Fish-O-Fillet - My Version

Kids Love McDonald’s. I am not a kid. However, I am still passionate about Mcdonald’s and eagerly wait to try each burger/wrap etc which comes new in their menu. Have you tried the McPaneer Royale or the Grilled Chicken Royale. It is available only in India and is a treat in every spirit.
I give you below the fish-o-fillet recipe, not the authentic one but my version. It tastes equally better sans the cheese which makes it guilt free. I have used Basa Fish. You can use any other fish fillet of your choice. I did not have the soft buns. Hence, I have used toasted brown bread here.
A very simple sandwich recipe with few ingredients, which I prefer to make, when I have a busy week ahead and do not have much time to offer in kitchen.

What You Need:

1 Brown Bread Slices Toasted 8
2 Tomato Slices 1 for each sandwich
3 Boneless Fish Steaks 1 for each sandwich
3 Salad Leaves 1 cup chopped or as required
4 Tomato Ketcup 1 tbsp or as required
5 Pesto Sauce 1 tbsp or as required
6 Barbeque Sauce 1 tbsp for each Fish Fillet
7 Salt As per taste
8 Freshly Ground Black Pepper As per taste

Steps To Make:

Marinate Fish Stakes with barbeque sauce, salt and pepper. If you don’t have bbq sauce, use any sauce which you have at home.
Grill them on both sides till they are done.
Mix pesto sauce, tomato ketchup and salad leaves.
Take a piece of toasted brown bread, place some salad leaves. Put grilled fish. It your steak is large, cut into half and place in the center.
Put  a slice of tomato on top of it. Drizzle some honey.
Put the other  bread slice over it.
Prick a toothpick in the center so that the sandwich holds itself together when you gorge into it.

Tandoori Murgi | Tangdi Murg Kebab | Roasted Chicken Legs

What You Need:

1 Chicken Leg 4
3 Lemon Juice Juice of 2
4 Salt To Taste
5 Black Pepper Powder 1/4 tsp
6 Everest Chicken Tandoori  Masala 2 tbsp
7 Red Chili P
2 Hung Curd 1 and ½ cupowder 1/2 tsp
8 Oil 2 tsp

Steps To Make:

Make deep cuts in the leg pieces.
Pat dry with kitchen towel.
Marinade the chicken pieces ,if you can for 2 hours , with the above ingredients.
Put Microwwave Oven in Convection Mode.
Grill them in pre-heated oven for 20-25 minutes at 180 degree centigrade or till they are cooked. Flip them every 5 minutes to check how much more cooking is required and also to prevent them from burning.

Enjoy Juicy Chicken Legs with diced onion, lime juice and mint chutney.

Nagarhole National Park Near Kabini River @ Karnatka

Nagarhole National Park of Karnataka , situated along the banks of river Kabini , is the home of many endangered wildlife species. It is a dream destination of most of the wildlife enthusiast and most preferred location for wildlife photographers across all seasons. The success factor to see a leopard or tiger 4/5. It is also known as elephant county and you can see them in herds .

Nagarhole has been derived from two words : Nagar meaning Cobra and Hole meaning River. The best place to stay when in Kabini is Jungle Lodge Resort which is owned and maintained by the Govt of Karnataka. They are doing a wonderful job by taking the ownership of the resort and jungle which also includes boat safari.

What you can expect to see: Chital, Sambar, Gaur, Wild Boar, Muntjac and Common Langur, Tiger, Leopard, Elephant and Wild Dog (pack of 4 or 5), Sloth Bear, Porcupine, Jackal, Eagles, Kingfisher, Tree pie, Green Bee Eater, White ibis, Black Ibis, Peacock, Crested Owl, etc.

About the River: Kabini :
The river Kabini originates in the Wayanad district of Kerala, flows eastward to join the river Cauvery, which empties into the Bay of Bengal. This is the largest river in the Nagarhole National Park and was dammed in 1974 for an irrigation project. This becomes the life-giving source for the park during the summer months, attracting the largest concentration of Asiatic Elephants and other herbivores. The river separates Bandipur and Nagarhole National Parks.
Location: Where Western Ghats meets the Deccan Plateau

Forest Type:Tropical Dry Deciduous and Tropical Moist Deciduous

Please note not to bring small children below 5 along with you in safari.

