Mains, Starters

Tandoori Chicken- Restaurant style 

Tandoori Chicken is a very delicious Roasted Chicken marinated in yogurt and spices. It gets its name as it is traditionally cooked in a tandoor oven. But this recipe just has the best tip to get the similar tandoor effect and taste in the chicken. A very easy recipe to cook and enjoy at home.Try it as an appetiser or as a mains. It will be just great either way.
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Ingredients: serves 2-3
1. Chicken pieces- 4 big pieces

2. Onion- 1/2

3. Ginger garlic paste- 2 tsp

4. Curd/ Plain yogurt- 2-3 tbsp

5. Lemon juice- 1 tsp

6. Kashmiri chilli powder- 2 tbsp

7. Salt to taste

8. Oil- little 

9. Butter- 2 tsp

10. Small piece of coconut shell/ charcoal

Please watch video for the method.

Mains, Side dish

Paruppu Urundai Kulambu- lentil balls in curry

Paruppu urundai kulambu is a delicious curry having lentil balls. It is a popular dish in Tamil Nadu, India. The lentil balls can be varied. In this recipe, it is made using Channa dal and black urid dal. A very healthy curry and have made use of just 1 tbsp oil making it a great option for curries when you are trying to lose weight or just being health conscious. It is protein packed and goes great with rice, roti, dosa or idli.Enjoy the recipe.

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Ingredients: makes ~ Serves 2-3
For the lentil balls (makes small 14 balls):
1.Channa dal- 3/4 cup

2. Toor dal- 1/4 cup

3. Dry red chilli- 2

4. Asafoetida- 1/4 tsp

5. Onion- 1/2

6. Fennel seeds- 1/2 tsp

7. Salt a little 
For the curry base:
1. Cooking oil- 1 tbsp

2. Mustard seeds- 1/4 tsp

3. Curry leaves- few

4. Fenugreek seeds- 1/4 tsp

5. Onions – 2

6. Tomato- 1

7. Tamarind- 1/2 lemon size

8. Water- 1-2 cups 

9. Asafoetida- pinch

10. Chilli powder- 1 tsp

11. Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp

12. Coriander powder- 1 tsp

13. Sambar powder- 1 tsp

14. Garlic – 3
Please watch video for recipe.

Mains, Side dish

Spicy Chilli chicken- Indo Chinese style

Chilli Chicken is a very popular dish in all the Chinese restaurants in India. It’s one of the best accompaniment to fried rice or noodles. It is a hot favourite at our home. Enjoy this tasty and mouth watering recipe that can be easily cooked in restaurant style!

Ingredients (serves ~2)

1. Chicken cut (boneless preferred)- 250 gms
For marinade:
a. Chilli powder- 1 tsp
b. Kashmiri chilli powder- 1 tsp
c. Coriander powder- 1 tbsp
d. Corn flour- 1 tbsp
e. Ginger garlic paste- 1 tbsp
f. Egg- 1/2

For gravy base:

a. Onion – 1
b. Green chilli- 3
c. Soy sauce-2 tbsp
d. Chilli sauce- 1 tbsp
e. Ginger- 1 tbsp
f. Corn flour- 1 tbsp
g. Kashmiri chilli powder- 1-2 tsp
h. Spring onions- to garnish
i. Capsicum- 1/4
j. Oil as required for frying and gravy

Method:

  1. Cut the chicken into small pieces.
  2. Add all the ingredients for the marinade to the chicken.
  3. Marinate for minimum 30 mins.
  4. Deep fry the chicken and set it aside.
  5. For the base gravy, first take some oil in pan.
  6. Add the onions,green chilli, ginger and stir well.
  7. Also add the soy sauce, chilli sauce, corn flour mixed in little water.
  8. Combine well. Add little Kashmiri chilli powder to enhance colour and 1/2 glass of water. Check for salt and add if required. Bring it to a thick gravy consistency.
  9. Add the fried chicken, green capsicum and spring onions.
  10. Stir well and yummy Chilli Chicken is ready.
  11. Enjoy with fried rice or noodles.

