Chicken Lasagna – Homestyle and Cheesy

The weather here in Kolkata calls for hearty meals. Am getting my zeal back to spend a considerable amount of time in my kitchen and trying out a lot a recipes that had been earmarked for a while now. Chicken being the preffered choice of protien, I am always looking out to do something different with it. One pan or one pot meals works best when you are pressed for time but still want something delicious. However there are times when you crave something indulgent, something that makes you go yum,yum,yum like a lasagna! My first memory of tasting a lasagna goes back to my LSR days when Big Chill( my mostest favourite eatery of all times) had opened up in the neighbourhood. Digging into that gooey goodness of cheesy meaty lasagna. Never missed a chance to grab atleast one meal there whenever I am in Delhi which is rare now. So to revive all those delicious memories I took it upon me to recreate the dish in my kitchen. It takes some amount of effort but at the end it was totally worth it. A little amount of prep the day before goes a long way. Like i prepeared the meat sauce a day in advance, it kind of enhanced the flavours too. So the next day it was quite a breeze to put it all together.

00100dPORTRAIT_00100_BURST20181209133405665_COVER~2Ok now one important point here. I was always confused whether to pre cook the pasta sheets before layering or just let it the way it is for it to cook in the oven. I scoured around for some info on this but failed to get a clear picture so i decided to pre cook it anyways. Just dunked them in boiling water for 10 seconds and then layer them up. Worked beautifully I must say! You guys go note the recipe and give it a shot, promise you wont be disappointed.

Chicken Lasagna - Homestyle and Cheesy
Recipe type: Main course
Cuisine: Italian
 
Cheesy gooey one dish baked Chicken Lasagna
Ingredients
  • Lasagna pasta sheets - around 8 to 10 - precook for 10 seconds in boiling water.
  • For the chicken mince sauce:
  • Ingredients:
  • Minced Chicken - 500 gms
  • Chopped onions - 2 large
  • Tomato paste - 8 large
  • Minced garlic - 4-6 pod
  • Oregano - to taste
  • Basil leaves - a handful - roughly chopped
  • White pepper - to taste
  • Salt - to taste'
  • Sugar - 1 tsp
  • Bay leaves - a few
  • Oilve oil - 2 tbsp
  • Butter - a blob
  • Paprika - 1 tbsp for colour
  • Chicken stock - 1 cup
  • Fresh cream - 2 tbsp
  • Extra virgin olive oil - 2 tbsp
  • For the white / bechamel sauce:
  • Flour - 2 tbsp
  • Butter - 2 tbsp
  • Milk - 2 cups
  • Grated cheese - 1 cup - i used cheddar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Some more grated cheese - a mix of mozarella and cheddar to top the lasagna
Instructions
  1. Making of the chicken mince sauce - try make it a day in advance
  2. In a deep dish pan melt the butter and olive oil.
  3. Add the mince garlic and saute till fragrant.
  4. Add the chopped onions, Saute till slightly browned.
  5. Next add the tomato paste, oregano, bay leaf,basil leaves,salt, pepper and sugar.Cook the tomato paste till oil separates on the side of the pan.
  6. Add the chicken mince. it will release a fair amout of water. Cook till the water dries up.
  7. Add the chicken stock and cook till the sauce turns thick. Check for seasoning.
  8. Finish with fresh cream and EVOO.
  9. Making the white/Bechamel Sauce:
  10. In a non stick pan, melt the butter.
  11. Add the flour and roast till fragrant .
  12. Now add the milk slowly, stirring constantly with a whisk so no lumps are formed.
  13. Keep stirring while the sauce thickens up. add the grated cheese.
  14. Add salt and pepper to taste. Check before adding salt as we already added cheese.
  15. Keep aside.
  16. Take a rectangular or square deep baking dish.
  17. Start making layers.
  18. Put a layer of pasta sheets at the bottom of the dish. Then layer of mince sauce, then some white sauce, top with some grated cheese.
  19. Repeat the layers till u reach the top of the dish.
  20. Top with a lot of grated cheese. Cover the dish with foil paper.
  21. Bake at 180 deg C for 30 mins.
  22. Remove the foil and bake at 200 deg C for another 10 mins.
  23. Serve hot!
 

