Try at home Chicken Pan Fried Noodles

I am probably one of the biggest Chinese cuisine fan alive. The distinct taste remained from the first time I tasted a ‘chicken thick soup’ in a small restaurant called ‘waldorf’ in Calcutta. I was 9 years old. It was a perfect thick chicken stock with some bits of spring onions…i think..(some green crunchy bits were there in the soup). Anyways, since then Chinese it is.
So this time, it was an experimentation with Pan Fried Noodles. Apologies for in the inacurate measurements of the ingredients.
Ingredients:
1 large pack of plain noodles, 2 large capsicums, 1 large onion, 250 gms of boneless chicken, 5 garlic pods, 3 large carrots, 2 large green chillies, one small cabbage…chopped, one packet of button mushrooms and a handful of brocolli, 2 large tomatoes, soya sauce, ketchup, corn flour and ajinomoto.
Process:
To a heated pan add the chopped garlic pods and chilli. Let them fry till the garlic turns a little soft. In the mean time, slice some large squarish chunks of the carrots, capsicums and tomatoes. Now add the tomatoes, when they are tender enough throw in the capsicum, brocolli, mushrooms and carrots…add some water and lid up for about 10 mins for them to cook.
Simultaneous to this, bring enough water to boil with a dollop of butter. Add the plain noodles to it. Make sure you dont over cook them for them to turn really tender cause after you add the hot sauce, they will continue cooking anyway. After the strands are boiled, strain well and keep aside.
Now add the diced chicken to the already boiled veggies, if you see a scum on top, its just means that they arent well done yet. Now add a generous portion of tomato ketchup, 3 tbl spoons of soya sauce, a good pinch of ajinomoto, salt to taste and lid up for about 15 mins max. When done, fork the chicken pieces to check if they are cooked well. You will have a dark brown sauce boiling happily. Now, since we like our sauce a little thick, we shall add a little cold water to 3 table spoons of corn flour and add it to the sauce. Stir well to get a smooth and heavy sauce. Now throw in the cabbage and some large jullian on onions…they will be the right amount of crunch and cooked combination when you just lid it and take if off of the flame.
To a heated non stick pan, add some butter and place one portion of noodles on it gently. Let the base of the noodles fry without stirring the entire bunch for 2 whole minutes. Scoop the bunch of noodles out of the pan into your serving dish. Now pour the Chicken Sauce over this Pan Fried Noodles. If you have your chop sticks ready…what are you waiting for…enjoy!
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A Chick Brunch..


August 1st. Friendship Day, 2010.
An impromptu brunch brought all the ladies together after quite some time…and yes…over some good cocktails and home made spread of a good English breakfast.
Our fabulous menu included made to order omlettes with a variety of toppings to choose from like salami, sun dried tomatoes, veggies and the likes with herbs to choose from along with some mozerella…toasted bread, vegetarian and meaty pizzas, apple cinnamon muffins, sauted vegetables, sausages, roasted salami, chips and cream cheese dip, green apple lettuce wraps, cut up fruits, beer and other cocktails, tea….yes the list does seem endless…

Green Apple Lettuce Wraps:
Our good pals, Everon and Shwetha who are members of the Food Lovers Club, introduced us to this refreshing easy to make starter. All you need is fresh lettuce, some goat cheese, strips of green apple, drizzle of fruit vinegar, drops of lime juice and a sprinkle of sugar.
Spread the lettuce leaf and neatly place the apple strips. Add the vinegar, lime juice and sugar to it. Now, gentle place a generous pinch of goat cheese on it and wrap it up…and its ready to take a bite off…CRUNCH!

Apple Cinnamon Muffin
:
Ingredients: 2 cups flour, 2 eggs, 1/2 milk, 1/4 cup butter, 1 cup of powdered sugar, 1 chopped green apple, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon powder.
Process: Cream the butter and sugar, add the eggs and salt. Now, add keep adding the flour in batches alternately adding the milk. This gives you a batter, to this add the chopped grenn apple and cinnamon powder. Mix ’em up.
Now pour in the batter, filling 3/4th of your greased muffin tins.
In your pre-heated oven, bake these muffins for 30 mins in 210 C. Tada!!

