there’s no fun in that. SoΒ I made my own from scratch.

I used the same recipe as I had for myΒ White Chocolate PersimmonΒ Tartlets. Do click on the link for that.

Now for the filling which is as easy as it gets!

Ingredients :-

  1. Cream cheese – 200 gms
  2. Heavy Cream – 200 ml
  3. Sugar – 4 – 5 tbsp
  4. Vanilla Extract – 1 tbsp
  5. Green Cardamom Powder – 2 pinches

 

Instructions :-

  1. Remember to cool the cream before you start using it. For best results use the cream directly from the fridge
  2. Next in the bowl of your stand mixer, add the cold cream and whisk on medium
  3. When you see the consistency go from liquid to soft peaks, add the cold cream cheese
  4. Whisk again on medium for a minute
  5. Then add the vanilla extract and green cardamom powder
  6. Turn the speed a little higher and add the sugar one table spoon at a time
  7. Once you are done with all the ingredients set to cool back in the fridge till your tart shells are ready

For the strawberries:-Β 

I needed around 3 packs for strawberries but that depends on how you arrange the strawberries in the tart.

  1. Clean and wash the strawberries. Dry them completely
  2. Using a sharp knife, cut the tops off the strawberries in such a way that they would stand if kept inverted

 

Assembling the tart

  1. After the tart shells have cooled down completely, add the whipped cream and cream cheese mixture to the tart shell
  2. Evenly spread it throughout the shell
  3. If you find that the mixture is too thin, put the tart back in the fridge for 15 mins
  4. Then take it out and arrange the strawberries over it
  5. Finally dust with the powdered sugar
  6. Serve right away!!

Enjoy!!!

 

 

 

 

Roasted Garlic, Basil and Lemon Butter

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Hello my Dear Wonderful Readers!

I am sure you have all been thoseΒ nice, quiet Italian cafes /restaurants that give you an array of breads with dips before you get your glass of wine or starter? I love those places that areΒ not stingy when it comes to doling out that gorgeous creamy dip! It wasn’t until recently that I found out that you could totally make it at home. I know it looks fancy but it is The most simplest thing ever.

That dip is just basically butter and a variation of herbs and spices. So, this post is about how to make a simple roasted garlic, fresh basil and lemon butter. These compound butters are really easy to make and if you have the ingredients you can make any type of butter – savoury orΒ sweet. I will share more recipes with you,Β but for now let me tell you how to make this incredibly easy and delicate yet lovely butter. I served mine with a zucchini, red bell pepper basil frittata the other day but you can use it as you like. For the sake of the photo, I did not wait for mine to get to room temp. These were straight out of the fridge. Β You can wait for them to get to room temperate and enjoy them with breads, bread sticks, pita bread, pita chips, french fries and even carrot sticks.

Ingredients Β :-

  1. Table Butter – 200 gm
  2. Garlic – 8 cloves
  3. Fresh Basil – one hand full
  4. Lime – 1

 

Instructions :-

  1. Bring the butter to room temperature
  2. Mean while roast the garlic cloves in a pre heated oven at 200 C for 45 mins or till you see the garlic turn to dark brown
  3. Zest the lime and chop the basil leaves roughly
  4. In a large bowl combine the butter, lime zest and basil leaves
  5. Now simply pinch the end of the garlic pod for the flesh to pop out from the other side ( see am not peeling garlic skin!!!)
  6. Now using a whisk, mix all the ingredients well to evenly distribute the ingredients through the butter
  7. Lay a parchment paper over your counter top ( 30 cm X 30 cm)
  8. Spoon the butter mixture towards the side of the parchment close to you. Make sure you leave Β at least 10 cm from the edge of the paper to the mixture
  9. Now slowly curl the paper inwards, around the butter mixture to make a long log
  10. Continue till the other end of the paper. Then tie up the sides with a piece of string ( should look like a large toffee)
  11. Finally pop it into the fridge to set for an hour
  12. When you are ready to use the butter cut them into small discs and let them come back to room temperature
  13. Or you could use them just like that on a hot pieces of toast! You can see how the butter melts and leaves these small specks of green on the trail!

