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Showing posts with label starters. Show all posts
Showing posts with label starters. Show all posts

Monday, April 4, 2016

Pomfret Recheado ( The Truly Goan 'Chakna' )

N: What's your idea of a perfect paradise for travelers ?

P: A place lined with endless pristine beaches buffeted by the enigmatic blue green waters that stretch as far as one can see.

N: Sigh, that's interesting. Did you miss anything ?

P: How about some heritage buildings to bring on that old world charm !

N: Good doing. Anything else you want to add to that list ?

P: Ummm. Maybe a hidden cove or two to up the mystery quotient.

N: Ahh. Now you getting better. How about capping it up with something to cater to those baser instincts ?

P: Yesss. How could I forget ? I wish for dozens of beach-side shacks serving seafood to the tune of some exotic music ( Bollywood, gimme a break ),

N: That's my girl ! Now you are getting almost as good as me ! You have almost seduced me into believing that Nirvana is within arm's length. I could spend my entire life listening to the music made by the waves while lying in one of those seaside shacks. Goa, here I come !!!

Snap. Snap. But just as I am about to slip into the throes of this fantastic daydream, I remind myself that the blog post needs to be up before the terminator arises from his afternoon siesta. (Focus, focus, focus.) Still wondering about that conversation ? That's just me ( P aka Poor little pedestrian me who is happy to make do with whatever life throws at me ) and my doppelganger ( N aka Narcissist me who is always striving to break free and reach for the stars ) making those noises in my head. :)

Back to the beaches of Goa. Given the reputation of being a drunk's paradise, it is hardly surprising that Goan food includes some delectable 'chaknas' or those finger foods that go wonderfully well with alcohol. Spicy and tangy, and often marinated in some kind of toddy (local brew), they add punch to the beers and the fenis that are part of the Goan charm. One such dish is the fish Recheado. While it can be made with other varieties, I picked up a nice and juicy Pomfret for mine.

And since my family tree is very much restricted to the eastern parts of the country, I had to refer to this wonderful recipe by Chef Sainora ( Marriott resort, Miramar). Tweaked it a bit as per my preferences and it turned out to be amazing !! I served it with white rice, yellow dal and a salad.

Read on -

Preparation Time - 1 hour 15 mins ( includes 1 hour marination time)

Ingredients -

  • 1 Pomfret fish ( 250 gm )
  • 4 dry red chili
  • 2 inch cinnamon
  • 3-4 cloves
  • 2 green cardamom
  • 10-12 garlic flakes (fat ones)
  • 1 inch ginger
  • a thumb nail sized piece of tamarind
  • a pinch of cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 small onion(finely chopped)
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/3 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp oil for frying
  • 2-3 tsp vinegar( toddy vinegar preferably )
  • lemon wedges for garnishing
  • onion rings for garnishing

Preparation - Soak the dry spices and the ginger and garlic in vinegar . Grind into a smooth paste along with the tamarind.

Cooking - Brown the onions using about 1 tsp oil. Add the spice paste to the same wok. Fry for 2 mins. Add the sugar and salt to taste. Remove from heat and keep aside.

Clean the fish,make a slit and remove everything from the belly. Also remove the soft mass from the head. Make 2-3 slits on each side. Stuff the masala inside the fish and also rub it all over the sides.

Sprinkle lemon juice and salt over the fish. Marinate in the fridge for 1 hour.

Heat the oil in a skillet. Add the fish and fry on each side for 7-8 mins.

Remove from skillet and garnish with lemon wedges and onion rings.

Serve hot.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Sticky Chicken Bites ( New year Special Collaboration with ADollpofthat and Potpourri)

It's new year eve and friends have gathered at your place for a drink. Since everyone is in a mood to party and chill, the focus is generally not on the food. Thus while one can say goodbye to an elaborate menu which can actually prove obstructive to all that partying, finger foods are definitely high on everyone's list. Providing something to munch on along with the drinks and in between while shaking a leg to some peppy chart-busters is what a host should be doing.

