Chicken and Vegetables in Tomato Coconut Curry

Happy Monday to everyone! I know most people don’t look forward to Mondays. But I am hoping some of you will try this recipe this evening and that it’ll bring you a little Monday cheer! It’s been a cold and busy weekend for us. One that’s perfect for a hot bowl of this hearty coconut chicken curry and vegetables. So that’s exactly what we ate last night. There’s something about a bowl of curry and rice that warms you up and lifts your spirits instantly.

This recipe is really simple and calls for a few ingredients, but it’s absolutely delicious! I like my curry a little hot and so I added a teaspoon of Sambal’s ground red chili paste. You could skip that or add more if you’re feeling adventurous. Worcestershire sauce packs a savory punch, adds a tartness to the curry that I like. It does contain anchovies, so if you are allergic to seafood fish, you could substitute it with plain old vinegar. I have added carrots to my curry as I was looking for a hearty meal, one with vegetables and protein. You could add vegetables like zucchini, butternut squash, sweet potatoes or yam. They all taste wonderful in this curry.

Without further ado, here’s the recipe for you.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 45 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  1. Olive Oil: 5 tablespoons
  2. Chicken: 1/2 kilogram or 1 pound ( 2 Legs, 2 breasts cut in 3 pieces)
  3. Salt: 2 teaspoons
  4. Pepper: 1 teaspoon (crushed)
  5. Onions: 1/2 Medium sized (chopped)
  6. Carrots: 1 Cup (chopped)
  7. Garlic: 1 teaspoon (minced)
  8. Tomato puree: 2 tablespoons
  9. Chicken broth: 2 cups
  10. Coconut milk: 1 can (400 ml)
  11. Red Chili paste (Optional): 1 teaspoon
  12. Worcestershire sauce: 1 tablespoon
  13. Fresh Basil – 1/2 Cup (chopped)
  14. Jalapeños (Optional) – 2 teaspoons  (chopped)

Instructions:

  1. Heat 3 tablespoons of Olive Oil in a pot. Add the chicken, 1 teaspoon salt and crushed pepper and pan fry on medium – low heat, till it’s a little brown and crispy on the outside and almost cooked through (About 20 minutes). Remove chicken from the pan and cool. Shred the chicken breast pieces once it cools down.
  2. Add the rest of the olive oil to the pot and add the chopped carrots to the pot. Saute the carrots for a 3-4 minutes. Add onions and minced garlic to the pot. Saute for a couple of minutes.
  3. Add Tomato puree to the pot and stir for 3-4 minutes and add the coconut milk and chicken broth and salt. Cook for 10 minutes.
  4. Add the Worcestershire sauce and chili paste. Add the chicken and basil leaves to the pot and cook simmer for 10 minutes on low heat.
  5. Serve hot with brown rice or enjoy as a bowl of hot coconut chicken stew. Garnish with jalapeños  (optional).

 

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Tandoori Chicken

I am a big fan of Tandoori chicken. It’s definitely one of my all time favorites! It’s right up next to butter chicken. That’s spoken like a true Punjabi! And I have searched in vain for a restaurant here that serves good Tandoori chicken but have been extremely disappointed. Inspite of the large North Indian population here, I’m yet to find a place that makes tandoori chicken like they make back home in India. This recipe however, makes perhaps the best oven made tandoori chicken you will find in the city. I’m not very modest about my cooking!

Tandoori chicken is said to have originated in erstwhile Punjab, prior to the partition of India and Pakistan. Tandoors go back to way longer though. I remember reading a book (The Twentieth Wife, which by the way is one of my favourites) about Jehangir the Mughal emperor and Noor Jahan. And the book mentioned that tandoors were used to cook food at the Imperial court in Delhi for the emperor. Huh, I am a foodie because I remembered that from the book! So the art or science (whatever you call it) of cooking in a tandoor probably came to India with the Mughals.

History aside, I like the dish because it’s not as rich as most other Indian food. And it has so much flavour! I haven’t met anybody who could resist a plate of this absolutely delicious chicken, orange and crispy – charred on the outside, tender and succulent on the inside. Can you resist this?

