Bhindi Kadi in Full Oriya Style

Oriya Kadi is very very different from the kadi that is prepared in the rest of India. The tempering is different and so is the ingredients that goes into it. Not only, its healthy and delicious, but it holds a very special place in every buffet aka bhoji and is a must preparation for non-meat eaters. We all love Kadi and people who savor mutton also enjoy it at the end with little rice, the way people in South of India have a little curd and rice to finish the meal. Kadi has cooling effect to the stomach and when you stay in a hot place like Orissa/Odissa, it is a must have food for many.

What You Need:

1 cup bhindi fried and kept separately
1 cup curd
2 tbsp besan (chickpea flour)
2 cups of water
salt to taste
1 tbsp sugar
10-12 curry leaves
1 tbsp panch photan (equal quantities of fenugreek, cumin, mustard, aniseed, carom seeds)
1  dry red chili
1 green red chili
pinch of asoefoetida(hing)
1 tbsp oil
1 garlic crushed

Steps To Make:

Beat sugar, salt, curd and besan together with fork or egg whisker till you get a smooth consistency.
Add water to it and mix well.
Next pour the mixture to a non stick pan  and cook on a low flame till the raw smell of besan (chickpea flour) disappears.

Pan fry Bhindi in 1 tsp of oil till the sliminess is gone.
Heat oil separately in a small tempering pan. Add panch photan, curry leaves, dry red chili and green chili, crushed garlic and pour over kadhi.
Add bhindi at this point.
Cover the pan immediately and boil for another 4 to 5 minutes.

Serve Kadhi/Kadi with hot steam rice.

Chicken Tikka Masala

Like Samosa isn’t an Indian dish, Gulab Jamun is also not an Indian Sweet Dish, similarly, Chicken Tikka Masala isn’t Indian either. It breaks my heart to know that the above dishes which have become so much Global as Indian Recipes are actually not India. Most of the dishes have been influenced when Mughals entered India and brought the Persian Cuisine along with them. Similarly, Chicken Tikka is one such Persian Influenced Recipe. However, it is the British People who gave birth to the idea of Chicken Tikka Masala because chicken tikka was too dry to be eaten with Roti and they wanted something is gravy so it can consumed easily.

What You Need to make Chicken Tikka for 3 to 4 people:

500 grams chicken pieces – boneless or with bones

For the Marination :
1 cup curd
2 tbsp chicken tandoori masala
3 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chili powder
1 tbsp fresh ginger garlic paste
Salt to taste
1 tbsp oil

Marinate chicken in the above ingredients for 15 to 20 minutes. Grill the chicken pieces for 5 minutes on either side at 180 degree centigrade.
Don’t discard the remaining marination. It shall be used for cooking the gravy.

What we need for the gravy:

Marination left after grilling the chicken
1 tbsp oil
1 bay leaf
1 green cardamom
2-3 cloves
2 onions very finely chopped
3 onions pureed
1 tsp butter + 1 tsp kasuri methi
Salt + sugar to taste

Steps to prepare the gravy:

Heat oil in a pan.
Add all the whole spices.
Add onions and cook till brown.
Add the grilled chicken pieces and tausse for a minute.
Next add the tomato puree and marination left.
Check seasoning and add sugar to taste(about 1 tsp should be sufficient).
Now cover and cook on high for 4 to 5 minutes.
As chicken cooks in the gravy, we will heat butter in a small tempering pan and add kasuri methi to it.
Add this to the gravy. Cook for some more time till we have a nice consistency.
Our Chicken Tikka Masala is ready.

