Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Butter Chicken

Today, I was in mood to make a little exotic meal for my family. Hence, I decided to make lemon rice with butter chicken. This recipe is very simple and easy to make and very delicious. It tastes great with naan but I made lemon rice with it which also is a good combination.

Preparation Time : 30 minutes + 5 hrs marination
Serves : 4


500 gms boneless chicken

for the marinade:
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp chilli powder
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup plain yoghurt beaten well
1 tsp garam masala powder
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder

for the gravy :

11/2 cup tomato puree
1 medium onion finely chopped
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp garam masala powder
1 tbsp cashewnut powder
1 tsp dried fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi powder)
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 tbsp butter
salt to taste
2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves

Method :
  • Clean and cut the chicken into medium pieces and keep aside.
  • In a bowl, mix all the marinade ingredients together and pour it over the chicken pieces. Mix well and let it rest in the refrigerator for about 5 hours or overnight
  • After 5 hours, bring the chicken to room temperature
  • Put the chicken pieces (brushing off the excess marinade) on a baking tray and roast them in the oven @ 400 degree F for about 15 minutes till the chicken has got a burnt colour but not cooked thoroughly.
  • In a pan, melt 2 tbsp butter. Add onions and fry nicely for about 5 minutes till the onions are translucent. Then, add the ginger garlic paste and fry for another minute.
  • To this add, the cumin powder, coriander powder, red chilli powder, garam masala powder and fry again for about 5 minutes.
  • Then, add the tomato puree, the leftover marinade and bring the gravy to a boil.
  • To this gravy, add the roasted chicken pieces and cook till the chicken is done.
  • Then add the cashewnut powder, kasuri methi and mix well.
  • Finally, add the cream and butter and give it a good stir
  • Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with naan or lemon rice.

Lemon Rice

Today, I made butter chicken and lemon rice. But, this lemon rice is quite different from the traditional one. The traditional one has peanuts, whole red chillies and in some cases even lentils. I wanted to keep it simple. So, this is what I did...


1 cup basmati rice
2 cups chicken stock
zest of one lemon
juice of 1/2 lemon
salt to taste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder

Method :

  • In a pan, combine basmati rice, chicken stock, lemon zest, salt, lemon juice, turmeric powder and cover and cook till the rice is done
  • When the rice is cooked, fluff it with a fork and serve it with any gravy of your choice.

Rosemary Cookies

While watching Food Network one day, I came across this interesting recipe by Laura Calder called "Lavender Sables". I was so tempted to make them at home. Lavender Sables are basically lavender cookies. Now, I didn't have lavender with me, so I decided to put dried rosemary into these cookies and they turned out quite well. So, for all who are interested in this recipe...here goes the link


Friday, March 26, 2010

Grilled Steak with Stuffed Mushrooms and Mixed Veggies

Some time back, I was longing to eat grilled food. But, here in Canada, eating out is pretty expensive. So, I decided to have restaurant style grilled steak at home. I went to the grocery store and picked up 3 pieces of eye of round. Usually, the eye of round is a solid piece also known as the bottom round which is used to make roasts or steaks. I also purchased a marinade to go with it and then put all the ingredients together to make this lovely meal. I was very surprised as my imagination and creativity turned out into a delicious continental meal. So, here goes the recipe for all the steak lovers ....

Ingredients :

for the steak:
1 eye of round beef
1 tbsp of Roasted garlic & peppers rub marinade ( I used the Club House La Grille brand)

for the sides:
3 mushrooms
3 baby potatoes
5 brocolli florets
a few brench beans
1 carrot
3 bok choy leaves
1 tbsp chopped garlic
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp fresh rosemary herbs
2 tbsp parmesan cheese
olive oil

