Pepper Chicken Salad

I wonder if it’s Karma or just my luck – every time I order chicken from the local store, I get it really late, or cut up in pieces instead of the whole boneless breast, or like this time around, cooked. I never get mad at them for doing this. I’m only amused and work with it.

Pieces of Pepper chicken, or any leftover cooked chicken you may have in the fridge.
Bell peppers – 1, cubed
Lettuce – few shredded leaves

Dressing – just a dash of each ingredient
Soy sauce
Lemon juice
Olive oil

1. Saute the chicken and bell pepper till the pepper is slightly cooked/charred.
2. Take off heat and lay the mix on a bed of lettuce.
3. Mix the ingredients for the dressing well and pour it all over the salad.

Best. Salad. Ever.

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Pulao with Coconut Milk

I don’t know if I can call this Pulao. Maybe, a version. Well, everything we cook is a version/variation of something else. The point being, I’d like to believe I’m good with one pot quick meals.

Context: I was looking forward to a chicken curry/stew kind of lunch. But my order of chicken didn’t come through on time and hence the last minute change in the lunch menu.

Assorted vegetables like carrot, beans, bell peppers, beetroot, potato – cubes of them enough for the dish
Onions – 1 large chopped
Uncooked rice – 2 cups
Ginger garlic paste – 1 tsp
Green chilly – 1
Turmeric – 1 tsp
Cumin seeds – 2 tsp
Chilli powder – 1 tsp
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Coriander leaves – handful
Coconut milk – 1 cup
Water – 1 and 1/2 cups
Salt to taste
Oil for tempering

1. In a pressure cooker, heat oil, add cumin seeds and saute for 10 seconds and then add the chilly (chopped/slit).
2. Add curry leaves.
3. Tip in the chopped onions and saute before adding ginger garlic paste.
4. Add turmeric, chilli powder and salt.
5. Tip in the vegetables and stir well.
6. Add rice and mix.
7. Add coconut milk and water and pressure cook till 5 whistles.
8. Remove lid after pressure drops completely and add chopped coriander leaves.

Serves 2 hungry souls on a late
Sunday afternoon.

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Prawns in Roasted Bell Pepper Puree

Prawn curry, masala fry, garlic butter prawns – I didn’t want to make any of these. I scouted the internet for inspiration. Yes. I stumbled on Jamie Oliver’s recipe for Szechwan Sweet and Sour Prawns. This was plan A. Then I digressed. Rather, got lazy.

Prawns – 200 gms
Red bell peppers – 2 large
Garlic – 4 pods
Dried red chilli – 1
Ginger – 1/2 inch
Soy sauce – 1 tbsp
Vinegar – 1 tbsp
Brown sugar (or white) – 1 tsp
Olive ooil – 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
Coriander for garnish

1. Roast the bell peppers in hot olive oil on a sauce pan.
2. Once you see it soften and with char marks, take it off the heat and let it cool.
3. In the same pan, throw in the garlic pods and take them off once fragrant.
4. Cut the peppers into medium size pieces and put them in a blender along with the garlic, ginger and chilli.
5. Blend it enough to make a puree.
6. Tip the bell pepper puree mix into the sauce pan with salt, tip the prawns in and let them cook for 3 – 4 mins.
7. In the meanwhile mix the soy, vinegar and sugar in a bowl.
8. Add the soy mix into the prawns and cook for another 2 mins.
9. Take off heat and garnish with fresh coriander.

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Chicken Stew

I have gained a reputation for making the spiciest curries in the history of mankind. I couldn’t think of having people over again before I fixed that. Hence, Stew. Also, it’s one of my grandma’s best dishes. She made the best mutton stew. Going back to fixing my reputation – no chillies of any kind were adding in the making of this Chicken Stew.

Chicken – 3 boneless breasts cut up into medium size pieces
Onions – 1 large sliced
Potatoes – 1 large, cubed
Carrots – 1 medium size, sliced
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Whole pepper – 1 tbsp
Cinnamon – 3-4 1/2 inch pieces
Cloves – 4-5
Cardamom – 4-5
Chicken stock – 1/2 cup (made from stock cubes)
Coconut milk – 1 pack (330 ml)
Salt to taste
Oil for tempering

1. In hot oil add the whole spices – cinnamon, cardamom, pepper, cloves and saute till fragrant.
2. Add sliced onions and saute till they turn soft.
3. Add chicken, potatoes and the stock along with salt. Add 1/2 of water.
4. Cook for 8 – 10 minutes and then add the carrots.
5. Cook for another 6 – 7 minutes.
6. Add coconut milk and simmer for 2 – 3 mins.

Serve with steamed rice.

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Chicken Biryani

Finally. Without my mother hovering over my shoulders, I made biryani. It’s her recipe anyway. Relatively easy, this biryani has two elements to it – rice and chicken masala. Both are to be cooked separately and layered with fresh coriander leaves and fried onions. Next stop, Mutton Biryani!

Ingredients for Chicken Masala:
Chicken (on the bone) – 1/2 kg
Coriander leaves – one cup
Mint leaves – one cup
Coriander seeds – 1 tsp
Fennel seeds – 1 tsp
Dried red chillies – 5 – 6
Green chillies – 2
Tamarind paste/thick pulp – 1 tbsp
Ginger – 1/2 inch
Garlic – 4 cloves
Cinnamon – 1/2 inch stick
Cloves – 4-5
Cardamom – 4-5

1. Saute all the ingredients for the masala in 1 tsp ghee.
2. Grind in blender to make a paste, adding some water.
3. Add salt to taste and cook chicken in the masala for 20 mins in med-low flame or till chicken is tender.

