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Saturday 5 March 2016

Thalappakatti Chicken Biriyani

Preparation Time : 20 minutes | Cooking Time : 60 minutes


For the Masala
5 Green Chillies
3 small two inch cinnamon sticks
3 cardamom
3 cloves
⅛th of a nutmeg (Jaadhikai)
1 small piece Mace (Jaadhi Pathiri)
50 grams ginger

Main Ingredients
500 ml Seeraga Samba Rice
750 grams Chicken with bone
Meat to Rice Ratio - 1 Rice 1.5 Meat

Other Ingredients
25 grams Ghee
75 grams Sunflower Oil
50 grams crushed Garlic
50 grams crushed shallots (small onions)
1 teaspoon Red Chilli Powder
½ cup curd
11/2 teaspoon salt
1 hand full Mint Leaves
2 hand full Coriander Leaves
Juice of half a lime

Peel the garlic. Crush the garlic in a mixie without adding any water. Set aside. Crush the shallots in a mixie without adding any water. Set aside.
Grind all the masala ingredients to a very fine smooth paste. Add ¼ cup of water while grinding. Chop the ginger into small pieces and break the cinnamon into bits before grinding.
Soak the rice in water now. The rice needs to soak for half an hour.
Heat Oil and ghee in a heavy pan and add in the Masala paste, crushed garlic and crushed shallots-small onions. Fry on medium flame for a good 10 minutes until the oil separates from the mixture.
Add in the chicken. Add in the chilli powder. The ratio of rice to chicken should be 1 rice to 1.5 meat. Saute the chicken so the masala coats evenly. Reduce the flame to simmer and cover it with a lid and let it cook. Don’t add any water. The chicken will cook in its own juices. Just saute once in 5 minutes so the chicken doesn’t scorch in the bottom. After 15 minutes, the chicken should be done and there should be some gravy too.

Add in the yogurt/curd. Cook with the lid open for 5 minutes.
Remove the cooked meat to a bowl and roughly measure how much liquid is left behind. Mine had about 1.5 cups of liquid. Just measure roughly. It need not be accurate.
We are using 2 cups rice and 750 grams meat. We require 2 times water to the quantity of rice. So we need to add 4 cups water. There was already 1.5 cups gravy that we measured before. So I added 2.5 cups water to the mixture. Add salt. Add in the chopped coriander leaves and the mint leaves. Let the mixture come to a boil.
Add back the meat and let it come to a boil again. Check for seasoning. Add more salt if necessary.
Drain the soaked rice and add it to the pan. Wait for it to boil. Add in the lemon juice.
Cover the pan with a lid and let it cook for the first four minutes on medium flame. Open the lid. Gently mix once from the bottom, cover the lid again and simmer for 10 minutes on very low flame.
After that time, open the lid and see if the rice has been cooked. Cook for a couple of minutes more if necessary. Switch off the flame and close the pan with a lid. Do not disturb for the next 20 minutes. The rice will get swollen and absorb all the left out moisture. This time is very important. Do not rush.

Enjoy with raitha and salad!

Courtesy - Suguna Vinod

Monday 18 January 2016

Butter cake

Preparation Time : 15 minutes | Cooking Time : 45 minutes

Plain flour (Maida) – 1 1/2 cups
Baking powder – 3/4 tsp
Baking soda – 1/4 tsp
Salt – a pinch
Eggs - 3
Unsalted butter – 125 grams
Milk - 1/2 cup
Caster sugar – 1 1/4 cup
Vanilla essence – 1 tsp

Preheat oven to 180 C for 10 minutes before baking. Grease a deep 8 inch round cake tin. Line base with baking paper, beat ingredients in a bowl on a low speed with electric mixer until just combined. Beat on medium speed until mixture is smooth. The batter might look curdled but it is fine. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan.

Bake the cake in the oven for 40 to 45 mins until the inserted skewer comes out clean. Let it cool for sometime and then turn it over a server plate. Do not cut until it is cooled down.

Courtesy: Maria Jose (mariasmenu)

Friday 18 December 2015

Eggless Peanut Butter cookies

Preparation Time : 30 minutes | Cooking Time : 15 minutes

All purpose flour (Maida) – 1 ¼ cups
Baking powder – ½ teaspoon
Baking soda – ¾ teaspoon
Salt – ¼ teaspoon
Unsalted butter – ½ cup, soften at room temperature
Granulated white sugar – ½ cup
Light brown sugar– ½ cup
Peanut butter – ½ cup, (creamy)
Milk – ¼ cup

Take maida, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl, mix it well and keep it aside. Now take butter in a large bowl and whisk it until it get smooth and creamy. Add both sugars and beat it again until creamy and fluffy.Now add peanut butter and milk and beat it again. Add the flour mixture beat it until smooth but ensure you do not over do it.

Preheat the oven to about 190 C. Line the baking tray with parchment paper (butter paper). Make tablespoon size balls from the batter and arrange them in the prepared sheet. Place them about 2 inches apart from each other. If required, using a fork, make crisscross patterns over the batter.

Bake them in the oven for about 13 to 15 minutes or until the cookies are lightly browned around the edges. Let it cool for 5 minutes.

Note: I have used Demerara sugar for my recipe and that's the reason my cookies are darker.

Recipe courtesy: Kanan Patel (spiceupthecurry)

Sunday 13 September 2015

Grill chicken & lettuce salad

Preparation Time : 45 minutes | Cooking Time : 10 minutes

Skinless/boneless chicken breast halves - 2

Chilli powder - 1 tbsp
Coriander powder - 1 tbsp
Garam masala - 1 tsp
Ginger-garlic paste - 1 tsp 
Lime juice - 1 tbsp
Olive oil - 1 tbsp
Salt to taste

Iceberg Lettuce -washed, rinsed and torn in small pieces.
Salad cucumber - 1
Green/red/yellow peppers - 1/2 each
Onion - 1
Mayonnaise - 2 tbsp
Lime juice - 1 tbsp
Olive oil - 1 tsp
White pepper powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste

Marinate the chicken with the ingredients mentioned above and keep it aside for an hour.

Pre-heat the oven to 200 C & cook the chicken on the grill until juices run clear and the chicken is cooked through approximately 10-15 mins. Set the chicken aside. Once it is cool, slice it into thin pieces.

Make the salad dressing with the ingredients listed. Dice the peppers, onion & cucmber. Add the lettuce and the dressing and mix well.  Place the salad in a serving bowl, put the chicken pieces on them and serve immediately.

Sunday 15 March 2015

Pineapple Chilli Crab Stick Salad

Preparation Time : 10 minutes | Cooking Time : 15 minutes

Pineapple peeled - 1 medium
Fresh red chillies - 2
Crab sticks - 6
Roasted peanuts - 2 tbsp
Garlic cloves - 8-10
Ginger chopped -1 tsp
Salt to taste
Soya sauce - 2 tbsp
Sugar - 2 tbsp
Lemon juice - 1 tbsp
Green capsicums - 1/4
Cucumber - 1 medium
Spring onions with greens - 3
Sliced onions 2 tbsp
A few iceberg lettuce leaves

To make dressing
Pound garlic cloves, ginger, fresh red chillies and salt in a mortar with a pestle and put into a bowl. Add soya sauce, sugar and lemon juice and mix well.
Dice green capsicum. Slice unpeeled cucumber. Diagonally slice spring onions with little greens and put everything into another bowl. Quarter the pineapple, add to the second bowl. Diagonally slice crab sticks and add. Add sliced onions and the dressing and mix well. Add roasted peanuts and mix.

Roughly tear iceberg lettuce leaves and place them in a serving bowl. Put the salad on them and serve immediately.

Courtesy: Sanjeev Kapoor

Sunday 8 March 2015

Crunchy coriander fish with peanut yogurt dip

Preparation Time : 30 minutes | Cooking Time : 45 minutes

Fish fillets - medium sized (2)
White pepper powder - 1/4 tsp
Lemon juice - 1 tbsp
Coriander seeds - 2 tbsp
Pepper corns - 8 to 10
Red chilies (whole) - 3 to 4
Thyme - 1/4 tsp
Coriander leaves - 1/2 cup
Maida (refined flower) - 4 tbsp
Corn starch - 1 tbsp
Oil for frying
Salt as per taste.

Cut the fillet into 8 pieces, marinate it with salt, pepper powder, lemon juice for half an hour. Dry roast the coriander seeds, pepper corns & red chilies. Grind to a coarse powder. Add thyme to this.
In a bowl mix the spice powder, finely chopped coriander leaves, corn starch & the refined flour.
Now coat the marinated fillets in this mixture and shallow fry until crisp.

You can chose an appropriate dip to go along with the fish. I chose the peanut yogurt dip which went well with the fish and the salad.

Peanut yogurt dip
Yogurt- 2 cups
Peanuts(roasted) -1/4 cup
Coriander leaves (finely chopped) -2 tbsp
Red chilies - 2
Cream - 1/4 cup
Salt as per taste

Hang yogurt overnight in a muslin cloth, keep in the refrigerator (it should not be sour). Crush peanuts coarsely, remove the stem and crush the red chilies.  Take yogurt in a bowl, whisk well, season with salt. Add crushed red chilies, peanuts, chopped coriander leaves. Whisk in the cream and mix well.

Saturday 24 January 2015

Koonthal pirallan (Squid stir fry)

Preparation Time : 60 minutes | Cooking Time : 45 minutes

Koonthal (squid)- 1 kg
Shallots - 15 or 1 big onion
Chopped garlic - 2 tsp
Chopped ginger - 2 tsp
Curry leaves - 2 sprigs
Coriander powder - 3 tsp
Chilly powder - 2 tsp
Garam masala - 1/4 tsp
Pepper powder - 1/2tsp
Turperic powder - 1/2tsp
Coconut pieces - 2 tbsp
Coconut oil or Veg oil - 1 tbsp
Salt as per taste

Clean the squid nicely and cut them into rings.Roast all the dry masalas together until the raw smell goes away. Add this to the squid along with salt & coconut pieces. Pressure cook it for about 15 mins or 3 to 4 whistles.

Heat oil in a pan. Add chopped ginger, garlic, onions and curry leaves. Saute for about 5 mins until onions are translucent. Now add the squid along with the stock and cook on low flame until semi-dry. It would take about 10 mins.

Serve hot with plain rice. It goes will with curd rice also.