Honey Mustard Glazed Chicken Roast

Its that time of the year again when you are just reminiscing about the months that went by and start looking forward to a brand new year and wish for everything to get better. You pull yourself together one more time and hope to make the best of the time you have. I am doing that too! Really looking forward to the coming year and making the most of it. Workwise i have been extremely lazy and i wish to change that for good. Like I keep going back to my favourite quote by the very wise his Holiness The Dalai Lama ” Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions” So on this note, I decided to make a Roast Chicken as its almost Christmas and I wanted to test the recipe one more time before I put it up on the blog. And I also put up the tree and decorated it pretty with all the little things that I have collected over the years. It felt good I must say.

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Now coming back to the roasted chicken it is again a very simple recipe. The marination is the key and the longer the marination the better. Simple flavours work best and a honey mustard glaze just adds to the taste. Add vegetables of your choice, i kept it simple with just onions and potatoes. Serve it with choice of your breads and your Christmas lunch is sorted.

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Honey Mustard Glazed Chicken Roast
Recipe type: continental
 
Tray bake Roast chicken with a honey and mustard glaze.
Ingredients
  • Whole chicken - 1 medium sized. I used the one with skin on
  • Olive oil - 4 tbsp
  • Ginger and garlic paste - 2 tbsp
  • White pepper - to taste
  • Salt - to taste
  • Chopped dill leaves - a handful - optional. you could use any fresh herb of your choice.
  • Juice of 1 big lime
  • A few whole onions and potatoes
  • For the glaze :
  • Dijon Mustard paste - 1 tbsp
  • Honey - 1tbsp
  • Olive oil - 1 tbsp
Instructions
  1. Clean and pat the whole chicken dry.
  2. Make a marinade with the olive oil,ginger garlic paste,salt,pepper, lime juice and chopped dill leaves.
  3. Rub this mixture nicely all over the chicken. Add the potatoes and onions also into the mixture Let it rest overnight in the fridge.
  4. Just before you put it in the oven, rub the honey mustard mix all over the chicken.
  5. Grill in the oven for 40 mins at 200 deg for the first 30 mins and then at 175 deg C for the remaining 10 mins.
  6. Keep glazing the chicken at regular intervals for that lovely colour.
 

Oatmeal Choco Chips Cookies

Hello everyone! I baked some Oatmeal Choco chips cookies and they turned out pretty good so sharing it for you all. These i baked primarily for my nearly 11 yo boy who is growing up too fast too soon. I say this because everyday is a new revelation , everyday a new challenge. Many of us end up wondering what is the right way to parenting, is there a right way at all? Honestly, i feel you just go with the flow, with your gut and handle one day at a time. In this process we end up learning ourselves, so does your child. There is no universal rule to bring up a child and thats what a decade of motherhood has taught me. Each child is different, so is our approach to their upbringing. There are some thumb rule ofcourse that i follow. When it comes to respect, discipline,and gratitude there is no bargaining with me. Our kids are born into  privileged lives and as parents its imperative that they are made to understand early on that this is not something to be taken for granted. Each day is a miracle , an oppurtunity to start a fresh and chase your dreams. I guess thats enough of a parenting tip for the day!

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As keeping with the practice of  sharing easiest of recipes, this one is super easy too. Hardly 5 basic ingredients, one bowl mix and you are good to go. Being a mom to a fussy eater these recipes come super handy and there is no doubt in your mind that you are giving your child something healthy, something homemade, filled with love.

