Thai basil is different from the regular basil seen both look wise and flavour-wise. Thai basil has a sharp taste compared to the basil used in Italian cooking.
This is a quick and simple Thai recipe. Those who are regular visitors to this website will know that I try to make every recipe more nutritious especially when I don’t have time to make a separate vegetable dish. So here’s how you can make your favorite Thai Basil Chicken more nutritious- by adding seasonal vegetables and sesame seeds. You can add different vegetables like cabbage, green beans, carrots, broccoli, etc. Or if you have the time, you could make it the authentic way with just the basil leaves and serve stir-fry veggies on the side.
Here’s the recipe for Thai Basil Chicken (with vegetables):
Chicken (thigh fillet): 250gms (cut into bite size pieces)
Scallion/shallot stem: 1 ( cut into 2″)
Mixed vegetables: 1 cup cut (like cabbage, broccoli, carrots, green beans, bell pepper)
Garlic: 5-6large cloves (finely chopped)
Thai chili: 1-2nos. (slit lenthwise)
Oyster sauce: 1 tbsp
Light soy sauce: 2 tsp
Dark soy sauce : 2 tsp
Sesame seeds: 2 tsp (optional)
Salt: to taste (optional)
Oil :2 tbsp
Thai basil leaves: 1 cup loosely packed
Marinate the chicken in the sauce ingredients and keep aside.
Heat oil in wok or pan over high heat.Add garlic and chili and cook for 10 seconds.
Add the white part of the shallots/scallions and fry for 2 minutes. Add the chopped vegetables and stir-fry on high heat till they are just cooked(don’t overcook them, they should still be crunchy)
Add the chicken with the sauce and stir fry till the chicken is cooked and the sauce evaporates. You may not need to add extra salt as the sauces will have enough salt, but if you can add according to your preference.
Remove from heat and toss through green part of scallions/shallots, sesame seeds(optional) and the Thai basil leaves. Stir until just wilted, then serve immediately with rice.
Pickle gravy: 3 tbsps (add more if you like it spicy)
Hung curd/yogurt: 1/2 cup
Lemon juice: 2 tbsp
Onion seeds: 2 tsp
Ginger+ garlic Paste: 1 tbsp
Kasuri Methi: 3 tbsp
Red chili powder: 1-2 tsp (as per your heat tolerance)
Coriander powder: 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder: 1/2 tsp
Garam masala : 1 tsp
Grass fed Butter/Ghee: 3 tbsp
Satay sticks: 10-12 (let it soak in a bowl of water overnight)
Oil: 1 tbsp
Salt: to taste
In a bowl mix the hung curd along with the pickle gravy, onion seeds, ginger+garlic paste, red chili powder, coriander powder, dried fenugreek, turmeric powder, garam masala, 2 tbsp ghee/butter and salt. Mix well. Taste the marinade.
Add the chicken cubes and chopped mixed vegetables and mix well to coat them with the marinade.
Let it marinade for at least 12hrs (or 24 hrs). String the chicken and vegetables on the sticks(you can alternate the chicken and vegetables)
Preheat oven to 200C(392F) , place the chicken achari sticks on oiled grilling grates. Brush with ghee/butter and rotate the sticks so that the chicken and vegetables get cooked evenly on all sides. Bake for 15 mins.
Kori Rotti is another Mangalorean favourite. What makes it different is the crispy rotti. Kori means Chicken and the rotti is rice dosa that are dried and are hard like papad. We always bought the kori rotti from Mangalore stores when we were in India, and was overjoyed when I spotted it in the Indian Stores in the US.
The chicken curry is a spicy coconut based gravy that is poured over the crisp rotti. The best way to eat this would be with your hands. I love my rotti to be slightly crunchy so I don’t let it sit in the gravy for too long, but some love it all soggy and soaked up in the gravy.
