Roasted Afghani Cream Chicken

We’ve had guests round this week from India and in true Mamma Sawhney style, preparations began a couple days before hand and a plethora of dishes were made. I was made in charge of preparing the chicken dish so I decided to go for Afghani Chicken. I’ve only ever ate this dish in North India, once in Jaipur and more recently this past year, I ate  it in this small lil Punjabi cafe called Sandoz in Karol Bagh, Delhi.  It was amazing!  Regardless, I did a little research on it when I got back and I came up with this recipe. This is definitely one of those recipes that should be saved for special occasions. Result was succulent, creamy, rich chicken-major emphasis on the rich. But in the best way. Recipe shown below serves 12. You can either divide by how many servings you want it to yield or use http://www.easysurf.cc/recipe.htm.

Serves 12:
3 baby chickens, pre portioned and skinned
6 tbsp heavy cream
6 garlic cloves
3″ ginger
1 1/2 lemons
4 tsp kasturi methi (fenugreek leaves)
6 tbsp white pepper
3 tsp black pepper
3 tsp citric acid
9 tsp salt
2  tsp garam masala
1 tsp cardamom powder
3 tbsp roasted cashew nuts
2 tbsp almond
3 tbsp olive oil
2 handfuls coriander, chopped

  • To make the marinade, add all of the ingredients listed excluding the chicken) into a food processor. Grind until a coarse paste has formed.
  • In a bowl add the chicken and mix in the paste. Mix well.
  • Marinade for at least 4 hours (overnight is preferable).
  • Preheat oven 170 C/ approx 340 F. (I used a convection oven).
  • Place the marinaded chicken into an oven proof dish that has a lid.
  • Add the chicken to it and secure its lid.
  • Cook for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and carefully turn over the chicken. Let the other side cook for 30 minutes.
  • BALLE BALLE! You are good to go. Enjoy.
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Posted in Chicken, Coriander, Dinner, Easy, Indian, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

King Prawn Curry

This recipe is a popularly ordered dish at many ‘Curry Houses’. But as always, homemade always tastes so much better.  In addition, even though many Indian ‘curry’ type dishes use the same basic masala, I find that when it’s made freshly at home  it tastes different every time. Every ingredient it’s paired with may it be prawns, chicken, fish or lamb brings its own unique flavor so you will never experience the exact same taste every time, like you may do at some Indian restaurants that just utilise pre made masalas out of a bottle. So yeah after all that rambling, what I’m trying to say is fresh is best! Check out this recipe regardless, it’s nice and rich in texture and tastes darned good.

Serves 6

What we need:

2 lbs king prawns (washed, skinned and de-veined)
1 large onion
6 garlic cloves
4″ ginger
2 handfuls fresh chopped coriander
6 tbsp olive oil
1 black cardamom, crushed
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 stalk lemon grass
3 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
2 tomatoes
1/2 cup tin plum tomatoes (with juice)
2 tbsp sour cream

How we do:

  • To make the masala, in a food processor, add the onion, garlic, ginger and 1 handful of coriander. Grind to a coarse paste.
  • In a pan, heat the olive oil. Once hot, add the cardamom, cumin seeds and the lemon grass stalk. Once they begin to sizzle, add the grinded masala paste.  Mix well and add the salt, turmeric powder, chilli powder and garam masala. Mix on high heat for 10 minutes, constantly stirring.
  • When the oil separates from the masala, add the fresh and plum tomatoes. Mash together well and cook for a further 5-7 minutes.
  • Add the prawns at this point and mix together on high heat. Stir continuously for 10 minutes.
  • Add 1/4 cup water and reduce the heat to the lowest setting.
  • Add the sour cream and another handful of coriander. Stir.
  • Turn the heat off and place the lid on the pan tightly.  Let it cook in its own heat for 5 minutes.
  • Balle Balle! You are ready to CHOW DOWN.  Best served with hot hot chappatis.
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Tandoori Chicken

