March 31, 2013

Green Chilli Dry Chicken

Aw you Blog on Food!!!! Then you must know everything about Food… 
This has become a common attitude towards the Food Bloggers, came to my notice recently.  You all must be thinking why I have raised this topic. There is of course a reason behind it. Food bloggers I think you will agree with me, every day we receive many queries regarding food. Some queries tune pleasant some totally not -how to cook a dish, a recipe of a particular dish, to solve a food related problem etc. And if sometime we cannot satisfy a query then we are standing on the edge of criticism that a food blogger failed to answer.  Today let me clear something to my readers (read non bloggers). I will extend my discussion through a question answer session:

1. What is a Blog?
Precisely: A blog is "a Web site on which an individual or group of users record opinions, information, etc. on a regular basis.”It can be personal or professional.

2. Who can Blog?
Anyone can blog on any subject. Blogging is the paradigm of one's creative mind and creative outlook.

3. Why do we blog?
If one asks each blogger this question I think the most common answer will be -"I started suddenly to play with my thoughts and now it has become the passion." Most of the bloggers didn't start a blog in planned way. They wanted to get a "Me time" and blogging is the reflection of their 'Me time'. Their thoughts, their interaction with the world, their daily experiences, their originative ideas, everything reflects in the blogs what they feel is worth to share. And being a Food Blogger we are not the goddess of the culinary world. The main reason we blog because we love to cook and spend some time sharing this with the world in a little bit creative way. What we cook in our everyday life we share and present it in a decent way to the world. Don't think it's just a minute’s job to click a picture, write an introduction, the recipe and post it. It was never so easy and not yet now. Rather day by day it has become more challenging to rectify our flaws, enhance our knowledge and bring the utmost perfection to our creations.

When I started blogging, I never thought to be channelized to the world of food blogging. The blogging journey started narrating down my thoughts, sometimes what I cooked for my family etc. I was then all alone, crazily waiting for a follower, for a comment.  I was then a very poor photographer, not have a single idea of what food styling is actually called and food photography. Still now I am just a novice. But one thing to assure that I have improved a lot. And this journey was never so easy. We Food bloggers are very much dedicated to our works. And we strain out the time from our daily busy life in food styling and Food photography which is always not tad easy. The set up for food photography, collecting the props, arranging them, to find a proper light to click and again to clean up the place like something never happened before. Then we have to edit the snaps, write and post it. Initially we used to blog for our pleasure and fun. But now it has become a quintessential part of our life. We blog for our readers who keep on expecting what we come up with next. And at the same time we cherish our "Me time" here, inhale the pride of our own creative world.

4. What are the differences between a food blogger and non food blogger?
Now those who are not blogging aren't they a good cook. This notion is absolutely wrong. Our grandmother, mother they never blog on food. But most of our recipes passed to us through them only. What we learn from them reflect here. Even every day we are learning and sharing that through our blogs. We never declare that we are the perfect cook because we blog. Rather we blog to share what we learned. And we are learning this sometimes from our fellow bloggers and sometimes from the exotic cooks who shares their neighborhood with us. Even I have learnt so many recipes from my cook maid too. So let me clear as Chef Gusto (From the movie Ratatouille) has said:"Anyone can cook", yes any one can and at the same time anyone can blog too. The only thing is you have to spend few extra hours for you only and to become well versed to pen down on what you want to share with the world. I would like to encourage non food bloggers to blog and share your potentiality with the world.

5. Why are we so proud on our blogs?
Now do I need to explain this anymore? Yes, we are very much proud of our blog. Because apart from showing off our talents we mainly blog to relax our brain and mind. Criticism is always welcome; because if you readers never point us about our flaws we will never gain our knowledge and improve ourselves. But before criticising please review your points too. As I have told, don't expect us that we Food Bloggers are the Encyclopedia of the Foodie world. We share what we have learned and you can always generate our knowledge my your valuable comments. Writers and readers are the true friends and incomplete without each other. And we always value and respect our readers' comments and criticism. But at the same time criticism from the dullards are never acceptable.

