January 22, 2012 in Appetizers, Main Course, Recipes
Mushroom replaces Paneer/Chicken in this all-time favorite Indo-Chinese dish…
Indo-chinese is one of those cuisines that we Indians really love. It’s a fusion which brings together the flavors of Indian food with Chinese flavors. One of our all-time favorites is Paneer Chili or Chicken Chili which is essentially Chicken or Paneer shallow fried and then flavored with some chinese style sauces. I had some sliced mushrooms in my refrigerator from my last grocery trip and suddenly had this craving from Paneer Chili. There was no Paneer at home so I decided to make some Mushroom Chili. The most tie consuming step is shallow frying of the mushrooms. Depending on how big a dish you have to shallow fry the mushrooms, the time taken to prepare the dish is reduced. Its takes about 5-10 minutes to shallow fry the mushrooms and the rest of the recipe takes about 20-30 mins. So overall this dish would take about 30-40 mins (depends on how many batches of the mushrooms you need to shallow fry). This recipe would serve 3-4 persons.
- 1 packet sliced mushrooms
- 3-4 tbsp corn flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Oil for shallow frying the mushrooms
- 3-4 garlic pods (crushed)
- 1 medium / 1/2 large red onion (sliced)
- 1/2 Green Pepper (sliced into 1″ strips)
- 1-4 green chilies (slit into thin strips) add more or less depending on hot you like the dish
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- 1 tsp white vinegar
- 1.5 tsp tomato paste
- 1-2 tsp red chili paste
- 1-2 tbsp sweet chili sauce
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp corn flour + 1 cup water
- salt to taste
- Add the mushrooms, corn flour, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper to a container with a lid and shake it till the mushrooms are coated with the flour, salt and pepper mixture.
- Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the mushrooms to this hot oil and shallow fry the mushrooms till they are lightly browned on either side.
- Take the mushrooms out of the pan and drain the oil using a paper towel.
- Next add the garlic and chilies to the remaining oil in the sauce (add more oil if no oil is leftover). Fry the garlic till it is fragrant.
- Next add the onions. Fry the onions till they are slightly pink and add the green peppers.
- Cook the green peppers till done (the peppers should be crisp and not overcooked).
- At this point add all the sauces, paste, sugar and vinegar and salt. SImmer the mixture for a minute.
- In the meanwhile add a tsp of cornflour to the one cup of water and mix it till no lumps remain.
- Add this to the onion, pepper in the pan. Let the sauce come to a simmer and add the fried mushrooms.
- Stir the mushroom into the sauce and let it come to a simmer.
- Garnish with some chili strips and spring onions and serve the dish piping hot.
This can be served with some fried rice, noodles or even some bread. This is also a nice appetizer. Hope you enjoy this recipe and do try it and let me know how you liked it. And it’s a lucky coincidence that tomorrow is the Chinese Lunar New year. So happy New Year to all my Chinese friends!!!
October 2, 2011 in Main Course, Recipes
Can’t get any simpler than this!
This is one of those recipes that is just so simple to make. You can make it on one of those lazy weekend afternoons when you are dying of hunger, don’t want to go out to eat but want to eat something quick at home. It was one of the lazy weekend afternoons and the only vegetable or meat I had at home were peppers, red, green and yellow. And it’s not like this has never been made before. But well I have never blogged about it. So here’s the recipe. It serves two and takes about half hour including the prep time.
- 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 medium green pepper (chopped into 1/2″ pieces)
- 1 medium red pepper (chopped into 1/2″ pieces)
- 1 medium yellow pepper (chopped into 1/2″ pieces)
- 1/2 cup coarsely roasted ground peanuts
- 1/2 – 1 tsp red chilli pwd
- 1 tsp tamarind paste
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- pinch garam masala
- 1/4 tsp turmeric pwd
- 1/2 tsp ginger pwd
- coriander leaves for garnish
- salt to taste
- Heat the oil and once it is hot add the mustard ad cumin seeds.
- Once the seeds sputter add the chopped green, red and yellow peppers.
- While the peppers are cooking prepare the masala.
- Grind the peanuts, tamarind paste, red chili pwd, cumin pwd, garam masala, turmeric pwd, ginger pwd and salt together
- Once the peppers start softening which will take about 10 mins, add this masala to the peppers and mix it all together.
- Cover and cook for about 10-15 mins.
- Once the peppers are all cooked add the coriander leaves and serve hot with chappatis or rice or any form of bread.
We really enjoyed this recipe and this is one recipe I will repeat quite often, after all there are lots of lazy weekend afternoons. Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did.