But since it is that time of the year when everyone wants a break and long hours in the kitchen seem irksome even for most of the hosts, I am sharing this simple chicken starters recipe that is easy, quick and definitely lick-worthy. Got this recipe from rasamalaysia.com and give it a simple twist. Read on for my version -

(Don't forget to scroll down and check the White Sauce - Chick-o-cheese Croquettes with Tandoori Dipping Sauce and Orange and honey chicken recipes from my very talented blogger friends Parinaaz and Saswati for the New Year's Collaboration !)

Preparation Time - 25 -30 mins

Ingredients -

  • 1 cup chicken cubes
  • oil for deep frying
  • 1 tsp chili flakes 
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp demerara sugar

For batter -

  • 1 egg white
  • 3 tbsp maida
  • 2 tbsp cornflour
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 2 pinch baking powder
  • salt to taste
  • 1/3 cup cold water to add to the batter
For the sticky sauce -

  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 1 tsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tsp chopped garlic
  • 2 tsp honey

Preparation - Take all the ingredients mentioned under 'for batter' into a mixing bowl. Beat it lightly to get a smooth batter without lumps.

Wash and dry the chicken pieces using a paper towel. 

Take all the ingredients mentioned under sticky sauce (except for garlic) into a cup. Mix well.

Cooking - Heat sufficient oil for deep frying small batches of chicken.

Take each chicken piece, dip into the batter coating it on all sides and add to the hot oil. Fry on medium high flame for 3 mins max till a golden color develops. Remove and drain on paper towels.

Take 2 tsp oil in another skillet. Add the chopped garlic and chili flakes. Fry till garlic is golden. 

Add the sauce and allow it to thicken. Drop in the fried chicken bits. Toss on high for a minute or two.

Finally drizzle with sesame seeds and demerara sugar.

Serve immediately.

Note - One can also opt for coarsely ground peppercorn instead of chili flakes.

Some more fabulous recipes -

White Sauce - Chick-o-cheese Croquettes with Tandoori Dipping Sauce

Click here for recipe link !!

Orange and Honey Chicken

Blog link Here . Recipe link to be updated in a while !!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Deviled Eggs with Guacamole and grilled Cherry Tomatoes !!

I love avocados. Apart from the mild buttery taste and texture, I love it for the fact that it helps me with my PMS symptoms. Yeah, it is one of those foods that actually make you feel better during those days of the month and hence I always stock up a few of these to beat my mood swings. Given the fact that it is very filling, a small quantity goes a long way. A good thing when one is actually feeling bloated.

This is one easy recipe that can also be served as starters at a brunch or a kitty at home. Replacing the egg yolks with guacamole, one gets a good dose of protein and healthy fats without any added cholesterol. The grilled cherry tomatoes add an interesting flavor and texture to this dish.

Read on for the recipe -

Preparation Time - 15 mins

Ingredients -

  • 2 hard boiled eggs
  • 1/2 of an avocado
  • 1 pinch pepper powder
  • 2 pinch chili flakes
  • 1/2 of a lemon
  • chopped cilantro
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 4-6 cherry tomatoes

Preparation - Peel the outer shell and slice each egg into two equal halves. Scoop out the yolks.

Take 1/2 of an yolk, 1/2 of an avocado, salt, pepper, chili flakes, olive oil, cilantro and lemon juice in a mixing bowl. Mash together.

Scoop up some of this mixture and place it on the egg whites using a small spoon.

Heat a pan. Drizzle a bit of olive oil and throw in the cherry tomatoes. Sprinkle a bit of salt. Toss on high flame till small black spots appear.

Serve these tomatoes along with the deviled eggs.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Mackerel Masala Fry

When one lives in an area which has a good density of restaurants and home delivery is just a call away, the temptation to forgo cooking becomes quite strong. Change of taste, tiredness , lethergy or just plain boredom, the excuses are too many and too frequent. But thank God, I am addicted to blogging and hence the urge to try out new dishes keeps me from eating out/ordering food too frequently. Whether it is a recipe that I have caught on TV or something that a fellow blogger has shared, I have something cooking on my mind at all times. And this dish is inspired by an episode of 'Strictly Street' on Travel XP.

Mackerel is a very common fish that is consumed in India. And one can find it almost everywhere ranging from the local fish markets to the non vegetarian sections of the most posh supermarkets. And I got this lot from a supermarket near my apartment. Though the fish was fresh, I was not happy with the way the guy had cleaned it ( a section of the head is missing :( ). I thought it looked terrible.