Ingredients for Kori Curry (Mangalorean Chicken Curry):
Chicken (whole): 1 kg (chopped into small pieces, washed)
Onions: 2 big (finely chopped)
Methi seeds: 6-8 nos.
Tamarind paste: 1/2 tsp
Coconut milk: 1.5 cans
Salt: to taste
Oil: 2 tablespoon
Ghee: 1 tsp
For Grinding together:
Onions: 1 big (or 2 small)
Coconut: 1/2 cup (scraped)
Garlic: 3 cloves+ 2 cloves (chopped)
Dry red chilies: 12 nos.
Bydagi chilies: 12 nos. for colour
Coriander seeds:2 tbsp
Jeera seeds: 1 tsp
Peppercorns: 1/2 tsp
Methi: 1/4 tsp
Oil: 2 tbsp
First roast all the dry masala ingredients(dry chilies, coriander,methi,jeera,peppercorns) separately and keep aside.
Then in a kadai, add the oil , once it is hot add the sliced onions, 3 cloves garlic and fry till the onions are slightly brown.
Add the coconut and stir fry till the coconut starts turning brown (make sure to keep stirring, otherwise it will burn). Then switch off and let it cool.
Grind all the ingredients (onions+coconut mixture) along with the roasted spices and the 2 cloves of garlic. Add little water and grind till you get a fine paste.
Add some salt, turmeric and the ground masala paste to the chicken and let it marinate for 1/2 an hour.
In a big vessel, add the oil and heat, add the methi seeds, sliced onions and saute till the onions turn pink.
Add the marinated chicken, salt and saute for a few minutes. Lower the heat and cover and cook till the chicken is done (add a little water),
Add the coconut milk, tamarind paste and let it boil.
How to eat:
Since we don’t have the traditional deep steel plates that holds the gravy, I prefer to eat this in bowls, but you can eat this on a regular plate.
Break the rotti into bite sized pieces and place on the plate. Pour the chicken curry over the pieces. Let it soak or just dig in.
It tends to get a little dry after the rotti has soaked up the gravy so you can top it with some more.
Pho is a Vietnamese noodle soup. The authentic soup is more like a broth(clear) made with a meat/ poultry as it’s base (with bones), spices and with herb and vegetable garnishes. Here is a LOW-CARB version!! In this recipe, we have replaced the NOODLES with ZOODLES 🙂
Wondering what ‘ZOODLES’ are?? Zoodles= Zucchini noodles, or in other words noodles made by spiralizing zucchini (using a vegetable spiralizer). The resulting zoodles is a great low-carb substitute for any recipe that calls for noodles, pasta/spaghetti (or even rice)! You can even make zucchini sheets and use them instead of lasagna sheets. If you don’t have a vegetable spiralizer then use your vegetable peeler to make sheets, then cut the sheets into strips.
Zoodles are a low-carb substitute for noodles/pasta if you are on a low-carb diet, low-calorie diet or just want to increase your vegetable intake. Zucchini is a member of the gourd family and is low in calorie, high in fibre, also rich in flavonoid antioxidants (mostly found in the skin), B-complex vitamins, folate, B6, B1, B2, B3, and choline, as well as minerals like potassium, zinc and magnesium.
This is great dish when you are feeling a little under the weather or need something warm or on a cold winter’s day or when you are feeling lazy to make an elaborate meal. It’s a one pot dish which will keep you full for a long time.
Ingredients for Quick Chicken Pho with Zoodles: (Serves 4)
Chicken: 500 gms cut into small pieces (with bone makes it tastier, but you can use boneless too)
Zucchinis: 3 large (spiralized )
Chicken stock/broth: 8 cups
Onion: 1 large (sliced)
Ginger: 3″ julienned
Star anise: 1no.
