Thursday, May 28, 2009

Spicy Chicken with Green Chillies

I haven't posted a chicken dish in a long time, isn't it? My vegetarian friends have to excuse me this time :) However my non-veg friends have been insisting me to post some non-veg recipes as I haven't posted any chicken recipes in a looong time! When I noticed Viki's Potluck Chicken event going on and myself being a chicken lover, I have no excuse not to post them :) So last weekend, I rolled up my sleeves, got into the kitchen and made this fabulous chicken dish, thats long due. There are quite a few chicken dishes ideal for potlucks that I wanted to post, but just haven't had the time to make them, except this one.

I have to say that I love Potlucks! There are several reasons for my liking. First, Potluck is a food-lovers dream. I like the idea of having friends together to chit-chat and share fabulous food! Second, its neither stressful, nor too formal. Hosting a formal dinner requires lots of planning and labor and by the time everything is prepared and ready to be served I'm too tired to enjoy the party. Third, its a great way to share recipes! I love the fact that I actually first try the dish myself before I ask for the recipe and try it myself. This way, I'm familiar with the taste, color, consistency etc. And last but not least, the joy in choosing the dish (perfect time to make that "show-stopper" dish!) and an ideal opportunity to show our creativity skills too. I should say that I've been very lucky to have attended many interesting potlucks over the years. Some with great themes, some with great entertainment, some with just great food! Though we started off by organizing and attending potlucks only for special occassions like Diwali, New year etc, a while later we learnt that it doesn't hurt to try different foods for no special reasons :)

This is a classic potluck chicken recipe - its rich and flavorful. There are certain recipes we know that we just need to try them the very first time we hear about them. Its that certain thing that sticks to my mind and keeps pointing out that this dish should come out great. As the name implies, this recipe doesn't use chilli powder which is commonly used in majority of the Indian Chicken dishes, but uses only green chillies. My sister shared this recipe with me after she watched it in a TV show. I have been drooling over her recipe ever since I heard it, but have been postponing due to the lack of interest of making this dish just for myself (and mere laziness!) because my husband is a vegetarian. So when I saw Viki's Potluck Chicken event, I wanted to try this dish right away. I finally tried it last weekend and I just loved the outcome! Its a little consuming (to me) than my usual dishes, but I thought its worth for a potluck because thats the only dish I'll be making anyway. It tasted creamy, rich and quite different than my regular chicken dishes. Hope you all like it too.

This recipe is on its way to Viki's Potluck Chicken event.

  • Boneless/Skinless Chicken thighs - 1 lb
  • Lemon juice - 2 tsp
  • Ginger/Garlic paste - 1 tbsp
  • G.chillies (Spicy Thai Chillies) - 10 - 12 (Adjust to your spice level)
  • Red/Yellow Onion - 1 medium
  • Tomatoes - 2 medium
  • Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Any Chicken Masala or Garam masala - 1 tbsp
  • Milk - 1/4 cup
  • Mixed Nuts (Cashews/Almonds/Pistachios) - 4 each (I used just cashews and almonds)
  • Corriander leaves - a hand full.
  • Clean the chicken cut into bite size pieces. Marinate with lemon juice, salt and ginger garlic paste for 1 hour.
  • Heat a pan with oil and shallow fry the chicken until golden brown outside. Set aside.
  • In the same pan, add a little more oil and fry chopped onions until soft. Make a paste.
  • In the same oil, fry the green chillies and make a paste.
  • Drop the tomato in hot water and peel it. Make a puree.
  • Make a watery paste of turmeric and chicken masala/garam masala.
  • Make a paste of the nuts along with the milk. 2 or 3 tsps of the paste is good enough.
  • Heat oil in a pan, add the onion paste and chillies paste; fry until you smell the nice aroma (3-5 mins).
  • Add the powder paste and fry until cooked. Then add the tomato puree, followed by the fried chicken and fry until the chicken absorbs the masala. If necessary, can leave the pan covered for a few minutes.
  • Just before turning off the stove add the nuts paste, corriander leaves. Stir and serve.
Tastes awesome with Naan/Rotis.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Quick recipes - for busy days

I've been so behind in participating in any cooking-events lately. The moment I see an event announcement, I get all geared up and enthusiastic about participating, but my energy plunges down like a torn balloon as days go by. And by the time I realize, its already too late to contribute. This has become my habit in the last several months. I'm sure I missed quite a few interesting events that I could have contributed. So, now I'm into this resolution mood of participating in all cooking events, ok - atleast as much as I can, from now on. Don't know how long this energy will last, but atleast wanted to try.

