Showing posts with label Non Veg. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Non Veg. Show all posts

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.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Curried Shrimp in Coconut Milk ..... And the Give Away Winner !!

No no.....there was no Food World, Reliance Fresh or Spencers.I went with Baba riding on his green Bajaj scooter to the sabzi mandi ..... Once upon a time !
As far as my memory goes only few of the big garment shops or gold shops had a climate controlled environment ..... in simple words A.C.
And it was definitely a big deal and a status symbol to buy things from a shop like that ... Yes you paid a price to sit in the 'thanda' room and for those glittering LED lights .... few extra bucks !!
And who in the world would have imagined that a day would come when big names like Reliance would engage in selling Sabzi in air conditioned shops ..... ok ok Retail Marketing or Food Mall. Hope I am technically correct.

Buying vegetables and grocery is so much easier ... provided you secure a place to park your car. Thanks to the proactive ICICI Car loan agents, there is at least one car in every household !! After all who would want to go to a sabzi mandi in the blaring hot sun.
And there is no such word as 'Bargaining'. Did you say 'cheapo'. Indeed that is why the modern marketing guru's have abolished that word and also it's synonyms. Life is easy ... no more engaging in arguments over an extra bunch of dhaniya patta or few green chilies.

In other words 'India Shining' ... quoted by the NDA government. Before you tag me with being associated with BJP, RSS etc I am also going to write what the current UPA govt says ...'Ho Raha Bharat Nirmaan'

But what about the developed West from where we imitated this culture. Why do they fancy the 'Farmer's Market','Grow your own herb' movement etc ?? Why so much importance on buying food directly from the farmers or even growing your own. Well I am sure we all know the answer ...don't we ??

Are any of the Retail Marketing Gurus' listening ??

Preparation Time - 40 minutes
Serves - 2


Medium size Shrimp/ Prawn - 12
Onion - 1/2 (medium size)
Garlic Cloves - 2
Ginger - 1/2 inch
Cinnamon - 1 inch
Cumin - 1/2 tsp
Coriander - 1/2 tsp
Tomato paste - 1 tsp
Mustard - 1/3 tsp
Chili (Fresh or Green) - 4 (per taste)
Curry Leaves - few
Coconut Milk - 1 cup
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Salt per taste

Method of Preparation

1. Grind onion, ginger,garlic,cumin,coriander,chilies,cinnamon to make a smooth paste.
2. Marinate the shrimp with little turmeric and salt and keep aside for 10 minutes.
3. Heat oil in a pan and fry the shrimp just for few minutes so that they turn opaque. Refrain from over frying else the shrimps would be rubbery.
4. In a wok add some more oil. When the oil is hot temper it with mustard seeds and curry leaves. Add the groundmasala and salt and fry till the masala is cooked well and there is no raw smell. Add tomato paste.
5. Add the coconut milk and simmer. Add some water if needed to adjust the consistency. Add the shrimps and simmer for 2 minutes before turning off the heat.

Serving Tips

Serve warm with rice.

I would like to thank everyone for their constant encouragement and for the love they show towards me and my blog and for participating in the give away.I wish I could give one book to each.

I promise to come up with another give away very soon .....

So J helped me with picking up a random winner. And the winner of this give away is

6 Bittersweets
- Big falafel-lover here and yours look perfect!

Congratulations !! Please email me your name and address @ to mail you the cook book.I would surely recommend all of you to visit her blog for her flawless clicks and awesome cupcakes.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Happy 1st Birthday 'Food for Thought' ..... letz start with Stuffed bell peppers

About 365 days back I was completely jobless and my favorite pass time was musing on useless things, and browsing online shopping sites, making trips to the neighborhood departmental store and napping in the afternoons.
Very soon I grew out of it. I wanted to do something ...... totally unsure of what that 'something' was.
I was afraid that I was having ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) .... I think I suffer from it big time. I start everything with a lot of enthu but never get to the end of it. The proof ..... incomplete oil paintings, craft works, half read books and many more. But there is one thing that I do everyday ... eat ! And cook too of the many demerits of living in a servant less country.
After a long brainstorming session and few squabbles with J 'Food for Thought' was born .... a year ago.....

And I believe I have conquered ADD. For the first time I started something and I so love it till date. It has become a part of my everyday life.

This time there is a man behind this woman's success .... J of course. I owe it to him. Definitely to my family too who never gave up on me and encouraged me to put my thoughts into words.

Also to all those loving blog friends who have constantly encouraged me. I would definitely want to mention a line about those who criticized my work too. They just made me more determined to go ahead with an endeavor of doing it better everyday.

Thank you all for being a part of my First Birthday bash. Please enjoy the visual treat of stuffed bell peppers .

