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Monday, September 18, 2017

The No-Carb Burger

Well, there are breadcrumbs in the frittata and it's not a burger if I don't use two frittatas, but you get it.

Grilled chicken on carrot frittatas with avocados and sriracha mayo

Grill four chicken breasts with cajun seasoning on a grill pan - 6-7 minutes on one side and 4 on the other. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, mix 200g of shredded carrots with two eggs, a half-cup of breadcrumbs, a large spoon or two of flour, a red chilli, thinly sliced, salt and pepper to taste, a dash of smoked paprika, a spoon of oregano, and a spoon of fresh chopped thyme. In a lightly oiled pan, spoon a dollop of this mixture on and squish to flatten into a frittata. Once the frittata starts slipping around easily in the pan, flip and cook the other side until browned. (Should make about 4 frittatas with these portions)

Combine, in a small bowl, three tablespoons of mayonnaise, a spoon of sriracha sauce, a half teaspoon of chopped garlic and a spoon of olive oil. This is your sauce.

Put the ensemble together by placing the grilled chicken on a frittata, pouring some of the sauce on the chicken, and topping with freshly sliced avocado and cayenne chilli slices. Serve!

Monday, September 11, 2017

The Kolkata Biryani

One of the first recipes I put up on this blog was of my simple chicken biryani. However, over the last two years, my husband has become so good (and faster every time he makes it) at his traditional Kolkata-style biryani (with mutton and potatoes) that his recipe deserves a biryani do-over on this blog! Arselan ain't got nothing on this biryani.

Because he likes to cook in very large quantities, this recipe is roughly for eight people. But yay for amazing work lunches from leftovers!

Soak 3 cups of basmati rice in water for 30 minutes, and then boil with about 15 cloves, a half broken cinnamon stick, 4-5 green cardamom, a spoon of ghee, with excess water. Drain the water once the rice is cooked, and remove the spices. Set aside.

Dry-roast 2 pieces of mace, a broken nutmeg, 5 cloves, less than half a cinnamon stick, 2 cardamoms, and 1 large spoon of carom seeds on low heat for 3-4 minutes and then grind into a powder. Add 3/4 of this powder to 1.5 kg of washed mutton pieces along with a tablespoon of garlic paste, 1 spoon of turmeric, and 2 spoons of red chilli powder, and set aside for 30 minutes to overnight.

Heat a little oil in a pressure cooker. Add to it 2 quartered potatoes, and salt to taste and a spoon of turmeric, and fry for a bit (don't cook through). Remove from oil and set aside. Add to the oil 3-4 chopped green chillies and a spoon of garlic and saute. Add the mutton and stir well until the mutton sheds water. Add 2 spoons of yogurt, salt to taste, and a spoon of sugar, and mix well before closing the pressure cooker for about 5 whistles. At this point, add the potatoes to the mutton and close for another 2 whistles (or until the mutton is cooked). 

While this happens, thinly slice and caramelize an onion and set aside.

In a large wok greased with ghee, add a layer of the rice, then a layer half of the mutton, then rice, then the rest of the mutton with potatoes with a sprinkle of kewra and rose water, and then the rest of the rice. On the top, add the caramelized onions. In a bowl, add a few strands of saffron to 4 spoons of milk, heat for a few seconds in the microwave, and pour it over the top of the rice. Put the lid on the wok and let the whole thing cook on very low heat for 10-15 minutes. 

Serve with raita!

Monday, September 4, 2017

The Kung Pao

... or Gong Bao? I guess it doesn't matter, as long as it's a bowl of spicy peanut-y chicken goodness that I should've tried a long time ago.

Dissolve two spoons of cornstarch in four-five tablespoons of soy sauce and a spoon or two of Chinese rice wine (or Mirin, but skip the sugar later if you use this). Toss a kg of diced chicken thighs in this mixture and set aside.

Mix together a tablespoon of soy sauce, a tablespoon of hoisin sauce, a spoon of Sichuan chilli paste, a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, a spoon of sugar (skip if you've used Mirin), 2-3 teaspoons of sesame oil, and a spoon and a half of cornstarch. This is your sauce. Set aside.