Now let me move to the recipe Green Chilli Dry Chicken. This recipe is shared by my very good friends. I have twisted a bit and cooked it in my own way. Yesterday the man made this chicken again but he made his own way. He pasted all the Masala (Onion, garlic, ginger, onion, tomatoes, capsicum, seeded green chilli, turmeric powder, Cumin powder and coriander powder) together, mixed the paste with the chicken (with bone) and cooked it in a low flame till it dried up and cooked well. And it tasted awesome. Cooking is an art and based on one recipe you can customise it in so many ways. And this is a perfect example what we bloggers do generally. We customise a dish based on a recipe; cook it in our own way and blog on it. Many of you non-bloggers also do the same thing I think. We do just an extra job by blogging it.  So now moving to my recipe:

Ingredients:
Chicken- 300gm (I used boneless, cut in cubes)
Capsicum- 1 large
Seeded Green Chilies- as much as you can (Depends on the chilli intake)
Ginger- 1 table spoon (Grated)
Garlic- 5-6 cloves
Onion- 1 large (sliced)
Mushroom- 7-8 Florets.
Lemon juice- 1 table spoon
Vinegar- 1 tspn
Salt & Sugar as per taste. 

Method:
  1. Grind the capsicum, green chillies, Garlic and ginger in a smooth paste. Then marinate the chicken with the chilli paste , vinegar , lemon juice and salt for an hour or so.
  2. Heat oil and add the sliced onion. When it turns semi brown add the chicken and keep on frying in low flame. When the chicken is half done add the mushroom. And the fry until the chicken is done on a high flame.
  3. Your Green Chilli Dry Chicken is ready. Serve hot with rice or roti. Even it will be great combo with noodles too.


Note:
  1. I have given it a little bit Chinese look by adding less chillies adding  no masalas and by adding mushrooms. Actually this can be cooked in the indianised form too by adding masalas like Turmeric, coriander, cumin powder and using onion paste as I mentioned above.
  2. To get the recipes on indianised Green Chilli Chicken click HERE and HERE.



March 28, 2013

Yoghurt Chicken


This story is not new to my FB friends as I have already posted it in my status yesterday. I want to share the story here too with my readers who do not read it yet. Yesterday I faced a terrible incident in my life this is what I am sharing with you all. Here it goes:

A severe road disaster was about to happen and I was found guilty...

Every Incident does give us a proper lesson and forced to take the oath to never do it again. And I do believe: behind every incident there is a cause and effect.

I parked my car in the parking lot, opened the door and heard a THUD!!! No need to say that it came right the side of me and my vehicle door barged into something. Its nothing but a biker who fell off the bike with his lil kiddo and wife. Nonplussed me rushed to them, helped them to stand and apologized taking my whole heart out. Thanks to God that they were found without any injuries and the little child too. In between a group gathered around us and some of them take the initiation to rise up the voice against the guilty. But my truth and taking all the charges on me that yes I was the guilty (ignoring another truth of the speeding biker in a parking lot) and of Course for the very good family who forgiven me with a smile, I was again sitting here at my home unharmed and the family too. UNHARMED did I use the term??? No I am not. I was still in the trauma with the thought what would happen if a vehicle was speeding next and blah blah blah...God bless the family and the little child. I am so very sorry what I did today.

SO LESSON LEARNT: NEVER OPEN THE VEHICLE DOOR WITHOUT ACKNOWLEDGING YOUR SURROUNDINGS.


