Me & Kulsum always joke & tell each other that we are long-lost sisters, sisters who have never met or knew each other before our food blogs happened. We took off around a similar time frame in the blogging world and have been in touch for almost 2 years now. Sharing an unadulterated love for all things Indian – food, spices, culture & lifestyle, whenever we communicate via twitter or mails or comments, mostly, we end up saying “oh..I was thinking the same way too” :)..It’s like you read my mind & speak my heart! These are the reasons I adore blogging. You touch people & they form a beautiful part of your life.
Ingredients (Serves 3-4)
Marinate for 20 minutes:-
2 lb/ 1 kg chicken drumsticks or thigh portions, skinned (use any dark meat portions, bone in pieces recommended)
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp salt
Spices to be Dry Roasted :-
1.5 tsp white poppy seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
2 tsp coriander seeds
1.5 tsp cumin seeds
10-12 dry red chilies (adjust to tolerance)
4 whole green cardamom
1/2 cup fresh grated coconut
Water for grinding (about 1/4 cup)
For the Sauce:-
4 tbsp mustard/canola/vegetable oil
1/2 cup sambhar onions, chopped
2″ cinnamon stick
2 star anise
2 tbsp each grated fresh ginger & garlic
8-10 curry leaves (available at indian stores)
1.5 tsp red chili powder (adjust to tolerance)
1.5 tsp turmeric powder
1 cup tomatoes, chopped
3-5 Thai green chilies, chopped fine (adjust to tolerance)
Salt to taste
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice (adjust to taste)
Fresh grated coconut (for garnish)
Chopped cilantro / curry leaves ( for garnish)
Sambhar Onions can be substituted with shallots or equivalent quantity of chopped red onions.
Fresh coconut can be substituted with unsweetened grated coconut.
In a medium saucepan, first dry toast all the spices except fresh coconut for 2 minutes on low heat till you smell the aroma.
Next, add the grated coconut to the pan and toast till the coconut starts to change color lightly and drying out. About 8-10 minutes.
Once done, remove pan from heat & allow cooling. Grind the cooled spices & coconut to a paste using 1/4 cup of water or as required for grinding. The paste doesn’t have to be silky smooth. Set aside.
In a heavy bottomed pot, heat the oil on medium till it starts to smoke lightly. Add, chopped onions and cook with regular stirring till they are translucent but not browned. About 5-7 minutes.
Next, add the cinnamon stick & star anise and cook for 18-20 seconds till you smell the aroma of whole spices.
Add in the grated ginger and garlic, curry leaves & ground spice paste and red chili & turmeric powder. Cook for 2 minutes.
Next, reduce heat to low, add the chopped tomatoes, mix in & cook uncovered for at least 12-15 minutes with regular stirring till oil starts separating on sides of the pot.
Add in the marinated chicken & chopped green chilies next, mix, check the salt & adjust, increase heat to high and let cook for 3 minutes. Next, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot & let the chicken cook with the spices & its own juices for 12-15 minutes or till tender (This cooking time will depend on size of your chicken pieces)
Uncover the pot, check if the chicken pieces are tender else cook for another 2-3 minutes. Once chicken pieces are cooked, turn off the heat, add the lemon juice to liking, cover & let sit covered till ready to serve.
When ready to serve, garnish with chopped cilantro/ curry leaves/fresh coconut.Serve with warm rice.
For someone like me who is not a big fan of chocolate,baking with fruits is one of the most favorite things.It gives a perfect opportunity to experiment recipes with fruits & relish the results.Baking with fruits always overwhelms me, the way the flesh, natural oils and sweetness transform inside the oven is intriguing.Take for example an apple, the texture before and after baking is completely different and good in its own way..while the fresh one is juicy & crunchy, baked is dense & succulent.
Me and P adore fruits & try to include them as much as possible meals.With temperatures already soaring in Vegas,fruit based recipes are absolutely delightful.I saw really gorgeous stone fruits at the grocery store a week back.There is something about pink/plum/red colors – they catch my eye from far away and seem to call my name.I rushed towards them.There lay boxes of fleshy,bright-colored peaches, nectarines & apricots in front of my eyes,each trying to catch my attention.Helpless at being able to choose, I bought all of them – all in the name of health foods! Gnawing my teeth into fleshy stone fruit is super exciting.The rush of juices between the teeth & the texture from the flesh add a refreshing dimension to my dull, lazy days.Eating fruits heals me psychologically, it’s comforting to feel the intake of antioxidants the most natural way possible.
Our tastes in fruits match to the extent that we LOVE them but differ in the kind of fruit.While he is a tropical fruit fiend, I swear by berries & stone fruits.The moment,I picked up the first apricot,Oh what a pink blushing beauty it was outside.I pitted it knew that I had to make something to showcase inside-oozing with juices, accurately tart & with golden-colored flesh, just waiting to be baked!
Started my google search and found this perfect recipe from Good houseKeeping of an apricot cornmeal upside down cake.It has very less quantity of oil.And one of my favorite ingredients to bake with – buttermilk! I was slightly apprehensive because I had never baked with cornmeal what if we don’t like the taste or it doesnt rise much or is dry? It was painful to think about a 8″ cake making its way into the bin.But then, unless I took a leap, I would not have discovered the delight of baking with cornmeal.We totally loved it.It was moist, perfectly sweet & very homey looking.The slight tang from the buttermilk complemented the sweetish tartness of apricots very well.A perfect cake for summertime get togethers. Below goes the recipe:-