Sunday, May 31, 2015

Pepper Chicken Salad

I wonder if it's Karma or just my luck - every time I order chicken from the local store, I get it really late, or cut up in pieces instead of the whole boneless breast, or like this time around, cooked. I never get mad at them for doing this. I'm only amused and work with it.

Pieces of Pepper chicken, or any leftover cooked chicken you may have in the fridge.
Bell peppers - 1, cubed
Lettuce - few shredded leaves

Dressing - just a dash of each ingredient
Soy sauce
Lemon juice
Olive oil

1. Saute the chicken and bell pepper till the pepper is slightly cooked/charred.
2. Take off heat and lay the mix on a bed of lettuce.
3. Mix the ingredients for the dressing well and pour it all over the salad.

Best. Salad. Ever.

Pulao with Coconut Milk

I don't know if I can call this Pulao. Maybe, a version. Well, everything we cook is a version/variation of something else. The point being, I'd like to believe I'm good with one pot quick meals.

Context: I was looking forward to a chicken curry/stew kind of lunch. But my order of chicken didn't come through on time and hence the last minute change in the lunch menu.

Assorted vegetables like carrot, beans, bell peppers, beetroot, potato - cubes of them enough for the dish
Onions - 1 large chopped
Uncooked rice - 2 cups
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp
Green chilly - 1
Turmeric - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds - 2 tsp
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Coriander leaves - handful
Coconut milk - 1 cup
Water - 1 and 1/2 cups
Salt to taste
Oil for tempering

1. In a pressure cooker, heat oil, add cumin seeds and saute for 10 seconds and then add the chilly (chopped/slit).
2. Add curry leaves.
3. Tip in the chopped onions and saute before adding ginger garlic paste.
4. Add turmeric, chilli powder and salt.
5. Tip in the vegetables and stir well.
6. Add rice and mix.
7. Add coconut milk and water and pressure cook till 5 whistles.
8. Remove lid after pressure drops completely and add chopped coriander leaves.

Serves 2 hungry souls on a late
Sunday afternoon.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Prawns in Roasted Bell Pepper Puree

Prawn curry, masala fry, garlic butter prawns - I didn't want to make any of these. I scouted the internet for inspiration. Yes. I stumbled on Jamie Oliver's recipe for Szechwan Sweet and Sour Prawns. This was plan A. Then I digressed. Rather, got lazy.

Prawns - 200 gms
Red bell peppers - 2 large
Garlic - 4 pods
Dried red chilli - 1
Ginger - 1/2 inch
Soy sauce - 1 tbsp
Vinegar - 1 tbsp
Brown sugar (or white) - 1 tsp
Olive ooil - 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
Coriander for garnish

1. Roast the bell peppers in hot olive oil on a sauce pan.
2. Once you see it soften and with char marks, take it off the heat and let it cool.
3. In the same pan, throw in the garlic pods and take them off once fragrant.
4. Cut the peppers into medium size pieces and put them in a blender along with the garlic, ginger and chilli.
5. Blend it enough to make a puree.
6. Tip the bell pepper puree mix into the sauce pan with salt, tip the prawns in and let them cook for 3 - 4 mins.
7. In the meanwhile mix the soy, vinegar and sugar in a bowl.
8. Add the soy mix into the prawns and cook for another 2 mins.
9. Take off heat and garnish with fresh coriander.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Chicken Stew

I have gained a reputation for making the spiciest curries in the history of mankind. I couldn't think of having people over again before I fixed that. Hence, Stew. Also, it's one of my grandma's best dishes. She made the best mutton stew. Going back to fixing my reputation - no chillies of any kind were adding in the making of this Chicken Stew.

Chicken - 3 boneless breasts cut up into medium size pieces
Onions - 1 large sliced
Potatoes - 1 large, cubed
Carrots - 1 medium size, sliced
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Whole pepper - 1 tbsp
Cinnamon - 3-4 1/2 inch pieces
Cloves - 4-5
Cardamom - 4-5
Chicken stock - 1/2 cup (made from stock cubes)
Coconut milk - 1 pack (330 ml)
Salt to taste
Oil for tempering

1. In hot oil add the whole spices - cinnamon, cardamom, pepper, cloves and saute till fragrant.
2. Add sliced onions and saute till they turn soft.
3. Add chicken, potatoes and the stock along with salt. Add 1/2 of water.
4. Cook for 8 - 10 minutes and then add the carrots.
5. Cook for another 6 - 7 minutes.
6. Add coconut milk and simmer for 2 - 3 mins.

