Mum's end to tiffin box tantrums......

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Deliciously sesamed naan; Any need to go to a restaurant?

Naan is a special item available in all good restaurants in India. The so called Indian dhabas near the highway sides are very specialized in making naans in big country ovens/tandoors. It's very delicate, soft and tastes good with spicy vegtables. Good naan is the greatest attraction of dining out in an expensive hotel. But if you are calculative and methodical , you may get yummy naans at home and your kitchen may be your success route to a wonderful, soft , delicious and an  'ever to be remembered' item. Let's see the method of making this wonder filled, delicious, mouth watering item.

Ingredients: (for making 6-8 naans)
White flour ( 350 gms.),
Dry yeast ( 1 1/2 teaspoons),
Oil for making the dough,
Sesame seeds ( amount in a teaspoon)
Water ( 1 cup)

Equipments required:
Rolling pin

Procedure: Heat 100cc. of water in a container and put yeast in it. Wait till the bubbles come up. Add the white flour, salt and oil (2 teaspoons) in it and start kneading a dough. Dry heat the sesame seeds and add to the dough and keep it for about 30 minutes. The steps required in preparing the naan is represented in a schematic pictorical diagram for the convenience of the readers.

Step 1: Knead the dough and keep for 30 minutes.

Step 2: Dry heat sesame seeds for about 1 minute in a container.

Step 3: Make a rounded dough with the help of a rolling pin placed on a wooden board.

Step 4: Place the rolled doughs in a tray and place it in te oven.

Step 5: Bake it in the oven for 7-8 minutes on both sides.  You need to turn sides with the help of  tongs. They should be fluffy and you can see them raise from the oven glass.

Step 6: Apply butter on both sides of the naan. Transffer ot to a plate and it's ready to be served.

You may have naan with any spicy , gravy vegatables, chicken or mutton dishes. So, get the mind boggling essence of naan from your kitchen. At least bring the taste of Indian dhaba form your kitchen for a day.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Chinese spicy chicken- 'A housewife's innovation'; Simply miracle indeed

Indian housewives prove to be better than any great Indian Chefs in terms of culinary art and skill. Simple reason behind this is that they have a greater understanding of the practicality in taste and the concept of effective permutation-combination of easy ingredients. This simple yet wonderful concept is derived from one of my friend's kitchen wonders while she was aspiring to create someting new and tantalizing for her family. Let me share the process of making Chinese spicy chicken.

Ingredients: ( for 4-6 people)
Boneless chicken ( 700gms.),
Onions ( 2 medium pcs. grated),
Capsicum ( 2 medium pcs grated),
Tomatoes ( 2 medium pcs. grated, maybe red and yellow color),
Garlic paste (2 1/2 teasoons),
Ginger paste (1/2 teaspoon),
Jelapeno ( 5 pcs. sliced)
Spring onions ( 6-7 pcs. with the white part separated from the green one , cut into dice of 1cm in length),
Vinegar ( 2 teaspoons),
Green chilli sauce ( 2 teaspoons),
Tomato sauce ( 4 teaspoons),
Soya sauce ( 2 teaspoons),
Corn flour (1 teaspoon)
Oil for frying,
Salt as per taste.

Procedure: Marinate the boneless chicken in vinegar, soya sauce, garlic paste and salt. Keep it for 30 minutes in marinated condition. Heat oil in a container and dash the vegetables into it. Cook till they become soft. Add the ginger paste to it. Add the marinated chicken to the mixture and cook in low heat for 15 minutes till the chicken becomes soft and mixes with the rest of the vegetables. Sprinkle a pinch of aji no moto ( monosodium glutamate) to it.This will help the dish to get a glossy apearance. Add chilli sauce to the mixture, care should be taken that the amount of chilli sauce depends on how much hot you desire for the dish. Add the jelapeno to it. Make a solution of corn flour in about 100 cc of water and put over the mixture. This will give consistency to the texture of the gravy. Now fry the diced spring onions separately, just make them a little soft and add on top of the prepared dish so that it looks like a good garnishing. In fact this dish is will be a perfect combination of hot, sweet and you will simply love the bite of crunchy vegetables along with the bonelss chicken that enhances the taste of the dish to a large extent.

