Saturday, November 28, 2009

* Thanks-giving Chicken Roast with gravy

Roasted Chicken is a simple dish.I wanted to make it for a long time and what can be a better occasion than a Thanksgivings.Well I love to try new food all the time,,Cooking is a big stress buster for me.I have to try new things with same or different ingredients.But really I get bored if I keep making the same things.So I always try to find a chance to make something new.As it was my first time roasting the whole chicken so was little skeptical about the taste and flavour ,so gave twist by marinating the whole chicken with yogurt and spices too along with thyme and basil.
This thanksgiving I prepared Roasted chicken with gravy and had a wonderful private dinner with my hubby.

Ingredients for roasted chicken:

1.Whole chicken(skin on)- 1-2 lb(keep the skin on the chicken ,so that the roasted chicken will
be moist and tender)
2. Fresh Thyme - 3 strands
3. Fresh Basil - 3 strands
4. Plain Yogurt - 2 tb sp
5. lemon juice - 2 tb sp
6. Freshly grounded pepper powder- 1/4 tsp
7. Salt -1/2 t sp
8.Olive Oil - 1 tb sp
9. Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
(Here you can add any spice like,coriander powder,garam masala etc to add flavour to the chicken)
10. Cubed potato - 1 large
11. Cubed Onion- 1 large
12. cubed carrot -1
(Roasting the chicken in vegetable bed makes the veggies nicely flavoured from the juice that comes from chicken while roasting, its optional)


0. Preheat the oven.
1. Make a paste of yogurt,lemon,pepper powder,salt,cumin powder,oil and taste the salt at
this point.
2. Clean and thaw the chicken completely before starting to marinate.
2. Soak the moisture from the chicken with a paper towel .
3. At this point rub the marinate on the chicken,,and pour some inside the cavity too.
4. Insert the fresh thyme and basil leaves under the skin in thigh and breast.
5. Drizzle some olive oil on top of chicken and sprinkle some salt and pepper
6. Spread the veggies on a baking tray and put the chicken on the vegetable bed.
7. Bake for 60 minutes(If your chicken is a different weight, you can work out the timings: allow
20 minutes per 500g, plus an extra 20 minutes.To keep the chicken moist baste at around 30
8. Now roasted chicken is ready.Serve it with gravy .

Ingredients For gravy :

1.2 cup chicken broth or you can use the chicken bullion cubes(check the salt while using the
2. Collect the Chicken drippings from your roasting pan.
3.Flour - 1- 1.5 tb sp
4. Ground pepper- 1-2 pinches
5. salt (as per taste,you may not need if you are using bullion cubes)

Gravy preparation:
1.In a pan or a sauce pan, heat the chicken drippings at medium high.
2.Add the 2 spoons of flour and keep stirring until blended. Add water, 1/4 at a time until you get the right consistency. Remember to always keep stirring all the way.
3.Add the chicken broth /chicken cube and crush it until it dissolves. Take it out of the fire and add a dash of ground black pepper.
Enjoy your chicken gravy with the roasted chicken.
The best thing about the roasted chicken is , it is very healthy and easy to make without much hassle.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

* Chicken curry

Chicken Curry...this a quicky recipe that I make in weekdays when I'm really tired after work and don't want to chop veggies or we want to eat something yummy with less work.Now it explains it is an easy recipe and tastes awesome.This is one type of chicken curry recipe,,there are many variation of a chicken curry.For me this is the simplest of all and my husband loves it.
One more inspiration behind this post is my colleagues who always wanted to know the recipe.

This time I tried to make a movie from the pictures of the preparation steps,didn't have much time to do a good editing as we are busy with our moving to our new place , but still I hope the video will be more helpful .

So here is the recipe:

Marinate the chicken for 30 minutes with the following ingredients:

1.Chopped chicken (1 lb,here for this curry I prefer chicken thighs because the fat in the chicken
adds flavour to the curry)
2. 1 tsp ginger garlic paste(you can make it at home blending equal amount of ginger and garlic
or use the store bought verity-Indian stores in Toronto do have them)
3. 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
4. 1/2 tsp cumin powder
5. 1/2 tb sp coriander powder
6. 1/2 tsp salt

Mix well all the ingredients and keep it for at least 30 minutes.

