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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Cheesy White Chilli Chicken

There was ricotta cheese sitting in the fridge and I had to make a chicken dish for dinner. I wanted to make something different to avoid the curry smell and the spicy taste which the kids are fed up of eating day in and day out. I imagined what kind of taste the kids would appreciate, so had to incorporate the ingredients to get the flavour I wanted. The smooth texture of the ricotta cheese with the hung yoghurt and the subtle flavour of the cardamom along with the other ingredients made a good marinade. The white chilly powder spiced up the whole dish deceptively. White chilly powder can be a good substitute for white pepper if you want to avoid the strong odour of white pepper which cuts out all the other flavours in the food. The Minar brand of white chilly powder is available in grocery stores and in Ottawa at the Desi price club.

1 Whole chicken - 1.5kgs
Ricotta cheese - 1/2 cup
Ginger garlic paste - 2 tspns
White chilly powder - 1tspn
Cardamom powder - 1/2 tspn
Coriander powder - 1tspn
Hung yoghurt or thick curds - 1/4 cup
Raw papaya powder (kachri powder) - 1tspn
Salt - 1/2 tspn
Olive oil - 1 tbspn + 1 tblspn for basting

Method: Clean, wash and cut the chicken breast into bite size pieces, towel dry and set them aside. Rub them with salt and kachri powder and leave for 10 mins. Kachri powder is used to tenderise the chicken. It is important to use thick curds or hung yoghurt because we do not want a runny marinade. The chicken pieces should be dry too. Mix together all the marinade ingredients including olive oil and leave to marinate for 1-2 hrs. Put the chicken pieces in a baking tray or cookie sheet covered with tin foil and broil on high for 4-6 mins on each side. Do not cover the chicken while broiling. Baste them with olive oil while broiling. Serve them hot with sliced onions and lemon wedges. Alternatively you may also bake the chicken (if the pieces are of big size and the quantity is large) on 400 degrees fahrenheit for 45 minutes.

Black rice salad

Yes, Black rice is the kind of food that can save your life! It is one of the special breeds of rice specifically reserved for kings in ancient times. It is chinese black rice and is different from wild rice and thai black rice. Rich in iron, vitamin E and full of antioxidants it has a natural healing power and anti-aging properties. It has more antioxidants than blueberries, less sugar and high fibre. It is a good substitute for prescriptive drugs which are taken to break down arterial plaque and fight high cholestrol levels. Unlike the prescribed medications it has no side effects. It has also become known as the 'super food' because of its high nutritional value. Read about the health benefits and some interesting facts on . Want to try it? It is available in Costco.


Black rice - 2 cups
Red pepper - 1
Green pepper - 1
Spring onions - 2 stalks
Cherry tomatoes - 10
Curly Parsely - 1/2 cup chopped


Olive oil -2 tblspns
Juice of 1 Orange
Juice of one lemon
Lemon zest - 1 tspn finely chopped
Chopped ginger - 2 tbs
Dijon mustard - 1/2 tsp
Salt - 1/2 tspn
Black Pepper - 1/2 tsp


1. Wash the black rice 3 or 4 times in water and let it soak overnight or for at least 2 hours.

2. Boil the soaked rice in a large pot filled with water. Add 2 tbs salt and let the rice cook till it is just done (al dente not overcooked). Drain and set aside till it cools.

3.  Meanwhile prepare the vegetables. Cut the green and red pepper into small dices, chop finely the green onions and parsley, deseed the cherry tomatoes, cut them into halves. Use paper towels to dab the vegetables dry.

4. Add the cut vegetables to the cooled black rice. Sprinkle salt and pepper as required. Mix well with a fork.

5. For the dressing whisk all the ingredients well. Keep aside.

6. Drizzle the dressing on the rice salad just before serving.  Enjoy.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Thin Beef steaks in coconut sauce

Thin Beef steaks - 8 (1/4 - 1/2 an inch thick)
Black pepper - 1 - 2tblspns
Lemon juice - 2 tblspns
Garlic cloves - 2 medium size finely grated
Salt to taste
Cumin powder - 1tspn
Olive oil - 2 tblspns

Coconut sauce:
Coconut powder- 2 tblspns
Ginger garlic paste - 1/4 tspn
Cayenne pepper flakes - 1/4 tspn
Crushed cumin seeds - 1/2 tspn
Black pepper - 1 tspn
Water - 1/4 cup
Olive oil - 1 tspn

Mix together lemon juice,salt, black pepper, cumin powder, grated garlic and olive oil and make a fine paste by mashing the grated garlic with a tspn. Marinate the steaks with this paste after rubbing them with 1/2 tspn salt. Leave aside for 1/2 an hr. Take a non stick pan and set on medium heat. Pan fry the steaks for 3 mins on each side. Do not over cook them. Remove and set aside. Now prepare the sauce on the same pan by adding the crushed cumin, red cayenne pepper flakes, ginger garlic paste to the 1tspn olive oil. Give it a quick stir. Mix the coconut powder with water and add it immediately to the pan. Let it thicken a bit. Turn the heat to low. Now add the steaks to the pan, turn them over in the pan till they are nicely slothered in the sauce. Garnish with fresh parsely and serve with fries & salad of your choice. Enjoy.