Burnt Garlic and Herb Roasted Chicken

Its April end and the summer at its peak. This hot and balmy weather calls for meals that are light and fresh, and of course packed with flavour and something that is more healthy and delicious. So, how about a barbeque for today’s recipe?

Meat and herbs seems to be a combination made in heaven; use it any manner and it is bound to produce great results. And with barbeque, now emerging as the world’s latest sweetheart due to the health obsession that’s overtaking the globe, this one’s a sure winner with people of all ages. It got it’s stamp of approval from the taste queens and trust me it was irresistible. Soft succulent meat covered with a crisp brown skin complemented by the flavorful herbs with the roasted garlic providing the final burst of flavor. Ummmm… It’s something else I tell you. The only sad thing in the entire effort was that I didn’t have an actual Barbeque, and that’s where my ever diligent oven came to the rescue. That is perhaps, one of the downsides of staying in a concrete jungle. When you make this, don’t forget to watch the ingredients, have a bit of patience and watch something so simple transform into something  beautiful.

And while the meat is getting done in the oven, savour the aroma and imagine yourself out in the open, with family and friends enjoying a barbeque and  complete the picture like we did along with a few beers. Life doesn’t get any better, does it?
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Ingredients:

  • 3-4 Chicken Thighs (preferably with skin)
  • 15 garlic pods, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons mixed Italian herbs
  • 2 Tbsp Olive oil.
  • Juice of  1lemon
  • Salt and Pepper, for marination
Procedure:
  • Pre-heat the oven for about 10 minutes at 100 C
  • Wash and pat dry the chicken. Make incisions on either side of the chicken thighs using a sharp knife.
  • Make a solution using the Lime Juice, salt and pepper. Rub this on evenly on the chicken thighs. Now, refrigerate this for atleast 2 hours. This will allow the marinade to permeate well  & the meat will absorb the seasoning,
  • Heat the oil in a pan. Once it gets hot, add the garlic and let it turn reddish brown. Be careful and don’t burn it.
  • Now add the chicken and let it fry for about 5 minutes on each side till the skin of the chicken gets a brownish colour.
  • Once done, take it out from the heat and drizzle generously with the herbs on both sides.
  • Bake in the re heated oven for about 15 minutes at 175 C till skin has become crisp and there is a nice reddish brown colour to it. Try and regulate the temperature according to your oven.
  • Enjoy with mashed potatoes or an assortment of steamed vegetables like carrot, broccoli and beans.

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Egg Biryani

There are a few questions that mankind has been to find answers to. Will Sachin Tendulkar ever quit playing cricket? Will we ever find a renewable bio fuel? Is there life elsewhere in the galaxy? Another such question is what came first, the chicken or the egg? And so, while the debate goes on who came first, almost all of us would agree to the fact that eggs in any manner taste delicious.

At my place, we have eggs at least once a week. This usually happens we want to have a non-fussy & simple dish that still gives you that “I-have-had-the best-meal” feeling. Remember my post on the “Aloo Saunfiyana”? Where I had spoken about the humble potato winning the most versatile ingredient award in the veggies category, I guess the more suave egg would win hands down in the non- vegetarian category.

I have always confessed how much we as a family love any biryani. And when it combined with the goodness of eggs, it doesn’t get any better. Please don’t get intimidated with the long list of ingredients, they are all easily available in the kitchen. Add some love coupled with lots of efforts and you will have a biryani that will remain in your hearts for a long time to come. The one that I made certainly did!

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Egg BiryaniIngredients:
  • 6 Eggs
  • Oil for frying

For the rice

  • 250 grams long grained Basmati rice
  • 2 Green Cardamoms
  • 1 Black Cardamom
  • 1 Inch Cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 Tablespoons Ghee (Clarified Butter)
  • 50 ml Milk
  • 1 tablespoon tumeric powder (haldi)
  • Salt
For the gravy
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large tomato, finely chopped
  • 2 green chillies, finely chopped (Increase the quantity if you want it spicier)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste
  • 1 tablespoon ginger paste
  • 250 ml thick curds
  • 2 tablespoons Biryani Masala Powder (I used Everest Biryani Masala)
  • 1 tablespoon tumeric powder (haldi)
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala powder
  • 1 large tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 2 Green Cardamoms
  • 1 Black Cardamom
  • 1 Inch Cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt – to taste
  • 2 stalks of corriander, chopped
  • few mint leaves

