Dhania Murgh (Cilantro Chicken)

Hello Guys!! If you’ve been wondering about my whereabouts, relax. I’m very much here. Had been under the weather a bit over the past week or so and therefore cooking and blogging did take a backseat. As much as we love the rains here in Mumbai, they have this uncanny knack of making you ill. I’m better now and back with some fabulous recipes for you. In other (very good and exciting) news, The Tummy Tale has been nominated for the “Indian Blogger Awards 2013”. Do take a moment and check this link for more details

While I was unwell, I was confined to having food that was bland and so so high on the ‘i-like-that’ quotient.  So, after almost a week of illness and boredom, we decided that it was time for some celebration. The brief from the taste queens was that it had to be something light and fresh. One of the things I managed to purchase on my trip to the market was a huge bunch of cilantro which also happened to be my eureka moment. I decided to make th Dhania Murgh. Now, Cilantro or Corriander as it is popularly called is a well known herb and requires little introduction. Cilantrohas mild flavour and is usually used as garnishing. Everyone at somepoint has seen generous amounts of corriander leaves covering gravies, biryanis and even pulaos, however, the subtle aroma and flavour can be made into a gravy that taste equally good. Even if you prefer spicy food, my recommendation is not to use a whole ot of spices as it would tend to overpower the gentleness of the cilantro.

A very Sunday type of dish that just like its hero ingredient goes well with rice, naan and the likes. Best enjoyed with family around you

IMG_2026Dhania Murgh

Ingredients:

  • 800 grams chicken (preferably on the bone)
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes, pureed
  • 3 teaspoons red chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons crushed pepper
  • 5 tablespoons oil
  • Juice of 1 large lemon
  • Salt to taste

Grind to a paste:

  • 1 large bunch Cilantro (Corriander leaves)+ retain some leaves and chop them finely
  • 2-3 green chillies 
  • 5-8 cloves of garlic
  • 1 inch piece of ginger
  • 60 grams peanuts (these need to be soaked in warm water for about 15 minutes)

Procedure:

  • Wash the chicken, pat it dry and then marinate it with the lemon juice, turmeric and 2 teaspoons of red chilli powder for about 2 hours. 
  • Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a pan and toss in all ingredients mentioned under ‘grind to a paste’ except for the groundnuts. Fry for about a minute. Allow it to cool, then grind to a fine paste along with some water and don’t forget to add the groundnuts.
  • Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a pan and lightly fry the chicken pieces on a medium flame till the chicken gets a light golden char around the meat. This should take about 3 minutes. Remove and keep aside. Save the marinade for later use.
  • Now, in the same oil add the cumin seeds and crushed pepper and allow to crackle.
  • Once the spices are sizzling, add the onion and the finely chopped cilantro leaves. Stir well till onions are pink and translucent.
  • Add in the green paste, r and the remaining red chilli powder and the marinade. Reduce heat and saute for about 5 minutes. Don’t overdo this as you may lose the gentle aroma of the cilantro.
  • Now add the tomato puree and saute for a bit till you see the oil leaving the sides. Add the chicken pieces and toss well to combine. At this point, you may need to add some water to suit  your desired gravy consistency.
  • Add salt and mix. Cover and cook for about 5 more minutes.
  • Garnish with ginger juliennes and serve hot.

Pineapple and Prawn Fried Rice

Moderation. Small helpings. Sample a little bit of everything. These are the secrets of happiness and good health ~ Julia Child ~

Julia Child, in this one statement has almost covered my entire post. Whenever I write a post I try and describe the essence of the cuisine and the dish that I am covering. But then, what I want to cover today is something special, a first of sorts even for me. And so, I’m thinking, how do I describe a cuisine that that ranked number 4  when people were asked to name an ethnic cuisine. And in list of the “World’s 50 most delicious foods” compiled by CNN, 5 dishes from here made it to the list including the number 1 dish. Sounds impressive, doesn’t it? Any guesses which cuisine is it? I so want to be partial and say its Indian cuisine, but this time we’ll have to give it to Thai Cuisine.

Just like what Julia Child said, Thai cuisine is simply a little of everything. What may seem a simple dish to casual on looker, is actually a complex coming together of many flavors. Thai food is known to have a balance of at least 4-5 flavours in each dish.  

Pineapple and prawns is a combination that absolutely made in heaven. This is again a one pot meal that you could put together in like 20 minutes flat. I made this as a first attempt on Thai food and it came out pretty well. Many more to come, I promise.

Do give it a try, I’d love to hear how it turned out.