Preparation Time 60 minutes
Serves - 4

Minced Boneless Chicken - 1/2 pound
Small Bell Pepper - 8
Grated Cheese - 1/2 cup
Pepper Powder - 1/2 tsp
Finely Chopped Garlic - 1 tbsp
Finely Chopped Ginger - 1/2 tbsp
Chili Garlic Sauce - 1 tbsp
Cumin Powder - 1/2 tsp
Red Chili Powder - 1 tsp
Lemon Juice - 1 tsp
Salt per taste
Oil for cooking

Method of Preparation
1 Cut Bell Peppers, remove seeds and brush them with little oil. Keep aside.
2 Drizzle some oil in a pan. Add chopped onions and saute till they are brown. Add the ginger and garlic and mix well. Fry for 2 minutes.
3 Add the minced meat and stir in with the fried onions, garlic and ginger. Add salt, red chili powder. Mix it well with the minced chicken and fry till the chicken is cooked.
3 Add cumin powder and chili garlic paste and fry for 2-3 minutes.
4 Remove from heat and add some lime juice to it.
5 Preheat the oven at 400 degree F.
6 Stuff the bell pepper with this minced meat. Sprinkle cheese on it. (I added less but if you like cheese you can add more too)
7 Put it in the oven for 10 - 15 minutes till the cheese starts melting.

Serving Tips
Serve as an appetizer at room temperature.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Poached Eggs with Peas .... Easy Peasy Brunch !

"Yatri Gaan krupya dhyaan de .... Train Number 2010, Howrah se Secunderabad jane wali Faluknuma Express teesh (30) minutes vilambh se chal rahi hai. Yaatriyon ki asuvidha k liye humen khed hai". The same announcement was repeated in English and Odiya. Everyone on the Platform were all ears and were listening attentively to the garbled announcement.
I waited for the train along with a dozen, well my family and relatives ..... No not everyone was traveling. In fact I was the only one to board the train. You guessed it right, they were all their to see me off. I felt like I was going to war .... but I was actually going back to college after my semester break. My maternal aunt had reminded me for the infinite time about drinking milk everyday and eating the almonds she had packed. Maa continued with her constant reminders of not talking to strangers on the train and not eating anything from vendors. She had packed Poori and sukhi alu subzi. It was enough to feed my fellow co passengers as well. And it would be unjust if forget about the empty Bisleri bottle which was refilled by dad at home with filter water. He had better reasons to spend those 12 bucks than buying water on the train.

Monu my three year old cousin was after her father's life to buy her a Frooti from the nearest stall. That was her only motivation to come to see anybody off at the station. My uncle finally bought a crate of chilled Frooti for all of us. Monu grabbed two of them one in each hand and sipped it with a straw making a funny sound. The chilled Frooti helped her sober down a bit.
In the mean time there was another announcement ..... it was so taint that we could hardly understand a word. Anyhoo we waited on the same platform after checking with a coolie about the arrival of the train. Sony and Suma .... both in their early teenage were busy flipping pages of 'The Femina' at the nearest Book Wheeler. They were talking to each other about something and giggling.

The Chai wala and Boiled Anda wala were hovering around our bunch. I don't blame them for it ..... Our gang was loud enough to get everybody's attention. The topic of discussions were anything and everything under the Sun. Itu Mousi was worried about her Bai going on a 2 days leave, Aai was apprehensive about the rains and the crops ..... Mom was unhappy about some of her students not faring well in the pre board exams and was tensed about the forthcoming inspection at her school. And as usual dad was sweating and he was just worried about everything !!
Everybody had almost forgotten about the train ..... till they felt the platform tremble. There was another garbled announcement and this time the train had arrived.
Everyone started running towards my coach. Our gang had caused enough inconvenience for the fellow passengers by crowding around my berth. Dad pushed my luggage under the lower berth and locked it with a chain to secure it ... simultaneously giving me some last moment advice. He pulled it twice to ensure that it was firm and locked. Maa and Aai rushed out with moist eyes leaving me feel home sick. Dad hugged me and hurried down. I stood near the door as the train started moving.I waved at them trying to hide my emotions. The train gained speed and I was alone with a cyclone of emotions ....

The inspiration for this recipe comes from Prerna's IndianSimmer - . She is one of the most gorgeous food blogger I have come across. I have tweaked the recipe a bit but you can find the original one here.