August 19, 2011 in Main Course, Recipes
In celebration of completing another major step towards my PhD!!!
I know I have been missing from my blog from a very long time. In fact it will be two months on the 22nd of August. But well I guess sometimes you just need to prioritize and you end up giving up the very thing that makes your life less stressful. But I can say one thing about the last two months, I did manage to accomplish two major milestones towards my doctoral degree; first – I submitted my PhD proposal and second – I completed the written part of my comprehensive exam. A couple more steps and I will be pretty close to officially completing my PhD program…
So in celebration of having completed all these milestones, I decided to make some chicken tikka masala tonight. In fact I was to start making it around 6:30 pm but thanks to the dust storm that rolled into Phoenix this evening, I was stuck at school for an hour more than I had planned.The chicken tikka masala essentially has two main ingredients, the gravy/masala and the chicken tikka. This recipe serves 4 persons and takes about an hour to prepare from start to finish if you make the chicken tikka and masala simultaneously.
- 500 grams of boneless cubes of chicken
- 2 tbsp oil
- ½ tsp Cumin seeds
- 1 Bay leaf
- 2 Black cardamoms
- 3 Green cardamom
- 3 Cloves
- 1 inch Cinnamon
- 3 medium / 2 large Chopped onions
- 2 tbsp Ginger garlic paste
- 3 chopped Tomatoes
- 1 ½ tsp Coriander powder
- 1 tbsp Red Chili powder
- ¼ tsp Turmeric
- Salt to taste
- 4 tbsp Cashewnut paste
- 1 Tomato (no pulp chopped into large chunks)
- 1 Green pepper / Capsicum chopped into large chunks
- 1 Onion chopped into large chunks
- 2 tbsp Cream
- ½ tsp Garam masala
- fresh Coriander for garnishing
- 1 tbsp lime juice
For the chicken marinade
- 1 tsp Ginger paste
- 1 tsp Garlic paste
- 1 tsp Chili powder
- Salt to taste
- 1 tbsp Lime juice
- 2 tbsp Oil
- 1/2 tsp mustard powder
- 1/4 tsp carom seeds / ajwain
- 2 tbsp Gram flour
- 1 cup Yogurt
- 1 tsp red Chili powder
- 2 tsp Ginger garlic paste
- ¼ tsp Turmeric
- Salt to taste
- ½ tsp Garam masala
- Marinate the chicken in ingredients 1 to 5 under ‘For the chicken marinade’ for 20 minutes.
- In the meanwhile heat the oil and add the carom seeds. Once the carom seeds start popping, add the gram flour and roast it till it is cooked through. There will be a nutty smell once the gram flour is cooked.
- Now add this to the yogurt, red chili powder, ginger garlic paste, turmeric, salt and garam masala.
- After 20 mins add the marinated chicken to the yogurt mixture.
- Let the chicken marinate for about 2-3 hours. (I did not have 2-3 hrs. I managed to marinate it only for an hour or so)
- Once the chicken is marinated long enough, oil a baking sheet and pre heat the oven to 425F.
- Skewer the chicken cubes onto skewers and place the skewers on the baking sheet. The chicken will cook pretty fast, about 15-20 mins. After once side is cooked, turn over the chicken on the skewers. After about 10 mins, turn it over once again. It should be browned slightly on either side.
- Add the chunks of tomato, green pepper and onions to the leftover marinade.
- Set the chicken aside. You can start preparing the gravy while the chicken cooks.
- Once the chicken is cooked, set the oven to the broiler setting and transfer the vegetables on the same baking sheet.
- Once the vegetables brown remove them from the oven and set them aside.
For the Masala / Gravy
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Once the oil is hot add the cumin seeds, bay leaf, cardamom (black and green), cloves & cinnamon to it. Once the whole spices start imparting their fragrance, add the chopped onions.
- Brown the onions and add the ginger garlic paste at the very end. Once the ginger garlic paste is also fried add the tomatoes and cook till the tomatoes are completely incorporated with the onions.
- Next add the coriander powder, red chili powder, turmeric powder and salt. Let the dry spices cook through, it will take just a couple of minutes.
- Once the dry spices are cooked through add the cashew paste and cook it for a couple of minutes till the oil starts separating from the mixture.
- At this point add the chicken and mix thoroughly. You may want to add some water to the gravy at this point if it is too thick.
- Let the gravy simmer for a couple of minutes then add the roasted vegetable chunks to the gravy. Mix the vegetables together and let it simmer for a couples of minutes.
- Next add the cream, coriander leaves and lime juice to the gravy.
- The chicken tikka masala is now ready to serve.
