Friday, August 16, 2013

Chicken 65.....Spicy,Fragrant Chicken. Roasted.



The first time I ate this was at an Indo- Chinese place. Don't remember any specific taste details just that it was truly mouth watering. Since then I have eaten it numerous times, at different restaurants. It has been listed differently on different menus as chicken 65, Chilli chicken, boneless chicken drumsticks, Andhra chicken... Each varied a little from the other. All tasty. All 'lets eat it again' good.
But one such stands out in taste bud land. Still tickling my memory palate. Enough to want to try and duplicate.
G n I were in Madurai, India. And he announced ' this is THE chicken65'. What made this extra- special was that it had the distinct taste of coconut oil. So here goes. My try at duplicating that long ago nostalgic memory.

What went into making this batch:
4 cups cleaned and cubed boneless chicken 

For the marination:
5 tbsp plain Greek yogurt  
3 heaped tbsp red paprika powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp tandoori masala
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
Pinch of red food color (optional)
Salt to taste

For frying:
2 cups bread crumbs
Coconut oil for deep frying

For garnish:
3 tbsp green onions
3 green chillies- slit
1/4 cup curry leaves
2 tbsp fresh cilantro - chopped

Suggested: Serve with onion rings and lemon wedges.

How it was made:
Marinate the chicken in all the ingredients so listed. Mix well to coat. Refrigerate for at least  3 hrs.
In a wok heat the oil. Roll each piece of chicken in the bread crumbs, and deep fry till well done and crisp. Drain and transfer to serving bowl .
Remove all the oil leaving only a few tbsp in the wok. In the hot oil add the spring onions and slit chillies. Sauté. Add the fragrant curry leaves and switch off. To this add the cilantro and pour on top of the chicken.
Serve hot with slices of onion and lime wedges.

Ps: This is the marinade I used today. 
I have used different spice combinations different times. Think- cumin, coriander!!
Also you can use olive oil or canola oil instead of the coconut oil. But like anyone who has eaten this will tell you , coconut oil renders its own signature taste.
Even try and play with the garnish. Roasted nuts anyone?
So you see this is far from a so called authentic dish. This is what worked for us today!
This is how it was done in my kitchen.
The verdict? A loud lip-smacking, 
'Yummo' from the people who rule our table and make my world go round. 
Until another dish, enjoy what you eat , and the people you eat it with.
Bon Appetite.


Leave me a comment, send me a photo of the food you cooked. Tell me a recipe! jotismail@gmail.com
Click here to see the list of spices and powders used in my kitchen!
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Monday, March 25, 2013

Squid Phanna Upkari...Spicy Squids stir fried.


Like always, this trip to the farmers market saw us fresh stock our fridge.
There is something that fresh smelling vegetables do to the chef in me. Sous or otherwise.
This time around we found some fresh squid along with some pomfret.
Seemed like spicy squid was the order of the day!
So it was, that this 'phanna upkari' happened.




Heres what went into it:
2 cups fresh squid- cleaned and washed
1 cup red onion - chopped fine
1 tbp ginger-garlic paste
1 tbp oil
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp gharam masala
1 tbp red cayyene( chilli) powder
1 tomato - cubed
salt to taste.

How I made it:
In a little water, boil the squid with salt and turmeric, till cooked (about 10mins).
In a pan, heat the oil. Saute the onions and ginger-garlic paste. Add all spices and mix. Add the tomatoes and cook covered till it mashes to pulp.
To this add the squid and adjust the salt.
Cook for another minute or two to blend well.
Serve hot with steamed white rice.


The verdict from G was 'a lipsmacking success'.
Ps: adjust the spices to suit your palate.
We also tried this with some left over 'idiyappam'. Yummy again.
R tried to dip some pita bread into it. Loved it too!

So tell me how you will do yours.
Until another recipe, another meal, relish your food, enjoy the process and who you eat it with. Bon Appetite.












Leave me a comment, send me a photo of the food you cooked. Tell me a recipe! jotismail@gmail.com
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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Saucy Zesty Orange Chicken

'Something different' and zesty was the order of the day. 'Chicken' it should be, ruled G. So it was that this past weekend I found myself leafing through my earmarked recipes.
'Orange Chicken' seemed to fit the bill.Spicy and saucy we hadnt made it in our kitchen for a while.
There are many ways to do this.But my past attempts with this recipe and others have taught me, that what works for my critics E, R and G is spicy, and what works for 'me-yours truly' is fast and fuss-free.
This truly in every way is a gourmet tasting recipe. But if you are looking for a 'Gourmet Production' look elsewhere.

And like all my recipes, please adjust the spices/sauces to suit your palate.
Dont forget to see note at bottom to find variations and substitutions.

So here is how it came to our table.
 


 
What went into it:
 
2 chicken breasts, cleaned and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
salt to taste
1/2 tbsp pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup finely chopped green onions.(optional).