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Oatmeal Choco Chips Cookies
Author: 
Recipe type: Cookies - Biscuits
 
One bowl mix healthy cookies
Ingredients
  • Oatmeal - ½ cup - just grind regular breakfast oats in a grinder
  • Flour - 1 cup - can use whole wheat flour also
  • Egg - 1 no
  • Butter - 50 gms - I used amul butter
  • Baking powder - ½ tsp
  • Brown sugar - half cup
  • Chocolate chips - 1 cup
  • Vanilla essence - 1 tsp
  • Cinnamon powder - 1 tsp - optional
Instructions
  1. In a bowl , mix together butter,sugar, egg and vanilla essence. Mix well and
  2. keep aside.
  3. In another bowl, mix together the flour, oatmeal, baking powder and cinnamon powder,
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and mix well into a soft dough.
  5. Add the choco chips and mix into the dough.
  6. Line a baking tray with butter paper.
  7. Make small balls , flatten a little bit on your palms and put on the tray. Keep some space between the cookies as it will spread out while baking.
  8. Preheat oven to 180 degrees and bake the cookies for 20 mins.
 

Muhammara Sauce – A delicious blend of roasted peppers and walnuts

A jar of delicious dip is a blessing when you are looking at healthy snacking options and this Muhammara Sauce is just perfect. I am trying my best to follow a healthier diet and stay away from fried and sugary snacks so I am continuosly looking at making dips of all kinds – pesto, yougurt based dips and now this muhammara sauce. It is basically of Turkish origin but also used a lot in Lebanese and Mexican cuisine. muhammara sauceThe recipe beautifully blends together chargrilled red bell peppers and walnuts with easy seasonings. Here I used a mix of sea salt, chili flakes and dried parsely. Serve it with crackers or corn chips whenever you feel peckish or you can also use it as a marinade for roasting chicken or making some grilled fish.

Muhammara Sauce - A delicious blend of roasted peppers and walnuts
Author: 
Recipe type: Dips - condiment
Cuisine: Continental - Mexican
 
Healthy dip made of peppers and walnuts . Can be used as a marinade too.
Ingredients
  • Red bell peppers - 500 gms - cut into cubes or strips
  • Walnuts - 1 cup
  • Garlic - few cloves
  • Olive oil - 2 tbsp
  • Sea Salt - to taste
  • Sugar - 1 tsp - i used brown sugar
  • Chili flakes - 1 tsp
  • Dried Parseley - 1 tsp
Instructions
  1. In a baking tray arrange the bell peppers and cloves. Drizzle the olive oil on top and season with salt, sugar and chili flakes.
  2. Roast for 20 mins at 200 deg C till slightly charred.
  3. Roast the walnuts in a pan.
  4. Blend together the roasted bell peppers with the walnuts into a smooth paste. You can lave it a bit chunky too.
  5. Check for seasoning. Add the chili flakes and dried parseley and store in a jar . Keeps well refrigerated for almost a month.
 

Buddha Bowls – Clean eating done right

Buddha Bowls –  is one in of the emerging food trends in the world.With more people engaging in  a healthier lifestyle, food habits are also changing for the better. For people on the go there is no better way these to pack in the necessary amount of proteins, carbs and vegetables.

I am also trying to adopt a healthy eating regimen and these buddha bowls are my current favourite. While there is no particular recipe , i just try and do new combinatons every now and then. The key is fresh ingredients , alternate grains, loads of green vegetables, sometimes a portion of grilled chicken or boiled eggs with a dressing of olive oil or a dollop of peanut butter, pesto or simple yogurt.

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For this particular bowl , I just tossed together some pan fried tofu, some vegetables, sauteed mushrooms, soft boiled egg and just a drizzle of olive oil mixed with a little honey, salt pepper and some chili flakes.A very good option is to add some healthy carb like quinoa or some red or brown rice. Promise to share more combinations as i go until then this should be a good start.

Back to Blogging – The comeback post

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“ITS  NEVER TO LATE TO MAKE A COMEBACK’ – Christina Katz

I don’t know  how to start or where to start! Why i stopped blogging, stopped doing something that kind of defined my life for the last 5 yrs? I don’t have a definite answer , but there was a lot going on and in the process i simply got complacent not doing enough of what i love to do most!