Location: The Park is located at 220 kilometers from Bangalore and 75 kms from Mysore .

You can book a cab from the airport or railway station. Alternately you can ask the Resort guys to book a cab for you. The road is slightly bumpy as it’s a state highway.
If you are from Bombay or Pune and like to drive, you can alternately take NH4. The road is in extremely good condition. You can take a night halt at belgaum or hubli (most preferred). People staying at Bangalore can go for weekend trips. However, prior bookings are necessary.

Tip: Do not visit any Nagarhole National Park without prior booking. You might get a place to stay but you will not be able to visit the park.

Safari Timings are :
Morning Trip : 5:30 am to 9:30 am
Evening Trips: 2:30 pm to 5:30 pm

This might change slightly based on the season you are visiting the park.

Clothing: If visiting between October to February, don’t forget to carry warm winter clothes along with you. Clothing for summer should be cotton and light as the jeeps are open. Don’t forget your caps and sunglasses and Sunscreen Lotions. Clothes in jungle green and brown color are most preferred. Make sure you don’t wear bright clothes as Nagarhole (as the place is mostly referred) has a huge presence of wild elephants which might get excited seeing bright colors.

Note: Trips can be difficult for people having bad stomach, especially the morning trips as there are no washrooms inside jungle and the resort is about 3 kms from the jungle. You are not allowed to step out of the jeep safaris at all. Make sure to use washroom before you board the safari vehicle.

About the Place: Jungle Lodge Resort: One of the most beautiful resort of the country, river side cottages with wooden ceiling and a big washroom. The service is 10/10. Laundry is cheap (Mostly Rs 10/cloth), washed, ironed and delivered in 45 minutes. The food is healthy and still extremely tasty with a wide variety of spread available for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Many options for vegetarians and non-vegetarians, both Indian and Continental . Evenings, mostly you will have chicken tandoori served straight from barbeque cooked infront of you. A small video of 30-60 minutes on Wildlife will be shown everyday after the evening trips. Ayurvedic spas to freshen yourself is also available for an extra charge, tented cottages are also available.

The check in time is 12:00 noon and check out is 11:00 am

How to Book: JLR takes care of your booking. You only book the rooms and they will take care of the rest. Extremely easy and no separate bookings needed for Jungle Safaris. If you plan to stay 2 nights, you will be given 3 jungle trips and one boat safari. Boat Safaris in the evenings are mostly preferred by tourists. Get surprised to see tigers, elephants, sambhar, deer and many different species of birds who come across the bank of the river to drink water when you are in boat safari. It’s a delight to watch.

Website to Book :

You will have to look at the website for availability and the current rates going on.

Methi Muttor Malai

What You Need:

1 Methi or Fenugreek Leaves 2 cups Finely Chopped
2 Green Peas 1 cup
3 Onion 1 big
4 Tomato 5
5 Ginger Garlic Paste 1 tbsp
6 Milk 1/2 cup
7 Cashew Nuts 1/4th cup
8 khus khus 1 tbsp
9 Salt To taste
10 Sugar To taste
11 Garam Masala 1 tsp
12 Turmeric Powder 1 tsp
13 Red Chili Powder 1 tsp
14 Cumin Seeds 1 tsp
15 Oil 2 tbsp
16 Cream 2 tbsp

Steps To Make:

Warm milk and soak cashew nuts and khus khus for half an hour.
Ground to a fine paste.
It might take a little longer than usual to grind khus khus or poppy seeds. After grinding for a certain period, khus khus cracks up and releases milky liquid. The paste should be ground till that point.
Heat water in two separate sauce pans.
In one pan, boil tomatoes till you see the skin separate.
In the other, you boil onion.
Strain water, remove the skin of tomato and grind onion and tomato together  to a fine paste.
In a pan, heat oil. Add cumin seeds and ginger garlic paste. Cook till its raw smell is gone.
Add onion tomato paste. And cook on high for 3-4 minutes.
Add all dry spices, fenugreek leaves and green peas.
Cover and cook till you see oil on the sides of the pan and fenugreek leaves are well cooked.
At this point, add the milk paste, sugar and salt. Add little water if required and boil the gravy for 3-4 minutes or till you reach the desired consistency.

