Asparagus & Pea Stirfry With Coconut & Curry Leaves

Sinfully Spicy : Asparagus & Pea Stirfry  With Coconut and Curry Leaves #southindianAsparagus was a new vegetable for me when I came to States few years back. I had never heard about it or seen it. I was curious to try it and cook it. I do not as promptly fall in love with new vegetables like I do with fruits. May be because we are so much into spices that just salted, blanched stalks caught very little attention when I ate them those first times with eggs and hash. It for sure looked and sounded something amazingly healthy but I was a little skeptic. I hardly cooked it, unable to figure out how to involve it our style of home cooked meals.

Sinfully Spicy : Asparagus & Pea Stirfry  With Coconut and Curry Leaves #southindian

Sinfully Spicy : Asparagus & Pea Stirfry  With Coconut and Curry Leaves #southindianIt would be really dishonest if I associate every recipe with some kind of a memory or inherited cooking. Not everything can belong to childhood years or to mom’s and grandma’s secret stash of recipes. Even though the basics string down from their kitchens but many dishes are just cooked in our house because a particular vegetable is in season or we got those organic free range chicken at a bumper price.

It is not very often that I scribble down recipes, you know that pencil in one and spoon in other kind of cooking sessions.I don’t. Not always. It becomes a process then and the fun in the kitchen is lost (at least for me). It’s a lot of unplanned, impulsive cooking that happens here, plainly guided by the senses. I taste, I sniff and I enjoy.

Sinfully Spicy : Asparagus & Pea Stirfry  With Coconut and Curry Leaves #southindianWhen I got a bunch of asparagus few week backs, like those initial years, I again didn’t know what I would do with it. It was inexpensive and looked very green. I got it and forgot about it .Only because the bunch was so fresh, it survived a good four – five days in the refrigerator.We were having curried eggs for dinner and just in a whirl of a moment I threw together this stir fry over the other stove while the eggs came together. Keeping the spice selection very simple and mostly south indian style, this stir fry won our heart. It is kind of south indian ‘poriyal‘ (stir fry) with a basic tempering of mustard seeds, fresh coconut and curry leaves. Aromatic, clean and fresh tasting – it turned out to be a perfect side to those eggs. I wish I had written down the measurements but anyhow.

When we were vegetarian for a while, I cooked it again and spooned it over ghee rice – what a fantastic lunch it was. Soft, crunchy asparagus bits and that burst of sweetness from peas in every bite – so sublime yet fulfilling. Of all the ways I have cooked and eaten asparagus so far,this one is my current favorite.

Sinfully Spicy : Asparagus & Pea Stirfry  With Coconut and Curry Leaves #southindianIt is one of those recipes which turned out glorious even though it was more of an experiment in the kitchen. Both me and the husband can (literally) eat grass tossed with curry leaves and I must admit that those aromatic leaves play magic here though I least imagined that they would. No wonder this simple & quick stir fry is a favorite ‘green’ side on our tables these days.

Sinfully Spicy : Asparagus & Pea Stirfry  With Coconut and Curry Leaves #southindian

 

Printable Recipe

Ingredients (Serves 2)

  • 1 bunch asparagus (about 12-15 stalks)
  • 1/2 cup sweet peas (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 tbsp ghee (or coconut oil for vegan version)
  • 1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • generous pinch of hing (asafoetida)
  • 1/4 tsp grated fresh ginger (optional but recommended)
  • 1-2 Thai green chilies (adjust to taste)
  • 1/8 tsp turmeric powder
  • 6-7  fresh curry leaves, torn into small bits
  • 1-2 tbsp fresh grated coconut (you can cut it in small bits too)
  • 1/4 tsp jaggery powder (or use sugar, optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • Lemon juice – to taste

Method

Throughly wash the asparagus stalks. Hold and try to bend the stalk between fingers of both hands,it will automatically break at the (inedible) bottom part. If you feel that the skin is thick and hard, you can peel it away. Chop the stalks into small round pieces. It is better to chop them this way for this recipe since they cook really quick and do not lose the color. Also thaw the peas if using frozen. Set aside.

On medium high, heat up the ghee in a wok. Temper it with mustard seeds, be careful since they splutter in all directions. Only after the seeds have crackled (else they will remain bitter), immediately add the cumin seeds. Let them crackle too. Add the hing, green chillies, ginger and turmeric next.

Before the chillies change color, add the chopped asparagus and peas along with curry leaves to the wok. Add a generous pinch of salt and stir so that everything mixes together. Cover and let steam for 2-4 minutes on medium high heat.

Remove the lid, add the coconut, adjust the salt and let cook uncovered till the asparagus and peas are tender (but not mushy) and have a crunch to them. Sprinkle the sugar and lemon juice to taste. Cook or 1-2 minutes more.

Serve as a side to main dishes.

Enjoy & Thanks for stopping by!

 

 

 

Chicken in Hot Garlic Sauce (IndoChinese)

Sinfully Spicy - Chicken in Hot garlic sauce, indochinese #recipeWhen I was little, I had a toy puppy and a doll. They were probably my most favorite since I still have them, carefully kept in a wooden cupboard beside my bed at mom’s house. Even after reminding myself every time I opened that cupboard, amid all that crazy last moment packing, I forgot to bring them along on my last trip. The puppy has a brown fur,big black button eyes and it woofed cutely darting out its little red tongue. It hopped & crawled when the key near its belly was turned. Sometimes I brushed its fur with the small comb which came along with it. Last week when we got little A a fuzzy pink pup with swanky neon glares, adorning a glitter studded cap and a silk scarf around its neck, she played and giggled with it all afternoon. Maybe we share an affection for dogs (the toy ones),I thought to myself.

Sinfully Spicy - Chicken in Hot garlic sauce, indochinese #recipeMy doll wore a floral frock with flat shoes and it had green glassy eyes. When I learnt to recognize flowers and shapes and colors, I named it Daisy from the ones printed on her black dress.I used to tie her black nylon hair into a pony using the same comb I brushed the dog’s hair with.It looked like a little brit missy with those matching daisies on her hat, readying for afternoon tea.Secretly, I wished to be as pretty as her(oh innocence!).Once when we had a fight and one of my sibling sketched pimples on its face (!) with a black pen, mom tells me I was dull for days and spent hours in the bathroom to wash those out. The dots mostly faded away but that ugly outline around one of her eyes still remains, signaling the grumpy look that the sketching was intended for.

