Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Pepper Chicken

This recipe can be used for a whole chicken as well. For the whole chicken use the zafrani chicken baking technique by closing and cooking the chicken for 1 hr at 350 degrees fahrenheit and then roasting the chicken on convection roast in the last half hour. If you do not have convection roast setting in your oven then raise the temperature to 400 degrees fahrenheit and let it roast for 30 mins.

Whole Chicken- 1 cut into pieces at the joints.
Garlic cloves- 4 med size
Black Pepper corns - 1 tblspn
Cumin seeds - 1 tspn
Green chillies - 2 small size (optional)
Cloves - 6 (optional)
Green cardamoms - 6 (optional)
lemon juice - 2 tblspns
Salt to taste

1. Clean, wash and cut the chicken into 8-12 pieces at the joints only. If you cut the bones they not only bleed a lot while cooking but you will get small pieces of bones in your mouth when you eat the chicken which is really annoying.
2. Rub the chicken with 1/2 a tspn salt and lemon juice and set aside for 10 mins.
3.Grind together garlic, pepper, cumin and green chillies. For added flavour and spicy taste you can add the optional ingredients. Otherwise just keep it light to satisfy a western palette.
4. Rub the chicken with the ground masala, put them in the baking dish and let it rest for 1/2 an hour.
5.Bake the chicken in the preheated oven at 400 degrees fahrenheit for 45 mins.
6. Remove from the oven and serve hot with ghee rice or peas palao.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Spinach Dill Vadai (fritters)

These vadas smell great when frying and taste great too. They are very flavourful and make a good evening snack with tea. I made them for Ifthaar with ganji (a kind of flavourful rice porridge made in south India especially for ifthaars). They disappeared in no time.

Whole urad dal - 1 cup
Spinach chopped - 1 cup
Dill chopped - 1 cup
Onions chopped - 1/2 cup
Green chilles chopped - 4-6 small
Curry leaves chopped - 1/4 cup.
Cliantro chopped - 1/2 cup
Ginger chopped - 1 tbs
Salt to taste
Vegetable oil to deep fry - 2 cups

1.Clean, wash and soak the urad dal overnight or for atleast 4 hrs. Clean wash, drain and wipe dry the spinach and dill after picking the leaves from the stems. Then chop them well and set aside.

2. Take half the dal and grind it fine in a food processor. Remove and set aside.

3. Put the rest of the dal and pulse it just two or three times so that it breaks up a little. Remove and mix it with the finely ground dal to make a sticky dough. Do not add water while grinding. You could just sprinkle a little bit when you finely grind the first half.

4.Mix together chopped onions, green chillies, ginger and curry leaves and chop them all together on the cutting board with a little salt which is just enough for the onions.

5. Add a little salt to the ground urad dal and mix well. Now add the chopped spinach, dill, cilantro, curry leaves and onion mixture and mix everything well with the urad dal.

6.Take a lump of the vadai batter with wet hands press gently to give a flat shape and make a hole in the center using your fingers and thumb and gently immerse it in the oil. You have to be really very careful at this step. You can use a flat spatula to slowly drop the vadai in the oil if you are not confident.

7. When it turns golden brown at the bottom and crispy on the sides, it is time to turn it over and fry on the other side.

8. Fry in batches of 4 - 6 depending on the size of your frying pan till all of them are evenly browned and crisp.
9. Remove from frying pan, drain on paper towels and serve them hot with mint  or red coconut chutney.

10. Or you can enjoy them with ganji (rice porridge).  

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Salmon Biryani

Yesterday I made Salmon biryani for Ifthaar. I had such a craving for fish biryani as I hadn't made it  in a long time. Unlike me, nobody loves fish in my family. It turned out delicious - just the way I imagined it! I did not touch any of the ifthaar snacks as I could not wait to enjoy it.  The mint and the yoghurt chutneys I made with it added the zing to it.

But one thing about fish biryani is that it has to be eaten fresh. Even a day old fish biryani does not taste the same as the fish smell becomes kind of over powering. So enjoy it fresh as it is delicious.

Salmon - 6-8 medium size pieces (1 lb)
Onions - 3 medium size
Tomatoes - 2 medium size
Green chillies - 4-6 small
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tblspn
Thick Yoghurt - 1/2 a cup
Mint leaves (Fresh) - a few
Cilantro - 1/2 cup chopped
Cinnamon stick - 1 inch
Cloves - 5
Green cardamom - 5
Red chilly Powder - 2 tspns
Turmeric - 1 1/2 tspns
Cumin - 1/2 tspn
Lemon juice - 1 tblspn
Saffron - a pinch
Warm milk - 2 tblspns
Basumati Rice - 1 1/2 cups
Vegetable oil - 1/4 cup + 2-3 tblspns for frying salmon.