This dish will be a perfect combination with noodles/thai rice sticks. So enjoy  dinner along with your family and bring the fantasies of your imagination into practicality. Sometimes you realize that creativity can be fun and encouraging. Do not ever give up your creativity in everyday life.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Chinese jelapeno chicken - dare to say 'no'

Chinese jelapeno chicken is a unique creation.  With all available things in your house you can prepare this and enjoy any time. Definitely I can call this as a 'meat lovers delight'. People who like the flavor of  chinese chicken will definitely love this dish, I guarantee. I call this sort of innovations as the heights of kitchen chemistry and not simply a permutation-combination of available ingredients.

Ingredients: ( for 4- 6 people)
Boneless chicken (700 gms.),
Capsicum ( 2 big sized colored yellow and red  grated),
Tomato ( 2 medium sized grated),
Onions ( 2 medium sized grated nicely in the form of a paste),
Jelapeno ( 7-8 pieces, deseeded and slit from the mid ridge),
Corn flour ( 2-3 teaspoons),
Ginger garlic paste ( 2 teaspoons),
Baby corn (4 pieces boiled and diced into equal pieces),
Aji ni moto (monosodium glutamate ) just a pinch.
Vinegar ( 3-4 teaspoons),
Tomato sauce ( 4-5 teaspoons),
Soya sauce ( 3-4 teaspoons),
Green chilli sauce ( 2-3 teaspoons),
Salt as per taste,
Oil for cooking.

Procedure: Wash the boneless chicken and keep it marinated with ginger garlic paste, vinegar, soya sauce , and salt. Keep in marinated condition for 30 minutes. Heat 3 tablespoon oil in a container. Dash the vegetables (onion, capsicum, tomatoes, baby corn ) to it. Cook till the vegetables get soft. Add the ginger garlic paste to it. Add the already marinated chicken to it. Add soya sauce , tomato sauce and green chilli sauce to the mixture. Add a pinch of aji-no moto to the chicken dish. Mix well with the help of spatula. Add the deseeded green chillies to the mixture. Make a solution of corn flour in 100cc of water. Apply it over the chicken mixture. Add salt as per taste. Cook for about 10 minutes and then remove it from the flame. Place the contents of the mixture in a serving bowl.

Chinese jelapeno chicken is best  enjoyed with chowmein. Vegetable rice can also be a good option. So, all meat lovers and ardent fans of white meat,  do not miss this oppurtunity of experiencing one of the most delicious , innovative dishes of chicken.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Chevda pulao- simple ingredients, simple way , great taste.

Chevda pulao is a very popular item enjoyed all over in India. Prepared from crispy rice and vegetables this is not only a wholesome food but also consumed as a snack item. Crispy rice is available all over India which is prepared from hand mills. Let's see how to prepare this popular item of India.

Ingredients: ( for 4 people)
Chevda ( 300 gms.)
Potato ( 1 medium sized diced into smaller pieces)
Tomato ( 1 medium sized diced into smaller pieces)
Onions ( 1 medium sized dices into smaller pieces)
Carrot ( 1 medium sized dices into samller pieces)
Green peas ( 20gms.)
Green chillies (3-4 pieces , optional)
Ginger- garlic paste ( 1 teaspoon)
Salt as per taste.

Procedure: Soak chevda in water for 2 minutes and drain the water. Keep it aside. Heat oil in a container. Dash the vegetables (potato, tomato, onion, carrot, green peas ) into it. Cook till the vegetables get soft. Add the ginger garlic paste to it. Add salt to the mixture. Add the soaked chevda to the mixture. Mix well with the help of a spatula . Cook for 2 minutes and your chevda pulao is ready. You may garnish it with fresh coriander leaves to give a mind boggling look. You may cut green chillies and sprinkle over the chevda so as to enjoy it hot.