Pepper corns: 4nos
Fish sauce: 2 tbsp
Pepper powder: 1tsp
Green chillies/jalapeño (optional): 1-2nos (thinly sliced)
Bok choy: 2 heads
Bean/Moong sprouts- 1 cup
Cilantro/coriander leaves: 1 small bunch (chopped)
Basil: 1 sprig
Lime: 1 no. cut into wedges
Spring onions/ Scallions: 2 (sliced)
Sriracha/hot sauce(optional): to taste
Salt: to taste
Heat 1-2 teaspoon of oil in a large pot, add the star anise, peppercorns, cloves and ginger strips. After a minute, add the sliced onions and saute till they are translucent. (this is an optional step as I find sauteing the onions and ginger adds a better flavour to the pho rather than boiling it all in the stock).
Add the stock, the chicken, fish sauce, salt, black pepper and to the stock and bring it to a boil. Then lower the heat and let it simmer for 20-25 mins.(if you don’t want to saute the onions and ginger, then you need to add it directly to the stock along with the whole spices).
Add the bok choy and cook till it wilts. (If you have used chicken with bones, you can take them out, remove the bones and put the chicken pieces back)
Divide the zucchini noodles into 4 bowls.
Ladle the piping hot soup into bowls and top with spring onion, bean/moong sprouts, basil, cilantro. Serve with a lime wedge to squeeze over, and hot sauce, extra fish sauce and sliced chilli to add to taste.
In my quest to cook ‘healthy food’ comes this version of Chicken biryani which is also loaded with vegetables! Biryani is something every Indian is familiar with and is usually something made on festivals,special occasions or when you have guests/friends over. Whether it’s a ‘Vegetable Biryani’,Chicken Biryani or Mutton Biryani, most families have their own secret recipes.
Usually, a chicken/mutton biryani is made without vegetables, but here is my attempt at combining the vegetable biryani with the chicken biryani to ensure my family gets it’s daily dose of vegetables even on special occasions ! Ingredients: (Serves 4)
Basmati rice: 1 1/2 cups (rinse and soak in water for at least half an hour)
Chicken: 250gms (use chicken with the bones)
Onions: 2-3 big red onions/5 medium onions (sliced fine)
Tomatoes: 2 big (chopped)
Ginger paste: 2 tsp
Garlic paste: 2 tsp
Mixed Vegetables: 1 cup (peas, carrots, beans, capsicum/bell pepper and such)
Yogurt/curd: 1 cup
Cilantro/coriander leaves: 5 tbsp(finely chopped)
Mint leaves: 3 tbsp(finely chopped)
Green chillies: 5-6 slit(use less/more according to your taste)
Red chilli powder: 3-4 tsp(add less/more according to your taste)
Coriander powder: 2tsp
Cumin/Jeera powder: 1tsp
Turmeric powder: 1/2 tsp
Salt: 3-4 tsp (adjust according to taste)
Oil: 2 tbsp
Bay leaves: 1-2nos.
Cumin seeds: 2 tsp
Cloves: 3-4 nos.
Cinnamon stick: 1″
Star anise: 1-2
Marinate the chicken in a paste made with 1/2 cup yogurt, turmeric, red chilli powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, half of the ginger+garlic paste, half of the chopped cilantro and mint leaves and set aside for at least an hour in the fridge.
Heat the oil in a kadai or thick bottomed pan, add the whole spices and let it fry for a minute.
Add the sliced onions and fry till it turns golden brown (add a little salt to let the onions cook in it’s own water)
Add the remaining ginger+garlic paste, the slit green chillies and the chopped cilantro and mint leaves and fry for another minute.
Drain out the water from the basmati rice and add it along with the mixed vegetables and stir for 5-6 minutes.
Add the chopped tomatoes,salt and the remaining yogurt and stir till the tomatoes are cooked.
Add the marinated chicken and stir for a 5 minutes.
Then add about 4 cups of water, cover and cook (with occasional stirring) till the rice is cooked.
Serve hot with a mixed vegetable raita.
Since I use less oil while cooking(which also drastically reduces the calories in the cooked recipe), I add salt while frying the onions to let it sweat and prevent it from burning.