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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

(Chicken) Meat Ball Soup


Damp, dull, wet rainy days and nights...sniffles and coughs, exam time...not exactly exciting times !! How to cheer us all up ?
Comfort food of steaming hot chicken meat balls in the lightest of soup  style with either soft steamed rice or noodles or just as it is was all it needed to lift the souls of us three women!!!

Ingredients :

For the meat balls :
Minced chicken - approx 500gm
Ginger-Garlic paste
Crushed Black Pepper
Salt to taste
Eggs - 2
Eating Soda - a pinch
Finely Chopped Onion- 2 tbsp
Chopped green chilies
Coriander leaves

For the soup :
Bay leaf
Chopped Onion
Garlic chopped
Green chilies
Mushroom
Carrots
Capsicum
or any other vegetable of choice
Crushed Pepper
Salt
Chili flakes
Green chilies
Coriander leaves
Butter



Procedure :
1. Marinate the minced chicken with all ingredients under Ingredients for Meat Balls except eggs, chopped onions & coriander leaves for an hour or so. Mine was in the fridge overnight
2. MIx 2 eggs to the marinate followed by chopped onions & finely chopped coriander leaves. Fresh leaves just before preparation gives a fresh aroma.
3. In a wok/kadhai, heat 2 tsp of butter. Add a bay leaf followed by freshly ground black pepper, chopped onions, chopped garlic and chopped green chilies. Add a pinch of sugar. Fry till onions are pinkish.
3. Add carrots, mushrooms, capsicum or the vegetable in order of their hardness. Sprinkle salt and pepper.
4. After sauteing the vegetables on medium to high flame, add 5-6 cups of water. Adjust the salt and pepper. Cover till the soup has almost come to a boil.
5. Now after lowering the flame to a minimum, make small balls (approx 1-1.5cm dia) of the minced chicken meat and add to the soup in the kadhai. Increase the flame to medium and add a dollop of butter. Cover for 5-7minutes. Check once in a while and remove the scum from the top and give the soup and the meat balls a gentle stir.
6. After the soup has boiled for 2-3 minutes, sim the flame and adjust salt, pepper, add chili flakes. Remove from flame and garnish with chopped coriander.

Serve the steaming hot chicken meat ball soup and welcome to a world of deliciousness!!

The kids had it with 2-3 tbsps of steamed rice. And the next day had the remaining soup with some noodles.
I had it just as soup...Chicken Meat Ball Soup with mushrooms and vegetables

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Chili Chicken & Vegetable Chowmein

Though I started off with plan to make Chicken chowmein with lots of vegetables, bowed to the family's demand of the Chili chicken and Chowmein.

Though normally I dont fry the chicken separately, today decided to go for the elaborate separate frying and subsequent adding to the sauce method. The simpler method for some other day....

Chili Chicken 

Ingredients :
Chicken = 1 kg (I used drumsticks, wings, and some boneless leg pieces)
Onions - 2 : diced into 4 quarters each
Green Capsicum - 1 large cut into thin strips
Garlic chopped - 2 tbsp
Ginger chopped - 2 tbsp
Soya Sauce
Green Chili Sauce
Sesame Oil (of toasted sesame seeds) - just a few drops as a final dressing (optional)
Tawa toasted white sesame seeds - a tsp (optional)
Spring Onions - the green part chopped finely
Green chilies - slit longitudinally
Eggs - 2
Cornflour - 1 -2 tspn
Oil

For the marination :
Cooking soda - 2 tsp
Vinegar - 1 tbsp
Soya Sauce - 2 tbs
Green Chili Sauce - 2-3 tbsp (depending on how spicy we want)
Black pepper powder - 2 tbsp
Salt - keep it less as the sauces are high on salt