So, after browsing through some of the great events hosted by some great bloggers, I started sorting by the end date and I noticed Mahimaa's 15 min cooking event is nearing its deadline. Ever since I saw her announcement, I've been thinking about participating in her event, because quick-meals are my preferred meals! So this was a perfect come back for me! But as usual I was delaying for no reason. Finally I'm all set to join the event! Thanks Mahimaa, for hosting this event! Here are some of the easy recipes that can be put together in a few minutes.

Purple Shake!

A perfect summer time shake with vibrant grape flavours and frozen yogurt. Long back I tasted Grape Milk Shake in a restaurant and fell for it right away. I thought the combination was quite unique and best of all, I loved the color. Since then, I've been making it at home. But the recipe has undergone some evolution and has now become a low-calorie version, but still offers the same great taste!

Ingredients (for 2 glasses):
  • Grape Concentrate (Frozen/Undiluted) - 3 tbsp
  • Vanilla Frozen Yogurt (non-fat) - 1 cup
  • Water - 1/2 cup
  • Low fat milk - 1 cup
  • Lemon juice - 1 tsp (optional)


  • Run all the ingredients in a blender or food processor until they form a nice frozen mixture. Serve immediately in glasses, topped with a scoop of frozen yogurt.

Corriander leaves with Gram flour - A different side dish!

Fresh herbs are a wonder to cook with! Nothing can beat the fresh smelling corriander leaves and their nice zingy color! Given a chance, I would add them to anything I cook. This dish is a dish that contains corriander leaves as the main vegetable iteslf! Quite an interesting recipe that I learnt from my friend, and have been a fan of this dish ever since I tasted it for the first time from her lunch box! After trying a few times I think I'm getting better in matching her taste. The key is to add the right amount of gram flour (besan). A very simple, yet tasty dish.


  • Chopped corriander leaves - 2 cups
  • Garlic - 2 small pods
  • Chilli Powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Gram Flour - 1/2 cup
  • Cumin seeds - 1 tsp


  • Chop the corriander leaves and garlic finely. I run both of them together in a food processor for a few mins.
  • Heat oil in a pan, season with cumin seeds. Once they pop, add chilli powder and salt in the oil. After a few seconds, add the corriander leaves and garlic and mix well.
  • Add salt, cover and cook for 2-3 mins. Do not add water.
  • Increase the heat, and add gram flour in batches until the mixture becomes without moisture. Don't add too much flour, or it may spoil the taste. I hope the picture gives an idea on the consistency.

Serve hot with Rice / Rotis.

Sweet and Spicy Pumpkin Curry

Another of those quick and easy ones that I learnt from my same friend! Again, my first encounter with this dish was from her lunch-box and I've now made it quite a few times. I love pumpkin especially in a sweet form. This is a little different and I love the combination of Sweet and Spicy flavors.


  • Pumpkin - 2 cups (cut into cubes)
  • Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
  • Fenugreek seeds - 1/4 tsp
  • Chilli Powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Garam Masala - 1/2 tsp
  • Jaggery - 2 tbsp


  • Heat oil in a pan, season with mustard and fenugreek seeds.
  • Add the pumpkin cubes, chilli powder, garam masala and salt.
  • Cover and cook for 5 - 7 mins. Pumpkins usually cook faster and release lots of moisture. So, don't add water.
  • Add the jaggery and cover for a couple more mins. Increase the heat and stir periodically until the water completely evaporates and pumpkins are soft and tender.

I enjoy this with Rice and Sambar.

Spicy Green Buttermilk

Its summer time and I can't ignore buttermilk! I made this over the weekend after a tiring day. If you are a spice lover, this buttermilk version is for you. Ofcourse, you can also make a less spicy version of the same recipe, by altering the spices. I enjoy it as medium spicy.


  • Curd / Yogurt - 1 cup
  • Water - 3 cups
  • Cumin powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Asafoetida - 2 pinches
  • Ginger - 1 inch
  • G.chillies - 2 small
  • Curry leaves - 3
  • Corriander leaves - 1 tbsp (chopped)
  • Salt - as required.


  • Grind everything together in a blender except the curd. You can add some water to make it a smooth paste.
  • Then add the curd, remaining water and blend for a few mins.
  • Serve chilled, garnished with curry leaves.

All these entries go to Mahimaa's 15 min cooking event and EC's WYF - Quick Meal event.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mom's Green Cauliflower Masala - A Mother's Day Special!

