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.
 

Tomato Mint Pulao

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!tomato mint pulaoI 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!

tomato mint pulao 1

Tomato Mint Pulao
Author: 
Recipe type: Rice Dish
Cuisine: Indian
 
One pot veg rice dish
Ingredients
  • Basmati rice - 1 cup - washed and soaked in water for half an hour
  • Chopped tomatoes - 2 medium
  • Ginger - 1 tbsp- grated
  • Green chillies - 1 nos - finely chopped
  • Turmeric powder- 1 tsp
  • Whole garam masala - a mix of cardamom, cinnamon and cloves - 1 tbsp
  • Bay leaf - 2 nos
  • Whole cumin - 1 tsp
  • Salt - to taste
  • Sugar - a pinch
  • Fresh mint leaves - a handful - finely chopped
  • Ghee - 1 tbsp
  • Warm water - 2 cups
Instructions
  1. In a pan/handi heat the ghee.
  2. Splutter the whole garam masala, bay leaf and whole cumin.
  3. Once fragrant, add the chopped tomatoes and grated ginger.
  4. Fry for 2 mins. Add the handful of chopped mint leaves and chopped green chilies.
  5. Next add the basmati rice and turmeric powder.
  6. Saute well for 5-7 mins till the rice changes colour.
  7. Add the warm water, salt and sugar.
  8. Cover and cook till the water is absorbed. Fulff up the rice with a fork and serve hot.
 

Dimer Korma

A conversation with a dear friend made me realise that this blog is something that means a lot, a lot of hard work and sweat and passion has gone into making it, so no matter how many “sabbaticals” I take, I have to get back to it. So on that very positive note, I present a new recipe to you all! I made Dimer Korma few days ago after I saw a video on FB by Banglar Rannaghar, a very popular website of great recipes. I made some minor changes and the result was a great dish.

dimer kormaEggs are a constant favourite in my household and is well accepted by both my boys, whichever way it is served. This Korma went particularly well with tawa rotis and made for a lovely treat. It is a great party dish and requires very little ingredients.

dimer korma1

Dimer Korma
Author: 
Recipe type: Main course
Cuisine: Bengali - Bangladeshi
 
Eggs in a rich yogurt based gravy
Ingredients
  • Boiled eggs - 4 nos
  • Cardamon - 3-4
  • Cinnamon - 1 small stick
  • Cloves - 3-4
  • Yogurt - 1 cup
  • Brown Onion paste - 2 tbsp
  • Ginger - garlic paste - 1 tsp
  • Salt - to taste
  • Sugar - a pinch
  • Ghee - 1 tbsp. + 1 tbsp.
  • Green chilies - 3-4 - slit
  • Brown onion for garnish
Instructions
  1. Shell the boiled eggs, make slits , marinate with some salt and keep aside.
  2. In a pan , heat 1 tbsp. ghee. Fry the eggs lightly and keep aside.
  3. In the same pan, add 1 tbsp. ghee.
  4. Splutter the whole garam masala - cinnamon, cardamom and cloves.
  5. Next add the brown onion paste and ginger garlic paste.
  6. Fry for 2 mins and then add the yogurt.
  7. Mix well and keep the flame low.
  8. Add the salt and sugar.
  9. Add half a cup of warm water.
  10. Add the fried eggs and let the gravy simmer for 5 mins.
  11. Garnish with some fried onions and green chiilies.
  12. Serve with rotis.
 

Poila Boisakh – A time to celebrate, reflect and eat some Kacchi Biryani

Festivals to many people entail many things, but for a true blue Bengali girl like me, festivals are synonymous with family, traditions and food. Growing up, my family ensured that each festival or parbon as we call them is celebrated with dedicated fervour. Noboborsho, or the Bengali New year, holds a special place in every Bengalis heart, it is yet another opportunity to enjoy, usher in the good times with family and friends over new clothes, elaborate meals and lots of adda. Bengalis and their bhuri bhoj is world famous and we don’t leave any stone unturned when it comes to merrymaking.

Just like every year, our plans for Poila Boisakh revolve around food and festivities. As a mother to a 8 year old, I have to ensure that these occasions are celebrated with much fanfare so it creates lifelong memories, which he can carry along in his heart forvever. A typical Poila Boisakh morning, would entail a visit to the temple, donned in new traditional attires, cooking up delicacies in my kitchen, gorging on mishtis and being with family and friends.

Now, coming to food. While quintessentially, dishes like Chingri Malaikari, Kosha Mangsho, Pulao would be a part of the Poila Boisakh menu, one cannot ignore the the perennial love we Bengalis have for Biryanis! Give us a plate of Biryani along with the meat and the potato, we are set and elated. There is this particular Kacchi Biryani – the Dhakai version that Maa makes and I can never get enough of it. With time , I have also struggled to kind of master the art of making this dish and is very happy to share it with my readers here.

A Dhakai Kacchi Biryani is different from the rest of the lot as the here the raw marinated meat is cooked along with the rice in a concoction of flavours. The key is to get the right balance of spices, not too spicy, not to bland, just right with succulent pieces of meat and potatoes. A perfect recipe to bond over with friends and family.

However, no celebration is perfect without a clean home and kitchen. Since the kitchen is the humdrum of activities  during Poila Boisakh, hygiene is of utmost importance. With a young kid at home, I cant help but being hyper when it comes to cleanliness. The advent of summers mean pests and cockroaches and the only sure shot way to get rid of it is to use Godrej Lal Hit.  A premium product from Godrej to keep cockroaches at bay. Its long nozzle ensures that it reaches every nook and corner of your kitchen. Personally, I have been using this product for a while now and I seriously cant complain.

