Smoked chicken canapes; dish #9; 18th April 2014

21 04 2014

We had old friends getting together after a long gap and I really wanted to get into the kitchen and rustle up something. But as the evening got closer, I got lazier. And it was just an hour before everybody arrived that I decided to rustle up something that was easy, yet summery and fresh and more importantly, new. So this is something that is completely my concoction and to see it vanish made me very happy, to say the least.

Ingredients:
1. Smoked chicken breast-250 gm- smoked chicken is ready to get.nowadays at any of the foodmarts that dot our cities
2. Baby tomatoes: a handful
3. Cottage cheese/ pander: few cubes
4. Cheese: 3-4 small cubes. I used amul cheese cubes. You could even use parmesan if you want.
5. Fresh mint: a handful

For the dressing:
1. Olive oil: 3 tbsp
2. Mustard: 1.5 tbsp. I used the traditional Bengali “kasundi” which is quite sharp and tangy. You could use a smoother version of mustard.
3. Dried rosemary, thyme,  chilli flakes: 1 tbsp each
4. Pesto: 2 tbsp
5. Salt: to taste
6. Pepper: to taste

To serve:
Unsalted crackers
A light mayonnaise sandwich spread ( optional)

Process:
1. Mix all the ingredients together
2. Mix the dressing separately and then add it to the chicken mixture
3. Chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes
4. To serve, first add the sandwich spread on the cracker, top with the chicken mixture and eat.

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Momos- Dish#8, 18th April 2014

19 04 2014

Momos and I go back a long long way. Right from the days M and I were dating, our Sunday evening dates would invariably be in a small shop on Elgin Road, which housed all the momo joints of the city, called Orchid. We used to sit there for hours, devouring one plate of momos after another, trying out the range of momos they had to offer. It was in a few years from then that like the chaat-waalas, momo stalls started cropping up in every corner of the city and as is inevitable, the quality went downhill, universally. One of the main reasons for this was that the traditional momo making had slipped out of the hands of those who held the original recipe ( Nepalese, Tibetans and North-Eastern Indians) and was now being made wholesale. In Delhi, for instance, momos are not anymore made by the person who sells it. It is usually made by one large vendor who then supplies it to smaller vendors across the city. And of course, we shall not even go into frozen momos and ready to steam momos…they are, well…better left unspoken about.

So given this plight, I decided to try my hand at momo-making and while I should, right at the start, put it upfront, I cannot recreate the taste of what I used to eat, I would still like to believe, my momos have that extra flavour because of that extra dash of love.

Ingredients:

Momo wrappers: You could buy the readymade wraps, like I do often. Else you could make them yourself.
1. 2 cups of flour
2. Vegetable oil
3. Water
4. A pinch of salt
5. A pinch of baking powder

For the filling:
1.1/2 kg Mutton or chicken mince- washed and drained
2. Onions: 1 large or 2 medium finely chopped
3. Coriander/Parsely: a large bunch, finely chopped- you could do without it also if you dont want a punch flavour
4. Green chillies: 4-5 finely chopped
5. Ginger: Finely chopped
6. Garlic: about 7-8 medium cloves, finely chopped
7. 2 tbsps of white oil
8. Light Soya: a dash
9. Chicken cube or tom yum cubes: 1, optional
10. Pepper: 1 tbsp
11. Salt: To taste

Sauce:
1. Dry red chillies: A handful, soaked in water
2. Garlic: about 3 large- grated
3. Vinegar: 2 tsps
4. Oil: 1 tbsp
5. Salt: To taste

Utensil:
You will need either a steamer or a pressure cooker to cook the momos

Process:

1. For the momo wrappers, mix all the ingredients together and roll into a dough
2. Keep in mind the dough should not be sticky and also not too dry
3. Let the dough rest for about half an hour and then roll out into small circles
4. The small circles should be thin but also ensure you maintain a consistency so that they don’t split when being stuffed with meat
5. In a another large bowl, mix the minced meat and all the ingredients together
6. Ensure that the mixture is not runny but is sticky to the fingers
7. Take a small wrapper in your hand, wet it with water around the edges
8. Spoon about 1 large tbsp of meat in the middle of the wrapper
9. Fold in the edges to make it any shape of your choice. This is the easiest thing to do if, like me, you cannot get the shape of the momos you desire
10. For the sauce, whiz all the ingredients together in a blender, till you get a slightly runny consistency. I prefer doing it with a mortar-pestle, but both work ok
11. If you are using a steamer, add water to the bottom pan of the steamer
12. On each of the layers above, add oil to the utensils so that the momos dont stick to the pan once done
13. Add 6-7 momos per layer and steam for about 15-20 minutes
14. Serve with the sauce

mutton momos





Prawn roast with fried onions and curry leaves; Dish #7, 1st March 2014

1 03 2014

A month and more of not a single new dish. The occassional favourite dishes like khau shway and cream chicken have been cooked and fed but the challenge was not beinv pursued.  A major reason has been severe work stress and a lot of travel and I was itching to get back into the challenge.  But the work load and travel will continue till end march and I decided to ignore that and do something that was new and easy. Yes, its cheating because I promised to do new stuff and stuff that was usually not so simple but then who said anything in the world was either fair or free?
Ingredients :
1/2 kilo prawns, cleaned and deveined
1 tbsp pepper powder
1and 1/2 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
1/2 tbsp coriander powder
1/2 tbsp chilli powder
Salt to taste
1 small onion diced
Curry leaves,  2 handfuls
Coconut pieces-diced-optional