Sinfully Spicy - Chicken in Hot garlic sauce, indochinese #recipeLife just goes on and days pass one after the other but suddenly amid the busy ones, I stop for a while and get reminded of my childhood seeing my daughter and her antics.I wish she creates her own – of the house, toys and favorite things. I think about family,those years, the food, that bustling local market near our house where we used to go for shopping fabrics, jewellery, handicrafts and what not. Sometimes the shopping stretched for so long that suddenly it was decided that tonight we are eating out – at one of the local chinese restaurants with dragon print curtains and smelling of sweat and sesame. One where they served a spicy clear vegetable soup with unlimited side of rolls and chicken in hot garlic sauce over glutinous rice.

Sinfully Spicy - Chicken in Hot garlic sauce, indochinese #recipeI start craving that chicken in hot garlic sauce severely,one with bits of garlic and crispy morsels coated in a deep flavored, sticky and hot reddish sauce. With no recipe to follow, it is just left to receding memories to build one.

Sinfully Spicy - Chicken in Hot garlic sauce, indochinese #recipeYou can read bits about indo chinese food in this post. As many of you who read my blog would know that we love some serious spicy indo chinese food in our house. What follows  in the kitchen is mixing chinese & indian ingredients – soy with coriander, turmeric and vinegar . Ideally, the chicken needs to be deep-fried to crispy perfection, but seared it on high heat. The sauce is hot – you have a quite a handful of Thai bird chillies going in and even though there is a good amount of honey in the recipe but the kick from them remains. Spicy,smoky hot, garlicky or addictive – I don’t know how to describe the taste. It left us utterly content. I don’t claim to match any restaurant or cookbook recipe but the one I am sharing today left us almost licking our plates.Try it!

Printable Recipe

Ingredients (Serves 2-3)

  • 1 lb boneless chicken thighs,skinless
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 garlic pod, minced
  • 1/2 tbsp dark soya sauce ((I use Ching’s brand)
  • pinch of  turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • Oil for skillet frying (I used sunflower)

Use tofu, paneer and assorted vegetables for a vegetarian version of this recipe

For the Sauce

  • 8 garlic pods
  • 3-4 Thai bird chilies (adjust to tolerance)
  • 2 tsp dark soya sauce (I use Ching’s brand)
  • 3 tbsp chilli tomato sauce (I use Maggi Hot & sweet)
  • 2.5 tsp honey (or brown sugar)
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/4 turmeric powder
  • 3/4 tsp red pepper flakes (adjust to tolerance)
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 tsp pure sesame oil (optional but recommended)
  • 2 tsp corn starch
  • 2/3 cup chicken/vegetable stock or water
  • 3-4 tbsp oil (I used sunflower, use any neutral oil)
  • 4 scallion stalks, white & green cut separately
  • 1/2 cup thin sliced red onion
  • Salt to taste
  • 1.5 tbsp white vinegar (adjust to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala
  • For Garnish – chopped scallions(green parts)

Method

Preparation

Cut the cleaned chicken into bite size pieces. Rub it with flour, garlic, chili, soya sauce, turmeric, salt & pepper and let sit for about 25-30 minutes.

While the chicken is marinating, using your mortar and pestle, crush the garlic and Thai green chillies to tiny bits.

In a small bowl, mix up the soya sauce, chili tomato sauce, honey, coriander, turmeric,ginger and sesame oil(if using). Also mix the cornstarch with stock and set aside.

Cooking

In a wide skillet (I used my 12″), heat up 2-3 tbsp of oil on high. Layer the marinated chicken pieces on the skillet and let sear on both sides, flipping in between. Make sure that the chicken pieces cook all the way through. This may take about 7-8 minutes or more depending on size of pieces.

Once done, transfer the chicken pieces to a plate and reserve the dripping in the skillet itself.

Add the 3 tbsp oil into the same skillet and heat it up on medium. Add the crushed garlic and green chili to it and fry up these for 20-30 second or so till you smell the aroma. Be careful that the garlic does not burn. Next add the chopped scallions (white part) & onions and cook on medium high for 2-3 minutes or till light brown in color. Add the soya sauce and spice mix made earlier and let cook for 3-4 minutes till everything starts looking glossy or till you see bubbles on the sides.Next, add the cornstarch mix to the skillet. Reduce the heat to low and let everything simmer for another 2-3 minutes till the sauce thickens slightly.

Next, taste & adjust the salt in the sauce. Sprinkle the garam masala & vinegar to the skillet and stir everything well. Add the chicken & toss so that the pieces are evenly coated.

Garnish with chopped green scallions & serve immediately.

Enjoy and Thanks for stopping by!

 

Dahi Choora – No Cook Flattened Rice & Yogurt Breakfast

Sinfully Spicy - Dahi Chivda - No Cook Flattened Rice & Yogurt Breakfast With Mangoes & CardamomFor years, a crisp, cold glass of lassi laced with bits of cardamom and as thin a consistency as water was the first thing we had in the morning before leaving for school. I did not remain much of a lassi person since then but that lightly sweet,frothy yogurt done with a hand churner was definitely a special childhood thing. Sinfully Spicy - Dahi Choora - No Cook Flattened Rice & Yogurt Breakfast With Mangoes & Cardamom

Sinfully Spicy - Dahi Chivda - No Cook Flattened Rice & Yogurt Breakfast With Mangoes & CardamomOn few days we would have dalia (wheat groats) with warm milk, really mushy and mostly resembling nursery foods but still comforting from the scent of whole cardamom pods which the groats were boiled with. The selection of cereals now available in the stores was not how things were then and I feel that it was better, you could admire and enjoy wholesome foods. Slowly,I moved on to a quick bowl of cornflakes drizzled with honey before leaving for work or for a change a spiced almond paste mixed with cold milk. Sinfully Spicy - Dahi Choora- No Cook Flattened Rice & Yogurt Breakfast With Mangoes & CardamomSomehow,cereals always remained an essential part of my breakfast. There is something comforting  about (hot or cold) cereals in the mornings. A night before, I try to prepare steel cut oats,buckwheat/millet groats for next morning. It gets so easy to start the day with right kind of grains.That wholesome protein and carb boost at the start of day is what I always try to go with. Sinfully Spicy - Dahi Chivda - No Cook Flattened Rice & Yogurt Breakfast With Mangoes & CardamomThe other day,I was chatting with mom about choices of wholesome breakfast for my daughter and she mentioned this quick & easy choora (flattened rice) with dahi (yogurt) as an option. It seemed very doable and knowing little A’s love for them, I made a big bowl with mashed mango for her. I could barely describe the mess she created with mangoes but looks like it hit the right spot with her. Even I loved it a LOT.

