Wednesday, June 28, 2017

CHICKEN TIKKA BIRIYANI


Biriyani is a favourite meal of our family. I keep trying out many versions. Yesterday was hubby's birthday and I made chicken tikka biriyani for dinner. It is an extremely delicious variation. You can just relish it with a simple raita.


Ingredients:
Boneless chicken .... 250 gms (cut into big chunks)
Onion ...................... 2 cups (sliced)
Ginger ................... 2 inch piece
Garlic .................... 10 cloves
Green chillies ....... 2-3 (add as per your taste)
Mint leaves .......... 1/2 cup
Coriander leaves .. 1/4 cup
Yogurt .................. 1 cup
Basmati rice ......... 2 cups
Cashewnuts ......... 8 -10
Salt ................... to taste
Oil and ghee ..... as needed.
Orange food colour .... 2-3 pinches
Garam masala .......... 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder ..... 1/4 tsp
Cumin powder ....... 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder .... 1/2 tsp
Black cardamom... 1
Cinnamon stick ... 1 inch piece
Bay leaves ... 2-3
Green cardamoms ... 3-4
Cloves ..... 3-4
Egg ................... 1 boiled (for garnishing)

Method:

1. Clean the chicken breast and cut into large chunks, slightly bigger than the normal tikka pieces. Marinate them with yogurt, ginger garlic paste, orange food colour, salt and dry spice powders mentioned in the list. Keep it in the refrigerator for few hours.




2. Take half of the sliced onion and deep fry until nice and crisp. Set aside for garnishing. You can also make this in large quantity and store it for later use.






3. In a pan heat oil and saute the remaining onions to a light brown colour. Add the whole spices (cardamoms, cloves, cinnamon and bay leaves)






4. Make a paste of ginger, garlic, mint and coriander leaves, green chillies. Mix this with 2-3 spoons of curd and add to the onions. Add salt and simmer for a minute.





5. Now grill the chicken tikkas in a tandoor or in the oven. You can also pan-fry them until done.






6. Wash the Basmati rice and soak them for 20 -30 minutes.In a large pan cook the rice adding salt until three-fourths done. Drain and set aside.





7. Take few spoonfuls of rice and add the orange colour.







8. Fry the cashewnuts in a spoonful of ghee.






9. Heat oil and ghee (2 tbsps each) in a small pan to add while layering the biriyani. In a broad pan spoon a little heated oil and ghee, followed by half of the rice. Spoon the prepared onion masala, place half of the chicken tikkas, sprinkle the deep fried crisp onion, some finely chopped mint and coriander leaves, cashewnuts and a spoonful of red coloured rice. Pour a spoonful of hot oil and ghee.


10. Repeat the same process again with the remaining ingredients. Cover with a lid and place the biriyani pot on a tawa for dum.






11. Garnish with a boiled egg and serve with onion raita or any other accompaniment like baigan ka salan/ mirchi ka salan.







Serves - 3-4 

Monday, June 26, 2017

ADAI / RICE AND MIXED LENTILS DOSA



This is one of the dosa varieties made with rice and mixed lentils. In addition to these some spices like pepper corns, dried red chillies, cumin seeds, asafoetida, fresh ginger and curry leaves are added while grinding the batter. These make the adai very flavourful. You can make them plain or with the addition of finely chopped onions to the ground batter. It is usually served for breakfast with chutney and avial. I prefer eating it for lunch as it is quite filling and heavy.


Ingredients:
Rice ..................... 1 cup
Urad dal ............. 1/8 cup
Toor dal ............  1/8 cup
Moong dal ........ 1/8 cup
Chana dal .......... 1/8 cup
Ginger ............ 1 tsp (grated)
Curry leaves .... 1 sprig
Fenugreek seeds .. 1/4 tsp
Pepper corns .... 8
Dry red chillies .. 1 or 2 (optional)
Cumin seeds ....... 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida ......... 2  pinches
Turmeric powder ... 1/8 tsp
Salt ........................ to taste
Finely chopped onions ... Optional (for adding to the batter)
You may also add some greens if you like.
Oil or ghee .... to make dosas.


