29 January 2007

Chicken Burger

This recipe has been inspired from Chef Sanjeev Kapoor's programme "Khana Khazana". The recipe has been tweaked a bit, but the end result is great!! So good bye Burger King, Mac Donald's and others, here I come…!!

1 cup chicken kheema/mince
1 large carrot
4 cloves garlic
1 green chilly
A handful of coriander chopped
4 burger buns
Lettuce/ cabbage leaves
1 large onion cut into rings
1 large tomato sliced
2 tsp olive oil
Chilly sauce
Worcestershire sauce
Cheddar cheese slices
Salt/pepper to taste

Grate the carrot. Pulse together the minced chicken, carrot, green chilly, garlic, salt and pepper. Do not add water. Divide the chicken mixture into balls and flatten them to make patties. Heat a skillet/ grill. Drizzle olive oil on it and shallow fry/grill the patties on both sides till done and a nice shine appears on the patties. Separate the onion rings. On the same skillet/grill, brown the onion rings with a dash of Worcestershire sauce and chilly sauce. Now slice the burger buns and apply butter/mayonnaise on the lower slice. Now arrange a lettuce leafs/ cabbage followed by the onion rings, pattice, tomato slice, and cheese. Place the top slice of the bun and serve with tomato ketchup, French fries and coleslaw/salad.

27 January 2007

Mushroom Broccoli Pasta

Here is my recipe no. 1 with mushrooms. Hubby loves mushrooms. I frankly don't find any taste in it. I strongly believe that it derives its taste from the gravy/sauce in which it is made. Ever since he had mushrooms in cheesy pasta at one of his meetings in …… (can't remember when or where!! – shows how much I care for mushrooms!!) ; he's been asking me when I'd prepare the same dish!! How can I? I do not even know what it looks or tastes like!! Finally I relented and came up with my version of mushrooms and broccoli in spaghetti.

½ cup mushrooms cleaned and chopped
½ cup broccoli florets
½ packet spaghetti
2 cloves garlic minced
1 tbsp flour
1 tbsp butter
3 cup milk
1 tbsp olive oil/butter
½ cup grated mozzarella cheese
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
Herbs, salt and pepper to taste

Cook the spaghetti in plenty of salted water or as per the packet's instruction. While it is cooking, heat oil/butter in a pan and sauté the garlic. Add the mushrooms and broccoli and cook till it is soft. When the pasta is just al dente, drain it lightly and add it to the mushrooms with a little of the pasta water. While the pasta continues to cook, in another pan, heat butter on a medium low flame. Add flour and fry lightly for a minute. Add milk slowly, stirring continuously to avoid lumps. Add cheese, salt, pepper and herbs and stir until the cheese have melted and the sauce begins to simmer. Pour this over the pasta, mix well and serve. You can also bake the pasta.

Well, the final pic isn't there because we gobbled up the pasta! It turned out well, to my surprise, even the mushrooms tasted good! :)

26 January 2007

Vegetable Biryani

Ever since I can remember, Sunday lunch consisted of pulav/biryani and raita with pappad and pickle. It was the only day in the week when we didn’t have to be told how important it was to eat vegetables. We looked forward to Sundays and the aroma of basmati rice infusing with spices and vegetables.
In high school, I showed "interest" in cooking. I told amma that I would make vegetable biryani every Sunday. But I had some conditions – I hated to chop the vegetables, so amma had to do that bit. And since she was anyway at it, why not cook them and keep aside? Then ofcourse, she had to keep the ginger-garlic paste ready. I didn’t know to cook the rice, so that was her department too! So come Sunday, I'd return from my dance classes at 11 am and enter the kitchen. Amma'd have cooked the rice and vegetables, kept the ginger-garlic paste ready, sliced the onions etc. etc…. I'd put on my apron, fry the onions, ginger-garlic paste, add the veggies and spices and layer it with the rice and garnish it with coriander. Mom always praised my efforts and I'd tell the whole world that "chef" me had made the biryani!!
Now ofcourse things have changed. I do the entire biryani making from scratch to end! And amma admits I can cook now! :)
Here's how I made biryani…..