Read on for the recipe -

Preparation Time - 25 mins

Ingredients -

For marination -

  • 4 pieces of Mackerel
  • 1/2 tsp GG paste
  • 2 pinch turmeric
  • 2 pinch chili powder
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • salt to taste

For frying -

  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 3 dry red chilis
  • 2-3 garlic flakes
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • 2-3 tsp oil

Preparation- Clean the fish, make 4-5 gashes on each side and marinate it with all the ingredients listed under 'for marination'. Do rub the marinade over the pieces for 3-4 mins to ensure that it goes into the gashes. Keep aside for 15-20 mins.

Dry roast the coriander seeds, cumin seeds and red chilis. Grind into a paste with the garlic flakes and vinegar. Slather this paste all over the marinated fish.

Cooking - Heat a non-stick skillet. Drizzle the oil all over it. 

Place the fish on the skillet and cook on each side for 3 mins. Remove from the skillet and place over a tissue paper.

Serve hot.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Vegetable Manchurian

Vegetable Manchurian happened to be one of my favorites dishes during the college years. I could have it for evening snacks, then again for dinner and if there was still some leftover ( quite miraculously !! ), it would go into the making of my breakfast the next day. Such was my fascination with this delicious Chinese recipe that there was seldom a week when I did not have it. But as they say 'Too much of a good thing is bad'. I lost my appetite for this yummy dish soon after and it was years before I went anywhere near it. I distinctly remember avoiding it at wedding banquets and office parties where it happened to be one of the popular starters for the vegetarian crowd.

But when I came across it recently while browsing for popular Indo-Chinese recipes. Memories came flooding back and I could not resist trying it out at home. While the ones served at restaurants are good, I just wanted to relive the fun that I used to have when making it with my Mom. And btw, it also happens to be one of my brother's favorite. Here this one is for you Bro. Happy Raksha Bandhan !!!!!!!!

Read on for the easy recipe -

Preparation Time - 45-55 mins

Ingredients -

For the balls -

2 1/2 cups shredded cabbage
2/3 cup grated carrot
1/3 cup finely chopped capsicum
1/2 cup finely chopped spring onions (i used both the white and green portions)
1/2 cup finely chopped french beans
2-3 green finely chopped chilis
4 tbsp all purpose flour
2 tbsp cornflour
1/3 tsp chilli powder ( skip this if the green chilis are hot ..mine had very less heat )
salt to taste
oil for deep frying

For the sauce -

3 tbsp finely chopped spring onions
2 tbsp finely chopped garlic
2 tbsp finely chopped ginger
2 finely chopped green chilis
3 tsp soya sauce
3-4 tsp vinegar
2 tsp chili sauce
2 tsp tomato ketchup
1 1/2 tsp cornflour
1 tsp sugar
2 pinch garam masala ( only if you like the Punjabi-fied version )
salt to taste
3 tsp vegetable oil ( if you have sesame oil, use it )
2 tsp spring onion greens for garnishing

Preparation - Take all the vegetables in a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle salt and keep aside for 1 hour. After 1 hour, all the veggies would have left water. Thoroughly squeeze out this excess water.

Add all purpose flour ( 2 1/2 tbsp at first ), cornflour, red chili powder and more salt (if required) to the mixing bowl. Mix everything together. Try to form the balls (use a tablespoon as the measure to get balls of uniform size). If they seem crumbly, then add more all purpose flour.

Cooking - Heat sufficient oil in a wok. Once it reaches the right temperature, place one ball as a test first. [If it does not rise quickly to the surface, the oil is cold and the balls will absorb too much oil. If it turns dark too soon, the oil is overheated. If it starts to break, then it needs more binding agent.]

Once the first ball turns out fine, then add 4-5 of the balls at a time. Do not crowd the vessel as it will cause the oil temperature to plummet . Fry on medium flame till golden brown.

Remove and place on paper towels to absorb excess oil. Repeat the process for the remaining vegetable balls.

Heat 3-4 tsp oil in a separate wok. Add the spring onions, garlic, ginger and green chillis. Fry on medium high, taking care not to burn the garlic.