We had the chicken tikka masala with some naan and it was brilliant. Now no more craving for restaurant style chicken tikka masala. I can make it at home anytime. Though not too often, it’s not the healthiest of meals after all. But once in a while when you feel like indulging, its perfect. And I followed the recipe from the following link – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gh-SZ1drOMc. One change I made to the recipe was that I roasted the vegetables before added it to the gravy.
Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did both making and eating it. And hopefully no more such long breaks from blogging for me. I can definitely say that cooking is my stress buster for sure. Thank you for reading my blog and I hope you enjoy the chicken tikka masala.
January 26, 2011 in Main Course
An attempt to bring the magical smell and taste of Pav Bhaji and the streets of Bombay to Tempe
Who hasn’t had eaten street food and wondered why it tastes “oh so good”. Somehow it never is the same when cooked at home. I have always wanted to make pav bhaji at home that tastes like the pav bhaji you get at restaurants and street side stalls. In this never-ending quest of mine, I have made pav bhaji a zillion times but never managed to make something close enough to the pav bhaji you get in Bombay. That is till I saw the video of the pav bhaji being made at a stall at Juhu beach. I have seen them make it so many times but you don’t exactly pay attention to the exact process and ingredients. I have posted the video at the end of this post for anyone interested in watching the exact process. I have tried making this recipe a few times now and it has been a hit each time I have followed the steps as per the video. In the video they do not give exact measurements, but after having made this half a dozen times now, I have managed to decide on the exact amounts for all the ingredients.
The recipe from start to finish takes about an hour if you have to start with boiling the vegetables etc. If you do have all the chopped and cooked vegetables at hand, then it should take you about half hour to prepare. This recipe yields pav bhaji for 2-3 persons.
For the Bhaji
- 2/3 cup chopped green pepper (Capsicum)
- 2 1/2 medium-sized boiled potatoes
- 2 tomatoes
- 2/3 cup cooked green peas
- 1 teaspoon + 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder (adjust to taste)
- 2 + 1 tablespoons ginger garlic paste
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1.5 + 1 teaspoon pav bhaji masala
- 2 + 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 teaspoons oil
- 2/3 cup finely chopped red onion
- 1 teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon asafoetida (hing)
- 1/2 tablespoon lime juice
- salt to taste
For the Masala Pav
- 6 dinner rolls / pav
- butter (to spread on the bread)
- 1 teaspoon pav bhaji masala
- 1 tablespoon coriander leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
- Heat some oil in a flat pan. Add the green pepper / capsicum. Add water to soften it. Keep adding enough water to cook the green pepper without burning it.
- Once the green pepper has softened and cooked, add the chopped tomatoes, boiled potatoes, cooked green peas, 1 teaspoon red chilli powder, 2 tablespoons ginger – garlic paste & 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder.
- Add enough water (about 1/2 cup) and allow the vegetables to cook and prevent it from sticking to pan. Keep adding enough water to prevent the vegetables from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Add 1 teaspoon butter and stir till the butter has melted.
- Mash all the vegetables till it’s a soft paste.
- Add 1.5 teaspoons pav bhaji masala, salt and 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves to this and let it simmer for a few minutes.
- While the vegetables are cooking, heat 1 tablespoon butter in a separate pan. Add the chopped onions, 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste, 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder, 1 teaspoon pav bhaji masala, dried fenugreek leaves, hing (asafoetida), 2 tablespoons coriander leaves and lime juice.
- Fry this mixture for a couple of minutes.
- Now add this onion mixture to the vegetable mixture.Continue mashing the vegetables together till all the vegetables form a smooth paste.
- The Bhaji is now ready to be served.
For the Masala Pav
- Pre heat the oven at the broiler setting.
- Slice the bread / dinner rolls / pav into two halves. Spread butter on each side.
- Meanwhile heat a teaspoon of oil in a pan (you can use the same pan you used to fry the onions). Add the pav bhaji masala, red chilli powder and coriander leaves to this and fry it for a couple of minutes.
- Now spread this on the bread / pav / dinner rolls.
- Place the bread in the oven on the top rack of the oven. The bread is ready in a couple of minutes or less, therefore so keep a very close eye on the bread.
- Once the bread is ready, serve the Pav Bhaji with some onions, lime wedges and some coriander leaves as garnish.
Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I loved making it. I think it came very close to the food I have eaten in Bombay. I quote Amit here, he called it “awesome and brilliant”. This is a spicy pav bhaji recipe. Just spicy enough to make you want to drink something cold along with the pav bhaji.
Oh and here’s the You Tube video. Watch this video if you want to see how exactly pav bhaji is made at the street side stalls.