When I moved to the City Of Joy 12 yrs ago ( unbeliveable) the one thing I craved the most was a plate of decent Butter Chicken – quite a staple after having spent almost 7 yrs in saadi dilli! Unfortunately, Kolkata, back then did not have too many , rather hardly had any place that made proper butter chicken ( the one that gives you the feel kinds!). Hence started my quest to try various versions of the Buttter Chicken recipes at home. Over the years many trials happened in my kitchen but none could make the cut honestly. Lot of trials and errors later, I am somewhat satisfied with this precious recipe that I am going to share with you today. My 9 yr old has also turned into a BC (Butter Chicken) fan so this is one dish I make often. It is also my party staple simply coz its too easy to make with ingredients just thrown in. A few of my readers have also requested me for my version of the dish, so here goes.
This Noodle bowl with Chicken Broth is just perfect for a quick meal. The heat is already killing us , so we all need easy recipes that can be tossed with very little preps. Once in a while when we need a break from our usual dishes, this is good to go.I used whatever veggies along with chicken were available at home but you could add anything that you wish to. The vegetarians can replace chicken with tofu, turns out extremely well. The noodles i used is the thick – egg noodle variety that I picked from my last trip to new market. Maybe i should write a post on my absolute love for New Market. Have been going there ever since I was a kid and still find is as charming! Unfortunately its the other end of town for me, but then thats no detterent.
So I have been cooking up from this amazing cookbook – The Food of Oman – by Felicia Campbell and it has been such a delight. You can read all about it here. I tried an unique flatbrad recipe that uses date puree in its dough lending the bread mild and delicious sweetness. It pairs beautifully with Kuku Paaka – Omani chicken stew and is very easy to make.
Much like our favourite parathas but still a bit different. The use of dates lends a lovely texture and flavour to the flat bread, The cuisine of Oman has been a revelation to me, the use of ingredients so similar to ours yet being treated in a manner not quite known to us.I guess thats the beauty of food and that is how its connects us all.
Summer calls for easy clean meals that can be prepared without slogging it out in the kitchen. This Tomato Mint Pulao is a one pot meal to be rustled up in a jiffy, served with a side of raita and salad is perfect for a weekday meal.Easy clean flavours is sure to please your tastebuds!I like making pulaos in handis or a pan as i am more confident that way but you could easily use a pressure cooker or even a rice cooker. Just the amount of water need to adjusted accordingly. Also i have used chopped tomatoes for texture but even puree would work well. Feel free to use your own discretions as that what makes it even better!
What do you do with loads of plain cashewnuts lying around in the pantry ( that you received as diwali gifts!), make some oven roasted Chili Honey Cashews. They would go perfect as the munchies with a drink or even my 9yr olds mini snack box. The idea of course has been borrowed from my dear friend Sarani, who now lives in Mason, USA and authors the lovely blog Cocoawind.
I kept the flavours very simple, honey for sweetness, pepper and chili flakes for the punch and loads of himalayan pink salt ( yes, my current obsession). In the oven for 15 mins and the outcome, simply gorgeous!
This time of the year is perfect to savour the varied winter greens available in the market. My absolutely favourite being fresh Methi saag( fenugreek leaves) and Sarson Saag ( mustard greens). I dont leave an opportunity to use fresh methi leaves as often as I can. While i would always make Aloo methi or simple methi parathas , Theplas , essentially a Gujrati flatbread is something I made for the first time. Perfect as a breakfast dish, I absolutely loved eating them.
The addition of a variety of spices and some gram flour to the dough gives the parathas if we may call them, even thogh they are to be rolled thinner than a paratha, a lovely soft texture. My boys are not much into parathas and would stick to their usual English breakfast, I love my desi breakfast and more so on weekends. Served with some homemade green chili pickle and yogurt, it made for a delicious treat.
The new year did not start on a very smooth note but it is on us to make it better. My resolution, rather effort from the start of the year has been to adopt a more healthy approach towards food habits and making a form of exercise a part of life. However once a while, little indulgences are allowed and hence this beautiful Banana Caramel Cake. Also needed a push to get back to blogging, hence the cake!
Also a great way to use up left over bananas or use them a bit differently. Served warm with some icecream or whipped cream, this could turn into a gourmet dessert.
This dear blog of mine has been royally ignored in the past few months as I was busy setting up another baby – The Goody Box – a venture very close to my heart that my friend A and myself have started. Its an endeavor on our part to take this love for food that we have to the next level and share it with the world. You can know all about it The Goody Box here!
But My Food My Life is my first love and theres always coming back to it. I remembered to soak some fruits in rum few weeks back and last evening was just perfect to bake a boozy Christmas cake to mark the beginning of the festive season. Everyone has their own version and mine turned out to be easy and fun to make. Here’s hoping that the coming year brings in loads of positivity and good cheer for my loved ones and yes many many more recipes and food stories! You go note the recipe.
Soaked fruits - 1 cup - Mix together chopped candied peel, tutti fruti, dates, raisins , almonds in some dark rum along with a hint of cinnamon and nutmeg. Put the mixture in a glass jar and refrigerate for a week atleast.
Vanilla essence - 1 tsp
Baking powder - 1 tsp
Sift together flour and baking powder.
Cream the butter and sugar till light and fluffy.
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Add the vanilla essence.
Fold in the flour gently into a smooth mixture.
Add the soaked fruit along with the liquid.
Give it a mix.
Bake in a pre heated oven for 35-40 mins at 175 deg C
Diwali is here with so much light and sparkle all around as. I had a super busy week cleaning and prepping my home for the festival. My single point focus becomes putting up lights all over my house, changing up the décor and prettying up every nook and corner. So much so that I completely ignored the food front. Now whats Diwali without some homemade sweets and finally got the time to whip up some sweet deliciousness in my kitchen. Moong Dal Halwa is something I totally love and the nip in the air calls for a bowl of hot hot halwa.
The best part about hoeme made sweets is that you can control the sweetness and know what exactly has gone into it so that your little ones can enjoy it without any fear. I used condensed milk instead of sugar syrup and that kind of makes it so very easy to make this dish. So don’t wait just head into the kitchen!
I also take this opportunity to wish each one of you a Diwali filled with love and light. Spread joy all around you, dress up and indulge in the festivities with your friends and family coz that exactly I love to do.
The recipe I am sharing today is a feasty dish but requires very little effort. Qalia has its roots in Mughali cuisine where mutton was cooked in large cauldrons with a concoction of spices, essentially in a yogury based gravy. We Bengalis also have a version called the Kalia – essentially Rohu Kalia( fish kalia) mostly made as a part of wedding menu. I made it with Paneer as every Tuesday I need to roll something delicious out of my kitchen for the man who sticks to veg food – that one day! The use of mace (javitri) is essential as it lends a royal taste to the gravy. This curry dish goes very well with rotis as well as rice.