Paella

 

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My daughter and her fiance Pete,  are majorly into cooking these days. I love hearing about all the exciting recipes they try out.   One of their really hit recipes is  the classic Spanish dish of Paella, which Pete recently made.  This Paella has a bit of everything in it and is flavorful, nourishing and looks colorful besides being really delicious.  

What you need:

* Herb Blend:

1 cup chopped fresh parsley

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 large garlic cloves, minced

* Paella:

1 cup water

1 teaspoon saffron threads

3 (16-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium seafood broth

8 jumbo shrimp (about 1/2 pound)

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 skinned, boned chicken thighs, cut in half

2 links Spanish chorizo sausage (about 6 1/2 ounces) or turkey kielbasa, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices

2 cups finely chopped onion

1 cup finely chopped red bell pepper

1 cup canned diced tomatoes, undrained

1 teaspoon sweet paprika

3 large garlic cloves, minced

3 cups uncooked Arborio rice or other short-grain rice

1 cup frozen green peas

8 mussels, scrubbed and de-bearded

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

How to make:

1. To prepare the herb blend, combine the first 4 ingredients, and set aside.

2. Combine water, saffron, and broth in a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer (do not boil).

Keep warm over low heat.

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3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large paella pan or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; sauté 2 minutes on each side. Remove from pan. Add sausage; sauté 2 minutes. Remove from pan. Add shrimp, and sauté 2 minutes. Remove from pan.

4. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add onion and bell pepper; sauté 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Add tomatoes, paprika, and 3 garlic cloves; cook 5 minutes.

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6. Add rice; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.

7. Stir in herb blend, broth mixture, chicken, sausage, and peas.

8. Bring to a low boil; cook 10 minutes, don’t stir once the broth has been added.

9. Add mussels to pan, nestling them into rice mixture. Cook 5 minutes.

10. Arrange shrimp, heads down, in rice mixture, and cook 5 minutes or until shrimp are done. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup lemon juice.

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11. Remove from heat; cover with a towel, and let stand for 10 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges, if desired.  Enjoy!

 

Cilantro chicken/Chicken hara dhaniya

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Having bought too much cilantro/ hara dhaniya (which I really love), I decided to use it to make chicken. Cilantro leaves are also known as Coriander leaves in India and are widely used in Indian cooking for garnishing and in chutney.   Cilantro chicken is prepared with chicken pieces delicately cooked combined with the freshly ground mixture of cilantro leaves, curry leaves and green chilies.  This tastes great with hot roti or naan.

What you need:

500 grams chicken

10 Cashew nuts

1 bunch cilantro(hara dhaniya) leaves

8-10 curry leaves

3/4 cup yogurt

1 tbsp garlic ginger paste

2-3 finely chopped green chilli

2 tbsp oil

salt to taste

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp coriander seeds 

1 tsp cumin seeds

How to make:

  1.  Take cilantro (hara dhaniya), curry leaves and green chillies and blend to a fine paste in a blender.
  2. Take coriander seeds and roughly grind them.
  3. In a pan take some oil and heat it.  Add the cumin seeds.  Once they start spluttering, add the ground coriander seeds.  Give it a stir and then add the ginger garlic paste.
  4. Make a paste of the cashew nuts with a little water.  Add 1 1/2 tsp of this paste to the pan. Also add the haldi powder and mix really well.
  5. Now add the cilantro (hara dhaniya) mixture to the oil and stir very well.Cook on medium heat till the oil starts separating(about 5 mins).  Add salt.

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6.  Now throw in the chicken and stir well.  Add 1/2 cup of yogurt.  Cover and cook on low heat for 10-15 mins.till the chicken is tender.IMG_3785 Uncover and cook for another 5 mins so that the gravy is of thicker consistency. Enjoy with roti/nan!

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Chicken Tikka Masala

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One chicken dish which is on the menu of all Indian restaurants is Chicken Tikka Masala.  This yummy chicken dish is full of flavor and is a perennial favorite!  This super easy chicken dish goes with rice, bread/pita or naan.  Here I have made it with a little more gravy as I was serving it with rice.  Enjoy!

What you need:

500 gms chicken cut into pieces

2 tbsp tandoori paste or tikka masala paste (I use Pataks)

2 tbsp yogurt

3 tbsp cream (I use light cream)

1 cup tomato puree

2 cloves garlic minced

1/2 tsp minced ginger

2 medium onions ground

1/2 tsp chilli powder 

1/2 tsp coriander powder

1/2 tsp cumin powder

2 tbsp chopped cilantro/coriander leaves

3 tbsp oil

Salt to taste

How to make:

  1.  In a bowl combine the tandoori paste and yogurt.   Throw in the chicken pieces and coat them well with the marinade.  Keep refrigerated for 3-4 hours.
  2. Heat a skillet with 2 tbsp oil.  Saute the chicken pieces well and cover and cook on low heat till almost done.  (Instead you can also bake chicken in an ovenproof dish at 350 F for about 10 mins).

         

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3.  Next heat oil in a pan.  Add the ground onions and stir till they turn pink.  Add the ginger and garlic and saute well for 2-3 mins.  Now add the chilli powder, coriander powder and cumin powder and mix well.  Stir for a couple of minutes on low heat.

4.  Now add the chicken and toss well.  

5.  Separately mix the tomato puree and cream in a bowl together.  Add this mixture to the pan. Stir well and add salt.  Let it come to a boil.  Lower the heat and cover and cook for 5 minutes.  (You can add 1/2 cup of water or more depending on how thick you want the curry).

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6.  Garnish with cilantro and serve hot with rice, roti or naan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dahi walla chicken – Chicken in yoghurt sauce

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The summer has been busy with lots of friends visiting!  So even though I had been cooking and taking pictures of my dishes, I had not been able to post them on the blog.   So here goes.   This is a low fat yoghurt based chicken curry flavored with brown onions.  Tastes good with both rice and roti.  