Serve with steamed rice.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Chicken Biryani

Finally. Without my mother hovering over my shoulders, I made biryani. It's her recipe anyway. Relatively easy, this biryani has two elements to it - rice and chicken masala. Both are to be cooked separately and layered with fresh coriander leaves and fried onions. Next stop, Mutton Biryani!

Ingredients for Chicken Masala:
Chicken (on the bone) - 1/2 kg
Coriander leaves - one cup
Mint leaves - one cup
Coriander seeds - 1 tsp
Fennel seeds - 1 tsp
Dried red chillies - 5 - 6
Green chillies - 2
Tamarind paste/thick pulp - 1 tbsp
Ginger - 1/2 inch
Garlic - 4 cloves
Cinnamon - 1/2 inch stick
Cloves - 4-5
Cardamom - 4-5

1. Saute all the ingredients for the masala in 1 tsp ghee.
2. Grind in blender to make a paste, adding some water.
3. Add salt to taste and cook chicken in the masala for 20 mins in med-low flame or till chicken is tender.

Ingredients for rice:
Basmati rice - 2 cups
Bay leaves - 2
Onion - 2 sliced

1. Rinse the rice with water at least 3-4 times and soak it in water for 10-15 mins. Drain water and let the rice dry for 10 mins.
2. Saute onions in 2 tbsp ghee/oil along with bay leaves.
3. Tip the rice in and add 4 cups water.
4. Add salt and bring to a boil.
5. Now let it simmer with a lid on in low heat for 18-20 mins.
6. Take it off the heat and let it rest with the lid off.

Other ingredients:
Onion - 1 sliced and fried till dark brown
Coloured water (yellow food colouring in water) - 1/2 cup
Chopped coriander leaves - 2 cups

Assembling the biryani:
In a large deep dish, layer the biryani - first with rice, followed by sprinkling of coloured water, then the chicken masala, then coriander leaves. Repeat. Top it with fried onions and more coriander leaves.

Serve with raita.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Goan Fish Curry

I miss mum's fish curry. I miss grandma's fish curry more. I didn't even want to attempt their recipes. Hence, found this one recipe online. It's not Mangalorean, but Goan. It's alright. Any fish curry was what I needed.

It's fairly simple.  Grind the masala with coconut and brining it to boil with water, along with sliced onions and green chillies. Add fish pieces and cook. Done.

For recipe, click --->> here

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Chicken Tikka Curry

I've never been a fan of using readymade masala/powders to make curries. But I was curious to see how it would work if I used it as a marinade. I tried the Shaan Chicken Tikka Masala powder to marinate my chicken before making a curry out of it.

Ingredients for marinade:
Chicken Tikka Masala powder - 5 tsp
Lemon juice - 3 tsp
Salt- 2 tsp
Curd - 1/2 cup

Other ingredients:
Chicken - 1/2 kg
Onion - 2 turned to paste
Tomato - 3 pureed
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Green chillies - 1 chopped
Coriander leaves for garnish

1. Marinade chicken in mentioned ingredients for 2 hours.
2. Heat oil and add cumin seeds and chillies.
3. Add onion paste along with ginger garlic paste.
4. Once onion changes colour, add turmeric and chilli powder.
5. Add tomatoes and let it cook for 10 mins.
6. Add salt and tip the chicken along with the marinade.
7. Cook for 15-20 mins in low flame with half a cup of water.
8. Garnish with coriander leaves.

Serve with rice or roti.

Chicken Ghee Roast

Ghee Roast is originally from Kundapur. God knows the Kundapur women are fiercely protective of their recipes. I found my way around it, but it doesn't come close to the one I tasted a few years ago. A Kundapur friend's Kundapur mother's, whose recipe she never shares.

Ingredients for ground masala:
Dried red chillies - 10 - 12
Coriander seeds - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Pepper corns - 1 tsp
Garlic - 2 cloves
Ghee - 2 tbsp

Other ingredients:
Chicken - 1/2 kg
Curry leaves - a fistful
Ghee - 2 tbsp

1. Saute all the ingredients for the ground masala in ghee one by one.
2. Grind into paste with some water.
3. Heat more ghee, add curry leaves and then tip in the ground masala in it.
4. Cook it till the colour of the masala darkens.
5. Add the chicken and cook for 15-20 mins in med - low flame or till chicken is cooked.

Serve with dosa or rice.

Chicken Vindaloo

In an ideal world, this should have been Pork Vindaloo. But I'm not in an ideal world, I'm in Gurgaon.

This is the recipe I found online and worked my way around it.

Chicken - 1/2 kg
Onion - 1 chopped and made into paste
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Brown sugar - 2 tbsp and Vinegar - 4 tbsp to be mixed and kept aside for 15 mins.

