Monday, January 16, 2017

Chicken soup for cold, flu and when feelin blue

Feeling cold, feeling blue and whats Not nice about a bowl of soup  for you?

This soup was a true blue, flu chaser! One pot cooker soup here with recipe-

1 cup frozen beans (pinto, lima black eyed or purple hulls)

Olive oil- 2tsp

Onion-1 chopped small

Garlic- 2 cloves minced

Ginger - 1 inch piece minced

Chicken breast - 1 1 /2 cups diced/ shredded

Cherry Tomatoes diced - 2

3 cups chicken/ vegetable stock

1/2 cup chopped cilantro (optional  or can use dried herbs/cilantro)

2 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp ground pepper

2 diced green chiles (or acc to spice level)

zuchinni - 1 small diced

Button mushrooms- 3 sliced

green onions - 3 stalks diced


Soak pinto beans overnight in cold water.

The next day drain beans, then put back into pressure cooker with sufficient water and 2 tsp. oil. Pressure cook the beans - for 2 whistles  ( any more and u get beansmush i found out :)), drain to cool.

Put the cooker back on stove and when hot, add 2tsp oil (ensure the cooker is dry please!)
Add onions and saute until onions are starting to soften. Add dried cilantro, ground cumin, and canned green chiles and saute about 2 minutes more. Then add beans, canned tomatoes, chicken & stock. Cook partially closed till chicken is cooked firm. By now all the flavors have mingled and stir in chopped cilantro or dried herb mix along with sliced green onions. This somewhat light soup is perfect flu chaser or a fall dinner with fresh bread.

Omega 3 dinner

Avacado chappati and Salmon - bell pepper burji- Thats my Omega 3 dinner..i dont like Omega 3 flavor i decided..since three Omega-3's sat on my plate in the guise of mackrel ,avacado and salmon, - i was disgusted. I cudnt stand the smell of one, the taste of the second and both the taste and smell of the third..just How was Crispus suppos'd to eat this stuff...ofcourse all this was stuffed inside chappati, egg and onions...yet i cudnt bring meself to eat the 2nd spoonful..and i was in near tears..

hungry, flab-conscious and again hungry..what was i to do??

i wish i had a cooking genie..who'd make dishes with all the Omegas and the alphas to taste good..and then I cud be perfectly happy n healthy...Instead im trying to coax my flavor overdrive tatebuds to fall in love with the awful tasting 'saayippu' omegas...why cudnt omegas have indian flavors?

Hmmm..pote...i Had to eat something to stop my rumbling stomach ennu paranju,vicharichu cheyaan thudangiyathu...ended up with avacado mashed into chappati flour and then making that salmon, mackerel bell pepper burji. Voila! There i have accomplished a piece de resistance!- All my omegas  perfectly dressed and indianized to taste ! smile, smile smile :)

Friday, June 08, 2012

Spicy chicken BBQ indian style

 Came up with recipe after trying many others and this was a hit at one of the pool side BBQs back in TX.
I hope ya'll enjoy it :)

 Ingredients: ( pls increase the qty of masala according to the qty of Chicken)

• 3 lb Chicken, cut into large pieces, skinned 
• 1/2 cup plain yogurt
• 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice or vinegar
• 1 tablespoon minced garlic or 4-5 cloves of garlic
• 1 tablespoon grated or crushed ginger or 2” piece of ginger
• 1 tablespoon Jeera powder
• 1 teaspoon Dhania powder
• 1 teaspoon chilli powder / or serrano chillies minced if u want it very hot
• ½ tsp turmeric
• 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
• 2 tablespoon Kasuri Methi
• Few Basil leaves
• 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
• 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper or 20 whole peppercorns
• 1 tablespoon Salt, or to taste
• Vegetable oil, for brushing
• 1 large onion sliced into rings to put in marinade

  •  Prick the cleaned skinned chicken all over with a fork. Then, using a sharp knife, cut gashes in the chicken to allow the pieces to get well marinated. Place the chicken in a nonreactive large, shallow dish. 
  • In a blender, blitz the yogurt, lemon juice or vinegar, garlic, ginger, cumin, ground coriander, chilli powder, turmeric cardamom, kasuri methi, basil, cloves, black pepper and salt. 
  • Then pour the mixture over the chicken and rub it in well into the chicken, turning it several times.  Put the Onion slices in the marinade with the chicken. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight. 
  • Remove the chicken from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before cooking.

