Nov 29, 2014

Spinach Stir Fry

I had this spinach stir fry in office the other day, and thought it one of the most flavourful dishes I've ever had. Turned out being one of the easiest dishes to make also.

1 bunch spinach
6-8 pods garlic
1 tomato
1 tsp oil
2 tbsp melon seeds

Wash the spinach well, and cut it into shreds.
Chop the tomatoes into small pieces.
Peel the garlic and cut in half.
Heat the oil, add garlic, and saute till brown.
Add spinach, tomatoes and salt to taste. Fry on medium heat till the water escapes and dries up again.
Garnish with melon seeds and serve.

Pasta in mushroom sauce

I adapted this recipe from a similar one I made a couple of months back, and the medley of mushrooms, creamy sauce, basil and chilli flakes was as good as I'd hoped it would be. I tossed in a few chicken sausages for the hubby and kids, but thought it was really good without any of it.

200 gms macaroni (or any other pasta)

1 packet mushrooms
1 onion chopped fine
6-8 pods garlic
1 cup milk
2 tbsp cornflour powder
1 tbsp chilli flakes
3 tbsp basil, shredded
1 tbsp butter
Salt to taste

Cook the pasta in sufficient water (and 1 tsp salt), stirring constantly to ensure it doesn't stick. Drain and keep aside. Reserve some of the water that the pasta was cooked in.
Heat the butter, Saute garlic (peeled and cut lengthwise), and onions till transparent.
Wash the mushrooms. Chop lenthwise in half. Add mushrooms to onions and garlic, and saute till browned.
Sprinkle the cornflour, salt and chilli flakes and stir till well coated. Once browned, add milk gradually, with constant stirring.
Let the milk simmer for a few minutes till thickened.
Stir in the basil (reserving a little for garnish) and turn off the flame.
Add pasta and mix well (add the reserved pasta water, if required).
Check for salt and serve, garnished with fresh basil leaves.

Nov 26, 2014

Chicken in Creamy Wine Sauce

I've been wanting to make a chicken in wine sauce for a long time, and found this recipe that I really liked. Unfortunately, the milk/ cream curdled when I was adding it, and the chicken didn't come out as well as I had hoped it would. But I am definitely making it again, without the wine this time.

1 curry cut chicken
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
6 cloves garlic
1 package mushrooms, halved
1 cup wine
1/4 cup cream
1/2 cup milk
2 Tbsp. fresh basil leaves

Heat olive oil and brown chicken. Remove chicken and reserve drippings; keep aside.
Cook onion with garlic in reserved drippings, stirring occasionally, until onion is tender, 
Stir in mushrooms and cook until browned.
Stir in wine, cream and milk, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce is slightly reduced. 
Return chicken to the skillet, cover, and cook till chicken is well done (about 20 minutes).
Stir in basil, and serve.

Nov 23, 2014

Methi Chicken with a medley of spices

This was another of those recipes that had me at "Hello". One  look at the photograph, and I knew I  had to go through the recipe. One scan of the recipe and I had to bookmark it to make someday.
Strangely, despite the presence of many iffy spices, the recipe was a hit at home, and every last bit of it was polished off.

1 curry cut chicken

1 cup hung curd
2 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
1 green chill, minced
1/2 tsp javitri (mace powder)

2 tsp oil /butter
4 Cloves
1/2 tsp whole jeera
1 inch piece of cinnamon
salt to taste
1 cup milk /milk plus water
1 tbsp roasted besan
1/2 tbsp Kasoori methi

Marinate the chicken after cleaning it well. Wrap with clingfilm and keep in refrigerator overnight.
Heat oil and put whole garam masala.
When it stops spluttering, add the marinated chicken with salt and let it cook on medium heat. Stir off and on. 
After 10 to 15 minutes, add milk or milk and water and the roasted besan - cook for another 5 minutes. 
Sprinkle kasoori methi and cook away for another 5 minutes.
Serve with parathas.

Nov 16, 2014

Fresh and Crunchy Salad

A couple of weeks back, a friend taught me to make mozzarella cheese. Though it sounded very similar to the process of making paneer, I decided to take it at face value and try it. The bad news is that the end product was no different from regular paneer. The good news is that the paneer went straight into a crunchy salad which was quickly consumed with the Sunday lunch!