For ground paste:
Dried red chillies - 5
Cardamom - 2
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Pepper corns - 1 tsp
Methi - 1/4 tsp

1. Heat oil in a pan and mustard seeds to let it pop.
2. Add turmeric powder, coriander powder and salt.
3. Add the chicken and let it brown for 5-6 mins.
4. Remove chicken and add the onion paste to the pan.
5. Cook it till the paste changes colour.
6. Add the ground paste and cook it out.
7. Add chicken and cook it for another 6-7 mins with some water.
8. Add the brown sugar and vinegar mix and simmer for a couple of mins.

Serve with rice.


This is embarrassing, but I believed I came up with this egg dish. Turns out, it was always around and it's Shakshuka. Well, a kind of Shakshuka. Either way, it's one of my favourite breakfast/lunch dishes. Here's mine.

Eggs - 4
Tomato - 3 chopped
Onion - 1 chopped
Garlic - 3 cloves
Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander leaves to garnish

1. Saute onions along with garlic in hot oil till onions are soft.
2. Add the spice powders and salt and saute.
3. Add tomatoes and cook for 15 mins.
4. Create 4 wells and crack an egg each into them.
5. Cover with lid and let it cook in low flame for 4-5 mins. Do not take lid off till you're ready to eat. This way the yolk will be cooked enough and not too runny.
6. Garnish with coriander leaves when you open the lid and ready to eat.

Serve with toast or even roti. Heck, I'd eat it with rice too.

Tomato Saar and Beans Palya

A typical Brahmin meal back in Mangalore - saar and palya. I missed the boat to Brahminhvile soon after my first bite of chicken.

Ingredients for Tomato saar:
Tomato - 3 chopped
Onion - 1 chopped
Curry leaves - fistful
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Green chillies - 1 chopped
Garlic - 3 cloves crushed
Ghee - 2 tsp
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Pepper powder - 2 tsp

1. Pop mustard seeds in hot ghee followed by adding curry leaves and green chillies.
2. Add garlic and saute.
3. Add tomatoes, chilli powder and pepper powder.
4. Saute for a minute.
5. Pour enough water till tomatoes and other ingredients are immersed.
6. Bring to a boil and then let it simmer on low flame for 20 mins or till tomatoes are cooked.

Ingredients for Beans Palya:
French beans - 200 gms
Dried red chillies - 2
Curry leaves - 10 leaves

1. Saute red chillies in hot oil and add curry leaves.
2. Add chopped beans and salt to taste.
3. Add a glass of water and cover to cook.

Serve Tomato Saar and Beans Palya with hot steamed rice topped with a tsp of ghee and appalam if you have any. 

Mango Pulp Bottled Up

Summer is here and so are mangoes. I went a little nuts and bought a few too many. Since nobody wants to see mangoes go bad, I thought I'd bottle up the pulp to either drink or pour over ice cream.

All I did was cut up mango pulp and blend it with some water, milk and sugar. Add more water if you want it like juice. You could add a scoop of vanilla ice cream and turn it into mango milkshake.

Banana Nutella Crepes

After that healthy yoghurt mousse breakfast I had to redeem myself. So, here you go, everyone's favourite.

Ingredients for crepe:
Flour - 1 cup
Milk - 1 and 1/2 cups
Eggs - 2
Melted butter - 2 tsp
Salt - a pinch

Other ingredients:
Nutella - as much as you can and need
Banana - 1 sliced

1. Mix all ingredients well enough to make the batter.
2. Heat a griddle or a large round pan.
3. Pour a ladle full of batter on the pan and swirl it around till the batter coats the entire area of the bottom of the pan.
4. Let it cook for a min and flip it over to let it brown the other side too.
5. Now spread as much Nutella as you want on one half of the inside of an open crepe and on top of it arrange the banana slices.
6. Fold the untouched part of the crepe over the filled part of it.
7. Spread some more Nutella and add the remaining banana on top of it.
8. Fold sideways.

Serve with more Nutella

Yoghurt Mousse with Muesli and Mango

For breakfast while in office I happen to order this muesli, yoghurt mousse with fruit kind of dish which seemed very doable. And so I did. The next day I brought something similar for my colleagues and along with the dish I too became a hit. I understand it's healthy and everything, but I promise that wasn't intentional.

Muesli - 3 tbsp
Assorted fruits - cut up mango, apple, strawberry and the likes
Hung curd - 1/2 cup
Sugar syrup - 3 tbsp (you could use honey if the sugar scares you)

1. Whip the hung curd with sugar syrup and keep aside.
2. In a bowl tip the muesli in first and top it with the cut fruits, leaving a few for garnish.
3. Now top this with the hung curd mix and garnish with remaining cut fruits.

