Monday, October 17, 2011

The Will-You-Marry-Me? Butter Chicken





If I had to state one particular recipe which has wow-ed the people I cook for the most, then I would have to say that it’s my version of Sanjeev Kapoor’s Butter Chicken. This recipe has never failed to impress anyone who has ever had it and they always keep wanting more. So much so that someone actually asked me to marry them :P So here’s my version of the recipe!


The Will-You-Marry-Me? Butter Chicken
Serves 4
Recipe from Sanjeev Kapoor with minor adjustments.

 Ingredients:
 Chicken, 1kg if using bone in, or 700 grams if using boneless

 Marinade
Juice of 1 Lemon
1 teaspoon Red Chili Powder
1 teaspoon Garam Masala Powder
2 tablespoons Ginger-Garlic Paste
1 cup Curd
2 tablespoons Mustard Oil (Or any other oil is fine too)
1 teaspoon Salt
2 tablespoons Butter

 Gravy:
50 grams Butter (5 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon Oil
Whole Garam Masala (4 cloves, 4 pods of Cardamom, an inch of Cinnamon, A bay leaf)
2 tablespoons Ginger Garlic Paste
2 chopped green chilies
2 cups/400gm Tomato Purée (I used 200gm store bought plus ground 2 large Tomatoes) 1 cup Water
1 tablespoon Red Chili Powder
1 teaspoon Garam Masala Powder
Salt to taste
2 teaspoons Sugar
½  teaspoon Fenugreek Leaves (Kasuri Methi)
1 cup Cream
More butter and some Coriander for Garnish

Method:

Let’s start off by Hanging our Curd :) Here’s how to do it. Place a thin cloth, preferably muslin, folded and then over another medium sized bowl.

Add 1 cup of curd.

Tie this up like a potli or a coin purse, the opposite ends together, and then hang it some place safe, with the bowl under it and let the curd water drip for 15 minutes. Your hung curd is ready :)

Now put his curd over your chicken along with all the other ingredients for the marinade, and mix away! I like using my hands so that the marinade gets everywhere and is coated properly. I’d like to make a note here about the Chicken, if you get boneless variety then get them cut into bite sized pieces from the butcher, else I recommend bigger pieces. I like the Chicken cooked bone in, has way better flavor, plus I am not working at a restaurant so bones are really okay!

Anyway so keep this chicken in the refrigerator for about an hour to 90 minutes. Preheat your oven to 200C/400F. Transfer the marinated Chicken to a baking dish and cover with foil, and cook for 15 minutes. Then remove the foil and cook for an additional 2 minutes.

De-boning the chicken : This is only for the people who cook the chicken bone-in and then wanna get rid of the bones. Like I wanted to. I let the chicken rest for few minutes and then removed all the flesh with a fork. Or you can just leave the chicken as it is, if you like bones. People cooking with boneless chicken need not do anything here :D But do not throw the remaining marinade from the chicken in your baking dish, we need it for the gravy! :)

Now, on to the gravy. Heat up the Oil+Butter in a deep pan on medium high. Once the butter is melted, add in the Whole Garam Masala and fry for 2 minutes.

 Then add in the Ginger Garlic paste and chopped Green Chilies. My Ginger Garlic paste looks green coz I make it at home with some coriander leaves too! Fry this for 2 more minutes.

Now add in the Tomato Purée, Red Chili Powder, Garam Masala Powder, Water and Salt. Turn the heat to low and let it simmer for 10 minutes.

Add in the Sugar and Fenugreek Leaves, and let simmer for 5 more minutes.

Then add in the Chicken pieces + Leftover marinade. Let this cook for 5 minutes.



Finish off by adding the cream, but remember to save some (2 teaspoons) for garnish beforehand.

 Mix and garnish with Coriander Leaves, A knob of butter and drizzle some cream!

Serve with Hot Roti/Naan/Paratha or even Rice! This recipe will not disappoint you, I promise.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Traveling just got easier. Get the feel of Spain with these Churros dipped in spiced Chocolate Sauce!





Gordon Ramsay.

Scared? Well he does cook awesome food! Okay fine,

Nigella Lawson.

There. I am sure it sounds much more reassuring now that it must taste amazingly divine. I try and stick to easier recipes all the time but many of those easy recipes are also lengthy and I blame that mostly on my obsession with having fresh homemade food which is the real deal. But these are so quick and easy, if you're an amateur cook looking to impress someone, or even an expert, this recipe is a sure shot winner. I usually made Gordon Ramsay's version of Churros which are equally good but these are just so much easier and they are more  crowd friendly coz they're vegetarian, but for the dipping sauce I had to pick the Gordon Ramsay Spiced Hot Chocolate Syrup, coz it was just so much better!

Churros with Spiced Chocolate Dipping Sauce.
Serves 4. Well should serve 4. But usually 2 people finish these off pretty quickly as a meal at my place.
Recipe adapted from Nigella Lawson and Gordon Ramsay TV shows.

Ingredients :

1 cup All Purpose Flour
2 cups Boiling Hot Water
A pinch of Salt
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
A dash of Olive Oil or any other neutral tasting oil. About 3 tablespoons.
Oil for frying
½ cup Sugar
1 teaspoon Cinnamon Powder

For the Spiced Hot Chocolate

100 gms Chocolate of choice, I used dark. But I recommend a mix of dark and milk chocolates.
Zest of Half an Orange
Peels of the same Orange
½ cup full cream Milk
1 dried Red Chili
2 inches Cinnamon Sticks


Method:

Mix the Flour, Baking Powder and Olive Oil in a bowl.