In a wok, shallow-fry the chicken in two tablespoons of vegetable oil on high heat. Once the chicken is cooked, add three red chillies, five thinly sliced spring onions, half of a green capsicum, a spoon of ginger paste and a spoon of garlic paste, and stir-fry for a minute or two. Add the sauce and a cup of roasted unsalted peanuts, stir for another minute, and take off the heat. Garnish with spring onion greens, and serve hot with stir-fried veggies!

Monday, August 28, 2017

The Karahi

One of my favorite meals of all time is any spicy curried chicken with parathas, and this recipe is ideal for when I'm craving my favorite meal. Pakistani-style chicken karahi is different than its Indian cousin; while Indian chicken kadhai involves a drier dish with large pieces of onion, capsicum and tomato, this one is all about lots and lots of crushed tomatoes.

In a wok, heat maybe a third of a cup of oil, and add to it a kg of skinless chicken, bone-in and curry cut (I used boneless chicken but it just wasn't the same). Fry the chicken in the oil until the chicken browns a little on the outside. Add to it a spoonful of ginger paste and a spoonful of garlic paste and about 6 chopped green chillies and stir. Then add about 5 roughly crushed tomatoes and maybe a dash of paprika, plus a spoon of coriander powder and a spoon of cumin powder. Add salt to taste. Stir and cook together on low until the chicken is well cooked and the consistency of the gravy is thick and well combined. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves (and sliced ginger: optional). Serve with parathas!

Monday, August 21, 2017

The Indian Chowmein

Spicy mixed Indo-chinese chowmein makes my day, and may make yours too!

Boil about 70g egg noodles for 4 minutes; drain and wash in cold water, and set aside. Also scramble two eggs roughly (no milk, no salt, just plain scramble) and set aside. In about two tablespoons of oil in a big wok, add two fat spring onions, sliced, four sliced green chillies, and a spoon of chopped garlic, and cook until the onions are translucent. Add two thigh fillets of chicken (chopped into very small pieces), and a cup of raw prawn and cook until chicken is almost completely done. Add about 4-5 tbsp soy sauce, a spoon of vinegar, a spoon of garlic chilli paste, half a spoon of cumin powder, and a pinch of garam masala, (and any veggies you'd like to add, or not) and stir for two minutes before adding the cooked noodles and egg. Check for spice levels; optional: dash of paprika. Stir-fry and serve piping hot by itself! Looks like, and essentially IS, a blob of carb and protein, but tastes like instant comfort! Serves 3.

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Thai Green Curry

Fish curries for the win!

So you can buy perfectly good Thai green curry paste in the market, but in case you want to make your own:

Grind together the following ingredients: 3 green chillies, a shallot, a clove of garlic, an inch of ginger, a half cup of coriander leaves, 3-4 kaffir lime leaves, a stalk of lemongrass, a half lime with a little zest, a pinch of cumin, a pinch of coriander, a little ground pepper, a spoon of fish sauce, two spoons of olive oil, and lastly, if you can find any, a half inch of galangal.

Phew. So in a pan, start by sautéing a little garlic in a spoon of oil. Add to it your favorite veggies (broccoli, carrots, beans, shitake mushrooms) and the entire green curry paste (or about 4 tablespoons of store bought paste) and cook. Add pieces of about 3 fillets of your favorite white fish and a cup and a half of coconut milk, simmer and serve! So easy. Serves 4.

Monday, August 7, 2017

The Protein Curry

Another invention by the protein-loving husband!

Boil 3 eggs, and blend into a paste with 1/3 cup milk. Set aside.

Make a paste of the following: a cinnamon stick, a brown cardamom, a green cardamom, two cloves, a nutmeg, two peppercorns, a little mace, 1/2 onion, an inch of ginger, 4 cloves of garlic: use half of it to marinate 1.2 kgs of chicken thighs (cut into small pieces) with a spoon of turmeric.

In a little oil, add two green chillies, chopped, along with the rest of paste, and cook for a bit. Then add the marinated chicken, and cook until water comes out of the chicken. Add salt and a spoon of sugar, and the egg paste made earlier, and simmer (covered) until reduced to your preferred consistency. Serve hot with rotis! (Optional garnish: coriander leaves)