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Thai Pineapple and Prawn Fried Rice


Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup pre-cooked rice
  • 100 grams fresh pineapple, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 50 grams fresh prawns
  • 2-3 Thai red chillies 
  • 4-5 French beans, cut into bite sized bits.
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic
  • 5-6 leaves fresh basil leaves
  • 50 ml fresh Pine apple Juice
  • 2 tablespoon Soya Sauce
  • 2 tablespoon Fish Sauce
  • 4 tablespoons oil
  • Salt- to taste 

Procedure:

  • Make a paste of the  chillies and garlic and keep aside.
  • In a pan heat some oil, add the chilli garlic paste and fry till the garlic is brown (but not burnt). Add the pineapple and stir fry till the pineapple have a slight brown coating. Add the basil leaves and stir
  • Add the prawns and cook for about minute till the prawns are cooked. Add the french beans and cook.
  • Combine the Pineapple juice, Fish Sauce and Soya Sauce in a bowl and stir well to combine.
  • Add rice to the wok and and some of the mixture of the sauces and pineapple juice. Mix well to combine.
  • Repeat this process for the remainder of the rice and the juice mixture.
  • Now add the fried basil leaves and give it a final mix.
  • Serve hot

Hariyali Paneer Tikka

Ever since I posted the recipe for Butter Chicken on my blog, I was inundated with a number of emails, some thanking me for the recipe, some tried it out and wrote back to tell me how well it turned out.  To me, that’s the best part of being a food blogging; the effort of carefully selecting a particular recipe, working on it till it’s perfected and then attempting to get the best clicks; this process comes a full circle when you, my beloved readers tries a recipe and writes back with feedback. The joy is unparalleled.

I have always wanted my blog to inspire people not just to cook, but to fall in love with the process of cooking. Inspiring, yet not intimidating is the overall objective of each recipe.  Some are simpler, some are slightly longish and tend to take longer to cook, but not many things are as satisfying as cooking a lovely meal and sharing a few good laughs with the  family, correct?

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Today’s recipe then, is a simple recipe. Believe me, its so simple I would imagine almost leaving it out from the shortlist of recipes to be put up.  But honestly, its quick, no fuss and extremely high on the taste quotient. The Hariyali Paneer Tikka is a dish that makes an appearance at almost every function or party. Cubes of Paneer coated with a spicy green marinade and most often accompanied by cubes of onion and capsicum. Seems simple, correct? Believe me your family and guest will not have enough. Paneer has an innate versatility to it. The ability to blend or combine with almost every ingredient and somehow produce magical results. All you would need is some creativity and I bet, you would create a new dish each time you work with it. While we are on the topic of creatively using Paneer, here is an interesting blog on Interesting Twist to Paneer by my good friend Perinaz Avari of Peris Spice Ladle; and whilst you are there do not miss the mind blowing collection of Parsi recipes and much more. I am sure you will love her website. And so, here too, the spicy green marinade does most of the talking. Its bright green, fresh and spicy just what an appetiser should be. The actual recipe doesn’t use besan, though i did to give the marinade a little more body and texture. Another thing i changed was that i used tooth picks instead of regular skewers, really found them more convenient to pick and eat. My suggestion is dont cook the Paneer too much, just enough to char it on all sides. This ensures that the Paneer is not over cooked and rubbery.

I do hope you will like and enjoy this recipe as much as i did presenting it to you.

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Hariyali Paneer Tikka

Ingredients:

  • 300 grams cottage cheese, cut into 2 inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons besan (chickpea flour)
  • 2 tablespoons oil 
  • 1 tablespoon Mustard oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon ajjwain (caraway seeds)
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala powder
  • 1 tablespoon ginger paste
  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 small capsicum, cubed
  • 1 small onion, cubed
  • toothpicks- to serve

Grind to a paste:

  • ½ bunch fresh coriander leaves
  • ½ bunch fresh mint leaves
  • 3-4 green chillies
  • 1/2 cup yoghurt

 For Garnishing

  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Chaat Masala

Procedure:

  • Cut the onion and capsicum into cubes and keep aside. Wet the toothpicks in some water and remove. 
  • Combine all the ingredients mentioned under head “grind to paste” and grind in a blender till it reaches a creamy consistency. Empty in a bowl and keep aside.
  • In a non stick pan, heat 2 tablespoons oil and fry the besan till it has the consistency of wet sand. By now it should release a nutty aroma. Add in the ajjwain seeds and mix well and take off the flame.
  • Now, combine both the curd and besan mixtures. Mix well.
  • Add the ginger paste, garlic paste, the turmeric powder, garam masala powder and mix well. This is the hariyali marinade.
  • Heat the oil (for frying) in a non stick pan.
  • Now, pick an onion cube and coat well with the marinade. Line on a toothpick. Similarly, coat a paneer cube and line on the same toothpick. Follow this with the marinated capsicum.
  • Continue this sequence for the remaining cottage cheese cubes. Remember the cottage cheese cube should be in the center and the onion and capsicum cube on either side.
  • Fry the cubes in the oil for 2 minutes a side. Remember, we need the golden brown char on all sides of the cubes.
  • Garnish with lemon juice, drizzle some chaat powder and serve hot.