Beaten or flattened rice (poha) which is very popular in India for making trail mixes,lightly tempered pilafs for breakfasts and for desserts too.Even though it is more  popular in central and western parts of the country but now everybody is catching up to this healthy option. This recipe comes from the state of Bihar where they start the day with a big bowl of this. Sinfully Spicy - Dahi Choora - No Cook Flattened Rice & Yogurt Breakfast With Mangoes & CardamomI should not call it a recipe but since we are enjoying it so much for cold breakfast and occasional snacking, it needs to make  an appearance here. There is barely any recipe since you put together your bowl with as much of whatever you want,the only catch is using the right kind of flattened rice since there is no cooking involved. There are quite a few varieties available in the stores and online just buy the thinnest one you can get. Sinfully Spicy - Dahi Choora - No Cook Flattened Rice & Yogurt Breakfast With Mangoes & CardamomSprinkle your yogurt bowl with any kind of fruits, nuts or toppings you like and sweeten with just about anything. I like mashed or cut up mango with cardamom, topped with chia seeds and some roasted seeds and dried fruits. Hope you enjoy this naturally gluten-free, fuss free and most of all a no cook breakfast which has the right amount of carbohydrates and proteins for you!! What’s more – mom says its cools the stomach, particularly during summer months.

Printable Recipe

Ingredients (Serves 2)

  • 1 medium ripe mango (or any fruit of choice)
  • 1.5 cup plain greek yogurt,cold (you could use flavored ones too)
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom powder (or use vanilla)
  • 1/2 cup poha (thin variety flattened rice)
  • 1-2 tbsp coconut sugar  (or any sweetener of choice to taste)
  • Nuts, Seeds, dried fruits etc of choice

Method

Peel the mango and puree it in a food processor. Or you can chop it.Set aside.

Mix the greek yogurt with cardamom powder.Set aside.

Place the flattened rice in your colander and sprinkle water over it till it is just about moistened. Don’t use to much of water else the poha will get soggy & lumpy. Set aside for 3-4 minutes. Fluff up and loosen grains gently with fork.

In a bowl, place half of the yogurt and put the soaked flattened rice over it.Sprinkle with coconut sugar (or whatever sweetener you are using). Top it with rest of the yogurt, mango puree and seeds/nuts of choice.

Alternatively, you could layer the yogurt and chivda in a mason jar/tumbler. Serve cold immediately.

Notes -

  1. Just play around with the quantities of yogurt & poha to get the consistency you like.
  2. Use thick coconut milk or dairy free yogurt for a vegan version of this recipe.
  3. Do not stir the yogurt too much once you have added the flattened rice.
  4. Adjust the quantity of yogurt if you feel that the poha is on a dry side once you put the bowl together.

Enjoy & Thanks for stopping by!

Bharwan Bhindi – Indian Stuffed Okra

Sinfully Spicy - Bharwan Bhindi , Stuffed Spicy OkraIt has been a couple of weeks since we went meatless in the house.Not even eggs.No we are not turning vegetarian but it was a good break.Nothing forced or intentional, just a choice. I was a vegetarian for a couple of years during my teens but other than that its been a lot of years since I did it again.To tell you the truth it was both exciting and difficult.I severely missed my morning eggs and those runny yolks I soak toasted bread with. I skipped eating out at my favorite Thai restaurant which makes the most awesome shrimp rolls and cashew chicken in the area.Once or twice, I longed for chicken & fish curry too. Sinfully Spicy - Bharwan Bhindi , Stuffed Spicy OkraI admit that I rediscovered my love for certain vegetables – particularly asparagus and red cabbage. I don’t want to sound pointless but when you have meat options, your creativity is slightly adulterated by the temptation to combine it with vegetables (or its just me).That said, I could have never imagined that I could love crunchy asparagus & pea stir fry spooned over a bowl ghee rice. Or a ripe,split avocado filled with beans and drizzled with lots of yogurt & salted nuts. Infact, these few weeks gave me a chance to explore tofu recipes.Till now tofu always struggles in comparison to paneer in our kitchen but for now, it has found a little niche on our table in this salad. I guess it’s all about giving a chance & a little bit of creativity to let those vegetables feed you in a nice, clean way. Sinfully Spicy - Bharwan Bhindi , Stuffed Spicy Okra

Sinfully Spicy - Bharwan Bhindi , Stuffed Spicy OkraCooking (and eating) okra did not come difficult though. It’s a summer staple and I have a small list of recipes from my family & a (yet to be tried) long one from far-fetched relatives to put okra to a tasty treat. In fact, before coming to the States I could never imagine someone not liking okra.It is just so delicious in the ways it’s cooked in indian cuisine.

Though slightly time consuming if making a big batch,but bharwaan (stuffed) bhindi (okra) is worth all the effort. A spicy, semi-wet masala base made with onions, garlic and chickpeas flour is filled into tender, pierced pods and then they are lightly stir fried with a spoon or so of thick yogurt. This is something which tastes better even the next day when the flavors develop a lot more. The key to keep away the slime and retain the color is to cook it uncovered on low heat for most of the time. It’s best served alongside skillet fried flatbreads (paratha) or soft roti and naan.

Sinfully Spicy - Bharwan Bhindi , Stuffed Spicy OkraPrintable Recipe Ingredients (Serves 2-3)

  • 1 lb okra
  • 3 tbsp besan (chickpea flour)
  • 3 tbsp mustard oil (substitute with olive/vegetable oil)
  • 3/4 cup red onions, very finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp red chili powder (adjust to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp amchoor (dry mango powder)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp thick plain yogurt
  • pinch of sugar

Note - 

  1. There is no substitute for amchoor or mango powder in this recipe. You can buy it from local ethnic stores or online here.
  2. If you want to make a vegan version of this recipe, replace yogurt with 1-2 tbsp of water and squirt lemon juice at the end of cooking.