Tandoori chicken is probably one of the most popular Indian Non Veg dishes. It is generally made at my house when we have dinner parties as an appetizer or as a Summer dish with a side salad.  The basic ingredients for making tandoori chicken are a certain set of spices, yoghurt, lemon and coriander. However, whilst prepping my chicken last week, half way through I looked in the fridge and realised there was no yoghurt to be seen. Nada. So after panicking and a fair bit of rummaging in the fridge, I decided to use milk instead, just to at least help bind all the spices together. I was anxious when I pulled it out of the oven. But the end result? Spicy, flavorful succulent chicken. Pops even said he liked it better than how I usually make it.  So I think this is going to be my new recipe. Also as you can see, the chicken is not red; I opted out usng the red colouring that is usually added. I guess  you can call this ‘unsterotypical tandoori chicken’? All in all this recipe is super easy and super healthy! Have a looky:

Serves 4-6

What we need:
1 whole chicken, skinned and portioned
1 tbsp grated ginger
4 cloves garlic, grated
1 lemon
3 tsp salt
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp tandoori masala
1/2 tsp elaichi powder
1 tbsp milk
handful fresh chopped coriander
3 tbsp olive oil

How we do:

  • In a bowl add the chicken and all ingredients listed above and mix well.
  • Marinade and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. (If you are in a rush, you can cook it immediately, it’s just the longer you let it marinade, the more flavorful the chicken will be) .
  • Preheat oven at the maximum temperature and cook for 10-12 minutes on each size.
  • Balle Balle!! Best served with salad and naan/chappati.


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Paneer Stuffed Peppers

Continuing with the paneer theme I thought I would play around with the crumbled paneer (see recipe below) and use it to stuff some peppers. It’s great as an appetizer or as a side dish. Good thing is you can prep these the  night before, so if you’ve got a dinner party the next day you can stick them in the oven just before your guests come. I’ve made stuffed peppers before but have always used cous cous which is nice but I think it can be a bit dry sometimes, where the paneer stays nice and creamy in texture. Ch ch ch check it out!!

Serves  4-6

What we need:
6 green / red peppers, washed
180g crumbled paneer
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp grated ginger
1/2 onion, finely diced
4 mushrooms, finely chopped
1/2 cup sweetcorn
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp ground oregano
1 tsp lemon juice
handful fresh coriander

How we do:

  • Preheat the oven to 180 C
  • Slice the top of the peppers off (1/2 from top) and empty the insides.
  • In a pan, heat 1 tbsp olive oil on high heat. Add the cumin seeds. When they begin to sizzle, add the onions. Cook the onions for 1-2 minutes and add the ginger. Mix.
  • Add the mushrooms and sweetcorn. (If you are using frozen sweetcorn, make sure you thaw it out before hand and that there is no excess water). Cook for a further 2 minutes.
  • Now time to season; add all the dry spices listed and the lemon juice. Toss in the coriander and mix thoroughly.  Finally add the crumbled paneer and mix together. Turn the heat off.
  • Fill each pepper with the paneer stuffing. Line a baking tray and place the peppers on it. Spread olive oil over each pepper on the inside and outside. (You can place the tops of the peppers on the side of the baking tray).
  • Cook for 10-12 minutes until you see the peppers brown.
  • BALLE BALLE! You’re done 🙂

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Fresh Paneer Homemade in 10 minutes

As you can probably tell, I am quite the fan of paneer. It’s just a really good vegetarian alternative and tastes good in pretty much everything! Also being mild in flavour, it absorbs flavours really well. I was really surprised at how easy it was to make paneer when I first made it. I mean just look at the ingredients list. It consists of 3 items (well technically 2 because does apparatus really count?). Regardless, I think all paneer lovers out there should learn how to make it at home because firstly, as the title suggests, it only takes 10 minutes to make and secondly, it tastes so much better than the store bought stuff. You will find out in a wee bit, that this recipe shows you how to make the soft crumbly paneer (excellent for stuffing) and the classic solid cubes (see pic above).  Either way it’s yumness.


