11 August, 2010

Mumma's home made chicken stew

I have been down with a bad bout of viral and this chicken stew brings back life into me with every sip I take of it. In my 'not-so-happy' moment thought I'd share a home made remedy for all my dear blogger friends!

1/2 kg chicken
15 pods of black pepper
5 pods of green cardamom
2 sticks of cinamon
1 tej patta (dry basil leaf)
2 carrots, cut into 2 inch slices
15 beans, cut into 2 inch slices
1 small green papaya cut into 2 inch slices
1 oninon cut into 6 with all florests seperated
1 stalk of celery
4 cloves of garlic, smashed
1 inch ginger, smashed
1 1/2 to 2 tsp salt (as per your taste)
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp oil

I love cooking in my pressure cooker. It's quick and times like this makes life simpler.

Heat the oil on high. Add the garlic. Fry till you can smell the burnt garlic. Add ginger and saute.
Lower the flame to medium high. Add the onion and fry till it begins to loose its color. 
Add the chicken and stir till the color becomes pale.
At this point add the black pepper, cardamom, cinamon and tej patta.
Stir in all the cut vegetables.
Add the salt and sugar. Stir for 1/2 a minute.
Now pour in about 1 litre of water. Drop the celery stalk into the pressure cooker.
Check for the salt. Add if you need more.
Place the lid of the cooker and allow for 2 pressures and switch off.

You can choose to have this as a soup. You could also have it with garlic bread or toast.

If you'd like it to be a little thick, add 1 tbsp cornflour mixed in water into the broth and bring it to a boil. This can be served with rice.

08 August, 2010

Chingdi macher malai curry

Thanks to the inspiration from 'Bong Moms Cookbook' I managed making this dish on Saturday. My guests quiet enjoyed having it, posting it for you too...

1 kg tiger prawns, cleaned, de-veined and with the tail
1 can coconut milk
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp salt
1 large onion paste
1 large clove of garlic, roughly cut
1 tsp fresh ginger paste
2 Tej Patta
5 green cardamom
5 cloves
2 sticks of cinamon
1 tsp sugar
6 green chillies, slit open mid way.
1 tbsp ghee (optional)
1 tsp freshly ground garam masala (optional)

Clean the prawns thoroughly. Keep the tail of the prawn intact as it adds to the flavour of the curry.
Pat-in the turmeric and salt onto the fish and set aside for 30 minutes.

In a non stick pan add 3 tbsp oil. Once the oil is well heated drop the prawns one by one into batches and shallow fry till they turn golden.
 Once the prawns are fried, in the remaining oil (shuld be about 1 tsp full) drop the crushed garlic. Fry till it changes color and remove it from the oil. 
Then add the tej patta as well as coarsely crushed cinamon, cardamom and clove into the oil. 
Once you smell the fragrance of the masala add the onion and sugar to it. Keep frying till the onion turns brown and oil begins to seperate.
At this point add the ginger paste and cook for about a minute.

Add the coconut milk. Fill the can with 1/3rd water, shake the can and pour the water into the pan. Mix the coconut milk and allow for the first boil to surface.
Add the prawns and salt (about 1 tsp OR as desired) and cook the curry on low flame till the curry begins to thicken (approximately another 4 minutes).
Add the green chillies and allow to simmer for another minute.
Remove from heat and pour out into serving dish.
Add a tbsp of ghee and a tsp of garam masala as garnish.
Serve with hot steamed rice OR peas pullao.

06 August, 2010

Malaysian Chicken Rice

All through my stay in KL this used to be my staple diet. In fact at a point I was cooking it almost every alternate day! Returning to the memoirs of 'Chiken Rice' after nearly half a decade. Hope you guys like it!

