Thursday, May 1, 2008

Chilli Chicken - Dry version, Gravy version

Its been quiet a long time since I posted any non-vegetarian recipes. I decided to experiment with making Chilli Chicken, the Indian restaurant style, in my style in my kitchen :) .

Though the dry version of Chilli Chicken didnt get that restaurant flavor, I learned a new way to prepare chilli chicken. You can see my other versions of Chilli Chicken here. I am sending this Monthly Mingle- Bollywood Cooking hosted by Meeta of "Whats for Lunch Honey"


Ingredients:
--------------

Perdue Chicken thighs (the ones you get in individual mini packets) : 1 packet (it contains about 2 thighs)

Marinade:

Salt: 4 teaspoons
Soy sauce: 3 tablespoons
Vinegar: 3 tablespoons
Paprika (the not so spicy chilli powder you get in American grocery stores, it gives a fiery red color, but at the same time doesn't make you feel like grabbing the fire extinguisher to your mouth :D ) [(You can substitute it with the usual Indian Chilli powder if you want some fire in your mouth :) ] : 2 tablespoons
Bread crumbs: 2 tablespoons


For the gravy:

-Onion: 1 big
- Capsicum: 1 big: Cut into thin stripes. I used this only for the dry version of Chilli Chicken.
-Tomato puree: 3-4 tablespoons (this too helps to add that fiery red color)
-Green chillies: 6-7 green chillies (you can vary the number according to your needs. I added more of this as this was the only source of the spicy taste when I made as I had used the harmless red paprika :))
-Ginger sliced and cut into very small pieces: 2 tablespoons
-Garlic chopped to very tiny pieces: 3 tablespoons
-Coriander powder: 1 teaspoon
-Turmeric powder: a pinch (avoid if you don't like the color)
- Oil: 1/4 cup

The next ingredient below added the most fierce to the "Chilly" part in the Chilli Chicken :) Its called "Kandyacha Masala" which is a spicy dry chutney made of Onion, Garlic and other ingredients. As Trupti is written in her blog, its used as a spice powder in various curries. It can also be had (by mixing it with little oil) along with Roti, Dosa. You may add it if you want that "Hot" flavor :) I enjoyed it ! I got this powder as a part of "Aruvusai Friendship Chain" from dear blogger friend "Trupti of Recipe Center". She also send me Maharashtrian Garam Masala. Thank you so much Trupti !

-Kandyacha Masala (Maharashtrian Onion-Garlic dry chutney powder) [For the complete recipe details please refer to Trupti's blog : Recipe Center] : 1/2 teaspoon (or as per taste)

How I made :

Cut chicken to bite size pieces. Then marinate it in the marinade. Let it marinate for at least 15-20 minutes, while you prepare the rest of the ingredients for the dry gravy.

For Chilli Chicken (Dry) (as in the above picture):

In a deep pan, heat 1/4 cup oil to high, then lower it to medium. Add Ginger, Garlic, Green Chillis and saute for 30 seconds. Add the Chicken pieces and saute it until it is half cooked. Add Onion and saute until it is quiet soft (1-2 minutes). Then add 1 teaspoon Coriander powder and saute it well with the rest of the ingredients. Add Capscicum. Stir well to combine. Add a pinch of turmeric powder and stir well. Then add the Maharashtrian Garam Masala and the Kandyacha Masala, stir well. Add the Tomato puree and reduce fire to Medium-Low. Stir well until all the ingredients starts to cook. Make sure the Capsicum is fully cooked. Switch off the fire. Serve hot just like that or as a side dish along with Roti, Chapathi, Rice,Idiyappam. Refrigerate the left over and finish it by next day by heating it before using it.



For Chilli Chicken (Gravy):

In a deep pan, heat 1/4 cup oil to high, then lower it to medium. Add Ginger, Garlic, Green Chillies and saute for 30 seconds. Add the Chicken pieces and saute it until it is half cooked. Add Onion and saute until it is quiet soft (1-2 minutes). Then add 1 teaspoon Coriander powder and saute it well with the rest of the ingredients. Add a pinch of turmeric powder and stir well. Then add the Maharashtrian Garam Masala and the Kandyacha Masala, stir well. Add the Tomato puree and reduce fire to Medium-Low. Stir well until all the ingredients starts to cook. Then add 1 - 1.5 cups water, change the fire to high, and stir until the pan ingredients starts to thicken, then lower fire to Medium-Low, simmer for 1 minute.


