Tadka dal trio

After a series of non-vegetarian delicacies, we are back to a few vegetarian specialties. Dal tadka trio is a delicious recipe made with three types of dal (pulses)- red lentils, green lentils and brown lentils. It has a rich and beautiful taste but is extremely easy to make!

  • Cuisine: Indian
  • Preparation time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking time: 30 minutes
  • Serves 10

I sometimes cook in large quantities, so that I can freeze it or can eat it for a couple of days, as it becomes difficult to cook daily after a full day of work. It keeps fresh in the fridge for 3-4 days and it can be stored in the freezer for upto 2 weeks.

Ingredients:

  • Red lentils 1 cup
  • Green lentils 1 cup
  • Brown lentils 1 cup
  • Onion, sliced 1 large
  • Tomatoes, chopped 3 medium
  • Ginger paste 1 teaspoon
  • Turmeric 1 teaspoon
  • Cumin powder 1 tablespoon
  • Garam masala powder 1 tablespoon
  • Red chilli powder 1/2 – 1 teaspoon (according to taste)
  • Salt to taste
  • Corinader leaves for garnishing

For tempering (a cooking technique in which whole spices are roasted in oil or ghee)

  • Ghee 1 tablespoon (easily available in the supermarket)- you can use oil if it is not available
  • Dry red chillies, whole 2-3
  • Cumin seeds, 1 teaspoon

Method:

1. Add red, brown and green lentils in a pan and pour 5 cups of water.

2. Add turmeric and salt to taste and boil it until tender. If you boil it in the pressure cooker, it would need 7 whistles and would be quicker.

3. In the meantime, heat oil in a deep non-stick pan, add cumin seeds, whole red chillies and cook for 1 minute.

4. Add the sliced onions and saute’ until golden brown. Add the chopped tomatoes, ginger paste, cumin powder, garam masala powder and red chilli powder. Cook until the oil starts to separate from the gravy. Switch off the gas.

5. Once the lentils are tender, add them to the gravy and mix it well. Add the ghee to it.

6. Pour it in a dish and garnish it with coriander leaves. Serve hot with naan bread or a bowl of rice.

 

Hariyali Chicken (Green chicken curry)

Hariyali means greenery! It is a dish where chicken is prepared in green sauce and can be served dry (hariyali chicken tikka) or in a curry (hariyali chicken). It is a very simple recipe and tastes great! It is cooked in a sauce made with spinach, corinader and mint leaves.

  • Cuisine: Indian
  • Preparation time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking time: 45 minutes
  • Serves: 6

Ingredients:

  • Chicken legs, skinless 1 Kg
  • Spinach leaves ½ cup
  • Coriander leaves 2 ½ cups
  • Mint leaves 1 cup
  • Yogurt 1 tablespoon
  • Onion, sliced 1 medium
  • Garlic 3 cloves
  • Ginger paste 1 teaspoon
  • Lemon juice 1 ½ tablespoon
  • Dry red chilles (deseeded) 2-3
  • Cumin powder 1 teaspoon
  • Garam masala 1 teaspoon
  • Paprika 1 teaspoon
  • Oil 3 tablespoons
  • Water 1 cup

Method:

1. Make a couple of gashes on the chicken legs and marinate it with 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon paprika and salt to taste.

2. Add the spinach leaves, coriander leaves, mint leaves, dry red chillies, garlic cloves, ginger paste, cumin powder, garam masala powder and half cup of water to a grinder and make a smooth paste.

3. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a deep non-stick pan and saute’ the onions until golden brown. Add the pre-marinated chicken pieces and saute’ for 5 minutes.

4. Add the green paste and yogurt to the chicken, mix it well and cover it with a lid. Cook on a medium flame for 30 minutes.

5. Add half cup of water and cook for another 15 minutes on a low flame. Switch off the gas.

6. It is ready to be served hot with Jeera (cumin) rice or plain rice or your choice of flat bread. Hope you like this recipe!

