Feb 28, 2015

Pasta in chicken sauce

Making pasta after a very long time, and I wanted it to be something memorable. Which immediately translates into something chicken-y. Definitely worked, because it was all polished off, without the help of the dog!

200 gms pasta
2 tbsp olive oil
4 whole boneless chicken breasts cut into small piecces
Salt And Pepper to taste
1 whole onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 large tomatoes, chopped fine
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp parsley
2 Tablespoons Minced Fresh Parsley
1/2 cup cheese grated
12 whole Basil Leaves, cut fine
Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and keep aside.
Heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken pieces in a single layer and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Allow to cook without stirring for 2 minutes, or until golden. Stir chicken around to brown on all sides. Remove to a plate.
In the same skillet over medium-high heat, add the onions and garlic and stir immediately to start cooking. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are deep golden.
Meanwhile, blend the tomatoes, and keep aside.
Reduce the heat to low and pour in the tomato puree, chilli flakes, salt and sugar. Cook till the raw smell goes, then add the chicken back into the pan. Add the parsley, stir to combine, then allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 7-8 minutes.
Make sure the sauce is bubbly and very hot, then gently stir in 1/3 cup cheese. Let it sit, undisturbed, for 2 to 3 minutes, so the cheese melts into the sauce.
Pour the pasta into a plate. Drizzle with olive oil, put a layer of grated cheese, pour on the sauce, and garnish with basil leaves.
Serve immediately.

Feb 22, 2015

Cornflakes cookies

Cornflakes are my standard breakfast fare. What if we convert them into cookies?

1/2 cups (or 60 gms) maida
1/2 cup cornflakes
50 gms butter
50 gms sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla essence
1/8 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt (skip if using salted butter)

Method:Powder the sugar.
Cream the sugar, butter, vanilla essence and salt
Add the maida, and mix well.
Coarsely grind the cornflakes, add to the mixture and mix gently to form a soft dough- if the dough doesn't hold together, add a bit of water or milk to bind it together.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
Roll the dough into balls. Arrange evenly on a greased baking sheet, leaving sufficient space between them to ensure they do not run into each other.
Bake for 15-20 minutes till the edges start browning.

Notes:Temperatures might vary, so keep checking after 12 minutes are over
To ensure the cookies don't become very brittle, pour some water into a baking tray and keep on the rack below the rack where the cookies are- this will ensure that there is some additional humidity in the oven.

Feb 19, 2015

Oatmeal cookies

More cookies- oatmeal cookies this time- to help the kid while he studies for his exams! These rustic looking cookies are very high on the taste quotient, and disappeared almost before I could click a photograph.

1 cup instant oats
1 cup flour
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar (I used less)
1/3 tsp cinnamon powder
1/3 tsp ginger powder
1/3 tsp pepper powder
1/3 tsp nutmeg powder
Water as per need.

Method:Dry roast the instant oats till they smell toasty
Mix the butter into the flour till it looks like breadcrumbs
Add oats, sugar and spices mix together so it holds together when pressed.
Gradually add water till the dough is able to hold together- when you pull, it should break away easily- do not overknead
Roll the dough into a cylinder and put in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
Cut into discs, press lightly between the palms, and set on the tray distributing equally- the cookies shouldn’t be too thin as they will not be very crunchy.
Bake for 15- 20 minutes in a preheated oven at 180 degrees- keep checking after 12 minutes to ensure it doesn't burn.

Feb 16, 2015

Butter Cookies, with a bite

With exams around the corner, the older one keeps demanding something to munch while studying. Since anything healthy will not quite meet his requirements, I whipped up a batch of butter cookies by adapting my mother's recipe, and improvising by adding nigella seeds.

100 gms sugar
100 gms salted butter
50 gms rice flour
100 gms maida
1 tsp nigella seeds

Method:Preheat the oven at 175 degrees for about 10 minutes
Cream together sugar and butter
Add rice flour and beat well
Add maida and knead to a soft dough (without adding any water). Wheb done, add the nigella seeds and mix well.
Roll it into balls, place on a baking tray taking care to leave space for them to spread, and bake for 12-15 minutes till golden brown on top.

Feb 6, 2015

West African inspired Chicken in Peanut Curry

I stumbled upon this recipe entirely by accident, and since I love peanuts in any form, I had to try it out. Normally, I do not cook with boneless chicken, but this time, I made an exception, and really loved the result. The best part is that it is really easy to whip up, and everyone (except the dog who did not get any) loved it.
I have made adaptations in the recipe, so refer to the link if you want the original.
500 gms boneless, skinless chicken pieces, cut into pieces
1/3 cup flour
2 tsp garam masala powder
Salt to taste
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
1 green chilli
2 cups chicken broth
1/3 cup peanuts, roasted and ground fine
1/2 tsp dhania powder
1/3 cup spring onion (with greens) chopped
1/4 cup each mint and cilantro


Rinse chicken and pat dry. In a large bowl, combine the flour, curry powder and salt. Toss the chicken pieces to coat.
Heat oil in a heavy pot on medium high heat. Add chicken pieces in batches, being careful to not crowd the pan. Cook 2-4 minutes per side, or until the coating sets and browns a little. Remove the chicken from the pot as it cooks and set aside in a bowl.
When the chicken has all been browned, add the ginger garlic paste, and 1/2 cup of the chicken broth. Cook for a minute or two, scraping the pan with a spatula and stirring to combine everything well.
Add the ground peanut, and the remaining broth, stirring continuously to maintain an even texture.
Return the chicken to the pot and simmer for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, grind the green onions, mint, cilantro leaves and green chilli, and add to the chicken.
Mix well, cover, and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes. Add salt to taste.
Serve with phulkas or rice.