Add in your boiling hot water and mix.

Now, Oil your hands and then pick this hot mess and put it in the piping bag. I did not have one so I used a big sized Ziploc bad instead. Put this bag into the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes while you work on your sauce. This step is not necessary but I do it anyway to have the dough in a better shape for frying.

Heat your Oil, you don't need a lot. Just about an inch to an inch-and-a-half of Oil is enough for these babies. Fry them up till golden brown, which takes between 3 to 4 minutes. Rest them on paper towels for a couple of minutes.



In a flat plate, Mix in the Sugar with Cinnamon. Roll the ready Churros till they are roughly coated on all sides. I did not have a ridge nozzle or a piping bag to use with these, but usually Churros are ridges so the Sugar can stick in between the ridges. Mine were plain but it worked perfectly fine :)

Now on to the Sauce.

In a shallow pan, heat up all the ingredients except the Chocolate and the Zest. Cut your chocolate into pieces and place in another bowl. When the milk comes to a Simmer, turn off the flame and strain the mixture. Pour this mixture over the chocolate pieces and mix till you get an awesome chocolate syrup. Transfer to the dipping bowl and sprinkle with Zest.

I hardly think anyone would refuse to have a piece or two (or more) of these!


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Craving for Guilt Free Snacks? Papdi Chaat is the answer for you.





For anyone (and I'd bet that there aren't many) who has been following my blog since it started, would know that I get these major Food Cravings, and that they are so specific at times that it's kinda hard. This is one reason why I started cooking in the first place. Coz I at least had access to the ingredients if not the final product. Last night I was craving for this yummy snack packed with flavor that tastes so fresh and never fails to impress. My food memory with this dish is a shop named Super Sweets, where I used to have this dish almost every week. Sadly, the shop closed down but my food craving was so specific that I only wanted the Papdi Chaat from Super Sweets. So, here's my take on the famous Super Sweets Papdi Chaat.

Papdi Chaat
Serves 4-5

Ingredients :
 250 gm ready made Papdi/Puri, or you could also make it
250 gm Nylon Sev
1 Large Onion, finely chopped
2 Large Tomatoes, finely chopped
2 Large Potatoes, Boiled and roughly chopped/mashed. Sprinkle lightly with chaat masala and salt.
½ cup Boondi, soaked in water (optional)
1 cup boiled sprouts of choice (optional)
4 teaspoons Red Chili powder
4 teaspoons Roasted Cumin Powder (roast cumin seeds on a hot pan and grind them to a powder)
6 teaspoons Chaat Masala
Salt to taste
1 ½ cups Thick Yogurt
1 teaspoon Sugar
½ cup Cold Water

For the Sweet Chutney:
 8-10 de-seeded dates soaked in warm water for 30 minutes.
An inch of Tamarind soaked in warm water for 30 minutes.
2 inches of Jaggery (cut into small pieces)/4 tablespoons Sugar
1 teaspoon Oil
2 teaspoons Sugar (Omit if not using jaggery)
A pinch of Asafoetida
½ teaspoon Cumin Seeds
½ teaspoon Red Chili Powder
A pinch of Salt

 For the Green Spicy Chutney:
 2 cups Coriander (Leaves, stalk, roots et all. Just nicely wash them)
1 cup Mint leaves.
1 Small Onion, roughly cut
3 Small Green Chilies
2 tablespoons Lemon Juice
½ teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Sugar
¼ cup Water.

Note : You can buy the Green chutney and the Sweet chutney readymade from stores :) Also, for people who cannot get their hands on Papdi, I would recommend using any thin savory flaky biscuits!




Method:

For the Sweet Chutney : Grind the dates and the de seeded Tamarind with some water to make a thin paste (You could also use a tablespoon of Tamarind paste instead of the soaked Tamarind). Reserve the residual water in which the dates and the tamarind has been soaking. Strain if needed. In a small pan heat up the Oil and add the Cumin seeds, followed by the Asafoetida and the Red Chili powder. Then pour in the date and tamarind mixture, and add in the jaggery, sugar and salt. Mix till the jaggery dissolves, taste and adjust if you need any more sweetness. Let the chutney cool in the refrigerator.




For the Green Chutney : Add all ingredients to the grinder and process it well. That easy.




Assembling the Papdi Chaat: Whisk the Yogurt with the ½ cup Water and Sugar. Set aside.



In your dish, (I suggest using a dish with rims on the side or a flat bowl. You could make this in one large bowl and serve it family style or break it up in to 4-5 individual portions.) break the Papdis.




Add in your Potatoes, Onions and Tomatoes. I like extra Tomatoes! You could also add in your boiled sprouts here. I did not get my hands on them so I skipped them.




Now add in your soaked boondi, Green Chutney and Sweet Chutney, just putting them by the spoon around the whole assembly.Sprinkle some Red Chili Powder, Cumin Powder, Chaat Masala and a little Salt.




Now pour that lusciously silky Yogurt mixture over the top. Yum.




Sprinkle a nice thick layer of Sev, followed by some more sprinklins of Red Chili Powder, Cumin Powder, Chaat Masala and Salt. Garnish with Chopped Coriander and some more Chopped Tomato.




Ideally I let it sit in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes but you can dig right into it if all your ingredients are cold :) Or even if they aren’t, it’s safe to have this one right away! I made a huge second portion in a dabba which got over soon enough :|


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