Tandoori trout fillet

 

Tandoori Chicken dates back to as early as the Mughal era, originated in Punjab (a state in North India)  before the partition and was popularised in Moti Mahal by Kundan Lal Gujral.

Tandoori fish is a variation of the same dish, where the fish is marinated with yougurt and spices and then roasted in the oven. It is usually made with sea water fishes such as Surmai, Pomfret or Rawas. My tandoori fish recipe is for a trout fillet! It is more easily available at the supermarkets or fishmongers and tastes great.

  • Cuisine: Indian (North)
  • Preparation time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking time 30 minutes
  • Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • Trout fillet 1 Kg
  • Yogurt 6 tablespoons
  • Sunflower oil 1 2 tablespoons
  • Lemon juice 3 teaspoons
  • Garlic paste 1/2 tablespoon
  • Ginger paste 1/2 tablespoon
  • Turmeric 1 teaspoon
  • Cumin powder 1 teaspoon
  • Coriander powder 1 teaspoon
  • Tandoori masala 1/2 tablespoon (easily available in the supermarket)
  • Red chilli powder 1/2 teaspoon
  • Salt to taste

To garnish:

  • Red onion slices- 1 onion
  • Cucumber slices- 8-10
  • Lemon slices- 4-5
  • Coriander leaves- few

Method:

1. Wash and descale the trout fillet as per my previous recipe for Salmon Kalia. Make 4-5 gashes on either side of the fish.

2. Prepare the marinade: Mix yogurt, 1 tablespoon oil, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, garlic and ginger paste; turmeric; cumin, coriander and red chilli powder; tandoori masala and salt to taste. Mix all the ingredients well. Mix the remaining oil and lemon juice in a separate bowl.

3. Place a foil on a big oven tray. Coat the fish well with the marinade on the tray. Leave it aside for 4-5 hours if possible. If not, then marinate for at least 1 hour.

4. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees C. Roast the fish for 15 minutes, then baste with the oil and lemon juice. Garnish the fish with lemon slices and put it back in the oven for another 15 minutes.

5. Switch off the oven. Cut equal pieces of the fillet and garnish it with lemon slices and coriander leaves.

6. The tandoori trout fillet is ready to be served with a bowl of rice, onion and cucumber slices as a main course or as a starter with salad.

 

Salmon Kalia (Bengali fish curry)

Macher (Fish) kalia is a very rich festive Bengali (West Bengal is a state in the Eastern part of India) dish cooked in special occasions particularly as a part of an elaborate marriage feast. It is usually cooked with river fishes such as Rui or Katla.

Since, I cannot always buy the special river fishes, I wanted to try the same dish with a different fish! I thought Salmon would be the best to try this recipe. Here is my version of kalia with Salmon- it has always been loved by my family and friends! Hope you all like this recipe.

  • Cuisine: Indian (Bengali)
  • Preparation time 10 minutes
  • Cooking time 30 minutes
  • Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • Salmon fillets 6 (cut into halves)
  • Onion, sliced 1 large or 2 medium
  • Tomatoes, chopped 2 medium
  • Ginger paste 1/2 teaspoon
  • Dry red chillies (Deseeded) 2-3
  • Turmeric 2 teaspoons
  • Garam masala powder 1/2 teaspoon
  • Cumin powder 1 teaspoon
  • Red chilli powder 1/2 teaspoon
  • Green chillies 2-3 to garnish
  • Salt to taste
  • Sunflower oil 4 tablespoons
  • Water 1 cup

Method:

1. Descale the fillets prior to cutting them into halves. To descale, put them inside a freezer bag, remove the scales using a knife and wash it under cold water to remove any loose scales.

2. Cut it into halves and add turmeric and salt to taste.

3. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large non-stick pan, put the salmon pieces and reduce the flame. Cook both sides for 4 minutes each until slightly brown. Remove the pieces from the oil and drain it on an absorbent paper.

4. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in another non-stick pan. Add the onions and saute’ them until golden brown.