Procedure :
1. Marinate the washed and dried chicken with the ingredients mentioned under Marination, for about an hour or two.
2. Crack open 2 eggs into the marinated chicken. Mix it well
3. Add 1 - 1&1/2  tbsp of cornflour. Mix well.
4. Fry the chicken pieces in batches without overcrowding to get nicely browned crispy 3/4th cooked chicken fries. Keep aside
5.In a wok/kadhai, heat 2 tbsp of oil. Add the chopped ginger & garlic followed by diced onions. Fry till onion is translucent.
6. Add the soya sauce & green chili sauce. Fry on high flame.
7. Add the julienned Capsicum . Fry on high flame.
8. Add the 3/4 cooked fried chicken pieces. Alternating between medium to high flame, coat the chicken in the sauce mix. Add some freshly crushed back pepper and salt to taste. If you want dry chili chicken , add the slit green chilies and chopped green onions and give a toss and take it off the flame now ...ready to serve.
9. But since I wanted a little gravy, added a cup of water mixed with a spoonful of cornflour. Covered the wok and let the chicken cook for 2-3 minutes.
10. Remove the cover, add the slit green chilies and chopped green onions and give a toss and take it off the flame now
11. Transfer to a serving bowl.
12. Drizzle some sesame oil from the top and sprinkle a tsp of dry roasted white sesame seeds....The chili chicken is ready to serve.

******
Vegetable Chowmein



Ingredients :
For the Sauce 
3 Tbs. Oyster sauce
1/2 cup Vegetable  or Chicken stock (did not have chicken /vegetable stock. used water instead)
Mix the above

For the Seasoning
3 Cloves garlic (approximately 1 Tbs.)
1 oz. Fresh ginger (approximately 1/2 Tbs.)
1 Red chili

For the Vegetables (Any vegetable of your choice may be used)
4 packets dry Chinese egg noodles (Blanched in hot boiling water, drained and rubbed with oil.)
2 oz. Shiitake or button mushrooms (I used about 6  small size button mushrooms)
1/2 bunch spring onions- separately chopped the green and white parts
1 green capsicum finely sliced
1 medium sized carrot finely julienned.

Noodles  
4 packets dry Chinese egg noodles (Blanched in hot boiling water, drained and rubbed with oil.)

For Garnish 1 tsp. Toasted sesame oil

3 Tbs. Cooking oil

Procedure :
1. Heat 3 tbsp of oil to smoking hot in a wok/kadhai. The flame should always be on high heat
2. Add the chopped ginger, garlic and julienned red chili. Stir for 10-20 secs. Take care not to burn.
3. Add the chopped white part of spring onion followed by Carrots. Stir fry for a minute in high flame
4. Add the mushrooms, capsicum and other vegetables.
5. Now add the blanched noodles, stir it around. Add salt and crushed pepper
6. After mixing the noodles and vegetables, add the oyster sauce mixed with stock/water. Keeping the heat high, toss the noodles around the wok to allow it to soak in the sauce.
7. Transfer into a serving bowl nad garnish with toasted sesame oil.

Serve Vegetable Chowmein with Chili Chicken

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Goan Green Chutney stuffed Pomfret Fry



Pomfret is something I havent cooked often. Earlier had always either tawa fried or microwaved (with a blob of butter) simply marinated (ginger-garlic-lemon-salt-pepper) pomfret pieces. 

This time thought of trying something different. Hence the internet hunt ....which yielded a simple stuffed pomfret recipe in which most of the ingredients were available at home.

Ingredients :

* Whole pomfrets - 4
* Juice of 1 lime
* Salt to taste
* Sooji/Semolina/Rawa for rolling/ dredging (optional)
* Wheat flour for dusting/sprinkling (did not use)
* Refined oil for pan frying
* Turmeric - 1 tsp
* Freshly crushed black pepper - 1 tsp (not in original recipe)