Preparation Time 30 minutes
Serves 3
Large Eggs -3
Green Peas - 2/12 cups
Chopped Onion - 1/2 cup
Olive Oil - 1 tbsp
Green Chilies - 2
Coriander Powder - 1 tbsp
Curry Powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt per taste

Method of Preparation

1. Heat oil in a wok and saute the chopped onions. Add chopped green chilies, corriander powder and curry powder. Mix in well.
2. Add the peas and stir in. Add salt and cook till the peas are soft.
3. In another pan heat some oil. Break an egg and poach it. Sprinkle some salt on it. Once the egg is cooked remove from heat

Serving Tips
Serve warm with your choice of bread over a bed of peas.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Mansha Tarkari aka Mutton Curry

It was a big day at Plot No - 1 Budheswari Colony. Mr Jamai Babu (Son in law) was visiting for the first time after our wedding. Undoubtedly he was the apple of every one's eye. His face dazzled with all the attention he was getting. It was a big fat gathering.
After taking a peek into all the rooms I slipped into one of the quite corners of the house to lie down and rest my tired aching bones. J was surrounded by my Uncles, Aunts and Grandparents. Some visitors from the neighborhood had also barged in to see the new Jamai. Jhumpa, the four year girl from our neighborhood jumped on J's lap without the slightest hesitation and stared at his face as he was doing all the talking. I wondered if J looked like an alien to her.
While I was at solace in my own house J was bombarded with curious questions from everyone. Everybody was eager to know how the Amerikan Jamai was surviving at the far off land.Ironically no body was interested to know what he did for his living in Amerika ..... all they were curious about was food and food alone !
'Do you get fresh fish there ?' was my grandfather's question. 'No only frozen fish', J answered after clearing his choked throat. ' What about our desi vegetables ?' Every question revolved around food. All these just reaffirmed that we Odiyas' live and die for food !! If we know of a big meteorite heading towards earth we will spend all the time cooking and dining !
While the male members of my family kept J entertained, the female members were busy in chopping, grinding and cooking. It was a big deal and there was no stone unturned for this lavish lunch.

And when I say lavish I mean lavish !! The variety of food could easily outnumber the dishes of an restaurant. I could smell an amalgamation of macha besara, chicken curry, mutton jhola , ghanta tarkari, saga badi bhaja , pulao, kheeri, rasgulla and what not.
It was impossible for me to stick to ettiquetes ..... I marched straight into the kitchen, picked up my steel tray ..... mine because it was gifted to me on my naming ceremony and hence belonged to me. Nothing attracted me more than the Mansha Jhola with potatoes dunked in the gravy (Mutton Curry). I took a big serving of the mansha jhola with some pulao and went to the courtyard. I saw J being escorted to the dining area by my grandmother. Mom laid some shiny new steel plates and bowls. J was literally pampered to the extent of spoon feeding. I am sure my kith and kin were sympathizing with the lad for having married me - for cooking was never my cup of tea those days. There were too many people around the table and everyone trying to say something to him. They fed him till he chocked. Perhaps they thought of feeding him so much that it would last till his next visit. And that hopefully we won't complain about my miserable cooking ...... But I quite enjoyed the scene of the 'Jamai Bhojan' sitting under the guava tree in our courtyard under the warm winter Sun, smacking the bowl of mutton curry clean and throwing the bones at my pet cat 'Sundari'.

Preparation Time 45 minutes
Serves - 4

Mutton/ Lamb - 2 pounds
Potato - 1 big diced
2 Medium size Onions finely chopped
Ginger Garlic Paste - 2 tsp
Tomato - 1 small
Curd - 1 tsp
Red Chili Powder - 2 tsp (per taste)
Turmeric Powder - 1.5 tsp
Cumin Powder - 1 tsp
Mutton Curry Powder - 1 tbsp
Cinnamon - 1 inch
Cardamon - 2
Cloves - 5
Whole Black Pepper - 8
Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Bay Leaf - 1
Salt per taste
Ghee - 1/2 tsp
Mustard Oil for Cooking (You may use any oil alternatively)

Method of Preparation

1 Wash the mutton and remove moisture from it. Add 1 tsp red chili powder, 1 tsp turmeric powder, curd, salt and marinate. Keep aside for 20-30 minutes.
2 Heat mustard oil in a pan. When hot fry the diced potato till golden brown on all sides. Keep aside.
3 In a pressure cooker add some mustard oil. When warm add all the whole garam masala/ spices including cumin seeds. Add the finely sliced onions to it and saute till the onions are golden brown. You may add a little salt to the onions to cook it faster. Add ginger garlic paste and mix in with the onions. Also add tomatoes, 1 tsp red chili powder and tomatoes. Mix well and cook till the masala is cooked. Add cumin powder and Mutton curry masala and stir in.
4 Add the diced potatoes and marinated mutton pieces to the masala. Fry them mixing well for 10 minutes. Make sure you stir them continuously else the masala will stick to the bottom.
5 Add enough water to cover the mutton and potatoes. Pressure cook for 3 whistles.
6 Remove from heat and let it cool. Open the cooker and add 1/2 tsp of ghee and mix well.

Serving Tips
Serve warm with plain basmati rice/ pulao or any Indian flat bread.