Chicken Salami Pizza:
Smear a hearty portion of tomato ketchup on your ready made pizza base. Now throw in some thick julliane onions, capsicum, sundried tomatoes, baby corn and pitted olives. Now, place the salami on the veggies, sprinkle herbs of your choice (we used oregano and thyme). Go berserk with mozerella topping. Pop it in your pre heated oven at 220 C for 20 mins or till your crust turns pleasant golden. Enjoy your pizza as you chug some chilled beer!
It was a perfect setting with bustling live counters, too many helping hands, singing along to ‘our’ feel-good bollywood numbers, sipping some citrus cocktails with olives and laughing away to nostalgic stories…all this at Zaanz!…this is how we turned an overcast gloomy Sunday into our Happy sunshine Sunday. Happy Friendship Day chickas…Shwetha, Riya, Ananya, Bhakti, Asha, Dimpz, Everon and Akshu!

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Jerk roast chicken stuffed with cheesy mushrooms..with penne arrabiata

Sunday morning, I rushed to the supermarket (spar) where I make my decisions with regard to cooking, and sometimes other aspects of my life. I love supermarkets! I was in the herbs and spices isle when I came across some new merchandise. Caribbean seasoning and Jerk chicken seasoning. Constant battle in my mind as to which one to choose. I picked up both. I don’t like fights, not even in my head.
Boneless pieces of chicken, Some celery, onions and I was good to go. On my way back, I made a stop at a local vegetable mart. I hadn’t seen such fresh plump tomatoes in a while and the timing was just right for me to pick some up. By then I knew what I wanted to cook. I had the rest of the ingredients at home.

Ingredients for (my) arrabiata sauce:

3 medium tomatoes chopped
1 medium onion chopped
2 tsp tomato puree
1 tsp sugar
4 cloves of garlic chopped
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp jerk seasoning
salt and pepper for seasoning

Method:
Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add the chopped garlic. Saute till it releases its flavours and aroma. Don’t let it burn. Tip in the onions and saute till it turns transparent. Now the tomatoes go in. Add the tomato puree. Put the lid on and let this cook for about 10 minutes. Keep an eye on it not to let it burn. Need be add a little extra oil. Add the sugar. Now let this cool and get to room temperature. Churn it into a puree consistency using your hand blender. Your sauce is ready. That’s how easy it is.
Ingredients for Jerk roasted chicken stuffed with cheesy mushrooms:
1 chicken breast boneless and skinless
2 big cloves of garlic chopped
1 lemon (juice and zest)
1 tbsp Jamaican seasoning
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper for seasoning
1 cup chopped and cooked mushrooms
1 tbsp shredded cheese

Method:
Marinate the chicken with the oil, lemon juice and grated zest(skin of the lemon), garlic, salt, pepper and the Jamaican seasoning. Now slice the chicken breast horizontally all through just leaving about an inch in the end. Pop it in the fridge for about 30 minutes. Now flip the chicken open and place mushrooms and the cheese. Close it. Heat a heavy bottomed saucepan preferably non-stick. Heat about 2 tbsp olive oil. Place the chicken and cover the pan. Sprinkle some of the Jamaican seasoning again if you like. Let it cook for about 2-3 minutes on medium heat. Check for a nice roasted look on the chicken and then flip it to let the other side roast. Again for 2-3 minutes. Surprisingly quick, I know! Me thinks it’s the heavy bottom pan. Otherwise the chicken would burn or not cook through out. Give it a try anyways.
So now get it out and serve it as you like it. What I did was, lay it on a bed of pasta and the arrabiatta sauce and garnished it with some celery leaves. Tadaaa!
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We Love Food…food makes us happy!