No Onion No Garlic Non Fried Malai Kofta with a Peach Coloured Creamy Gravy

Sometimes I feel, the most complicated looking curry are most simple to make . Infact, I am slowly understanding that the restaurant food is easier to make when you know your ingredients right. It is actually the food which you prefer to make and eat daily at home that are most difficult to prepare as you need to bring the best taste with minimal spice, oil and ingredients.
Malai Kofta is one such restaurant style food which we make only on special occasions and prefer to have when eating outside. I always thought it would be complicated and oily as you deep fry your Koftas. You cannot shallow fry or pan fry them because it is difficult to retain the round shape in a pan. Guess what I found a way to make koftas which would still be crispy from outside, yet soft and succulent from inside and it would still be round without deep frying fan. No, you don’t have to bake them. I have tried doing that as well. But the koftas rather turn very dry. So what is the secret to make the perefect and guilt free Malai Kofta with a peach coloured  creamy curry without deep frying and let us make it No Onion No Garlic this time so everybody can enjoy.

What You will Need for making the Koftas:

2 cups Paneer Ofcourse – Use fresh ones at home . Strain and remove excess water. If using store bought, you will have to grate it. Do not try to chop it with knife.
1 bunch spinach leaves washed properly and finely chopped
½ cup boiled sweet corn- squeeze to remove excess water
1 tbsp tomato ketchup or puree
1 tsp roasted cumin powder
1 tsp home made garam masala
Salt to taste
Secret 1 : 3 tbsp pancake mix or 3 tbsp gulab jamun mix or 3 tbsp all purpose flour + 1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp oil for preparing koftas + 1 tbsp of oil for cooking
Secret 2 : An appe or paniyaram pan

Steps To Make:

Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan.
Add chopped spinach and corn and cook till spinach is nice and soft and reduced.
Next add the crumbled paneer, tamato ketchup, salt to taste and powdered spices.
Let it cook till its almost dry but not completely dry.
Add Pancake mix and mix well. Allow the mixture to cool down completely.
Rub water on your palms and make small balls to fit into the paniyaram pan.
Pour 1 drop of oil in each mould. Gently place the balls in each mould.
Cook on all sides till nice and brown. Our koftas are ready – Nice and Healthy as I promised. Isnt it.

And now the peach coloured gravy:

What You Need:

3 tomatoes cubed
1 cup beaten curd
1 cup water
1 tbsp poppy seeds
2 tbsp mellon seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 green chili
1 tsp oil
2 cardamom
8 to 10 cashews
1 tsp ginger crushed

Pressure cook all the above ingredients on high for 1 whistle. Lower flame and cook for 10 minutes.
Allow pressure to drop and the contents to cool down.
Whisk in blender to a smooth paste
Heat 1 tsp butter in a pan.
Add 1 tsp crushed kasuri methi.
Add the blended paste.
Add salt and sugar to taste
Lastly, add 1 tsp garam masala.
Your gravy is also ready now.

To server: Pour gravy into the serving bowl.
Gently place the Kofta balls you made above.
Sprinkle coriander leaves for garnishing
Serve with Naan or Roti or Jeera Rice.

Chicken Chettinadu - A taste of Tamil Nadu

Chettinad is a region of Tamil Nadu where you will get the one of the most spicy food which ever existed on face of earth. It is very very aromatic as well as all the whole spices used in Indian Cooking are freshly roasted and ground to a fine powder and then added to the meat dishes. The dish is paired with normal steamed rice. Eating with roti will not do it justice. Generally they are teamed with boiled egg. However, I happily skip it. Have a cup of curd later if your stomach is not used to such spicy food as it will help you make a good balance.

What You Need :

To be ground to fine paste by adding after dry roasting and adding water:

8-9 dry red chilies
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp cumin seed
1 tbsp black pepper
1 tbsp fennel seeds
few curry leaves
1 cup grated coconut
2 tbsp khuskhus or poppy seeds
2 cloves
1 cinnamon

Other Ingredients:

1 kg chicken cut in small pieces
8-10 small onions
2 tb spn ginger garlic paste
4-5 big tomatoes chopped
Few Spings of curry leaves
3 tbsp oil for cooking

Method to cook :

Mysore Masala Dosa - A taste of Mysore

Mysore, the historical city of Karnataka is famous across the Globe first for the Architectural Wonder , the Mysore Palace and second for the famous Mysore Masala Dosa. I think to certain extent, we can easily call Mysore Palace as the Indian version of Buckingham Palace and even better. It follows an  'Indo-saracenic" style that combines ancient Indian, Mughal and Edwardian/Victorian style and the result of this is one of the most wonderful Palace and iconic buildings including the likes of the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

The palace looks spectacular when its lit on Sunday Evenings and Festive occasions. Even the interiors are class apart. Below are some pictures of one of those Sunday Evening which I had captured the last time I visited this city. I love Mysore. There is something about this place and my destiny which makes me visit this place again and again. Hope you all like the pictures and plan your next trip to Mysore next time you are near the city or plan specially for it.