I am getting all stuck with words, thoughts jumbled up in my head but i will try. I don’t want this to be a crib post coz we all make choices in life , some work, some don’t and as a very dear friend told me the other day , its ok to take a break, try and do things differently and if things dont work out the way u want it to be , theres always a comeback!Its all about how you gather yourself up and move forward. And with a wonderful wonderful bunch of people surrounding me this doesnt seem difficult anymore. The last 2 months was a mix of good and bad. Good as i got to spend some quality time with my precious ones, my parents, my dearest friend P who came all the way to see me, my soundingboard/sis in law A and my little sister with her two little munchkins. Bad because i fell ill and my body and mind just gave up. It was just a flu alright but it just drained me, thousands of negative thoughts took over my mind and i wasnt able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Everything seemed blurry and I felt like i will not be able to overcome it. But i am trying now and I have set myself some deadlines. Deadlines to push me to get back to all those things that make me happy – cooking,creating creative content, fitness, wearing sarees and hoarding somemore lipsticks!! So when after months I logged in to my blog page, I was pleasantly surprised to see 21 comments from people who followed the blog, people who tried a few recipes and had nice things to say and these were all people none of whom I know personally! That was it for me.

Like they say every sunset brings the promise of a new dawn. So be it. Let this be a good comeback.

Leaving you all with a beautiful photograph that my 10 year old clicked of me on a recent break to Phuket.

PS- Coming up some interesting recipes!

 

 

 

 

Khaoswey

Making Khaoswey – a Burmese noodle curry dish has been on my mind for the longest time. So this weekend I took it upon me to make it. The weather played the perfect role and Khaoswey it was for lunch on a rainy Saturday afternoon. Its pretty easy rustling up this dish , just needs a bit of preparation. The addition of an array of condiments like fried garlic, fried onions and crushed peanuts adds a lovely texture to the dish. I made a chicken version but a veg version tastes just as great. This one is a must try dish for everyone!

 

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Khaoswey
Author: 
Recipe type: Mains
Cuisine: Burmese
 
Coconut milk based curry topped with noodles and condiments
Ingredients
  • For the curry:
  • Onion - 1 small
  • Ginger - 1" piece
  • Garlic - few cloves
  • Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
  • Coriander seeds - 1 tsp
  • Dried red chillies - 2 or as per taste
  • Boneless chicken - 200 gms - cut into small bite size pieces
  • Gram flour - 1 tbsp
  • Coconut milk - 1 cup
  • Turmeric powder - 1tsp
  • Salt - to taste
  • Sugar - 1tsp
  • Refined oil - 1 tsp
  • Condiments:
  • Boiled Noodles
  • Fried onions
  • Fried Garlic bits
  • Crushed roasted peanuts
  • Some Boiled eggs
  • Chopped coriander
  • Chopped spring onions
  • Chopped fresh chilies
  • Few lime wedges
Instructions
  1. To make the curry:
  2. First make a paste with onion,ginger,garlic,cumin,coriander and dried chilies,
  3. In a pot, heat the oil.
  4. Add the paste mix. Fry for 2 mins
  5. Add the gramflour. Fry till fragrant.
  6. Now add the pieces of chicken, turmeric powder, salt and sugar.
  7. Once the chicken is browned, add half a cup of warm water.
  8. Cover and cook for 2 mins.
  9. Now add the coconut milk and let it simmer on low heat for about 2-3 mins.
  10. Remove from heat and keep side.
  11. To assemble the bowls
  12. In a bowl, put some boiled noodles and ladle the hot curry over it.
  13. Garnish with the condiments of your choice,a good squeeze of lime.
  14. Serve hot.
 

Mango Pot de Creme

This recipe has been lying in my drafts from last, so you know how lazy I have been. The summer vacations are over and we are settling down in our everyday routines.The monsoons are also here,so are the mangoes! What better time than this to make this easy dessert at home. It requires just 3 ingredients!

mango pot de creme main

mango pot de creme 1

Mango Pot de Creme
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
 
Super easy mango dessert!
Ingredients
  • Mango puree - 2 cups
  • Fresh cream - 1 cup - I used Amul low fat cream
  • Condensed milk - 4 tbsp
  • Gelatin - 1 tsp
  • Rose petals/ Mint leaves - to garnish
Instructions
  1. First bloom the gelatin.
  2. In a bowl soak the gelatin in cold water for 10 mins. Microwave for 5 sec at high. Keep aside.
  3. Mix together the mango puree, condensed milk and cream till creamy.
  4. Add the gelatin and mix gently.
  5. Fill up cups/bowls with this mixture and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  6. Serve, garnished with rose petals / mint leaves and some chopped mangoes on top.
 