What we need:
1l Whole milk
3 tbsp lemon  juice (or 1/2 cup water mixed 1/t tsp citric acid)
Muslin Cloth/Cheesecloth

How we do:

  • In a pot, boil the milk. Just as it begins to boil,  add the lemon juice or citric acid mixture to the milk. Reduce to heat to the lowest setting and stir to help the milk curdle.
  • This should only take a couple of minutes at maximum. The curds will coagulate and separate from the watery whey.
  • At this point, remove from heat.
  • Line a sieve with the muslin/cheesecloth and place it on top of a saucepan or bowl. Strain the cheese and run some cold water through it. You can  discard the watery whey but  I love keeping it aside and using it to make chappatis as they come out really soft).
  • Wrap up the cheese tightly in the cloth and firmly squeeze out any excess water.
  • At this point you can use the paneer in this soft crumbled form. It tastes awesome if you stuff peppers with it (recipe to come!), use it to fill samosas,  naans or parathas or even to make crumbled paneer masala.
  • If you want to make the solid paneer it takes slightly longer than 10 minutes but it is so easy to make. All you need to do is place the cheese on a work surface and place a heavy weight on top of it. I used a 5 litre stock pot filled up with water. Once the paneer has flattened and formed a solid block (best to leave it overnight), you can cut it up into cubes and cook it  in its solid form.
  • BALLE BALLE! You’re done 🙂
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Chicken Masala

When I decided to make Murgh Masala (Chicken Masala) I was pretty excited but also kinda nervous as I was cooking for the family which meant  I was cooking for Dad who fancies himself as a bit of critique when it comes to non vegetarian dishes. Regardless I got to cooking, and to make a long story short, Dad essentially compared my dish to my Mum’s cooking so yeah I was pretty happy to say the least!!!
So yes, do try it out. Let me know how it goes. It’s a nice creamy masala  but without the calories as I use yoghurt instead of cream so you can sneak in the extra chappati or two into your plate. Check it out y’all!

Serves 4-6

What we need:

1 whole chicken, pre portioned and skinned
1 black cardamom
6 whole pepper corns
1  1/2 onions, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
2 tbsp ginger, grated
3 tsp salt
1  tsp garam masala
1 tsp haldi
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tin plum tomatoes
4 potatoes, peeled and cut into 4 (optional)
3 tbsp yoghurt
handful fresh coriander, chopped
4 tbsp olive oil

How we do:

  • Heat the oil in a non stick pot on medium-high heat. Add the cardomom and peppercorns. Once they begin to sizzle, add the onions.
  • Stir constantly for 5-7 minutes. Once they turn a slight golden colour, add the garlic and mix well. Now add the ginger and mix again.
  • Now add all of the dry spices and mix. Add the plum tomatoes at this point and mash well.
  • When the oil separtes from the masala, add the chicken pieces to the masala and stir on high heat for 10 minutes.
  • Within 10 minutes, you will see water forming in the pot. Then add the lid and stir every 2 minutes until the water reduces.
  • Add the peeled potatoes at this point (optional).
  • Add 1 cup of water and cook on low-medium heat for 30 minutes with the lid on, checking and stirring it every 5 minutes.
  • After half an hour, the meat should be soft and tender. At this point add the yoghurt and let it cook for 2 minutes. Turn the heat off. Add the fresh coriander and 1/4 tsp garam masala.
  • Put the lid back on and leave it for 10 minutes
  • BALLE BALLE! You’re done! Best served with hot chappatis or basmati rice.
Posted in Chicken, Coriander, Curry, Dinner, Foods, Indian, Masala, Rice | Leave a comment

Sesame Chilli Paneer with Stir Fry Vegetables

I’ve recently had a few readers ask about new paneer recipes. Being a fellow paneer lover,  I jumped on the challenge! So tonight, mamma and I got creative in the kitchen. What we ended up with, as the title clearly spells out for you, is a sesame chilli paneer dish mixed with stir fry vegetables.  When making the sauce, we experimented with diff quantities of each ingredient to make it just right. Try it out, let me know how it goes. As always, the recipe is customizable so you can add whatever vegetables you like.  Also, if you’re not the biggest fan of sesame seeds, leave it out! Cashews/almonds work  really well too 🙂