For the paneer:
1 litre milk
1 tbsp lemon juice

For the salad:
2 large tomatoes
2 medium onions
1 large cucumber
12- 15 black olives

For the marinade
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp honey
4- 6 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbsp chilli flakes
1 tbsp crushed dry mint
Salt to taste

Add the lemon juice to cold milk, and keep aside for 30 minutes
Bring to a boil, reduce the flame, and keep stirring till the whey separates.
Drain and keep aside.
Cut the cucumber, onions, tomatoes and paneer into 1/2 inch square pieces.
Mix the marinade, toss in the vegetables, cover with cling film and keep in the fridge for 2 hours.
Garnish with olives before serving

Nov 15, 2014

Ginger-lemon chicken

I wanted a no-frills chicken dish to accompany our dinner. Something that didn't take too much more time than frying a packet of kebabs. And something that could be whipped up using the ingredients on hand.
This was something I came up with, and it tasted really amazing!

1 curry cut chicken
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp ginger paste*
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp dry mint, crushed
1 inch piece of ginger for garnish
1 1/2 tbsp ghee

Clean the chicken, make slits and marinate it in a mixture of lemon juice, ginger paste, salt and pepper for at least 30 minutes.
Heat the ghee, and shallow fry till the chicken pieces are golden brown (about 5 minutes on each side).
Pour in the marinade, sprinkle the dry mint, cover and cook on a low flame till done.
Garnish with thin ginger slices and serve.

*I used ready made paste, but fresh ground will be nicer

Nov 9, 2014

Chicken in dark sauce

I modified this recipe from my older recipe for roast chicken. The sauce is nearly the same, but the method of cooking makes it much easier.

5 chicken legs (I used curry cut chicken, but legs would be much better)
3 small onions, or a handfull of shallots
5 tbsps soya sauce
2.5 tbsps Worcesterchire sauce
1 tsp freshly ground pepper powder

1 tbsp sugar
5 tbsps olive oil
Salt to taste

Wash and clean the chicken. Make a few small slits in the flesh. Marinate in a mixture of soya sauce,Worcestershire sauce and 2 tbsp oil for 1 hour.
Heat the remaining oil, pour in about 1 tbsp of the marinade, add sugar and stir it on high heat for about 30 seconds (till the sugar starts to melt). Reduce the flame, add the marinated chicken, with the marinade. Add pepper powder and salt, and bring to boil. Cover and let it cook for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile peel the shallots or make cross cuts in the onion (taking care not to cut all the way through).
Turn all the pieces around, place the onions/ shallots over the chicken, and cover them with sauce. Cover and let it cook for 15 minutes (or a bit more till done).
Thicken the gravy if needed.
Serve with mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables

For mashed potatoes, boil the potatoes, and mash with butter, milk, salt and oregano.
For steamed vegetables, steam the vegetables, and season with salt and pepper.

Nov 7, 2014

Snake gourd stuffed with mixed pulses

Leftovers! How I hate them. At every mealtime, when just that little bit of something or the other gets left over, I despair. Do I throw it out, despite the fact that millions of people across the world are starving. Or do I shove them in the fridge, even though I know I am unlikely ever to consume them.
Which is why, I love those recipes where leftovers get a makeover.

2 snake gourds
1/2 cup leftover dal, thickened (you can even mix different dals before thickening them)
Oil for shallow frying

Wash the snake gourds and roughly scrape the skin. Make s slit along the vertical line, remove the seeds, and cut into 2 inch pieces.
Stuff the pieces with thickened dal, and shallow fry.
Serve with rotis.
You can also sprinkle with sev or chopped onions.

Nov 6, 2014

Creamy, minty chicken

The hubby and kids wanted chicken, but I was in no mood to make the standard gravy. Hence, I improvised and came up with something that was absolutely yummy.

Curry cut chicken  
3 tbsp milk
2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
1 tsp freshly ground pepper powder
2-3 tbsp dried mint leaves
Salt to taste
1 cup curds
Oil, 2 tbsp
1 sprig mint leaves, crushed

Method:Wash and clean chicken, make small slits, and marinate it with curds, salt and pepper. Let it marinate for 30 minutes.
Heat oil, and on a low flame, heat the ginger-garlic paste. Add the marinated chicken, and fry for 3-4 minutes. Add black pepper powder mix well, cover and cook on a low flame. Stir occasionally to ensure it doesn't stick to the pan.
Crush the dry mint with your hands and add it along with milk and some salt in to the pan. Mix well and continue to cook on low for 5-10 minutes.
Turn off the flame, and stir in the fresh mint leaves.
Serve with rotis