What you need:

2 lbs boneless chicken

2 cups yoghurt

2 onions sliced and fried golden

1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste

1/2 tsp red chilli powder

1/4 tsp haldi (turmeric) powder

1 tsp zeera (cumin) powder

1 tsp garam masala

2 green chillis sliced long

4-5 green cardamoms

2 tbsp almond paste

3 tbsp chopped cilantro 

How to make:

1.  Wash and cut the chicken into small pieces and keep aside.

2.  Take oil in a pan and fry the onions till golden brown.  Remove from oil and spread on paper napkin so that the oil is soaked. When the onions cool down, crush them coarsely by hand.

3.   Marinade the chicken in yoghurt, ginger garlic paste, crushed brown onions, chilli powder, haldi and cumin powder. Cover and keep in refrigerator for 4-5 hours.  

4.  Heat the remaining oil and add 4-5 cardamoms slit open.  Now throw in the marinated chicken.  Let it simmer on low heat, stirring regularly.   

5.  Once the chicken is tender,  add the almond paste and salt.   Sauté for a few minutes till the gravy reaches desired consistency.

6.  Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve hot with rice or roti.

 

Chicken Burrito Bowl

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Chicken Burrito Bowl is one of my favorite Mexican dishes!   This healthy dish contains nutritious ingredients like brown rice, chicken, guacamole, beans, etc.  The recipe appears long but is simple to assemble.  The best part is that you can customize this dish as you like without compromising on the taste.

What you need:

For cilantro lime brown rice:

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 2 cups chicken broth or water
  • 1 lime
  • 1/3 cup loosely packed cilantro, chopped

For Chicken:

1/2 package fajita seasoning mix

2 cups of lean chicken, chopped

Other:

1 cup frozen Corn

1 can black beans, low sodium

1 cup of low-fat shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese

Salsa if desired

lettuce, chopped

tomatoes, chopped

1 small container of low-fat sour cream

For Guacamole:

1 avocado

1 lime

1/4 cup cilantro

1/4 cup of chopped onion

1 small jalapeno copped

1 small chopped tomato

pepper to taste

 How to make:

For the rice:

1.  Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, season with Kosher salt and cook  for 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Reduce the heat to low and add rice. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add broth, the zest and juice of 1 lime.  Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer, cover, and cook until the rice is done as per the directions on your bag of rice (different brands and types of rice have different cooking times).

2. Once the rice is cooked, fluff rice with a fork and stir in cilantro. 

3.  Steam the corn in a separate pot and keep aside. Also empty the can of black beans in a separate pan and heat, stirring well.

For chicken:

1.  Add oil to a frying pan and toss chicken in. Heat chicken on medium heat, stirring often to get chicken cooking evenly.

2.  Add 1/4 cup of water and half package of fajita seasoning (you can also just follow the directions on that packet). Add more water if necessary.

3.  Stir chicken until evenly coated, turn heat to low-med and simmer for another 5 to 8 minutes till done.

For Guacamole:

1.  Remove peel and core from avocado and chop up into pieces. Add to a medium bowl.

2.  Chop and blend avocado until it’s the desired texture.

3.  Add chopped cilantro, 1/4 cup of onions, lime juice, tomatoes , jalapeno and mix well.

4.  Add pepper to taste.

Now that everything is ready you can get bowls for everyone eating. Follow the order of things if you want it to resemble Chipotle the most:

First add rice to bowl.  Then add black beans and then add chicken.  Now add some corn, cheese, salsa and sour cream.  Finally top off with some chopped lettuce.

Enjoy!

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Pork vindaloo

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This spicy and tangy dish is a traditional food from Goa on the west coast of India.  The name “vindaloo” is derived from the Portugese dish “carne de vinha d’alhos”.  This fragrant hot dish flavored with vinegar and red kashmiri chillis was just right to eat today, when we were housebound because of the snow!

What you need:

2 lbs pork cut into cubes

4 tbsp vindaloo paste (I used the Patak brand)

1 large onion finely sliced

1 tsp ginger garlic paste

1-2 sticks of cinnamon

1 tsp freshly ground coriander seeds

2 kashmiri red chilli freshly ground

5-6 cherry tomatoes

3 tbsp vinegar

3 tbsp oil

salt to taste

a few curry leaves

2 tbsp chopped cilantro

How to make:

1.  Coat the pork cubes well with vinegar.  Then add the vindaloo paste and mix well.  Cover and marinate the pork overnight.

2.  Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan.  Add the curry leaves, cinnamon, onions and ginger garlic paste.  Saute the onions till they are golden.

3.  Add the ground coriander and chilli to the onions and stir well.

4.  Throw in the pork cubes and cover and cook on a low flame for about an hour.  Keep stirring from time to time.

5. Cook till the pork is tender.  If you need gravy, add a cup of water and cook for another few minutes.

6. Garnish with cilantro and cherry tomatoes.  Serve hot with chapati/naan or rice.

Glazed ham with pineapple

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This easy and delicious dish is a holiday favorite in our family.  This makes for excellent left overs too!

What you need:

1 cooked half ham

1 can of pineapple chunks 

1/2 cup brown sugar

How to make:

1.  Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Place the ham cut side down in the roasting pan.

2.  Bake the ham in the preheated oven for 45 mins.

3. While the ham is baking, mix the pineapple juice with the brown sugar in a bowl to form a thick glaze.

4.  Remove the ham from the oven and brush the glaze over the ham evenly.  Decoratively arrange the pineapple chunks to the ham with toothpicks. and bake for a further 30 mins.

6.  Remove the ham from the oven and carve on a cutting board and serve.