Achaari Chicken Tikka

Achaari Chicken Tikka

A great dish for any Barbecue Party for non- vegetarians.  This mouth watering dish features succulent chicken and vegetables marinated in a traditional spicy pickle mix and grilled.

Ingredients for Achari Paneer and Vegetable Tikkas (Serves 8-10)

  • Boneless chicken: 500g (wash and pat dry, cut into 1″ cubes)
  • Mixed veg(bell peppers, mushroom,onions, cauliflower, zucchini,etc): 500g (chopped into bite size pieces)
  • 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

Method:

  1. 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.
  2. Add the chicken cubes and chopped mixed vegetables and mix well to coat them with the marinade.
  3. 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)
  4. 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.
  5. Serve with mint and yogurt dip.

For Paneer Achaari Tikka Recipe, click here: Paneer and Vegetable Achaari Kebab


Achari Paneer and Vegetable Tikkas

A great dish for any Barbecue Party for vegetarians.  This mouth watering dish features fresh paneer and vegetables marinated in a traditional spicy pickle mix and grilled.

Ingredients for Achari Paneer and Vegetable Tikkas (Serves 8-10)

  • Paneer: 500g (cut into 1″ cubes)
  • Mixed veg(bell peppers, mushroom,onions, cauliflower, zucchini,etc): 500g (chopped into bite size pieces)
  • Pickle gravy: 2 tbsps (add more if you like it spicy)
  • Hung curd/yogurt: 1/2 cup
  • Onion seeds: 2 tsp
  • Ginger+ garlic Paste: 1 tbsp
  • Red chili powder: 1 tsp
  • 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 if grilling)
  • Oil: 2 tbsp
  • Salt: to taste

Method:

  1. In a bowl mix the hung curd along with the pickle gravy, onion seeds, ginger+garlic paste, red chili powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, garam masala, 2 tbsp ghee/butter and salt. Mix well.
  2. Add the paneer cubes and chopped mixed vegetables and mix well to coat them with the marinade.
  3. Let it marinade for at least 30 mins. String the paneer and vegetables on the sticks(you can alternate the paneer and vegetables)
  4. Heat oil in pan and place the paneer sticks. Keep rotating the sticks so that the paneer and vegetables get cooked evenly on all sides.
  5. Serve with mint and yogurt dip.

For Chicken Achaari Kebab recipe, click here: Chicken Achaari Kebab


Sweet and Spicy Cranberry Chutney

Cranberry juice has long been used in treating urinary tract infections.  It is loaded with antioxidants and phytonutrients which researchers believe  also protect against cancer. Fresh cranberries have the most health benefits followed closely by dried cranberries.

Try out a simple Sweet and Spicy(and tart) Indian Style Cranberry Chutney:

Ingredients:

  • Cranberries: 200gms
  • Jaggery: 1/2 cup
  • Fennel seeds( Saunf): 1 tsp
  • Zeera/ cumin seeds: 1 tsp
  • Ginger: 1 tsp grated
  • Red chili powder: 1/2-2 tsp (depending on your heat tolerance)
  • Garam masala: 1 tsp
  • Olive oil/ Ghee: 1 tbsp
  • Salt: to taste

Method:

  • Heat oil/ghee in a pan, add cumin seeds. When they crackle add the grated ginger to it.
  • Then add the cranberries, salt, fennel seeds , garam masala and the chili powder. Add some water and let it cook on medium heat till the cranberries are cooked and soft.
  • Taste for salt and add the jaggery to it. When completely cooked,  taste it to make sure there is a balance in the spice, salt and sweetness (if not add accordingly).
  • Set aside to cool for sometime. Put the mixture in the blender and blend it to fine paste.

Fennel (Saunf) Bulb Salad (with mixed fruits and carrots)

The fennel bulb is actually the base of the fennel(saunf) plant. It’s a shame that it isn’t used in India as it is edible and has some of the benefits of saunf. The fennel bulb is low in calories and rich in fibre and contains vitamin C and potassium. Fennel (saunf) has been used for ages for aiding digestion after meals and also as a carminative (relieving flatulence/gas) and the same properties are present in the bulb too. It has a mild saunf flavor and a lovely crunchy texture and is perfect for salads.