Serve for breakfast.

Pepper Chicken

I'm yet to explore the length and breadth of Tamil cuisine. But Chettinad, is still love. Unlike the usual onion-tomato based curries, this one is onion-pepper based. Its spiciness comes from green chillies and whole pepper. The fragrance of curry leaves when it splutters in hot oil is the perfect start to cooking this dish. I tried my hand at something that would come close to Chettinad style chicken.

Chicken - 1/2 kg
Green chillies - 3 chopped
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - fistful
Onion - 1 chopped
Garlic - 3 pods chopped
Lemon juice - 2 tsp

Ingredients for spice mix:
Whole pepper - 4 tsp
Cumin seeds - 2 tsp
Coriander seeds - 1 tsp
Cloves - 3-4
Cinnamon - 1/2 inch

1. Dry roast all the ingredients for spice mix and grind it to a powder. Keep aside.
2. Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds and let them pop.
3. Add curry leaves and let them splutter.
4. Now add onions and saute with the green chillies and garlic.
5. Add the spice mix and salt and saute for another 2 mins.
6. Add chicken, mix well and let it cook for 10 mins.
7. Add lemon juice and take off flame.

Best when served with plain dosa.

Pan Roasted Chicken

The story behind this dish: I was locked out of my own home and my flatmate was going to take over 2 hours to get home. I had all the ingredients for a chicken curry. OK, not all but I had the chicken and random vegetables. Like a true damsel in distress I sat on the stairs waiting for someone to rescue me. Just then I see my friend and thankfully, neighbour walking her dog. I popped over to her place (yes, I turn British every now and then) and we decided to have an impromptu get together of friends over some food and beer. I worked with whatever I could find in her pantry.

Chicken breast - 1
Mixed seasoning (paprika, dried herbs, salt) - 2 tsp
Lemon juice - 2 tsp
Garlic paste - 1 tsp
Vegetables like beans and carrots - 1 cup cut up

1. Rub the seasoning, garlic paste, lemon juice and salt to taste thoroughly on the chicken breast and leave it to marinate for an hour.
2. Get some beer or juice for yourself and have a good time with your friends.
3. Heat a pan with olive oil.
4. Place the chicken breast and let it roast for 5 mins.
5. Turn it around and let it cook for another 3-4 mins.
6. Take it off the pan and keep aside.
7. In the same pan tip the cut vegetables in and saute for 5 mins and take it off.

Serve the chicken with the vegetables. If you have garlic bread, then nothing like it.

Spinach and Corn Sandwich

I remember the only thing I ate at Cafe Coffee Day - Corn and Spinach Sandwich. I just replicated it. No biggie.

Sweet corn - 1/2 cup
Spinach - A bunch
Dried herbs - 1 tsp
Cheese spread - 1 tsp
Bread - 2 slices

1. Wilt (cook in a pan without water) the spinach with a pinch of salt and keep aside.
2. In the same pan cook the corn with 1/2 cup of water.
3. Mix the spinach and corn with the dried herbs (basil, thyme, rosemary).
4. Spread the cheese spread on the bread and fill it with the spinach and corn mix.
5. Grill it on the pan with some butter or without any.

Serve with coffee, tea or me. Kidding. 

Aloo Keema Rice Pot

One pot dinners are wonderful. Especially when it's movie night with friends. To add to it, winters. Again, perfect for a no-fuss-cooking kind of person like me (read: lazy).

Minced mutton - 1/2 kg
Onion - 3 finely chopped
Tomato - 3 finely chopped/pureed
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp
Garam masala - 1 tbsp
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Potato - 2 cut into small cubes and cooked
Coriander to garnish

1. Saute onions in hot oil with ginger garlic paste.
2. Add garam masala and chilli powder along with the turmeric and stir well.
3. Add a splash of water to bring the masala together.
4. Add the mutton and mix it all together.
5. Add salt and let it cook for 5 mins.
6. Add potatoes and simmer for 2-3 mins or till mutton is cooked.
7. Garnish with coriander leaves.

I'm obsessed with fried onions as a garnish for mutton dishes. It's optional but a great add on.

Serve on a bed of rice with a slice of lemon. 

Penne in Marinara

Valentine's Day. Nip in the air. These definitely ask for a hot pasta dish....Or maybe it's just easy to make and I don't need to run to the market to get a thousand ingredients to cook something 'special'.