You can enjoy it with tea. This dish can be enjoyed as a snack or even packed as a lunch item. Easy to prepare and lesser time consuming, chevda pulao is an ideal vegetarian snack.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Chicken bharta- deliberately delicious deal!

Chicken Bharta or mashed chicken curry is a typical non-vegetarian item which is very popular in the Northern part of India. It's a very special item and quite famous in the 'paratha walli galli' in Delhi. Nowadays  it's quite a delicious and popular food in all the metropolitan cities. You may get it in almost all the restaurants. I must say that as far as food is concerend 'India is the paradise'. Nowhere on the earth will you get so many varieties of food, condiments, spices and the combination of all to make wonders in culinary art. Let's see the method of preparation and what makes the dish so special.

Ingredients: ( for 4-6 people)
Chicken ( 500gms.)[ very much preffered is tandoori chicken or chicken boiled and separated from the bones],
Onion ( 2 medium pieces grated),
Tomatoes (2 medium pieces grated),
Ginger- garlic paste (2 teaspoons),
Cumin powder ( 1 teaspoon),
Coriander powder ( 1 teaspoon),
Turmeric powder ( 1/2 teaspoon),
Red chilli powder ( 1 teaspoon),
Garam masala ( 2 teapoons)[ blend of cardamon, cinnamon, cloves and black pepper],
Creme of milk ( 4-5 tablespoons),
Salt as per taste,
Ghee for frying.

Procedure: You need to take chicken grilled in tandoor/ microwave grilled chicken. Even you may boil chicken in a cooker at high temperature so that it separates form the bones. But as per my experience, I will say that a tandoor chicken makes better dish than the ordinary boiled one because the spice is spread evenly inside the chicken pieces also. Heat ghee in a container. Dash the vegetables (tomatoes, onions) to it. Add the ginger-garlic mixture and add the spices (coriander, cumin, chilli, turmeric, salt) to it. Add the preboiled/roasted chicken to it. Add the garam masala to the entire mixture. Mix well with the help of a spatula. Add 1/2 cup water to it. Then add the creme of milk to it. You will admire the color, texture and the yummy taste of the chicken dish so prepared.

Chicken bharta is best enjoyed with naan/tandori roti/chappati / kulcha. Even you may enjoy with jeera rice. So you can prepare mind bloggling dishes at home. enjoy with your family and friends. Enjoy the spice of life.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Upma- the delightful taste of Southern India

Upma is a yummy dish of South Indian origin. Evident in Tamil etymology the word is derived from 'uppu' means salt and 'maavu' means flour. Hence the term upma means salty flour as per the preparation is done. It is even known as 'Uppindi' in Telegu and 'Uppittu' in Kannada. Upma is a very popular food all over the world where South Indians have migrated. In USA, UK this is available in take away counters by the roadside. Once there was a news that an American cook won 1,00,000 Pounds in a Master Chef contest by cooking simple upma with semolina and mushroom toppings. Thereby upma was considered as a tasty, wholesome food by the Western population besides the minority Indians. Let's see the method of preparation of this simple yet wholesome food and how the magic of Semolina keeps everybody spellbound and lip smacking.

Ingredients: (for 4 people)
Semolina/rava/suji (250gms.),
Carrot ( 1 medium sized chopped into smaller pieces),
Green peas ( 30 gms. ),
Onion ( 1 medium size chopped nicely),
Tomato (1 medium sized chopped nicely),
Mustard seeds ( 1 pinch),
Kari patta /Murraya Koeniiji leaf ( 1 stream),
Cashew nuts,
Salt as per taste,
Oil for frying.

Procedure: Take a frying pan and heat it. Put the semolina in it and dry heat( roast) till it takes a slightly brownish color. Keep it aside. Put a little oil and heat it. Dash Kari patta and mustard leaves in it. You will smell the mind boggling flavor of kari patta. Dash the rest of the vegetables( carrot, green peas, onion, tomato) to it. Fry it for 5 minutes till the vegetables get soft. Then add the roasted semolina and 2 cups of water. Keep stirring the mixture till the water  is absorbed by the semolina. Care should be taken that the semolina should not be soggy/sticky but should reman light. Add salt and cashew nuts to upma. Remove it from the frying pan. Put in a serving plate and it's ready to serve.