Now off to the dish. This Yoghurt Chicken or in Bengali Doi Mangsho is very quick and easy to make. It needs very less oil and tastes very good. One can have this with anything as by nature it is a delectable side dish to pair with roti/ rice/Pulao or fried rice. So here goes the recipe:

Ingredients:
Chicken with bone: 500-600 gm
Yoghurt- 1/2 cup
Red Chilli Powder: 1/2 tsp
Onion- 1 large (roughly chopped)
Ginger- 1 table spoon/ 1/2" (chopped)
Garlic- 1 table spoon/ 4-5 cloves (chopped)
Cashew- 6-7
Whole Garam Masala- 1-2 (Cloves, Cardamom, Cinnamon)
Oil- 2+2 tbspn
Salt as per taste

Method:
  1. To cook this dish you need two pans/ Kadai.
  2. Marinate the chicken with yoghurt, red chilli powder and salt for 15-20 mnts.
  3. Take one Kadai/ pan and heat 2 tbspn oil in it. Add Garam Masala and then the chicken. In a low flame let the chicken cook with a lid covered on it and in interval keep on stirring it.
  4. Take another Kadai/Pan and heat the remaining oil. Add the onione, ginger and garlic and fry till they turn brown.  Add the cashew and fry more couple of minutes more. Take off the stove and cool it.
  5. Now grind the onion mixture in to fine paste and pour it in the chicken. Cook altogether nicely until the gravy becomes semi thick and the chicken is well cooked. Taste if salt is need. You can a bit sugar too if you think.
  6. Serve hot with roti or rice.

Note:
  1. To cook the dish fast the chicken and the onion can be done together on different burners. The chicken tends to be cooked till you are ready with the onion paste.
  2. Don't over cook the onion then it will look like the above picture.

March 27, 2013

Doi Maach

I was in wonder when one of my friends asked for the Doi Maach recipe and I didn't find it in my blog. Being a Bengali Food Blogger if I have not posted on Doi Maach that will be an utter shame for me. For the true blue Bengalis Doi Maach or Fish cooked in yoghurt sauce is one of the most famous Bengali fish curries that can be served at any occasion. Say it a Marriage ceremony or some special occasion at home or just a lazy afternoon lunch the Doi Maach on the plate in enough to cheer one up. Doi Maach is also considered as one of the traditional Bengali fish dishes. I don't know from where it originally derived or what the authentic recipe to cook Doi Maach is. But what I have learnt from my Grandmother and mother hold the true genuineness to me. It is quite easy to cook and taste wise it will never fail you if you cooked it properly. The main key to make the dish successful is to keep the balance between the sweetness and the tanginess of the dish. Therefore if you’re a cooking this dish for the first time then start with adding less yoghurt than the given measurement.

At my home Doi Maach is always welcome whenever I enter in the kitchen and I have to cook a fish dish. The Family's first request will be to cook Doi Maach. So on this auspicious day of Holi, I cooked Doi Maach and Sweet Polao/Pulav (another Bengali traditional rice dish, get the recipe HERE). The exotic way Doi Maach pairs with Polao, it doesn't gibe with any other dish. Till yesterday my daughter was never a Polao lover. So every time whenever I cooked polao, I had to cook white rice separately for her. Today I thought of making the white rice then didn't give the thought any chance. And to my wonder the lil one liked it so much that she demanded again to cook at night for dinner. She is always a Doi Maach lover. So I know when Doi Maach is served she doesn't need anything else. But I was quite in dilemma whether, like the past, this time too she is going too reject the Polao. But no, she loved it and she awarded me as the best cook of the world. What was the Man's feedback I totally forgot to ask as I had gone entirely out of the world tapping my feet with the happy dance that my lil one liked it so much. 

I can still remember when I first returned from USA, the first six months were the most awful time for me. My lil one used to reject every bite of her food. And I used spent my whole day making the dishes what would enrich her taste bud. But yes patience always shines bright. Now she is the one who decides the menu and loves to savour new dishes. So the recent scenario is like this, when I cook a dish If the lil one approves it I find that I get the true reward.
Now let’s move to the recipe:

