Thai Basil Chicken (with vegetables)

Thai Basil Chicken (with vegetables)

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):

Ingredients:

  • 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: 5-6 large 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 

Method:


Crispy Chicken Cutlets-Indian Style (Low Carb, High Protein Recipe, Gluten free)

Here’s a High Protein, Low-carb recipe of Chicken cutlets with no potatoes. To make it crispy and still keep it low-carb, I have used Psyllium husk to coat the cutlets before frying.

Now psyllium husk is a commonly known as Isabgol in India. It has been used for ages to treat constipation. It is now becoming popular as a low carb addition to foods.

Ingredients for Crispy Chicken Cutlets:

  • Chicken mince: 400gms
  • Onions: 1 medium (finely diced)
  • Green chilies: 2 (finely chopped)
  • Coriander leaves: 5 tbsp (finely chopped)
  • Mint leaves: 8-10(finely chopped)
  • Ginger+Garlic Paste: 1.5 tsp
  • Mashed cauliflower: 1/2 cup
  • Roasted gram flour(Besan): 2-3  tbsp
  • Melted butter/ghee: 1 tbsp
  • Psyllium husk(Isabgol): 1/2-1  cup for coating
  • Salt: to taste
  • Oil: for pan frying

Method:

  1. Mix all the ingredients together well and keep it in the fridge for 1/2-1hr.
  2. Heat a little oil in a pan, make a ball of the mixture, then flatten it into a patti shape.
  3. Roll it in the psyllium husk and place in the pan one by one.
  4. Turn them over and let them cook till the outside becomes golden brown in colour.
  5. Take them out and serve hot with coriander chutney.

Note: 

These can also be frozen after frying and can be used later as such or as a filling inside wraps/ sandwiches/burgers.

 

 

 

 

 


Tangy Baked Salmon with Garlic and Dijon mustard

Omega -3 fatty acids are an important nutrient for overall health as well as well as heart health. They are categorized under essential fatty acids (EFA) as our bodies cannot produce them and they must be got through food or supplements. Though there isn’t any official Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for omega-3, it is believed that we don’t get enough in our diet. To read more about Omega-3 Fatty Acids and the different sources, click here: Omega-3 Fatty acids-How much and How to get them?

So why wild caught salmon? Salmon by itself is actually a white fish. Wild caught salmon is caught in their natural environment and feed on insects, shrimp, plankton and small fish, which gives the salmon its remarkable deep red flesh coloring. Whereas, farm raised salmon live in cages with thousands of other fish and hence cannot move as much as wild caught. They are also fed commercially produced fish food which results in an inferior white flesh color. Since this is not acceptable, salmon farmers add a chemical dye to the feed to get the pink/red flesh in farmed salmon.

Hence wild caught salmon is not just tastier to eat but is nutritionally far better than farmed. Wild caught definitely has more Omega-3, vitamins(including Vit.D), minerals, along with high levels of selenium and iodine.

Here is a quick and easy Salmon recipe that my kids love as it’s tangy and not-spicy. The Dijon mustard gives an amazing flavor, but you can replace it with whole ground mustard if you want.

Ingredients for Tangy baked Salmon with garlic and Dijon mustard:

  • Wild caught salmon fillet: 1 lbs (washed and pat dry)
  • Garlic: 3 cloves (grated)
  • Dijon Mustard: 1 tbsp
  • Pepper: 1/2 tsp freshly ground
  • Oil/melted butter/ ghee: 1 tbsp
  • Coriander leaves: 1 tbsp chopped
  • Lime Juice: 2 tbsp
  • Salt: to taste

Method:

  1. In a bowl make the marinade by mixing all the ingredients (except salmon). Taste for salt.
  2. Marinate the salmon generously with the marinade and set aside for 15-20 mins.
  3. Preheat the oven to 230 C (450F). Line a baking tray with parchment paper and lay the salmon skin side down on the tray (if you want a crispy skin, then you can pan-fry on high heat for 5 mins and then put them on the baking tray).
  4. Cook for about 15 mins (about 10-12 mins  if you have first pan fried).
  5. Serve with a side of grilled vegetables.