* For the green chutney
   - A large bunch of fresh coriander leaves
   - 2 sprigs fresh mint leaves-optional (I did not use)
   - 1 medium onion peeled and roughly chopped
   - 1 tbs fresh tamarind paste (I used juice of 1 big lemon)
   - 7 cloves fresh garlic
   - 1 " piece of ginger
   - 2-3 fresh green chilies
   - 1 tsp cumin seeds
   - 4 tbsp grated coconut (I used 1/2 a medium sized coconut )
   - A large pinch of turmeric
   - A pinch each of Cinnamon & Clove powder (I used 1/2 inch cinnamon stick & 3-4 pieces of cloves)
   - A large pinch of sugar to taste - optional (I used 1/2 tsp)
Grind the above chutney ingredients into a thick paste with minimum water
Procedure :
1. The fish is to be cleaned and slit into pockets. I got this done from the fishmonger
2. Rub the pomfrets and their cavities with lemon juice, salt , turmeric and freshly crushed pepper and marinate for 15-20 minutes.
3. Now stuff the cavities with the green chutney and cover the whole pomfrets in a thick paste of green chutney (as per the original recipe, only the cavities were stuffed with the green chutney)
4. Marinate for 15-20 minutes (I marinated for more than an hour)
5. When ready to fry, roll each pomfret in sooji and then dust/sprinkle wheat flour on either side. I only rolled in rawa and skipped the flour sprinkling.
6. Heat oil in a skillet / pan and slide in the pomfrets one by one into the heated oil. Cook each side for at least 5 minutes or till evenly cooked and crispy. 

Serve with tomatoes, onion and a squeeze of lemon and chopped corinader. Also potato wedges & salad as the original recipe mentioned .

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Chicken Ghee Roast in Chettinad Masala

I like my cooking simple and low on spices. Because I am a reluctant cook but a food lover, I like making things which are easy and quick to make but good to taste.. 
Chettinad Chicken is something I have avoided making in the fear of the excessive spice usage and high heat content.

However, my browsing the net, I came across this video of Chicken Ghee Roast in Chettinad Masala and found it simple and easy and the video of the dry roasting of the masalas triggered my olfactory senses and I almost hallucinated the wafting aroma of roasted Indian spices..incidentally a full bird had been bought and was ready for marination. So without much ado, I followed the recipe to the T (except the chili quantity part) and ended up making delicious, flavourful Chicken Ghee Roast for Sunday lunch.

Ingredients:
 
Step 1
- 1 kg chicken
- juice of 1 lemon
- half bowl of yogurt
- ½ tsp of turmeric powder

Step 2 - 10-15 dry red chillies (I used 8 dry red chilies and deseeded them to reduce/minimise the heat factor)
- 2 tsp black pepper
- 2 tsp coriander seeds
- 1-1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
- 7-8 cloves of garlic
- tamarind water 


Step 3 - ¼th cup of Ghee (I used 2- 2 1/2 tbsp of Ghee)
-Salt
- 1 tsp jaggery
- Curry leaves
Procedure :
- Marinate chicken with lemon juice, yogurt mix it well then add turmeric powder and keep aside for an hour. (I kept overnight)
- In a thick bottom pan, roast the spices – dry red chillies, black pepper, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cloves,fenugreek seeds and mix it well and switch off the flame and let it cool down.
- Grind the roasted spices and while grinding also add cloves of garlic and tamarind water.
- In a pan add ghee and place the marinated chicken and let it cook up to 70%. Keep aside.
- Add the remaining yogurt mix in the pan and mix it well in the ghee on medium heat and keep it aside in a bowl.
- In the same pan add the ground masala and let it cook on low flame and add ghee 1/2 tsp of ghee to it
 
-Add the ghee fried yogurt mix, salt, jaggery and add the cooked chicken. keep coating the chicken with masala on medium to high heat.
-Cover anf Keep on low flame for 5-10 minutes
- Add some curry leaves and the Chicken Ghee Roast is ready to be served!

  


Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Nolen Gurer Chaaler Payesh .... Rice Pudding


A Bengali and Chaaler Payesh have an eternal connection....The first morsel of solid eaten by a Baby during Annoprashon (Rice Eating Ceremony), the first spoon eaten by the mother-to-be during Baby Shower or Shaadh, the Payesh on every birthday or Jonmodin are memories every true blue Bengali holds precious. 