The result is a thick rich gravy with Chicken.
Serve hot along with Rice, Roti,Idiyappam, Chapathi. Refrigerate the left over and use it by next day by heating it before using it. I had it alongside Idiyappam which is a rocking combination! I have posted the Idiyappam recipe here.

Rasa Vada

I had previously posted about Parippu Vada made with Toor dal. Usually Parippu Vada is made with Channa dal. One popular snack in Kerala is to soak these vadas in hot rasam, allow the vada to soften for a few minutes and have it with a spoon in the same bowl with rasam.

Its been a long time since I had rasa vada. As far as I can remember the last time I had it might have been during my school days. I made these recently when V was working from home.


Ingredients:

For vada
-----------
Channa dal: 1 cup
Green chilli: 2-3 cut into thin round slices
Onion: 1 medium size, chopped up finely
Curry leaves chopped finely (optional)
Ginger: cut into thin small slices- 2 teaspoons
Salt: to taste
Oil: to deep fry the vadas
Water to soak channa dal

Rasam:

Any rasam powder available in Indian grocery stores or -->Make your own: Roast 2 teaspoons of coriander seeds, 1 teaspoon each of cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds (methi) , mustard seeds, whole black pepper, hing (asafoetida), toor dal, 5 dry red chillies together on medium flame for 1 minute. Powder them in a spice grinder.

Water: Enough to soak the vadas
Salt: to taste
Mustard seeds: 1 teaspoon
Cumin seeds: 1 teaspoon
Curry leaves (optional): 2-3 leaves
Dry red chillies: 2
Crushed tomato (optional): 2 tablespoons
Tamarind juice: 1 tablespoon

Method:

For making vada:

Soak the channa dal in enough water for at least 5 hours or until the channa dal can be broken into two by using your nails. Drain all the water after soaking. Grind it into a fine paste without any water (it need not be too fine, a little coarse texture doesn't matter). Mix it with the rest of the ingredients for vada, except oil. Take a small ball and shape it to form a small disc as shown in the pictures. Then deep fry in oil until bubbles reduce in the oil.

For rasam:

Heat sufficient water in a vessel for, add crushed tomato, and rasam powder, tamarind juice . Cook the tomatoes well. You may optionally add some garlic cloves to the rasam. Add salt. Switch off when tomatoes are cooked. Heat a little oil in a tampering vessel, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, red chillies and wait for mustard seeds to splutter, then add curry leaves and add this tampering to the rasam. Add the vadas to the rasam.

When the vadas are soft, break them using a spoon and have it in the same bowl with rasam.

Coffee maker - Oats kanji


This was something I experimented after watching the "Good Eats" show on Food Network channel. The host was explaining about benefits about Oats and the various ways it can be used. Towards the end of the show he showed a trick of having a nice Oats porridge using the Coffee maker.

He poured the water in the coffee maker . Added the Oats, some milk and a little cinnamon to the mug where the coffee usually dispenses. When the machine was switched on, the hot water cooked the oats and in a few seconds, delicious Oats porridge was ready !

I decided to experiment with just water and Oats and a little salt, because I was not fond of having milk with Oats. It was equally good and healthy !

Pressure cooked Rose Matta rice - Vegetable biriyani

Pressure cooker cooking is one of the fastest, efficient ways to cook a variety of dishes within minutes , whose cooking time otherwise takes a long time. I prepare Biriyani mostly in pressure cooker. The rose matta rice is nutritious than the regular white rice. It is available in most Indian grocery stores. In Kerala you can find this rice used in abundance. I did not have the white rice in stock and wanted to prepare Biriyani for a guest. I experimented with this rice and it turned out equally good.



Ingredients:

Rose Matta rice : 1 cup

Vegetables-Green peas, Corn, Carrot, Cabbage,String Beans, Cauliflower,Capsicum (all vegetables should be chopped to bite size pieces)- 1 cup each

Tomato puree: 3 tablespoons or 1 big tomato crushed

Onion: 1 big cut into thin slices

Ginger and Garlic : 1/4 cup
Green chilli: 4 nos , slit vertically

Coriander powder: 1/2 teaspoon
Garam masala (or Biriyani powder) : 1 teaspoon

Oil/Butter: To saute the vegetables
Salt : to taste
Water : To cook the biriyani in pressure cooker




Method:

