Thursday, August 25, 2011

Spicy Chicken Wings

This is the first time I have made spicy chicken wings myself. I never much cared for them until I had the very best chicken wings at Fathima's place when she had us over for dinner once. They were so good that they were all gone within minutes.
I got to catch a glimpse of how she made them and so I tried my hand at them. Believe me, you will want to make them over and over again once you have them.
I don't like eating chicken with skin on it and so I got the chicken wings de-skinned. Chicken wings are usually made with the skin on, so if your okay with eating the skin, you don't need to get them de-skinned.
A bit of pre planning is required for this dish as you will need to marinate the chicken wings over night or for atleast 4 hours before making them.
Here's what you will need to make these yummy bites
Preparation time - 15 minutes
Cooking time - 30 minutes
Serves - 6 people
For marinade
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
1 tsp pepper powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
salt to taste
For chicken wings
1 kg chicken wings (de-skinned)
cornflour(enough to pat and coat the chicken wings in)
1 tbsp soya sauce
2 tbsps tomato ketchup
2 tbsps Tabasco sauce 
2 tbsps chilli sauce
1 tbsp sweet and sour tomato sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
oil to fry the chicken

  • Mix the chicken wings with all the marinade ingredients and keep aside either over night or for 4 hours atleast.
  • Take cornflour in a rounded plate and pat each wing in cornflour until coated well.
Heat the oil while you are coating all the chicken wings so its  hot enough to fry the chicken.
  • Fry the cornflour coated chicken wings in hot oil on medium flame to ensure they are cooked well. Fry until a lovely golden brown
  • In a non stick wok/pan add all the sauces with 2-3 drops of oil and mix well. Place on flame and let it heat a little. Then add sugar and mix. Finally, add all the fried chicken to this and toss until the wings are well coated with the sauce.
Serve hot. Enjoy!
  1. I have used red chilli sauce here but the green chilli sauce would work great as well. If you want it very spicy then leave out the sweet and sour sauce and add an extra tbsp of chilli sauce instead.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Mushroom Pakodas

Mushroom what?!!! is the reaction I get when I tell someone about this dish 
Mushrooms in any form is welcome for me. As Soup, as a topping on my pizza, in my rice....
I remember when shakeys was 'the hangout place' in Chennai, my friend Anu and me would find ourselves comfortably perched there, eating their lovely breaded mushroom starters. That was the start of my love story with mushrooms :) 
Ever since, I've tried various dishes with mushrooms and loved them all, cos of course they had mushrooms in them. I've tried mushroom pakodas just twice and they turned out great.
This post is for Anu, who, when I started the blog very sweetly asked me to put up the recipe to the shakey's mushrooms, if I knew it. I don't know how to make those but here's an Indian version of the mushroom starters we loved.
To make these you will need
Preparation time - 10 minutes
Cooking time - 15 minutes
Serves 6 people
9 tbsps gram flour (besan ka aata)
1 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
salt to taste
1 handful coriander leaves - chopped
2-3 green chillies chopped
1 packet mushrooms - cleaned and chopped
chat masala to sprinkle on top (optional)
  • Add half a cup water to the gram flour, red chilli powder, salt and turmeric powder and make it a smooth paste.This is your standard pakoda batter made. This batter can be used to make any pakoda of your choice(onion, potato, bread).  Mix well so there are no lumps in the batter. You can add more water if you feel the batter is too thick. The batter has to be of running consistency. 
  • Add chopped coriander and green chillies to this batter. I have done this to give the batter some extra flavour. Mix well.

  • Add the chopped mushrooms to this and mix so that they are coated with the batter.
  • Heat oil in a pan and slowly drop the batter coated mushrooms in the hot oil and fry on medium flame until golden brown. Remove and sprinkle with chat masala. Serve hot with any sauce/chutney of your choice.
Enjoy with a cup of hot tea :) tastes even better on a rainy day ;)

  1.  You can use anything you like instead of mushrooms to make this dish, spinach leaves, onions, potatoes, peppers. Be creative.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Fruit Dessert

Dessert.... the best part of any meal! I'm sure we all agree to that :) Now, when we say dessert, we usually think of something RICH and wholesome and yumm yumm!!
 If someone placed a bowl of fruit salad in front of me as dessert, I'd be a wee bit disappointed. That's what happened to me when this dessert was placed in front of me for the first time at my friend's place.  
Of course that was until I took a bite of it and realized it wasn't fruit salad. It was FRUIT DESSERT, a dessert in its true sense. RICH, WHOLESOME and YUMM YUMM!
My friend, who is from Sudan told me its a very common dessert in most Arab homes.
The best part....its made with fruits only!!! No extra nothings added to it. A dessert this healthy and this easy to make was very new to me. I really wanted a second helping but I politely asked her how she made it instead. A no cook, no bake dessert. This I had to try.
Here's what you need to make it
Preparation time - 15 minutes
Serves - 8-9 people
Best served chilled
4 cups of chopped fruits of your choice
(I used kiwis, apples, frozen raspberries and grapes)
1 big tin mango pulp (sweetened)

  • Throw in all the chopped fruits into a mixing bowl and add the mango pulp to it. Stir gently.