 

 

 

 


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


Mangalorean Chicken Sukka (Kori Ajadina)

This is one of the famous Mangalorean dishes (the other’s being Neer Dosa, Kori Rotti and chicken curry) . As the name suggests it’s a dry dish with loads and loads of coconut.

Again, there are many versions, this is my families recipe 🙂

 

Ingredients for Kori Ajadina (Mangalorean Chicken Sukka):

  • Chicken (whole): 1 kg (chopped into small pieces, washed)
  • Onions: 2 big (finely chopped)
  • Methi seeds: 6-8 nos.
  • Tamarind paste: 1/2 tsp
  • 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

For garnishing:

Fresh Coconut: 2 1/2 cups (saute till it turns slightly brown )

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 very little water if needed as the chicken will leave water).
  8. Then open, add the tamarind paste and cook uncovered till you get a thickish gravy.
  9. Add the sauteed coconut and mix well such that the coconut coats every piece of the chicken.
  10. Serve with rice and dal.

Other famous Mangalorean recipes:

  1. Neer Dosa
  2. Kori Rotti 
  3. Drumstick leaves Upkari
  4. Collard Upkari
  5. Mangalorean Egg Curry
  6. Mangalore cucumber and Moong Sprouts gassi 
  7. Alasande Kalu Gassi (Lobia/black eyed beans in spicy coconut gravy)
  8. Kadale Manoli (Brown chickpeas with tondli)
  9. Kala Channa rasam 
  10. Sweet Banana Dosa
  11. Ragi Manni/ Pudding (Millet pudding)
  12. Moong Dal Payasa/ Kheer

 

 

 


Quinoa Pulav with mixed vegetables and green masala (How to make Quinoa Pilaf)

“Quinoa” (pronounced keen-wah) is a high protein ‘pseudo cereal’ (foods that are cooked and eaten like grains and have a similar nutrient profile). Quinoa is actually a seed and is rich in complete protein, fibre, the B vitamins and healthy monounsaturated fats. It is believed that substituting quinoa for grains like polished rice and wheat could improve the blood glucose levels in diabetics and the cholesterol levels . Also, since it has a high fibre content it is a good choice for those looking to lose weight (portion sizes still matter).

This pulav has a nice flavour since I used green masala( paste of coriander leaves, mint leaves, ginger and green chilies) and lots of vegetables.

Vegan Quinoa Pulav

Ingredients for Healthy Quinoa Pulav with green masala (Serves 4-5)

  • Quinoa: 1 1/2 cups *I use the cup that comes with the rice cooker (wash in several changes of water)
  • Mixed vegetables: 2 cups (green beans, carrots, broccoli, spinach)
  • Onions: 1 big (finely sliced)
  • Tomato: 1 no. (finely chopped)
  • Ginger+Garlic paste: 2 tsp
  • Pepper corns: 4-5nos.
  • Cardamom: 2 nos.
  • Cummin/Jeera seeds: 1 tsp
  • Cinnamon: 1/2″ piece
  • Bay leaf: 1 no.
  • Cloves: 2-3
  • Turmeric: 1/2 tsp
  • Coriander powder: 2 tsp
  • Garam masala: 1/2 tsp
  • Green chili: 1 slit
  • Water/ Chicken stock: 3 cups
  • Oil: 3tsp
  • Salt: to taste

For Green Masala ( Grind together):

  • Coriander leaves: 1 small bunch
  • Mint leaves : 10-12
  • Green chilies: 2-4nos. (adjust according to your heat tolerance)
  • Ginger: 1/2
  • Water: a little to grind

Method:

  1. Heat the oil in a kadai, add the whole spices (jeera, cardamom, peppercorns,bay leaf, cloves, cinnamon), then add the turmeric, sliced onions, green chili and saute till the onions start turning golden brown.
  2. Then add the mixed vegetables, ginger+garlic paste and saute till the vegetables are half cooked.
  3. Add the tomatoes, 2-3 tbsp of the green masala, salt and cook till the tomatoes are all mashed up.
  4. Add the washed and soaked quinoa and stir-fry for 2 minutes.
  5. Add 3 cups of water (or chicken stock) , taste for salt and cover and cook till it boils.
  6. Then turn down the flame and let it simmer till the quinoa is cooked and fluffy (sprinkle some water on top if needed). Stir occasionally and switch off when the quinoa is cooked.
  7. Fluff before serving. Serve with raita or with some gravy dish(paneer,chicken)

 

 


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.