• 1 whole chicken [2½-3 lbs]
• 5-6 stalks fresh scallions
• 6 inch fresh ginger, peeled, cut into thick slices
• 2 tsp soy sauce
• 1 tsp sesame oil
• 2 additional stalks fresh scallions, chopped, for garnish [optional]
• 1 seedless cucumber, peeled, halved and sliced diagonally
• a few sprigs of fresh cilantro, for garnishing
• ½ tsp white peppercorns
• salt

Ingredients for Chicken rice:
• 3 cups long grained rice, washed and drained
• 1 tbsp chopped garlic
• 2 tsp salt
• 2½ tbsp chicken fat or vegetable oil
• 6 cups, or more, chicken broth [from the cooking broth]
• 6 pandan leaves [screwpine leaves] [optional]

Ingredients for Special Chili Dipping Sauce :
• 1 tbsp kaffir lime juice [Substitute: lime or lemon juice]
• 1½-2 tbsp chicken broth [from the cooking broth]
• 2 tsp sugar
• 4 tbsp hot chili sauce
• 4 cloves garlic, finely ground or mashed
• 1 inch ginger, finely ground or grated
• salt

To Prepare Special Chili Dipping Sauce :
• Mix hot chili sauce with lime juice, sugar, garlic, ginger, chicken broth [spooning some of the chicken fat oil] and salt to taste
• Pour chili sauce into small condiment dishes, for each individual serving

To Prepare Chicken :
• Cut off any excess fat, reserve for using to cook rice, wash chicken, drain well, stuff ginger slices and scallions stalks into the cavity of the chicken
• In a large stockpot, add sufficient water [to cover the chicken], white peppercorns and about 2 tbsp salt, bring to a boil
• Submerge the whole chicken, breast-side down in the boiling water, and immediately reducing the heat to a slow poach
• Cover, poach chicken for about 45-50 mins, [check to make sure the water does not 'boil' the chicken]
• When chicken is cooked, remove and plunge immediately into a bath of icy cold water, submerging the chicken for about 10 mins
• Remove chicken from the ice bath, discard ginger slices and scallion stalks from the cavity, drain the chicken well, set aside - meanwhile cook the chicken rice
• When the chicken is cool enough to handle, cut it neatly into serving size pieces [de-bone chicken, if you prefer]

To Prepare Chicken Rice :
• Wash rice till water runs clear, drain well
• Heat wok on high, add the reserved chicken fat, render into an oil to about 2½ tbsp [add vegetable oil if chicken fat oil is insufficient ]
• Add chopped garlic, stir-fry for a few seconds
• Add the raw rice, stir-fry till the rice grains start to look translucent, about 8-10 mins
• Transfer rice to a pot, add 6 cups chicken broth, salt and pandan leaves [*Note: depending on the type of rice, use more or less of the chicken broth]
• Bring to a boil, reduce heat, simmer uncovered, until the chicken broth is absorbed by the rice [small 'bubble' holes start to appear on the rice]
• Reduce heat to very low, cover the rice with a tight-fitting lid, cook for a further 10-12 mins
• Turn off heat, DO NOT open the cover, wait for 10 mins before opening [steam inside will gently finish steaming the rice]
• Fluff up the rice with a fork [If rice is not fully cook, simply add a little chicken broth, cover and steam on very low heat for another 5 mins or so]
• Alternatively, 'fry' the raw rice in a wok until translucent, then transfer into an electric rice cooker and add sufficient chicken broth to cook
• Any leftover chicken broth after making the rice, can be served as a small side soup, garnished with some chopped cilantro
• Line a serving platter with cucumber slices, arrange chicken pieces on top, sprinkle with soy sauce, sesame oil, and garnish with chopped scallions and cilantro sprigs
• Serve Hainan chicken [usually served at room temperature] with chicken rice, side soup - and special chili dipping sauce!

05 August, 2010

Paanch mishali torkari (vegetables in 5 spices)

Hmmm...not too sure how much my non-Bangali friends may like this concoction of vegetables n spices but I would recommend a try. :)

Phoron (tempering):
1 tbsp shorshe/rai/sarso (mustrad) seeds
1 tbsp methi (fenugreek) seeds
1 tbsp saunf (fennel) seeds
1 tbsp radhuni/ajmod (wild celery) seeds 
1 tbsp kalonji (black onion/caraway) seeds

Mix them together and store in an air tight bottle for future use.