What else is Mysore famous about. Its famous for Masala Dosa. Its spicy and hotter than the usual Dosas available in India. A special spicy chutney is made and spread over the dosa and then served with Potato Stuffing , Sambhar and Coconut Chutney.

What you need for the batter:

2 cups Idli/Dosa Rice
1 cup urad dal
1/3rd cup channa dal (Split Bengal Gram Dal)
1 tsp methi dana

Soak for at least 4 hours and grind to a smooth batter by adding water little by little. Allow it to ferment for atleast 8 hours. Add salt, water if required and whisk well. Our Dosa batter is ready.

What you need for the chutney:

Pinch of salt.
10 garlic pods
4 dry red chilies
1 tsp channa daal
Pinch of salt
1 tsp tamarind paste

Roast channa daal and dry red chilies for 2 minutes. Grind along with red chilies, tamarind paste and garlic. Mix salt to it.Add little water if required.

What You need for the potato stuffing:

6 to 7 Big potatoes boiled, peeled and mashed.
2 big onions chopped
1 spring of curry leaf
Handful of green peas
1 tsp urad daal
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp mustard and cumin seeds each
1 tsp turmeric powder
2 tbsp green coriander leaves chopped
salt to taste
2 to 3 green chili chopped roughly

Heat oil in pan. Add mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Allow it to crackle.
Next add urad daal.
Then add curry leaves. Be careful as you add curry leaves.
Add turmeric powder and chopped onion. Allow onion to turn pink.
Add green peas, mashed potato, salt and green peas.
Add 1/2 cup water.Cover and cook till potato is well cooked.
Add chopped coriander leaves and mix well. Our stuffing is ready.

Udupi Style Sambhar . For the recipe click here

Coconut Chutney: For recipe click here and pick your choice of chutney

Steps To Make:

Heat your dosa pan. Add a little oil for greasing. Take a ladder full of batter.
Pour it over pan and spread it evenly. Add few drops of oil. Turn on the heat to high.
Spread 1 tsp of chutney evenly on dosa.
Sprinkle some chopped onion. Add the potato masala. Fold the dosa and take out of the pan.
Serve with Sambhar. If you want, you can serve potato masala separately as well.

Miracles Do Happen Here

It was Half past 9 and I was still in office. I had to collect my e-tickets, take some last minute print outs, send some last minute emails and take the cab to board the last plane to Chennai which was scheduled for 11:30 pm. I had a training to conduct for the new joinees whom we call as Fresher’s in the Corporate World over the weekend. I started completing my tasks one after another and cut them off from my check list. I packed all stuff, papers, laptop, swiped out and took the stairs instead of the lift to save time. My driver was waiting outside. I immediately waved and opened the door and plunged myself on the back seat. “Bhaiya Chalo Jaldi !!” . Btw, every 1 out of 5 man we deal in India is our Bhaiya(Brother).

It was Friday, how could we reach the airport easily. Roads were heavily congested as everybody wants to reach home early and start the weekend as soon as possible. It took me nearly an hour to reach the airport which would normally take 30 minutes in normal traffic. I was damn hungry, not a morsel of food had gone into my stomach since lunch. Thankfully my stay was for 1 day and I didn’t have a luggage to check in. I collected my boarding pass , passed through security check and decided to freshen up. Being a girl how could I miss the mirror in the washroom. Damn, look at me. I look like a dry leaf who was perhaps not watered and tortured in Sun. Not having slept properly since a couple  of days, deliveries, meetings, trainings , house responsibilities had taken a toll on me and my face. It was clear and evident that I needed rest and sleep. Anyways, I quickly grabbed a sandwich and an Apple Juice. Atleast, I could give some rest to my Stomach which would otherwise start making sound to embarrass me.