Video recipe can be found in the link below:

Mains

Vendakkai Sambar- lentils curry with ladies finger (okra)

Vendakkai (Okra) Sambar- Sambar is a household name and a very popular dish of South India. It is a lentil based curry and goes well with steamed rice, dosa, idli etc. It is super healthy and can be varied by adding different vegetables to bring different taste each time. In this recipe, Okra is the vegetable added, Vendakkai in Tamil. Enjoy the recipe!
Ingredients (Serves 4-5)
1. Okra(vendakkai) – 500 GMs

2. Toor dal – 1/2 cup

3. Fenugreek seeds- 1/2 tsp

4. Turmeric powder while cooking dal( 1/2 tsp), for sambar – 1 tsp

5. Onion 1/2 or shallots- 7 nos 

6. Tomato- 1 medium 

7. Red chilli- 1

8. Garlic- 6 

9. Curry leaves- few

10. Tamarind- small lemon size( soak in 1 cup warm water for 10 mins)

11. Chilli powder- 1 tsp

12. Coriander powder- 1 tbsp 

13. Sambar powder- 1 tbsp, Asafoetida- 1/2 tsp 

14. Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp

15. Oil and salt as required 

16. Coriander leaves- to garnish 

Please watch video for method 

General Tips and tricks

Top 3 Pressure Cooker Hacks- that you didn’t know

I must say that the Pressure cooker is one of the most useful kitchen utensils that I own. It has become an inevitable part of my every day cooking especially when it comes to cooking the traditional dals  (lentils) and meat. But recently I have been doing a lot of OPOS dishes(One pot one shot) which is a very unique style of cooking dishes. The below hacks have been inspired from that.

Here, I am sharing three hacks which will surprise how simple it is when it is done using a pressure cooker.

  1. Masala Chai – Serves 2: Ever since I discovered this, it has always been chai using the pressure cooker at my home. Easy and stressfree way!

chai

Method:

  • Pour 2 cups of milk in a Pressure cooker( used 5 litre cooker).
  • Add 3-4 tsps of loose leaf tea powder.
  • Add 1 -2 cardamom pods and optionally ginger piece.
  • Pressure cook on high for 1 whistle and switch off.
  • Let the pressure settle (around 5 mins)
  • Open lid and strain the tea using a filter.
  • Add sugar to your taste.
  • Stir well and enjoy tasty Masala Chai!

2. Boiled egg

egg

Method:

  • Place the eggs inside the pressure cooker (used 2 litre cooker)
  • Add 1.5 cups of water
  • Cover and pressure cook on high for 1 whistle
  • Remove from heat and let the pressure settle.
  • Open the lid and peel the eggs
  • Perfectly boiled eggs are ready.

3. Polish silver utensils

sil

Method:

  • Place the silver vessels inside the pressure cooker
  • Cover it with water. Make sure it does not cross 3/4th the level of the cooker.
  • Put a small ball of aluminium foil.
  • Add 1 tbsp of baking soda
  • Cover and pressure cook on high for 1 whistle and remove from heat.
  • Let pressure settle and open.
  • Remove the vessels and wipe it using a paper towel
  • Super polished silver vessels are back.

Please watch the video which shows all the 3 hacks tried and tested below to believe what I just wrote.

 

Mains, Starters

Meen Pollichathu- fish baked in a banana leaf

Meen Pollichathu is a traditional Kerala dish which is packed with flavours and a very heart warming dish. The uniqueness of this dish is that the fish is cooked with lots of spices wrapped in a banana leaf. The banana leaf renders an additional taste which elevates the overall taste of the dish to the next level. It is guaranteed to transport you to God’s own country in every bite.

Meen Pollichathu is very popular around restaurants in Kerala. I first had it when I visited Munnar (Kerala) for my honeymoon. I immediately fell in love with the gorgeous melting in the mouth texture of the fish. As soon as I got my hand on some fresh banana leaves here, I just had to make this favourite of mine.

Hope you enjoy making this at your home as well.

Meen Pollichathu

  • Servings: 1-2
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

Ingredients

  1. Fish (of your choice, used Barramundi here)- 250 gms
  2. For marinade:
    1. 1/2 tsp Chilli powder,
    2. 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, salt
  3. For masala: Onion- 2 medium Tomato- 1 Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp Oil- 2 tsp Curry leaves- few Ginger garlic paste – 1 – 2 tbsp Chilli powder- 1 tsp Coriander powder – 1 tbsp Turmeric powder- 1 tsp Desiccated coconut- 2 tbsp
  4. Big banana leaf- 1 half

Directions

1. Preparing the masala: In a pressure cooker or pan , add little oil.

2. Splutter mustard seeds, add onions , tomato, ginger garlic paste and all the spices for the masala in point 3 of Ingredients.