And the Paayesh is made even more precious and tasty if its made of Nolen Gur (or the solidified version known as Patali Gur for the off season payesh)

Ingredients :
* Full Cream Milk - 2 litres 
* Gobindobhog rice / jeera rice / Basmati rice - 2 fistfuls (1 fistful or 'mutho' per litre i,e approx 100gm per litre)
* 2 tbsp of sugar
* Nolen Gur/Patali Gur (date palm jaggery) - approx 200-250gm

Procedure :
1. Boil milk and reduce it to 3/4 of its original volume. 
2. In the meanwhile, wash rice, drain the water and dry it while the milk is being boiled
3. While stirring the milk, add the washed and dried rice and keep stirring gently till the rice cooks and the milk thickens. The milk should have reduced to 1/2 (i.e 1 litre) by now.
4. Add 2-3 tbsp of sugar after the rice has softened. An early addition of sugar will stop the rice from softening further.
5. Take the milk-rice mix off the flame. Soften the jaggery by microwaving/heating and add the softened jaggery into the rice-milk mix and . Mix well 
6. Cool it down ....delicious Gur flavoured Payesh is ready for the auspicious occasion.



Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Chocolate Lava Cake


2 birthdays in the family a span of 4 days!! So this time thought of giving the usual sponge cake a miss..and made Lava Cake Muffins and one small cake in an aluminium foil rectangular container.

Ingredients :
*100g dark chocolate, chopped- I used Bournville Rich Chocolate 
*100g butter
*150g light soft brown sugar-I used 100gm normal white sugar
*3 large eggs
*1/2 tsp vanilla essence
*50g plain flour
*coffee powder / cocoa powder (optional)

Method
11. Preheat the oven to 230C. 
22. Put the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of hot water (or alternatively put  in the microwave) and stir until smooth, then set aside to cool slightly for 15 minutes.
33. Beat the eggs and Mix in the sugar, and keeping mixing with the eggs, and add  into the chocolate-butter mix followed by the vanilla extract and finally the flour. 
  4. Spray/Smear oil in the muffin tray and the aluminium container. Sprinkle cocoa powder/coffee powder to line the moulds (optional) 
  5. Divide the mixture among the muffin moulds and aluminium container.
46. Bake the muffins for 7-8 minutes at 230 deg C and the aluminium container (slightly bigger) for 12-13 minutes or until the tops are firm to touch but the middles still feel slightly squidgy. Carefully run a knife around the edge of each pudding, then turn out onto serving plates and serve with single cream/vanilla icecream or have it just like that.


Friday, July 15, 2016

Kasundi / Kashundi Maachh

Fish cooked in Kashundi (A Mustard based sauce unique to Bengal)

Quick, Easy & Delicious. Thats what Kashundi/Kasundi Maachh (Bhetki/Basa or for that matter any soft fish) is.

Ingredients 
Bhetki / Basa fillets - 500-750gm
Ginger-Garlic paste (I use homemade) - 1.5 tbspn
Chili flakes / chili powder - depends on heat tolerance
Salt
Crushed Black pepper

Procedure :
1. Bhetki/Basa fillets marinated in ginger, garlic paste, salt, pepper, chilli flakes/chilli powder and generous helping of Kashundi/Kasundi for 1/2 - 1 hr.

2. Drizzle 2-3 tbsp of Mustard Oil to the marinated fish. (This may be eliminated or just a minimum quantity of oil may be used). Mix well and place them evenly in a flat bottomed microwaveable glass container

Slit some green chilies and place them on the 'bed' of fish. 

Microwave on Power 80 for 8-10minutes.

Keep it within the oven for 2-3 minutes. 
Garnish with freshly chopped Coriander leaves.  

Tastes delicious with steamed rice.

Cooking couldnt be faster or easier!!