 

Beetroot Falafel with a “Ragda” Curry / Zero Oil

 

 

 

 

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When we got back from our holiday, we came back to the reality that we haven’t been eating healthy. Now ‘health’ is a very subjective word, cause what is ‘healthy’ for you may or may not be ‘healthy’ for me. A young child like my baby boy needs his daily dose of high calorie food, starch, carbs and proteins. Older people such as Mr R and I , do not need the same kind of food. So keeping that in mind, we decided to go easy over the week. We decided to reduce fried food, reduce oil and alter the type of oil we use in cooking and reduce the about of gluten we eat. That basically translates to no more fast food from the place down the road and no more pizza night! But it has also helped me dig deep within to find healthier ways to make every day food taste just as good. Trust me, some food can be made the same and you do not need ghee or cream or maida to make them taste good. So I think I will start a new tab on my blog and call it “My husband’s lunch box” and I will post all my recipes that I create for him that involve no oil or less oil and less or no sugar. Do let me know if you think that is a good idea :).

Ok now this recipe is inspired by the famous “Ragda Patties” of Mumbai. When in MumbaiΒ we have had it so many times and I just love it! But the original dish is made with an “Aloo Tikki”- a potato cutlet fried in oil and then served along with “Pav” – bread. I decided to change the recipe a little as I did not want the oil both in the patty and in the curry. Also I used beetroot instead of potato as they are healthier.

Before using it in the recipe, I boiled the beetroot in a pressure cooker ( gave it 4 whistles) and drained the water out. The water was then used to make my baby boy’s rice. Another change we made in our diet was switching to organic red rice. Red rice does take a little longer to cook, so my mum suggested to soak it over night, and yes it made a big difference. I will write up post about how and why you should try red rice! Personally I love it’s taste too!

Ok so on to the recipe.

Baked Beetroot Falafel

Ingredients :-

  1. Beetroot – 3 medium size ( cleaned, skin removed, cut into halves, boiled for 4 whistles)
  2. Corriander Β seeds – 1 tsp
  3. Garam Masala Powder – 1 tsp
  4. Chilli Powder – 1/2 tsp
  5. Parsley Leaves – 1 tbsp ( chopped)
  6. Coriander Leaves – 1 tsp ( chopped)
  7. Onions – 1/2 cup (chopped)
  8. Whole Wheat flour – 2 – 3 tbsp ( depends on how soft the beetroot is)
  9. Salt – to taste

Instructions :-

  1. Pre Heat your oven to 180 and line a baking tray with baking paper
  2. In a bowl drop the boiled beet roots and mash till nice and soft ( like play doh)
  3. Then add all the other ingredients except the Whole wheat flour
  4. Make sure to mix all the content of the bowl well to ensure the spices have mixed well and evenly along with the beets
  5. Finally sprinkle the whole wheat flour into the bowl a little at a time. The flour should help you form one big ball of the beetroot and masala
  6. Slowly roll out small bite size balls of the beetroot and place on the baking tray ( as in pic)
  7. Once your are done rolling them all out pop them into the oven and bake till nice and golden
  8. As there is no oil you will have the watch and listen. Once they begin to sizzle let them stay for another Β 5 – 10 mins and then take them out
  9. This should take between 15- 25 mins ( depends on how thick you roll out the balls)
  10. Finally let them cool off before storing in an air tight container

While the falafel is baking we can make our ” Ragda ” / White Pea Curry

Ingredients :-

  1. White Peas – 1 cup ( soaked over night)
  2. Onions – 1 cup ( chopped)
  3. Tomato – 1/2 cup (chopped_
  4. Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp
  5. Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
  6. Ginger Garlic Paste – 1/2 tsp
  7. Asafoetida – a pinch
  8. Salt Β – to taste

Instructions :-

  1. In a pressure cooker, add drained white peas , water, turmeric powder and 1 tsp salt
  2. Close the lid and let the peas cook for about 4 whistles. Some times it might take longer
  3. Heat a non stick pot / kadai and add onions. Saute till nice and pink. Then add ginger- garlic paste and asafoetida
  4. Once the mixture has fried and the raw smell had subsided add tomatoes and chilli powder
  5. Finally add the cooked white peas with the water and let the mixture cook for 10 mins
  6. Stir the bubbling mixture occasionally
  7. Your curry is ready

To Assemble –

Ingredients :-

  1. Onions – 1 cup chopped
  2. Tomato – 1 cup chopped
  3. Coriander Leaves – 1 cup chopped
  4. Mint Chutney – as required
  5. Sev – optional
  6. Pav – optional

Serve as in photos πŸ™‚

Enjoy !!!