The journey was quick. Thankfully, the company had arranged for a chauffeur who was holding my name up and clear. I happily waved at  him. Within 20 minutes, I was in my room in the guesthouse. No time to have dinner now. It had already crossed 1 in the midnight and I decided to catch up on sleep as I had only 6 hours to close my eyes, however, sometimes when you are too tired, you just can’t sleep and then suddenly its 7 am when my hubby called me. But I didn't snooze for a change.

I woke up immediately as I had to prepare for the day. Training the Fresher’s is no easy job. You do not know how they are going to receive you. They could either sleep in the class or throw bouncers at you. And I had the biggest task ahead of me. I needed to look Fresh and Presentable. I decided to take a shower. Blistering Barnacles, how could I forget my shampoo and makeup kit. I had read somewhere if you sprinkle baby powder and comb, it can take you long for a day at least. I quickly fixed my hair . What about my face. I already look like a swollen bear. A small cup of tea didn’t do much wonder. I started hounding  the pockets of my bag. Wallah..I found a small pouch of Garnier BB Cream which my beautician cousin had given me once and had highly recommended. I decided to give it a try.  I washed my hands and my face with normal soap, poured it out on my palms, put some polka dots just under the eye to remove those dark circles which had started appearing over the week, some on the forehead and the rest evenly across the face, gently massaged and applied some lip gloss, My attire was ready and ironed.

By 9 am , I was in my office and inside the training room. I completed the day which went quiet well . The Freshers were enthusiast and eager than I had expected.
I took the plane back to Pune the same day and threw myself on the bed only to get up at 10 am the next day recovering the sleep I had missed for the entire week. I decided to open the bag and started going through the feedback forms. I was happy to see the positive feedback and response I got from my junior colleagues. They had rated me 4.25/5 on an average which is not bad.

When you look good, you feel confident. When you feel confident, you feel you can accomplish. And that is exactly what Garnier had given me that day to look my best in the limited resource and limited time. I would recommend Garnier BB Cream to everybody and would buy it myself as it surely saves you from having disasters.

Yakhni Murg Nawabi Pulao - Awadh Cuisine

My passion for Awadh Cuisine continues. I like it because it suits my palate completely. Awadh food tastes mild, not spicy, feels rich and is cooked in Sudh Desi Ghee. It is very difficult to match the taste of Awadh Cuisine and bring out the Authentic Flavours. The ingredients used while preparing also play a very important role while preparing the food of Nawabs. Since My kitchen was stocked with some real spices from Kerala, I decided to prepare Chicken Yakhni Pulao. I wanted the taste of Kesar and Fennel to be the dominating factors. Hence I kept it simple. I used coriander, green chilies and mint leaves for cleansing and freshness, while I used saffron for aroma and ground fennel powder for the digestion and sweetness to the palate. The chilies in Maharashtra are big without much hotness. Hence, we can use it as much as we want because they are rich in anti-oxidants.

What we need for this Royal Dish:

2 cups Basmati Rice soaked in water for 20 minutes. Drain and keep aside. It make cooking faster.
500 grams chicken cut into medium size pieces
1 tbsp garlic crushed – use fresh ones
½ inch ginger crushed – use fresh ones again
1 cup thick curd – preferably a day old
½ cup mint leaves chopped
6 to 7 green chilies chopped. If using hotter variety, remember to deseed before adding
1/3rd cup coriander leaves
1 tbsp fennel powder
6 to 7 saffron strands crushed and soaked in ½ cup milk
2 tbso lime juice

Whole Spices:
2 bay leaves
3 cloves
3 cardamom
1 star mace
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp shahi jeera
1 tsp fennel seeds
Salt to taste
3 Onions cut into julians

2 tbsp ghee for cooking

Steps To Make:

Heat enough water in a pan. Once its hot, add 1 tsp ghee to it.
Add all the whole spices and soaked rice. Cook till its half done.
Strain excess water and keep rice aside.