Heat pressure cooker on high heat. Add oil/butter to saute the vegetables. Add ginger, garlic, green chilli and saute for a few seconds, then add onions and fry until translucent and soft. Then add the veggies together and saute until the veggies soften a little. Add the spices (coriander and garam masala) and salt and mix thoroughly. Then add tomato puree, and mix until the whole masala along with veggies is half cooked. Then add the raw rice and mix it with the masala. Add water enough to cook the biriyani. The rose matta rice takes a long time to cook in Rice cookers, but in pressure cooker it just takes 3 whistles (approx 10-15 minutes). Add water just about an inch to cover the biriyani. Cover the pressure cooker with the lid and whistle and let it cook for 3 whistles. Allow the cooker to stand until all the steam goes from the whistle. Do not try to lift the whistle to make the process faster. Serve hot along with cool onion raita. Left over can be refrigerated and heated the next day.

French toast by my sweet V

Let me be honest about something, during my childhood, I used to crave for getting sick !! Just for skipping school and also for another special reason:) Wonder what? I used to get pampered by everyone especially my mom ;) You must be thinking how silly I am :) But honestly I loved it when she used to fuss over me with those warm light dinner (I used to have pej (kanji) with green moong dalithoy, and some chowli ukkeri :) (I don't know the exact name in English for chowli, it looks like string beans, but very long)..mmmm...that along with my mom's love and affection was the best medicine :) She also used to prepare chukku kaapi, also gave me Gooseberry (Amla) to munch on (According to my Amma, Amla is a very good medicine) She never favored the antibiotics (or even pain relievers) during the early onset of the fever. Salt water gargle was/is the pain reliever she recommends. She used to tell that my body's natural immunity decreases if we take tablets, when we are not that sick. I was also forced to have a Chyawanprash from a local Ayurvedic doctor , who made it using only fresh Amla. I personally tried to avoid it (though my attempts were futile as Amma somehow used to find out) as it used to make my teeth temporarily yellow in color.


All this story for what? Let me come to present tense :) I was not well past few weeks as the flu bug hit me and I was down with fever, runny nose and a very bad throat. On such days, V feels very proud to show how much he cares, so he prepares his special breakfasts for me :) He made me French toasts one such morning and I devoured it as I was hungry and still recovering from a sore throat which made it worse to swallow any food the previous night. He also made me a nice cup of hot coffee to go along with the French toast and I was feeling so good :) I remembered my childhood days. Same time, was amused to see V's beaming face when I hungrily gobbled the food he prepared.

I feel good acknowledging V's culinary attempts in my blog as I owe him for eating anything I make hehe :D . This is my second post of V's secret dish . The first post can be seen here. I have completely recovered, but the bug is now on poor V and he is down with Cold !

Puri masala

I thought of posting some basic recipes which I had not posted. I make this potato curry to go along with various main dishes, such as puri, roti, upma, lemon rice. Here is the recipe:


Ingredients:

Potato (Boiled cooked and mashed into crumbs): 1 medium
Onion (red or yellow) : 1 big
Green chilli : 2 or 3 slit vertically
Mustard seeds: 1 teaspoon
Cumin seeds: 1 teaspoon
You may add curry leaves. I didn't have curry leaves when I was making it, hence I could not add it.
Salt: as per taste
Coriander powder: 1/4 teaspoon
Hing (Asafoetida): a pinch
Turmeric powder: a pinch
Water : just for sprinkling to avoid the curry from getting stuck to the vessel.
Oil: 2 teaspoons



Method:

Chop onion into chunks (square shapes) . Keep a deep pan on medium heat, add 2 teaspoons of oil. When oil is hot,reduce heat a little and add mustard seeds, and cumin seeds. Wait until the mustard seeds splutter, Then add green chillies, saute it for 5 seconds, then add curry leaves and saute it for a sec. Add the chopped onion. Increase heat to medium. Saute the onion until it is translucent and half cooked. Add salt, coriander powder, turmeric powder, hing. Stir well to combine so that its well coated with all the spices. Then add the potatoes. Break them up so that they don't form chunks in the pan. Mix well to combine it with the onion mixture. Sprinkle water of necessary. Lower heat a little so that the curry doesn't burn. Stir in between until a nice aroma of the curry comes. This will take very less time (approx 5 minutes) as we have already added cooked potatoes. Serve as a side dish for puri, roti, lemon rice etc.. It is best served hot. You can also refrigerate the left over for later use on same day.

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