Method:
1. Soak all the ingredients (except asafoetida, turmeric and salt) for 6-7 hours.
2. Wash them and grind to make a batter of pouring consistency.
3. Add salt, asafoetida and turmeric powder. Let the batter ferment for 5-6 hours. It takes more time in winter.
4. Heat a griddle and pour some batter with the help of a ladle and spread the adai.
5. Spoon a little oil or ghee to make them crisp.
6. If you are adding greens or chopped onion you can add to the batter before making them.



Check out the Avial recipe - HERE
Check out the Chutney Recipe - HERE

Thursday, June 22, 2017

ARANCINI / ITALIAN CHEESY RICE BALLS


Arancini is a very popular Italian snack. Creamy rice balls stuffed with a piece of gooey cheese are a delight to munch when served immediately out from the frying pan. Traditionally some ham is also added along with green peas but I added chicken instead.
You can cook this in two ways, one is cook the rice fresh along with the green peas, onion, ham or chicken like Risotto which definitely is more flavourful or make use of the left over rice and add the other ingredients after sauteeing them.
The theme of the month in our group, "Shhhhh Cooking Secretly" is - Fried Snacks. Monsoon has begun and we all love to munch something nice with tea.
My partner was Priya Iyer, who has a lovely blog - The World Through My Eyes
She gave me my two secret ingredients, Rice and Cheese. They were perfect for me as I was planning to make Arancini since a long time.
Here goes the recipe:


Ingredients:
Cooked rice ...... 1 cup
Roasted shredded and diced chicken .. 1/2 cup
Green peas (boiled) ............... 1/2 cup
Italian parsley (chopped)........ 1/4 cup
Olive oil ................................. 2 tbsps
Onion (finely chopped) .......... 1/2 cup
Parmesan cheese ...................... 1/2 cup
Mozzarella cheese .................... small cubes (as needed)

For coating and frying:
All purpose flour .... 1/2 cup
Bread crumbs .......... 1 cup
Eggs ........................ 2 (beaten)
Oil .................... for frying.


Method:

1. Heat olive oil in a pan and saute the onions.









2. When they turn translucent, tip in the diced  chicken.









3.Next add the boiled green peas.

4. Add the cooked rice and parsley. Stir to combine everything.









5. Allow it to cool a little bit and add the grated cheese and mix well.








6. Now divide the mixture into 8 equal portions or depending the size of the balls you want to make. Take a portion of the mixture in your palm, flatten it and place a piece of mozzarella cheese.





7. Seal it well and make a smooth ball. Prepare all the balls in the same way.






8. Spread the flour and bread crumbs in two flat plates. Roll each ball first in the dry flour.






9. Then dip into the egg.








10. Finally coat it with bread crumbs evenly.








11. Prepare all the balls in the manner before you start frying.







12. Heat oil in a pan, lower the heat and fry the rice balls carefully.








13. Fry them evenly turning them until they are golden brown in colour.






14. Serve immediately with a sauce or dip of your choice.









Note: If you are cooking the rice along with the chicken or ham and green peas you can add some white wine and chicken stock to make it more flavourful.
Recipe adapted from - Natasha's Kitchen


Sunday, June 18, 2017

POMEGRANATE AND CHERRY JUICE


Pomegranate and cherry juices not only have a delicious taste but also are loaded with health benefits.
These fruits are supposed to help protect against prostate and breast cancer, reduce the muscle pain, lower cholesterol and treat insomnia. In addition to the juice adding health benefits, the fruits are also a great addition to a balanced diet.
The juice can be made with simple variations by adding some flavouring ingredients like rock salt, lemon juice, honey, black pepper, ginger, lemongrass, mint leaves, basil leaves, roasted cumin powder etc etc as per your taste.
Today I have made it with just a little ginger juice, lemon juice, honey and a pinch of black pepper.

Ingredients:
Pomegranate ... 1 medium
Cherries .......... 8
Ginger juice ... 2 tsps
Honey .......... 1 tbsp
Salt .............. a pinch
Black pepper ... a small pinch

Method:
1. Cut the pomegranate and remove the pulpy seeds.
2. Deseed the cherries.
3. Put them in a mixie along with a glass of water and blend.
4. Strain the juice and stir in the remaining ingredients.
5. Refrigerate it and serve chilled.