3. If using pressure cooker add 1 tsp water, cover and keep it on high for 1-2 whistles and remove. Release the pressure and mix the masala into a paste using the ladle.

4. If using pan, cook it all into a thick masala consistency.

5. Separately marinate the fish with little chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt for around 15 mins.

6. Pan fry with 1 tsp oil for around 2 mins on each side of the fish. Set aside.

7. Clean and wipe the banana leaf. Show the leaf over open low flame for few seconds. This will ensure that the leaf does not break or rip while folding.

8. Spread the banana leaf. Take some prepared masala paste and spread it. Place the fish on top of the masala. Again put the remaining masala paste over the top of the fish and spread it.

9. Fold in the leaf over the coated fish on all four sides.

10. Take a pan and place this wrapped banana leaf on to it. Cover with a lid and cook for 10 mins on each side.

11. The fish will get cooked well with the masala.

12. Remove the banana leaf from the pan and slowly open it.

13. Yummy and delicious Meen Pollichathu is ready to be served. Enjoy!

Also please watch the video recipe below :

Mains

Special Mutton Biryani

Biryani is a dish which is always in my weekend menu. Mutton biryani is something even more special as the frequency I make it is less compared to the usual chicken biryani. But every time I do make this mutton biryani, it turns out perfect and hence my foolproof recipe.

In the mutton biryani, we know exactly how much water needs to be added as the meat is first cooked in a pressure cooker with its marinade and little water. After that the rice is cooked along with the meat and we can be sure that the meat will not ooze out any more water and a perfect well grained biryani is ready.

I always prefer to cook mutton first unlike chicken which needs only less cooking time. And once we cook the rice with the cooked meat, we also will get a falling off the bone meat in the biryani which will be absolutely delicious. Hope you like my recipe below. Enjoy!

Special Mutton Biryani

  • Servings: 5-7
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

Ingredients

  1. Mutton (Goat meat)- 1.5 kgs
  2. Basmati rice- 2 cups
  3. Onions- 3-4 big ones
  4. Tomato- 1
  5. Oil( used sunflower oil)- 1/2 cup
  6. Mint leaves- 1 bunch
  7. Coriander leaves – 1/4 cup
  8. Cinnamon stick-1
  9. Anise seed- 1
  10. Bay leaf-1
  11. Optional: A pinch of saffron soaked in little milk/ orange food colour.
  12. Ingredients for marinade
    1. Chilli powder- 1-2 tsp
    2. Coriander powder- 2 tbsp
    3. Cumin powder- 1 tbsp
    4. Turmeric powder- 1 tbsp
    5. Biryani powder- 1-2 tbsp
    6. Plain yogurt- 3 tbsp
    7. Green chilli- 2
    8. Cardamom pods-4
    9. Clove- 2-3
    10. Ginger garlic paste- 3 tbsp
    11. Salt as required

Directions

  1. Soak the basmati rice in water for minimum 30 mins.
  2. Marinate the mutton meat: Mix all the ingredients of the marinade to the mutton and set aside for 30 mins – a couple of hours. The longer the better.
  3. Cook the marinated mutton in a pressure cooker by adding 1 cup of water. Let it whistle on high for 5-6 whistles and then simmer for around 10 mins.
  4. Lets get ready to put together the rice and meat. In a deep bottomed pan, take some oil.
  5. Fry the cut onions in it, till it turns translucent. Add a little salt while cooking the onions.
  6. Add the cinnamon stick, anise seed, bay leaf and ginger garlic paste.
  7. After a couple of minutes, add the chopped mint and coriander leaves.
  8. Also add the cooked meat.
  9. Bring it all to a boil.
  10. Then add the soaked rice into the meat. Check if the rice is completely covered with the water a little above the rice level. Add 1/2 cup of extra water to achieve it if required.
  11. Optionally add the saffron soaked milk or any orange food colouring.
  12. Cover with an aluminium foil and a tight lid so that the steam does not escape.
  13. Cook on low heat for 30 mins.
  14. After 30 minutes open the lid and check if the rice is cooked through properly. Usually it does, else you can extend the time a little further. Also all the water should have been absorbed or evaporated by then.
  15. Carefully spoon out the biryani.
  16. Delicious and tasty mutton biryani is ready. Enjoy with raita or any side of your choice.


Please also watch the video recipe I made for the Mutton Biryani below: