Thursday, May 27, 2010

Malabar Spinach Curry - Valichi Bhaji / Mayalu Bhaji

My parents are here and its fun when they visit us especially during the summer months. Well, when Mom is here, then its always authentic Konkai or Maharashtrian food that we ask her to cook for us.
The other day we went to the local Asian market and found some nice Malabar Spinach - its call Mayalu in Marathi and Valichi Bhaji in Konkani. We immediately remembered the nice tasting curry and decided to buy it and have it for dinner. Ofcorse, we added shrimps to the curry. it was yumm.
This is the recipe - as told by Mom.


Malabar Spinach - 1 bunch
1 onion - roughly chopped
1 tomato - roughly chopped
1 cup fresh desiccated coconut
7 to 8 dried red chillies
2 tablespoons coriander seeds (akkha dhnaia)
9 flakes of garlic
pinch of turmeric
salt as per taste
1 teaspoon oil
8 to 9 big shrimps - cut into bite size pieces (optional)


clean the malabar spinach very well and separate the leaves from the long stem. The stem is also used for the curry. Roughly shop the spinach leaves and cut the stems in 1/2 inch pieces - keep the leaves and the stems separate.
The stems have to be cooked in a pressure cooker by adding some water and a pinch of turmeric. Once cooked, keep it aside.
In a blender/mixer - add the coconut, the coriander seeds, the red chillis and the garlic and grind to a fine paste by adding just enough water to get a thick consistency. Keep this mixture aside.
In a karahi add the oil and when it gets hot add the onions and fry till they get transparent. Now add the chopped tomatoes and the spinach leaves and mix well. Add 1/4 cup of water and let the spinach leaves cook through. If you want to add shrimps, you can add it now and let it cook for another 5 minutes.
Once the spinach leaves are cooked through, add the stems and mix well. Then add the coconut masala mixture and add salt to taste and bring this curry to a boil. Add some salt as per taste.
Malabar spinach curry is ready to be served with boiled rice.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Chicken Roulades & oven baked potato chips


For the Roulades

4 chicken thighs - skinless and boneless
4 cups spinach - chopped
1 tablespoon butter
1 medium onion - finely chopped
4 flakes of garlic - finely chopped
4 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
4 strips of bacon (you can use turkey bacon - thats what I used)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2/3 cup chicken stock OR white wine
2 teaspoons corn starch
2 tablespoons light cream OR half'n'half
1 teaspoon chopped chives
salt to taste
crushed pepper

For oven fried chips

4 potatoes - sliced thin
paprika powder
olive oil


Chicken Roulades

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the chicken thighs in between plastic wrap and flatten it with a rolling pin or with a meat tenderizer. Season one side with cajun seasoning. Be careful, as cajun seasoning is spicy - so add according to taste.
In a karahi, add the butter, when it melts, to it add the garlic and then the onions. fry till they become transparent. Then add the chopped spinach and cook till all the moisture has been cooked off. Add salt to taste and pepper.
Divide the spinach filling between the 4 chicken pieces and roll up neatly. Wrap a strip of bacon neatly and tie it securely with a fine string.
Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and brown the rolls all over. Take these browned rolls and place them neatly in a baking dish. Pour in the wine OR the chicken stock and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, till they get tender. Transfer the chicken to a serving plate and remove all the string.
Strain the wine OR chicken stock liquid in a saucepan. Blend the corn starch in some water and add it to the juices in the saucepan and stir to avoid any lumps. Add the cream and stir well till the whole mixture is well incorporated. Bring to a boil. Add alt and pepper if needed. Now add the chopped chives. Pour the sauce around the chicken in the serving dish.

