Chicken pulao

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Chicken pulao is a lighter version of the rich Biryani.  This mildly spiced dish is a favorite in our house, and is full of goodness, taste and flavor.  This yummy pulao combines well with plain yogurt or with raita.  A one dish meal this is a must try!

What you need:

250 gms chicken cut in pieces

2 cups basmati rice

3 large onions sliced finely

2-3 garlic cloves peeled

1 inch ginger piece chopped

1 bay leaf

1 big cardamom

3-4 small cardamom

2 cinnamon sticks

1 tbsp oil

1/2 tsp chilli powder

Salt to taste

Cilantro and mint leaves for garnish

How to make:

  1.  Put the chicken pieces in a pressure cooker along with 1/3 rd of the sliced onions (keep the rest of the onions aside), ginger and garlic, big and small cardamoms, cinnamon sticks and some salt.  Add 4 cups of water and let it cook till one whistle and then remove from heat.  

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2.  Wash the rice and soak for 20 mins.  Drain and keep aside.

3.  Once the steam is let out, open the Cooker.  The chicken would be almost cooked.  Remove the chicken pieces from the stock and keep aside.

4.  In another pan, heat oil.  Add bay leaf to the oil and then throw in the remaining onions.  Stir the onions till they start turning brown.  

img_89805.  Now add the chicken pieces.  Saute the chicken on medium heat for 3-4 minutes.  Add chili powder and mix well.

img_89816.  Now add the rice to the chicken.  Stir nicely and then add the chicken stock (after removing all the spices from it).

img_89837.  Once this mixture starts boiling, add salt to taste.  Then lower the heat and cover and cook till the rice is done.

8.  Garnish with cilantro and mint leaves. 

9.  Serve hot with plain yogurt or raita and salad.

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Poha salad

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This is a quick, easy and nutritious recipe which needs no cooking.  Using rice flakes and healthy vegetables, this dish can be eaten any time in the day as a meal in itself.  

What you need:

1 cup poha (beaten rice flakes) washed and drained

1 small Onion finely chopped

1 cucumber finely chopped

1 small tomato finely chopped

1 green bell pepper finely chopped

1/4 cup chopped cilantro/coriander leaves

2 tbsp roasted peanuts

1 tbsp lemon juice

salt and pepper to taste

2 tbsp Aloo sev and/or  2 tbsp Pomegranate seeds are optional

How to make:

  1.  Wash and drain the poha and set aside in a bowl.
  2.   Finely chop all the vegetables and add to the poha.

img_8848 3.   Now throw in the peanuts, cilantro and lemon juice.  Add salt and pepper.

img_88494.  Toss well and sprinkle with some aloo sev (optional) and/or pomegranate seeds.

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Tibetan thukpa soup

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The rains have arrived and the weather has become cool and pleasant!  A perfect day to have a one pot meal.  I love Thupka soup for its perfect mix of carbs and proteins.  It is nourishing and so so delicious.  Do give it a try.

What you need:

2 spring onions bulbs chopped

1 tsp ginger garlic paste

1 cup mushrooms sliced

2 tbsp tomato puree

1 green chilli

1/2 tsp tomato ketchup

1 chicken breast

1 carrot chopped

1/2 cup finely chopped spinach

1 tsp cilantro chopped

1 cup cooked noodles

1/2 tsp soy sauce

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp oil

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

How to make:

  1.  Heat oil in a pan and throw in the chopped spring onions.  Fry these till they are translucent.  Now add the ginger garlic paste and stir well.img_8630
  2. Add the sliced mushrooms to the pan now.  Stir and cook for a couple of minutes.  Now toss in the carrots, green chilli and chicken.  Mix well.  Cook on medium heat for 2-3 minutes.

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3.  Add the tomato paste and tomato ketchup and cook for another 2 minutes.  Then add 600 ml of water and let it cook for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

4.  Separately boil egg/rice noodles.  Drain the water and keep the noodles aside.

5.  Now add the spinach to the pan.  After 2 minutes throw in the cooked noodles and also add the soy sauce.  Let the broth simmer for 2-3 minutes as the flavors seep into the soup.

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6.  Squeeze the lemon juice into the soup.  Then garnish with chopped cilantro and the green part of the spring onions.

Enjoy!

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Pan fried Tilapia

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This Sunday was particularly hectic as I had been running around since morning.  I was in no mood to make something time consuming for dinner.  While rummaging through my fridge, I found some Tilapia fillets in my freezer and decided to make this quick and tasty pan fried tilapia. I tried making the fish more healthy by using whole wheat flour.   It literally took me 10 minutes to make and tasted delicious!

What you need:

4 tilapia fillets

2 tbsp wheat flour

1 tbsp onion flour

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp thyme

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 tbsp paprika

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup butter

How to make:

  1.  Wash the tilapia fillets and pat dry with paper towel.  Cut into smaller pieces.

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2.  Combine all the dry spices in a bowl.

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3.  Dip the fish fillets in the spices and pan fry in butter on medium heat for 3-4 minutes on each side till golden brown.

4.  Serve with salad or just enjoy with a dip.

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Apple walnut crumble

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I love apple crumble especially in winter !  It is my go to dessert when I have people over or just for the family.   This time, I tried to make it healthy by adding walnuts and using rolled oats instead of only flour.  Walnuts add a nice dimension to this classic dessert.    It tastes heavenly with a dollop of vanilla ice cream on the top.

What you need:

4 apples peeled and cubed

1 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup flour (maida)

3/4 cup sugar

100 gm butter chilled

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 tsp cinnamon

Juice of half a lemon

How to make:

  1.  Preheat oven to 180 degrees.  In a bowl combine the flour, sugar, oats, cinnamon  and butter.
  2.  Use your fingertips to add mix the butter into the flour mixture till it becomes crumbly.  Throw in the chopped walnuts.img_7827
  3.   In an ovenproof dish, add the cubed apples.  Toss the apples with lemon juice, a tablespoon of sugar and a tablespoon of the flour mixture.
  4.  Spread the walnut flour mixture evenly over the apples and dot with butter on top. 

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5.  Bake for about 25-30 minutes till golden brown.

6.  Serve hot with vanilla ice cream.  Enjoy!

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Walnut and Mushroom soup

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I love walnuts in recipes and when I saw Sanjeev Kapoor’s recipe of Walnut and Mushroom soup, I just had to make it.  The walnuts in the recipe eliminate the need of adding any cream or flour to the soup and thus make it very healthy and nutritious.  This soup is perfect for winters and was a hit at a recent lunch which I had.

What you need:

1 onion finely chopped

2 garlic cloves chopped

1/2 cup walnuts chopped

2 cups sliced mushrooms

1 cup water

3 cups milk

1 tbsp butter

salt to taste

pepper to taste

How to make:

  1.  In a deep pan, heat the butter.  Add the sliced onions and saute till they change color.  Throw in the chopped garlic and saute for another minute.
  2. Now add the chopped walnuts and stir well.

3.  Now add the sliced mushrooms to the pan.  Mix all the ingredients well together.  At this time you can add the salt and black pepper and stir well.  Pour 1 cup water and  cover and cook the mushroom and walnuts on low heat for 10 minutes.

4.  The walnuts and mushrooms are now soft.  Add the milk to this mixture and let it cook for another 5-7 minutes.

5.  Now using a hand blender, blend the mixture well till it becomes smooth and creamy.

 

6.  Serve hot with a baguette!

 

 

 

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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