Process
1 . Marinate the prawns with half the curry leaves, ginger-garlic paste, pepper powder, a bit of coriander powder, a bit of chilli powder and salt and leave aside for about 15 mins
2. In a pan heat a tbsp of white oil ( you could use coconut oil if you wish) and add the prawn with the marinate and 2 tbsp oil
3. Cook on low heat, covered till all the water dries up. The prawns will also release water of their own. So by the time all the water dries up the prawns would have cooked
4. In a separate pan, add oil and fry the onions till golden brown, add the rest of the coriander powder, chilli powder and the curry leaves and coconut pieces
5. Add the prawns to this and fry well
6. Serve with hot rice

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Apple Crumble – Dish #6; 25th January 2014

27 01 2014

I’m not too much of a dessert person myself and therefore have never been interested in trying out interesting desserts. But Saturday was a day of great stress and all I could think of, to relieve this stress, was cooking. But then again, except for a few apples in the fridge, there weren’t too many ingredients I could find for a savoury meal and so, reluctantly got down to making an apple crumble. Happy to say that almost the entire thing got polished off once it was made and just made me happy to realize that this was an area I could venture into. So here goes- super simple and tasty :)

Ingredients:
4 large apples- peeled and diced into small pieces
1 tin of milkmaid- 400 gm
Butter- 6 tbsps
Maida- 1/2 cup
Cinnamon Powder: a dash ( though I must concede that I forgot to add the cinnamon while I made this dish)

Process:

1. Peel the apples and cut them into small squares. If they are of the same size, it is easy to arrange
2. In a bowl, add the milkmaid and about 3-4 large tbsps of butter
3. Mix well and then heat in the micro for about 2 minutes
4. Leave aside to cool
5. In a separate bowl, for the crumble, add the flour and about 2-3tbsps of butter and mix together
6. Mix this with your hands so that it is not a smooth mixture but crumbly. But make sure you dont have large lumps because that is not nice to eat :p
7. In an oven-proof dish, layer the apple pieces. Pat them down well and add the cinnamon powder uniformly on top
8. Cover this with the cooled mixture of milkmaid and butter
9. Add the flour crumble on top and pat it down well
10. Bake in the oven at 200 degrees for about 30 minutes or till the top becomes nice and golden
11. Serve with cream or a custard on the side

apple crumble





Traditional Christmas Roast Chicken-Dish #5; 25th December 2013

21 01 2014

So Christmas came and went. And I cooked and fed. And was too lazy to blog. So here goes the traditional roast chicken recipe, very different from the jamie oliver country style chicken.
Serves 4
Ingredients:
Chicken: 2 kgs, roughly cut into medium-large sized pieces

For the marinate:
Ginger garlic paste: 3 tbsps
Olive oil: a generous drizzle-about 6 tbsps
English mustard: 3 tbsps
Dark soy: 2tbsps
Light soy: 2 tbsps
Vinegar: 2 tbsps
Bay leaf : 3-4
Worsterchire sauce: 1 tbsp
Chilly sauce: 3 tbsps
Oregano, basil, rosemary: dried herbs, 1 tbsp each
Celery: cut finely, 2 stalks

Process:
Marinate the chicken overnight or for 12 hrs
You can then either cook it on a gas or in the oven
If doing it on the gas
Heat a large heavy bottomed skillet and drizzle white oil or olive oil to cover the pan
Make sure there is enough oil to cover the pan but not drown the chicken
Then once the oil is hot, add 5-6 chicken pieces at a time and cook covered and on low heat
5-7 mins on either side should be enough
If using the oven, put the chicken in foil and bake at 180 degrees for about 20 mins
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Roast chicken with lime and vegetables; Dish #3; 30th Nov 2013

30 11 2013

I am a huge fan of Jamie Oliver, nor only because of the dishes he cooks but also because of the efforts he undertakes to spread the message about healthy eating. So I was itching to get started on his recipes and I did, with my own twists and turns!
Ingredients:
500gm boneless chicken breasts; 4 nos
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 carrot, cut in large chunks
2 onions, quartered
250 gm mushroom,  roughly chopped
250 gm cherry tomatoes
1 lime, cut into fine slivers
1 bunch mint leaves, roughly torn
Olive oil
Salt
Pepper
Cumin powder
1 bunch coriander,  roughly torn, to garnish

Method
1. Clean and pat dry the chicken breasts and make deep gashes in the meat
2. Put approximately a lime sliver in each gash; about 2 slivers per breast
3. Cover the chicken breasts with olive oil, salt, pepper and cumin and lay out on the baking tray
4. Add all the other veggies, except the coriander leaves, to the tray
5. Drizzle some more olive oil on top and bake at 180 degrees centigrade for an hour
6. Take out the tray, garnish with coriander and cover it with foil and let the chicken rest for a bit so that the juices remain in the chicken

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Mozzarella, aubergine and tomato bake; Dish #4; 30th November

30 11 2013

Being a true blue-blooded bong, I could never fathom how anybody could eat baingan in any other form than being deep fried as “begun-bhaja”. And then, as if to prove me wrong, this dish kept popping up and staring me in the face from various places. This morning I saw it again and I knew i just had to give it a shot.

Ingredients:
1/2 kilo round baingan or aubergine, cut into fine slivers
Mozzarella cheese, torn roughly into bits
2 medium sized tomatoes,  cut into round slivers
A handful of fresh basil leaves
2 tbsps pesto
Olive oil
Salt

Method:
1. Rub the aubergine slices in salt, to take our the bitterness
2. Mix pesto with the aubergine slices
3. In a baking tray, first lay out the aubergine slices
4. Next add the tomato slices
5. Top with cheese and basil leaves
6. Add a generous drizzle of olive oil
7. Bake at 180 degrees centigrade for 20 mins

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