1 glass rice
1 Bay leaf
2 sticks of cinnamon
1 green cardamom
1 star anise
4-5 cloves
1 cup mixed vegetables (green peas, carrots, French beans, corn, cauliflower, potato, broccoli etc.)
½ cup onions sliced and fried
½ cup potatoes sliced and fried
1 onion chopped
1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
1 tsp red chilly powder
1 tsp garam masala powder
1 tsp dhania powder
½ cup beaten curd
Salt to taste
1 tomato sliced
1 cup milk
1 tsp butter
1 tsp cardamom powder
A few strands of saffron
A few drops of rose water
Coriander for garnishing

Soak rice in plenty of water for ½ an hour. Cook the rice in 1 ¾ glasses of water along with salt, bay leaf, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom and star anise, and keep aside.
Microwave the mixed vegetables till tender and keep aside. Heat ghee in a thick-bottomed pan and fry the chopped onions. When translucent, add ginger- garlic paste and fry again. Add the vegetables, red chilly powder, garam masala powder, dhania powder, salt and fry well. Add the curd and cook for 2 minutes.
Grease an ovenproof dish and spread a layer of rice on it. Then spread a layer of the vegetables over it.

Again spread alternate layers of rice, followed by vegetables till it is entirely used up finishing with a layer of rice on the top. Now place the sliced tomatoes over the rice. Warm the milk, add cardamom powder, saffron, rosewater and butter to it and mix well. Pour this over the rice – tomato layer.

Spread the fried onions and fried potatoes over this and bake in a pre-heated oven at 200 C for 15 minutes. You can also steam it on the gas on low flame for 20 minutes. Garnish with coriander leaves.

Serve with mint raita, vadams and papad.

Mint Raita

A good accompaniment to biryanis, kababs, grilled fish etc.
Grind together mint leaves, green chillies, salt and add to whipped curds.

24 January 2007

Ginger Tea

Imagine waking up on cold winter mornings and sipping hot ginger tea…. the aroma of ginger blending with the fragrance of the tea and the warmth of the tea cup in your hands….. Divine isn't it? Ginger tea, ideal for winters, is said to keep away colds, sore throats and fever. It also relieves nausea and aids digestion.

Ginger tea is regular at my place especially in winters. Here's how I make it:

¾ cup water
1 heaped spoon ginger minced
1 tsp tea leaves
½ cup milk
2 tsp sugar

Pound the ginger with a pestle. Heat the water in a saucepan on a medium flame. Add the ginger and let it simmer for atleast 10 minutes till a nice aroma wafts from the saucepan. Then add tea, sugar and milk and allow it to boil once. Simmer for a minute and take off from the stove. Strain the tea into a cup and serve immediately.
My entry to JFI-Ginger hosted by Rosie.

22 January 2007

Green Moong Dal

A powerhouse of nutrition and good health, green moong dal (whole) finds a place practically in all kitchen shelves. Consuming dal with rice or rotis which supplement essential amino acids, enhance the intake of proteins contained in dals. It is easy to digest and also contain traces of vitamins, fibre and minerals.

Finding its place in everyday cooking, this dish is simple to prepare and served with roti.

1 cup green moong dal whole
1 onion chopped finely
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
1 small piece of ginger
2 green chillies slit
1 large tomato pureed
1 tsp jeera
½ tsp red chilly powder
½ tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp dhania powder
2 tsp oil
Salt as per taste
Chopped coriander for garnishing
½ tsp garam masala powder
Ghee for tempering

Soak dal in sufficient water for ½ an hour. Pressure cook dal with salt, red chilly powder, turmeric and ginger piece till well cooked. In a pan, heat oil and sauté onions and ginger-garlic paste. Add dhania powder, slit green chilly and tomato puree and sauté till the oil separates. Add the cooked dal and adjust spices, salt and consistency. Heat ghee in a pan, add jeera and let it splutter. Add red chilly powder to this and pour over the dal. Garnish with garam masala powder and coriander leaves.