A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child.
- Sophia Loren, Women and Beauty

I'm dedicating this post to my Mom for Mother's Day! There have been a few random thoughts floating around in my head for the last few days, whenever I thought about Mother's day. Those thoughts were mainly about my mom and on what to gift her for Mother's day. The more I thought about it, the more I decided to come up with something original. And then a couple of days back, as I was driving to work, I slowly started wondering why not for this mother's day I dedicate a post for her! Though all mothers deserve recognition and appreciation throughout the year, I thought when there is one such special day created called Mother's day completely dedicated to mothers, I should use this opportunity to write a special post for my mom and make her Speciality-dish to let her know that she is special today! So, this is going be a long post :)

I read this quote somewhere - The moment a child is born, a mother is also born! I undeniably think that a mother's qualities are already built inside a woman, but comes out only when she becomes a mother. From then on, her role of motherhood becomes everlasting. I think mothers make the greatest impact in our lives, especially in girls' lives. No matter how "grown-up" we all claim to be, there is always something that we learn from our mothers in every stage. I'm a mother now, and I can understand how much hard work and dedication is required to raise a family. I've also learnt that being a mother never gets easier, but it just gets different in every stage! Things that didn't make sense a while back, make sense to me now. In today's fast paced world, in spite of having everything that I need in my finger-tips today, and having so many amenities all around me like Cell phones, Internet, Car etc., raising my only child has been a challenge for me everyday. And, I always get amazed how my mom was able to bring-up four kids those days without complaints! She has incredible patience with kids and is a very good listener - she's never tired of listening to our ramblings and daily musings, a good friend to all of us - yet strict when needed! Most of all, she takes interest in our individual activities - whether its education or career, music or dance , cooking or shopping, or even when we have nothing else to do but chit-chat! She's been a part of everything. Even now, she continuously encourages me to sign-up for music, dance and meditation classes that I left back as child. I think she still watches her middle-aged children for signs of improvement :)

As I type this post, I'm able to recall all her special qualities. My mom has this great determination and inner-strength that makes her very special to all of us within our family. We 4 sisters are hardly 2 to 3 years apart in age, and we all of us pretty much grew up together demanding attention simultaneously. Its amazing when I think how she managed during some of those hard-hitting days when we used to fall sick one after the other, when we all had exams around the same time, and when we relocated frequently due to dad's official demands. To me, taking care of our individual health and education needs, managing the household, while giving the same amount of attention to all of us, is too much to handle. But she did it without flaws and I've often heard her say that she never ever had any regrets in her life that she had to bring-up four girls with very little help and I've always admired her perseverance! This is one thing that I think all mothers need to possess. Oh, I have to share this! My mom is very good looking! We all have heard countless compliments from friends and relatives while growing up and those compliments continue till date :) She is very fair, slim and looks much younger for her age. Believe me, she was named as her college's "Beauty Queen" during one of her college years! She still has her annual magazine that has her name and title :)

Now we all sisters are well educated and established, and have taken different directions in our lives. But I'm sure we all still think about her in the back of our minds and try following her foot-steps in our day-to-day lives knowingly and unknowingly. I'm sure she had given up many things for herself, to make us become who we are now. But after saying all these great qualities of my mom, I'm asking to myself - Do I have all of her qualities ? Frankly, not all of them. I still have a long way to go in some aspects, but I'm also getting better in some aspects. As I work on it everyday, I have a big hope to become a great mother like her one day!


Moving to the recipe, today I made this Green cauliflower Curry that is Mom's speciality. Honestly, I've not tasted this dish anywhere else till date. When I think about some dishes that has mom's special touches, this one stands-out for sure. It has an incredible flavour and tastes quite unique than other cauliflower dishes. This is an ideal dish if you are looking for a change from your regular gobi sabjis for Rotis. Green , luscious and the fresh corriander flavor is the highlight in this dish. Hope you all like it too!

  • Cauliflower - 1 medium flower
  • Onion - 1 medium (chopped finely)
  • Shredded Coconut - 4 tbsp
  • Green Chillies - 4 small
  • Fennel seeds - 2 tsp
  • Garlic - 1 pod
  • Curry leaves - about 10 leaves
  • Corriander leaves - 1/2 cup (chopped)
  • Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp
  • Cut/break the cauliflower into medium size florets and wash them thoroughly.
  • Make the following to a smooth paste - Coconut, 1 tbsp of the chopped onions, garlic, curry leaves, corriander leaves, fennel seeds and G.chillies. Set aside.
  • In a large pan, heat oil and season with cumin seeds. Now add the remaining chopped onions and fry in high heat for 2 mins.
  • Add the cauliflower and fry for 4 - 5 mins in high heat. Add the paste, salt and 1 cup water and mix well.
  • Cover and cook in low heat for 10 mins or until the cauliflower is completely cooked. Increase the heat and saute until it becomes thick.
Serve hot with Rotis or Rice.