So there! Have the happiest Poila Boisakh, cook up a storm, enjoy the mishtis and have a great time with friends and family without compromising on cleanliness and hygiene. Cherish old memories, call up your loved ones and make some new traditions.

kacchi biryani 1

 

Dhakai Kacchi Biryani
Author: 
Recipe type: Biryani
Cuisine: Bangladeshi
 
A flourful one pot dhakai biryani.
Ingredients
  • Ingredients:
  • For the biryani masala:
  • Coriander seeds - 1 tbsp
  • Cumin seeds - 1 tbsp
  • Dry red chillies - 5-6 nos ( adjust according to taste)
  • Nutmeg ( Jaiphal) - half a piece
  • Mace (Javitri) - 2 pieces
  • Green Cardamom - 3-4 nos
  • Cinnamon - 2 small sticks
  • Cloves - 5-6 nos
  • Other ingredients required:
  • Basmati Rice - 2 cups
  • Mutton - half kg ( good quality and fresh. Can use boneless cubes too )
  • Brown onion slices - 4 tbsp + 1 tbsp ( for this just slice up two big onions and fry till golden brown in refined oil or ghee) Also ensure that you keep the leftover oil or ghee.
  • Yogurt - 1 cup
  • Garlic paste - 1tbsp
  • Ginger paste - 1 tbsp
  • Potatoes - 2 medium sized ( parboiled and fried till light brown in colour)
  • Kewra essence (screwpine) - 1 tsp
  • Salt - for marinating the mutton and while boiling the rice.
  • Atta dough - a small ball of dough made of wheat required for sealing the handi/pan in which the biryani will be cooked.
Instructions
  1. Method:
  2. STEP ONE
  3. Dry roast all the ingredients listed under 'Biryani Masala' and grind into a fine powder.
  4. Please be careful not to burn the spices. This 'is 'the most important ingredients of the biryani.
  5. STEP TWO
  6. Wash and clean the mutton. Marinate with 2 tbsp salt and keep aside for half an hour.
  7. After half and hour wash the mutton once more and keep.
  8. Now add the yogurt , ginger paste, garlic paste , 4 tbsp brown onion slices and the biryani masala. Mix it very well and gently too.
  9. Cover this mixture with a cling film and let it marinate overnight.
  10. STEP THREE
  11. Take 2 cups of good quality basmati rice. Wash it under running water , drain and keep aside.
  12. In a big saucepan add water. Once the water starts to boil add 2 tbsp salt and few whole cardamom , cloves and cinnamon.
  13. Next add the rice and let it boil till the rice is almost half done.
  14. Strain the rice and spread it out on a flat surface.
  15. STEP FOUR
  16. Now is probably the easiest part and the last step' assembling' before you can devour this sinful biryani.
  17. Take a handi or a saucepan (make sure it has a proper lid) and brush it with a little ghee.
  18. We will make the first layer with rice and then the mutton.
  19. First rice,then the marinated mutton and fried potatoes , then rice and then mutton again. Finally top it up with the remaining rice. Sprinkle the remaining brown onion slices and the kewra essence on top. Close the lid tightly of the handi and seal it with the dough
  20. Now the final task is to put this on dum or slow cooking as we say. For the mutton to be fully cooked this has to be put on heat for at least an hour. So to prevent it from burning I always put the handi on a tawa/skillet and not directly.
  21. Now forget about it for an hour and then when you break open that seal - simply divine!!
 

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Pizza/Pasta Sauce – The Easiest Version

There are a few kitchen staples that always come handy while you are at it! In my last post I mentioned how I ensure to have a few sauces and ingredients available in my kitchen always, some I use store bought and some I make at home from scratch. If you have kids at home then this particular recipe of a very versatile and tasty pizza/ pasta sauce will be super useful. Their hunger pangs /demand for fancy stuffs can be fulfilled easily. I have an 8 year old in the house and his sudden cravings for a cheesy pasta or a gooey pizza is met with in a  jiffy. As a mother we worry about too many preservatives in readymade sauces, so it is just perfect that we make a fresh batch of this sauce and store it.

pasta sauce 1

This recipe is by far the easiest version you can find. It has some vegetables to go with the tomato and is oven roasted, so double easy!. I added yellow and red bell pepper as it adds to the taste and texture of the sauce by adding a fresh sweetness in contrast to the acidity of the tomatoes. Season it with herbs of your choice, no hard and fast rule on that and use this sauce as and when you need it.

pasta sauce

pasta sauce 3

 

 

Pizza/Pasta Sauce - The easiest recipe
Author: 
Recipe type: Sauce
Cuisine: Italian
 
A very versatile sauce sans the preservative
Ingredients
  • Tomatoes - 4 large - diced
  • Red bell pepper - 1 large - diced
  • Yellow bell pepper - 1 large - diced
  • Onion - 2 medium - diced
  • Garlic - 10-12 fat cloves
  • Chiili flakes - 1 tsp - optional
  • Oregano - a generous sprinkling
  • Thyme - a generous sprinkling
  • Salt - to taste
  • Olive oil - 3 tbsp
Instructions
  1. In an oven proof dish , mix in all the ingrdients.
  2. Grill in a preheated oven at 200 deg C for 30 mins.
  3. Keep it aside to cool.
  4. Blend into a puree. Strain through a sieve if you desire a silky consistency. I prefer no to do that as it loses out on the healthy fibres.
  5. Store in an airtight jar in the refrigerator.
  6. Keeps well for a week.
  7. Use while making pizzas, pastas or use as spread on your grilled sandwich.