Showing posts with label Chicken. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chicken. Show all posts

Friday, July 17, 2015

Chicken Rezala ....

I have come across various Rezala recipes several times. Mutton/Chicken/ Potato and even Cauliflower Rezala. And one thing that is strikingly similar and interesting to note is that most of my bengali food bloggers have it on their blogs. Rezala as the name suggests is a Mughlai dish which the chefs of Mughal Emperors from Awadh introduced in East of India. 

The dish is highly rich, full of flavors, enticing to the taste buds and the secret of a successful Rezala is the use of homemade sweet yogurt that nicely compliments the dish giving a nice sweet taste. Though Rezala is synonymous with mutton, the one I have prepared is with chicken. A perfect chicken rezala would have flavorsome gravy with juicy tender chicken pieces which would make your taste buds lingering with a burst of tang.

While I was scouting for a perfect Rezala recipe (actually there are many versions), I settled with one from my friend Sayantani's blog, A Homemaker's Diary. Though I followed most of the steps she posted, I tweaked it a bit per my taste buds. I would say her's is a more authentic version of Rezala as she has used a generous amount of ghee/ clarified butter and kewra essence. I have cut down a bit on the ghee/ clarified butter (wanted to make a low fat version) and used saffron instead of kewra. And I must say, J and I loved it. But you may add a generous amount of ghee for enhanced flavor and richness. 

My Verdict - This is one simple dish bursting with flavors.

Preparation Time - 1 hour


Skinless Chicken, Bone in Medium size pieces -500 gms
Medium Size onion - 2
Garlic Pods - 3-4 large
Ginger - 1 inch
Fresh Curd - 1 cup
Ground Black/ White Pepper - 1 tsp
Nutmeg Powder - 1 tsp 

Whole Garam Masala

Green Cardamom - 3
Black Cardamom - 1
Cloves - 4/5
Black Pepper - 8/10
Red Chili - 2
Bayleaf - 1

Clarified Butter - 2 tsp
Refine Oil - 3 tsp
Cashew Nuts (Whole)  - 4/5
Poppy Seeds - 1 tsp
Sugar - 1 pinch
Saffron - few strands

Method of Preparation

First wash the chicken and drain all water from it. Keep aside. Remove the skin of onions and pressure cook it using little water till one whistle. When cool open and remove from cooker. Let it sit for some time till it cools thoroughly. Crush garlic and ginger using a mortar and pestle. 
When the onion is cooled down chop it roughly. Grind onion, ginger n garlic together in a blender to make a smooth paste. The paste has to be absolutely smooth. 
Using a whisk, beat the curd to make it smooth.
Grind cashew n poppy seeds to a paste and keep aside.

In a bowl mix onion/ginger garlic paste and curd. Add nutmeg and pepper powder. Add salt to taste. Add the chicken pieces to the mixture and marinate. Keep it aside for minimum 30 minute. est if you can marinate it for 4-5 hours.

Once you are ready to cook Heat the oil and ghee. Lightly pound (just one or two stroke for the pods to open and release more aroma) the whole spices and add to the oil. Let it sizzle and  fill up your kitchen with lovely aroma.Shake off the marinate from the chicken and arrange them on the pan, preferably in single layer. on medium heat seal the chicken and cook till all sides turn white. Now pour in all the marinade and mix. 
Cook for 8-10 minutes and the add the poppy/ cashew seeds paste. cook for a minute and pour 3/4 cup warm water. Check the seasoning and cover. Let it simmer on low heat till oil starts to float on top and the chicken is cooked through.

Uncover and add the sugar and strands of saffron . Keep covered till you are ready to serve.
Serve with Indian flat breads Naan/ Paratha/ Kulcha etc.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Chicken Keema .....

These days when I blog I think about my little sister who is dealing with sleepless nights and tied up mornings for past few months. Her five month old monster is a handful. So I am trying to think of easy below thirty minutes recipes for her which can be done in no time with simple ingredients from the pantry. Chicken Keema is one such dish. It can be prepared in less that thirty minutes and can be paired with rice and breads.
My Marathi friend likes it a little spicy and pairs it with the famous Mumbai Pav. You can also make a wrap using your regular roti or make a grilled sandwich with it. You can also make a stuffed indian bread "Keema Paratha" with it. The options are many. Or just relish it with naan or roti.

Keema is packed with flavors and you can never go wrong with it.