You may prepare this wholesome dish and enjoy it as an evening snacks. For busy moms it's an ideal item to be prepared for kid's lunch box. This can be enjoyed in breakfast even. May keep in fridge and enjoy the following day just by putting in a microwave. Enjoy food, enjoy cooking and enhance your creative skills.

Monday, 7 November 2011

'Sweet bun'- a creative, home made sweet treat

Buns can be prepared at home with much ease and comfort. With tea/coffee specially you will love to have home made 'Sweet bun's. You can prepare and keep them for 1/2 days and enjoy. You need not be an expert baker to make sweet buns at home. In fact, you can treat guests nicely and cordially with your home made sweet buns and thereby save your pocket by avoiding buying stuffs from outside. Let's share the secret of preparing home made buns.

Ingredients: (for 10 buns)
Flour ( 400 gms.),
Dry yeast ( 2 teaspoons),
Baking powder ( 2 teaspoons),
Milk ( 1/4 ltr.),
Sugar ( 4 tablespoons).

Equipments required:
Baking oven/microwave with convection mode,
Rolling pin,
Brush for putting oil,
Butter paper,
Napkins for holding/gloves.

Procedure: It's a stepwise process which is represented schematically by pictorial support.

Step 1: Heat milk in a container and add white flour to it. Add yeast, baking powder, sugar and oil to the mixture and keep for about 2 hrs. The flour will rise, you have to press it and make an even dough.

Step 2: Cut into even rounded doughs and roll out like an elongated structure as shown in the picture.

Step 3: Make a rounded shape as shown in the picture. Put on a tray with butterpaper in it. Put some oil with the help of a brush. Place it inside the oven at 180 degree celsius and for 50 minutes.

Step 4: Remove the buns from the oven. They are hot, ready. Remove the buns by holding the tray with gloves/napkins.

Start enjoying the hot buns. You may have it with tea/coffee. Even you can use it as a tiffin item and pack for your kids at school. So, be an expert in making hot buns, but not necessary that  you have to be an expert baker.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Garlic chicken fry- yummy, lip smacking starter

Garlic chicken fry is an innovative,delicious and easy item. For meat lovers it's a real paradise. If you are expecting some guests at your home all of a sudden or may be in short time , then this will definitely serve your purpose of treating friends as well as save your unnecessary restaurant bills. With a little innovation , you may bring about a great difference to the very simple everyday item and your guests will simply remain bewildered by your creative skills. Let me share the secret of such a wonderful dish with all my readers.

Boneless chicken ( 700 gms.),
Corn flour ( 4-5 table spoons),
Gramflour ( 2 teaspoons),
Crushed garlic paste ( teaspoons),
Eggs battered (3 pcs.),
Soya sauce ( 1 teaspoon),
Vinegar (2 teaspoons),
Green chillies( 2 nos. slit into smaller pieces),
Salt as per taste.

Procedure: Cut the boneless chicken into medium longitudinal pieces. Mix all the ingredients (corn flour, gram flour, garlic paste , eggs, soya sauce , vinegar , green chillies) with the chicken and keep in refrigerated condition for minimun 5-6 hours. Slicing and marinating of chicken is a very important criteria for this item. When you would like to fry them just remove from the fridge and allow to stand for 30 minutes minimum in order to bring to normal temperature. Heat oil in a container and release the battered chicken pieces in it. Watch the pieces sizzle and fry till it takes a golden brownish color. When the desired color is obtained then place on a serving dish and garnish with onion rings and chillies.

You and your guests will simply love this item. It tastes best as it smells a tinge of garlic in it. For ultimate taste serve with green chilli sauce. Invent food, cherish food and get the ultimate taste of life.