Add soya sauce, tomato ketchup, vinegar and chili sauce to the wok along with the sugar and fry for 1 minute.

Dissolve the cornflour in 1 cup cold water. Add to the wok. Adjust salt. Keep stirring till the sauce thickens.

Add the fried vegetable balls to the wok and toss to coat them evenly. Sprinkle garam masala if using. Turn up the heat for 2 mins. Remove from the flame leaving behind a little gravy (do not worry, it will get absorbed).

Note - Add more water and increase the quantity of sauces used if you need more gravy.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Chilli Fish

Just like many of the improvised indo-chinese recipes that have become the mainstay of our menus, Chili fish is another quick and interesting recipe that can multitask as both as a side-dish cum starters. Nothing new about this recipe, as I remember having it way back in 95'-96'. It had caught the imagination of the Oriya masses at that time and hardly any marriage/reception that we attended was complete without a serving of this delicacy.

But like all good things, it suffered an overkill and that is the reason I had been avoiding it for so long. But with the onset of summer, curries are taking a backseat. So, in addition to the plain fish fry (using only salt and turmeric) , maccha besara bhaja ( using garlic-green chilli-mustard sauce/paste ) and masala dia maccha bhaja ( ginger-garlic-onion-coriander-garam masala paste ), I decided to add it to our meals on a one off basis. Read on for the recipe:

Preparation Time - 15 mins

Ingredients -

4 pieces of Rohu fish ( or 200 gm )
1 medium sized onion
1 medium sized capsicum
2-3 green chillis
2-3 red chillis
4-5 tsp oil
2 pinch turmeric
salt to taste

For the sauce -

1 1/2 tsp corn flour
1-2 tsp vinegar
1-2 dark soy sauce
3 tsp tomato sauce
1 1/2 tsp chilli sauce
1 tsp fish sauce (optional)
2-3 tsp water

Preparation - Wash the fish pieces and pat them dry. Add the turmeric and salt. Rub all over the fish and marinate for 10 minutes.

Cut the onion and capsicum into medium sized chunks. Slit the green chillis and deseed them.

Take all the ingredients for the sauce in a bowl. Mix well.

Cooking - Heat a non-stick frying pan. Add 2 tsp oil.

Add the fish pieces and cook on both sides to a light brown (reddish) color. Remove from pan and allow to cool down. Cut into small pieces.

Heat the remaining oil in wok. Add the red and green chillis. Follow with the capsicum and onion chunks after 1 minute. Saute for 2 minutes.

Add the sauce and turn up the flame to HIGH. Cook for 2 minutes or till the sauce dries up a bit.

Add the fried fish and mix well to coat the pieces with the sauce. Fry for 1-2 minutes before switching off the flame.

Serve hot as a side dish. ( If using boneless/fillets, this can also be served as a starter. )

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Chicken 65

Chicken 65 is perhaps one of the most loved chicken dishes ordered as a starter. Both my South Indian and North Indian friends like it equally. Not to mention any foreigners that I have come across. Spicy and tangy this one is bound to have you asking for seconds.

Among all the stories that abound of its origin, I believe the one that says ' It was the 65th item on the menu of restaurant in Chennai and that the year was also 1965. Hence the name stuck' . However my husband believes that it is made from chickens who are 65 days old. Another version has it that 65 ingredients go into the making of this dish. But even if I tried i could not go anywhere beyond 35 ( had even started imagining some exotic spices by then ). Stories apart, even the flavor changes from region to region and restaurant to restaurant. The best I have ever sampled came from a modest place called 'Dhawat' in Hyderabad.

While it is usually distinguished by its fiery red color, I chose to omit food coloring and went with Kashmiri red chillis. These are a natural coloring agent and have been used since long time in Indian cooking. Read on for my version :

Preparation Time - 30 mins ( Plus 2 hours for marination )

Ingredients -
For the marinade - 200 gm chicken breast (use thigh if you prefer), 1 egg white, 1 tsp GG paste, 1 tsp coriander powder, 1/2 tsp cumin powder, 1/3 tsp turmeric powder, 1 tsp Kashmiri red chilli powder, juice of half lime or 1 1/2 tsp lime juice, 1 tsp corn flour, 1 tsp maida/all-purpose flour, salt to taste.

