Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Grilled Chicken-Fennel and Citrus Salad

The name of the Salads speaks about itself that it possesses a blend of flavors.  This salad is so apt for all the non-veg lovers who are looking to enjoy non-veg with low calories. It has a subtle hint of fresh Fennel bulbs and sprouting greens with zesty citrus fruits, viz. grape fruit and oranges.  Asparagus and lettuce are the elements which add up to the crunchiness of the Salad. Top it up with juicy, tangy citrus marinated grilled chicken.  Finally, dress the salad with the grapefruit honey dressing and Voilà. Enjoy this healthy one bowl meal to keep you fit and fine. Lets get started to making it….

100 gms, asparagus
1 cup, Rosso Lettuce, roughly broken into bite size
1 cup, Roman Lettuce, roughly broken into bite size
2 nos, Grape fruit, peeled, segmented and cubed
1 nos, Orange, peeled, segmented and cubed
2 nos, fennel bulb, medium
Some green lettuce  for assembly
For Marination :
2 nos, boneless chicken breast, medium
1 tbsp, fennel bulb, very finely chopped
1 tsp, orange zest
1 tsp, crushed garlic
½ tsp, red chili flakes
50 ml, orange juice
1 tbsp, olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
For Salad Dressing:
½ cup, Grape fruit juice
½ cup, olive oil
2 tbsp, honey
Juice of 1 medium lemon
Salt and pepper to taste.

Wash, clean and make slits on the chicken breasts.

To make the marinade, mix all the ingredients mentioned for marination.

Marinate the chicken breasts in the prepared marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

When ready to cook, brush the griddle pan(grill pan) with little oil.  Heat it over high heat until very hot.  Add few drops of water to sizzle it.  Place the chicken breasts and cook each side until thoroughly cooked.

Remove the chicken out of the pan, slice them and reserve for later use.

To prepare the dressing, whisk all the ingredients mentioned for Salad dressing until blended well. Chill it for 30 minutes.

Bring water to boil in a sauce pan. Trim and discard the tough woody part of the asparagus stalks. Cut the tender stalks into 2 to 3 inch in length. Boil them for 5 to 6 minutes.  Take them out and refresh them under cold water.

Discard the stalks of the fennel bulbs. Thinly slice the fennel bulbs and reserve the small edible greens for later use.

Assembly of Salad
In a bowl add cubed grape fruit, cubed orange, sliced fennel bulb, boiled asparagus and broken lettuce leaves.

Pour the prepared Grape fruit salad dressing. Season with some salt and pepper.  Gently mix them.

On a serving dish, make a bed of green lettuce.  Place the tossed citrus salad over the lettuce evenly.

Arrange the chicken slices over the citrus salad.  Spoon some more dressing over the chicken.

Garnish the salad with greens of fennel bulbs.  Serve them.

Serve the rest of the Grape fruit dressing separately in a bowl along with the salad.

NOTE:- (1) You can grill the chicken in bulk and refrigerate it in an airtight container easily for 3 to 4 days. You can assemble the salad whenever needed.
(2) If grape fruit is not available, you can use orange or even sweet lime for the dressing.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Aloo Methi

Aloo Methi is not one of those special dishes which are prepared on occasions, but indeed it is one of the most popular Indian dish that every house would be having it on its menu at a decent frequency. Personally, I have an obsession for methi and I would love to combine it with any veggies, dal or meat and relish it. There are some parts of India where methi is not available throughout the year and the best season for it is winter when you see greens flooded in the market.  Luckily, being in Bangalore I do have the luxury of finding it throughout the year.  There are many other dishes which I have prepared using it and have posted on my blog earlier like Methi Chicken, Machchli Methi, Methi ki Dal, Methi Makai ki Kadhi and many more.  Adding to the list is this Aloo Methi which may sound so simple but can turn out to be a feast for the vegetarians.  There are number of different ways to make it, but here is how I made it and you too can….

3 cups, fresh methi (fenugreek) leaves, tightly packed, roughly torn.
2 nos, large potatoes, cut in 1 inch cubes
1 nos, large tomato, finely chopped
3 nos, whole red chillies, broken into 2
1 tsp, cumin seeds
6 nos, garlic cloves, chopped/sliced
1 nos, medium onion, finely sliced/chopped
½ tsp, turmeric powder
1 tsp, coriander powder
1 nos, green chilli, chopped
½ tsp, garam masala powder
Salt as per taste
2 tbsp(30 ml), mustard oil

In a deep pan or kadhai, heat oil till smoky. Reduce the flame to low. Add cumin seeds, garlic and fry till garlic are golden brown(do not burn).  Add broken red chillies and fry for another few seconds

Add onions and fry till translucent. Add potatoes and sauté on high heat for 2 minutes stirring well

Cover and cook(on low flame) till potatoes are 50% done (approx. 5-6 minutes). Sprinkle little water in between if required.

Increase the heat to high, add tomatoes, green chillies, coriander powder, turmeric and salt. Sauté well.

