Friday, October 30, 2015

Butter chicken / Murgh Makhani

Butter chicken is one of my most favorite dish in my childhood days. Whenever I go to restaurant or my dad getting parcel from restaurant, my first answer to the question, what you want is butter chicken. Yesterday my hubby asked me to cook a creamy chicken curry, so thought of preparing restaurant style butter chicken and it came out very well. It is very easy to prepare and the taste is delicious when we have with rotis. Butter chicken or Murgh Makhani is an Indian dish in which chicken is cooked in mild spicy creamy curry sauce.
Prep time: 2 hours 15 minutes (including marinating time)
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: 2 hours 45 minutes

Chicken – 1 lb (medium sized pieces)
For marinating:
Yoghurt – 2 tbsp
Red chili powder – 3 tsp
Salt to taste
Lemon juice – 2 tbsp
For masala paste:
Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
Red chili powder – 2 tsp
Coriander powder – 3 tsp
Cumin powder – 1 tsp
Ginger garlic paste – 2 tsp
Salt to taste
Sugar – 1 tsp
Fenugreek leaves / kasuri methi – ½ tsp
Red food color – a pinch
Water as needed
For Gravy:
Butter – 5 tbsp
Onion – 1, finely chopped
Tomato puree – 1 cup
Milk – 1/4cup
Cornflour – 2 tsp
Salt to taste
Cilantro for garnish

1. Clean the chicken and marinate it with the ingredients given under “for marinating” and refrigerate it for 2 hours.
2. In a mean time prepare the masala paste with the ingredients given under “ for masala paste”
3. Heat 2 tbsp butter in a pan, Add the marinated chicken and fry until its cooked. Keep aside
4. Heat 3 tbsp butter in a pan, saute onions till translucent, Add the masala paste and fry for about 6 to 7 minutes.
5. Now add tomato puree and cover the lid. Cook in low flame until oil seperates.
6. Add chicken pieces and cook for about 10 to 12 minutes.
7. Now mix 2 tsp of cornflour in ¼ cup of milk and pour into the chicken.
8. Cook in low flame for about 10 minutes, this will give creamy texture to the gravy.
9. Garnish with cilantro and serve hot with rotis.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Khaman Dhokla - A Gujarati Snack

Khaman Dhokla is a savory steamed cake, very healthy recipe. It is a famous snack sold on every streets of Gujarat. The texture will be so soft and spongy, it can be prepared within 25 minutes. This very delicious Guajarati snack is prepared from gram flour / besan flour. The combination of fluffy dhoklas with crackled mustard seeds and fresh coconut will give heavenly taste.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes

For Dhokla:
Curd – 1 cup
Water – 1.5 cups
Gram flour / besan flour / kadalai maavu – 1.5 cup
Sooji / rava – 2 tbsp
Ginger and green chili paste – 2 tbsp
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
Salt to taste
Sugar – 1 tbsp
Eno fruit salt – 1 ½ tbsp
To Temper:
Oil – 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Asafetida – a pinch
Curry leaves – a spring
Green or red chili – 2
To Garnish:
Coconut – 1 tbsp
Cilantro – few

1. Make a smooth paste of ginger and green chili in a blender and keep aside.
2. In a large bowl, Take curd and water, mix it well. Add salt, sugar and turmeric powder and give a good mix.
3. Add Gram flour and sooji to it, mix well without any lumps. Now add the ginger and green chili paste to it.
4. Now add Eno fruit salt and give a good mix. The batter will be frothy, don’t rest it for long time, and immediately pour the batter in a steaming tray.
5. Steam it for about 10 to 12 minutes. Allow it to cool, remove dhokla from tray and make into pieces.
6. Heat oil in a pan, temper it with the ingredients given under “To temper”. Pour it on the dhoklas.
7. Garnish with coconut and cilantro. Serve hot.


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Banana & Walnut Smoothie

Looking for a protein packed healthy drink for a breakfast? Try this Banana and Walnut smoothie. The combination of banana, walnut and milk gives a creamy texture to the smoothie. This drink will satisfy your sweet tooth at the same time it is packed with healthy carbs and protein which helps to keep you energized all day. Bananas are rich in potassium which keeps the heart healthy and walnut provides good cholesterol.
Prep time: 10 minutes

Banana – 1
Walnut – 2 tbsp
Honey – 1 tsp
Milk -1 cup
Cocoa powder – ½ tsp

1. Combine all the ingredients except cocoa powder in a blender and blend until smooth.

2. Pour into glass and sprinkle cocoa powder on top. Serve chilled.

Low Fat Spicy Fish Croquettes / Fish Kola urundai

Fish is a rich source of protein and omega B. It is good for health when we consume fish twice a week. But same way of preparing the fish makes us bored of eating it. So, I thought of trying a different recipe and here it comes a spicy fish croquettes. Since it is not deep fried, it is a low fat healthy side dish. The taste of this fish croquettes will leave you speechless and it’s spicy and very flavorful.
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
Total time: 35 mins