Beetroot Kofta Curry

Beetroot is an amazing root vegetable which is excellent for you health, hair, skin. You can consume both the leaves and the round root. However, sometimes it becomes a task what to make of beetroot and how to consume it.

Try making koftas in the technique given below, I am sure you will like it.

What You Need For The Kofta/Cutlet:

Beetroot 2 grated
Carrot 2  grated
Potatoes 4 small boiled, peeled and mashed
Green Chilis 2 finely chopped
Oil 2 tsp
Cumin Seeds 1 tsp
Rice Powder 2 tbsp
Salt To taste
Garam Masala 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder 1 tsp
Red Chili Powder 1 tsp
Bread Crumb 1 tbsp

Steps To Make The Kofta:

Heat oil in a pan.
Add cumin seeds.
Add chopped green chili
Add grated beetroot, carrot , salt and garam masala.
Cover and cook for 5 minutes
Add mashed potatoes , mix well .
Add 1/4th cup of water.
Cover and cook till the stuffing is dry and cooked properly.
Allow It to cool down.
Add rice powder, bread crumbs.
Mix well.
Make small balls and deep fry in oil.
You can make small cutlets and tawa fry them on both sides till crispy if you want to cut down the calories.

What You Need For the Gravy:

1 Oil 2 tsp
2 Tomatoes 4 pureed
3 Curd 3 tbsp beaten
4 Green Chilis 2 finely chopped
5 Salt To taste
6 Garam Masala 1 tsp
7 Turmeric Powder 1 tsp
8 Red Chili Powder 1 tsp
9 Cumin Seeds 1 tsp
10 Kasuri Methi 1 tsp crushed
11 Sugar To taste (optional)
12 Bread Crumb 1 tbsp

Steps To Make the Gravy:

Heat oil in a deep non stick pan.
Add cumin seeds, green and tomato puree.
Cover and cook till raw smell is gone.
Mix salt, sugar, all powdered spices, kasuri methi and curd together. Whisk well with a beater.
Add this to the pan. Remember to lower the flame before adding the curd. Else it will curdle away.
Cover and cook on low flame till you see oil on top.
Your gravy is ready.
Just before serving, put the cutlets in serving bowl and pour gravy on top of it.
Serve this with Roti or Paratha

Lauki Thoran - Bottlegourd Coconut Fry

Cook bottle gourd curry in the manner given below and get staggered to see the non bottlegourd eater finish his/her plate completely. This recipe is inspired from the Konkan Cuisine.

What You Need:

1 Bottlegourd 1 cut in small pieces (about 3 cups)
2 Channa Daal 1/2 cup soake din water for 2 hours
3 Curry Leaves 10
4 Oil 1 tbsp
5 Mustard Seeds 1 tsp
6 Green Chili 2 or 3 finely chopped
7 Roased and Ground Cumin Powder 1 tbsp
8 Grated Coconut 1/3rd cup
9 Salt To taste
10 Hing 1/2 tsp

Steps To Make:

Heat oil in a pan.
Add hing, mustard seeds and allow spluttering.
Add green chillies and curry leaves
Drain channa daal and add it to the cooking pan.
Gently cook on for a minute on high flame.
Lower the flame, add bottlegoured pieces.
Add ½ cup water and mix.
Cover and cook for 15 minutes of medium flame.
Open the lid, add salt to taste, cumin powder and grated coconut.
Cover and cook again till water is absorbed and daal is soft.
Serve with rice or roti.

