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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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!

 

 

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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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.