1 cup muli (raddish) cut into 1 inch cubes
1 cup kumbro (red pumpkin) cut into 1 inch cubes
1 cup begun (brinjal) cut into 1 inch cubes
1 cup bhindi (ladies fingers) cut into 1 inch cubes
1 bunch palak (spinach) OR pui shaak, washed and cut into 1 inch cubes
1 tomato cut into 4 pieces
1 tsp oil, can use mustard oil if you like the taste
1 tbsp phoron (tempering)
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 green chillies, split into half

Place the pressure cooker on medium high.
Add the oil, let it warm and add 1 tbsp of the phoron (tempering spices). Let it splutter.
Add the muli (raddish), kumbro (red pumpkin), begun (brinjal) and bhindi (ladies fingers) and fry for a couple of minutes. You will begin to smell the fried fragrance of the vegetables.
Then add the palak (spinach) OR pui shaak and mix it into the vegetables. At this point you can add a teaspoon of sugar and mix it up.
Add turmeric, salt and tomatoes. Mix up the vegetables. Lid the cooker and allow for 1 whistle.
Switch off the heat.
Serve with steamed rice OR khichuri OR roti

03 August, 2010

Bhappa Shorshe Ilish (Mustard Hilsa fish)

Being a Bengali I can't but love this dish. Authentic to East of India I am sure friends from Orissa, Assam & Bengal will drool at the sound of this dish.
Raw hilsa reference.


1 Ilish (Hilsha) fish, cut into steaks
2 tablespoon mustard (or ground mustard paste)
3 tablespoon white til paste
6 green chilies
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 tablespoons oil, mustard oil preferred
Salt to taste (approximately 1 tbsp salt)
Few sprigs of coriander leaves for garnish


Wash the fish well.
In a container mix the mustard paste, til paste, turmeric, 1tbsp of mustard oil and salt.
Bhappa ilish
Rub this paste on the fish steaks and put the fish in a steamer. Add the green chillies slit mid way on the fish. Add a dash of mustard oil (about  a tsp each) on the fish.
I'd use a set of pressure cooker partitions and set them one on top of the other with a lid on the top-most container.
Add about 1/4th cup water in the cooker and let the fish steam over medium heat till about the release of the first pressure.
Switch off. Let the pressure settle. 
Carefully transfer the fish into a serving dish. You could garnish this with a few sprigs of coriander spread over the dish.

Serve with hot steamed rice.

02 August, 2010

Vegeterian Chow Mein

One of my all time favorite dish. I love the taste of Hoisin sauce and the blend of soft noodles with my favorite stir fried veggies makes it a wholesome food. Hope you enjoy making and eating this wonderful dish.

The dish has 3 main parts to it. They are:
Preparing the noodles
Preparing the vegetables
Preparing the sauce


1½ cups boiled noodles
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon sesame (til) oil


½ cup onions, sliced
1 teaspoon ginger, grated
1 teaspoon garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon celery, chopped
¼ cup carrots, cut into thin strips
¼ cup baby corn, cut into 4, lengthwise
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
½ cup bean sprouts
1 teaspoon oil
salt to taste

2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
½ cup water
1 tablespoon cornflour


Mix together the hoisin sauce and the noodles. Keep aside.

For the vegetables, heat the oil over a high flame and sauté the onions, ginger, celery and garlic for a few seconds. Add the carrots, baby corn, mushrooms and salt and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes till the vegetables soften. Add the bean sprouts and sauce and bring to a boil. Keep aside.

Now in a non-stick pan, heat the sesame oil and add the noodles. Arrange evenly on the surface of the pan to make a pancake. Cook till the noodles are golden brown in colour and lightly crisp. Carefully turn the noodles around cook over a slow flame for 3 to 4 minutes and then slide them on a serving plate.

Pour the sauce over the noodles and serve hot. In seperate bowls serve chilli vinegar and soya sauce.