Today has been an absolute monochromatic day at work…one of those days when nothing on your screen seems relevant and your clients take a day off and you feel you are better off else where…in such days, the quench for a scrumptious meal is even more…you know there is an urge to make the day productive! I am not sure if its a gift or a disorder, but I just know exactlly what taste my pallet is craving for; I happen to be surfing Donna Hay’s official website too, looking for some budget recipe for my bro’s birthday brunch. I stumbled upon RIBS…and I knew that it is a craving for jack daniel’s pork ribs from tgif.
They serve you with a good portion and a some divine tasting onion rings with an amrit patram (kinda like an abyss) of the JD sauce. Hmmm…so next time you get a chance, please do not forget to try out the right ribs 😉
I had a super chilled out lunch and rushed back for my brief business meeting. For some reason, enjoyed the ribs today even more, guess there is always a way food finds to make your day.

Coming up next is some tried and tasted good chinese dishes…but with a hint of our touch. Have fun!

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Blueberry cheesecake

I had this tin of blueberry fruit filling. I wanted to use it for muffins. But when I saw the picture of a cheesecake topped with the fruit filling, I was tempted to try my hand on a cheesecake. The cheesecakes that I have eaten at various restaurants cafes, have a thick crust with a bite to it and the cheesecake was a spongy sometimes grainy textured so called ‘cream cheese’ filling. Was never a big fan of this kind. And so I thought it’s about time I tried making what I wanted to taste (in my head, the cheesecake had to be smooth and creamy). So here is what I ended up with, and I must say I liked it. I can still improvise, but I did get pretty close.
Ingredients:
Crust:
5 nos. digestive biscuts
4 nos. marie biscuts
4 nos. glucose biscuts
2 tb sp butter (melted)
Filling:
2 cups hung curd (cream cheese)
1 cup thick fresh cream
3/4 cup sugar (powdered)
1 tsp vanilla
2 tb sp blueberry fruit filling
1 tsp gelatin
Method:
Run all the biscuts in the blender till it looks like sand. Tip in the butter and blitz some more. Now put this mix on your pie tin and press the bread crumbs to form a crust. Pop it into the freezer till you get your cream cheese filling. Whip the fresh cream till it forms soft peaks. Mix this into the cream cheese along with the rest of the ingredients.
Soak gelatin in 2 tsp cold water for 30 mins. Use a double boiler and melt the gelatin. Add this into the cream cheese mixture. Pour this mix into the pie tin lined with the biscut crust and let it chill for 5-6 hours or preferably overnight. Remove and top it with a generous amount of blueberry fruit filling. You could subsitute the blueberry filling with fresh mangoes or strawberries. This is a very refreshing dessert on a warm night.
Try to fight the urge of licking the bowl clean of the cream cheese filling 😉
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Cheese at Noir

Cafe Noir, UB city rooftop, Bangalore. Must visit. We had a few American friends in town and they asked for us to take them to a nice French/Italian place for lunch. I didnt think twice before I recommended Cafe Noir. Us girls had been there once for some quiche and coffee kind of thing, Loved it. It’s not the snooty fine dining French restaurant you’d expect it to be. Extremely friendly staff, quick and efficient service even on a weekend, great view and to top it all great food!
I’m actually just back from lunch, a pretty long one mind you, considering our friends who were blown away and declared it the best food they’ve had in Bangalore (well, second best, Citrus buffet brunch being the first).We ordered the cheese platter to begin with and this was the highlight of the lunch, no, make that the entire weekend. Now I may not be able to tell my cheeses apart, but I knew what I ate today was an experience in my mouth.
It was a beautiful platter of all kinds of cheese, some I dont remember, some I can’t pronounce. The ones I can articulate were the ones that turned out to be my favourites. Brie, goat cheese, mozzarella, blue cheese. Ah! dairy-heaven. All we needed was a bottle of Chardonay. Spread some of that blue cheeseon a piece of baguette and enjoy. Even try the brie with a piece of strawberry, feels like sin. We couldn’t stop moaning afer every bite. We tried not to over do it and get ourselves thrown out. But there’s no other way to describe the feeling. I think we stopped speaking for a bit.
I think wine and cheese is not over-rated. It’s fun with your friends and a great expreience on it’s own. Do try it. You’ll make a day of it. Any restaurant, any city, good friends 🙂
Watch this space for desserts at Noir. Coming soon! 😉
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Chicken Quiche