Method :
  • Rub the marinade on the eye of round nicely on both sides and cover with a cling wrap and refrigerate for about 6 hours.
  • After six hours, allow the meat to come to room temperature.
  • Then lightly brush the grill pan with olive oil and grill the meat on both sides till it is brown and then cook it in the oven at 400 degree F for about 15 minutes till the meat is medium well done.
  • In the meantime, heat some oil in a pan. Add the brocolli, french beans and carrots and steam it. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • In another pan, boil the potaotes till they are half cooked. Then put the potatoes with the skin in a pan. Drizzle generous amount of olive oil, salt, pepper and rosemary herbs. Roast the potatoes in the oven at 400 degree F for about 10-15 minutes.
  • Heat oil in the same pan. Add the garlic, and the bok choy and stir fry for 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Cut the stems of the mushroom and chop them finely. Take a pan. Heat butter in it and add garlic and fry for a few seconds. Then add the mushroom stems and fry again for a minute or two. Take it out and keep aside. In the same pan, fry the whole mushroom for a minute and take it out. Now, put the mushroom and garlic filling inside the whole mushroom and top it with grate parmesan cheese and put it in the oven till the cheese melts.
  • Now plate everything starting with one piece of steak in the centre, and the other vegetables on the side.

I am sending this recipe to Spicy Tasty's Sizzling Summer Contest - Grilled food recipes.

Sizzling Summer Contest

Strawberry Lassi

"Lassi" is cool yoghurt drink, very refreshing especially during summers. But, I like to have it during anytime of the year. Last, week, I made two types of lassi: Strawberry lassi and plain yoghurt lassi. So, here is the recipe...

Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Serves : 4 glasses

Strawberry Lassi:

1 cup Fresh Strawberries chopped
1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
1 cup crushed ice
3 tbsp sugar or as per taste

Method :

  • Mix the strawberries, yoghurt, crushed ice and sugar in the blender to a fine puree. If it is too thick, you could add some water to it.
  • Pour in a glass and serve chilled.
Note: For plain lassi, just add all the ingredients except strawberries and prepare in the same manner.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Balsamic Strawberry Sundae

During my visit to the supermarket, I picked up strawberries as my daughter simply loves eating them. Everyone, loves strawberries and cream but I want to do a little more with these delicious strawberries. So, after a little thought, I came out with my very own version of Balsamic Strawberry Sundae.

Preparation Time : 10 minutes
Serves : 3

Ingredients :

10 medium strawberries, chopped
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp powdered sugar
2 drops of vanilla essence
3 scoops of french vanilla ice-cream

Method :

  • In a bowl, combine strawberries, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, vanilla essence and mix well.
  • Take the serving bowl, and put one scoop of vanilla ice-cream in it. Then pour 2 tbsp of balsamic strawberry mixture on it.
  • Repeat the same for the remaining 2 scoops of ice-cream
Note : You could also add chopped nuts of your choice if you like

Thursday, March 11, 2010


I love ordering naan in restaurants and thought why not try making them at home. So, the day I made malai koftas, I decided to make naan with it as this is a good combination. The recipe for making naan is very simple and within a few hours, you will be able to enjoy restaurant style naan at home.

Preparation time : 15 minutes + 4 hours for the dough to rise
Makes : 6 Naans

Ingredients :

2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup water
2 tbsp oil
21/2 tbsp plain yogurt
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp instant yeast
2 tbsp melted butter

Toppings :

2 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsp freshly chopped coriander leaves


  • First dissolve the yeast in water and keep aside for a while
  • In the meantime, combine flour, salt, sugar, baking soda and mix well.
  • To the dry ingredients, add the wet ingredients i.e yogurt, oil and the yeast mixture and knead well to form a soft dough.
  • Cover this dough with a cling wrap and keep aside for 3 -4 hours.
  • After 4 hours, you will see that the dough has risen and has almost become double in quantity.
  • Add a little flour to the dough and make 6 big balls.
  • In the meantime, pre heat the oven at 500 degree F for about 30 minutes
  • Roll them out in a rectangle shape to 1/4 inch thickness. Do not make them very thin.
  • Prick them with a fork so that they don't rise while baking in the oven.
  • Add your favourite toppings on top of the naan and put them in the oven.
  • You could put 2 or 3 naans at a time adding your favourite toppings
  • It should take about 3 minutes to get the naan ready.
  • As soon as they are out from the oven, brush them with some melted butter
  • Serve them hot with any gravy of your choice.