Poda Pitha

Poda Pitha is a baked Urad Daal cake from the state of Odissa. Poda literally means Burnt, though, there is nothing burnt about this dish.
Traditionally, they were wrapped in banana leaf and baked inside a home made tandoor.
These days , you can easily make them in oven or even a pressure cooker.

What You Need:

1 Rice 1 cup
2 Urad Daal 1 cup
3 Jaggery 1 cup
4 Brown Sugar 1 tbsp
5 Crushed Black Pepper 4 or 5
6 Raisins 9 or 10
7 Cahsew Chopped 07-Aug
8 Salt A Pinch
9 Baking Powder 1/4th tsp
10 Grated Coconut 3/4th cup
11 Chopped Coconut pieces 1/4th cup

Steps to Make:

Soak rice and urad daal for 4 hours.
Grind to a paste adding little water. It should be ground to a consistency where you can still feel the rice particles with your fingers. The batter should not be very fine.
Grind Jaggery and coconut together in grinder.
Add this to batter.
Add rest of the ingredients and mix with a fork.
Grease an aluminium round tray with oil.
Put it in a 5 liter pressure cooker.
Cover the lid and remove the whistle.
Cook on low flame on small burner for 1 hour.
Allow it to cool down completely before you cut it into small pieces.

Macha Bhaja / Masala Rohu Fry

Pakhala and Macha Bhaja, is the most staple food in every Oriya Family. The most common fish which is consumed in Orissa is Rohu. It is a river water fish and is comparatively cheaper. In summer, people have Macha Bhaja with Pakhala Bhata, an excellent coolant to beat the heat of scorching summer. Cooked rice is mixed with water, curd and tempered with oil , mustard seeds and curry leaves. At the end, you squeeze some lemon juice and enjoy the tangy rice with pan fried fish. Well, the idea of Pakhala Bhata (Rice in flavoured water) is somewhat bizarre to many. However, it’s the most soothing food available in Orissa during Summer Season.

What You need:

1 Rohu Fish 1 kg
2 Turmeric Powder 1 tsp
3 red chili powder 1 tsp
4 salt 1 tsp
5 Garlic Cloves 10
6 Mustard Seeds 1 tsp
7 Green Chili 2
8 Cumin Seeds 1 tsp
9 Mustard Oil 3-4 tbsp

Steps To Make:

Marinate Fish with turmeric powder, red chilli powder and salt.
Grind garlic, mustard seeds, cumin seeds and green chilli with little water to a smooth paste.
Heat 1 tbso mustard oil in a pan on high flame.
Once oil reaches  smoking point, lower flame and cook 6-7 marinated fish on both sides till they are almost done.
Add this point, smear some mustard paste on both sides of fish and cook for some more time till fish is cooked completely.
Sprinkle some lemon juice and enjoy.

Cottage Cheese in Poppy Seeds Gravy / Khus Khus Paneer / Poshto Paneer

Cottage Cheese cooked in poppy seeds, tomato puree and dried fenugreek leaves. I have not used onion, ginger or garlic paste. It tastes very rich and creamy even without the use of cashew nuts or cream.
The poppy seeds might take some time to blend with milk. Make sure you soak them for sufficient time to get a smooth paste.

What You Need:

1 Paneer cubes 250 grams
2 Capsicum 2 small cut into medium size
3 Tomatoes 3 big pureed
4 Kasuri methi 1 tbsp crushed
5 Green Chili 1
6 Red chili powder 1 tsp
7 Oil 2 tbsp
8 Cumin Seeds 1 tsp
9 Bay Leaf 1
10 Cloves 2
11 Green Cardamom 1
12 cinnamon stick 1
13 Poppy Seeds 2 tbsp
14 Milk 1/2 cup
15 Salt To Taste
16 Sugar 1 tsp
17 Curry  Powder 1 tbsp

Steps To Make:

Soak poppy seeds in warm milk for 15 minutes.
Grind to a very smooth paste.
Heat oil in a pan.
Add cumin seeds, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, cloves and green cardamom.
Add capsicum and cook till its half done.
Add tomato puree, red chili powder, green chili and curry powder.
Cook on high flame till the raw smell of tomato is gone and you see oil on top.
This takes about 7-8 minutes.
Be careful to move your spatula over the gravy to prevent it from burning and sticking to the bottom.
Add poppy seeds paste, salt, sugar, crushed methi leaves.
Add a cup of water and milk it to boil.
Add paneer cubes, cover and cook for 3-4 minutes more.
Enjoy with hot phulkas.