ChatPata Fennel Bulb salad

Try out this easy salad with mixed fruits. I just use whatever fruits and salad vegetables there are at home, so feel free to try out your own combination:

Ingredients for Fennel Salad:

  • Fennel bulb: 1/2 (finely sliced)
  • Carrot: 1 medium (cut into thin sticks)
  • Apple: 2 (cut into sticks)
  • Blue Grapes: 15 ( quartered)
  • Navel Oranges: 2 (thinly sliced)
  • Lemon juice: from 1 lemon
  • Apple Cider vinegar: 2 tbsp
  • Honey/Sugar: 1 tsp (optional)
  • Chaat masala: 1 tsp (optional-I love the Indian flavour it adds to the salad)
  • Salt: to taste

Method:

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Add the Apple Cider Vinegar and lemon juice, salt and chaat masala and toss.
  3. Chill in the fridge for at least half and hour.
  4. Toss again before serving.

 

 


Brown rice Masala Dosa( Savoury Crepes with Potato filling)

This is a great recipe for those on a Gluten-Free diet.

Ingredients (for the potato filling):

  • Potatoes: 4 nos. (boiled and coarsely mashed/cut)
  • Green chillies: 1-2 nos. (slit length-wise)
  • Onions: 1 large or 2 medium (cut lengthwise-and then cut into half)
  • Ginger: 1/2″ piece(chopped fine)
  • Turmeric:1/2 teaspoon
  • Salt: to taste

For the tempering:

  • Oil: 1 teaspoon
  • Mustard seeds: 1 teaspoon
  • Cumin seeds: 1 teaspoon
  • Curry leaves: 2-3 nos.
  • Channa dal/split black chickpeas/Myles: 1 teaspoon
  • Cashew nuts: 4-5 nos(chopped)

Method:

  1. Heat the oil in a non-stick pan,then add the mustard, cumin and the channa dal.
  2. When the mustard starts to sputter,add the curry leaves and the cashew nuts and stir till the cashew nuts are brown.
  3. Add the ginger and fry till it turns a golden brown.
  4. Add the slit green chillies,the chopped onions,turmeric powder,salt and saute till the onions turn translucent.
  5. Add the coarsely mashed potatoes and mix well. Add 1/2 cup water and cook stirring continuously for 5-6 minutes. Set aside.

Ingredients (for the dosa):

Method:

  • Wash, then soak the raw rice, urad dal and fenugreek seeds in water for at least 4-6 hours.
  • Drain the water used for soaking.Add the cooked rice (if using flattened rice-wash,drain and let it stand for at least 10-15 mins), and about a cup of water and grind to a fine paste (should be as thick as the pancake batter).
  • Let it ferment overnight (or for 10-12 hours) in a big bowl(the batter will rise if the weather is warm enough).
  • Once it has fermented,add salt and mix. Then pour a ladleful of the batter onto a HOT pan and spread the batter with the ladle in a circular motion(going from the centre of the pan to the outside).
  • Add a little ghee/butter/oil to the edges of the dosa and let it cook till you notice it getting golden brown from underneath.
  • At this stage, place the yellow potato filling at the centre of the dosa and fold from both sides (like a wrap) or you could also fold it from three sides(the resulting dosa would looks like a triangle).
  • Remove from the pan.Serve hot with a little cilantro chutney and sambar .

Note:

  • Warm weather is crucial for the batter to ferment.
  • The pan needs to be really HOT before you start making the dosas.
  • The dosas can be made without the potato filling too- then it would be known as ‘Plain Dosa’ (not as much fun as eating the ‘masala’ variety).

 


Mangalorean Kori Rotti and Chicken Curry

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
  • Turmeric:1/2 tsp
  • Oil: 2 tbsp

Method:

  1. First roast all the dry masala ingredients(dry chilies, coriander,methi,jeera,peppercorns)  separately and keep aside.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Add some salt, turmeric and the ground masala paste to the chicken and let it marinate for 1/2 an hour.
  6. In a big vessel, add the oil and heat, add the methi seeds, sliced onions and saute till the onions turn pink.
  7. 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),
  8. 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.