Ingredients for Chicken Curry:

1. Marinated chicken
2. Vegetable oil - 3 tb sp
3. Chopped Onion - 1 cup
4. Chopped Tomato - 1 cup
5. Green Chillies - 2 (optional)
6. Chopped Cilantro
/Coriander leaves - 1/2 cup
7. Clove - 4
8. Cardamom - 4
9. Cinnamon - 1 inch stick
10. Pepper Corns-8-10 (optional)
11. 1/2 Star anise (optional)
12. Mace - 1 floret (optional)
13. Red chilly powder - 1/4 tsp (optional)
14. Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
15. Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
16. Coriander powder - 1 tb sp
17. Ginger garlic paste - 1 tb sp
18. 1/4 tsp garam masala (very aromatic blend of all spices like cinnamon,cardamom,clove,star
anise, mace, need not make at home ,also you can find them in Indian stores,it adds that extra
flavour to the curry,You may find it in no-frills, walmart, if you don't have it still you do
without it)

Preparation of Chicken Curry:

  • Place your pot on stove top in medium flame.Once it is hot, pour 3 tb sp of vegetable oil and 1/2 t sp of sugar.Here, sugar is for caramelization which give the extra colour to the curry.It makes the gravy look pretty rich.
  • Once Sugar caramelizes(Don't over caramelize), add chopped onions and add a little pinch of salt(Salt help to absorb moisture from the onion and cooks quickly)
  • Stir well and when onion turns golden , add the whole spices and green chillies.
  • Add ginger garlic paste at this point and stir for 1-2 minutes (or until you can smell the flavour of cooked ginger garlic paste )
  • At this point,add the coriander powder,cumin powder,turmeric powder,red chilly powder(red chilly powder is optional) .
  • Pour in the chopped tomatoes immediately so that the spices don't get keep stirring for 3-5 minutes until the spices get cooked(if it gets too dry then add 2 tb sp of water )
  • Now its time to add the marinated chicken.
  • Mix the chicken and the cooked spices well .At this point you can add chopped potatoes (adding potatoes is completely optional although I like the curry with potatoes)
  • Mix all the ingredients well and cover.Let it cook for 10-15 minutes .Do stir in every 5 minutes.
  • Once the required amount of gravy is left in the pot add garam masala and mix well.Stop the flame and sprinkle Chopped cilantro/coriander leaves.It goes very well with Steamed rice or paratha or naan.
Now enjoy the dish and I would be more than happy to get a feed back from you.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

* Hyderabadi Chicken Dum Biryani

Hyderabadi Dum Biryani.............My husband is a die heart fan of Hyderabadi Chicken dum biryani.Wherever he goes he was chasing for dum biryani,,be it any place in world.And it is very difficult to get a A+ from him Regarding this dish.He is very particular about the smell & the taste.This post is lengthy but I would suggest it is worth it.It takes practice to master the art of biryani making.So if you don't get it right in your first attempt try try try,you will learn to get it right eventually.I will try my best to explain properly.I'm making this chicken biryani once a week from last 2 years now.And it took me many attempts to get it right.The biryani day is easy and less mess for me in kitchen and we get to eat this awesome biryani with less effort which makes a busy day easy.So here comes the recipe:

  1. Basmati rice(2 cups)-I like 'India gate' brand basmati rice,,but you are good to do with any Basmati rice you like.
  2. 1 lb chicken thigh
  3. Shan Chicken biryani mix(If I don't have my biryani mix then I go for this stored bought spice,I will post the biryani masala in another post)
  4. 2 tb sp Ginger Garlic paste
  5. 5 green chillies(adjust to the hot level you can eat)
  6. 10 cloves
  7. 8 Green cardamom
  8. 1 Black cardamom
  9. 4 florets of mace
  10. 10 whole black pepper corns
  11. 2 inch cinnamon
  12. 3 star Annis
  13. 2 tb sp shahi zeera(1 type of cumin,you can replace with normal cumin too)
  14. 2 bay leaves
  15. 1 tsp cumin powder
  16. 1/2 tsp turmeric
  17. 1 tbsp coriander powder
  18. 1 tsp red chilly powder
  19. 1 cup chopped fresh coriander leaves
  20. 5 strands of fresh mint leaves
  21. 1 cup plain yogurt
  22. 3 tb sp lemon juice
  23. 1 pinch of saffron
  24. 5 tb spoon milk
  25. 3 tb sp Rose water(optional )
  26. 2 tb sp ghee(clarified butter)
  27. 2 tb sp vegetable oil
  28. 1 cubed Onion
Now here don't get scared of the long list of spices.some part I use for marinating the chicken and some for infusing the flavour to the rice.
There are three very important things to remember when you make Dum biryani
  • Marinate the chicken at least for 3-4 hours(What I do is marinate the chicken in the morning before leaving for work or the night before),which makes the chicken very tender and juicy.
  • While cooking the rice,constantly monitor,,few seconds of over-cooking can ruin the beauty of biryani.
  • While cooking the biryani monitor the time and heat(The entire time of cooking it will be closed so you can't see in between the cooking process)

