March 23, 2018

Butternut squash chicken

Pumpkin chicken

This recipe comes from the depth of winter, on a Friday. It was too cold and snowy outside, and I was getting ready to make dinner.

Chicken curry was on the menu and what is a chicken curry that does not have some chunky potatoes that soaks up the flavor, right? As I went to the pantry I realized there were no potatoes. No Potatoes! I searched the fridge to see if I had half-potato lurking in the back. No luck.

Then I saw the half butternut squash hanging out in the fridge and I wondered if the squash could be added. It was too cold, too late to go out.

So I decided to substitute potatoes with squash and  chicken curry with the butternut squash. Guess what?  Everyone loved it. The sweetish notes of the squash with the garam masala and chicken were natural partners. In, fact we liked it so much that I have made chicken curry with potatoes and squash many times since that snowy evening.

8-9 pieces of chicken
1/2 butternut squash (acorn squash and pumpkin would also work)- chopped
11/2 tspoon garlic-ginger paste
1 medium onion - chopped
1 medium tomato - chopped
1 cinnamon stick
3-4 cardamom
2-3 cloves
2 bay leaves
1/2 tspoon cumin seeds
1/2 tspoon red chilli powder
1 tbspoon yogurt
3/4 tspoon cumin powder
3/4 tspoon turmeric powder
2 tbspoon oil
salt to taste
handful of cilantro to garnish

(serves 4-5)

Marinate the chicken with 1 tspoon garlic-ginger paste,  1/2 tspoon turmeric powder, salt and red chilli powder.

Heat oil and temper it with cumin seeds and bay leaves. Then add the cinnamon, cardamon and cloves and and let it sizzle. Then add the ginger-garlic paste and saute for 1-2 minutes.

Add the onions and saute for 5-6 minutes. Once they start turning brown, add in the tomatoes, rest of the turmeric powder and cumin powder.

Saute and let it cook on closed lid for 4-5 minutes on medium heat. Then add the marinated chicken and cook for another 5-8 minutes. Then add the butternut squash pieces, 2 cups of water and let it cook closed lid for about 20 minutes on medium heat till the chicken and butternut squash is tender.


Add in the ghee and cilantro and keep it covered.

Serve hot with hot chapati or rice. Enjoy.

March 04, 2018

Alu pyazkoli diye tilapia macher jhol (tilapia curry with potatoes and spring onions)

Tilapia curry with green onions and potato

There is something about the sunlight that tells me that spring is near even though we had a snow storm yesterday. And when Aswin got some spring onions this week, I knew some macher jhol or fish curry has to be made.

I usually have to defrost the fish and I get lazy which means fish curries have not been a frequent occurrence in this new year, but this time I did it right away.

In a few hours, the fish was being sauteed, and the fish curry was bubbling away. My father makes delicious patla macher jhol (a light soupy curry), and I took inspiration from that to make this tilapia jhol with lomba patla aalu (long, thin potato strips).

I added some panko to the tilapia right before frying which added an extra crunchiness to the fish. So if you see any spring onions in the store, pick up a bunch and make this. The tilapia can easily be substituted with cod or white fish.

January 05, 2018

Starting the year right - pasta, garbanzo beans salad

Pasta, garbanzo beans salad

The end of the year went by quickly, the fall was busy with some travel.

I was in Boston in October and right across from the hotel was Eatly. So before I had to leave, I did a quick tour of the store and picked up different kinds of pasta.

I used one of them to make a pasta salad in the new year. It says on the packet that it is a Sardinian pasta . The shape and size was perfect for the salad, the kids called it a worm pasta and Aswin called it larvae pasta.

Despite the name challenge, we all enjoyed it. Aswin and I ate the pasta salad which is really easy to put together. The kids ate a deconstructed version of the same salad - veggies, garbanzo beans and pasta separate.

How about you? Hope your New Year is starting on a good note.

1 cup small pasta - boiled
1 cup boiled garbanzo salad
1/2 cup chopped cucumber
1/2 cup chopped avocado
1/4 cup chopped red pepper
1/4 cup chopped carrots

For the dressing:

bunch or cilantro and parsley - chopped
1/4 tspoon smoked paprika powder
1/4 tspoon roasted cumin seed powder
1/4 tspoon fresh ground black pepper powder
1 tbspoon lime/lemon juice
1 tbspoon oliveoil
salt to taste

Pasta, garbanzo beans salad
The ingredients list may sound long, but it really depends on what you have at home. You can always substitute one vegetable or ingredient for another.

I made it as a warm  salad (especially with the cold weather) by freshly boiling the pasta and garbanzo beans and mixing the vegetable in the still warm mix.

I like to add the mix all the dressing ingredients separately, but you can also add them directly in the salad mix.

Mix it serve immediately.Enjoy!


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