5. In the meantime, grind the chopped tomatoes, ginger paste and dry red chilli to a paste in the grinder.

6. Add the tomato paste, turmeric powder, cumin powder, garam masala powder and red chilli powder to the onion. Cook until the oil starts to separate from the onion tomato paste.

7. Add water, whole green chillies and salt to taste. Bring it to a boil and add the salmon pieces slowly in the gravy. Reduce the flame, cover the pan with a lid and leave it to cook for 10 minutes.

8. Switch off the gas. Remove the salmon pieces from the pan and put it in a flat serving dish first, to keep the salmon pieces intact. Add the gravy from the pan on to the dish.

9. Mouth-watering Salmon Kalia is ready to be served with a bowl of rice and lemon wedges.

Try this recipe- you will love it! Please leave a comment on my facebook page if you like this recipe.

Turkey kofta masala (meat balls in a rich gravy)

Christmas celebrations are not complete without a turkey on the table in Britain. Likewise, it is the most relished meat in the United States during Thanksgiving!

I roast a turkey every year during Christmas and I love the entire process from buying to putting it on the table for my family. About 7 years ago, I discovered turkey mince and was very excited to be able to explore different dishes. Also, turkey is lean meat and is more healthy compared to lamb, pork or beef.

Today’s recipe is Turkey koftas in a rich  gravy! It is one of my family’s favourite dishes and is a regular for dinner!

  • Cuisine: Indian
  • Preparation time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking time: 40 minutes
  • Serves: 6

Ingredients:

For the koftas (meat balls)- makes 30 medium sized meat balls

  • Turkey mince 750 grams
  • Cornflour 1 tablespoon
  • Garlic paste 1/2 teaspoon
  • Ginger paste 1/2 teaspoon
  • Cumin powder 1 teaspoon
  • Coriander powder 1 teaspoon
  • Garam masala powder (blend of cardamom, cinnamon, cloves) 1 teaspoon
  • Paprika 1 teaspoon
  • Red chilli powder 1/2 to 1 teaspoon
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for shallow frying

For the rich gravy:

  • Onion, sliced 2 medium
  • Tomatoes, chopped 2 large
  • Garlic paste, 1/2 teaspoon
  • Ginger paste 1/2 paste
  • Dry red chillies 2-3
  • Cardamoms 2-3
  • Cloves 2-3
  • Cinnamon 1 inch sticks 2
  • Turmeric powder 1/2 tablespoon
  • Cumin powder 1 teaspoon
  • Fresh cream 2 tablespoons
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil 3 tablespoons for cooking
  • Water 1 cup

Method:

1. Wash the turkey mince and drain the excess water. Tranfer it to a plate and knead it like a dough. Add garlic paste, ginger paste, cumin powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder, paprika, red chilli powder, cornflour and salt to taste. Mix all the ingredients well.

2. Divide it into 30 equal parts and roll them into balls.

 

3. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large non-stick pan and shallow fry the meat balls for 2 minutes. Reduce the flame and cover the pan with a lid and cook for 8-10 minutes until golden brown.

 

For the rich gravy:

4. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large non-stick pan and add Cinnamon sticks, cloves, cardamoms and cook for a minute.

5. Add the sliced onions and saute’ until golden brown. Add the garlic paste and cook for 1 minute. In the meantime, grind the chopped tomatoes, ginger paste and the dry red chillies to a smooth paste.

6. Once the onions are golden brown, add the tomato chilli paste and cook until the oil starts separating. Add 1 cup of water and salt to taste and bring it to a boil.

7. Add the koftas (meat balls) in the gravy and cook for 10 minutes. Add fresh cream and bring it to a boil. Switch off the gas and leave it for a minute.

8. The turkey koftas are ready to be served with a bowl of rice or a flatbread of your choice.

Simple Chicken Quesadillas

 

 

A very simple but extremely tasty lunch/dinner! It is my daughter’s favourite- brings a smile on her face, when on her plate!! With the children spending much more time at home during the lockdown, this could be one of the exciting options for lunch or dinner!!