Ingredients:
Rohu/rui Fish - 6 blocks (medium)(can use Katla too)
Onion paste -out of 1 large
Yoghurt/curd- 3 table spoons
Turmeric Powder:  2/3 tspn and more
Cumin Powder:  2/3 tspn
Coriander Powder:  2/3 tspn
Red Chili Powder:  1/3 tspn
Whole Garam Masala- 1-2 (Cloves, Cardamom, Cinnamon)
Ginger Paste- 1 tspn
Sugar- 2 tspn or more (aprx)
Salt - as per taste
Potato- 1 medium (optional)
Mustard oil- Enough to fry the fish blocks.
Ghee- A drop or so
Method:
  1. Heat oil in a Kadai/ deep dense pan. Take enough oil so that you can fry the fish. Add a little bit of turmeric powder and salt to fish. Put evenly all over them. Let the oil start to leave the smoke. Add the fish 2 at a time (If the pan is big enough then add according to the space limit) and fry till they turn semi brown. Drain the excess oil and reserve.
  1. Take a bowl. Add the yoghurt and all the dry ingredients (Turmeric, cumin, coriander, red chili powder, ginger paste, salt and sugar). Mix it very well so that no lump is visible.
  1. Take out the excess oil from the Kadai/pan, leaving behind approximately 2-3 tbspns of oil. Heat the oil and add the garam masala.  When it will start to splatter add the onion paste.  Keep the onion fry till it gets a brown colour and starts to separate oil. Add the yoghurt mixture.  Keep on stirring unless the juice is totally dry up and we get a thick mixture. Add 1- 1 1/2 cups of water. Stir nicely. Let the water gets boil add the fish. Taste the gravy. If salt is needed add salt. If it tastes too tangy then ad sugar. The taste would be a proper balance of sweet and tangy. Don't dry up much because the fish tends to soak the juice after the dish cools down. Add ghee and serve hot with rice or pulao.


Note:
Potato is usually not used in Doi Maach. But I added it as the lil one needs a piece of potato at her each bite. So if you have similar potato lover at home then you surely add Potato in Doi Maach.
Cut the potato length wise and fry it. When the yoghurt gets dry up (go the Method part point no: 3) then add the potato. Then the water. When the potatoes are semi done then add the fish.



March 21, 2013

Chicken Rice


I had to leave for the airport that day.  So told the cook to come and make some dinner for the plane for my little one, who is not fond of the spicy food served in the air pantry very much yet. I had taken out a block of chicken breast and had the plan to tell the cook to make chicken curry and roti/flat bread. I was too busy with all the packing and last minute's cleaning. Suddenly my eyes got stuck on the watch and I found that only 1 hour left to leave. My cook had not turned up yet. Within this short span of time I geared up, entered in the kitchen and made this chicken rice in a hurricane speed. Had some yogurt handy, packed it and got the dinner ready. The cook did turn up half an hour before we left. She is quite reliable and knows her responsibilities well. But always depending blindly on them proves to fall in a pandemonium.
This dish is very quick and easy to make. And at the same time it's very tasty also. Mainly it's a very satisfactory dish for the kids. I always store my freezer and keep handy with the boneless chicken blocks and minced chicken. They do come handy at any time. And there are so many variations to cook the quick dishes that can be only discovered when you're in a hurry. Your brain works very creative at that busy hour and you will surely come up with some very tasty dishes and that then becomes one of the common grubs on your table. Trust me I am telling this only from my experiences. I shared the dish with my Mom and sister who always look for some easy and short time taking dishes to serve the men's lunch boxes. This one is a one item dish which can be devoured alone but goes great if you pair it up with Raita/ spiced yogurt or salad.
Ingredients:
 (Yields 2 in moderation )
Basmati Rice- 1 cup
Boneless chicken (cut in to very small pieces)- 1 cup
Onion- 1 big (Sliced)
Garlic- 3-4 cloves
Tomato- 1 large (Chopped)
Whole Garam Masala- 1-2 (Cloves, Cardamom, Cinnamon)
Turmeric Powder- 1 tea spoon
Cumin Powder- 1 tea spoon
Coriander Powder- 1 tea spoon
Red Chilly Powder- 1/2 tea spoon
Salt and Sugar as per taste.
Oil- 2 table spoon