Minced Chicken ( You can ask your local butcher to do it if it is not readily available) - 500 gms
Finely chopped onion - 2 medium size
Ginger garlic paste - 2 tsp
Tomato Pureed - 3 medium size
Cumin Powder - 1/2 tsp
Corriander Powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala Powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
Red Chili Powder - 1/2 tsp ( You can add more if you want more spicy)
Chopped green chilies - 3
Salt per taste
Oil for cooking

For Garnishing (Optional)
Coriander leaves
Chopped onions

Method of Preparation

First wash the chicken keema pieces. Let it sit in a colander to remove excess water from it. Finely chop onions and green chilies, puree the tomato and prepare ginger garlic paste by taking equal quantity of ginger and garlic. You can also use store bought one.

Take a heavy bottom skillet. Add about 4 tbsp of oil. When hot add the finely chopped green chilies and then chopped onions. Saute the onions till they look translucent to golden brown. Then add the ginger garlic paste. Saute by stirring it regularly. Else it may burn. Then add the pureed tomatoes to it. Add turmeric powder, salt, red chili powder, coriander powder and cumin powder. Cook the masala till there is no raw smell and it starts leaving oil from the sides.
Add the minced chicken meat to it.

Mix well with the masala. Now add garam masala to it.
Add about 2 cups of water. Cover and simmer the meat on medium heat till most of the water evaporates and the meat it cooked.
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

Suggestion for Serving

Team it up with any Indian flat bread (Roti/ Naan etc)
You can also make a grilled sandwich with it.
Or even a wrap/ roll.
You can also use this keema for pizza topping

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Indianized Spicy Chicken Wings

The mehendi from Jaya's hands had just started to fade.The new bride was glowing in the gorgeous red salwar kameez. Sanjay was looking at his watch, waiting for the train to arrive, his leave was getting over in two days time. Sanjay's mother was still briefing Jaya about the do's and dont's. It was a typical Indian arranged marriage for Sanjay and Jaya. The train rolled into the platform. The coolies ran towards the bogie carrying their large suitcases. Those bags carried their entire household,everything starting from spices to utensils and clothes. 

Jaya bent and touched the feet of her in-laws and got into the coach. The train whooshed out out the platform gaining speed steadily. The young bride blushed as people stole glances at the newly wed. 

 After a few hours of train journey, Jaya was in this entirely new city ready to embrace a new life. Sanjay was explaining her about the place as they passed through market areas and crowded streets. Being a small town girl, she was amused to see the huge buildings, multiplexes and shopping complexes. Soon they were at their rented apartment, which they was going to be their first home. Sanjay opened the door of the house and let Jaya in. As they kept the bags down, she inspected the house.
 Dust had settled on the windows and their were little cob webs, she could see her footprints on the cold and dusty tiled floors. The bed sheet on the bed looked crumpled as if it had not been washed since ages. There was a pile of clothes at one corner of the bed room. The kitchen platform was greasy and the opened masala packets were randomly placed on the shelves.
The house was far from what is shown in our Bollwood movies where the hero takes his newly wedded wife for the first time !!
She sighed and started cleaning the house being quite optimistic that she would change Sanjay for the better with her love and patience.
A month ago Jaya and Sanjay celebrated their tenth wedding anniversary. She no longer is that timid and shy bride.But things otherwise has not changed much. Sanjay is still messy ...... but he vouches that he has changed much in these years. Jaya has her side of the story. According to her, nothing has changed much for Sanjay except for the few more grey hair. He still leaves the cap of the "namkeen" bottle open, and the wet towel hanging at one corner of the bed, neither does he stack up the newspapers after reading it, nor does he arrange his shoes on the rack, he sits before the TV changing channels all day on weekends and is fussy about his food ........
Despite all the differences they are crazily bonded with their love for each other ....... which they vouch has only grown over the years.

Chicken wings (skin on) - 500 gms  
Garlic paste - 2 tsp
Ginger paste - 1 tsp
Vinegar -  2 tsp
Chili sauce -
1 tbs 
Ketchup - 1 tbs
Red chili powder - 1 tsp
Salt to taste
For the sauce
Oil - 1 tbs
Green chilies - 2 chopped finely
Tomato paste - 2 tbs
Hot sauce - 2 tbs
Cumin Powder -  1 tsp
Minced Garlic - 1 tsp
Chopped coriander to garnish

Method of Preparation

Marinade the wings in the ingredients listed for at least half an hour or more. Broil in the oven on high heat until cooked and just beginning to char.