Oil -3 tbsp
Cinnamon – ½ inch piece
Star anise – 1
Cloves – 1
Fennel seeds – ½ tsp
Poppy seeds – ½ tsp
Onion – 1, finely chopped
Ginger garlic paste – 1 tsp
Fish – 1 fillet (I used tilapia)
Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
Red chili powder – 1 tsp
Garam masala – ½ tsp
Cumin powder – ½ tsp
Pepper powder – ½ tsp
Curry leaves – few
Cilantro – few
Salt to taste

1. Boil the fish in water with salt and mash them.
2. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan, Add cinnamon, cloves, star anise, fennel seeds and poppy seeds. Fry them till they turn golden brown.
3. Add onions and saute till it turns translucent. Add ginger garlic paste and fry till the raw smell leaves off.
4. Add curry leaves, salt and spice powders, cook for about 4 to 5 minutes
5. Now add the mashed fish and give a good mix. Cook for about 6 to 7 minutes. Switch off the flame and allow it to cool.
6. Take small portion of mixture and roll them into small balls.
7. Heat paniyaram kal, place the balls and drizzle some oil.

8. Cook all the sides until it turns golden brown. Garnish with cilantro and serve hot.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Mango kesari

I always like the desserts prepared using mango, so thought of trying Mango kesari. Try this in home, for sure your kids will love it.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes
Aval / Poha – 1 cup
Milk – 2 cups
Sugar – ½ cup
Corn flour – 1 tbsp (dissolve it in cold milk)
Mango puree – 1 cup
1. Fry the poha till it turns crispier. Blend it in a mixer and keep aside.
2. Boil the milk in a pan, On boiling add the poha, sugar, corn flour mixture.
3. Mix well and cook on a slow flame till it becomes thick.
4. Switch off the flame and allow the mixture to cool down.

5. Add the mango puree with the mixture and serve chilled.

Kadalai maavu sambar / besan sambar

Kadalai maavu sambar is a very easy sambar and quick to prepare since it does not need dal. It goes well with idli and dosa.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes
Onion – 1, finely chopped
Tomato – 1, finely chopped
Green chili – 2
Besan flour / gram flour sambar – 2 tbsp
Tamarind – small gooseberry size
Sambar powder – 2 tsp
Salt to taste
To temper:
Oil – 1tbsp
Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
Urad dal – ½ tsp
Curry leaves – 1 spring
1. Heat oil in a pan, Temper it with the given ingredients.
2. Saute onions till it turns translucent. Add the green chilies and tomato, saute until it turns mushy.
3. Add the tamarind juice extract, salt and sambar powder.
4. Once it comes to boil. Add the gram flour and add water.
5. Cook for about 3 to 5 minutes. Sambar is ready now.

Coconut chutney

Coconut chutney is a great side dish for many south Indian Dishes. It is very easy and quick to prepare. It goes excellent with dosa, idli and vada.
Prep time: 10 mins
For chutney:
Coconut – ¼ cup
Roasted gram dal – 1 tbsp
Dry red chili – 4
Mint leaves – 4
Garlic – 1 pod
Salt to taste
Water as needed
To temper:
Oil – 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
Urad dal – ½ tsp
Curry leaves – 1 spring
1. In a mixer, Take all the ingredients mentioned under “For chutney” and grind into a smooth paste.
2. Heat oil in a pan, Temper with mustard seeds, urad dal and curry leaves.

3. Add this to chutney and check for salt. Coconut chutney is ready

Mixed dal vada

Mixed dal vada is a vada prepared using the mixture of three types of dal( Urad dal, chana dal, Toor dal). Urad dal gives soft inner layer and chans dal, toor dal gives crunchy outside. It is a delicious indian recipe particularly during the rainy evenings.
Prep time: 2 hours including soaking time
Cook time: 15 minutes
Urad dal – 1 cup
Chana dal – ¼ cup
Toor dal – ¼ cup
Onion – 1, finely chopped
Curry leaves – few, finely chopped
Cilantro – few, finely chopped
Green chili – 3
Ginger – 1inch
Salt as needed
Oil for deep frying
1. Soak urad dal alone for 2 hours and soak chana dal and toor dal in a same vessel for 2 hours.
2. Grind urad dal into a smooth batter and grind the chana dal and toor dal separately.
3. In a bowl, add the batter, onion, green chili, ginger, curry leaves, cilantro and salt.

