Monday, 31 October 2011

Sukha Chicken ( Chicken without Gravy)

Sukha Chicken
Dry chicken is taken as appetizer as well as well as main course. In main course it goes especially well with Tandoori roti / naan. Being less oily it is easier to digest and tastes very good. My personal preference next to tandoori chicken is sukha chicken. 

Preparations Time: 10 min.
Cooking Time: 40-45 min.
Servings: 4-5 large servings

Ingredients Required To make Sukka Chicken :
    • 1 kg. Chicken dressed, washed, and cut to pieces.
    Chicken for Sukha Chicken

     For Marinade:
    • 50 gm. Ginger-Garlic past.
    Ingredients for marinade
    • 100 gm. Thick Curd.
    • 10 gm. Turmeric powder. 
    • 10 gm. Red Chili powder.
    • 1/4 Tea spoon freshly grated Nutmeg. 
    For Masala/Spice mix:
    • 250 gm. Onion.( finely chopped )
    Finely cut Onions
    • 50 gm. Ginger- garlic paste.
    • 100 gm.(2 medium size ) Tomatoes.( chopped).
    •  2 Bay leaves.
    • 3-4 Cloves.
    • 1 Inch piece of Cinnamon.
    Spices for chicken
    •  5-6 Black pepper
    • 1 Black Cardamom
    • Salt to taste.
    • Red chili powder to taste.
    • 1 ml. Cooking Oil if cooking in non-stick wok / 10 ml. if cooking in normal wok
     Direction To Marinate Chicken 
    • Poke the chicken pieces with fork .
    • Mix garlic, ginger paste, curd, turmeric powder, chili powder, nutmeg.
    Ingredients for marinade mixed in a bowl
    • Beat them with a spoon or fork to form nice creamy mixture. 
    Marinade for chicken
    • Rub the mixer nicely on the chicken pieces and coat them with the mixer.
    Marinade mixed with chicken and kept for marinating

    • Cover and leave for 5-6 hrs. ( It can be kept in fridge ).
    Direction To Prepare Sukka Chicken
    • Take a thick bottom wok, put 2 teaspoon of oil in it and heat on gas till smoking hot.
    • Add cinnamon stick, cloves, bay leaves and black cardamom.Cook for 1/2 min.
      Spices being cooked till they splutter in 2 teaspoon of Olive oil
    • Add finely chopped onions and cook till transparent.
      Finely cut onions added to oil and spices mixture
    Onions cooked to transparent state

    • Add ginger- garlic paste and cook for 1 min.
    • Add finely chopped tomatoes, and cook till tomatoes turn just tender.
    Onions added after adding ginger-garlic paste

    Tomatoes cooked till tender
    • Add marinated chicken, mix nicely.
    Chicken added to cooked onion, tomato and spices mixture

    Mixed and being cooked on low flame
    • Add salt, red chili powder and mix.
    • Cook on low flame with constant stirring for 5 min. Juices from chicken will come out.
    • Cover and cook on low flame till all liquid dries.

    Covered and being cooked on low flame
    • Cook on low flame with regular stirring and sprinkling of very little water till the chicken becomes tender.
    10 ml. Water sprinkled and being cooked on low flame

    State after 5 min. of cooking (After sprinkling water)
    • Add garam masala and mix.
    • Cover and remove from gas.
    • Keep it aside for 4-5min. so as to allow the flavor of garam masala to seep in the chicken.
    Sukha Chicken
    • Remove the cooked sukha chicken in a serving bowl and garnish with ringlet of onions, tomatoes, sprig of coriander / celery / parsley.
    • Enjoy the sukha chicken with hot Nan, Tandoori roti, Roomali roti.
    Sukha Chicken
    • Cook in non-stick container otherwise oil requirement will become 10-15 ml.
    • Let the liquid of marinade dry completely before sprinkling water first time.
    • Do not add too much water at one go.
    • Cook on low flame. If the heat is increased to high then masala will get burnt.
     Suggested Variations:
    • Cut chicken pieces to bite size and serve it as appetizer.
    • Oregano can be added to the marinade replacing nut meg for a change of flavor.
    • Olive oil can be taken for cooking as it is healthy medium to cook.