Malai Kofta Curry

This is one of my husband's favourite dishes and I have been wanting to make this from the time I got married. But, just kept pushing it away as I always thought it was quite a lengthy process and also very time consuming. But, my neighbour proved this theory of mine to be wrong :) She told me a very simple way of making these koftas and I found it so easy that I made them last weekend for my husband and he was immensely surprised. He simply loved it. I also made some naan to go with the koftas. Here goes the recipe...

Preparation Time : 30 minutes
Makes : 16 koftas

Ingredients :

for the koftas :

1 cup potatoes boiled and mashed
1 cup of grated paneer (cottage cheese)
2 tbsp freshly chopped cilantro
1 green chilli chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp salt or as per taste
2 tbsp flour
4 tbsp water

for the kofta gravy:

11/2 tbsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp ginger shredded
a pinch of asafoetida or hing
1/2 tsp salt or as per taste
1/4 tsp garam masala powder
1 tbsp cashew nut powder
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp all purpose flour
1/4 cup fresh cream
2 tbsp freshly chopped cilantro
2 big tomatoes finely chopped
1 green chilli chopped
2 tbsp tomato puree

Method :

for making the koftas :
  • Combine water and flour to form a smooth paste without lumps and keep aside
  • Combine all the ingredients for the koftas and make about 16 small balls. Remember when they go in the gravy they almost double in size.
  • Heat oil in a pan for deep frying and dip these kofta balls one at a time in the flour batter and insert them in the hot oil. Do not keep stirring them often as they would break. Fry them one side completely then turn them to fry on the other side.
  • Take them out from the oil, drain on a kitchen towel and keep aside.
for making the kofta curry :
  • Combine flour and cream to form a smooth paste and keep aside
  • Blend the tomatoes with the green chillies to form a puree
  • Heat oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds to it. When they crackle, add the tomato and green chilli paste and the tomato puree and fry nicely for about 5 minutes
  • Then add the shredded ginger, coriander powder, asafoetida, turmeric powder, salt, cashew nut powder and mix well and fry again for about 5 minutes.
  • Add about 1 cup of water to the above mixture and allow it to cook for a while
  • Then add the cream and flour mixture to the above gravy, garam masala powder, sugar and allow it to come to a slow boil.
  • Finally garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
  • Just when you are ready to eat or serve the malai koftas, add the koftas to the gravy and serve immediately. Else they will get dissolved in the gravy.
  • Serve hot with some home-made naan.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Palak Dal (Spinach with Yellow lentil soup)

Whenever I get Palak (Spinach), I generally end up making Palak Paneer. Today, I wanted to make something different. So decided to combine Palak with Moong dal. This is a good combination and the dal turned out really yummy as I served it over some steamed basmati rice.

Preparation Time : 20 minutes
Serves : 4

Ingredients :

11/2 cup (rice cooker measure) moong dal
1/2 bunch palak (spinach) washed and finely chopped
1 medium onion finely chopped
1 tomato finely chopped
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 green chilli finely chopped
1 tbsp Patak's curry paste (you could also use any curry powder)
salt to taste
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp cumin seeds

Method :
  • Pressure cook the dal with water, turmeric powder and salt upto 3 whistles. Allow it to cool and then mash it well.
  • Heat oil in a pan. Add some cumin seeds. When they crackle, add the onions and fry nicely till brown
  • Then add the ginger garlic paste, green chillies and fry nicely
  • Now add the tomatoes and fry again for a while
  • Then add the curry paste, salt, sugar, chilli powder and the chopped spinach.
  • Fry it nicely for about 5 minutes
  • Finally add the cooked dal to this and water as required and mix well.
  • The dal should neither be too thick or thin, so adjust the water accordingly
  • Serve hot over some steamed basmati rice.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Dahi Vada

I was not a great fan of dahi vadas until I visited my sister in the US. Once, she made these dahi vadas for me and they were so yummy that I just couldn't stop eating them. From then on, I simply love them. Of all the street foods available in India, my husband loves dahi vada the most. So, I decided to make it for him this weekend. Not to mention, they were really very good.