 BBQ method:
On the Charcoal grill, prepare the fire for direct-heat cooking about 1 1/2 hours before u are ready to cook so that white ash forms over the coals, then the coals are at its hottest.
Position the grill rack approx 5 inches from the fire.
Remove the chicken from the marinade, pressing lightly to remove excess marinade, and brush with oil.
Place the chicken pieces on a well-oiled grill rack and grill, covered, with the vents open.
Do Not turn for the first 10mins.
Then Baste with marinade the other side and cook 10 mins. Cook, turning 3 or 4 times basting with marinade or ghee every 10 minutes. Continue until meat is cooked approx 45 minutes or until the juices run clear when a piece is pierced near the bone with a knife. 

Serve with sliced onions, lemon, cucumber and a salad with fruits. Njoy! 

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Asparagus Saadam/Rice

So What is different about this rice from just a thoran-rice? Well, the flavor for one and when you try it, you too will not say this is thoran rice :)


  • Cooked & cooled Basmati Rice - 2 plates ( Pls dont use mushy or overcooked rice)
  • Asparagus- 1 lb chopped into rounds (discard the fibrous bottom part of the stem)
  • Thai green chillies - 2 medium slit
  • Garlic- 1-2 large cloves minced
  • Red Onion - 1/2 medium diced small
  • Cumin/Jeera - 1 1/2 Tbsp
  • Almonds/ Walnuts - 10 diced
  • Turmeric- 1/4 tsp
  • Salt - as needed
  • Water- 2 Tbsp
  • Olive oil - 2 Tbsp

Once you have the rice cooled and have 2 plates of it ready, then
  • In a non stick saucepan, heat up 1 Tbsp olive oil and splutter Cumin seeds for about 10 secs. Add the diced almonds and stir it about till the almonds turn slightly golden.
  • Nest, add the minced garlic and the slit green chillies- saute it till the garlic is beginning to turn golden, the chillies will look almost crisped - Then add in the finely diced Onion and saute it well.
  • Once onion is sauteed, add the chopped asparagus along with turmeric and salt.
  • Next, sprinkle 2 Tbsp water, close with a tight lid and cook it through- approx 5-7 minutes. Asparagus cooks really fast and can turn mushy if unattended. The vegetable must retain a bite to it. Check for salt and the asparagus must be cooked just done - remove from heat. There will be a bit of water at the bottom of the pan, its okay - we will use it with the rice.
  • Using a wide saute pan that can hold the rice, heat up 1 Tbsp Olive oil - and splutter 1/2 Tbsp Cumin and when it turns golden, sprinkle some salt and stir it about and immediately add in the cooled rice in batches...mix it up well.
  • Lower heat and move the rice to the sides; Add the cooked asparagus (with any remaining water) and fold in the rice gently. Turn off the flame after 1 minute.
Enjoy the rice with any non-veg side dish. My pic is with a side dish of fish masala.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Butter Chicken masala without Butter

Yep, this is Butter Chicken masala without butter or cashew - this is the alternate Butter chicken masala recipe that i kinda worked around to suit our family's health specifics -

  • Chicken breast cubed - 3/4 kg
  • Almonds - 8 or 10 powdered and mixed with 1 Tbsp milk
  • Onions - 2 medium sized diced
  • Tomato paste - 1Tbsp or more to suit your family's luv of tomatoey taste ;)
  • Kasoori Methi (dry methi lvs)- 1 Tbsp ( plus a little for garnishing in the end)
  • Thick Yogurt - Tbsp
  • Coriander leaves- a handful chopped
  • Salt - as needed
  • Oil- 2Tbsp
  • (I use thick coconut cream as a substitute for the yogurt and milk for my dairy allergic diet)
Grind Masala
  • Ginger - Garlic paste - 11/2 Tsp each
  • Paprika - 1 Tbsp
  • Cinnamon stick 1 inch - 2 pieces
  • Cloves- 3 - 4
  • Cardamom -2
  • Jeera- 1 tsp
  • Coriander powder - 1 Tbsp
  • Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
  • pepper powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Chilli powder - 1 tsp
  1. Grind the Masala ingredients together with minimum water and keep aside
  2. Heat 2Tbsp oil in a non stick pan that will hold the chicken and when the oil is hot, sautee Onion diced till it turns translucent.
  3. Add ground masala, sufficient salt and fry till oil separates. Add in the tomato paste and mix well to incorporate the spices.
  4. Add chicken breast cubes and dried methi leaves - mixing it well with the masala. Add water only to keep it from drying out. Close the pan with lid and cook in medium heat with very little water ( Dont add water if chicken lets out water). Cook until the chicken is tender. Pls do a taste test and adjust the salt or heat level by adding in more pepper powder if need be. There should not be too much gravy.
  5. Once chicken is cooked, add in the powdered almond mixed with 1Tbsp milk and coriander leaves, mixing it well into the masala and close lid to incorporate the flavors. approx 5 - 8 minutes.
  6. Once the masala has cooled a bit, mix in a tablespoon of thick yogurt and garnish with the reserved dried methi leaves and coriander leaves.
Psst... to make work a whole lot easier, I double or triple the masala and store it for later. That way I need to add in the other ingredients only, saving precious time while cooking.