There is three parts of the entire process
  • Marinate the chicken
  • prepare the rice
  • Assemble chicken and rice
So here is the first step--Marinate the chicken
  1. In a bowl mix the below ingredients
  • yogurt
  • 2 tb sp ginger & garlic paste
  • 5 cloves
  • 4 Green cardamom
  • 3 florets of mace
  • 5 whole black pepper corns
  • 1 inch cinnamon
  • 1 Black cardamom
  • 1/2 star Annis
  • 1 tb sp shahi zeera(1 type of cumin,you can replace with normal cumin too)
  • 1 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp red chilly powder
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh coriander leaves
  • 2 strands of fresh mint leaves
  • chopped green chillies
  • salt as per your taste
  • 2 tb sp vegetable oil
  • Lemon juice
  • cubed onion
  • 2 tb sp shan biryani mix
  • chopped chicken(taste the salt before you add chicken to the marinade)
Mix all these ingredients and cover the lid or seal with cling plastic, keep it in refrigerator overnight.

Now the second step : Cooking the rice
  1. Soak the basmati rice for at least 30-40 minutes before cooking.
  2. To infuse the aroma of spices into rice,In a cheese cloth tie rest of the whole spices or you can just add to the water.If you add to water then they may interfere you while eating.So here its your choice :)
  3. In a pot heat water,add just the right amount of salt and the spices(in cheese cloth or loose).
  4. When the water starts boiling add the soaked rice and monitor it carefully.
  5. In few minutes it will start boiling and when its half cooked take it out of the heat and drain(when to know rice is half cooked: press the rice grain if should just break,). As the rice was already soaked it takes just 5 minitues to get the required consistency. a little overdone rice may result sticky biriyani..
Before you start assembling prepare the saffron milk mixture.For getting a very good colour of saffron roast it slightly on stove top for 2 minutes on a spoon and crush them and add to warm milk.This way actually the saffron flavour and colour comes wonderful in any dish.

The third step is Assembling the rice and chicken

  1. Grease a heavy bottomed pan with some vegetable oil.
  2. Pour the well marinated chicken at the bottom and spread evenly.
  3. Add one layer of rice(use half of the cooked rice for this layer ). On top of rice layer and 1/2 tea sp shana biryani masala mix,mint leaves,coriander leaves,some rose water(optional),1 tbsp ghee(clarified butter).
  4. Spread another layer of rice and pour the saffron milk mixture,1 tb sp rose water(optional) and rest 1 tb sp ghee(clarified butter)
  5. Now cover the top of the vessel with either a silver foil wrap or a kitchen towel(purpose here is not to let the moisture evaporate)
  6. On top of the kitchen towel place the lid.
  7. keep the vessel on high heat for first 5 minutes,in medium flame for next 20 minutes and in very low for next 5 minutes.(if the vessel buttom is not heavy then the chicken may get burnt .you can use a benmerry or cook with less flame for longer time)
  8. After the entire time of cooking let it stand for next 10 minutes and you can serve Biryani with kachumbar/raita(yogurt with cucumber onion ) or a gravy.

Enjoy this aromatic delicacy of Hyderabad.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

*Jalebi(deep fried spiral shaped desert deeped in syrup )

Jalebis are one of festive sweets in India.In northern part of India it is served in breakfast also, but rest of India it is a desert.My husband loves this a lot,Today while talking with my in-laws,,jalebi topic came so i though of posting this recipe.It is easy but little tricky.Traditionally they ferment the dough over-night,but here I use yeast for doing the same thing but save some time.It can se served hot or cold.
Here goes the recipe...



  1. 1/2 cup All Purpose flour
  2. 1 tsp besan (gram flour)
  3. 1/2 tsp yeast
  4. 1/2 tsp oil
  5. 1/2 tsp sugar
  6. About 1/3 cup of lukewarm water (as needed)
  1. 1 cup sugar
  2. 1/2 cup water
  3. Pinch of cardamom powder
  4. Few strands of saffron(optional)
  5. 1 teaspoon of lemon juice(to control the cristalization)
Oil for frying
Squeeze bottle


  1. Dissolve the yeast and sugar in luke warm water and let it sit for 5-10 minutes.
  2. Mix the al purpose flour,gram flour(besan),oil.
  3. Pour the yeast mixture to the flour mixture and make a smooth paste.
  4. Let the batter sit for 1 hour.Don't let it over ferment.
  1. Boil the water and sugar together 10 minutes.
  2. Add cadamom and safron to the water and switch off the flame.
Jalebi making procedure:
  1. Heat oil in a pan for deep frying.Test the oil putting a drop of batter.if it floats immediately then the oil is ready for fryingJalebis.
  2. Pour the batter in a squeeze bottle as shown in the picture.You can replace the zip lock with a hole in it.But I always use the squeeze bottle.

  3. When oil is ready squeeze the batter on hot oil making a spiral shape of 2-3 inch diameter.
  4. When the Jalebis are brown on both sides then take it out of oil and deep in syrup for few seconds and serve hot.

