Pepper chicken

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I love freshly cracked pepper and when I came across this recipe for Pepper Chicken, I decided to make it.  This is a simple recipe which literally took only 20-25 minutes to make.  All the heat in this dish comes from the freshly ground peppers.  So do adjust the amount of pepper you use as per your taste.

What you need:

1 kg chicken

2 cinnamon sticks

 

4-5 cloves

4-5 red chillies

1 tbsp ginger and garlic finely chopped

4 medium onions finely chopped

3-4 green chillies

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

Salt to taste

3-4 tbsp oil

5-6 curry leaves for garnish

To grind:

2 tbsp pepper corns

2 tsp fennel seeds

2 tsp cumin seeds

How to make:

  1.  Grind the pepper corn, fennel and cumin seeds and keep aside.

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2.   Heat oil in a thick bottom pan and add  the cinnamon, cloves and dry red chilies.  Once they start spluttering, then add the chopped ginger and garlic. Stir for a minute and then add the chopped onions.  Cook, stirring occasionally till the onions are a nice golden brown.

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3.  Once the onions are brown throw in the turmeric powder, green chilies and the freshly ground pepper mixture. Saute well and then add the chicken pieces.  Mix well and then cook on medium flames for 10-15 mins.

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4.  Once the chicken is done and the oil separates, garnish with curry leaves.  This spicy pepper chicken goes well with roti/naan and rice.  Enjoy!

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Healthy chicken fajitas

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This fajita recipe filled with grilled chicken and peppers and onions always gets rave reviews from everyone.  My daughter, Ria,  first introduced me to this easy and delicious recipe for chicken fajitas.  Not only is it nutritious but it is very filling as well.  You can buy the fajita seasoning from the store or you can just rustle up these ingredients from your kitchen to make your own.  Instead of using store bought fajitas, I ended up making roti (Indian bread from wheat flour) and used it to make a even healthier fajita.  

What you need:

2 small onions sliced

3 bell peppers, any color

1 lb boneless chicken 

2 tbsp oil

1 lemon

1/4 cup cilantro

1/2 cup sour cream (optional)

1/2 cup guacamole (optional)

6-8 tortillas

For seasoning:

1 tbsp chili powder

1 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp cumin powder

1/2 tsp coriander powder

1/2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp black pepper powder

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

How to make:

  1.  Preheat the oven to 200 degrees centigrade .  Mix all the spices for the fajita seasoning in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Cut the onion and bell pepper into 1/4 inch wide strips.  Slice the chicken breast into thin strips as well.img_7268
  3. Add the vegetables and chicken to a casserole dish and drizzle the vegetable oil over them.  Throw in the fajita seasoning and toss well so that everything is well coated in oil and seasoning.

img_72734.  Bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, stirring once half way through.  Squeeze the juice from the lemon on the top of the chicken and vegetables after they come out of the oven.

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5.  Get the tortillas ready by toasting each tortilla in a dry skillet over medium heat until light brown on each side (I made the Indian roti from wheat flour).

6.  Now scoop  a small amount of chicken and vegetables into the center of each tortilla.  Top it with guacamole and/or sour cream.  Enjoy!

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Healthy roasted Chickpeas

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Roasted chickpeas are highly addictive, crunchy and nutritious!  What more does one need in a snack?  Oh and I forgot to add that they are really easy to make.  These delicious oven roasted chickpeas are truly a guilt free snack to keep handy.

What you need:

1 12 oz can of chick peas, drained

1/2 tbsp olive oil

1/4 tsp garlic salt

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

How to make:

  1. Open the chickpeas tin and drain well.  Spread the chickpeas on a paper towel and blot with another paper towel on top so that they are totally dry.  You can also make your chickpeas from scratch by picking up dry chickpeas from the store and boiling them.  It is very important that the chickpeas are absolutely dry.
  2. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Now spread the chickpeas on a baking tray and bake for about 35 minutes.

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3.  Remove the tray from the oven and add the oil and seasoning to the chickpeas and toss well.  Then put the baking tray back in the oven for another 10 mins.  Now close the oven but let the tray remain inside till cool (about an hour).

4.  Remove from oven.  Enjoy the perfect and crispy chickpeas!

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Chia Fruit Parfait

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Chia fruit parfait is a great way to start your morning,  as it is filled with the goodness of fruits, yogurt, honey and walnuts!   Chia seeds are a superfood  containing omega-3 fatty acids, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, antioxidants, and calcium.  This  delicious and simple to make fruit parfait can also be a sweet way to end your meal if you need a dessert!