 


Mushroom Masala

Most Indians who eat mushrooms are only familiar with the button mushroom, but there are lots of different edible mushrooms. Button mushroom is an excellent low-calorie food, especially for those looking to lose weight and also diabetics. It is rich in protein, enzymes, B vitamins (especially niacin), and vitamin D2.

For more information on mushrooms, read my article which was published in the Complete Wellbeing magazine: Go Mushy over Mushrooms!

Ingredients for Mushroom Masala: Serves 4-6

  • Button Mushrooms: 250gms  chopped (rinse in water, remove dirt gently)
  • Onion: 1 medium (finely chopped)
  • Tomatoes: 2 small or 1 big (diced)
  • Garlic: 3-4 cloves (grated)
  • Ginger: 1/2″ grated
  • Jeera/cumin seeds: 1 tsp
  • Turmeric: 1/4 tsp
  • Red chili powder: 1-2 tsp (or as per your heat tolerance)
  • Coriander powder: 1 tbsp
  • Garam masala: 1/2 tsp
  • Jeera/cumin powder: 1/2 tsp
  • Cilantro/Coriander leaves- 2tbsp (chopped) for garnish
  • Oil: 2 tsp
  • Salt: to taste

Method:

  1. Heat the oil in a kadai, add the cumin seeds, turmeric and the onions.
  2. Stir fry the onions till they become translucent.
  3. Add the tomatoes, ginger-garlic, salt and the spice powders (red chili, coriander, cumin and garam masala) and saute till the oil leaves the the sides and you get a a nice fried aroma.
  4. Add the chopped mushroom and mix well. Cook till the mushroom leaves water and is soft (you can add some water if you want more gravy). Switch off.
  5. Garnish with the chopped cilantro and serve with rice & dal or phulkas.

 

 


Sattu ka Parantha

Sattu is a popular food in UP and Bihar and is made from roasted chickpeas which is ground to a flour. But there are many versions- some also have millets like jowar or barley(jau) and peanuts all ground together. The sattu I bought from the Indian store has chickpeas and barley. Sattu is traditionally had as a porridge for breakfast, as parathas or Sattu ka sharbat (both sweet and salty varieties) is taken as a cooling drink during hot summers.

Ingredients for stuffing:

  • Sattu : 1 Cup
  • Onion: 1 small, finely chopped
  • Green chili:  1 no.  finely chopped (optional) or red chili powder: 1-2 tsp
  • Ginger: 1 tsp grated
  • Ajwain seeds: 1/4 tsp
  • Pickle masala (any pickle oil and masala): 1 tsp
  • Amchur powder: 1-2 tsp or Lemon juice: 2 tsp
  • Jaggery: 1 tsp (optional)
  • Water: a little to bind the stuffing
  • Coriander leaves: 2 tsp finely chopped
  • Salt: to taste
  • Oil: 3 tsp

Ingredients for Paratha:

  • Wheat Flour: 2 Cups
  • Water: 1 cup (or as required for kneading the dough)
  • Oil: 1 tsp
  • Salt: 1/2 tsp

Method:

  1. In a bowl, mix all the ingredients for the stuffing. Mix well and add a little water to bind the stuffing into a ball (it shouldn’t be too dry or too watery). Divide the stuffing into lemon sized balls.
  2. For parathas, take wheat flour, add oil and salt. Adding a little water at a time knead to firm consistency. Let it rest for at least 30 mins.
  3. Knead the dough again, then divide the dough into small lemon sized balls.
  4. Roll out one a little, place a the sattu stuffing in the center of the rolled out dough.
  5. Bring the edges together to form a smooth round ball (like a money bag). You can remove any extra dough at the top)
  6. Dust with dry flour and roll it out .
  7. Heat a tava, place the paratha on it. Let it cook then flip and cook the other side. Add some oil on the cooked sides. Let it cook evenly on both sides .
  8. Serve hot with just yogurt/curd, pickle or baingan ka bharta.