4. Heat oil in pan, Deep fry the vada and serve hot.

Idli and dosa

Idli and Dosa are the most common breakfast item in South India. It is very easy to prepare and highly comfort food which is very easily digestible. Idlis are prepared by steaming the batter making them very healthy and very light. The combination of idli and dosa with sambar and chutney gives a tasty meal. It takes couple of days to prepare, but at the end, it’s absolutely worth the effort.
Soak time: 7 hrs
Prep time: 30 mins
Ferment time: 10 – 12 hrs
Cook time: 10 mins
Idli rice – 2 cups
Urad dal – 1 cup
Fenugreek seeds – ½ tsp
Water – as needed
Salt – as needed
1. Wash the urad dal and soak along with fenugreek seeds for 6 to 7 hrs.
2. Wash the idli rice and soak for 6 to 7 hrs.
3. Drain the water and grind the urad dal with enough amount of water to a smooth consistency.
4. Pour it into a big vessel to ferment and raise.
5. Grind the rice with enough amount of water till smooth. Add this to the urad dal batter.
6. Add enough amount of salt and mix with your hands till everything well blended.
7. Cover and allow it to ferment in a warm place for about 10 to 12 hours.
To make Idlis:
1. Add water to the fermented batter and mix well.
2. Spoon a laddle full of batter into the idli plates and steam for about 10 minutes.
3. Take out the idli from idli plates, sere with sambar and chutney.
To make Dosa:
1.Heat tawa, pour 1 laddle full of batter and spread evenly.
2. Drizzle enough oil over it and cook until its golden in medium flame.

Mini South Indian Breakfast Thali

A research shows that south Indian breakfast is the healthiest breakfast as they provide balanced diet which is full of proteins, nutrition, fat and carbohydrates. Since the batter prepared for idli and dosa is fermented it provides digestive enzymes to our body which helps in easy digestion of food.

Mini South Indian Breakfast thali Recipes:

Coconut chutney

Veg Vermicelli Bird's Nest

Veg vermicelli cutlet is a delicious Indian snack. The combination of crunchy outer layer and soft inner layer makes a yummy evening snack. To make this healthier, I skipped potatoes. So, weight watchers can have it without any hesitation. It is very easy to prepare, takes only about 30 minutes. You can deep fry them, but I shallow fried it with less oil.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes

Onion – 1, finely chopped
Carrot – 2, finely chopped
Cabbage – ¼, finely chopped
Ginger garlic paste – ½ tsp
Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
Red chili powder – 1 tsp
Coriander powder – 1 tsp
Garam masala – ½ tsp
Cilantro – few
Lemon juice – 2 tbsp
Salt – as needed
All-purpose flour- 2 tbsp
Roasted vermicelli – 1 cup
Oil – for shallow fry

1. Heat oil in a pan, saute onion till it turns translucent. Add ginger garlic paste and fry till the raw smell leaves.
2. Add all the vegetables and saute till it gets cooked. Add all the spice powders, salt and fry till the raw smell leaves off.
3. Add lemon juice and cilantro, give a good mix. Switch off the flame and Keep it aside.
4. In a bowl mix all-purpose flour and water, In another bowl take roasted vermicelli.
5. Now shape the cooked veg mixture into cutlets, coat them with all-purpose flour mix and vermicelli.

6. Heat oil in pan, shallow fry the cutlet on both sides and serve hot with ketchup.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Ragi Manchurian / Finger millet Manchurian

Looking for a healthy evening snack, here is a great idea to include some nutrition in our diet. We all know about finger millet / ragi is a very healthy flour. In those days everyone will prepare Ragi koozh and have as a breakfast which is very good for health. But now, it is impossible for us to give this koozh as breakfast for our kids. So, we are in a situation to attract our kids by preparing different recipes at the same time healthy. I tried ragi Manchurian and it tastes great, for sure kids will love it.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes

Ragi flour – ½ cup
Oats flour – ½ cup
Roasted gram flour – ¼ cup
Salt as needed
For Manchurian:
Olive oil – 1 tsp
Onion – 1, finely chopped
Green chili – 2, finely chopped
Ginger garlic paste – ½ tsp
 Bell pepper – ½, finely chopped
Soya sauce – 1 tsp
Tomato sauce – 1 tsp
Hot sauce – 1 tsp
Cilantro - few

1. In a bowl, combine ragi flour, Oats flour, roasted gram flour and salt. Add water and mix together in to a dough.
2. Divide this dough into a small balls and steam them for about 10 mins.
3. Heat oil in a pan, Saute onion, green chili and ginger garlic paste into translucent. Then add bell pepper, sauce and salt. Give a good mix.

4. Now add the steamed ragi balls into the Manchurian mix. Now tasty Ragi manchurian is ready. 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Potato and Egg Breakfast Skillet

Kick up your breakfast with skillet full of potatoes and eggs. The great thing about this dish is that it can be a meal in and of itself. The combination of egg and potatoes gives great taste. Sometimes we feel like skip diet and have more carbs. This skilled potato with eggs is an excellent source of eggs.

Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 40 mins
Potatoes -2
Oregano – 1 tsp
Dried thyme – ½ tsp
Sage – ½ tsp
Garlic powder – ½ tsp
Salt – as needed
Pepper powder -1/2 tsp
Egg – 2
Olive oil – 2 tbsp

1. Peel off the skin from potatoes and cut them into small pieces.
2. Heat oil in a skillet, add the potatoes, herbs, salt and fry till the potatoes get cooked.
3. Add enough pepper and give a good mix. Switch off the stove.
4. Preheat oven to 300F.
5. Transfer the cooked potatoes to a baking pan.  Make two small wells in a baking pan having potatoes.
6. Crack open 2 eggs and pour into each well. Bake it for about 10 to 15 minutes or till the eggs are cooked.
7. Serve hot.