  • Cuisine: Mexican
  • Preparation time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking time: 30 minutes
  • Servings: 6

Ingredients:

  • Tortillas (corn or flour) – can be bought in the supermarket (I personally prefer corn tortillas but it is entirely your preference) or can be made at home (recipe to follow later)
  • Chicken breast, skinless, boneless, chopped into small pieces 500 grams
  • Onion, chopped 1 large
  • Bell peppers (red, yellow or green) sliced 2
  • Oregano 1 tablespoon
  • Cumin 1/2 tablespoon
  • Paprika 1 teaspoon
  • Salt to taste
  • Olive oil- 2 teaspoons for cooking chicken and for sprinkling on the pan to make the quesadillas
  • Cheddar cheese, grated 2 cups

Salsa:

  • Tomatoes, chopped 2 large
  • Red onion, 1 small
  • Lemon juice 1/2 teaspoon
  • Coriander leaves, chopped 2 teaspoons
  • Chilles, chopped 1 (only if you would like it to be spicy)
  • Black pepper
  • Salt to taste

Method:

1. Heat oil in a large non stick pan, add onion, bell peppers and cook for 1 minute.

2. Add the chicken, oregano, cumin powder, paprika and salt to taste. Cook on high flame for 5 minutes, reduce the flame, cover the pan with a lid and cook for 15 minutes. Cook on high flame for 5 minutes.

3. Salsa- add chopped tomatoes, red onion, coriander, lemon juice, black pepper and salt to taste. Add chopped chillies, only if you dont mind the spice!

4. Ready to make the quesadillas now!

5. Drizzle oil on a large non-stick pan, place a tortilla and add the chicken, salsa, grated cheese on one half of the tortilla.

6. Cook for 1 minute and cover the filled part of the tortilla with the other half. Cook the tortilla for a 3-4 minutes and turn it over using a flat spatula. Cook the other side for the same amount of time until golden brown.

7. Place the tortillas on the plate as seen on the picture below and then cut them into halves.They are ready to be served with a choice of salad or by itself!

Tip: Use one tortilla and fold it over instead of using 2 tortillas, as it would be more manageable and less messy.

 

Paprika fried chicken

 

Today’s recipe is Paprika fried chicken, inspired by the Southern fried chicken which is more commonly known as KFC (Kentucky fried chicken). It is a favourite amongst all age groups. Easy to make; great to taste; hard to share.

  • Cuisine: Southern US
  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking time: 30 minutes
  • Serves: 6

Ingredients:

  • Chicken 1 Kg (thighs with or without bone)- you can also make it with chicken legs
  • Garlic paste 1 tablespoon
  • Ginger paste 1 teaspoon
  • Lemon juice 1 teaspoon
  • Black pepper 1 teaspoon
  • Cayenne pepper 1 teaspoon (1 tablespoon if you would like it to be spicy)
  • Paprika 1 teaspoon
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for deep frying

Chicken coating:

  • Egg 1 large
  • Milk 2 tablespoons
  • Plain flour 2 cups
  • Cornflour 1/2 cup
  • Breadcrumbs (golden)- you can buy it in the supermarket 1/2 cup
  • Paprika 1 tablespoon
  • Salt to taste

Method:

1. Marinate the chicken pieces (boneless or with bone) with garlic paste, ginger paste, lemon juice, black pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika and salt to taste. Cover it with a cling film and leave it aside for a few hours.

2. To prepare the coating:

  • Beat the egg in a large bowl, add milk and mix it well.
  • In a separate bowl, add plain flour, cornflour, breadcrumbs, paprika and salt to taste. Mix all the ingredients well.

Method:

1. Dip the chicken pieces in the egg and milk batter and coat it in the flour mixture.

2. After coating it, leave it on a plate for 20 minutes.

3. Heat sufficient oil in a deep non-stick pan, so that the chicken pieces completely immerse in the oil.

4. Drop the chicken pieces one by one, when the oil is hot. You can cook 4-5 pieces at a time, depending upon the size of the pieces.

5. Fry till it becomes golden brown on each side (this would take 1-2 minutes). Reduce the flame and leave the pieces in the oil for 20 minutes.