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I am drooling already but here’s the recipe for you:

Serves: 3

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  1. Chicken breasts (Boneless and skinless) – 2 (Each cut in 3 pieces)
  2. Chicken legs (Boneless and skinless) – 4

For the Marinade:

  1. Lemon juice – Juice of about 1/2 a lemon
  2. Salt – 2 teaspoons
  3. Cayenne pepper – 1 teaspoon
  4. Ginger paste – 2 teaspoons
  5. Garlic paste – 2 teaspoons
  6. Yoghurt – 3 tablespoons
  7. Oil – 2 tablespoons
  8. Masala mix – 2 teaspoons (For a milder version add half the mix and save half for later)
  9. Nutmeg – 1/2 teaspoon
  10. Roasted cumin powder – 1/2 tablespoon
  11. Red food color (optional) – A tad bit! (I used the liquid one that I usually use to color cake icing)
  12. Amchur (Dried mango powder) – 1 teaspoon

For the masala mix:

  1. Cloves – 1 teaspoon
  2. Black cardamom – 1
  3. Green cardamom – 1 teaspoon
  4. Coriander seeds – 1 teaspoon
  5. Dried red chillies – 2
  6. Mace – 1/2 teaspoon
  7. Black peppercorn – 1 teaspoon
  8. Carom seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
  9. Cinnamon – 1/2 teaspoon
  10. Bay leaves – 1.5

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Instructions:

  1. Make slashes / cuts on the chicken pieces so the marinade can penetrate.
  2. Heat a large pan, add ingredients of the masala mix to the pan and dry roast them for 3 – 4 minutes on low heat. Grind the contents to form a powder.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the ingredients of the marinade, red food coloring and masala mix and rub liberally over the chicken. Let it stand for 3 hours in the fridge
  4. Preheat the oven on broiler set at high for 5 minutes.
  5. Place chicken in the middle rack and let cook for 10 minutes.
  6. After 10 minutes remove tray and flip the chicken pieces on to the other side and place tray on top rack for 7 minutes.
  7. Remove tray and flip chicken pieces. Place tray in the oven on top rack for another 8 minutes. Make sure chicken is cooked through.
  8. Remove the tray and make sure chicken is cooked through.

I used about 700 grams of chicken for the recipe. You could substitute the masala mix with pre made garam masala powder. Although the flavour may not be the same. If you’re not a fan of food coloring use a teaspoon of turmeric instead.

Voilà! Squeeze the juice of a quarter of a lemon, slice up some onions and enjoy your freshly made, hot and delicious tandoori chicken with naan or as is!

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Spinach and Lentil Soup

This recipe was a request from one of my dearest friends. We went to university together back in India. We’ve seen each other through the ups and downs of college life. Many a times I have ended up crashing in her room. We have partied together, stayed up nights studying for exams, eating instant noodles and drinking coffee. The coffee making process used to be a welcome event – a break from the books! And though we haven’t seen each other for 8 years now, I know we’ve still got each other’s back!

This recipe is also a request from a newer friend. I have only known her for a few years now. She is one of the kindest people I know. She’s a mum to a very cute 2 year old. We bond over being mothers of toddlers and food amongst other things. I look forward to many more years of friendship with her!

This soup is a hearty vegetarian soup filled with the goodness of green vegetables and lentils, easy to cook and perfect for cold wintry nights. As with most of my soup recipes this one is super easy to make and one of my favourite soups. My 14 month eats it and she’s a picky eater so I consider her a great judge of my food! I know that if she’s eating it, it’s good!

Spinach is one of my favourite vegetables and you’ll always find some in my fridge. It’s so full of nutrition. Remember Popeye the sailor man? Spinach was his superfood! It’s low in calories and packed with Iron, Vitamin A and Vitamin C.

Red lentils are a healthy meat substitute for vegans. They’re rich in fiber and contain as much protein as a piece of steak! They are also packed with iron, folate and other minerals.

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Here’s the recipe:

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 45 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  1. Spinach – 120 gms
  2. Red split lentils – 1/4 Cup
  3. Carrots – 1 Cup (Chopped)
  4. Onions – 1/4 Medium onion (Chopped)
  5. Garlic – 2 Cloves (Chopped)
  6. Salt – 1 teaspoon
  7. Peppercorn – 1/4 teaspoon
  8. Nutmeg – 1/4 teaspoon
  9. Olive oil – 1 tablespoons
  10. Water – 3.5 Cups

Instructions:

 

  1. Add oil to the pot. Once the oil is hot, add carrots and garlic. Stir for about 3 minutes.
  2. Add the onions and garlic and stir for a few minutes, till the vegetables turn a little soft.
  3. Add lentils and water. Add salt, pepper and nutmeg to the pot and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes.
  4. Once the lentils are cooked, add the spinach to the pot. Cover the pot and simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Use a hand blender to blend the contents of the pot and simmer for another couple of minutes.
  6. Serve hot with a side of sauted green beans and mushrooms. Stay tuned for that recipe!

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You could also eat it with nice warm crusty bread.

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I hope you enjoy this delicious bowl of soup!