Heat remaining ghee in a pan.
Once ghee is hot, add shahi jeera and fennel seeds.
Next throw in the crushed ginger garlic and onion slices.
As onion turns brown, add chicken pieces, add beaten curd and salt to taste.
Once chicken releases all its juices and it changes colour, you know your chicken is half cooked.
Add chopped mint leaves, coriander leaves and chopped green chilies.
Cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
Spread half cooked rice to it.
Pour lime juice and saffron soaked in milk.
Cover and cook for 15 to 20 minutes on low flame.
Finally add some
Our Chicken Yakhni Nawabi Pulao is ready.
Serve with some lacha onions and mint yogurt.

Chicken Cutlet Sandwich Recipe

Have you ever opened the refrigerator and looked for some magic cooked food to eat to pop up . Have you ever felt bored and lonely and ate just to keep yourself busy and then you have munched and munched and then later felt guilty about it. Or, are you the one who has over eaten in a social gathering just to please others and make people happy and then regretted of having stuffed yourself and put on weight. Are you the one who cannot say no to food offerings and are you the one who eats when emotional or when stressed out. Well I am sure we all have fallen victim to above circumstances some day or other and then wished we could have been careful  rather than sulking at our increased waist length. I have fallen a victim of it so many times. Also, because I am a food blogger, I have the habit of studying food and often read and look at the posts of my fellow bloggers. This creates unnecessary craving when one day I want to gorge on Biryani, the other day I am bent on having Pizza and third day I want to have chicken no matter what. Sometimes, I look at my own posts and want to make it immediately. This is extremely dangerous for me since I have a job which requires me to sit at my desk for long  hours and with less physical activity leaves little scope to keep a check on weight.

Diwali is coming and I am really scared because there will be sweets everywhere, there will be fried stuff wherever I move my eyes. Colleagues and friends will return from vacations with loads of goodies and I can’t say no when somebody offers me food. I have been trying hard to keep the food light now because I am going to gorge on rich food after some days. Today’s post is about one such light food which I made keeping in mind all the above concerns I made so far. I kept it simple by not over stuffing it. Some Fresh Salad leaves, some tomato slices , a burger/cutlet,  regular ketchup and toasted bread and lunch was ready.

What You need ( It will make about 5 to 6 cutlets)

Chicken Mince Meat 250 grams
Carrot grated 1 big size
1/3rd cup spring onions chopped
1 big onion chopped
Parsely or coriander leaves chopped (depends how much freshness you want)
Chili powder 1 tsp or as per the hotness you want
Pepper powder 1 tsp – be careful since you have already added red chili powder
Garlic crushed 1 tsp – use fresh for more taste
Ginger Crushed
1 egg lightly beaten
2 tbsp semolina or bread crumb
2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese – optional, you can easily skip it
Oil for Pan Frying

Steps To Make:

Mix everything well. Make small patty shapes and pan fry till golden and crispy on both sides.
Take toasted bread. Put some salad leaves. Place some fresh tomato slices. Apply some tomato ketchup.
Put some burger patty.
Put another piece of bread slice.
Your simple chicken cutlet sandwich is ready to be savored.

Classic Tomato and Cheese Sandwich

This is the most classic sandwich recipe  of all sandwiches and is still loved by everybody. It has the freshness of tomatoes, creaminess of cheese, punch of garlic, hotness of pepper and sweetness of honey. This cannot get any better. The best thing about making this sandwich is that yo can control the amount of cheese. If making for kids, you can go easy on cheese.

What You Need:

Brown Bread Pieces
Garlic Pods Crushed
Tomato Slices
Grated Cheese
Pepper Powder

Steps To Make:

Place brown bread slices on the plate.
Grind butter, garlic pods and pepper powder together.
Apply these over the bread slices.
Place tomato slices on the bread.
Spread grated cheese and drop some honey over it.
Cover with the second bread slices.
Grill the sandwiches by applying some butter on both sides.
They should be consumed immediately when its still hot.