Method

Thoroughly wash okra under running water. Spread the washed okra over a kitchen towel for at least 1 hour to completely dry out. If you are in a hurry, use paper towel to remove all moisture from it. If the okra is not dry, it will be slimy.

Using a sharp knife, cut out the bottom of each pod and make an incision (lengthwise) in the centre of the pod but not all the way through. Set the pods aside.

In a skillet ( I used my 12 inch) or a wide kadhai, lightly dry roast the besan on medium low heat till you smell a nice aroma. About 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl. Add 3 tbsp of oil to the skillet and heat it up.If using mustard oil you will need to heat it just before it starts smoking to do away the raw smell. Add the chopped onions and garlic to it and sauté for 5-7 minutes or till they start turning brownish. Reduce heat to low and add the coriander, chili, cumin powder, fennel seeds, turmeric and amchoor to the onions and sauté for another 2 minutes. Add the roasted besan and salt to taste to the skillet and mix well. Turn the heat off. Let this spice paste (masala) cool down for 8-10 minutes or till comfortable to touch.

Stuff each pod with a teaspoon or so of the masala and place them on a plate. You will have leftover masala,we will use it up. Heat up a table spoon on oil in the skillet again on very low heat and add the leftover masala to it. Add the yogurt too, sauté for a minute and so and place all the stuffed okra on the skillet. Try to place them in a single layer if possible. Gently toss them so that they are lightly covered in the yogurt.  Now on medium low heat, cover the skillet with a lid and let cook for 3-5 minutes until you see the green color getting rich and the okra becoming shiny.

Remove the lid, sprinkle the sugar and continue to cook uncovered for another 8-12 minutes or till tender and soft. You can gently toss them in between.Once they are soft,crank up the heat to high & sauté for about a minute or two.Check the salt at the end of cooking and adjust. Serve immediately with hot flatbreads.

Enjoy & Thanks for stopping by!

Green Mango & Curried Tofu Salad With Coconut Sugar- Ginger Dressing

Sinfully Spicy - Green Mago & Curried Tofu Salad With Coocnut Sugar - Ginger Dressing, VeganOnset of spring and at least once a day I could hear her say ‘Raat mein aandhi aayegi tab amiya aayengi’(When strong winds will blow at night then green mangoes will hit the market).It always left me wondering as to why would one wait for the winds and not climb up the tree to pluck the fruit? On posing the question to her,she would reply that the green mangoes which drop on their own taste the best and are the really tart.Grandmothers and their beliefs could never explain as to how the touch of fingers spoils the fruit.

Sinfully Spicy - Green Mago & Curried Tofu Salad With Coocnut Sugar - Ginger Dressing, VeganIf we had few showers in the night, I knew that her wait could be soon over. Indian summers are synonymous with mangoes – both ripe and unripe,encasing in them the same hype & excitement as berries in the western parts of world. Everyday, she would enquire our sabziwala (vegetable vendor) as to when he would bring along green mangoes.We had the same vendor for almost two decades,getting us fresh produce daily and bargaining over it with the same fervor. He knew that grandma would not settle for some cold storage fruit so he dare not, and even though he kept his false promises at bay but his assurance of  ‘tomorrow’ was as satisfactory than ever.

Sinfully Spicy - Green Mago & Curried Tofu Salad With Coocnut Sugar - Ginger Dressing, VeganFinally, when he did bring green mangoes on a particular morning, badi mummy would accommodate pickles and chutney making for a few days in her afternoon chores. There was this sweet mango pickle with fennel seeds, a sour pickle with pungent mustard oil, tiny whole mangoes pickled in sweet vinegar, a tangy green mango drink and this chutney prepared with jaggery. All summer long,we had meals with mangoes in some form or the other.

However, never in a salad form. I would lie if I told you so. If you grow up in a north indian family like mine,salads rarely make an appearance on the table.We ate a lot of vegetables and lentils but raw vegetables were limited to onions or cucumber rings sprinkled with a good measure of chaat masala & lemon to tag along the rich, spicy curries and rice. Sometime we had Kachumber but I do not remember having just the leafy greens for a meal.

Sinfully Spicy - Green Mago & Curried Tofu Salad With Coocnut Sugar - Ginger Dressing, Vegan

Sinfully Spicy - Green Mago & Curried Tofu Salad With Coocnut Sugar - Ginger Dressing, VeganIt’s a different case now and more often than not, I like to include few salads in our menu.Last week, I saw first green mangoes in our local indian store. Since  the green mangoes we get here are more sweetish-sour unlike the tart indian ones, they paired beautifully with crunchy cucumbers in this salad. I added a few batons of curried tofu to make it more filling and to keep it vegetarian, even though I think that shrimp will do much better here. This salad is loosely inspired by Thai flavors of green papaya salad which is one of favorite things.The spicy from the ginger and the sweet, smoky hints from coconut sugar along with aromatic sesame oil turn beautifully to dress that bowl up. A perfect spring or summer lunch, I must say!

Sinfully Spicy - Green Mago & Curried Tofu Salad With Coocnut Sugar - Ginger Dressing, Vegan

Sinfully Spicy - Green Mago & Curried Tofu Salad With Coocnut Sugar - Ginger Dressing, Vegan

Printable Recipe

Ingredients (Serves 2)

For the Salad :-

  • 1 medium green mango
  • 1 Cucumber
  • 2 tbsp fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp red onion slices
  • 1 Thai green chili , chopped (optional)
  • 1/4 cup peanuts, roasted & salted
  • Curried Tofu (recipe below)

Note – Green mangoes available in India could be very tart so before using taste them & try to use a mild sour variety. If not, use shredded raw papaya in this recipe.

For Curried Tofu

  • 4 oz firm tofu, cut into batons
  • 1/8 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala (adjust to taste)
  • 1 tsp oil + extra for cooking
  • Salt to taste

Note – You could use curry powder in case you do not have above powdered spices.

For the Coconut Sugar- Ginger dressing

  • 2 tsp coconut sugar (or dark brown sugar)
  • 1 tsp dark soya sauce (or use tamari)
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger paste
  • 1/4 tsp bhuna jeera (roasted cumin powder)
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp sesame oil (or use olive oil)
  • 1.5 tbsp fresh lemon juice (or to taste)
  • Salt to taste

Method :-

Make sure that the tofu is completely dry. Press between paper towel to absorb all moisture. Combine all the spices, lemon juice and salt with tofu and set aside for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, peel the mango and using your mandolin slicer, shred it into medium julienne. Also julienne the cucumber. I do not peel or seed the cucumber since the sweet persian variety I used were thin-skinned and seedless.You could take out the seeds depending on the variety of the cucumbers since the seeds could make the salad watery.