Penne - a cup
Olive oil - 2 tbsp + 1 tbsp
Tomato - 4 large ones chopped
Garlic - 4 pods chopped
Basil leaves - 4 or more if you're like me or like me

1. Cook the tomatoes in 2 tbsp hot olive with the garlic.
2. Cool and puree it in a blender.
3. In the meanwhile let the pasta cook - 10 mins in salt water or till cooked.
4. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a saucepan and tip the tomato sauce in it.
5. Add salt and basil leaves.
6. Tip the cooked pasta in and mix well.

Serve with garlic bread and some love.

PS: I grated some cheddar over it. It's OK. You can too. I won't tell anyone.

Mutton Curry

This happened when Gurgaon was not figuratively, but also literally cold. Very cold. Chicken curry was becoming too mainstream. Next up was mutton. No beef or pork available at local stores anyway.

Mutton - 1/2 kg
Onion - 4 chopped (keep aside a small bowl of onions aside)
Tomato - 4 chopped
Green chillies - 2 chopped
Ginger - 1/2 inch chopped
Garlic - 5 pods chopped
Whole pepper - 1 tbsp crushed
Spice powders (cumin, coriander, turmeric, chilli) - 1 tsp each
Garam masala - 1 tbsp
Sugar - 1 tsp
Coriander leaves and fried onions to garnish

1. In a pressure cooker saute onions in hot oil along with chillies, pepper, sugar, ginger and garlic till soft.
2. Add spice powders, garam masala and salt to taste.
3. Add mutton and stir for a minute before adding enough water to cover the mutton.
4. Let it come to a simmer before putting on the lid of the cooker.
5. Take lid off after 2 - 3 whistles and check if meat is cooked. If not cook it till another whistle is let off.
6. Let it simmer in low flame. Add more water if needed.
7. In another pan fry the chopped onions kept aside earlier till dark brown.
8. Garnish with coriander leaves and the fried onions.

Serve with rice or rotis. I prefer rice because, South Indian FTW.

Hot and Sweet Stir Fry

Chicken and Mushroom

Stir frys are the best. By best I mean easiest to cook. Here's one of my good ones. And by good one I mean, better tasting and better looking.

Boneless chicken - 500 gms
Button mushrooms - 1 packet
Capsicum - 1
Onion - 1 large sliced
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp
Spring onion - Chopped handful
Sesame oil - 2 tbsp
Fish sauce - 2 tbsp
Soy sauce - 1 tbsp
Green chilli sauce - 2 tbsp
Honey - 2 tbsp

1. Heat oil.
2. Add onions along with the ginger garlic paste and green chilli sauce.
3. Saute till onions are translucent.
4. Tip the chicken in and add the soy sauce.
5. Let it cook for 5 mins on medium heat.
6. Add the sliced mushrooms.
7. Let it cook further for another 5 mins.
8. Add the diced capsicum, fish sauce and let it all simmer for 2-3 mins.
9. Tip in the honey, mix well and garnish with chopped spring onions.

Serve with steamed rice.

You could play around with the dish by adding all kinds of vegetables - baby corn, broccoli, and the likes.

Thai Red Curry

It's taken 3 years to resurrect our blog. We have been busy helping food lovers across the world to get closer to their favourite restaurant.

In a nutshell, we moved base to Gurgaon from Bangalore. We are with Zomato. We are still cooking - in different kitchens.

Thai Red Curry.

No readymade pastes from the supermarket anymore. What I did though, was take a look at the ingredients at the back of the readymade curry paste packet. I tried my best to come close to what the paste should be like. As it turns out, I did. One whiff of it and your lungs will be filled will the aroma of lemongrass and galangal. Although, the heat from the chillies will make you curse me to an early death. I'll live with that.

Ingredients for paste:
Long red dried chillies - 12
Coriander seeds - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Garlic - 4 cloves
Galangal (grated) or ginger - 1 inch
Lemon/lime leaves - 6-7
Lemongrass - 1 chopped

Other ingredients:
Chicken - 500 gms boneless
Sesame oil - 2 tbsp
Fish sauce - 5 tbsp
Basil leaves - 5-6
Coconut milk - 400 ml (2 packets)

1. Saute the dried chillies in 1 tbsp sesame oil for a minute or till the chillies swell a little.
2. Now grind all the ingredients mentioned for paste along with the chillies and half a cup of water.
3. Heat rest of the sesame oil and cook the paste in it till the paste darkens in colour.
4. Add chicken, basil leaves and a tsp of salt.
5. Let the chicken cook in the paste - 10 mins approximately.
6. Add the coconut milk and let it come to a boil.
7. Add fish sauce and simmer for 2-3 minutes.

Serve with steamed/jasmine rice.

PS: This is my version of the curry. It's easy. But make sure there's enough ventilation in the kitchen because, red chilli paste cooking in oil. Get it? Okay.

- Pallavi