  • Cling wrap and refrigerate for 3-4 hours or for 1 hour in the freezer.

  • Remove and stir. Serve in small dessert bowls.



  1. Instead of using mango pulp, they use mango juice sometimes(the tetra pack ones. Mazaa should work fine). This is not as rich as when made with the pulp. If you want a light flavoured fruit salad for yourself, you can try it with mango juice.
  2. All fruits go great with this. Papayas, melons, bananas,apples....You will have your kids eating the fruits they wouldn't eat normally without them knowing it. Try it ;)

Rellure Kesar Mango Pulp, 30-Ounce Cans (Pack of 6)       Rellure Alphonso Mango Pulp, 30-Ounce Cans (Pack of 6)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Pav Bhaji

Pav Bhaji....the yummiest way to eat your veggies!!! :) This is traditionally a Maharashtrian fast food that literally means bread(pav) and vegetable curry(bhaji). The curry is a thick potato based gravy garnished with lots of onion, coriander and lime and served with a traditional soft bun. I am using normal bread here because I needed to finish it up. 
Pav bhaji is very famous in Mumbai, where you get different types like Mushroom pav bhaji, Cheese pav bhaji, Paneer pav bhaji.....
I have just made the regular pav bhaji with an addition of spinach since it was lying in my fridge. Trying to make it a little more healthy than it already is ;) 
Most people I know use the readymade pav bhaji masala to prepare this dish. I have however, used a my own mix of spices to make it.
Here's what you need to make this yummy dish 
Preparation time - 15 minutes
Cooking time - 20 minutes
Serves - 4 people

2 tbsps oil
2 potatoes-peeled and chopped
2 carrots-peeled and chopped
4 florets cauliflower
1/2 cup peas
1 handful spinach leaves - chopped
1 onion-chopped
2 tomatoes-peeled and chopped
2 green chillies-chopped
1 tsp garlic paste
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp pepper powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
a pinch turmeric
garam masala a pinch
1 tbsp lime
salt to taste
8-12 slices of bread
butter/olive oil to apply on bread slices
  • Add all the chopped vegetables(potatoes, carrots, cauliflower and spinach) in a pressure cooker with 1 1/2-2 cups of water and salt to taste and pressure cook it until done. Around 5 whistles (10 minutes)
  • While the vegetables are cooking, heat oil in a pan and add onions, garlic paste, green chillies and salt and sauté until the onions are a nice light brown. Add the peas to this and continue to sauté. Then add tomatoes and mix well and let it cook for 5 minutes. 
  • The vegetables should be done by this time. Open the pressure cooker and drain off any excess water into a bowl. Do not throw this water as you can use it to cook the gravy.
  • Now add all the vegetables to the sauted onion, tomatoes and peas in the pan. Using a vegetable masher, mash all the vegetables and mix well.

  • Add all the spices and lime juice to this along with the water drained from the cooker, simmer and let it cook for 5 minutes. Your gravy is ready now.

  • Apply butter/olive oil on the bread slices and heat them on a flat pan. 
Serve hot with the gravy garnished well with onions and coriander and a wedge of lemon.
  1. If you dont like your pav bhaji spicy then reduce the red chilli powder and pepper powder to 1/2 tsp.
  2. If you would like mushroom/paneer pav bhaji then saute them along with the onions and peas before adding the boiled vegetables.
  3. For cheese pav bhaji, garnish with lots of grated cheese instead of onions.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Shepherd's Pie

