Recipe: Stir Fried Chicken

Stir Fried Chicken

Stir Fried Chicken

I love cooking over the weekend. After 5 days of typical Indian food – roti, vegetables, lentils – I crave different cuisines. And though the weekend is the only time I cook, I don’t always want to make something elaborate or experimental. One-pot dishes bursting with flavors and color are my favorites at those times.

One of my go-to dishes is this absolutely yummy Stir Fried Chicken. I combined elements from a couple of different recipes and added a few touches of my own. The result – simple, wholesome, nutritious, and quick!

Before we begin, a couple of notes:Continue reading

Recipe: Creole Chicken

Once upon a time, I hated cooking. I used to start pouting and grumbling around 4:00 pm every day while at work, just because I knew I would have to go home and cook a full Indian meal – roti, vegetable, dal. After about a year of sobbing my way through it, I finally told the husband I’d had enough. We hired a cook.

Then, about two years ago, I found myself in the kitchen again. Not on a daily basis. Just on the occasional weekend. And I never cooked a typical Indian meal. It was always the “exotic” – pasta, Italian main courses, Chinese…And I enjoyed it….and found that I was actually really good at it!

Creole ChickenThen, a couple of weeks ago, while grocery shopping, I found a bottle of Discovery Creole Season and Sauce. As I read the ingredients on the label, a recipe started forming itself in my head. I grabbed the bottle, ran to the vegetable counter to pick up some red and green peppers, and then dashed to the meat counter to pick up some chicken. I came home with a fully formed recipe in my head. And when I was done, I took a taste. And I was in heaven!

It’s easy, fairly quick, and it’s sure to go on your meal planner again and again! So, without further ado, I present to you: Creole chicken with boiled rice.Continue reading

Recipe: Simple, 3 ingredient Nutella cupcakes

I’ve been doing quite a bit of cooking these days, shocking, I know! I guess it’s a sign of growing old or something, but I’m enjoying it. I still refuse to cook regular Indian meals – the thought of that continues to make me want to cry. There’s too many different things to be made, and it’s all just too boring. Besides, I’m not terribly fond of Indian food despite having grown up on it. I’d rather try new flavors and new cuisines – sailing onwards on uncharted territories!

Now that the dramatics are out of the way – let me tell you what’s been bubbling away in the kitchen. A lot of interesting pastas (none with white sauce though, I never did like those much), a couple of chicken dishes (including a chicken curry, which for me is exotic since it’s a traditional Muslim recipe and yummy), a few rice-based delicacies and some baking (which for a change has been turning out right!).

Nutella cupcakes

I used to bake as a kid, back when mommy was around to supervise and check that the temperature was right and the timing perfect. Left to my own devices,, my cakes have typically burnt on the top, sunk in the middle and crumbled to the touch, leaving me in a flood of tears! But I’ve had two wins now, and since I’m still a little surprised about just how well they have turned out, I will share with you a super simple 3 ingredient Nutella cupcake recipe. If I can do this to perfection, anyone can!

So, without further ado, here we go:

Simple, 3 ingredient Nutella cupcake recipe

Ingredients:

1 small bottle of Nutella
1 large egg
5 tbsp maida (all-purpose flour)

Method:

1) Heat the oven to 150 degrees C. Line a 12-cup mini muffin pan with paper or foil liners.
2) Whisk Nutella and egg in a bowl until smooth and well blended. Add flour and continue to whisk until blended.
3) Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tins (about 3/4 full).
4) Bake until a pick comes out with wet, gooey crumbs, about 16 minutes. Set on a rack to cool completely.

They’ll keep for up to 3 days at room temperature – if they last that long!

Notes:

1) Microwave the Nutella for a minute; it will make it flowy and easier to mix.
2) I baked mine in a star shaped silicone muffin pan; no need to grease.
3) Push out the cupcakes after about 30 mins, else they’ll come out 3-4 tiny pieces – not good!

Enjoy!

Easy nutella cupcake

Got any Nutella recipes of your own? Do share in the comments!

Recipe: No bake orange cheesecake

no_bake_orange_cheesecakeThe other day, I had this sudden craving for cheesecake. Now, my absolute favorite cheesecake is the one made by pizza chain San Marzano. It’s a baked, fluffy, out-of-this-world cheesecake. But sadly, the restaurant has shut shop, and though I’ve heard that they opened somewhere else, I haven’t been able to locate it. I’ve tried cheesecakes at a lot of places, but nothing – and I mean absolutely nothing – comes close to that fluffy divineness.

So, I did the next best thing – I made a cheesecake at home! No, sadly, not a baked cheesecake, ‘cause I don’t know how, and I don’t have one of those fancy cheesecake tins either. I made one that sets in the fridge, and it is absolutely delightful!