Now the No Butter chicken masala is ready to be served with chappati, roti, Naan, paratha or even jeera rice/pulao.

Banana Cake

I luv cakes, I hate bananas and when I first heard banana cake, I was reluctant to try it...images of yellow banana in a cake just did not seem tasty to me ....Until my first bite of banana cake here in the US. Today my easiest cake is the banana cake and when I told my sister to try making banana cake...she thought the same thing about the cake ..."will it be nice?" bananas and cake?"
I got off the phone just now to post this pronto coz after hearing me out, my darling chechy and niece are gonna try this and asked me to post it ... So here's my tried and tested Banana cake recipe for you chech & molu...

  • 3 overripe yellow banana
  • 2 cups Maida or Cake flour
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp Baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup softened unsalted butter - room temperature( not melted)
  • 2 large Eggs
  • 1tsp- Cardamom powder,
  • a pinch of Cinnamon powder, Nutmeg powder
  • 1/2 cup of chopped nuts- (almonds and walnuts mix i use.)

  1. Mash all the bananas, its ok to have some tiney lumps - keep aside.
  2. Sift all the dry powders together and keep in a bowl
  3. Cream butter and sugar till fluffy with a electric beater
  4. Adding 1 egg at a time, beat well and then add the mashed banana
  5. With a whisk, just stir in, or mix the banana mash (do not overbeat ) and then add the sifted flour.
  6. Mix in everything getntly - it will look a little lumpy - just gently mix in / fold it.
  7. Meanwhile start the oven to preheat it to 180 degree C (350 degree F). Once this is done you can -
  8. Add the chopped nuts and again fold it into the batter.. ensure that you dont overmix the whole batter.
  9. Grease a Cake tin ( 9 x3x 5) or any size that will have the batter come up till half way. (I notice that if the cake batter is filled in more than halfway up the cake tin, the cake doesnt have enough space to rise while baking)
  10. Bake in Preheated oven at 180 degree C (350 degree F) for 1 hour.
  11. Check for doneness after one hour - Insert a clean toothpick in the center of the cake, and if it comes out clean, the cake is done.
Take off from oven and cool the cake before you turn it over or eat it. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Karappinu eazhu azhaga

"Karappinu eazhu azhaga"

Crispus: "aano pappa? adhyathe azhagu edhaa? pls paranje pappa, pls pls!"

'surprised' Pappa: endhaa?

Crispus: "Pappa paranjille...karappine eazhu azhagaa ennu, so pappa 1, 2, 3,4,5,6,7, azhagugalum eniku paranju tharenam...ippo enikku 1st aadhyathe azhagu paranju thaa pappa!"

laughing aloud, a nearly cornered Pappa: "edee mole, karappinu aezhu azhagaa, onnum randum onnum illaa"

Truly concerned and now feeling -'let down' Crispus: Pls pappa adhyathe maathram paranjaal madhi, pinne ulla 6 azhagum njaan guess cheytholaam"...

Pappa 'given up' "Sulll" : "aaa, eniku adhyathethu ariyathilla..enikku urakkam varunnu!"

Ennu paranju Pappa immediately saught sharanam in uncalled for sleep right away with the appropriate snore...

the point was crystal clear to Crispus - Pappa KNEW it surely and wudnt tell her..

hmm maybe mummy might know... It sure would make Crispus happy to know she had aezhu azhagu...cant wait to find out what they were in the first place tho!

So off Crispus went to mummy..leaving behind a snoring pappa who perforce had to seek refuge from further probing knowledge enlightening questions from Crispus.

He smiled to himself thinking how mummy was to be Crispus' next victim...

Fast Fww... 76 yrs old now and pappa is yet to tell Crispus what 'aezhu azhagu' is or are...and Crispus still suspects...Pappa knows surely..

Psst..Any chance would u know Karappinu Aezhu Azhagu edhaa ennu?
If u do..pls adhyathe azhagu onnu paranju tharamo?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Meatballs - for babies Big and small :)

Meatballs - Something to feed my toddler that was healthy and had meat, veggies and egg ..i researched and read and looked and asked and .....etc..etc
Finally i decided Meatballs are the best and I read somewhere in an organic cookbook that turkey was good for babies..and for the big babies too - heart healthy i heard..
but I and hubby Hated Turkey in any form..
so the meatball was meant Only for my son- so i decided to add fruit and veggies..and came up with my version and you MUST read the end result ... ;)

Recipe is here....