6. Remove the chicken pieces from the oil and drain it on a kitchen towel to remove excess oil.

7. Serve hot with a bowl of fries, salad and a dip of your choice. Please try this recipe and enjoy crispy and tasty fried chicken. Let me know if you liked it!

Chicken kadai with a twist (chicken cooked with tomatoes and spices)

 

After a week of vegetarian food, we start with some of our non-vegetarian recipes! Chicken kadai, chicken cooked in tomato gravy with onion and bell peppers. My recipe has a twist, as it is cooked in a spicy tomato gravy but without bell peppers and does not have a lot of gravy. You can have it as a main course or a starter. This reminds me of home, as this is my family’s favourite. My mother’s tested recipe over the past few decades and is extremely close to my heart!

  • Cuisine: Indian
  • Serves: 6
  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

  • Boneless chicken thighs, cut into chunks or chicken legs (with bone) 1kg
  • Onion, sliced 2 large
  • Tomatoes, pureed 3 medium
  • Garlic paste 2 tablespoons
  • Ginger paste 2 tablespoons
  • Cinnamon 1 inch sticks (2)
  • Cardamoms 3-4
  • Cloves 3-4
  • Red chillies 2-3 (this will make the chicken spicy)
  • Turmeric 1 tablespoon
  • Red chilli powder 1 teaspoon
  • Sunflower oil 3 tablespoons
  • Mustard oil 1 tablespoon
  • Salt to taste
  • Water 2 tablespoons

Marinade for the chicken:

  • Turmeric: 1 teaspoon
  • Salt to taste
  • Yogurt 1 tablespoon

Method:

1. Marinate the chicken with yogurt, turmeric and salt to taste. It keeps the chicken moist and infuses flavour into the chicken.

2. Grind the tomatoes, ginger paste and red chillies to a smooth paste.

3. In the meanwhile, heat the oil in a deep non-stick pan and add the cinnamon sticks, cardamoms and cloves and cook them for 1 minute. Add the sliced onions and saute’ till golden brown.

4. Add the tomato chilli paste, turmeric, red chilli powder and salt. Cook on high flame until the oil starts to separate.

5. Put the marinated chicken into the pan and fry it on a high flame for 5-6 minutes. Put 2 tablespoons of water and over it with a lid to cook on medium flame for 30-40 minutes until the chicken is tender (takes longer to cook the chicken legs with bone).

6. Remove the lid and fry the chicken on a high flame for 8-10 minutes until dry.

7. Serve hot as a starter or with a bowl of rice/flatbread of your choice. Please try the recipe and let me know if you enjoyed it!

Chole-bhature (spicy chick peas and fried bread with plain flour)

 

 

The last day of the vegetarian week! A mouth-watering dish from North India, which is very popular all over the world. It is a combination of chole (spicy white chickpeas), bhatura (fried bread made with plain flour and yogurt) and raita (an accompaniment made with yogurt). It is one of my favourites and I don’t miss non-vegetarian food, if I have chole bhature on my plate. Let’s start with the recipe!!

  • Cuisine: Indian
  • Serves: 6-8
  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 40-60 minutes

Ingredients:

Chole:

  • Chickpeas (2 cans of boiled chick peas) 800g or 2 cups chickpeas (uncooked)
  • Onion. finely chopped 2 large
  • Tomatoes, pureed 4 medium
  • Ginger paste 1 teaspoon
  • Lemon juice 1 teaspoon
  • Bay leaves 2-3
  • Cinnamon 1 inch stick
  • Cardamons 2-3
  • Turmeric 1 teaspoon
  • Cumin 1 tablespoon
  • Coriander 1 tablespoon
  • Red chilli powder 1 teaspoon
  • Amchoor (dried mango powder) 1 teaspoon
  • Salt to taste
  • Water to boil the chickpeas if they are not already boiled

Bhature:

  • Plain flour or self-raising flour 3 cups or 375 grams(I have always used plain flour for bhature. In this lockdown, I could not find plain flour but still wanted to make them. I used self-raising flour instead- to try something new! Now, I can happily say, that it can be made with either of them).
  • Baking powder 1 teaspoon
  • Yogurt 6 tablespoons
  • Bicarbonate of soda 1/2 a teaspoon
  • Baking powder 1teaspoon
  • Oil 4 cups of oil
  • 1 cup of warm water

Garnish:

  • Red onion, finely chopped 1 large
  • Lemon wedges
  • Coriander leaves, finely chopped (optional)
  • Green chillies, chopped

Method:

Chole:

1. If using uncooked chickpeas, then soak in overnight. Boil it in double the amount of water until tender. The chick peas are already boiled if you have the cans.

2. Put 2 tablespoons of oil in a deep non-stick pan, add bay leaves, cinnamon and cardamoms and cook them for 1 minute. Saute’ the onions till golden brown. Add the pureed tomatoes, ginger paste, turmeric, cumin powder, coriander powder, amchoor and red chilli powder. Cook until the onions and tomatoes start to make a thick gravy.

3. Drain the water from the canned chick peas (or boiled chick peas) and add it to the gravy with salt as per taste.

4. Cook it in gentle heat for 20 minutes. Serve it in a bowl and garnish it with chopped onions, coriander (optional) and lemon wedges. Add chopped chillies to make it extra-hot if you prefer. Squeeze the lemon juice on the chole to make it more tasty.

Bhature:

5. Mix plain flour (or self raising flour), salt to taste, 2 tablespoons of oil, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and yogurt. Mix all the ingredients well. Use 1 cup of warm water to it and knead it to make a soft dough. Cover it with cling film and leave it for 3-4 hours.

6. After few hours, knead the dough again and divide it into 20 equal parts. Roll them between the palms and then roll out into 6-inch diskettes.

7. Heat the remaining oil in a deep pan and fry the bhaturas till light brown on both sides. Drain them on a kitchen paper to remove excess oil. Serve them with the chole.

 

Yogurt raita:

8. Add cumin powder and salt to the yogurt to make a simple raita, which goes really well with the spicy chickpeas.

Enjoy the delicious chole-bhature with yogurt raita!

Aloo tikki (potato cutlet)

 

I would like to continue with the Vegetarian Week! It is lovely to explore different vegetarian delicacies. I would like to share the recipe of aloo tikki! It is an Indian snack and tastes great with a cup of tea or coffee, especially on a rainy day!! It is an easy recipe and can be made with the least possible ingredients.

  • Cuisine: Indian
  • Servings: 10 cutlets
  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Potatoes, boiled 3 large
  • Semolina 3 tablespoons
  • Coriander leaves, finely chopped 2 tablespoons
  • Oil 4 tablespoons
  • Turmeric 1 teaspoon
  • Cumin powder 1 tablespoon
  • Coriander powder 1 tablespoon
  • Paprika 1 teaspoon
  • Salt to taste

For the dip:

  • Yogurt 6 tablespoons
  • Cumin 1/2 teaspoon
  • Paprika 1/2 teaspoon
  • Salt to taste

For coating (Optional):

Semolina 2 tablespoons- for a crispy coating on the cutlets (as in picture 1) but the cutlets can also be made without the coating (as in picture 2)

Method:

1. Boil the potatoes until they are tender. Wash them in cold water and peel the skin. Mash the potatoes well and mix coriander leaves to it.

2. Add semolina, turmeric, cumin powder, coriander powder, paprika and salt to taste. Mix all the ingredients well.

3. Divide the potato mix into 10 equal parts and roll them into small balls. Flatten them gently, make patties and keep them aside.

4. Put 2 tablespoons of semolina on a plate and coat the patties with it.

5. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a pan and shallow fry the patties till golden and firm on both sides. Drain them on a kitchen paper to remove excess oil.

6. Yogurt dip- put 6 tablespoons of yogurt and mix it with cumin powder, paprika and salt to taste.

Serve the patties with the yogurt dip with a cup of tea or coffee.