For the Garnishing

  • 2 large onions, sliced finely
  • 10-15 cashews
  • 10 -12 raisins
  • Ghee/ Oil to fry
  • Few Mint leaves
  • 1 lime, quartered
Procedure:
  • To prepare the garnishing, heat the ghee/ oil in a pan. Now fry the sliced onions on medium heat till they turn reddish brown in colour. Take out and drain on an absorbent paper.
  • In the same oil, fry the cashews and raisins until they change colour to reddish brown. Once again, Take out and drain on an absorbent paper.
  • Keep both aside while we shall begin work on the rice.
To prepare the rice:
  • Soak the rice in water for about 15 mins, then wash and drain till the water runs clear.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of ghee in a large vessel and add in the whole spices (Cardamoms, Cinnamon and Bay leaf).
  • When the spices begin to splutter, add the rice and fry for a while.
  • Now add in water that is double the quantity of rice. E.g. for 1 cup rice you will require to use 2 cups water. Add salt and let the  rice cook.
  • When the water begins to boil, lower the heat and allow the rice to cook till you have large and fluffy grains of rice, each separate from the other.
  • Once the rice has reached that stage, drain using a colander. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of ghee and mix well
  • Separate a handful of rice from the colander. Now, mix the milk and turmeric and sprinkle over the rice you have separated.
  • Your rice is ready
To prepare the eggs:
  • In a large vessel heat water and add the eggs and bring to a boil for 10-12 minutes.
  • Once the eggs are done, peel them and cut each into half, lengthwise.
  • Heat the oil in a pan, and lightly fry the eggs on each side till they get a light brown colour. This step is optional, however, I do it to give the eggs slight texture.
  • Remove and keep aside.
For the gravy:
  • In a large vessel, heat the ghee and add the whole spices and allow them to splutter.
  • When the spices begin releasing aroma, add the chopped onions and let them cook till they turn golden brown. Add the ginger, garlic pastes along with the chillies.
  • Once the onions are done, add the chopped tomato and cook till it it is limp.
  • Beat the curds well and add. Once the mixture has simmered well, add in the masalas (red chilli powder, biryani masala, turmeric powder, garam masala)
  • Now, add the eggs and mix well so that the eggs are covered well with the mixture
  • Once done, add the chopped corriander& mint leaves.
To assemble the biryani:
  • Line a large vessel with ghee.
  • Add the gravy mixture. Now add in half the onions we had fried earlier and some of the fried cashews and raisins.
  • Layer the gravy mixture with the cooked rice. Sprinkle the surface with the rice that was mixed with the milk and turmeric.
  • Finish the layering with the remaining fried onions and dried fruits.
  • Cover the vessel with a lid that fits perfectly. Or you could cover with aluminium foil so that no steam escapes.
  • Place the vessel on a tawa and cook for 20 minutes. Allow it to rest for about 10 minutes even after you’ve turned off the gas.
  • Serve hot with raita.

Whole Wheat and Oat Muffins

Let me begin by telling you this blog is dedicated to children.  With the summer holidays setting in, it’s great fun to see children (otherwise engrossed with studies and project work) play and have a great time. I remember as a kid we would wait for the exams to end and the day they were over, I would have my cousins come over or rush off to a cousins place for holidays. Those were days when there were no mobiles, or facebook; time was spent watching Giant Robot and playing cricket in the street. I bet you,  life couldn’t be any more fun. How I wish those days would never end!

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Now lets speak about the dish today. What better than a yummy muffin that doesn’t give you the guilt of having consumed calories. Muffin and no caIories? Seems a distant dream? Well  personally like muffins, easy to make and more forgiving to the novice baker even if you get a few ingredient measurements wrong. Since it was for the kiddies I thought I should make it a little more healthier  and so I replaced the all purpose flour with whole wheat flour and added some oats.

It’s a great recipe for kids who are fussy and yes, mommies can enjoy it without worrying about the calories.

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Whole Wheat and Oat Muffins

Ingredients:

  •  100 grams whole wheat flour
  •  80 grams oat bran
  •  65 grams brown sugar
  • 15-20 raisins for garnishing
  •  1 tablespoon baking powder
  •  2 large eggs
  •  1/2 teaspoon ground cinnammon
  •  80 ml Honey
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla essence
  • 4 tablespoon olive oil
  • 250 ml full cream milk
Procedure:
  • Grease a muffin tray with oil and flour. Dust and keep aside. Pre-heat oven at 100 C for about 10 mins
  • First, sift all the dry ingredients together in a bowl (flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon)
  • In another bowl, add the eggs and beat lightly, add the remaining ingredients (oil, milk, honey and vanilla essence)
  • Now add the wet mixture to the bowl with the dry ingredients. Give it a light mix, only to incorporate all the ingredients together. Its fine of there are specks of flour around the bowl.
  • Pour spoonfuls of this mixture into the muffin tray. Garnish the top with the raisins.
  • Bake at 180 C for 35 mins or till a skewer inserted comes out clean.