Bhendi Aloo Chingudi Besara

Prawns cooked in okra and potatoes in Mustard Gravy, a typical Oriya Dish with authentic Oriya flavours. They melt in mouth, very light to stomach and still divine to your palates.

I will recommend this dish to all sea food lovers to try at home.

What You Need:

1 Medium Size Prawns 100 grams
2 Okra 250 grams
3 Potato 2 big
4 Onion finely chopped 2 big
5 Tomato finely chopped 3 big
6 Cumin Seeds 1 tsp
7 Dry Red Chili 1 broken into two
8 cinamon stick 1
9 Bay leaf 1
10 green cardamom 2
11 cloves 2
12 Garlic pods 5
13 mustard seeds 1 tbsp
14 green chili 2
15 turmeric powder 1 tsp
16 Mustard oil 3 tbsp
17 red chili powder 1 tsp
18 curry powder 1 tsp
19 Salt To taste
20 Sugar To taste

Steps To Make:

Cut the head and tail of okra and cut into 1 inch long pieces.
Wash and allow it to dry.
Peel potatoes and cut into medium size pieces.
Wash prawns properly and marinate with little salt and turmeric powder
Heat 1/2 tsp oil in a pan.
Add okra pieces and cook till the sliminess in gone.
Remove from pan and keep aside.
Heat another 1/2 tsp oil and add the potato pieces.
Cover and cook till half cooked.
Remove from pan and keep aside.
Heat 1 tbsp oil.
Add marinated prawns and cook till it turns orange.
Remove and put aside.
Make a paste of garlic pods, green chili, mustard seeds and 2 tbsp water to a smooth fine paste.
Heat remaining oil in a pan.
Add cumin seeds and allow it to splutter.
Add dry red chili.
Add dry whole spices.
Add chopped onions and cook till it turns brown.
Add chopped tomatoes and cook on high.
Add turmeric powder, red chili powder and curry powder.
Cover and cook till tomato is well cooked and raw smell is gone.
Add the mustard paste and 1 glass of water.
Add potato pieces.
Simmer and cook for 6-7 minutes till the gravy starts boiling.
Add Prawn pieces, Okra pieces, salt and sugar to taste.
Cover and cook on low flame for 3-4 minutes more.
Serve hot with Rice.

Ragi Almond Ladoo

Ragi is a rich source of calcium and fiber . It acts as an effective coolant when mixed with buttermilk and helps in reducing weight. It is quiet filling , little difficult to digest and thus keeps your stomach full for a long time. Try these ragi laddus at home, extremely easy to make since it is made in microwave. You don’t have to stand long hours in front of stove mixing the ragi continously to prevent it from burning.

What You Need:

1 Ragi Flour 2.5 cups or 250 grams
2 Besan 0.5 cups or 50 grams
3 Ghee/Clarified Butter 90 grams or Little less than a cup
4 Sugar 3/4th of a cup or 75 grams
5 Powdered Jaggery 50 grams
6 Chopped Almonds 1/4th of cup or 25 grams

Steps To Make:

Mix Ragi Flour, Besan and Ghee together.
Microwave in a microwave safe bowl for 6 minutes on high flame.
Mix every 2 minutes to prevent it from burning.
A nice aroma will come out. At this point, Ragi and Besan will be well roasted in ghee.
It will have a glue texture.
To this, add powdered sugar, powdered jaggery and chopped almonds.
You can other dry fruits of your choice as well.
Mix it well with a spoon.
Allow it to cool down slightly.
When mixture is still hot, take portion of the mixture in ur hand and start rolling them into laddus.
Do not let the mixture to cool down completely.
Else, you will not be able to bind the laddus together and they will start falling apart.
Kids will  like it as it has a chocolate color.