Indian Spicy Broccoli Stir-Fry (Masaledar Broccoli Sabzi)

Broccoli belongs to the same cruciferous family like cabbage,kale, cauliflower,collards and Brussels sprouts. It is a low calorie vegetable and is loaded with fibre, vitamins A, C folic acid and is also known for it’s anti-inflammatory properties. It must be noted that eating raw broccoli has actually more benefits than eating these in the cooked form as some of the antioxidants and vitamin C are destroyed by heat.

Ingredients for Spicy Broccoli Stir-fry (Serves 4):

  • Broccoli: 2 medium heads (wash, cut into bite sized florets
  • Garlic: 5-6 cloved (minced)
  • Turmeric: 1/2 tsp
  • Red chili powder: 1-2 tsp (adjust according to heat tolerance)
  • Coriander powder: 2 tbsp
  • Jeera powder: 1/4 tsp
  • Garam masala powder: 1/2 tsp
  • Green chilies(optional): 1-2 slit
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil: 2 tbsp

Method:

  1. Add a little salt  and steam the broccoli florets for 2-3 minutes (the broccoli should be crunchy and not soggy). Keep aside (alternatively, you could add the broccoli florets to boiling salt water and cover and keep for 4-5 minutes. Then drain and keep aside).
  2. Heat the oil in a kadai, add the minced garlic and green chilies(optional)fry for a minute.
  3. Reduce the flame to medium heat and add the spice powders (turneric, coriander, jeera, garam masala) and quickly mix in the oil (otherwise the spices will burn).
  4. Quickly add the steamed broccoli and mix well such that the spices coat the broccoli.
  5. Check for salt(add more if necessary). Stir-fry for a couple of minutes.
  6. Serve as a side with rice and dal.

Other broccoli recipes to try out: Broccoli Paratha (Broccoli Stuffed Indian flatbread)

 


Mango Dosa (Gluten Free Mango Pancakes)

It’s mango season,and I just had to try something different.I tweaked this traditional Manglorean(a small seaside town in South India that my side of the family is originally from) Sweet Dosa recipe and added mangoes instead of cucumbers.As a kid,I grew up watching my mom and gran starting the next day’s breakfast preparations a day in advance.We always woke up smelling the wonderful aromas wafting from the kitchen. This recipe too is no exception,I had to soak the rice once we were done with breakfast,grind it in the evening and let it ferment overnight,and voila the batter for the next day’s breakfast was ready.
Traditionally it’s made with either Southekai(Kannada for cucumber) or with watermelon. Otherwise it has all the original ingredients like:

Beaten rice/Rice flakes: ‘Poha’ is rice that is dehusked and then flattened into light flakes. Traditionally flattened with iron rods,it used to contain more iron than regular rice.
Jaggery: or ‘gur’,is a traditional non-refined sugar(made from either cane sugar or from date palm) which is rich in non-heme iron and other mineral salts.

Fenugreek seeds: ‘Methi’ seeds as it’s commonly known in India, is a known galactagogue and recent studies have shown that it has cholesterol and serum glucose lowering properties as well.
Ingredients:

  • Rice: 1 cup
  • Flattened rice/Poha: 1/2 cup
  • Jaggery(scraped): 3/4th cup (or sugar-1/2 cup)
  • Yogurt(preferably homemade)-1/2 cup
  • Fenugreek/Methi seeds-1/2 teaspoon
  • Ripe Mango:1 big or 2 small
  • Salt:1/2 teaspoon

Method:

  1. Wash the rice and the fenugreek seeds,then soak it in water for at least 6-7 hours.
  2. Wash and drain the flattened rice and let it stand for about 10-15 mins.
  3. Grind all ingredients(except the mango) till you get a fine batter.Let it ferment for at least 8-9 hours or overnight(works well in warm weather). The batter will double in volume.
  4. Make a puree of the mango pulp(when sugar is added to this pulp,it’s called ‘aamras’).If using cucumber instead of mangoes,then grate half (a big) cucumber and mix with the batter.
  5. Mix this puree with the batter and pour a ladle of the batter onto a hot non-stick pan and spread.
  6. Cover with a lid and cook on medium flame for two or three minutes. Then cook uncovered till the dosa is done.
  7. Serve hot(you can serve it with cut mangoes or even with some ‘aamras’).

