April 30, 2008

Kadai Chicken curry

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Kadai Chicken is one of the recipes that is probably available in every restaurant in India and in the US. And that is where my food memory for this dish originated. We never made it at home, always ordering it outside.

After eating it innumerable times at various places, I was ready to make it at home. And when I picked some organic chicken from the farmer's market, the time was right. It's fairly easy to make, I found some recipes with less gravy, but since I like my chicken curry, it has a thicker gravy. The marinated chicken was soft and succulent, the overall flavor fragrant and delicious. We enjoyed ours with some naan and a cucumber, onion salad.

I am getting ready to order another chicken at farmer's market and it will be chicken tikka masala the next time.

Ingredients:

1.5 lbs Chicken
2 medium onions - finely chopped
2-3 tomatoes - finely chopped
1 medium green pepper- finely chopped
1 green chilli - slit
1 dry red chilli
1 1/2 tbsp Yogurt
1 1/2 tspoon Ginger-Garlic paste
1 tspoon cumin seeds
1" cinnamon stick
2-3 cloves
2 green cardamoms
1/2 tspoon turmeric powder
1 tspoon chili powder (adjust to taste)
1 tspoon coriander powder
2/3 tspoon garam masala powder
1 tspoon cumin powder
bunch cilantro - finely chopped for garnish
Salt to taste
2 tbspoon oil

Method:
Clean and marinate chicken with salt, and half of turmeric, chilli and garam masala powder. I usually marinate it for 4-5 hours and then lightly saute the chicken and set it aside.

In a deep pan, heat oil and temper it with cumin seeds, red chilli, green chilli, cinnamon, cloves and cardamons. Let it sputter. Then add the ginger garlic paste.

Add the onions and saute till the onion turns brown. Then add the tomatoes and green peppers and cook on closed lid till the tomatoes turn soft.

At this point, I take out the ingredients and puree it roughly to a thick paste for a smoother curry, but you can also keep it chunky.

Add the chicken pieces along with the rest of the masalas - turmeric, chili powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, garam masala, and cook for 15-20 minutes. Then add the yogurt, salt and let it cook for another 15-20 minutes till the chicken is cooked. Add 1/2 cup water if needed.


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Garnish with cilantro and serve with naan or rice. This is my entry to Monthly Mingle: Bollywood Cooking hosted by Meeta at What's for Lunch, Honey? Thanks Meeta for hosting!

April 29, 2008

Spring is here!

Even though it has become a little cold over the weekend, it's hard to shake the feeling 'Spring is here'. Everything is blooming, people look happier and the ducks and geese are back at river near the apartment. Here are some pictures from around the apartment complex.

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And almost to the cue, my taste buds are demanding fresh fruits and veggies. I saw these fresh oranges in the store and couldn't resist picking a couple. The pictures are my entry for Jugalbandi's monthly photo event - Click:Au Naturel, but I need help to decide which picture to send as the entry. Please leave your comments and help me choose :)

My entry for Click!

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UPDATE: Based on the comments, here are the results on the two pictures:
Picture 1: 6 votes
Picture 2: 4 votes
Both: 5 votes
Thank you everyone. I appreciate your help. I am sending the first orange picture for Click: Au Naturel event.

April 22, 2008

Almond & Walnut Brittle

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I realized that I had not posted anything sweet in a while. So I put my thinking cap on. That's when I remembered a recent episode on AZN network, a channel which no longer exists. In the episode, Chef Anjum Anand had made walnut brittle as a surprise treat. It looked delicious and simple, but what caught my attention was a little sidenote.

Anjum Anand mentioned that jaggery was given to people who worked in mines and dusty places and that helped clean their lungs. I was surprised by this and did a search of my own to find supporting documents. I even found a study that reiterates her point! I had no idea that jaggery has such recuperative powers. I enjoy my jaggery in nalen gurer payesh (rice pudding) and narkaler nadu (coconut laddus), and it was time to try this new healthy dessert :)

I added some almonds and a tiny bit of saffron in the dessert for additional flavor and it tasted delicious. Here is how I did it.

Ingredients:
2/3 cup almonds
2/3 cup walnuts
1 1/2 cup jaggery (adjust it to your taste)
pinch of saffron
1/2 cup water

Method:
Roast the nuts on a low flame an then set it aside to cool. In the meantime, heat jaggery and water in a thick bottomed pan till the jaggery melts and starts bubbling. Mix well and heat till you get the jaggery mix to one strand thickness.

Put the nuts in and mix well together and cook it on low flame for 3-4 minutes till everything mixes well.

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Cool on a plate and serve :)

April 14, 2008

Shubho Nababarsha

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Wishing you a wonderful new year full of sweet surprises... like the Raspberry Creme Brulee we enjoyed this Paila Baishakh!