Method:

  1. Cook the rice with salt till its almost done. Strain the excess water out and reserve.
  2. Heat oil in a Deep bottom Pan or a Kadai. Add the Garam Masala. When it will start to splatter add 1/2 tea spoon of sugar when the sugar will get caramelized and  the whole Garlic cloves. Let it turn brown and then add the onion slices.  Keep the onion fry till it gets a brown colour and a nice fried smelling.
  3. Add the Tomato and fry till it starts to separate oil.
  4. Add the chicken and all the other ingredients . Mix altogether nicely and then cover with a lid and cook in a low flame till the Chicken are well cooked.
  5. Boneless chicken takes approximately 10-15 mnts. When the chicken was done add the rice and mix nicely. Please taste if salt or sugar is needed. When done serve hot with salad, yogurt or some curry. It tastes awesome with only yogurt.
 Note:
  1. You can add Coriander leaves and Curry leaves as well to enrich the taste and the flavour.
  2. You can add boiled vegetable for extra nutrition for the kids.
  3. Vegetarians can omit the chicken and add Paneer, Soy Chunks, vegetable, Potato etc….


March 18, 2013

Sweet and Tangy Chicken Wings


Chicken wing always tastes better with the skin on in it. And I love to have them like that only. But the man doesn't like the skin on it.  Therefore chicken wings are very rare visitors at our household. But now we have another lover of Chicken wings at home, is the little one. So now  I have a strong reason to cook chicken wings often, though not with a very happy heart as I never want to spoil the taste bud of the man too, but sometimes you have to become little bit selfish too, mainly when food is considered (:P).  


The other day I made this Sweet & Tangy Chicken Wings.  The day I saw Satrupa's & Deepasri's posts on chicken wings I bookmarked it and planning to make it from a long time. And at last I was able to do it. I add some more and less ingredients in it and believe me they taste just awesome. My lil one alone finished 6 of them as she liked it so much. So I am going to make next time soon again. You also must try it. Very easy to make and tastes delicious. On my next party I am going to serve it as a starter.


Ingredients:
For Marination:
Chicken Wings (with skin recommended)- 12
Vinegar- 3  table spoon
Honey- 2 & 1/2 table spoon
Tomato Sauce- 3 table spoon
Red Chilly Sauce-2 Table spoon
Soy Sauce- 2 table spoon
Kashmiri Red Chilly Powder- 1/2 tea spoon (I used the EVEREST one, not hot but leaves bright colour in the dish)
Olive oil- 1 tea spoon
Sugar- 1 tea spoon or more
Salt- As per taste
Pepper-  a pinch (Optional)

For the Sauce:
Olive oil/White oil- 1 tea spoon
Chopped Garlic- 1 table spoon heaped
Sweet Red Chilly Sauce- 1  & 1/2 table spoon
Method:
  1. Marinate all the ingredients for 4-5 hours or over night for best results listed under MARINATION.
  2. Pre- heat the oven at 210 degree C.
  3. Pour Every thing in a  baking pan along with juice. Bake for  10mnts then turn the wings and bake for 10 mnts more.
  4. Heat oil in a Kadai or a deep dense pan. Fry the chopped garlic till they turn brown. Pour  the baked chicken wings along with the juice discharge from the chicken while it was baking. Fry in slow flame till the wings are nicely fried and dry. Add the Sweet Red Chilly Sauce and taste it salt or sugar is needed or not. Fry nicely and then serve and enjoy.

Note: You can add Spring onion and Monosodium Glutamate/ Ajinamoto (a pinch) also at the end with sweet chilly sauce. It will enrich the taste more.