Shepherd's pie is a British or Irish pie made with beef mince and a crust of mashed potatoes. This dish has been around since the early 1800's. In most cases then, the pie dish was lined with roasted leftover meat and topped with mashed potatoes to make the crust and then baked. 
My mom also made this pie exactly the same way. Any left over mince at home was made into a pie the next day. It was a delicious way of finishing a leftover. 
I have made the pie with fresh mince and vegetables and spiced it up a bit to cater to the Indian taste. This pie is also a  good way of finishing up any vegetables lying around in your fridge.
 All kids love shepherd's pie and it has their greens and proteins and carbohydrates all packed into one. That's a good enough reason to be making this at home.
Here's what you will need to make this healthy pie
Preparation time - 15 minutes
Cooking time - 30 minutes
Serves 4 people
500g beef mince
2 tbsps oil
1 onion chopped
3 tomatoes peeled and chopped
1 big cup vegetables of your choice(carrots, corn, mushrooms, peas, beans, peppers)
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
1 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
a pinch of turmeric
salt to taste
For potato crust
4 potatoes boiled
salt, pepper and oregano/mixed herbs for seasoning
7 tbsps milk
1 tsp butter
  • Heat oil in a pan and add chopped onion to this.  Once the onions have browned lightly, add the mince, ginger garlic paste and salt to taste.
  • Sauté on high flame until the mince has browned. Add the vegetables to this and mix. Continue to sauté for another 5 minutes.
  • Add tomatoes and all the spices to this and mix well. Cover and let it cook on slow for 10-15 minutes.
  • While the mince is cooking you can prepare the mash. Take the potatoes in a mixing bowl and mash with a vegetable masher/fork. Add milk and seasoning to this and mix until smooth.
  • The mince will be done by this time. Transfer the mince from the pan to a pretty 'oven to table' baking dish and press down a bit.
  • Add the mash on top of the mince and even it out. Make a pretty design on top with a fork and add one tsp butter.
  • Pop it in a pre heated oven at 200 degrees C for 20 minutes or until the crust turns a nice golden brown. 

Serve hot with ketchup.
  1. Using oregano/mixed herbs for seasoning the mash is optional.
  2. You can add more butter on the mash before putting it in the oven to get a crispy golden crust. 
  3. I have used tinned tomatoes here cos they give a better flavour. Normal fresh tomatoes will work just as well.

Spode Baking Days Red Square Bake and Serve Dish   BIA Cordon Bleu Wavy 1-1/2-Quart Deep Oval Baker, Red

Monday, August 8, 2011

Brilliant Brownies

Why do I call them Brilliant Brownies??? Cos they simply are! :) They are easy to make and turn out just perfect. Soft and a bit gooey, just the way brownies should be!!!
My friend Ruchika, gave me the recipe to these most amazing brownies nearly over a year ago. I never really got around to making them until just a few weeks back when I had to go to a friends house for dinner. I was wondering what I could make to take along. I wanted to make something that  din't take much time or effort(I can be a bit lazy at times. then again, we all are sometimes :) ) I was going through all the recipes and unused ingredients I had. Brownies seemed perfect since I had some left over cooking chocolate and it was the easiest recipe I had ;) Worked out great! The brownies were a big hit.
 I made them again for a tea party at my place and I made double the amount then. Yes! they were all gone! Every last crumb of them :)
My husband requested the brownies again y'day and so on special request I am making them again. So join me and let's make them together...
Here's what you will need to make brilliant brownies
Preparation time - 10 minutes
Cooking time - 30 minutes
Makes 16 medium sized brownies
WARNING : you might want to keep the whole thing for yourself ;)
200g cooking chocolate
3 eggs
3/4 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 cup white sugar
1 cup all purpose flour (maida)
 1 cup walnuts
  • Grease and dust a small rectangular pan (6"x10") and place aside.
  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees C
  • Throw in the cooking chocolate and butter in a mixing bowl and microwave it for 2 minutes on high. Stir until chocolate melts.

  • Add the sugar to this and mix well. Then add eggs, flour and vanilla essence and mix well with a wooden spoon. Then use an electric blender and beat it for 2 minutes. This is to make sure the eggs are beaten in well and all the ingredients are blended in together.

  • Lastly add the walnuts and stir gently with a wooden spoon. The batter is really thick like most brownie batters.
  •  Pour this into the greased tray and pop it into the pre heated oven and let it bake for half an hour. Wait patiently for finger licking brilliant brownies :)
Once done, remove and let it cool. Over turn the tray onto a wired rack or non grease paper and cut into medium pieces. Alternatively cute into medium pieces and serve directly from the tray.
Drizzle with chocolate sauce and serve hot with any ice cream of your choice or enjoy with a glass of chilled milk.
  1. The original recipe uses 200g unsweetened chocolate and 2 cups white sugar. I couldn't find unsweetened chocolate so I used the normal cooking chocolate and reduced the quantity of sugar to 1 cup.
  2. The second time I made them, I used coffee essence instead of vanilla essence(cos i ran out of vanilla essence) and it gave them a great flavour. You could try it for a new flavoured brownie. 


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