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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Red bell pepper & chicken meat ball curry

The sweetness of the red bell pepper in the chicken mince gives a new dimension to the dish. This is one of the chicken dishes which is quick and easy to make.

Here's the recipe:

Ingredients for the koftas (meat balls): 
1kg chicken breast cut into cubes
1 large onion chopped
2 garlic cloves chopped
1/2 a red bell pepper chopped
1 strand of cilantro
1 strand of parsley
1-2 small green chillies
2 tsp ginger garlic paste
1 tbs corn flour
3/4 tsp green cardamom powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp juice of lime/lemon
Salt as required

Ingredients for the curry:
1 large onion
2 tsp ginger garlic paste
1tsp coriander powder
1 tsp turmeric
4 green chillies
A little cilantro and parsley chopped
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Salt as required.
Wholes spices (1/2" cinnamon stick, 4 cloves, 1bayleaf and 4 green cardamoms)

Yield: 15 Koftas


1. Clean, rinse, towel dry the chicken breast, cut into cubes and keep aside.

2. Finely chop the onions, the red pepper,  cilantro, parsley, green chillies and keep aside.

3. Make ginger garlic paste.

4. Rub the chicken cubes with salt, lemon juice and leave to marinate in the freezer for half an hour.

5. Add turmeric, cumin, black pepper, green cardamom powder, ginger garlic paste, corn flour and all the chopped vegetables to the partially frozen marinated chicken.  Mince everything together in a mincer/grinder using the medium mincing plate. Sprinkle a little more salt for the vegetables before grinding.  It is easier to grind and get a good texture when the chicken cubes are a bit frozen.

6. Make round balls with the chicken mince. Set aside 2 tbs of vegetable oil for the curry and heat the remaining oil in a non-stick frying pan with a handle.
7. Shallow fry the chicken meat balls quickly, 2 or 3 at a time by turning and tossing them over. Remove them as soon as they turn opaque. No problem if they are still raw inside as they are going to cook in the curry. This way they remain soft. They would harden if you over cook them.
8. Meanwhile fry the onions with the whole spices to golden brown in the reserved 2 tbs of oil in a sauce pan. Add ginger garlic paste, turmeric, coriander powder and salt, stir for a few seconds,  then add thick yoghurt. Mix well to make a smooth sauce. You could remove the whole spices and the green chillies and use a hand blender or just mash the onions with the back of a wooden spoon. All depends on how finely you slice the onions and how gently and slowly you brown them on medium to low heat which helps them soften easily and blend in with the other ingredients to make a smooth sauce. In that case you don't require a hand blender at all.
9. Now poke the meat balls lightly with a tooth pick and gently drop them in the curry. Sprinkle 1/2 a cup of water around the sides of the sauce pan, cover with a lid and leave it to simmer for sometime till they get cooked completely. 

10. Add chopped coriander and when the sauce thickens and reaches the desired consistency remove from the stove. Garnish with some chopped coriander and serve hot with rice or chappatis. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Tangy sweet bittergourd masala


Bitter gourds - 4
Onions sliced - 1 large
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves - a few
Dried red chilies - 1- 2 small
Chopped Ginger
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Cumin powder - 1/4 tsp
Garam masala powder - 1/2 tsp
Lemon juice - 1 tsp
Brown sugar - 1/2 tsp
Vegetable oil - 2 tbs
Cilantro - 2 tbs


1. Scrape the bitter gourds lightly, cut them lengthwise into two halves, scoop out the contents and cut into thin juliennes and keep aside.

2. Heat the vegetable oil in a sauce pan, add the mustard seeds when they splutter add the dried whole red chillies, slit green chilies and curry leaves followed by the bitter gourd juliennes.

3. Add the dry masala - turmeric, cumin, coriander & garam masala powders. Mix well, sprinkle a little water, cover it with a lid and let it simmer on low flame for a few minutes, giving it a stir every one and then, till it is just tender. 

4. Add the sliced onions and chopped coriander.  Sprinkle some salt, lemon juice and lastly brown sugar, mix well, cover it with the lid and simmer for a few more minutes till the onions soften a bit.  Remove from the stove, garnish with chopped coriander and serve with chappatis or rice.