In the meantime, prepare the sauce by heating the oil. Add to it the chopped green chilies and minced garlic and stir fry for 30 seconds. 

Add all the rest of the ingredients and stir fry for 2-4 minutes until cooked through. You can add up to 1/4 cup of water at this stage if you want a thinner sauce. Add the grilled chicken wings and toss to coat. Garnish with coriander.


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Chicken Kohlapuri

What were my last year's resolution ....... Oh you must be kidding me !! Didn't I mention earlier that I suffer from ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder). So this year I decided not to waste time penning my resolution ... It's so cool to kick your heels and relax. No obligations what so ever ! For once it feels great not having any ambitious new year plans. Totally relaxing .....  I must confess.

The husband is also so much at ease ....... well once in a while he too deserves a life. I am sure many of you would be nodding your head in affirmation. For a change he didn't have to go through my mood swings and pangs about not arranging a "happening" new year eve. 
This year strangely there were no emotions brewing. I didn't wish to be amongst those thousand crazy souls who hooted, hugged and kissed as the historic crystal ball dropped at Times Square in New York or even at Brigade Road in Bangalore.I am probably still having the hangover of last years new year eve and thus decided to have a more sober one .How sober I leave it completely to your imagination. 
So unlike the past there were no tables booked and no lavish spread in those fancy restaurants. And I suck when it comes to handling crowded places ....... and of course the pressure of looking good and dressing up for the occasion simply adds a lot of pressure. Yes you have a hundred eyes staring at you to death as you struggle with the silver cutlery.
So I decided to stretch my legs and curl up on the sofa, be my own DJ ,sip my drink ..... courtesy my very own bartender J, lick my fingers and smack my plates clean. Simply being my self, not allowing anyone to be judgmental of me ! And can it get any better for a new beginning.

Hope you all had a wonderful and rocking year ...... So here's a recipe that's sure to spice it up :)

Preparation Time - 90 mnts
Serves - 6 
2 lbs chicken, skin removed and cut into medium pieces
1/4 cup oil
For marinating: 
2 tablespoons yogurt
1 tablespoon turmeric
2 tablespoon red chili powder (more or less) 
2-3  tablespoons Spice Mix 
For the main Sauce: 
3 large onions finely sliced
3-4 cloves of garlic, sliced or minced
2″ fresh ginger, grated or thinly sliced
1/3 can coconut milk
3/4 cup oil
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons fresh or dried coconut
3/4 cup tomato paste 
Spice Mix 
Light fry in oil: 
1/2 tablespoon white poppy seeds
1 teaspoon cumin/jeera
3 tablespoons coriander seeds
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon fenugreek/methi seeds
1 teaspoon peppercorn
4 dry red chilli pepper (more or less as per taste)
4 cloves
4 small  green cardamom
2″ cinnamon stick
A pinch of hing/asafoetida
Dry Roast: 
2 tablespoons dried coconut
1 teaspoon sesame seed

Spice Mix
1. Heat very little oil in a pan and very lightly fry the ingredients mentioned in the “Light Fry”at low heat for a couple of minutes. Switch off the heat when they get fragrant.
2. Dry roast the coconut and sesame seeds for a couple of minutes, till the coconut is very light brown.
Blend all the ingredients of the “light fry” and “dry roast” in a powder.
Marinating Chicken
Marinate chicken with yogurt, turmeric, salt, chili powder and spice mix for at least an hour (I left mine overnight).
For the curry
Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade and brown them in the heated oil on both sides. they should be light brown; does not need to be evenly brown. Save the marinade.
Remove the chicken pieces and save the leftover oil.
For Gravy
1.Heat 3/4 cup oil  and fry the onions, ginger, garlic, sugar and salt till the onions are brown and starts to caramelize. Switch off the heat and transfer half of the onion mix from the pan to a blender or food processor along with the fresh cilantro, coconut, tomato paste, water and the left over marinade and blend till smooth.
2. In the remaining half of the fried onions in the pan, add the chicken and toss them and cook them for about 10 minutes at medium to high heat. If the spices stick at the bottom of the pan just sprinkle some water and scrape it off .
3. Add half of the mix from the blender to the chicken and the leftover oil from frying the chicken if you have any) in the pan and stir everything gently. Cook/simmer for about 10 – 15 minutes at medium to high heat. When you see the sauce reducing pour out the rest of the blended ingredients in to the pan. Gently stir everything together for them to combine. Cover and cook at low to medium heat till the chicken pieces are tender.
Remove cover and increase the heat. Add the coconut milk. Cook till the oil separates  for about 10 - 15  minutes. 