What you need:

4 tbsp yogurt

1 tbsp honey

1 tsp chia seeds

1/4 cup walnuts chopped

1/4 cup chopped dates

1 cup chopped fruits of your choice

How to make:

  1.  In a bowl mix the yogurt, honey and the chia seeds well.
  2. Take fruits of your choice and chop them into small pieces.  I used kiwi, apple, banana and pomegranate.

3.  In a serving glass or a bowl start layering the fruits first.  Next put a layer of the yogurt mixture.  Now add a layer of fruits again followed by a layer of the yogurt mixture.  Finally top the yogurt layer with chopped dates and walnuts.

4.  Serve chilled!

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Chili chicken

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An all time favorite dish in our family is Chili Chicken.  I love eating it in restaurants but was conscious of the fact that it was deep fried.  I decided to make it at home without frying it and it turned out delicious!  This quick and easy chicken can be paired with fried rice, noodles or had just on its own!  

What you need:

  • 500 gm boneless chicken
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper powder
  • 1 green capsicum cut into bite size cubes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato sauce/ketchup
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • 5-6 green chilies sliced long 
  • 1/2 cup chopped spring onion 
  • 1 inch piece ginger sliced long and thin
  • Salt if needed
  • 2 tbsp oil 

How to make:

  1.  Cut the chicken into cubes of about 1 inch each.  Marinate the chicken in soy sauce, vinegar, red chili powder and pepper powder.
  2. In a wok, take 2 tbsp oil and heat.  Now add the slit green chilies to the oil.  Then toss in the marinated chicken.  Cook on low heat without covering till the chicken is done.

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3.  Throw in the bell pepper and spring onions into the wok.   Also add the tomato ketchup and honey.  You can add more soy sauce, if desired, at this stage.  Stir well and cook for 3-4 minutes.

4.  Now add 1 tbsp of cornstarch to the chicken and stir well till the sauce thickens and coats the chicken well.  Remove from heat.

5.  Finally add the sliced ginger to the chicken and cover it and let it sit for a few minutes so that all the flavors are absorbed.

6.  Serve hot with either fried rice or noodles.  Enjoy!

 

 

Fried plantains

 

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Fried plantain is a dish cooked wherever plantains grow, from Latin America through West Africa to East Africa and the Caribbean such as Jamaica, and in many parts of Southeast Asia.  This is a quick and easy snack which tastes delicious too!  This recipe was sent to me by Peter, my daughters fiance.  Thanks Pete!

What you need:

2  ripe plantains peeled and cut round

Oil for frying

1/2 lemon

Sea salt to taste

How to make:

1. Drizzle oil into frying pan just enough to coat the bottom of the pan and place on medium heat.

 

2.  When oil begins to shimmer, add plantains (work in batches), and fry for 1 and 1/2 minutes on one side, flip and cook for 1 minute on the other side.

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3.  Remove plantains from pan and drain the excess oil by placing them on paper towels.

4. Sprinkle with lime and salt. Enjoy!

Bhuna Murg (Roasted chicken gravy)

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Bhuna Murgh is a dry chicken curry which is flavorful and delicious besides being easy to make.  Bhuna means slow roasting the chicken along with the spices till it is tender and aromatic.  The key is to cook on a low flame without adding water.  This yummy dish tastes great with roti or naan.

What you need:

  • 500gm chicken on bone
  • 2 onions finely chopped
  • 3 tomatoes finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 inch ginger minced
  • 1 green chillies finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp pepper powder
  • 2 green cardamoms
  • 2 tablespoon ghee /oil
  • Salt to taste

How to make:

  1.  Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan.  Then add the chopped onions, ginger and garlic to the oil and stir well for a 3 minutes.

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2.  Add the tomatoes, green chillies and all the dry spices to the onion mixture.  Stir well and cover and cook on a low flame for 3-4 minutes.  Saute well.

3.  Add the chicken pieces now and toss till they are coated well with the onion-tomato masala.

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4.  Let the chicken simmer on low flame for about 15-20 minutes till it is tender, stirring from time to time.

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5.  When the chicken is roasted well and has absorbed the flavors of the spices, remove from fire.  Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and lemon juice.

6.  Serve hot with roti or naan.  Enjoy!

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