1.Slice the onions and cut the tomatoes into quarters. Make fresh ginger garlic paste and set aside.

2.Wash the basumati rice and let it soak for 20 - 30 mins.

3. Rub the salmon pieces with salt, lemon juice, 1 1/2 tsp red chilly powder, 1 tsp turmeric and 1/2 tsp cumin. Marinate for half an hour and set aside.

4.  Fry the salmon in the vegetable oil for 2 or 3 mins on each side by turning over only once.

5. Heat the oil in a pot. add the whole spices - cinnamon, cloves and green cardamoms. Immediately add the   sliced onions to it and fry till golden brown.

6.Add the ginger garlic paste, turmeric powder, 1/2 tspn red chilly powder and tomatoes and simmer till the tomatoes turn soft. Mix well.

7. Add the yoghurt followed by green chillies, mint and cilantro. Put the sauce in a roasting dish, then add  the fried salmon pieces to it and simmer for around 10 mins.

8. Meanwhile bring to boil 4 to 5 litres of water in a big pot. Add 2 tblspns of salt. Add rice and cook till half  done. The rice should be a little soft on the outside but still gritty on the inside. Drain well.

9. Preheat oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit.

10. Now remove the fried salmon pieces from the sauce and set aside. Put the cooked rice into the roasting pan, add fresh mint leaves, cilantro, then saffron solution (saffron dissolved in warm milk). And layer the top with the fried salmon pieces that we removed from the sauce.

11. Close the lid and steam it in the oven for 10 mins.

12. Remove while it is steaming hot and serve with Mint chutney and Yoghurt chutney. Enjoy!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Stuffed Paneer Croquettes

This is one of my new creations. I had long been making different kinds of cutlets - salmon, tuna, beef & chicken cutlets and got fed up of them. I imagined a snack version of the malai kofta and came up with this - the paneer croquettes. I wanted them light and less spicy so that the kids could enjoy, but at the same time to add the zing I stuffed them with mint chutney mixed with walnuts and raisins.

Here's the recipe.............

Paneer grated - 1 cup (I used half of the 400gm pack of Baba Paneer)
Potatoes boiled and grated -1 cup
Onion chopped - 1 medium size
Green chillies - 2 small ones
Cilantro chopped - 1/2 cup
Salt to taste
Lemon juice - 1 tspn
Black Pepper - just to sprinkle
Beaten Eggs - 2
Corn Flour - 1/2 a cup
Corn flakes ground - 1 cup
Vegetable oil for deep frying

Mint chutney - 1 heaped tblspn (check recipe below)
Walnuts chopped - 1/4 cup
Golden raisins chopped - 1/4 cup


1.Mix together the grated paneer and potatoes.
2. Add lemon juice and salt to chopped onions and green chillies. Cut and chop them together again with the salt and lemon juice and then add to the potato paneer mixture. Add chopped cilantro, mix everything together and set aside.
3. Prepare the stuffing by mixing together the chopped walnuts and the chopped golden raisins with the mint chutney.The walnuts and raisins should be just coated with the chutney.
4. Make small portions of the stuffing.
5. Make small balls of the potato paneer mixture. Make a depression in the center, add a portion of the stuffing and close it.
6. Roll the ball in the corn flour, then dip it in the beaten eggs and then roll it again in the ground corn flakes and set aside.
7. Heat the oil in a frying pan. Once the oil is hot, set it on medium heat. Add the croquettes and fry them till golden brown. When they are done, you will see small white spots popping out. This means they are done.So remove immediately from the pan and drain on paper towels. If you delay any longer they would burst in the pan and the oil would splutter and make a mess. So please do not wait till this happens. Let them cool for a bit before you serve them with mint chutney. Their texture is much better when they cool  down a bit. And when you make them you can give them any shape. Enjoy with more mint chutney or ketchup.

Mint Chutney:
Mint leaves - 1 cup
Curry leaves - 1/2 cup
Cilantro - 1 cup
Tomato - 1 small or 1/2 a medium
Green chillies - 4
Tamarind - 1 big marble size
Garlic - 2 big cloves

Grind everything together in a blender or wet grinder without adding any water, add appropriate salt mix well  and serve with snacks.