Place the shredded mango, cucumber,mint leaves, cilantro & chili in a large bowl and set aside.

Heat up a cast iron skillet or non stick pan on medium. Brush a little oil on the skillet and cook the marinated tofu for 2-3 minutes flipping on all side or till they are lightly crisp.

While the tofu is cooking, in a small bowl mix up the ingredients of the dressing.

When ready to serve, toss the salad with the dressing and place tofu batons on top. Sprinkle peanuts on top. Check the salt. Garnish with few cilantro sprigs or lemon wedges.Serve immediately.

Enjoy & Thanks for stopping by!

 

 

 

 

Gajar Kaanji – Fermented Carrot-Mustard Drink

Sinfully Spicy - Gajar Kaanji, Fermented Carrot-Mustard DrinkYou do not realize the goodness associated with certain kinds of foods (and drinks) until you are of a certain age. I say this because no matter how pretty it looked, I don’t remember enjoying a glass of kanji back then.Now that I try to debate what to eat & what not to, guiltlessly gulping down this drink with the afternoon meals is a must.My container is nearing end but I am relishing it at least once a day for now.

I am not much of a beverage person, a glass of water with a lemon wedge is my treat,even when eating out.The very fact that this fermented drink does not have a speck of sugar or other usual suspects found in beverages makes it very unique and the crisp, tart flavor is truly an acquired taste. If you are a fan of pickles & mustard, this could be a treat for you in the liquid form. I would compare it to the taste of a mellow pickling liquid but with hints of spices – all of which are all actually so so good for you.

Sinfully Spicy - Gajar Kaanji, Fermented Carrot-Mustard DrinkThere is the star spice- the small brown mustard seeds,commonly know as rai in Indiarich in omega-3 fatty acids & magnesium. Then the essential turmeric, best known for its anti inflammatory properties. Usually many don’t use it,but I add a pinch of ajwain (carom seeds) & methi dana (fenugreek seeds), both of which help in better digestion & metabolism. Additionally, fenugreek seeds help lower the blood sugars. To top it all, the sun fermentation for about a week or so further improves the nutritional value of this drink.

Sinfully Spicy - Gajar Kaanji, Fermented Carrot-Mustard Drink

Sinfully Spicy - Gajar Kaanji, Fermented Carrot-Mustard DrinkKaanji is an end of winter, spring onset drink in northern parts of India, particularly Punjab. It is usually prepared during Holi, and served as a beverage.Normally, purple/black carrots are used which are available in abundance in India during February-March spring months but if you do not get those – use any kind of carrots & put in a few slices of beets for that lovely ruby color. Many recipes add turnip slices or alma (indian gooseberries) too – just to increase the nutritional value.

Sinfully Spicy - Gajar Kaanji, Fermented Carrot-Mustard DrinkSometimes, lentil nuggets (Kaanji Vada) are dunked in this sour liquid & served as a street side snack. The fluffy nuggets absorb all that liquid and turn deliciously spongy and soft to eat. Boondi ( Crispy chickpea flour drops) are what I topped my tumbler with, however you can serve it all on its own. The fermented carrots & beets can be eaten as pickles.

Sinfully Spicy - Gajar Kaanji, Fermented Carrot-Mustard Drink

Printable Recipe

Ingredients

  • 4-5 carrots
  • 1 medium beetroot
  • 1.5 tbsp rai (small variety brown mustard seeds)
  • 1/4 tsp each ajwain (carom seeds) & methi (fenugreek seeds) (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp hing (asafoetida)
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1.5 tsp kala namak (black salt, substitute with normal salt)
  • 1/4 tsp red chili powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 6 cups water

Method

Sterlize a wide mouthed glass container large enough to contain 6 cups water with a non-reactive lid.

Thoroughly wash & peel the carrots and beetroot. Using a sharp knife, cut them into thin slices. You could cut them in rounds or batons, dosent matter, but the slices should not be very thick.

Bring water to a boil. While the water is boiling, using mortar & pestle, coarsely crush the mustard, ajwain & methi seeds. Place the sliced beet & carrots in the container. Add the crushed spices.Sprinkle turmeric, black salt & red chili powder on top.

When the water has boiled, take off the stove and let sit on counter top to cool down a bit. Add the hot water to the container and using a wooden spoon, stir the contents thoroughly. With another clean spoon, taste and adjust the salt. At this point the contents will taste bitter but all that will go away after fermentation.

Place the lid on the container and let sit in sun for 5-7 days. Stir 2-3 times a day with clean wooden spoon.Kaanji is ready when it starts tasting sour.The fermentation time will depend on sunlight in the place you live.

You can serve Kaanji at room temperature or chilled. Add boondi or dried mint leaves as garnish.

The fermented carrots & beets can be eaten as pickles. Kaanji can be stored for up to 2 weeks, refrigerated.

Enjoy & Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

 

Spiced Lamb Burgers With Garlic-Mint Yogurt

Sinfully Spicy - Spiced Lamb Burgers With Garlic Mint Yogurt MayoShould I eat it? How will it taste? Will it be okay to eat it in public? Similar to hesitations when trying anything new, I was a bit reluctant when I ate lamb first couple of times. It was a red wine stewed lamb T- bone at one of the elaborate buffets here and the husband was all over it. I could not help but stare at his enthusiasm. If I remember correctly, it was only lamb that he ate all night. Eventually I fell prey to his company and gave in. No points for guessing that I did not quite like it at first, you know how clingy we can get to childhood tastes-  firstly the lingering taste of mutton I grew up with & secondly I am not quite up for wine sauces – not yet.

Sinfully Spicy - Spiced Lamb Burgers With Garlic Mint Yogurt MayoDuring the initial years, we never really cooked it at home.I scurried through the supermarket aisles just looking at the the wide variety of cuts available but never really bought it.