Note:

  1. If the weather is not warm enough(as was the case when I made it),the batter will not ferment and the dosa will not get tiny little holes on it( the dosa will be flat as seen in the snap).
  2. The jaggery tends to add a brownish colour to the dosa(if you add sugar,the dosa will turn out a lovely yellow colour) but the dosas are more nutritious when made with jaggery.
  3. Traditionally the dosa is eaten hot with a little ghee spread on top. Since the dosas are sweet, you can eat it as it is.
  4. I used the Scarlet Sweet mango for this recipe,you could use any of the sweet mangoes available.

Cauliflower Sabzi (Cauliflower and tomato sabzi-No Onion)

Cauliflowers are a good source of vitamins like vitamin C and K , thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin B6, folate, and beta-carotenes, minerals, proteins, antioxidants, phytochemicals and fibre. The sulphur content of cauliflower has been found to benefit heart health and fight cancers.

Ingredients for Cauliflower sabzi:

  • Cauliflower: 1 medium , cut into bite size florets
  • Tomatoes: 3-4 medium, finely chopped
  • Garlic(optional): 1-2 cloves, finely chopped
  • Green chilies: 1-2
  • Red chili powder: 2-3tsp (as per heat tolerance)
  • Coriander: 1tbsp
  • Cumin powder: 1 tsp
  • Cumin seeds/jeera: 1 tsp
  • Turmeric: 1/2 tsp
  • Corriander/Cilantro leaves: 2 tbsp chopped (for garnish)
  • Oil: 3tsp
  • Salt: to taste

Method: 

  1. Heat oil in a kadai, add the jeera and turmeric powder, then the tomatoes and salt and saute till the oil leaves the sides.
  2. Add the cauliflower florets and mix well. Cover and cook on very low flame (you can also use a deep steel plate with sides as the lid and add some water on the top, the cauliflower will cook in it’s own water).
  3. Keep checking and mix well, sprinkle a little water if needed. Switch off till the cauliflower is cooked.
  4. Garnish with cilantro and serve as a side with rice and dal or with roti’s.

 

 


Mangalore Basale Curry (Malabar Spinach and Whole Moong in coconut gravy)

Basale soppu or Malabar /Ceylon Spinach is also called as mayalu in Marathi and poi in Gujrathi . It’s very common to see houses in Mangalore growing it and Basale ghassi or Basale koddel is a specialty of the region. Malabar spinach is rich in vitamins A, C, iron and calcium, and is also good source of soluble fiber.  The addition of green moong not only increases the protein conent of the dish but also adds a lot of flavour to it.

I was lucky to find the seeds locally and have been making this curry with homegrown organic basala. This is how Basala and payar (whole moong) curry is made in my family.

Ingredients for Mangalore Basale curry:

  • Green moong: 1 cup (wash and soak for an hour)
  • Basalla /Malabar Spinach: 3 cups (washed, chopped, both leaves and stems are traditionally used)
  • Tomato: 2 small or 1 Big
  • Salt: to taste
  • Tamarind paste: 1/4tsp

Grind together:

  • Grated coconut/dessicated coconut: 1 1/2 cups
  • Onion: 1 medium, sliced
  • Turmeric: 1/4tsp
  • Red chili powder(or 8-10 whole dried byadagi chilies roasted): 1-2tbsp (as per your heat tolerance)
  • Coriander powder (or 1 tbsp corriander seeds roasted): 1tbsp
  • Cumin powder: 3tsp
  • Mustard seeds:1/2 tsp (optional)
  • Garlic: 2 cloves

Method:

  1. Pressure cook the moong and the basale (leaves and stem) without adding salt for one whistle.
  2. Grind the ingredients mentioned under grind together to a smooth paste and keep aside.
  3. Open the pressure cooker (if it’s too small, then transfer contents to a deep vessel), add the ground masala, little water, cut tomatoes, tamarind paste and salt.
  4. Allow the curry to boil vigorously for five minutes, check for salt, tamarind add more if required. Adjust the consistency if needed before switching off.
  5. It is traditionally served with rice, but tastes great with chapathis too.

Note: You can add seasoning/tadka if you want, but it isn’t added in our family recipe.