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Chatpati Subzee Paneer (Tangy Cottage Cheese with Vegetables)

After celebrating Easter festivities, we were to attend three wedding in a span of four days. So then, with all those celebrations and festivities done, it was time to give the tummy a well-deserved break.  I thought it would be nice prepare a vegetarian dish  this week.
This is one such recipe that ticks all the check boxes when you are looking for a quick, high on taste, nutritious recipe and more importantly doesn’t give you that feeling of guilt even after you’ve had your fill. The ingredient that that holds everything together is the chaat masala. This tangy spice mix is perhaps the Amitabh Bachchan of the culinary world. Put in two tablespoons in a bland dish and presto, you have a taste blockbuster.
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Paneer (cottage cheese), is something we prepare regularly for either lunch or dinner.  Once a North Indian staple, it is now readily available in stores and supermarkets; my mum though makes awesome paneer at home. The gentle texture and the ability to adapt itself to any ingredient or cooking technique like grilling, barbeque or even stir fry make it a chefs favorite. Pair it with the ever reliable bell peppers and you have a combination that’s finger licking good…
We had it with chappatis, but it makes a good combo with rice or naan.
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Chatpati Subzee Paneer
Ingredients:
  • 250 grams Paneer (Cottage Cheese)
  • 1 large Capsicum, cubed
  • 2-3 baby corns, sliced
  • 1 large onion, cubed
  • 1 large tomato, cubed
  • 1 tablespoon red chilli flakes
  • 4-5 flakes garlic, minced
  • 1 inch ginger, minced
  • 4 large tablespoons Chaat Masala (and some for garnishing)
  • Few sprigs of corriander for garnishing
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • Salt to taste
Procedure:
  •  Heat oil in a pan and saute the garlic and ginger till the garlic is just about turns brown.
  • Next, add the onions and saute till they caramelise. Once the onions caramelise, add the tomatoes and stir till the tomatoes are limp.
  • Now, add the red chilli flakes, sliced baby corn and bell peppers and give it a good stir. Do not cook them  for long as the veggies would go soft.
  • Add the paneer and mix well.
  • Sprinkle the chaat masala well across the pan. Sprinkle some water in the pan and give it a good mix. The water will help the chaat masala to stick well on the veggies.
  • Lastly, add the salt. Garnish with corriander leaves and serve hot.

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Bunt Style Chicken Sukkha (Authentic Manglorean Style Recipe)

If there was one cuisine that I would have for the rest of my life, without a doubt, it would be Mangalorean. I am not being partial since I am from Mangalore, but come on, as they home is where the heart is.
Here is another recipe from one of Mangalore’s famous sub- cuisines, called the “Bunt Cuisine”. The Bunts are a trading community primarily from the Udupi and Dakshin Kanada districts of Karnataka credited with being the pioneers of the ubiquitous Udupi hotels in Mumbai.  As you would have guessed by now, their cuisine is to die for.

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This is one recipe that I would have eaten it a zillion times and yet, I could eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. My mum makes it in the most awesome manner and I tried it for the first time. As the pictures below will tell you, it was lip- smacking.  The mandate (from the taste queens) when I made it was to go easy on the spice, which I tried my best to do. You could replace the chicken with mutton and get the same result.
Do give it a try, I am sure you will want to make it again and again.
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Bunt Style Chicken Sukkha
Ingredients:

  • 1 Kg Chicken (on the bone)
  • 2 Onions (Medium Sized, finely chopped)
  • 1 Tomato (Large Sized, Finely chopped)
  • 2 Green Chillies, Cut into 2 parts
  • 2 Tablespoon Garlic Paste
  • 1 Tablespoon ginger paste
  • 4 Tablespoons Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Bafat Masala
  • 1 Tablespoon Red Chilli Powder
  • 3 Sprigs of Curry Leaves
  • Salt- to taste
Grind to a coarse paste
  • 1 Coconut Grated
  • 7-10 Red Chillies
  • 1 Tablespoon Cummin Seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon Poppy Seeds
  • 2 Green Cardamoms
  • 8-10 Peppercorns
  • 1/2 cup Cashewnuts
  • 3 Cloves
  • 1 Inch stick of Cinnamon
Procedure:
  • Grind together all the ingredients mentioned under the head “grind to a coarse paste”. The texture has to be coarse but make sure ingredients have integrated well with the coconut. Add a little water when you are grinding.
  • In a pan, add oil and let it come to its smoking point. Once it does, add the curry leaves.
  • When the curry leaves begin to change colour, add the onions and allow them to caramelise. This is an important step so let the onions cook well.
  • Add in the ginger-garlic paste and stir for a while.Once the smell leaves, add in tomatoes and cook till tomatoes turn soft.
  • Add the coconut paste and stir well. You may need to add some water at this point so that the paste doesn’t stick to the base of the pan. Cook till the oil leaves the sides of the pan.
  • When the oil begins to leave the sides add the green chillies, bafat, powder, red chilli powder and stir well.  Keep a watch that the paste is not getting to dry and judiciously add water.
  • Once the masala’s are mixed well add the chicken and salt.
  • Cover and cook over a medium flame. Should be done in about 15-20 minutes.

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