However, once I did (thinking I will empty my spice box while cooking to layer ‘that’ taste),there was no going back. Lamb paired so beautifully with those cardamons & turmeric in my kitchen and as I cooked it more, adding indian flair to recipes, we slowly embraced it as a regular in our meals. Even though mutton mince ispopular back home, after eating it more and more, we have as much love for lamb dishes in our household now as poultry & seafood. Due to its easy availability, I have substituted all my keema recipes with lamb mince & there is hardly anything not to like. Equally good, equally satisfying & equally delicious is all I can say.

Sinfully Spicy - Spiced Lamb Burgers With Garlic Mint Yogurt Mayo

Sinfully Spicy - Spiced Lamb Burgers With Garlic Mint Yogurt MayoThis lamb burger is for those days when we are looking for a change & feeling lazy to cook but still want to eat at home. It is hearty. It is big, spicy and juicy. It is something which is a quick every now & then dinner for us.

I like to stuff my buns with lots of tomatoes, and with that mint laced, garlicky yogurt or whatever salad leaves at hand, however the husband keeps all that at bay. His meaty version is indulgent in itself with just the mince patty & lots & lots of onion slices and kettle chips on the side (which by the way are a must out here).

Sinfully Spicy - Spiced Lamb Burgers With Garlic Mint Yogurt MayoThe ground spices and the addition of cilantro & mint along with green chillies make these burgers so fresh tasting. You get a spike from spice in each bite and the yogurt mayo completely balances it. The fennel & nutmeg added in the mince pairs beautiful with the red mince giving it a nice warm,licorice hints.The burger tastes all the more better if you give lamb mince a chance to marinate for a couple of hours, but if you can’t its alright.

Printable Recipe

Ingredients (Makes 5-6 burgers)

  • 1 lb lamb mince (or use mutton, beef mince)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1″ ginger shoot, minced
  • 3 tbsp chopped mint leaves
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 2-3 Thai green chillies, finely chopped (adjust to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 2 cloves
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 green cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg, freshly ground
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt to taste

For the Yogurt Mayo

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1 fat garlic clove
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped mint leaves
  • 1/2 tbsp Lemon juice (or to taste)
  • Salt & pepper to taste

For assembling the burgers

  • Buns
  • Lettuce leaves
  • Sliced Onions, Tomatoes
  • Pepper Jack, Colby or any easy melting cheese

To serve alongside

Fries, Chips, Onion rings, beer, hot sauce,pickles etc

Method

In a small bowl, mix up the mayo & yogurt. Mince the garlic clove using your microplane and add the mint leaves to the yogurt. Add lemon juice, salt & pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Using your coffee grinder coarsely grind black pepper, fennel, cloves, cumin and cardamom.Set aside in the grinder itself. In a bowl, add the lamb mince. Add the garlic, ginger, mint, cilantro & green chillies. Add the ground spices over it along with nutmeg,cinnamon & olive oil.Using a fork (or your hands), lightly mix up the mince with all the herbs and spices. If you have time, you can cover the bowl with a cling film & let it sit in the fridge for 1-2 hours or else you can use it right away.

Heat up a cast iron pan. Divide the lamb mince into six equal portions.(We do not like very thick patties, so I could make 6 out of these, however if making thicker patties, divide into desired portions). Brush a tsp of oil on the pan and cook the patties on moderately high heat until well-browned on the bottom, about 4 minutes. Flip the patties and cook on the other side, about 3-4 minutes more. When cooked, add the cheese on top and cover with a lid, the cheese should melt in under a minute.  Note – We like our burgers cooked through and the times are noted for that. If you like your burgers pink in bewteen, please reduce the cooking time. These burgers grill beautifully, you can use your outdoor grill to good use for cooking these. 

While the patties are cooking, you will see the mince releasing a lot of fat and juice, soak it up by warming up the bun halves on the same pan.

Assemble the burgers by slathering the yogurt mayo on both sides of the buns,add in the onion & tomato slices, lettuce and place the cooked patties.

Serve immediately along side chips.

Enjoy & Thanks for stopping by!

Mushroom Matar – Mushroom & Peas Stirfry

Sinfully Spicy - Mushroom Matar (peas) Stirfry01

Mushrooms rarely made an appearance at meal time during my childhood years so I don’t even remember how and when I started liking them. The then winter vegetable, it was overly price and named fancy. There was this white  puffy vegetable that had hit the vegetable market and no one cared about it for a while.They say it’s a kind of fungi – could be poisonous, the rumor went viral.

I still remember how small button mushrooms were cooked with just shelled, sweet tasting winter peas(matar) & gently simmered in a tomato base. In no time we sat down to scoop the stir fry with fresh-off -the skillet triangle parathas. They were mellow, meaty and pleasantly chewy. The hints of spices, just perfect to balance the natural sweetness & adding the correct depth of flavor to offset their blandness.

Sinfully Spicy - Mushroom Matar (peas) Stirfry02

Weekday lunches are quite rushed for me, you will usually find me decking up the lunch plate from  what’s in the refrigerator.With a toddler who wants to explore every cabinet in the house and has to be constantly watched,I barely cook something elaborate for myself. On some days its lentils re- tempered & served with pickled vegetables or leftover chickpeas curry with a side of yogurt. Sometimes, I treat myself to quickest scrambled egg (bhurji) with flatbreads on the side.

Sinfully Spicy - Mushroom Matar (peas) Stirfry

Even after trying hard for years, I could never get my husband to like mushrooms.That leaves only me in the house who eats them.Sweet & spicy,this mushroom & pea stir fry is few of those things that I make just for myself for a quick lunch. You could buy pre sliced, cleaned mushrooms and make it extra fast.

Sinfully Spicy - Mushroom Matar (peas) Stirfry033

Many versions of mushroom matar use heavy cream or nut paste for a rich version or may a times water is added to make it sort of a curry but I have always liked this dryish stir fry than gravy. I really like how the tomato base coats the mushroom keeping them perfectly moist and adding hints of acidity.If you cook the tomatoes properly, they almost taste like a chunky ketchup like (if you know what I mean).

Sinfully Spicy - Mushroom Matar (peas) Stirfry04

Printable Recipe

Ingredients (Serves 2)

  • 8 oz mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup peas (fresh or frozen)
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 1/3 cup onions, finely chopped
  • 1 fat garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 large tomato, finely chopped (yield about 3/4 cup)
  • 1-2 Thai green chillies, chopped (adjust to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/4 tsp red chili powder (adjust to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp amchoor (dry mango powder, substitute with fresh lemon juice to taste)
  • salt to taste
  • pinch of sugar
  • Generous pinch of kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves, crushed between palms)
  • Chopped Cilantro – for garnish

Method

Clean the mushrooms and slice them. If using frozen peas, thaw them. Set aside.