Cover and cook till the potatoes are just tender but not mushy.

Add methi leaves, garam masala powder and sauté on high heat stirring well (approx. 2-3 minutes). Do not cover or over cook at this stage. If methi leaves releases too much of water, sauté for another minute till water dries up.

Dish out and enjoy hot aloo methi with phulkas/parathas, dal-rice, pickle and chutney of your choice.

Note: If you prefer, you can use other refined oil instead of mustard, but then do not heat the oil till smoky.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Classic English Raisin Loaf Cake/Muffins

Greetings to all my lovely friends, readers and followers!!
As mentioned earlier in my post of Kesar Rabdi, we had a lovely time in Mumbai for Eid celebration. Kids had spent a joyous time with their Grandparents and cousins. While coming back to Bangalore, their eyes were full of tears as they wanted to stay there for some more time. By some means we tried to pacify both our kids and said to them that few surprises are waiting for them at home, so that they could come back home with cheerful face and mind. The first surprise for them was their uncle-aunt (my cousins) and cousins from Oman were visiting us for 3 days. Kids were impatiently waiting for them to come. They arrived and my little broods spent all their lovey time in playing, chatting, doing some activities with their cousins. Kids were eventful with them and I was enjoying my cooking deeds. That’s when these delicious, super soft, very light, airy Loaf and muffins were made. The best part is, my cousin who is former executive Chef gave me some very useful tip and guided me in making these yummy cakes. So here is how you can get them so perfect…..

All Ingredients are at room temperature unless specified
300 gms, all-purpose flour
300 gms, unsalted butter at room temperature
300 gms, powdered sugar/caster sugar
5 nos, eggs, lightly beaten
50 ml, milk
1 tsp , baking powder
2 tsp, vanilla essence
¾ cup, raisins
Extra all-purpose flour for coating and dusting


Pre-heat the oven at 160 degrees

Grease and dust the 9*5 inch loaf pan. Line the muffin pan with muffin liners or silicon mold

Coat the raisins with some flour and keep it aside

Sift together flour and baking powder.

Cream together butter and sugar on medium speed until very pale, creamy and fluffy (appox 5-6 minutes)

Add spoonful of lightly beaten egg to the butter-sugar mixture and mix well on low speed. Repeat the same till all the beaten eggs gets mixed well. This will avoid the curdling of the mixture and will give you perfect crumb, fluffiness and airy cake/loaf/muffins

Add vanilla essence and milk, mix well.

Fold-in the all-purpose flour mixture until combined well. Do not over mix it. Fold-in the raisins.

Fill-in the muffin liners and loaf pan upto 2/3 level.

Bake the muffins for 20 minutes and loaf cake for 50-55 minutes or till skewer comes out clean.

Take them out and cool

Transfer them on wire rack and cool it completely

Slice the loaf, drizzle some chocolate sauce and serve them with tea or coffee.

You can make them in bulk and store in an airtight container in refrigerator for easily upto 2 weeks. Just warm in microwave for few seconds and enjoy
You can add any other dry fruits, nuts, choco chips or tuty fruity of your choice instead of raisins

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Khubani Gosht Korma (Lamb/Mutton with apricots)

500 gms, mutton, cut in medium cubes
½ cup, fresh apricots, chopped
5-6 nos, fresh apricots , quartered
5 nos, almonds, blanched and peeled
½ tbsp, coriander seeds, roasted
½ cup, yoghurt
2 tsp, vinegar
6 nos, garlic cloves
½  inch piece, ginger
½ tsp, black pepper powder
1 tsp, sugar
1 nos, large onion, finely sliced
1 nos, bay leaf
5-6 nos, black peppercorns
5 nos, green cardamom
5 nos, cloves
1 inch, cinnamon stick
¼ star anise
1 tsp, Kashmiri red chili powder
½ tsp, turmeric
¾ tsp, cumin powder
A pinch of saffron +2 tbsp of milk
Salt as per taste
1-2 drops of Kewra essence
1 tbsp, oil
1 tbsp, ghee
Oil for frying onions
Water as required

Heat oil in a pan, add sliced onions and fry till they are golden brown.  Take them out and crush them once cooled

Grind together chopped apricots, fried onions, ginger, garlic, almonds, coriander seeds to fine paste

Marinate the mutton/lamb with ground apricot mixture, yoghurt, vinegar, sugar, black pepper powder and salt. Refrigerate it overnight.

Soak saffron in a milk and keep it aside

Heat oil and ghee in heavy bottom pan, add bay leaf. Cardamom, black peppercorns, cloves, star anise, cinnamon and allow them to crackle.

Add marinated mutton and sauté on high heat for 5-6 minutes stirring intermittently.

Add chili powder, turmeric, cumin powder, salt and mix well

Add a cup of warm water, cover and simmer until the meat is tender

If water dries up, you may add some more water.

When meat is done, add saffron milk, kewra essence and quartered apricots. Cook further for 5 minutes.

Garnish with green coriander and serve hot with parathas, nan, or Pulao of your choice.