For the Sauce:
1 1/2 cups water
1 fresh orange peeled
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup white vinegar
2 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp grated orange zest/peel
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp minced fresh ginger root
1/2 tsp minced garlic
2 tbsp chopped green onion
3 tbsp red pepper flakes

How it was made:
Blend/puree all the ingredients for the sauce, into a salsa-like consistency.Marinate the cleaned chicken pieces in the sauce for upto 2+hrs in refrigerator.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.Mix the flour , salt and pepper. Roll each piece of marinated chicken in the flour to cover both sides. Set aside the sauce. Place chicken into the skillet, and brown on both sides. Drain on a paper lined plate. Remove excess oil from skillet to leave only about 2 tsp . Heat the pan and add the chopped green onions. Saute and add all the sauce used for marination.Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.Reduce heat, add the fried chicken pieces, and simmer, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serve hot with any rice variety or bread.

Ps: I have always used fresh mandarin or 'cuties' orange for this recipe. You can alternatively add fresh orange juice instead. Also remember to not throw the peel if using fruit. I add a small piece of the peel (1 Tbsp grated worth ) to the sauce.

If you want a thicker sauce/gravy add a little cornstarch dissolved in water to the sauce before adding the chicken.
When in a rush I have skipped frying the chicken and just cooked the marinated chicken in sauce. I did not find a defined change in taste but G vouches the frying adds the needed crunch.
Alternatively you can not puree the sauce ingredients and just add all of it into the pan. Bring to boil. Cool and then marinate the chicken in it!

So that is variations one too many!
Will you try this in your kitchen?
Tell me how!
Until another culinary muse,
Bon Appetite.

Leave me a comment, send me a photo of the food you cooked. Tell me a recipe! jotismail@gmail.com
Click here to see the list of spices and powders used in my kitchen!
Sous Chef is now on Facebook!

 


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

AlvaMande Hummana...Taro-root in spicy gravy.


This is a delicacy served in a konkani kitchen, with white rice and other vegetable sides.
The gravy is a spicy coconut paste with chillies.

When I thought of blogging this down, one of the first things I did was to try and put down what AlvaMande in english would be. I knew it was a tuber/corm so was it yam?
Google to the rescue. Wikipedia yielded this. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taro
Hope this helps introduce this yummy root to you. Here are some images to serve you better.

This here is an easy recipe to follow.
If we were to play a game of favorites, G would win this round hands down. He absolutely loves this aromatic curry and will have an extra bowl just as is, after his meal.


So if you want to try this in your kitchen,
Here's what went into making mine:
3 cups of Taro roots - peeled and cut into manageable pieces.
3/4 cup fresh grated coconut.
5 long dry red chillies-roasted
1/2 tsp tamarind paste
1 tbp coconut oil
1 tspn asafoetida powder (hing)
Salt to taste

How I made it:
In a medium pot, heat the oil, add the asafoetida and pieces of taro root. Add enough water to cover the vegetable and close lid. Simmer over low heat.
Wet grind together the coconut, chillies and tamarind to form a smooth-fine  paste.
Add to pot with salt to taste. Adjust water to bring to required consistency. Cook till done.

Serve hot with fresh white rice and sides.
I have to say, this here, turned out to be another delicious serving of our favorite curry.
Hope you make this for your table.

You can try this with potatoes, any type of yam or other tubers you can think of.
Adjust the chillies as per taste. Also you might choose to boil the roots as is (like you would potatoes) and then cool, peel and cut.
The coconut oil gives this curry its signature aromatic taste.But feel free to substitute with any oil of choice.
Traditionally, the curry is prepared and the coconut oil is added at the end just before switching off and removing from heat. I personally do it the way I described before, cause I have noticed the oil tends to float on top, if I do it the regular way. Especially in cold weather.

So here it is, another recipe from my kitchen to yours.Hope you try this at a meal with loved ones.
Until next time, Bon Appetite.

Leave me a comment, send me a photo of the food you cooked. Tell me a recipe! jotismail@gmail.com
Click here to see the list of spices and powders used in my kitchen!
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You can also read my non-culinary ramblings here at Musings.
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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Idlis- Steamed rice cakes.


Idlis are as quintessential to South Indian breakfasts as eggs or toast to continental.
So much so, that I never thought of blogging the recipe.
But on one foggy cold fall morning as we sat down for breafast , my simple idli platter looked so 'soul-foody' that I decided to click a photo of it.
And then, so,  this blog.




To each his own idli or so I say.Cause there is no one right way to do it. Heres what I have chalked down in my memory blog.
 
What goes into it:
2 cups raw white rice
1 cup urad- whole
2 tsp fenugreek (methi) seeds.
Salt to taste.
 