April 13, 2008

Rajma Revisited

I didn't think it would be so hard to do a post after a brief hiatus... The longer I postponed it, the harder it seemed. But after two weeks, all my reasons "I'm tired, or busy, or have nothing to write about..." have been used up and I was beginning to miss blogging. Then I met a few friends who asked why I haven't posted in a while. That gave me the necessary impetus. So I'm back with a new promise of being more regular from now on.

I have several new recipes to write about and hopefully will get to them in the next posts, but in this one I want to revisit rajma.

Kidney beans is regular in our menus. In fact, we make it often for our weeknight dinners. It's quite easy and delicious. And I like to add vegetables to the curry to make it nutritious. While potato is my favorite and you can read my earlier post here, I have been adding peppers the last few times and think it may be the winning combination. The addition of peppers lends a sweetness an smokiness to the recipe, that enhances the flavor of the kidney beans cooked in a tomato and onion based curry.

For this dinner, we also had potato podimas with rotis. The combination was fulfilling.

Rajma with Green Peppers

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Ingredients:
1 can Kidney Beans
2 green peppers (chopped small)
1 medium onion
2 clove garlic (grated)
1 cube ginger (grated)
1 medium tomato
1 red chilli
1 Green Cardamom
Pinch of asafoetida
1/4 tspoon Cumin seeds
1/4 tspoon Turmeric powder
1/4 tspoon Chilli powder
1/2 tspoon Coriander powder
1/2 tspoon Garam Masala
1 tspoon Cooking Oil
Salt to taste

Method:
Put the kidney beans in big sieve and wash to take away the extra salt and preservatives. Heat oil and temper it with cumin seeds, red chilli and green cardamom.

Next, put in the ginger, garlic and saute for a couple of minutes. Add the onions and fry till they turn translucent. Add tomatoes, green peppers and let it cook for another 2-3 minutes closed lid on medium heat. Then add the kidney beans.

Mix the powder masalas together in a bowl and add. Stir fry till it all mixes together. Add about 1/4 cup water and close the lid. Let it cook for about 5-6 minutes on medium.

Add salt and let it cook for another 4-5 minutes till it has turned to a thick curry. Garnish with cilantro.

Potato Podimas

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I learnt it from Aswin, and love this simple delicious recipe. But I have to tell you that somehow his podimas always tastes better than mine, even though we make it the same way! Here is how we make it.

Ingredients:
2-3 medium potatoes
1 large green chili
1 tspoon minced ginger
5-6 curry leaves
1 tspoon mustard seeds
pinch of asafetida
1/2 tspoon turmeric powder
1/2 tspoon red chili powder
Juice of 1/2 lime or lemon
salt to taste

Method:
Boil the potatoes and mash them roughly. Add turmeric powder, chilli powder and salt and keep it aside.

In the meantime, heat oil and temper it with mustard seeds, green chilli, curry leaves, and asafetida.

Add ginger paste and saute. Then add the potato and mix it well. You can also squeeze some lime/lemon juice into this.

Serve warm with rotis.

April 01, 2008

Vegetable Couscous

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I have been gone for a while! I was traveling and needed some time to catch my breath. Once back home, I was in the mood for something light and comforting, just like the feeling of home, something to eat while I relax and catch up on news and television shows.


Recently, a friend recommended By the Pound. Located in S. Main street, the market has the a great selection of nuts, spices, bulk pasta, lentils, coffee, tea even olive oil and local honey. We splurged and picked up couscous, brown rice, pasta, honey, nuts, and much more…

I used the couscous for a simple vegetable couscous and served it with okra raita. What can I say? I love coming home to such delicious meals :)


Ingredients:

Vegetables

1 small onion- finely chopped

1 garlic clove - minced

1/2 red pepper - chopped

1/2 small broccoli – chopped

4-5 brussel sprouts

½ cup frozen mixed vegetables (I used beans, peas, corn and carrot mix)

1/4 tspoon cumin seeds

1/2 tspoon cumin powder

1/4 tspoon chilli powder

1/4 cup chick peas

1 tbspoon olive oil

2/3 cup water

Salt to taste


Couscous

1 ¼ cup water

1 tspoon butter

1 cup couscous

Bunch of fresh cilantro for garnish

Method:
Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Temper with cumin seeds, then add onion and garlic to pan, and saute until it starts to turn brown.

Add all the vegetables and let it cook for 2-3 min, then add salt, cumin, chilli powder, and water.

Bring to a boil and then let it simmer on low heat and closed lid for 7-8 minutes till the water disappears.

Add the chickpeas and cook for another couple of minutes till everything cooks and mixes well.

For couscous:

In a large saucepan, heat butter and lightly sauté couscous. Remove from heat.

Boil the water and then add it to the couscous. Cover and let it sit for 10-12 min.

For serving, you can serve couscous on a plate and top with vegetables. I like to mix it together before serving.

Garnish with cilantro and serve.

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Since this has garlic, it's my entry to JFI: Garlic hosted by Mathy at Virundhu. JFI was started by Indira of Mahanandi.

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