Ingredients:

no_bake_orange_cheesecake_ingredients

2 boxes of Kiri cream cheese
1 litre orange juice
1 packet Marie biscuits
¼ cup sugar
40 gm butter
1 orange for garnishing
Chocolate shavings for garnishing

Method:

Put the biscuits into a ziplock baggie and smash with a rolling pin, until the biscuit is reduced to an almost powder-like form.

no_bake_cheesecake_smash_biscuits

In a bowl, mix the biscuits and butter until you get a nice, buttery-biscuity mixture. Go ahead, taste a spoonful – it’s divine!

no_bake_orange_cheesecake_buiscuit_butter_mix

Now, grease a loose bottom tin with butter and compact this mixture in the tin. Put in the fridge for 15 minutes.

no_bake_orange_cheesecake_buiscuit_in_tin

In the meanwhile, smooth the cream cheese in a bowl.

Then add in the sugar and mix it up. Now, here comes the fun part! Start pouring in the orange juice in small measures, mix it up and taste. Repeat until you like the taste – creamy, orangey goodness!

Then, pour the mixture (which might be pretty darn thin, if you’re anything like me!) on top of the biscuit layer.

no_bake_cheesecake_method

Put it into the fridge and leave overnight. This is what your set cheesecake will look like:

no_bake_cheesecake_set_cheesecake

With a knife, poke around the edges to determine the consistency. Its possible that your cheesecake is set, but it hasn’t set enough to cut it up into slices. But that’s perfectly OK.

Get out your serving bowl and a big spoon.

Push the spoon all the way to the bottom, until you feel the crunchy biscuit layer. Continue on until you hit the base of the tin. Scoop out. Repeat.

Pile up the yummy cheesecake goodness into your serving bowl. Try to get a scoop of only the cheesecake minus the biscuit as your top layer.

For the garnishing:

Peel an orange, then pull apart the skin and de-seed, so you have only the orange pulp. Set aside in a plate.

Shave off some chocolate curls from your bitter chocolate. As much or as little as you want.

First place the orange all around the cheesecake. Finish with the chocolate.

no_bake_cheesecake

Bon Appétit!

Pasta in tomato sauce

A friend recently gave me some pork ravioli that she bought on her trip to Europe. Since the hubby doesn’t eat pork (something about not liking the thought of eating a pig), I decided to make it on Friday as the hubs was travelling, and it turned out SO good!

Ingredients:

pasta_ingredients

1 bowl uncooked pasta
4 tomatoes, diced
1 medium-sized onion, cut in thin long slices
4-5 cloves garlic, chopped fine
100 gm cottage cheese, cut in thin long strips.
2 tbsp olive oil
Herbs – thyme, parsley, oregano and basil
Salt to taste

Method:

First, fill a big pot with about ½ a litre of water, a pinch of salt and some oil. Bring it to a boil and put in the pasta. Cook until al dente. Drain and set aside.

In a non-stick cooking pot, pour in the oil. Once it’s hot, throw in the garlic and sauté until light brown. Then add the onions and cook until translucent.

saute_onions

Add in the tomatoes and salt. Mix well.

Now add in the herbs. I generally sprinkle them in without measuring (one of the very few recipes where I don’t actually hyperventilate if I don’t have the exact measure), but I’d say about 1 tsp of each should be just right.

tomatoes_herbs

Turn the gas to low, cover and cook for 20 minutes, while you read a book or watch some TV, though you might want to check on it in about 10 minutes. In case the water has evaporated, add in some more, mix and cover.

After 20 minutes, the sauce should be ready. Tip in the pasta and the cottage cheese (keep the gas on low flame), mix well and cook until the pasta is heated through.

toss_pasta_in_sauce

Serve!

pasta_in_tomato_sauce

Bon Appétit!

Express Prawn Paella

The hubs is out for the week, which means I have some “me” time. This is also my favorite time to cook, strangely. For one, I can eat the food that I like and the hubs hates. I can also experiment with new recipes and dishes without the hubs turning up his nose at the result and saying it the look of a particular dish doesn’t match his “mental image” of what it would like! I mean, honestly, have you heard of a stranger excuse for not trying new dishes?

One of the dishes I made was a dish I love – and the hubs, of course, doesn’t – an express prawn paella.

This recipe uses a non-traditional method – the pressure cooker – to come up with a meal in a jiffy. It may not be as elaborate as other, more traditional paella recipes, but the result is yummy! So, without further ado, here’s how you make…

Express Prawn Paella
Serves: 2
Prep time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 30 mins

Ingredients:

2-3 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 small green bell pepper, diced
1 large tomato, skinned and diced
1 cup rice
250 gm shrimp, peeled and devenined – I use the frozen variety
3 cups chicken broth
¼ tsp saffron
¼ tsp ground cumin
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Salt
1-2 lemons

Method:

1) Thaw prawns; squeeze some lime juice on them, mix, set aside

2) In a pressure cooker, sauté the onion and bell pepper until the onion is tender.

3) Add the tomato and cook for 5 mins.

4) Add the rice and sauté until translucent.

5) Pour in the broth, shrimp, saffron, cumin, pepper and salt. Squeeze juice of half a lemon. Stir.

6) Close the pressure cooker, bring to high pressure on medium heat, and cook for another 3 mins.