Serves 4

What we need:
250g cubed paneer
3 tbsp corn flour
4 garlic cloves, grated
1 big onion, sliced
2″ ginger, thinly sliced
1 big green pepper, cut into 1″ squares
10 chestnut mushrooms, quartered
2 cupfuls broccoli, thinly sliced
3 cupfuls cabbage, thinly sliced
5 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp chilli sauce
2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
2 tbsp concentarted curry sauce paste
2 cups water
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp paprika
pinch of black pepper
5 tbsp sesame oil
2tbsp sesame seeds
handful peanuts

How we do:

  • In a bowl, add the paneer, 1 tbsp corn flour,  1 clove grated garlic, 1 tsp salt, 2 tbs water paprika, pepper. Mix.
  • Heat 1 tbsp sesame oil in a non stick pan. Add the paneer and scatter them in the pan so they separate. Brown them on one side and turn it over to cook the other side. Remove from pan.
  • In the same pan, on high heat, add the peanuts and dry roast them. Once browned, add the sesame seeds. Remove once golden. Keep your eyes  on the pan. They brown in 30 seconds!
  • In a bowl add the soy sauce, chilli sauce, sweet chilli sauce, curry paste (crumbled), 2 tbsp corn flour, water and 1 tsp salt.  Mix well.
  • In a wok, heat 4 tbsp sesame oil  on high heat. Add the garlic and ginger. Sautee them for 1 minute. Now add all the vegetables. Stir for 2-3 minutes. Now add the paneer.
  • Add 1/2 sauce prepared earlier and stir well. Keep stirring for 2-3 minutes. Gradually add the remaning sauce  whilst stirring the vegetables constantly over the course of 2-3 minutes.
  • Once the sauce has thickened and glaze all the vegetables, sprinkle the sesame seeds and peanuts on top.
  • Balle Balle! You’re done! Best served with boiled rice.
Posted in Chinese, Dinner, Paneer, Stir Fry, Vegetables, Vegetarian | Leave a comment

Spicy Sea Bass Masala

I have never been biggest fan of fish or seafood in general, well apart from deep fried battered cod or haddock with chips but in my head that doesn’t really count. So, when my Mum bought home sea bass last week I was skeptical about trying it. She told me that it would go well with a really spicy masala and rice. I was still dubious towards making it but thought with sea bass being quite mild in flavour and with Madre leading the way, it had to be worth a try..
..I have got to say, I was super surprised and really pleased at how it turned out!  The rich masala and the texture of the fish accompanied by the rice worked really well together. I felt like a true Bengali,  mashing the fish with the rice and eating with my right hand. There’s something about using your hands to eat dishes like this instead of using cutlery that just adds to the enjoyment of eating the meal! Practically speaking, this also helped in the avoidance of consuming the tiny bones. (NB. If you are concerned about the bones, you can ask your fish monger to debone the sea bass fillets).
So all in all, I have to say I think this dish may have been a turning point for me, in regards to my liking of fish..and that’s huge for me!
Regardless, enjoy guys. Let me know how it turns out for you!

Serves 2

What we need:
1 sea bass (skinned and cut into 4 steaks)
2 tbsp plain flour
1 onion finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1″ ginger, grated
1/4 tin plum tomatoes
1 fresh green chilli, finely chopped (you can add more depending on how spicy you like it)
handful fresh corriander
1 tbsp yogurt

Also, have to hand:
salt
chilli powder
turmeric powder (haldi)
garam masala
1 black cardomom, crushed
cumin seeds

How we do:

  • Clean the fish and dry with kitchen towel. Place the flour mixed with  1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp chilli powder, on a plate.
  • Cover each fish steak in the flour mixture. Pat each steak  to remove any excess flour.
  • Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a non stick pan on medium heat. Once hot, add the steak of fish to the pan. When the bottom of the fish turn white, turn the steaks over. Repeat this process for the other side. Remove the fish.
  • In the same pan, add another 2tbsp olive oil. Add the cumin seeds and crushed black cardomom.
  • When they begin to sizzle, add the onions. Once they turn a light golden colour, add the garlic, ginger and green chilli. Now add the 1/4 tsp chilli powder, 1/4 turmeric powder, 1/4 garam masala, 1 1/2 tsp salt and the coriandar.
  • Then add the plum tomatoes and mix well.
  • Cook the masala on medium heat 5 minutes, constantly stirring.
  • You will know that it’s cooked when you see the oil  begin to separate from the masala.
  • Add the sea bass to the masala and add 1/4 cup of water. Simmer for 5 minutes  on medium heat.
  • Add 1 tbsp of yogurt and cook for a further 2 minutes.
  • Garnish with fresh coriander and serve with rice.
  • BALLE BALLE! You’re done. Enjoy 🙂
Posted in Dinner, Indian, Masala, Seafood, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Guacamole

Summer is around the corner and guacamole is a really good accompaniment to wraps, burgers, salads, nachos and potato chips. Also, avocados contain the fats that are good for us so guilt free indulgence all the way!  I’m not a big fan of the store bought stuff so I decided to make it fresh at home. Try it out, let me know what you think..

What we need:
4 avocados
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp ginger juice (optional)
1 tsp salt (or according to taste)
1/2 tsp black pepper
handful of chopped coriander

How we do:

  • Carefully slice each avocado in half, lengthwise and remove the inner stone. Spoon out the flesh into a bowl.
  • Add the remaining ingredients and mash well until creamy but a but chunky.
  • Balle Balle! You’re done! How simple was that?
Posted in Easy, Lunch, snacks, Uncategorized, Vegetarian | Leave a comment

Baked Vegetables stuffed with Mozzarella and Breadcrumbs

This recipe is every veggy lovers dream! The vegetables are scooped, stuffed and baked. Also, we use the scooped out flesh to make a yummy seasoned vegetable bed which perfectly accompanies the stuffed vegetables. No waste!! Although this is a multi step recipe, it’s pretty easy and the results are worth the effort, I promise you 🙂

Serves 4

What we need:
2 courgettes
2 capsicums
2 carrots
2 potatoes
4 asparagus
6-8 cherry tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, peeled and diced
1 onion, diced
3-4 vine tomatoes
handful chopped coriander
6 slices bread
1 cup of grated mozzarella

Also have to hand:
Olive Oil
Seat Salt
Pepper
Oregano Powder
Cumin Seeds

How we do:

  • Preheat the oven to 180 C/ 350 F
  • Wash all of the vegetables listed above along with cherry tomatoes. Cut in half lengthways and scoop out half of the flesh of each vegetable. (Except the asparagus and cherry tomatoes). Keep the scooped out flesh in a separate bowl.
  • Line a baking tray (Nb. I always use a non stick teflon sheet for all my baking/grilling-it’s washable and reusable 🙂 ).
  • Place vegetables on tray. Sprinkle some salt & drizzle olive oil over it. Bake for 10 minutes .
  • In the meantime, prepare stuffing by grinding the bread in a processor to form the crumbs. Add the mozzarella to the crumbs & add 1 tsp oregano, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Mix well.
  • To make the vegetable bed we will be using the flesh of the vegetables we saved earlier. In a pan, heat 2 tbsp olive oil. Add 1tsp cumin seeds. Once they begin to sizzle, add the garlic &onions. Cook for 2 minutes & add all the scooped out vegetables. Add the vine tomatoes. Mix well & cook for 5 minutes on medium heat.
  • Add 1-2 tsp salt (according to taste),  1 tsp pepper, 2 tsp oregano & coriander. Let it cook for another 5 minutes or until potatoes are cooked.
  • Remove the vegetables from the oven.  Spoon the breadcrumb stuffing into the vegetables. Once all are stuffed, drizzle with olive oil.
  • Put it back into the oven for a further 5 minutes.
  • Remove from oven. Spoon out the seasoned vegetable mixture from pan onto a plate, forming  bed. Place the stuffed vegetables on top. Drizzle with olive oil.
  • Balle Balle! That’s it, you’re done. Enjoy!
Posted in Coriander, Dinner, Uncategorized, Vegetables, Vegetarian | 2 Comments