Butter Chicken

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.

butter chicken

Butter Chicken
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Indian
 
Silky smooth decadent chicken dish in a tomato based gravy
Ingredients
  • For the chicken :
  • Chicken Boneless or on the bone ( as preffered) - 500 gms
  • Chili powder - 1 tsp
  • Salt - 1 tsp
  • Ginger garlic paste - 1 tbsp
  • Mustard oil - 1 tbsp
  • For the gravy:
  • Tomatoes - 4 large - roughly chopped
  • Onion - 1 large - roughly chopped
  • Ginger - garlic paste - 1 tsp
  • Garam Masala powder - 1 tsp
  • Tomato puree - 2 tbsp
  • Cashews - a handful
  • Kashmiri chili powder - 1 tbsp
  • Kasoori methi - a littel - soaked in warm water
  • Sugar - 1 tsp
  • Butter - 1tbsp
  • Fresh cream - 1 tsp - optional
Instructions
  1. Marinate the chicken pieces with chili powder, ginger garlic paste, salt and mustard oil. Keep aside for an hour.
  2. Line a baking tray, grill/bake the chicken pieces at 250 deg C in the oven for 15 to 20 mins till slightly charred.
  3. Keep aside.
  4. Making the gravy:
  5. In a pan, heat some butter. Add the chopped onions along with the ginger garlic paste.
  6. Saute till fragrant. Tip in the chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, cashews, chili powder, salt and sugar.
  7. Cook till the tomatoes are soft and mushy.
  8. At this point, add half a cup of warm water if reqd to loosen the gravy.
  9. Add the garam masala powder. Cover the pan and cook for 10 mins.
  10. Let the mixture cool and then grind it into a smooth paste.
  11. Return the gravy to the pan, add the cooked chicken pieces.
  12. Cover and let it simmer for 5 to 7 mins.
  13. Add the cream and kasoori methi. Give it a stir, remove from heat.
  14. Garnish with some more cream and kasoori methi.Serve hot.
 

Noodle Bowl with Chicken Broth

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.Noodle bowl 1I 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.

Noodle Bowl with Chicken Broth
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Chinese - Asian
 
Easy one pot meals
Ingredients
  • Egg noodles - 1 pack - boiled and drained
  • Chicken - 200 gms - boneless, cut into small chunks - i used boneless leg piece
  • Carrot - 1 cup - diced or sliced
  • Red bell pepper - ½ cup - diced
  • Cauliflower - ½ cup - cut into florets
  • Onion - 1 medium - diced
  • Ginger - garlic - 1 tsp each- finely chopped
  • Light soy sauce - 1 tsp
  • Vinegar - 1 tsp
  • Veg/chicken stock - 2 cups
  • Refined oil - 1 tbsp
  • Cornflour - 1 tsp - mixed with a little water
  • Salt - to taste
  • Pepper - to taste
Instructions
  1. Boil the noodles as per instruction on the pack. Drain and keep aside.
  2. Blanch the diced carrots and cauliflower in hot water. Drain and keep aside.
  3. In a pan, heat oil.
  4. Saute the onion along with the ginger garlic.
  5. Add the chicken pieces. Fry till browned.
  6. Add the carrots and cauliflower.
  7. Next tip in the diced bell pepper.
  8. Add light soy sauce,vinegar, salt and pepper.
  9. Add the chicken /veg stock.
  10. Cover and let simmer for 5 mins.
  11. Make a cornflour slurry and add it to the pan.
  12. Once the gravy thickens. Remove from heat.
  13. Garnish with chopped green chilies, fresh coriander and spring onions.