Thursday, August 21, 2008

Kadai chicken

This is a famous north Indian dish and the main ingredient that makes this dish tasty is capsicum. I used to order either kadai paneer or kadai chicken whenever I would visit any restaurant because I just love the taste. But the best kadai chicken I ever tasted was at a party at a friend’s place. Before I could finish my dinner, I had taken the recipe from her. It turns out to be yummy. {I think I had finished most of the kadai chicken at her place that day }
Time taken: 40 minutes
Serves about 4 people
Ingredients used
1 pound chicken breasts (cut into small chunks)
2 medium sized onions chopped
1 large tomato chopped
1 medium sized capsicum (green pepper)chopped
2 Tsp tomato puree
1 tsp ginger & garlic paste
1 Tsp coriander powder (dhaniya powder)
1 tsp garam masala powder
2 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp chicken curry powder (optional)
3 cloves
½ inch cinnamon stick
2 whole green elaichi
3 to 4 peppercorns
2 bay leaves
2 Tsp kasuri methi
½ a cup sour cream
1 Tsp honey
salt to taste
4 Tsp oil
Method of preparation:
Dry roast the cloves, cinnamon, elaichi, and the peppercorns and grind it to a fine powder. In a nonstick kadai, add the oil. Once it heats up add the bay leaves and the powdered ingredients and fry for about a minute. Now add the chopped onions and the ginger&garlic paste and fry till the onions turn pink. Now add the tomato puree, chopped tomatoes and capsicum and fry till the capsicum is cooked. Now add the red chilli powder, dhaniya powder and chicken curry powder and fry for about 2 minutes. By now this mixture would have left oil at the sides. Now add the chicken pieces and fry for about a minute. Close the kadai with a lid and cook on a low flame till the chicken cooks. The time taken for the chicken to cook depends upon how big the chicken pieces are, so its better to cut it into very small bite size pieces. Once the chicken is cooked add kasuri methi, sour cream and honey and mix. Once it starts boiling add salt, Just before switching the gas off add the garam masala and mix. Chicken kadai is ready, savor it with basmati rice or nan or rotis. Kadai paneer can also be prepared in the same manner but add the paneer at the end, else it might break.

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Friday, August 08, 2008

Chicken keema biryani

I love biryani a lot, especially when its mutton biryani. But as my husband doesn’t eat red meat, I prepare the mutton dishes substituting it with chicken. During my last visit to India, I got a chance to taste mutton keema biryani. I loved it and wanted to prepare it at home. But as usual I had to use chicken keema instead of mutton, but the end result was wonderful and delicious.
Time taken: 30 to 35 minutes
Serves about 3 people

Ingredients used:
½ pound chicken keema (you will find readymade keema in shops)
1 medium sized onions sliced
1 large tomato chopped
1 medium potato , peeled and cubed
5 red chillies
1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
1 Tsp coriander seeds (dhaniya)
2 Tsp grated coconut
3 to 4 cloves
½ inch cinnamon stick
2 whole green elaichi
½ inch ginger
3 cloves of garlic
2 bay leaves
2 Tsp curds
1 tsp turmeric powder
½ Tsp biryani masal powder ( I used badshah biryani masala)
1 cup uncooked basmati rice (soak it in water for about 15 minutes)/
salt to taste
4 Tsp ghee

Method of preparation:
In a nonstick kadai, add 1 tsp ghee and fry the basmati rice (after draining the water in which it was soaked) till it becomes whitish and keep it aside. Make a smooth paste of red chillies, cumin seeds, turmeric powder, coriander seeds, ginger, garlic, cloves, cinnamon and coconut in a mixer adding very less water. Heat 2 cups of water and bring it to boil. In a pressure cooker, add 3 tsp ghee, add the green elaichi and the bay leaves and fry for about a minute. Now add the sliced onions and fry till they turn pinkish. Now add the tomatoes and potatoes and fry till the tomatoes are mashed properly. Now add the chicken keema and fry till it turns brownish. Once this is done, add the red paste and fry till the raw smell of whole garam masala is gone, it takes about 3 to 4 minutes. Now add the rice and fry for ½ a minute. Add the curds, salt and the boiling water. Mix once and close the lid of the cooker. Cook on high flame till 1 whistle, then lower the flame to medium for 3 minutes and switch off. Once the cooker is opened, dish out the biryani in a serving bowl and garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot with raita.

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Carrot kheer

Kheer is something, which I guess everybody loves and relishes. One of my mom’s friends {whose kids love anything that is sweet ;) } makes it with carrots so that it is tasty as well as nutritious. Whenever I used to visit them, she made sure that she prepared this, coz, I used to love this kheer of hers. Have it for dessert or just drink it whenever you want something cool. It's delicious.

Time taken: 30 to 40 minutes (another 30 minutes extra if you want to cool it in the fridge)
Serves about 4 people

Ingredients used:
500 grams carrots cut into big chunks
½ cup of cashew nuts
500ml of milk
Sugar for sweetness (depends on how sweet you want)
I tsp cardamom powder (elaichi)
Handful of chopped almonds
1 Tsp ghee

Method of preparation:
In a pressure cooker, add the carrots, half the amount of milk and cashew nuts and pressure cook on medium flame. After 1 whistle, switch off the flame. Wait till the cooker can be opened and pour the ingredients in a wide bottomed bowl to cool. Once it cools down, grind it in a mixer. Pour this into a vessel and place it on a low flame, add the remaining milk, sugar and keep on stirring till it starts boiling. Once its starts boiling, add the cardamom powder, mix and switch off. In a small kadai, add the ghee and fry the almonds till it turns a bit brownish. Now add this to the carrot kheer. The carrot kheer is ready. It can be savoured hot but it also tastes good when it is chilled. So wait till it comes down to room temperature and chill it in the fridge and enjoy.

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Cauliflower Fry

Cauliflower Fry/Talaasan is a dry curry item which goes well with Chapatis. The preparation is very easy and it tastes best in combination with potatoes. I love the way my mom makes it. My friends used to love this as well, when i would take it for lunch, during my school days.
Time taken:20 minutes
Serves about 3 people

Ingredients Used:
1 large cauliflower
1 medium sized potato
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin/jeera seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chilly powder
3-4 curry leaves
2-3 pinches of asafoetida/hing
3-4 tsp oil
Salt to taste

Method of Preparation:
Cut cauliflower into medium sized florets and clean it by keeping it in a bowl containing a little salt and turmeric(to remove worms if any) for about 5 minutes. Cut potatoes into either lengthy finger chips sized pieces or medium sized thin cubes. Take oil in a heated kadai/pan and sputter mustard seeds in it. Then add jeera and curry leaves and wait for them to crackle. Next, add all the powders mentioned above and toss in the cleaned cauliflower and potato pieces. Add salt as required and cook coverd on a medium flame until it is done, with very little /no water.

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