For the saute - 1 tbsp chopped garlic, 10-11 cashews, 3-4 dry Kashmiri chillis (or use any other medium spicy one), 2 sprigs curry leaves, 3-4 green chilli (seeded and slitted), 1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves, 2 tsp tomato sauce.

For the paste - 1 tsp cornflour, 3 tbsp yogurt, 1/2 tsp Kashmiri red chilli powder, salt to taste. (Add a few drops of red color is using)

Oil for deep frying.

Preparation - Cut the Chicken into small pieces ( 3 cm X 2 cm X 1 cm ). Wash and pat dry with paper towel.
Whisk together all the ingredients for the marinade. Add chicken pieces and mix.
Keep aside for 2 hours.

Whisk together all the ingredients for the paste. Add a little water to thin if required.

Cooking - Heat sufficient oil in a wok. Bring up the flame. Once it reaches the right temperature, add 6-7 marinated pieces and lower the flame. Fry with regular stirring so that it gets cooked uniformly. Once done ( 3 mins or less ), remove and keep aside.

Add another batch of chicken and repeat. Fry all the remaining chicken in the same manner.

Heat another wok. Add 2 tsp oil to it.

Add the cashews, fry for 30 seconds and remove from wok.

Add the green and red chillis along with curry leaves. Then add the garlic and saute for 1 minute.

Add the yogurt paste and saute for 1-2 minute.

Add the fried chicken pieces and saute on medium to high till all the liquid is absorbed. Remove from flame.

Garnish with the chopped coriander and fried cashews. Serve hot as a starter or side.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Masala Papad Cones

Cooking Time Required: 10-12 mins
Cost of preparation: 10-15 rupees

Ingredients: Boiled potato ( 1 small ), Lijjat papad ( 1 no ), chopped coriander ( 1
tbs ), chopped ripe tomato ( 2 tbs ), red chilli flakes ( 1/3 tsp ), lemon juice ( few drops ), olive oil ( 1/5 tsp ), roasted sesame seeds ( 1/2 tsp ), salt ( to taste), any vegetable oil for deep frying.

Preparation: Peel and cut the potato into very small pieces. Transfer to a mixing bowl.

Add all the ingredients except for the papad and oil . Mix well.

Cooking: Heat sufficient amount of oil in a deep wok.

Cut the papad into 4 pieces (quarters) and roll each piece into a cone shape. Hold the shape with the help of a pair of tongs and dip into hot oil for 20-25 secs.

Remove fried papad from wok and keep on a blotting paper/paper napkin. Allow to cool
for 5 mins.

Stuff the prepared mixture into the papad cone.

Garnish with coriander leaves and chilli flakes and serve immediately.

Note: Use fresh papads for best results. I used a packet which was opened a month back and the papads turned a little brittle.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Mustard garlic chicken

Cost of preparation: 40-45 rupees
Cooking Time Required: 15-20 mins

Ingredients: Chicken pieces ( 250 gm ), onion ( one small, optional ), garlic ( 15-17 pods), mustard powder ( 1 tsp ), curd ( 1 tsp ), ginger garlic paste ( 1 tsp ), tomato sauce ( 2 tsp ), chilli powder ( 1 tsp ), asafoetida ( 1/2 tsp ), turmeric ( 1/4 tsp ), salt, oil ( 3-4 tsp ).

Preparation: Cut the chicken into even sized pieces, wash and add salt, turmeric, ginger-garlic paste , mustard powder, curd and chilli powder. Allow to marinate for 4-5 hours.

Mince the garlic and onion.

Cooking: Heat a wok. Pour in the oil. Add the minced onion and garlic. Stir fry for 1 min.

Add the marinated chicken pieces. Stir at regular intervals. Cook uncovered till the chicken is almost done.

Add the tomato sauce . Stir for a minute or two.

Dissolve the asafoetida in 2-3 tbs water. Sprinkle half of it over the chicken. Remove from the wok after 2 minutes.

Serve with tomato sauce and mint chutney.

Mint chutney preparation : Grind 2 bunches of corianader leaves, 1 inch tamarind, 3-4 garlic cloves, green chutney and salt along with 2-3 tbs water.

I am sending this recipe to Dr Sameena's 'Chicken Recipe Event'.

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