Friday, August 26, 2011

Nigella's Mughlai Chicken

Sumitra had just finished her morning chores. Her kids were off to school. The morning sun shined gently on her veranda. She switched on the dusty transistor that sat in one corner of the living room from time eternal ..... it was time for her daily dose of Vividh Bharati. She pulled up the cane chair and sat in the winter sun sipping away her tea and listening to her favorite old Hindi numbers from the eighties.
Her rusted iron gate made a sharp screeching noise, the brown paint on it was already peeling off .... she turned back to see who it was. Her neighbor, Mrs Kumar came hurrying towards her with a packet of sondesh (sweets). The silver foil on the sondesh glittered in the sun and so did Mrs Kumar. She was beaming with joy and pride. Mrs Kumar had smudged some extra talcum powder on her face and her big kohl laden eyes sparkled.
Sumitra and Mrs Kumar had been neighbors from a long time. They had got married around the same time and had moved into the neighborhood just about the same time . Also their husbands worked in the same Sarkari office.
"Meethai kish khusi mein" (What's the good news ), Sumitra asked, picking up a piece of Sondesh from the box. That was exactly what Mrs Kumar was waiting to hear so that she could spill her beans.
"Humare ghar mein aaj subah telephone connection laag gaya, isshi khusi mein" (Got a new telephone connection this morning), said Mrs Kumar in a very dramatic voice."Badhai Ho" (Congratulations),Sumitra said in a feeble voice, her mouth still stuffed with Sondesh.
"Do come home sometime to have a look at our new phone. And don't forget to get Cheeku and his Papa. I will give you my number so that your relatives can call you. Incoming if free she emphasized. This was exactly what Sumitra didn't want to hear. She always wanted to be the first one to get a telephone connection in her colony.

She could hardly wait for Rakesh, her husband to come back from work. Something seemed to bother her the entire day and she was restless. In spite of all this she was making Rakesh's favorite tea time snack. That was something that she would only do on special occasions to bring back the lost charm to her decade old married life.
She waited impatiently walking up and down the verandah ..... her eyes glued on the rusted iron gate and the dusty road. Time stood still for her. As soon as she heard the sound of Rakesh's scooter, she ran towards the gate.
"Mrs Kumar k ghar pe telephone connection laag gaya ji", were the first words she uttered. And to her agony Mrs Kumar's phone rang at that very moment .... the sound loud enough for all her neighbors to hear.
Soon she served the samosa that she had painfully prepared during the afternoon with some tea. They spoke very less between the tea .... Rakesh was busy eating the samosa and nooded his head in affirmation to whatever Sumitra said. He knew no matter what he says, the last word would be of Sumitra's.
Well six months have passed since then. Rakesh had taken a half day off the very next day to put the application for the telephone connection. There are no updates from the telecom department since then. Mrs Kumar drops in once in a while to narrate her 'telephone tales'. And Sumitra still sits on her cane chair waiting for the guy from the telecom office to come with the 'black' equipment and a roll of black wires.

This recipe has been adapted from Nigella's website. I was a bit intimidated by the long list of ingredients. But it turned out to be an easy breezy recipe .... and absolutely finger licking good.

Preparation Time - 60 minutes
Serves - 6
Fresh Ginger Peeled - 2.5cm
Garlic cloves peeled - 4 big
Ground Cumin - 2 tsp
Ground Coriander - 1 tsp
Dried Chilli - 1/2 tsp
Ground Almonds - 4 tbsp
Water - 125 ml
Cardamon Pods - 5 Bruised
Cinnamon Stick - 2 inches
Bay Leaves - 2
Cloves - 4
Vegetable Oil - 4 tablespoon
Chicken Thigh bone in/ boneless - 1.5 kg
Onion - 2 large
Greek Yogurt - 250 ml
Double Cream - 125 ml
Raisins - A handful
Garam Masala - 1tsp
Castor sugar - 1 tsp
Almonds for garnishing