Chicken quiche:I can finally make quiche! My favourite person’s favourite thing in the world, isnt it? Can’t wait to make one for her soon :)This one’s for you Upsie!
Ingredients:
Crust:
150 gm flour
75 gm unsalted frozen butter cut into small peices
1 tb sp salt
3 tb sp ice cold water
3 tsp herbs (I used thyme)
Method:
Seive the flour. Add salt. Add the cold butter. Now using a couple of forks mash the butter into the flour till it breaks into smaller peices. Add the thyme. Now use your hands and quickly bring it together without using much pressure. Add the water to help form a dough which should not be too hard or too soft. Let it sit in the fridge for about half an hour. Bring it out and roll it to get 1/4 inch thickness. Using a knife or pizza cutter, cut out a big round shape, basically bigger that the rim of you pie tin. Now place it in the greased and dusted pie tin and scrape off the extra dough from the rim. Place a sheet of butter paper in it and fill it with kidney beans or rice or any grains to weigh the butterpaper down. Now bake this in a pre-heated oven for 30 min at 180-190C. This is basically to bake the crust.
Filling:
250 gm boneless chicken cut into small peices
1 med onion chopped
3 tb sp oil
Salt to taste
3 tb sp mixed herbs
1 tsp pepper
1 cup grated mozzerella cheese
2 eggs
1 cup milk
Heat oil. Add onions. Saute till it turns transparent. Add herbs. Add chicken, pepper and salt. Let this cook till chicken is done, that should be about 10 min. Let it cool. Bring out the baked crust in its tin. Remove the butterpaper with the grains. Arrange a layer of half the cheese at the bottom of the crust. Now add the chicken filling and again top it with the remaining cheese. Beat the 2 eggs into the milk and just before popping it into the oven pour it into the quiche filling. Bake for about 30 min in a pre-heated oven, at 200C, or till it forms a golden brown color on top. Let it cool before you tear it apart.
This makes for a great lunch with a side of steamed veggies and some iced tea maybe. So comforting 🙂
PS: Thank you so much Bhakti for these lovely pictures 🙂
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Rum Tart

This was for a friend on his birthday. What better than an alcohol based chocolate dessert. Must be on every guy’s wishlist. I learnt the basic ‘art’ of making tart at baking class. The alcoholic twist was my idea 😉 So was the chocolate 😉
Ingredients:
Crust:
1 3/4 cups flour
1 cup cold unsalted butter cut up into small peices..veryy cold!
1/4 coco
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp milk powder
A pinch of baking soda
3 tbsp ice cold water
Filling:
1/4 cup cream
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup coco
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp dark rum
Method:
crust:
Seive the flour, soda, salt, milk powder and coco together. Now drop the cold butter into it and using 2 forks and mash it as much as possible, till the butter has mixed with the flour to form coarse bread crumbs. Now use your hands and quickly bring it together making sure the butter does not melt. Add the ice cold water at this point to form a dough which is not too hard neither soft. Do not knead it. Just make a ball of dough. Let this sit in your fridge for about half an hour. In the meantime you can make your filling.
Filling:
Get all the ingredients together in a saucepan in a low flame and bring it to a boil. Keep aside and let it cool down to room temperature. Now add the rum and mix well.
Now bring the dough out and let it sit at room temperature for 5 min. Roll it out now to about 1/4 inch or even lesser than that if you can. Cut out round shapes using a knife or a big cookie cutter. Grease and dust the tart tins. Place the cut out dough into it one by one making sure it fits right. Scrape out any excess dough from the rim of the tin to give it a clean finishing. Now using a fork make a few pricks on the base and the sides of the dough lined tin and bake it at 180C for about 20 min or till it does not feel like dough anymore, in a pre-heated oven. Let it cool. Then spoon in the filling and let it chill in the fridge for atleast an hour before serving.
This makes for a great party dessert, or in my case, a hangover fix for the next morning! Haha!
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Aloo paneer matar in methi gravy