For oven chips

Place the slicked potatoes on a cookie sheet. Drizzle some olive oil on top of it and then add salt, pepper and paprika powder. Let it bake in a 350 degree oven for about 10 to 15 minutes. Chips are ready

The roulades and the chips are ready to be served with some nice green salad.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Chicken Tikka Skewers


6to 7 Boneless/skinless thigh or breast pieces of chicken (as per choice) - cut into 1 inch pieces
2 large vidalia /red onions - cut into 1 inch pieces
2 large bell peppers (green, re, orange, yellow - any color of choice) - cut into 1 inch pieces
2 tablepoons tandoori masala
1 teaspoon garlic paste
1 teaspoon methi powder
1 teaspoon salt
a pinch of red coloring
4 tablespoons oil
4 tablespoons melted butter (for basting) - if using unsalted butter, then increase the salt to be added to the marinade


In a ziploc bag - add the oil, tandoori masala, garlic powder, methi powder, salt and red coloring and mix well. To this mixture add the chicken pieces and coat each piece with the marinade. Let this mixture sit in the fridge for atleast 2 hours - overnight is better.
When the grill is all set and fired up - take skewers (if using wooden skewers - let them be soaked in water overnight to avoid getting burnt) and add a chicken piece, followed by an onion piece and then a bell pepper piece (as shown in the picture). Once all the skewers are done - place it on the hot grill - baste it with melted butter and cover and let it cook. Chicken cook s fast, so it should be done in 10 minutes on one side. Now turn the skewers and baste the other side with butter and let it cook for another 10 minutes.
Chicken tikka BBQ is ready to be served with mint yogurt dip and tossed salad.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Chole Bhature

My husband loves Chole Bhature in veg food. He is a hard core non-veg eater (I am sure you have guessed it from the entries on the blog - most of it is non-veg). The other day he was returning from a trip and it being a Thursday, I was not going to cook any non-veg food - so he asked me to make Chole Bhature.


For Chole

1 cup kabuli chana - dry garbanzo beans
1 cup water
2 teaspoons tea powder OR 2 tea bags
2 medium onions - finely chopped
6 to 7 cloves garlic - finely chopped
1 medium tomato - finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 inch ginger - finely grated
1 teaspoon cumin
4 tablesoons oil
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 teaspoons chole masala (I used everest masala)
salt as per taste

For Bhature

2 cups all purpose flour (Maida)
4 tablespoons of semolina (Rawa)
1/2 cup yogurt
1/2 teaspoon yeast OR 1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup warm water (if using yeast)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
oil for frying


For Chole

Heat the 1 cup of water and when it comes to a boil, add the tea/teabags - let it boil for about 2 minutes. Strain this water and add it to the kabuli chana/garbanzo beans. Add more water till the water covers all the beans. Let it soak for 5 to 6 hours. Tea is added to the chana to get the dark color - it does not change the taste.

In a pressure cooker - add the chana with the tea water. Add another cup of water, turmeric powder, a pinch of salt and let it cook under pressure until 3 whistles. Once the pressure is released, check the chana for doneness. Take a ladelful of chana in a bowl and crush it into a fine paste and then add it back to the boiled chana - this is done to give the chole curry some thickness.
In a karahi - add 4 tablespoons of oil. When it gets hot - add the cumin seeds and the chopped garlic. Be careful not to burnt he garlic. Immediately add the chopped onions and fry till they turn golden brown. Now add the tomatoes, ginger and the chopped corinader. Mix well till the mixture leaves the sides of the karahi. Now add the chilli powder and the chana masala and salt as per taste. Mix this well till everything is incorporated. Now add the boiled chana and mix well. Add water only if needed - or as per your desire of curry consistency. Cover and let it simmer on medium low flame for about 15 minutes.
Chole is ready to be served with bhature, raita and chopped onions.

For Bhature

If using yeast - then in 1/4 cup of warm water, add the yeast and let it sit for about 1/2 hour.
In a bowl mix all the dry ingredients (do not use baking powder if you are using yeast). Add the yogurt and the yeast mixture and mix well. Add water only if required to get a soft pliable dough. Cover it with a damp muslin cloth/kitchen tissue and let this mixture sit for about 2 hours in a warm and dark place.
Heat oil in a karahi. Make small balls of the dough and roll them into round or tear shaped flats and fry in the hot oil till golden brown.
Serve hot with chole.
We even like bhature with tandoori chicken - makes a yummy and sinful combination.
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