7) Transfer to a serving dish, garnish with lemon wedges and serve!

quick-prawn-paella

Tip: Make sure you actually squeeze some lemon over the rice – it really brings out the flavor and tastes.

Bon Appétit!

Also see:
Soul food: Prawn rice

Linking up with Foodie Wednesday at Daily Organized Chaos.

Soul food:Prawn rice

I’ve been dreaming of prawns recently. (Don’t laugh, it’s true! You can dream of food!) Anyway, I ordered some stir fried rice with ginger garlic prawns the other day at work, but the craving didn’t go away — it got stronger! That’s when I realized I wasn’t craving just any ol’ prawn dish; I wanted me some prawn rice!

But, before I could even think of making some, I had to find fresh coriander. Seeing as it’s monsoon season here in India, that was going to be a hard task — it sure wasn’t available at the grocery store near my house! But I was on a quest. I mean, I was literally dreaming of prawns, remember? So I picked up my car and drove around to a few of the fancier grocery stores, and finally managed to get my paws on some coriander. Now, I was ready to get cooking!

Prawn rice is served as a main course, with some plain yogurt and onion as accompaniments. You can also substitute the prawn with any firm-fleshed fish like halibut or cod (directions for that are at the end of the recipe).

You’ll need:

1 packet frozen prawns
1 cup finely chopped coriander leaves
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp garam masala
2 tsp salt
juice of 1 lemon
1 medium sized onion, peeled, cut into fine rounds and halved
1 fresh green chili, finely sliced (optional)
4 tbsp oil
250 gram long-grain rice (you can also use short-grain rice)

Method:

In a bowl, mix 1 tbsp of warm water, coriander leaves, green chilies, lemon juice, turmeric, garam masala, and 1 tsp salt.

Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a frying pan, put in the contents of the bowl and stir on high for about 2-3 minutes, until the fresh green color changes to a darker green. Tip in the prawns and fry them with the spices on medium heat for about 4 mins.

Turn off the heat and fish out the prawns with a fork, transferring into a tightly covered dish; it will continue to cook a bit in its own steam.

Pour 275 ml of warm water into the pan and scrape up the spices stuck to the bottom and sides of the pan. Simmer for about half a minute.

In a heavy-bottomed pot, heat the remaining oil and fry the onions until the edges brown. Then add in the rice and stir around for about 30 sec. Pour in 360 ml of water, the contents from the pan and 1 tsp of salt. Stir and bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to very low.

Check in about 5-7 mins. Once the rice is almost done, add in the prawns, stir, cover and cook for another few minutes until the rice is cooked through.
(ps: that isn’t the best snap; it’s a little blurred – sorry! I was trying to click the picture covertly; didn’t want to dear husband to catch me at it, he’d think I was losing my marbles! ;-))

If you want to substitute the prawn with fish, you’ll need 340 gm of cod or halibut (or any other firm-flesh fish) steaks or fillets. Make sure they are at least 1-2 cm thick. Cut the fillets into bite-size strips, at least 4-5 cm long and about 2.5 cm wide. Follow the preceding recipe.

Serve with plain yogurt and chopped onion with a dash of lemon.

Enjoy!

The perfect comfort food – 5 min chocolate mug cake

I recently came across a recipe for a Five-Minute Chocolate Mug Cake, and I just knew that I had to try it. So today, when I was craving some comfort food but wasn’t in a position to cook ’cause I’m not feeling well, I thought this cake would be perfect.

Chocolate mug cakeI have to admit, it took me a bit more than 5 minutes – 15 maybe? I didn’t time it, but then, I’m a pretty slow cook.

Anyway, I did tweak the recipe a bit and I wasn’t sure of some of the measurements, but the cake did turn out pretty darn good!

Here’s the recipe (from ovenhaven )

50g dark chocolate – I threw in 2 9.5gm bars of Dairy Milk, some bitter German chocolate and 4 squares of Giraldini dark chocolate
3 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons plain flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon – I used 1 heaped tsp of Fabindia’s cinnamon sugar; next time I’ll keep it level
3 tablespoons sugar – I used 2.5, but next time I’ll probably use just 1 ’cause I like my cake to be a bit on the bitter side
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk

Melt the butter and chocolate in a double boiler. Set aside to cool.

Add flour, ground cinnamon and sugar to a small mixing bowl, and mix well.

Add the egg and mix thoroughly. Pour in the milk and mix well. Add the melted chocolate and mix again.

Pour the mixture into a large microwavable coffee mug.

(Since I wasn’t sure if I had got the quantity of chocolate correct, I threw in a few blocks of dark chocolate into the mug and gave it a quick stir before popping the mug into the microwave.)

Microwave for 2 minutes on medium, 1 minute on high. It should be cooked (skewer test comes out with moist crumbs), but still a lil moist. Remember, it will continue to cook while standing.

Allow to cool a little and dig in!!

The cake came out quite moist, with pools of melted chocolate in between. Next time, though, I’ll probably reduce the amount of cinnamon sugar I used.

Share on Facebook Share