Method of Preparation

1. Put the ginger, garlic, cumin, coriander and chilli into a food processor, and blend to a paste. Add the ground almonds and water, then blend again, and set aside. Traditionally, this would be done with a pestle and mortar, and there's nothing to stop you using those, or a little spice grinder.
2. Heat the oil in a large pan and add the chicken pieces - in batches so they fry rather than stew - and cook them just long enough to seal on both sides, then remove to a dish.
3. Tip in the bowlful of spices and turn them in the oil. Peel and finely chop the onions, add to the pan of spices, and cook until softened and lightly browned, but keep the heat gentle and stir frequently, to avoid them catching. Pour in the blended paste, and cook everything until it begins to color. Add the yogurt, 125ml at a time, stirring it in to make a sauce; then stir in the cream and sultanas. Add a little water if required.
4. Put the browned chicken back into the pan, along with any juices that have collected under them, and sprinkle over the garam masala, sugar and salt. Cover and cook on a gentle heat for 20 minutes, testing to make sure the chicken meat is cooked through.
5. Garnish with flaked almonds
Serving Tips
Serve warm with any Indian Flat Bread or Rice/ Pilaf

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Pulled Chicken Sandwich ....Perfect for the Summer Picnics

Arrrrgghhhh .... These names are driving me crazy ... Apple Citrus, Guava Grapefruit Blast, Warm Vanilla Sugar, Citrus Blueberry Swirl. No I am not reading any menu ..... these are some of the shampoos and of course conditioners available at 'Bath n Body Works' !! I wandered around the shop with an equally clueless husband whom I forced to sniff each of these bottles and give his opinion before I dropped them into my shopping bag. Never thought buying shampoo could be so tedious. Also never in my craziest imagination had I thought that there would be exclusive shops selling toiletries !

I still remember Aai (maternal grandma) rubbing the red horrible looking and equally bad smelling Shikakai soap on my head. Later she decided to go herbal and graduated to Shikakai and Reetha (soap nut), which she would soak overnight in warm water. She would part my hair and rub it with the solution before washing it off. This continued till one day when the Reetha Solution ran into my eyes and caused havoc.

Then came the era of my mom ..... who neither had the time nor the inclination of going through a regime of making herbal soap solutions and rubbing into our hair. She would hand over a shiny one rupee coin and ask me or my sister to run to the Kirana (Grocery) shop to fetch a sachet of shampoo. With fewer names like Sunsilk, Halo and Clinic Plus there was little to get confused about. Radha Shyam the shop owner would snap a sachet from the string while we would stand there staring at the bottles of hard boiled sugar candies.

Maa would not let us use the entire sachet .... she would pour half the packet into my palm and save the remaining for my sister or for the next use. Soon we graduated from shampoo sachets to bottles. But the bottle would still remain in the custody of Maa .... On the days when she decided that I needed a head bath, she would squeeze a little amount from the bottle on my palm. Occasionally I would get into a squabble with her demanding more shampoo .... I would grumble and tell her ' When I grow big and start earning, I will buy my own shampoo and will wash my hair as much as I want'.

Well yes ... I am living that dream but it doesn't give the same kick as that the small amount of shampoo for which I often fought. But sure it brings a smile to my face ...... The small amount of shampoo that Maa poured into my tiny hands taught me a bigger lesson of life ..... to understand the value of even the insignificant things !

Well Maa and Aai have changed much over the years. Aai has moved on to using branded body washes n soaps and Maa no longer takes custody of the shampoo !!

Preparation Time - 2 hours to Overnight
Serves - 3

Chicken Thigh/ Leg Piece - Skinless and bone in - 3 or 4
For the Marinade
Diced red onion - 1/3 Cup
Ginger Garlic Paste - 1/2 tsp
Chilli Powder (Preferably Kashmiri Laal Mirch) - 2 tsp
Vinegar - 1 Tbsp
Cumin powder - 1 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/3 tsp
Oil - 2 Tbsp (Canola/ Vegetable/ Olive)
Thick yogurt - 1/3 cup
Salt to taste
For the Sandwich
Baguette - 1 (cut horizontally)
Cucumber Slices
Tomato Slices
Butter at room temperature
Red Onion Slices
Green Chutney (Store Bought)

Method of Preparation

1. Mix all the ingredients required for the marinade. Add the chicken pieces to it and coat the pieces uniformly. Transfer it to a zip lock bag or into a bowl and refrigerate it overnight or for 2- 3 hours
2. Remove the marinated chicken and thaw it to room temperature. Preheat oven at 400 Degrees F. Transfer the chicken to a oven proof dish and bake it for about 40 -45 minutes or till the chicken is cooked. Add the remaining marinade along with onions and bake it separately till the onions get cooked and there is no raw smell.
3. Once the Chicken cools , shred the flesh off the bones.
4. Spread some butter and green chutney on the baguette and layer it into a sandwich by adding shredded chicken, tomatoes, cucumber and red onions.