Ground Turkey- 1 lb
Apple - 1/4 minced
Button Mushrooms- 1/4 cup minced
Small Onion- 3/4 minced
Ginger, garlic minced - 2 Tbsp
Green chillies - 3 minced ( or how muchever hot u want it)
Salt - to taste
Pepper - to taste
Chicken Masala powder- 1 Tbsp
Lime juice- 1/2 a lime squeezed
Kasoori Methi (dried Fenugreek leaves) - 1 1/2 Tbsp
Egg - 1
Cilantro - 2 or 3 Tbsp minced
Bread Crumbs - 1/4 cup ( or enough to bind all this together)

Preheat oven to 400F.

  • Mince all the ingredients that call to be minced in a small processor so that there wont be any lumps that will stick out of the meatballs while forming it.
  • Mix all the above very well by hand in a deep bowl till all the masalas are well combined with the ground meat and form small balls approx 1'' size.
  • Spray a Cookie sheet with oil and place the balls in a single layer on the sprayed sheet.
  • Spray the balls once again with the oil and bake them at 400F for 20- 25 minutes.
  • Ocassionally stir the balls around to get them evenly browned and at the end of 20 or 25 minutes they will be cooked through.
  • If u want this done faster- preheat oven at 500F or set the broiler on and bake the meatballs for only 15 minutes.
  • Do check for doneness..

Mine came out so Un-turkey tasting that me and hubby fell in love with it...all that turkey taste was masked - the mushrooms and apples and kasoori methi made all the diff i guess!

I made with 3/4 lb ground meat and got 33 meatballs.

the leftovers turned out into Kofta curry and a new creation- Kofta-Andaa Biriyani..

Ps..If u try this, Pls do let me know how it came out.
Bon Appetit!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Jeera Vegetable Pulao

Ellarum Blogging, enikkum bloggenam :(
but there was something quite not practical about blogging recipes, ende cooking ellam is on a 'moi chef par excellence' everything had to look 'expert' like to me..who else alle?
ingredients eyeball, the color and aroma of the dish..literally eyeball :))
so an attempt at my nearly exact measurement recipe..starting with ende priyapetta Kochayn's Jeera-Vegetable Pulao.
The Pulao is jeera flavor dominant so i put this name..vere nalla creative names onnum thalayil illa...

Jeera -Vegetable Pulao

Basmati rice – 3 cups
Red Onions julienned (thinly sliced) – 2 big ones
Almonds- 20-30
Bayleaves- 4
Cinnamon sticks 2”- 4
Cardamon crushed – 6 -7
Cloves - 8 or 10
Jeera (Cumin) – 2 Tbsp
Slit Green Chillies – 8 or 9 ( or how much spicy u want the masala)
Ghee/Butter /& Vegetable oil- 3 Tbsp + 1/12 Tbsp
Ginger Paste, Garlic paste – 2 ½ Tbsp
Mixed Veggies- 2 – 21/2 cups ( I use frozen carrots & peas only )
½ lemon juice, or more to suit taste.
Salt to taste


Rice- Cook rice in double quantity water until just done – The rice should NOT be mushy or too well cooked. Spread out the rice to cool in a tray/plates- (pls ensure rice grains aren’t sticky for a pulao)

Heat a big nonstick- Deep skillet/ saucepan (that will hold all the rice later on) with ghee/butter – 2tbsp and 1 ½ Tbsp oil. When hot, ( med –high heat).
Add Bay leaves, Cinnamon sticks, Cardamom, Cloves, Jeera and sauté, stir a few seconds.Then add Almonds, Slit green chillies and sauté few 3 minutes.

Add sliced Onions and sprinkle a dash of salt. Sautee till onion is translucent and starting to turn golden color. Adjust oil accordingly to ensure that nothing sticks to the bottom of pan. Stir often.

Add Ginger paste and Garlic paste and sauté until raw smell goes and all the masalas are mixed well and then add the Mixed Veggies and stir it well to combine the veggies n masala. Add salt and 2 Tbsp water and give a good stir. Close lid and let the veggies cook- around 5 minutes on MED Heat - check to see if veggies are done.

Reduce Heat to Med-Low. Squeeze ½ lemon juice (or more) over the veggies masala and add salt. Check Taste- and adj the flavors accordingly.
(The whole masala should be on the saltier side since we will be adding all the rice and the flavor needs to come through. Masala at this stage will be semi thick- not dry. If masala looks dried out, add a dash of water and mix again – but Not watery masala)

Add the cooled rice little by little and gently fold the masala into the rice until it’s all well coated and Pls ensure the rice grains do not break or squished. Add a small pat of ghee/ butter on top and slightly stir.

Close Lid tightly and turn off flame and let it sit on the heat for 5 minutes when the rice will be perfectly done in its own heat. After 5 minutes, open lid and fluff rice with a fork. Ready to serve with any nonveg or veggie side dish.