Ingredients for rice:
Basmati rice – 2 cups
Bay leaves – 2
Onion – 2 sliced

1. Rinse the rice with water at least 3-4 times and soak it in water for 10-15 mins. Drain water and let the rice dry for 10 mins.
2. Saute onions in 2 tbsp ghee/oil along with bay leaves.
3. Tip the rice in and add 4 cups water.
4. Add salt and bring to a boil.
5. Now let it simmer with a lid on in low heat for 18-20 mins.
6. Take it off the heat and let it rest with the lid off.

Other ingredients:
Onion – 1 sliced and fried till dark brown
Coloured water (yellow food colouring in water) – 1/2 cup
Chopped coriander leaves – 2 cups

Assembling the biryani:
In a large deep dish, layer the biryani – first with rice, followed by sprinkling of coloured water, then the chicken masala, then coriander leaves. Repeat. Top it with fried onions and more coriander leaves.

Serve with raita.

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Goan Fish Curry

I miss mum’s fish curry. I miss grandma’s fish curry more. I didn’t even want to attempt their recipes. Hence, found this one recipe online. It’s not Mangalorean, but Goan. It’s alright. Any fish curry was what I needed.

It’s fairly simple.  Grind the masala with coconut and brining it to boil with water, along with sliced onions and green chillies. Add fish pieces and cook. Done.

For recipe, click —>> here

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Chicken Tikka Curry

I’ve never been a fan of using readymade masala/powders to make curries. But I was curious to see how it would work if I used it as a marinade. I tried the Shaan Chicken Tikka Masala powder to marinate my chicken before making a curry out of it.

Ingredients for marinade:
Chicken Tikka Masala powder – 5 tsp
Lemon juice – 3 tsp
Salt- 2 tsp
Curd – 1/2 cup

Other ingredients:
Chicken – 1/2 kg
Onion – 2 turned to paste
Tomato – 3 pureed
Ginger garlic paste – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Chilli powder – 1 tsp
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Green chillies – 1 chopped
Coriander leaves for garnish

1. Marinade chicken in mentioned ingredients for 2 hours.
2. Heat oil and add cumin seeds and chillies.
3. Add onion paste along with ginger garlic paste.
4. Once onion changes colour, add turmeric and chilli powder.
5. Add tomatoes and let it cook for 10 mins.
6. Add salt and tip the chicken along with the marinade.
7. Cook for 15-20 mins in low flame with half a cup of water.
8. Garnish with coriander leaves.

Serve with rice or roti.

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Chicken Ghee Roast

Ghee Roast is originally from Kundapur. God knows the Kundapur women are fiercely protective of their recipes. I found my way around it, but it doesn’t come close to the one I tasted a few years ago. A Kundapur friend’s Kundapur mother’s, whose recipe she never shares.

Ingredients for ground masala:
Dried red chillies – 7-8
Coriander seeds – 1 tsp
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Pepper corns – 1 tsp
Garlic – 2 cloves
Ghee – 2 tbsp

Other ingredients:
Chicken – 1/2 kg
Curry leaves – a fistful
Ghee – 2 tbsp

1. Saute all the ingredients for the ground masala in ghee one by one.
2. Grind into paste with some water.
3. Heat more ghee, add curry leaves and then tip in the ground masala in it.
4. Cook it till the colour of the masala darkens.
5. Add the chicken and a cup of water, cook for 20 mins in med – low flame or till chicken is cooked.

Serve with dosa or rice.

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Chicken Vindaloo

In an ideal world, this should have been Pork Vindaloo. But I’m not in an ideal world, I’m in Gurgaon.

This is the recipe I found online and worked my way around it.

Chicken – 1/2 kg
Onion – 1 chopped and made into paste
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder – 1 tsp

Brown sugar – 2 tbsp and Vinegar – 4 tbsp to be mixed and kept aside for 15 mins.

For ground paste:
Dried red chillies – 5
Cardamom – 2
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Pepper corns – 1 tsp
Methi – 1/4 tsp

1. Heat oil in a pan and mustard seeds to let it pop.
2. Add turmeric powder, coriander powder and salt.
3. Add the chicken and let it brown for 5-6 mins.
4. Remove chicken and add the onion paste to the pan.
5. Cook it till the paste changes colour.
6. Add the ground paste and cook it out.
7. Add chicken and cook it for another 6-7 mins with some water.
8. Add the brown sugar and vinegar mix and simmer for a couple of mins.

Serve with rice.

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Shakshuka | Eggs poached in spicy tomato sauce




Last night I made shakshuka and instead of having it with roti, rice or bread, I teamed it with steamed zucchini ribbons. This makes for a light and healthy dinner. The ribbons were made using a vegetable peeler. As simple as that. Then simply plonk them into boiling water for about 3-4 minutes and drain. Top with shakshuka and feta cheese (optional).

This is embarrassing, but I believed I came up with this egg dish. Turns out, it was always around and it’s Shakshuka. Well, a kind of Shakshuka. Either way, it’s one of my favourite breakfast/lunch dishes. Eggs are always a hit. Be it fried, as an omelette, scrambled or even poached. This one is perfect for a weeknight dinner because it comes together in less than 20 minutes and with very few ingredients. Of course, you add more veggies and herbs to it to make it all the more delicious and filling. Scoop it with some pita or bread for best effect. But you can settle for rice too, like in my household. Leftovers can turn into breakfast. See what I mean when I said it was perfect.

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