Sunday, April 27, 2014

Baked Herby Chicken

Lemony Mint Chicken
I have been trying out various baked recipes with chicken from a cook book I was gifted decades ago.  The best part about these recipes is that you spend a few minutes preparing the ingredients, marinade it overnight and then throw it in the oven and leave it to cook while you get other things done.  Very suitable for a busy day and a great way to save time and multi task.

The Recipe:

1 large chicken (about 2 kgs) skin, joint, wash and drain; 1 bunch mint leaves, washed and chopped; 3 spring onions, washed and minced; 1 medium onion, sliced fine; 1 large tomato, cubed; rind and juice of 1 lemon; 4 cloves garlic, crushed; 1 tsp black pepper, coarsely crushed; salt to taste and 2 cups thick home made curds or yoghurt.

Mix all the ingredients together and marinade the chicken overnight in the refrigerator.  Next day, bring it to room temperature and transfer to a large pyrex dish.  Bake in preheated oven at 250 C  for 45 to 50 minutes or until done ( insert metal skewer in the chicken and when the juices run clear it is done).  Serve hot with any flavoured rice and cucumber salad.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Passion Fruit Salad

Aromatic Salad

This has to be one of the best salads I have ever made.  It not only tastes good and smells divine but looks great and can be a dinner table centre piece.  We have always grown passion fruits in our garden as long back as I can remember- in the ground and in the pot too on our balcony.  Once when our baby girl was two years old, she had a marvellous time plucking all the passion fruits I had so carefully nurtured on my balcony.  I just put them with the rice and they ripened within a few days and we feasted on exotic food and generally had a good time.  When we visited Bali a few years ago I was surprised to eat a variety of Passion fruit that was really sweet and very unlike the ones we had grown in India.  Last week I came across some of the sweet variety in the supermarket and succumbed to them.  Result- one beautiful, aromatic, Passion Fruit Salad that made my dining table look awesome.

The Recipe:

1 cup curds or yoghurt; 1 grated carrot; 2 passion fruits, cut and scoop out the flesh; 1 dragon fruit, diced; salt and pepper to taste.

Garnish:  One red chilli. A sprig of kafir lime leaves.

 I enjoy vegetable carving and try out simple things whenever I can.  Place the chilli on a board and cut it  3/4 down into half with a sharp knife.  Start at the tip and go upwards.  Then using a small scissors, cut each half 3/4 down into 3 to 5 petals.  Gently shake out the seeds.  Put in a container with water to cover and refrigerate overnight.  Next day take it out of the water and drain.  You will find that the chilli has become a beautiful flower.  Keep practising until you are perfect.

Method:  Mix all the ingredients together.  Adjust the seasoning and garnish with a red chilli cut to look like a flower.  Refrigerate and serve with whatever meal you are having.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Mangalorean Cashew Pulav

Cashew Rice
Ever since I listed my kitchen with Plate Culture, I have been cooking Mangalorean Food for special occasions.  To hone my skills and also to plan for future cookery classes.  My family and friends are very appreciative and give me positive feedback all the time.  All the participants loved the idea of cooking their own Indian food in far away lands and here is one of the recipes I taught them.

The Recipe:

250 gms long grain, basmati rice, washed and drained; 1 cup cashew nuts, soaked overnight; 1 large onion, sliced fine; 1 inch piece ginger, minced; 4 large cloves garlic, minced; salt to taste; 1 tbsp ghee; 1 tbsp olive oil and 500 ml warm water; 2 cloves, 1 inch stick cinnamon and 2 cardamoms, whole.

Heat the ghee and oil (add both together) in a non stick pan.  Throw in the spices and when they crackle, lower heat and add onions, ginger and garlic.  Stir fry a few minutes till golden brown.  Add the rice and gently mix until transparent and all the grains coated with oil.  Add the soaked cashews (discard the water) and stir fry a few minutes.  Transfer to rice cooker, add salt and warm water and cook till done.  Serve with Chicken Stew and Cucumber Pachdi.