How it comes to our table:
Wash and soak the rice and urad separately for atleast 4-5 hours.I soak a minimum of 6hours.
I have learnt to add 2 tsp of methi seeds to the bowl of Urad as it soaks. This Iam told has a few health benefits but I do it cause we have started to like the signature smell/taste these seeds impart to the batter. You can skip this if you please.
Wet grind the rice and urad (with methi seeds) separately to form a smooth paste. Mix in a big bowl. Add salt to taste.
Cover and let ferment overnight.Although there is no magic proportion to the amount of water added, I have learnt that it is better to leave the batter a little thicker when fermenting.
The next morning the batter should ideally be a little fluffy. Add a little water if needed to form a pancake like batter (only slightly thicker).
Grease the Idli trays and pour batter. Steam for 15mins. Switch off. Remove from tray and serve hot with sambaar and chutney.
A healthy, filling start to a great day!
 
PS: I had heard a lot of people vouch that a few tsps  of gingelly oil in the batter just before steaming makes the idlis fluffier. I did try this a couple times in winter when the batter was real flat. But didnt seem to help any! But might be a good tip to have up your sleeve!
 
Until another one, Bon Appetit.
 
 
Leave me a comment, send me a photo of the food you cooked. Tell me a recipe! jotismail@gmail.com
Click here to see the list of spices and powders used in my kitchen!
Sous Chef is now on Facebook!

 
You can also read my non-culinary ramblings here at Musings.
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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Goli Bajo- Mangalore style fritters.

This weekend we were meeting friends to watch the game. Appetizers were the order of the day. Recipe books, google ...Nothing caught the fancy!Then G suggested Goli bajo!Mangalore style fritters. Delicious and fairly easy to make.My dilemma? I hadn't tried them in a long time! But after some deliberation (more like... should I? shouldn't I?) I rolled up my sleeves. Goli bajo it was gonna be.


Here's what went into it:
1 cup of all purpose flour (maida)
2 tbp chick-pea flour (besan)
1/2 cup yogurt
1/4 cup water
5 green chillies- chopped fine
1 tbp fresh ginger- minced
2 sprig curry leaves- shredded
1 tbp sugar
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of asafoetida (optional)
salt to taste
oil for deep frying

Here's how it was made:
In a big bowl, mix together the yogurt, 1/2 of the water,salt,sugar,soda powder,ginger, curry leaves, asafoetida and chillies.
To this add the besan and flour slowly, so as to form a smooth batter without lumps.
Pour the rest of the water into the mix, adjusting to form a thick batter (slightly thicker than that for pancakes).
Heat the oil in a wok. Drop the batter in small lumps (with spoon or fingers) into the oil. Fry till golden brown.
Serve hot with fresh coconut chutney.

For me the biggest challenge in this recipe has always been to get the consistency of the batter right. It should flow easily enough off of a spoon but not drop too easy!(Now you may understand better the afore mentioned deliberation and doubts!?)

All in all it turned out just yummy. G, E n R all got their hands on a few bajos, before I had to pack it off for the pot luck.We had a great time with awesome friends and good food.
All is well. And that ends well.
Until another culinary muse, Bon Appetite.
 
Leave me a comment, send me a photo of the food you cooked. Tell me a recipe! jotismail@gmail.com
Click here to see the list of spices and powders used in my kitchen!
Sous Chef is now on Facebook!

 
You can also read my non-culinary ramblings here at Musings.
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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Tilapia with herbs- grilled.


The gamecocks were playing LSU last evening. G wanted to eat some nice, spicy fish!
5 big tilapia fillets were bought.
We were thinking 'deep Fry' to begin with. But noticing that more than one of us was sniffling, we decided grilling was the way to go!

What went into bringing it to the table:
5 fresh tilapia fillet- cleaned and dried.
2 tbp olive oil
2 tbp lime juice
1 tsp cayenne pepper (chilli powder)
1 tsp black pepper - crushed
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cabin seasoning
1/2 tsp rosemary
1/2 tsp chives
1/2 tsp mint
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp parsley and salt to taste

Here's how it came to the table:
In a big bowl, mix all the ingredients to coat the fillets. Refrigerate to marinate for 2-3 hours.
Preheat oven to 500f. Grill the marinated fillets for 15 mins, turning once inbetween. They will come out crispy-topped and yummy.

Alternatively, you can bread and shallow fry the fillets.
Please adjust spices to suit your tastes.

We absolutely relished the fish. The herbs made it feel very gourmet and fresh.
In my kitchen, food is but only, one of the many reasons we set the table. We eat together to enjoy the company, to talk of our day and ofcourse also to enjoy what is on our plate.
Hoping that good food once more made palatable, the slightly unpleasant taste of a gamecocks defeat. It was a well fought game, and so heres hoping for more awesome gamedays!

Until another culinary muse, Bon Appetite.

Leave me a comment, send me a photo of the food you cooked. Tell me a recipe! jotismail@gmail.com
Click here to see the list of spices and powders used in my kitchen!
Sous Chef is now on Facebook!

 
You can also read my non-culinary ramblings here at Musings.
Musings on Facebook.