Saturday, September 10, 2016

Dhaba Style Chicken Curry (In the Instantpot)


Ingredients

2 pounds chicken (I used boneless skinless chicken thighs)
2 TBS Yogurt
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
3 medium onions
4 green chilis (you can add more or less as per spice level desired)
10 to 12 garlic cloves
1/2 inch ginger piece
3 TBS coconut oil (you can use ghee or any other oil too)
salt to taste

For Masala Powder

1 inch cinnamon (dalchini)
2 cloves (lavang)
2 green cardamoms (elaichi)
1 tsp black peppercorns (kali mirch)
1 tsp fennel seeds (saunf)
1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
1/8 tsp fenugreek seeds (methi dana)
2 tsps coriander seeds (dhania beej)
1/2 tsp carom seeds (ajwain)


Method


Ingredients

2 pounds chicken (I used boneless skinless chicken thighs)
2 TBS Yogurt
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
3 medium onions
4 green chilis (you can add more or less as per spice level desired)
10 to 12 garlic cloves
1/2 inch ginger piece
3 TBS coconut oil (you can use ghee or any other oil too)
salt to taste

For Masala Powder

1 inch cinnamon (dalchini)
2 cloves (lavang)
2 green cardamoms (elaichi)
1 tsp black peppercorns (kali mirch)
1 tsp fennel seeds (saunf)
1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
1/8 tsp fenugreek seeds (methi dana)
2 tsps coriander seeds (dhania beej)
1/2 tsp carom seeds (ajwain)


Method

Cut the chicken into 2 inch pieces. Marinate in yogurt, 1/2 tsp salt, turmeric and chilli powder for about 1 hour. You can do this overnight too.
Make a powder of the ingredients mentioned in the 'for masala powder' tab and keep aside. I use a coffee grinder for this. I have had this coffee grinder doing my spice grinding for a few years now.
Make a paste of the onions, garlic, ginger and green chilis and keep aside.
In the same grinder make a puree of the tomatoes and keep aside.
In the Instantpot on saute mode, add the oil. When it gets hot, add the onion paste along with half the dry ground masala. Saute till it becomes a nice golden brown color, and keep stirring a few times in the middle. When the onions turn a golden brown, add the tomato puree and mix well. Saute till the oil leaves the gravy on the sides. Add the remaining half of the ground masala and the chicken pieces and mix well. Add 1 cup water. Cover the lid with vent sealed. Manual for 12 minutes and then a quick release. Open the lid, add more if you need a thin gravy. Add salt to taste. Garnish with chopped cilantro/coriander and serve with hot phulkas or steamed rice. We liked this with some sandwich bread too.

Note - This can be cooked on a stovetop too using a saucepan. Everything remains the same - just add the chicken pieces and cover and let it cook for about 20 minutes on medium flame. Check if chicken is cooked, if not then cook for another 5 minutes. Adjust salt and water and serve.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Laziz Chole - (Chickpea Curry)


Ingredients

For Chole
1 cup dried chickpeas
2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon eno (baking soda works too)
2 tablespoons ghee (oil can be used too)
1 onion - chopped
2 tomatoes - chopped
10 cloves garlic - chopped
1 inch ginger - chopped
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon nigella seeds (kalonji)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
salt to taste
1 teaspoon chaat masala
Chopped cilantro for garnish
slit green chilis for garnish (Optional)

For Masala Powder (Coarse Powder)
5 kashmiri chilis (add more or less as per spice level wanted)
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 bay leaves
2 cloves
2 cardamoms
1/8 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1/2 inch cinnamon

Method

Soak the dried chickpeas in 5 cups water for 8 to 10 hours. Drain the water and let it sit aside.
Dry roast the ingredients listed in the masala powder section and grind them to a coarse powder.
I used my instantpot to cook these chole. So, on saute mode, add the ghee. Once it gets hot, add the cumin and the nigella seeds. Now add the chopped onions and fry till they turn a golden color. Add the tomatoes and the ginger and garlic. Mix well, till the raw smell goes away, about 5 minutes. To this add turmeric powder and the coarse masala and mix well. Add the soaked chickpeas and 2 cups water. Add salt to taste and the eno salt. Mix well. Close the lid and go to manual setting, high pressure with vent sealed and time it to 20 minutes with a natural release of the pressure. Open the lid. Add more water if you want a little thin gravy. Add chaat masala and give it a good stir.
Garnish with chopped cilantro and slit green chilis and serve with kulcha, naan, chappati, bread or steamed rice.

Note - This can be cooked in a pressure cooker too. Everything is the same. Cook it for 3 whistles and you have chole ready.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Flour Tortillas

Tortillas are important if you are making tacos. So, when we started the tradition of #TacoTuesdy at home, it was only natural that I wanted to try and make the tortillas at home too. I have made the roti with corn called 'Makke ki Roti' which is very close to the corn tortilla. Now it was the turn of the flour tortilla.


