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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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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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!

Baked sweet potato chips

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Who does not enjoy chips?  So here is a much healthier version – sweet potato baked chips which you can enjoy guilt free. My daughter, Ria, tried these out and loved them. She encouraged me to make them and they were easy, flavorful and nutritious.   These awesome chips require only olive oil, sea salt and pepper.  

What you need:

2 sweet potatoes (Shakarkandi in Hindi)

2 tsp olive oil

sea salt and pepper – to taste

Any other seasoning you like

How to make:

  1.  Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Rinse and dry the sweet potatoes.  Cut them as thin and evenly as possible.  Know that chips that are too thick in parts won’t crisp up all the way. Still delicious, just not “chip” crispiness.
  3. Toss the slices in olive oil and add salt and pepper.  Spread evenly on a baking tray in a single layer.  Place the baking tray in the middle rack in the oven.

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4.  Remove once crisp and golden brown(about 35 mins).  But each oven varies so you will have to keep an eye on them.   Some may feel a little tender in the middle but take them out and let them rest for 10 minutes or so to crisp up before sampling. Serve immediately.

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