Murg Dhoba

Murg Dhoba, I do not know the origin of the recipe. However, I always have this when we have food at Deccan Harvest. Unlike other chicken dishes which comes in either red, white or green gravy, you get a dash of everything in this particular chicken recipe. I have tried to remake this at home. The restaurant version is a little more creamy and cheesy . However, since I was making it in my kitchen, I had the liberty to control the calorie.

What You Need:

1 Chicken cut in medium size 250 grams
2 Onion Finely Chopped 2 big
3 Tomatoes Finely Chopped 2 big
4 Turmeric Powder 1 tsp
5 Red Chili Powder 1 tsp
6 Garam Masala 1 tbsp
7 Kasuri Methi 1 tsp crushed
8 Ginger Garlic Paste 1 tsp
9 Spinach Leaves Chopped 250 grams
10 Whole Garlic Chopped 7
11 Butter 1 tsp
12 Pepper 1 tsp
13 Cashew Nuts Chopped 7
14 Oil 2 tsp
15 Grated Cheese 1 tsp
16 Dry Red Chili 1 big

Steps To Make:

Heat oil in a pan.
Add ginger garlic paste.
Add dry red chili, chopped onions and cook till it turns brown.
Add chopped tomatoes, dry powder spices and chicken.
Add kasuri methi, salt & sugar(optional) to taste.
Cover and cook till chicken is well cooked.
In another pan, heat butter.
Add chopped onions, garlic and saute till onion turns brown.
Add chopped spinach leaves, sprinkle some salt, cashew nuts and pepper.Cook till spinach is well cooked.
To serve, take a serving bowl.
Pour cooked chicken at the bottom.
At the center, add cooked spinach.
Sprinkle grated cheese on the top center and serve hot with naan or chapatti.

Brown Rice Tawa Pulao

Tawa Pulao is the famous street food of Mumbai and is cooked in the same tawa in which pav bhaji is made. The vegetables used are also similar to the ones put in pav bhaji. We will try to replicate the same recipe here. However, I have used a flat deep pan instead on tawa. Rice is Dawat Brown Rice for the fibre. Vegetables like beetroot and carrot it added to make it healthier.

What You Need:

1 Cooked Brown Rice 3 cups
2 Onions Finley Chopped 2
3 Tomato Finely Chopped 2
4 Capsicum Finely Chopped 1
5 Boiled and Mashed Potato 2
6 Green peas 1/2 cup
7 Beetroot Finely Chopped 1
8 Carrot Finely Chopped 1
9 Beans Finely Chopped 1
10 Salt To taste
11 Red chili powder 1 tsp
12 Turmeric Powder 1 tsp
13 Pav Bhaji Masala 2 tsp
14 Lemon Juice 2 tsp
15 Oil 2 tbsp

Steps To Make:

Heat oil in a deep pan.
Add finely chopped onions. Cook till it turns pink.
Add chopped capsicum and cook for 3-4 minutes.
Add chopped tomatoes and rest of the vegetables except potato.
Cover and cook for 4-5 minutes on medium flame.
Open lid and add red chilli powder, turmeric powder and mashed potatoes.
Mix well.
Add cooked rice, salt, lemon juice and pav bhaji masala.
Mix well. Cover and cook for 3-4 minutes till rice and vegetables are well cooked

Boondi Raita | बूंदी रायता

A simple raita which is made in almost all parts of India and served with rice items.

What You Need:

1 Curd 1 cup
2 Boondi 1/2 cup
3 Salt to taste
4 Sugar 2 tsp
5 Red chili powder 1/4th tsp
6 roasted cumin powder 1/4th tsp
7 dry mint leaves 1 tsp

Steps To Make:

Mix everything together except boondi.
Add half cup water and whisk with a fork.
Just before serving, add boondi to it and mix.