Paneer & Vegetable Stir Fry

Dish-2 from my oriental spread was paneer & vegetable stir fry. This was specially made for my vegetarian husband and he quiet loved it. :D

1 to 2 tbsp vegetable oil (for shallow frying the paneer) & add 1/2 tsp for the final dish
200 gms fresh paneer (cottage cheese). Alternately you can use Tofu.
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tsp grated ginger
2 onions cut into eights
8-10 florets of broccoli
1 bunch bok choy, trimmed into 1 1/2 inch lengths
1 bunch spinach, trimmed like the bok choy
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced as the same length of the bok choy
1 yellow pepper, seeded and diced as the same length of the bok choy
180 gms baby corn halved
2 tablespoons vegetarian oyster (usually made with mushroom paste) sauce
1 tablespoon light soy sauce

In a wok over medium heat, warm the oil. Working in batches add the paneer and stir fry till golden on all sides. This is an optional step to preparing the dish. I shallow fry when we have friends coming over so that the paneer is taut when cooked. Remove the paneer and set aside on a paper towel so that the excess oils is drained.

Pour about 1/2 tsp oil into the wok and return to medium heat. Add garlic, ginger and onion. Stir fry till softened, about 2-3 minutes.

Add broccoli, baby corn and bell peppers and stir fry for another 3 minutes. Now add bok choy and spinach. Once the vegetables are tender crisp, about 4 minutes; add the paneer, oyster sauce and soy sauce. gently stir fry until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes.

Serve hot with steamed rice.

Chicken in Thai Green Curry

I have always eaten at Thai joints in Mumbai but never attempted making this delicious dish till yesterday. It was good fun experimenting but I was nervous as we had a couple of our friends over for dinner. It turns out that the I managed making this dish quiet well. The secret I guess is the Thai green curry paste which I made from scratch. Hope you like it... :)

Thai Green Curry Paste ingredients:
2 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 tsp salt
3 inch ginger OR 6 thin strips of galangal, chopped
2 stalks of lemon grass, white part only, peeled and chopped
2 tsp chopped kafir lime zest
1/4th cup finely chopped coriander OR you can also use about 15 cilantro roots, chopped
1/4th cup finely chopped pink shallots (small onions)
2 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp turmeric powder OR you may use 2 tsp of peeled and coarsely chopped fresh turmeric for enhanced flavor.
20 fresh, small green chillies
2 cups of fresh sweet Thai basil leaves

In a small frying pan on a medium heat toast the coriander, cummin seeds and peppercorn separately, stirring constantly, until fragrant, no more than 90 seconds. Immediately grind the toasted spice with salt into fine powder. Add all the other ingredients and grind into a fine paste.
You should have approximately 250 gms of Green Curry Paste which you can use over 3 times. We will need 1/3rd the portion for our curry. You can refrigerate the remaining for future use.

Green Curry Ingredients:
2 cups (500ml) of thick coconut milk
1-2 tbsp of vegetable oil (optional)
1/3rd portion (60gms) of the Green Curry Paste
375 gms boneless chicken breast, thinly sliced
1 cup chopped egg plant
1/4th cup pea egg plant (optional)
1/2 cup button mushroom, halved
2 tbsp palm sugar
2 kaffir lime leaves
1/2 cup fresh sweet basil leaves
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 long green chilli split from the center for garnishing

In a large heavy wok heat 2 1/3 parts of the coconut milk over medium high heat for about 4-5 minutes till you see the milk separate. If you find that the milk's not separating add the oil. Add the green curry paste and stir. Cook till you can smell the fragrance of the paste, should be about 2-3 minutes.

Add chicken and cook until meat is opaque on all sides, about 2-3 minutes more. Keep aside about 2 tbsp coconut milk and add the remaining coconut milk to the wok. Bring to a boil. Now add the palm sugar, eggplant & mushroom and simmer until the vegetables are soft, approximately 5-6 minutes. Tear the kaffir lime leaves and the basil leaves into pieces. Add to the curry. Stir in the fish sauce. Cook for about a minute.

Remove curry from heat. Pour into serving dish. add the 2 tbsp of coconut milk, a handful of fresh basil leaves and the green chilli. Serve with steamed rice.
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