Preparation Time : 30 minutes + overnight soaking time

Ingredients :

1 cup Urad dal
500 ml yogurt
1 green chilli finely chopped
1/2 tsp ginger paste
1/2 tsp asafoetida (hing)
salt to taste
red chilli powder
chaat masala powder
coriander leaves chopped finely for garnish
tamarind sauce (to make tamarind sauce, simply combine tamarind paste with some sugar and little water)

Method :
  • Clean, wash and soak the dal overnight and the next day grind it to a smooth paste adding a little salt, hing, green chillies and ginger paste to it.
  • Heat oil in a pan and drop spoonful of batter and deep fry till they are golden brown.
  • Take the hot vadas and put them in cold water for about 2-3 minutes
  • Now take them out of the water, squeeze the water and keep them aside.
  • In the meantime, in a bowl add the yoghurt and beat it nicely till it smooth. Add some sugar to sweeten the yoghurt and mix it well.
  • In a bowl, first put 2 vadas at the bottom. Top it with some sweetened yoghurt to cover the vadas, and on top of the yoghurt sprinkle some chaat masala, red chilli powder, 1 tsp tamarind sauce and some coriander leaves and serve immediately.
  • Repeat the same with the other vadas.

Clams in a Spicy Coconut Gravy (Kubhe Sukhe)

I love clams which also known as "Kubhe" in Konkani. During my visit to the Chinese market, I purchased them and decided to make this dish the mangalorean way. I have watched my mom make it and it is really very delicious. This dish can be eaten with rice and dal (lentil soup).

Preparation Time : 30 minutes
Serves : 3


500 gms of clams
1/2 cup of freshly grated coconut
3-4 cloves of garlic crushed
6-7 curry leaves
1/4 tsp mustard seeds

to grind to a paste:
2 bedki mirchi (chilli)
2 madras mirchi (chilli)
1 medium onion chopped and shallow fried
1 tsp cumin seeds roasted
1 tsp coriander seeds roasted
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
5 peppercorns roasted
1 tsp tamarind pulp
2 cloves of garlic chopped
salt to taste

Method :
  • Boil the clams in 1/2 cup water adding some salt to it till the clams open up.
  • Put all the ingredients in the blender and add some water and grind to a fine paste
  • In a pan, heat about 2 tbsp of oil and fry the coconut nicely till slightly brown. Then put it in the blender and crush it slightly and keep aside.
  • Heat some oil in another pan. Add the mustard seeds, crushed garlic and curry leaves and then add the ground paste and fry nicely.
  • Then add the boiled clams to this paste and mix it well. Add salt if required.
  • Then add the coconut to it and mix it well.
  • Serve hot with rice and dal.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Chole Masala

Chole is the hindi name for Chick peas. This is a medium spicy dish with a blend of Indian spices.

Preparation Time : 10 minutes
Serves : 4

Ingredients :

500 gms canned chickpeas or chole
1 thai green chilli finely chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium tomato chopped
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp kashmiri chilli powder
1 tsp Badshah chole masala powder
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
1 tbsp lemon juice
salt to taste
a few chopped coriander leaves for garnish
2 tbsp oil

  • Heat some oil in a pan. Then add the cumin seeds and fry for a minute
  • To this add the green chillies, ginger garlic paste and chopped onions and fry till golden brown
  • Then add the tomatoes and fry nicely for about 5 minutes
  • To this add all the spices (turmeric powder, chilli powder, chole masala powder, salt and lemon juice) and mix well.
  • Then drain the water from the canned chickpeas and add them to the spices. Mix nicely and cook for about 5 minutes
  • Finally add the garam masala and give a final stir.
  • Garnish with freshly chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with some Indian chapatis.
Note: I have used canned chickpeas but, you could also use fresh chickpeas. If you are using fresh ones, then soak them overnight in water and then pressure cook them the next day.