Ingredients

2 cups All Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup warm water
2 tablespoons oil
1/4 teaspoon salt

Method

In a mixing bowl add the flour, baking soda, salt and mix it together. Add the oil and the water and knead into a dough. Cover and let it sit for about 30 minutes.
Heat a non-stick pan or a cast iron griddle. Make a gold size ball of the dough - I got about 12 of them, Dab it with some flour and then make a circular disc about 1/8th inch thick using a rolling pin. Place it on the griddle and cook over medium high heat. Cook on one side till you see some brown specs on the surface. Turn and cook the same way on the other side. Remove on a plate and cover and keep till all tortillas are made, Use it to make tacos or enchiladas. For a Burrito, you might want to make it with a tennis ball size dough.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Amritsari Fish Fry

This crispy battered fried fish is a North Indian delicacy. Its fish and its fried and its crispy - whats not to love???
It is made with simple ingredients - but, the combination of all the things makes it a treat. Ofcorse the fiery red color adds to the 'eating with the eyes' bit. Its the addition of carom seeds (ajwain) which gives the fish  unique taste.
you can use any firm fish to make these - I have used tilapia here. But, cod and salmon can be used to. Boneless fillets of king fish (surmai) can also be used.


Ingredients

6 boneless skinless fillets of tilapia (this roughly about a pound and half)
1 tablespoon coriander seeds (dhania)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
1 teaspoon fennel seeds (saunf)
1 teaspoon carom seeds (ajwain)
1 teaspoon black or white peppercorns
2 teaspoons chilli powder - you can add more if you want heat
1 teaspoon kasuri methi
1 teaspoon ginger paste
1 teaspoon garlic paste
3 drops of red food coloring - optional
3 tablespoons yogurt
4 tablespoons chickpea flour (besan)
2 tablespoons rice flour
salt to taste
oil for frying
chopped cilantro for garnish
2 teaspoons chaat masala


Method

Cut the fish fillets into 1 inch pieces. I used a mortar and pestle to grind the spices as I wanted a small bite in the fish - but, you can use a spice grinder for that purpose. Make a coarse powder of the coriander seeds, fennel seeds, cumin seeds, carom seeds and the pepper. In a mixing bowl add the coarse powders along with ginger and garlic paste. To this add the chilli powder, salt, chickpea flour and rice flour. Mix them well. Add the yogurt and the red food color (if using) and make a thick well mixed paste. To this add the fish pieces and coat each piece with the paste. Let it sit and marinade for atleast an hour.
In a karahi or wok or fryer add oil and let it heat up. You know the oil id hot when you add a drop of the paste and it comes up sizzling. Turn the temperature to a medium. Add not more then 5 fish pieces at a time. Fry for about 7 to 8 minutes (Tilapia fillets are thin - but, if you are using salmon or a thick fillet like cod - the cooking time may vary and will be in the range of 10 to 12 minutes). Remove on a plate with a paper towel to absorb the excess oil. When it looks a bit dry - remove onto serving plate and sprinkle with some chaat masala. Repeat the process till all the pieces are fried. Sprinkle some chopped cilantro/coriander and serve.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Simple Chicken Taco - #TacoTuesday #1

Lil Miss A came home one day from school and asked me why we did not do #TacoTuesday like her friends in class did. I never thought this day would come so soon - but it did. She said she wanted to start having Taco Tuesday Dinners every tuesday. Well, here at 'merakitchen' - it cannot be the same taco every tuesday. So, I started to make different tacos with new combinations and we have been loving this new tradition at home ever since. It has been about 10 weeks of Tacos on Tuesdays and Lil Miss A and Mr. A both look forward to Tuesday dinners - so do I as it gives me a chance to come up with new combinations and new ideas. i thought of sharing this over here. So, you will be having a taco influx on this blog for some time. Afterall, I need to catch up on writing 10 weeks worth of tacos.
The first Taco we made was a simple chicken one with the additon of shredded lettuce and guacamole and sour cream on a flour and corn tortilla. I got these amazing tortillas from Trader Joes and loved the combination of the two flours. Well, here is the recipe for Taco #1


Ingredients

8 small tortillas (6 inch ones) - I used the flour and corn torillas here, you could use flour only or corn only too.
4 chicken thighs or breasts - cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 teaspoon garlic paste
1 teaspoon red chilli powder (you can add some more if you want it to have some heat)
1 teaspoon coriander & cumin powder
salt to taste
1 head of romaine lettuce - shredded
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
sour cream
guacamole (I used this quick version that I make)
2 tablespoons oil to cook chicken

Method

Mix together the garlic paste, red chilli powder, coriander and cumin powder and mix well. To this add the chicken pieces and coat each piece well with the marinade. Let it sit for atleast an hour. In a wok, add the oil and then cook the chicken pieces untill they are well done. It would take about 10 to 15 minutes.
I just warm the tortillas a bit. You can do this on a griddle or in a microwave too.
To assemble the tacos - take a tortilla, smear a teaspoon guacamole, then a teaspoon sour cream, put about 4 to 5 pieces of chicken (you can add more too - its just easier to eat with 4 to 5), top with shredded lettuce and sprinkle some chopped cilantro.
Simple chicken tacos are ready
My family prefers soft tacos - but, you can make these with hard taco shells too.
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