A twist to the tale : If this dal is left over, heat the dal till it is thick and the water evaporates. On a plate, keep a slice of bread, spread some dal over it, add chopped onions and amchur/mango powder over it. Place one more slice of bread over it to sandwich it and enjoy!!

My entry to My Dhaba's VCC:VCC Q4-2006:FAHC:FAHC-campaign

21 January 2007

Pomegranate juice

Pomegranate is widely used in Middle Eastern and Indian cooking. Pomegranate is a rich source of folic acid and anti oxidants. One pomegranate delivers 40% of an adult's daily Vitamin C requirement. So why not have some pomegranate juice !

Blend together pomegranate seeds, black salt, sugar (if required) and water (if required). Strain and serve cold.

Arbi ki sabzi

Arbi/ arvi/ colocassia/ chembu/ alu is a potato like tuber. Like potato it can be peled and boiled, roasted, mashed, fried in slices or cooked in a stew. The very sight of arbi makes my fingers itch! Its more psychological than real!! But as arbi happens to be one of my husband's fave veggies, I do make it once in a while.

Some people are allergic to arbi, so be sure to rub some oil into your hands before touching the arbi.


1 big onion sliced
¼ kg arvi/ colocassia
1 tsp jeera
1 tsp red chilly powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp dhania powder
½ tsp amchur/ mango powder
2 tsp oil
Salt as per taste
Chopped coriander for garnishing

Wash and peel the arbi thoroughly. Cut the arbi into long slices. Peel and cut onion into slices. In a wok, heat some oil and add the arbi and onion and sautee for a minute. Add all the spices and cover and cook on a slow flame. It will be done in 5-8 minutes. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with rotis.

My entry to My Dhaba's VCC: VCC Q4-2006: FAHC: FAHC-campaign

Orange Strawberry Smoothie

What should one do when the fridge is overflowing with strawberries and oranges??? Simple, make a smoothie!

1 cup orange juice
1 ½ cups plain yoghurt
4 red strawberries
Sugar as per taste
½ cup milk
A drop of vanilla essence

Blend all the above ingredients and enjoy!

18 January 2007

Lychee yoghurt

Just what you need to cool off! To make lychee yoghurt, take a handful of lychees, peeled and de-seeded, a cup of yoghurt, honey, sugar, a few ice cubes and blend together. Refreshingly delicious!!

Sindhi Kadhi

Having Sindhi neighbours resulted in my mother-in-law being an ace at making Sindhi curry. This wholesome and nutritious curry is made with easily available ingredients.
Served with rice, curds and pappad, this is a complete meal in itself as it consists of so many vegetables.

Brinjal – 1
Carrot -1
Potato – 1
Doodhi/Bottlegourd – 1 piece
Yam/suran - a small piece
Okra/Bhindi – 2
Drumstick – 1
Cluster beans – 10-12
French beans – 5-6
Cauliflower – a small piece broken into florets
Fresh green peas with pods – 5-6
Capsicum – 1
Green chillies – 2
Tomato – ¼ kg
Asafoetida - a pinch
Fenugreek seeds – ½ tsp
Besan/chickpea flour – 2-3 tsp
Curry leaves – 8-10
Turmeric powder, red chilly powder and salt as per taste

Wash, clean and chop all the vegetables. Puree the tomatoes, strain the puree to remove the skin and seeds and keep aside. Heat oil in a pan, add asafoetida, curry leaves, methi seeds, green chillies and besan. Fry till the besan is pink and aromatic. Add the tomato puree, salt, turmeric powder and red chilly powder and cook for a minute. Add a glass of water, potato, brinjal, doodhi, carrot, cluster beans, French beans, cauliflower, peas and the pods, yam and cook on medium flame for around 45 minutes. When these vegetables are ¾ th done, add okra, drumstick and capsicum and cook till done. Serve hot with rice, curds and pappad.