For more recipes on Chicken Wings, click to the below links:




March 10, 2013

Oreo Cheese Cake


I prepared this Oreo Cheese Cake on Valentine's Day. But as usual I was not able to post it on the right occasion. Though I missed one , grabbed another one. Let me wish all the dear Mothers a very HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY at the same time I would like to wish my MOM a wonderful HAPPY BIRTHDAY. Moms are always special and their relationships with us are beyond any expression. An only place where we can cry and fight without considering anything what the opposite one is thinking. Because we know this place will be always giving us the utmost comfort at any kind of low time. This precious place is always ready with open arms to dilute all your worries in no time. Moms are always like that. At your any success she will be the most happiest person of the world. Yea DADs are also same. I can't even think of considering one is the best. Both are the special persons of the world that we treasure. Love you both MOM & DAD.
On this post I would also like to make myself  a part of the Protest that my dear friend Preeti Deo called us for. Plagiarism is spreading like a plague now a days. And we have become sick of praying to the mean minded people to give the credits of the creative works of the talented people whose works are randomly stolen, copied and distributed without any acknowledgement. It’s a voice against PLAGIARISM to stand hand in hand and protest firmly. These creative works are very precious to us and we spent lot of time in making of these. So dear PLAGIARISTS please open your eyes and do give credit to our stolen works. I know you people are also doing a very creative works by stealing our works. But you can become more creative and get a chance to live a peaceful after life in the HEAVEN by just adding the name below of the source person and giving the honour and acknowledgement to the OWNER. We know these are vain words to you. But still when a protest gets strong to stronger we are never disheartened with results. 
So here is the recipe:

Ingredients:-
For the Cake:-
Cream Cheese -8oz+8oz /2 packets  at room temperature (Philadelphia / Britannia)
Egg - 4
Powdered Sugar - 1/2 cup
Chocolate (cut in to small pieces) - 1/2 cup (Bakers/Harshly/Morde {available in India})
Oreo Biscuit - 1/2 packet (0f a 127.4g)
Flour- 1/4 cup

For the crust-
Oreo Biscuit - 1 packet (127.4g)
Butter 1 /4 cup

For the Top :
Ganach-
Cream - 1 pack (I used Amul's small tetra pack one. 
Chocolate - 1/2 cup 
Or
 Just spread Nutella Hazelnut spread on the top with some grated chocolate.

Method:-
The Crust:-
Take a Ziploc bag pour the biscuits and crush them with a rolling pin to dust or put in the mixy and grind it. Melt the butter and mix it with it nicely.

Then take the baking pan. If you are using a Spring form pan then just put a butter paper on base according to its size. But if you are using a normal cake pan then cover the whole inner vacant area with an aluminum foil and then grease it nicely with butter.

Put the mixture in the pan and then dab it with a spoon evenly to cover the bottom nicely. Put it in the oven and bake it for 5mnts on 170 Degree C. Take it out and put it aside.

The Cake:
Pre heat the oven in 170 degree C.

Beat the cream cheese until soft. Add sugar and mix all together nicely. Add egg one by one and beat till all the ingredients and nicely get mixed and turned in to a creamy texture. Separate the mixture in two portion.

Melt the chocolate. You can melt it in the Micro wave. It takes 15-20 secs. But please keep on checking in every 5secs so that the chocolate should not  get over heated. Cool it little bit. Then pour in the first cream cheese mixture slowly and at same time keep on beating.

Crush the remaining biscuits like the same way mention above. Mix the crushed biscuits in the second cream cheese mixture.

Pour the Oreo mixture first in the already made crust . Then pour the chocolate mixture very slowly right on the middle. The Oreo mixture will spread on the side and the chocolate mixture will remain on the middle.

and bake for 30-40 mnts or till a tooth-pick pricked in the cake comes out clean.

Take it out and leave it to cool down.

Chocolate ganache:-
Heat a pan and pour the cream. When the cream will become warm add the chocolate. Keep on stirring on a low heat until the chocolate melts and mixes in the cream nicely. Let the sauce make semi thick and then pour it on the cheese cake as a top layer.
Or
Just spread Nutella Hazelnut spread on the top with some grated chocolate.

Refrigerate over night and then enjoy.