Note : You may consume this juice to stay healthy but do not take it as a treatment for the mentioned ailments.
Information Source - Livestrong.com


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

LEBANESE LENTIL RICE WITH CARAMELIZED ONIONS / MUJADARA / MUJADARRAH / CHICKEN KEBAB


This is a protein packed dish of lentils and rice topped with caramelized onions and roasted almonds or pine nuts.  It is usually served with some plain yogurt. I always ended up ordering this dish in the Lebanese restaurants as it is somewhat like our pulao. I have served some chicken kebab as an accompaniment.

Ingredients:
Lentils ... 1 cup
Rice ...... 1 cup
Onions ... 1 large (sliced)
Black pepper ... 1/8 tsp
Cumin powder ... 1/2 tsp (or use garam masala)
Few almonds ... blanched and peeled (or use pine nuts)
Salt ................. to taste
Garlic ... 2-3 cloves crushed (optional)
Olive oil or butter .... 3-4 tbsps

Method:

1. Boil the lentils with some salt. Take care not to over cook them as we don't want them mushy. Drain them and set aside.






2. Boil the rice with salt. Drain and set aside. Traditionally the rice is cooked with lentils but I like it to be grainy. So I follow this method.






3. Fry the sliced onions until brown and crispy. Remove them on a kitchen tissue to drain the excess oil.







5. Now take a pan and add the oil or butter. If you are using garlic first saute it. Add the spice powders of your choice (either garam masala or cumin and black pepper)





6. Tip in the boiled lentils and rice stirring carefully not to break the rice.






7. Mix them well . Check for the salt and add if needed.







8. Spoon it in a serving platter and top it with fried onions and almonds or pine nuts




For the Chicken Kebab:
Chicken .. 200 gms (boneless cubes)
Lemon juice ..... 2 tbsps
Salt ............. as needed
Olive oil .. 2 tbsps
Mediterranean spice mix or garam masala ... 1 tsp
Onions ... cut into cubes
Satay sticks

Method:
1. Marinate the chicken with salt and lemon juice.
2. Saute in a griddle with olive oil on medium heat for 5-7 minutes or until done. You may also bake it in an oven.
3. Now toss the onions in the same pan for a minute.
4. Put the chicken and onion cubes in the satay sticks alternately
5. Bring them back to the pan and sprinkle the spice mix over them.
6. Turn the sides a couple of times till the chicken is lightly charred.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

GINGER RASAM / INJI RASAM / ALLAM CHARU


Rasam is a dish made almost everyday in all the South Indian homes. Hence it is made with many variations. I have already posted a few of them . Today's preparation is ginger flavoured rasam. This one is specially good when you have a sore throat.


Ingredients:
Toor dal ... handful (soaked and boiled with tomatoes)
Ginger ... 2 inch pieces (can add more if you like)
Tamarind .. size of a lemon soaked in half cup water
Tomatoes ... 2 small
Salt ........... to taste
Jaggery ... 1 tsp
Rasam powder ... 1 tbsp (for home made rasam powder recipe click - HERE)
Coriander leaves .. handful
Turmeric powder ... 1/4 tsp

For Tempering:
Oil ... 2 tbsps
Asafoetida .. 1 pinch
Curry leaves .. 1 sprig
Mustard seeds ... 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds .... 1 tsp
Dry red chillies .. 1 broken


Method:



1. Wash the ginger and cut into pieces. Grind it in am mixie.







2. Boil it in 2 cups of water for a couple of minutes.







3. Strain it and keep aside.






4. Boil the soaked toor dal with tomatoes in a pressure cooker for 2 -3 whistles.( You can add them whole and peel the skin before blending the cooked dal.)





5. Blend it and set aside.







6. In a pan add the tempering ingredients.







7. When they crackle add the ginger water.






8. Now add the tamarind water, dal, coriander leaves and bring to a boil.







9. Stir in the rasam powder, salt, and jaggery, Simmer for a minute and it is ready to serve.

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