Tips: If you like crispy jalebis then add 1 tbsp rice flour to the batter

Monday, November 2, 2009

*Kachori(lentil stuffed puff pastries)

Kachori is one snack that goes very well with tea or any time you can munch on them.They are delicious.I started making it going through internet 2 years back.Now I love Kachoris a lot,,specially with tamarind chutney It tastes awesome.I'm not a very big fan of deep frying,,and that always stays in the last option for me.But only for this savory snack I'm always more than willing to do some frying :).In any potluck if I have to bring the appetizer most of the time I choose to bring kachori.

To Make 10-12 Kachoris.

Ingredients for crust:

1 cup All Purpose flour ( maida)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tbsp oil
1/2 cup tbsp chilled water

Ingredients for filling:
1/4 cup yellow moong dal (Skinned mung beans )
1 teaspoon coarsely ground fennel seeds (saunf)
1 teaspoon coarsely ground coriander seeds (dhania)
1 teaspoon red chilly flakes
1/2 teaspoon mango powder (amchoor or you can add chat masala)
1/4 teaspoon ginger powder
Pinch of Asafoetida (hing)
1/2 teaspoon salt (as per your taste)
1 tablespoon oil
2 tablespoons water
Oil to deep fry


To make crust:

1.Mix the flour, salt and oil very well.
2.Add the chilled water slowly, mixing with your hand as you pour. Make a very soft dough.
3.Cover the dough and let it sit for at least 15-20 minutes.

To make filling:
1.Dry grind the moong dal (Don't make it fine powder)
2.Mix 1 tbsp of oil and moong dal powder in a frying pan and roast on medium heat for about two to three minutes or dal changes color lightly, stirring constantly.
3.Turn off the heat. Add all the spices and mix it well and let the mixture cool off.
4.Add two tablespoons of warm water and mix it well.
5.Let it sit for 10 minutes and keep it covered.
To make the Kachoris:
1. Take the dough and knead it for a few minutes, and make 10-12 balls of equal size.
2. Take one part of the dough and with your fingers flatten the edges and make into 3-inch circle. Leaving center little thicker then edges around.
3. Place 1 teaspoon of filling in the center. Pull the edges of the dough to wrap the dal filling. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
4. Let the filled ball sit for 3 to 4 minutes before rolling. keep them covered the entire time.
5. Set the kachoris on a surface with the seams facing up. Using the base of your palm, slowly flatten them into about 3 inch circle.
6. Heat about 1 1/2 inch of oil in a frying pan on medium heat. To check if oil is ready put a little piece of dough in the oil, it should sizzle and come up slow.
7. Fry them on medium-low heat. After they start to puff, slowly turn them over.
8. Fry until golden-brown on both sides. If the kachoris are fried on high heat, they will be soft and will not be crispy.

*Bhapa Pomfret(Steamed pomfret fish with mustard )

This dish is originally made with Hilsa fish and is a truly authentic Bengali dish and very close to all Bengali's heart.I'm not bengali but I have always lived in a multi cultural environment which let me try dishes from different places and pick my own choice.I love to try out new things in my kitchen always.Other wise life would be so boring.It adds a hint of spice to our life.As here in Toronto,I couldn't find Hilsa I tried this recipe with pomfret.I usually make pomfret with mustard sauce(curry style) but last week end I wanted a change and after hearing from my cousin that his wife makes awesome bhapa hilsa,I was even more inclined to make this dish.
So here goes the recipe......
1.1 pomfret( I used 1-1.5lb size)
2.2 Pinch of Turmeric
3.2 tb sp Black mustard powder
4.1 tbsp white mustard powder(if you don't have white then you can just use black mustard powder,traditionally they use mustard paste.But I replaced it with powder as it is easy to get and use here in Toronto)
5.2 tb sp fresh grated coconut
6.4 green chillies(or as hot as you want)
8.1 tsp mustard oil(Mustard oil has a distinct flavour which goes very well in this dish),if you don't have you can manage with vegetable oil too.
1.Wash the fish well and rub salt and turmeric.keep it aside for 30 minutes.
2.In a blender blend the coconut,green chillies,both types of mustard powders with very little water.So that the texture remains like a paste(not very runny)
3.Spread the fish in a box(I used the round baking dish) in a single layer.
4.Mix a pinch of turmeric in the coconut,mustard,chilly paste and pour over the fish so that the fish is coated well with the paste.
5.Pour 1 tsp of mustard oil on the fish and paste.
6.Now fill the pressure cooker with 1.5 inch depth water(make sure your fish box is taller than water level) and place the fish box inside the cooker.
7.Close the cooker with the whistle on top and cook for 2-3 whistles which may take around 30-35 minutes.

And it is done,,serve with steamed rice and it is a true smell of being at home away from home.I made it with bringal fry and some salad.Weekend lunches are all about relishing memories back home and relax.