In a pan/wok/kadhai, on high, heat up the oil to smoky point.Reduce the heat to medium & add the chopped onions & garlic. When the onions start to soften & turn lightly brown, add the chopped tomatoes, green chilies, ginger, turmeric, coriander,amchoor and red chili powder to the kadhai and turn heat to medium-low. Let the tomatoes cook down and soften, cook this masala till you see oil separating on sides. At this point turn heat to medium high & add the sliced mushrooms. Also add pinch of salt. Cook the mushrooms till the are tender. This will depend on the variety you are using. Once the mushrooms are sweaty and have shrunk in size, add the peas,adjust the salt, sprinkle the sugar and also add the kasuri methi .  Cover for 5 minutes on medium – low heat and let cook.

Garnish with chopped cilantro. You can also squirt little lemon juice/vinegar if you like. Serve immediately.

Enjoy and Thanks for stopping by!

Mava Gujiya – Pastry With Coconut & Nuts filling (Eggless)

Sinfully Spicy :Mava Gujiya, Pastry With sweet nuts & coconut filling

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Spring has hit full force here in the valley and looks like the bright sun is here to stay. A crisp, pleasant mornings is what awaits us as we get out of the bed & I feel so inspired to stay active and finish up a lot of chores by noon. A certain kind of energy engrosses me throughout the now longer days and we have also started our evening strolls to the nearby Sunset Park. Onset of spring is also apparent in the tall peach tree in our front yard and I am already spotting a couple of buds signaling that the fruit will be here in no time. I am planning to can the fruit this year,something which I missed doing last summer.

Sinfully Spicy :Mava Gujiya, Pastry With sweet nuts & coconut filling

The Indian festival of spring, Holi is round the corner and like most celebrations back home this festival is also full of food & colors(of the real kind). I prepared these coconut & mava gujiya which is categorically made during Holi in my family.It is a sorta indian empanada with a sweet filling.The eggless pastry is flaky but dense at the same time,its lightly crispy on the outside but gooey in the center from the ghee,though you can do any kind of filling but traditionally milk solids (mava) mixed with aromatic cardamom and variety of nuts are stuffed inside,making it a wholesome holiday grub.

Sinfully Spicy :Making Mava Gujiya - Sweet Pastry With coconut & nuts filling

Sinfully Spicy :Making Mava Gujiya - Sweet Pastry With coconut & nuts filling, Step-1

Sinfully Spicy :Making Mava Gujiya - Sweet Pastry With coconut & nuts filling, Step-2

Sinfully Spicy :Making Mava Gujiya - Sweet Pastry With coconut & nuts filling, Step-3

Sinfully Spicy :Making Mava Gujiya - Sweet Pastry With coconut & nuts filling, Step-4

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Sinfully Spicy :Making Mava Gujiya - Sweet Pastry With coconut & nuts filling

Sinfully Spicy :Making Mava Gujiya - Sweet Pastry With coconut & nuts filling, Step-7

Sinfully Spicy :Making Mava Gujiya - Sweet Pastry With coconut & nuts filling, ready for frying

Holi was one of the most busy time in my grandma’s house. I remember how lunch & sometimes dinner was cooked early so that the later part of the day could be spent making gujiya and other savory things.It may look like a quickie but when we are talking hundreds of such homemade pastries, it was too much work. She started the preparations a week ahead, the neighborhood and all the house help were given boxes full of these as a token of the festival and since these last for almost a weeks if stored properly, we always had lots of them left as anytime snack after the festival had winded up.

Sinfully Spicy :Mava Gujiya, Pastry With sweet nuts & coconut filling

Mava or Khoya is solidified milk, quite comparable to ricotta but less moist.It is used in making most of the indian sweets and desserts. You take one bite of the it and you discern that unique dense and milky taste. If you do not have access to indian stores , you could make your own mava at home (recipe here).The filling can be made a day ahead and once fried, these gujiya freeze very well too. Making gujiya is labor intensive so plan it on a not so busy day. Have fun & Happy Holi.

Printable Recipe

Gujiya

An eggless flaky pastry made with flour, stuffed with nuts and sweet milk solid filling and deep-fried.

Ingredients (Makes 15)

For the filling (I had about 1/2 cup leftover filling)

  • 2-3 tbsp ghee, divided
  • 1/4 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1/3 cup crushed nuts ( I used almonds & cashews)
  • 2 tbsp melon seeds, optional
  • Raisins
  • 4 oz mava/khoya, grated when cold (homemade or store-bought)
  • 1/2 tsp green cardamom powder
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

For the crust

  • 1.5 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp ghee, melted ( (homemade or store-bought)
  • 2-4 tbsp shortening, softened (In India, use Dalda)
  • 1/2 cup warm water (adjust quantity required for kneading)
  • Oil for  frying

For the glue

  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour + 1.5 tbsp water

For the syrup

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/8 tsp green cardamom powder

Method

Make the filling:-

In a heavy bottomed pan/kadhai, heat up 1 tbsp ghee on low heat. Add desiccated coconut to it and lightly toast the coconut till you smell a nice aroma. Transfer the coconut to a big bowl.Melt another tbsp of ghee and add the nuts & melon seeds(if using) to the kadhai and toast them on low heat. Transfer to the same bowl as coconut.Next, on very low heat, melt another tbsp ghee( you might not need ghee if using homemade mava) and add the grated khoya/mava to it.On very low heat, cook the mava till it loosens and starts becoming runny. You will need to continuously stir it so that it does not stick to the bottom. Once the mava starts to clump up, transfer to the same bowl.Note – If you see a lot of fat oozing out of the mava, try to skim off as much as you can.

Let all the ingredients completely cool . Once cold, add the cardamom powder & granulated sugar and combine well. Set aside or refrigerate( if you are making a day ahead).

Make the Dough for the crust:-

Sift the flour once. Mix the flour with ghee and shortening ( a tbsp at a time) and work it with your fingers. While doing so try to make a ball of the flour, if the flour clumps up and does not break when you drop it, stop adding the shortening.Mix the flour gently with warm water. Add water slowly and handle the dough gently till it comes together. Once its together, knead for 2-3 minutes and (very important) cover it with a damp cloth and set aside to rest for 30 minutes.