This is my entry to My Dhaba's VCC: VCC Q4-2006: FAHC: FAHC-campaign


I strolled down to the Indian grocery store near home to pick freshly ground wheat flour, some papadams, vadams etc. when I came across a packet of chakli bhajni. On inquiry of its contents, I was told it was a mix of rice flour and besan in the ratio 3:1. What's better to munch on with our evening tea than some spicy chakli. Thought I'd give it a try.


A packet of chakli mix or rice flour and besan in the ratio 3:1
Butter – 3 tbsp
Red chilli powder as per taste
Salt as per taste
Sesame seeds – 3 stp
Water to knead
Oil for frying

Mix the flours and seasonings and knead with water to make a semi-soft dough. On the counter-top, place a thin cloth. Put small quantities of the dough into a murukku maker and pipe out coils of murukku onto the cloth. Heat oil in a frying pan. When hot, lift the murukkus off the cloth and slip into the hot oil. Fry to brown colour and remove. Drain off excess oil and store in an air tight container. Fry in batches till the entire dough is used up.

Areas of concern:
The murukkus turned brown instead of golden brown. No, they were not burnt or over-fried, but I suppose the readymade packet of chakli bhajni is to be blamed!
The first batch of murukkus (about 5 of them) turned out hard. I remedied this by kneading the remaining dough again with more butter.

10 January 2007

Malabar Chicken Curry

The aroma of this chicken curry is still lingering in my nostrils! I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw my uncle make this absolutely delicious dish. Very simple to make and I add again – delicious!

For this you need:
1 whole chicken cut into small pieces
6 medium sized onions sliced
4 green chillies sliced
1 potato chopped
A handful of curry leaves
1tbsp ginger paste
1 tbsp garlic paste
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp coriander powder
2 tsp chicken masala powder
Salt to taste
1 ½ cups coconut milk
Handful of coriander leaves for garnishing

For the marinade:
Juice of 1 lemon
1tsp ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp turmeric
2 tsp chicken masala powder
Salt to taste

Rub the marinade into the chicken and set aside for half an hour. Heat oil in a pan and sautee the onions, green chillies and ginger-garlic paste. Add potato, curry leaves, chilli powder, turmeric, chicken masala, coriander powder, salt and fry for a minute. Add the chicken and stir fry for a minute. Then add the coconut milk and cover and cook for 20 minutes till done. Add more coconut milk if you want more gravy. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with rotis, appams, idiappam.

9 January 2007

Chilli Chicken

Hubby and I love Chinese - let me correct, Indianised Chinese cuisine and visit our favourite restaurant Bamboo Chinese whenever we want to dig into some hot and spicy food. It was a rather dull and gloomy day and what was better to brighten our day than some hot and spicy chilli chicken! It was my first try at this, and it turned out to be really simple!

To make Chilli Chicken, you need:

Chicken breast - 200 gms
Green Chillies - 6
Garlic heaped – 1 tbsp
Onion – 1
Capsicum – 1
Chicken stock – ½ cup
Salt/Pepper to taste
Ajinomoto/MSG – ¼ tsp (optional)
Soya Sauce
Chilly Sauce
Egg white
Spring Onion greens – 2 tbsp

Chop the chicken into cubes and marinate with ½ tbsp each of soya sauce, chilly sauce and garlic paste; add egg white, salt, pepper and ajinomoto. Chop the onion into dices and capsicum into juliennes, marinate with ½ tbsp each of soya sauce, chilly sauce and garlic paste and keep aside for 20 minutes. Sprinkle cornflour on the chicken and deep fry. Heat oil in a pan and stir fry onion till brown. Add garlic, ginger, chillies, capsicum and stirfry for a minute. Add chicken, seasonings, stock and cornflour for thickening and cook till the chicken is dry. Garnish with spring onion greens and serve hot.

This version of chilli chicken makes an excellent starter. By adding more stock, you can make chilli chicken gravy and serve with steamed rice.