Goat Meat Curry

This recipe is inspired by my mom. Growing up, this used to be the Sunday lunch special, which the family enjoyed together. It is my goto comfort food and food that I like to indulge in. I cook this once in a few months as it is richer than the food we usually like to eat. But there’s nothing like a bowl of delicious meat curry (as I call it), eaten with hot basmati rice or Indian bread (roti) and a small salad of sliced cucumbers and onions seasoned with lemon, salt and pepper. Goat meat when cooked well is extremely succulent and tender and ohh so tasty!

I modified the recipe a little, by adding the red chilli paste. You could skip that if you prefer your curry mild or add more of it if you like it hot. It does add a nice red color to the curry.

I have added potatoes to the curry as that’s how my mum used to cook it. And these potatoes soaked in curry taste absolutely delicious. You should definitely try the curry with them. But you could leave them out.

I’ve used a pressure cooker but you could use a pot instead. If you use a pot, you would need to cook the curry for longer and make sure the meat easily comes of the bone, when done.

I hope you enjoy cooking and eating this as much as I do!

Prep time: 15 minutes 

Cook time: 1.5 hours 

Serves: 6

Ingredients:

1. Goat meat (chops and mixed): 3 pounds (1.3 Kilos)

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2. Onions (sliced): 4 medium

3. Ginger (minced): 2 teaspoons

4. Garlic  (minced): 2 teaspoons

5. Yoghurt – 4 tablespoons

6. Dried whole red chillies – 5 (Grind them to make a paste of them with half cup of water)

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7. Salt – 1.5 teaspoons

8. Coriander powder – 3 teaspoons

9. Turmeric powder – 1.5 teaspoons

10. Nutmeg powder – 1 teaspoon

11. Garam masala powder – 1 teaspoon

12. Cloves – 8

13. Green cardamom pods – 6

14. Black cardamom pods – 3

15. Cinnamon sticks – 2 small ones

16. Cumin – 1 teaspoon

17. Cumin powder – 2 teaspoons

18. Tomato puree – 1 tablespoon

19. Olive oil – 4 tablespoons

20. Potatoes (halved) – 3 medium ones

21. Cilantro (chopped finely) – 1 handful

Instructions:

1. Add oil to the pressure cooker and once it heats up, add whole spices.

2. Once they start crackling, add the garlic. Saute for 20 seconds and add the sliced onions.

3. Saute the onions till they become pink, about 10 minutes.

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4. Add the ginger paste and then add the meat to the cooker.

5. Saute the meat for about 20 minutes on medium heat. Add the red chilli paste, salt and all the ground spices and saute for 20 minutes on low heat.

6. Add the yoghurt, tomato puree and potatoes and cook for 10 minutes.

7. Add 3 cups of water to the cooker, close the lid and cook on high heat for 5 minutes and low heat for 20 minutes.

8. Wait 30 minutes and make sure you let out all the steam before opening the lid.

9. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with hot basmati rice or Indian bread.

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Goat meat curry with basmati rice

Lipstick Soup

We just got back from a vacation and are getting back to our soup for dinner diet after having indulged in the yummiest food and desserts over the last week. We have definitely put on some holiday weight but whats a good holiday without some great food? Now that we are back however it’s time to try and shed some of the pounds we gained and watch what we eat.

The idea for this soup originated one evening a few months back when my husband came home and told me he had had lipstick soup for lunch. All he could tell me about it was that it had beetroot. The only form I have had beetroot so far is in a salad. I do know that it’s low in fat, full of vitamins and minerals and packed with powerful antioxidants.

This is a super easy recipe with very few ingredients, needs very little prep and is fast to cook. The soup has the prettiest color, a rich magenta true to it’s name.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

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  1. Beetroot – 2 medium ones (Cubed)
  2. Butternut Squash – 1 cup  (Cubed)
  3. Potato – 1 large (Cubed)
  4. Onion – 1/2 medium  (Cubed)
  5. Garlic – 2 cloves
  6. Vegetable broth / chicken broth – 4 cups (Unsalted)
  7. Salt – 1.5 teaspoons
  8. Black peppercorn – 0.5 teaspoon
  9. Fresh thyme – A few sprigs (3-4)
  10. Olive oil – 2 teaspoons

Instructions:

  1. Add the beetroot, potatoes, garlic, onions and squash in a pot with the olive oil and water, and simmer on medium heat for 5 minutes.
  2. Add salt and pepper to the pot, cover the pot and cook for 25 minutes on low heat.
  3. Blend the contents of the pot using a hand blender.
  4. Add a few sprigs of thyme to the pot and simmer for 5 minutes on low heat.
  5. Garnish with a sprig of thyme and serve hot. I added some croutons to my soup and it tasted delicious!

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