Make the glue :-

In a small bowl, mix up 1 tbsp flour with water. It should not be lumpy. Set aside.

Making the Gujiya

Once the dough has rested, pinch equal portions of the dough and keep them covered with a damp cloth. Press each portion between palms to make a smooth ball. Roll out each portion into a 3″ circle. Dip a finger into the glue (made earlier) and spread it all around the edge of the rolled dough. Pick up the rolled dough into your palms and pinch  the centre of the edge on one side in such a way that one of the ends is closed to form a semi circle. Spoon a tablespoon of the filling and bring all the edges together to form a crescent. When you seal the edges, try to form sort of a dough border by pressing the edges so that you can make a pattern later. Make sure the edges are completely sealed, else the filling will ooze out while frying. Note – Do not overstuff the filling else when you fry the gujiyas will puff up too much and filling will ooze out.

You could leave it as it is or use back or a fork or ravioli cutter to make a pretty edge. I used my hands to pinch the dough and fold it over itself to make a pattern. Place the gujiya on a plate & cover with a damp cloth. Make all the gujiyas in the same way and let sit covered till ready to fry.

Heat up enough oil to fry the gujiyas. The oil is at the right temperature when you put a lithe dough into it and it comes up slowly to the surface without sizzling away. Fry the gujiyas 2-3 at a time on low heat, turning all around till golden fried in color. Note – Do not rush the frying, else your gujiyas will have blisters all over and they will be brown on outside but raw in the center. 

Tranfer to the top of a cooling rack and leave to cool.

Make the Syrup :-

While the gujiyas are cooling, bring the sugar & water to a boil and let simmer for 1 minutes. Add the cardamom (or saffron) and mix well. Brush this syrup on all sides of the gujiyas while they are warm.

Serve gujiyas at room temperature with thandai (spiced milk drink).If you want to freeze,let the gujiyas cool completely and store in air tight containers.

Enjoy & Thanks for stopping by!

Happy Holi to all the readers.

Murgh (Chicken)Tikka

Sinfully Spicy - Murgh(Chicken) Tikka

Spicy, smoky and succulent – you could hardly go wrong when these define the dish you make.Bites of chicken grilled to perfection and instantly sprinkled with chaat masala for that much-needed tang and served immediately. I cannot think of a better appetizer or a side to fragrant rice pilaf. If you think healthy, skip the carbs and serve over a bed of greens and you are good to go.

Sinfully Spicy : Garlic,Chilies& Mint

When cooking chicken, I make sure not to skip the marination part – it does wonders to the otherwise plain poultry. Hours of marination in yogurt and spices not only makes the chicken morsels tender but packs them with so much flavor. I always plan leftovers because these are excellent tucked inside a wrap with some green chutney (or hot sauce), mayo and few fresh veggies.

Sinfully Spicy - Murgh(Chicken) Tikka

It would be false if I told you that I grew up eating home cooked chicken tikka. Every now and then when we had family dinners, tikkas of all sorts were ordered from a barbecue take out place near to our house. In India, home delivery is so common and free if you live in the same area as the restaurant. The tikkas came wrapped in layers of aluminum foil, still warm from the tandoor (clay oven).There used to be pink hued pickled pearl onions, lime wedges and chutney to go along the smoky bites.At times,it did not matter to transfer the contents on to a dinner plate, just spread open the foil and everybody helped themselves – a really informal way of entertaining if you may think so.

Sinfully Spicy : Spices

Tikka (meaning chunks or pieces) is an extremely popular street food back home. All kinds of marinated vegetables, paneer as well as meat and poultry are available readily for a take away or a quick mid evening snack by the road side.

However, these are not to be confused with Chicken Tikka Masala, a spicy curry from the indian subcontinent which could definitely use a tikka like these simmered in sauce. You would find a lot of recipes of making tikka in India, each using almost the same spices in varying quantities.I am sharing what I make every now and then with all kinds of herbs & an essential dollop of ghee that goes into the marinade.

Sinfully Spicy - Murgh(Chicken) Tikka

Sinfully Spicy - Murgh(Chicken) Tikka

Printable Recipe

Murgh Tikka

Morsels of chicken marinated in yogurt and fresh ground spices and then grilled to perfection. You could use the same marinade for paneer tofu or with vegetable chunks.

Ingredients (Serves 2-3)

  • 1.5 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp minced fresh ginger
  • 1/2 tsp salt

For the marinade

  • 3 tbsp thick plain yogurt
  • 1 green cardamom
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1/8 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1/2″ cinnamon stick
  • 2 cloves
  • 1/4 tsp roasted cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp kashmiri chili powder (this gives the color, not the heat)
  • 3 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 2-3 green chillies, finely chopped (adjust to tolerance)
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1 heaping tsp kasuri methi, crushed between palms(dried fenugreek leaves)
  • 1 tbsp ghee 
  • salt
  • oil for brushing the grill top/skillet

Garnishes – Chopped Cilantro or mint, lime wedges, chaat masala.

Note -

  1. You could use chicken breast too in this recipe. But I find that thighs turn out much more juicy and succulent.
  2. If you don not have all the whole spices mentioned above, trust your favorite tandoori spice powder & use it. Don’t skip the fresh herbs though.

Method

Clean and pat dry the chicken thighs. Cut them into bite size pieces. Rub with lemon juice, minced garlic & ginger,1/2 tsp salt and keep aside for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, tip in cardamom,coriander,black pepper, fenugreek, cinnamon & cloves into your coffee grinder and grind to a (not too fine) powder. Mix this powder in a bowl with yogurt,cumin powder, turmeric, chili, cilantro, green chili, kasuri methi, ghee & mint leaves. Marinate the chicken with this and keep refrigerated for at least 8 hours (overnight is best).

Take the marinated chicken out of the refrigerator 1 hour prior to cooking. Sprinkle salt to taste before ready to grill. I use my stove top grill to cook them, however you can skew them and cook over outdoor grill.These cook very well over a cast iron skillet/tava. Cook the chicken pieces to perfection flipping regularly to cook on all sides.

Serve hot along side onion rings & green chutney.

Enjoy & Thanks for stopping by!

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