Potatoes, paneer and green peas. Potluck. Rush out to get methi leaves. Paneer aloo matar in methi gravy.Hit with friends. Yaiy!
Ingredients:
2 fistfuls/a bunch thats available in the market of methi leaves(fenugreek)
200 gms paneer (cottage cheese), cut into small peices and shallow friend till golden brown

1 big potato, cut into small peices
100 gms green peas, cooked
2 medium onions finely chopped
2 medium tomatoes finely chopped
6-7 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 inch ginger, finely chopped
4 cloves
3 cardomom1 inch cinnamom
4 cashew nuts
1/4 cup curd
2 tspn garam masala
2 tspn sauf (fennel seeds)
2 tspn jeera powder (cumin powder)
1 tspn coriander powder (coriander powder)
2 tspn turmeric powder
1 tspn chilli powder
4 tblspn oil
salt to taste
Method:
Heat oil.Add sauf.Saute the ginger and garlic till they change color(this smells devine).
Add the whole spices(cloves,cinnamon and cardamom).Tip in the onions and the methi. Let it cook till onions are golden brown. This actually makes a difference in taste. For good of course!Now add the tomatoes and all the powdered spices, garam masala,chilli, jeera, coriander powders and salt. Add about a tablespoon of water,to let all the spices come together well. Give it a good mix and shut the lid of your cooking pot and let it cook for about 10 minutes. Now add the potatoes as they need to be cooked. Also add a fourth of a cup of water and let it cook till potatoes are done, which will be soon since they are small peices. Once cooked tip in the cooked paneer and peas, give it all a good mix. Grind the curd with the cashew nuts together. Pour it into the almost done gravy. Now turn the heat low. Bring to a boil. Take it off the heat.
If you want more grave add more onions and tomatoes with some water. I intended for it to be more of a gravy but ended up with a little dry version of the same. which was good too.

Serve this with some hot plain parantas. YUM!
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Mom’s Chocolate Cake

 

This is the most ridiculously chocolatey chocolate cake ever. Rich yet light because I haven’t added an ounce of butter in it except for the icing. So moist you forget to chew. And most of all, so chocolatey you don’t want to stop. I strongly recommend you trying this cake. You just have to take my word for it.It will make you the most popular amongst family and friends.
Ingredients:
Dry ingredients:
1 cup flour (maida)
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
Wet ingredients:
1/2 cup curd
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup boiling water
1 tsp vanilla1 egg (separate yolk and white)
Combine all the dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl whisk the egg white till almost stiff-very frothy.Add the yolk, curd, vanilla, oil and hot water to the dry mix. Mix well using a whisk but don’t over whisk or beat it. When the batter is smooth, fold in the egg white. Grease your baking tin. Dust it with some flour, to avoid the cake from sticking to the tin. Pour all the batter and bake at 175C or low-med heat in oven for 45 mins or till the toothpick comes out clean when stuck inside.Remove and let it cool completely.
Psst psst: I forgot to add vanilla. Couldn’t tell the difference anyways.
For the icing:
1/4 cup cocoa
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup softened unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
Bring all the above ingredients to a boil on low flame in a saucepan. Keep whisking every now and then. Once it comes to a boil, take it off the heat and let it cool, all the while whisking it. Don’t worry it will be thin in consistency when it is off the stove.But as it cools it will thicken to a fudge like consistency. So beautiful it will stop your heart (not literally!)
Once it has completely cooled, generously pour it over the cake. Just to avoid mess, do place butter paper under the cake. Or in my case today’s newspaper. Once you’ve poured it, let it spread or you can do it yourself by using a spatula. Drench the cake completely with the chocolate frosting. Devilishly sinful chocolate cake is ready to serve. If you have left over icing, store it in the fridge. Whenever you need to use it, lets say for ice-cream sundaes or cakes, the likes, pop it in the microwave for about 15 seconds and enjoy!
There are many many chocolate cake recipes out there.It’s just the matter of finding the right one that works best for you. I have a few such recipes for chocolate cake with different icing/frostings.
 
 
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