    Friday, 28 October 2011

    Sabudana Khichadi( Granules of Tapioca starch cooked with ground nut powder)

    Sabudana Khichadi
    Sabudana is a very healthy, nutritious, tasty savory which is made from dried small balls of Tapioca starch. Sabudana khichadi is eaten during fasting in Maharashtra, Gujarat and some parts of south India. It can be taken as breakfast as well as evening snacks.  It is very nutritious and less oily preparation of sabudana and is my husband's favorite breakfast relished with curd.
    Many people do not eat coriander in fasting food, so it can be avoided if sabudana khichadi is being made during fasting.

    Preparation Time:  10-15 min.( not taking into account the soaking time).
    Cooking Time: 15 - 20 min
    Servings: Serves 4-5 large servings.

    Ingredients Required For Sabudana Khichadi 
    • 250 gm. Sabudana.
    • 100 gm. Ground nut.
    • 2 Potatoes (boiled and peeled.)
    Boiled and peeled Potatoes
    • 2 Green chillies finely cut.
    • 2 Tea spoons Coriander leaves (washed and finely cut).
    • 10 ml. Cooking oil.
    • 1 Tea spoon Cumin seeds.
    • 1 Tea spoon Mustard seeds.
    Mustard,cumin seeds,curry leaves cut green chilies for seasonong

    • Salt to taste.
    Direction To Prepare Sabudana Khichadi : -
    • Wash Sabudana in a sieve over running water
    • Soak Sabudana in 100 ml water for 3-4 hrs.

    soaked sabudana
    • Roast ground nuts , remove the brown peelings, and grind to powder.

    Powder of roasted ground nuts
    • Crush the potatoes to small pieces.
    • Take a thick bottom wok , put oil in it and heat till oil is smoking hot.
    • Add cumin seeds , mustard seeds, green chilies and cook till seeds splutter.
    • Add potatoes and cook for 2 min.

    Boiled potatoes being cooked in the seasoning
    • Add soaked Sabudana and mix .

    Sabudana added to cooked potatoes
    • Add salt , coriander leaves and mix.
    • Cover and cook for 3-5 min. with stirring once or twice.
    • Add ground nut powder and mix.

    Groundnut powder added to sabudana
    • Cover and cook for 5-10 min. till the color of Sabudana becomes transparent.
    • Remove from heat.
    Sabudana Khichadi without Fresh coriander leaves

    Sabudana Khichadi with fresh coriander leaves
     Sabudana khichadi is ready to be served with curd / chutney

    Tips : -
    • Sabudana when soaked should not be soggy. The grains of Sabudana should be soft , fluffy and separated from each other.
    • If too much water is added while soaking then the khichadi will become lumpy.
    Suggested Variations:-
    • Nuts like cashew/almonds can be added after cutting them fine.
    • Those who do not like coriander can avoid it.

          16 Tips To Make Your Kitchen Work Easy.

          Despite of being a regular hand in the kitchen some times practical difficulties are faced. This blog has taken shape from the experience of my elders passed on to me when i was a new bee in the kitchen and saved me from many difficulties. I dedicate this blog to my granny, mother and all those ladies who taught me the finer points of kitchen.
          • Make puree of tomatoes when less expensive and store in fridge as cubes. Handy and easy to use for one and all.

          •  While making the gravy for any vegetable, chicken, mutton, Rajama, Chana .
              • Do not make paste of onion, garlic, ginger and then fry.
              •   Instead, first cut the onions, garlic and ginger to pieces.
              •  Shallow fry them using little oil in a nonstick thick bottom wok.
              • Once the mix of onion, garlic, ginger is golden brown allow it to cool and then grind.
                         You will save time, energy and of course the oil required will   also be reduced. Thus making the food less oily!!!

          • Instead of buying garlic, ginger pastes from market make it at home.

          Home Made Ginger-Garlic Paste
          •     For working ladies and mothers with very small children it is really helpful to store the cooked paste of onion, garlic and ginger in the fridge
                    The cooked paste can be stored in deep freeze for a month without   
                     getting  spoilt. Just take the required amount, thaw it and use.!!!!!!!!!:)
          • If by mistake salt is added in excess then
              • Take a medium size potato.
              • Wash, peel and cut it to 4 big pieces,
              • Add it to the vegetable along with little water and cook the vegetable gravy to required thickness.
              • Remove the potato.
              • Potato will absorb the salt and save you from trouble.
          This can be done for vegetables with gravy, not to dry vegetables.
          • If during cooking food gets stuck to the bottom of the container and starts getting burnt,
              • Do not scrape it immediately.
              • Remove it from gas.
              • Remove the lid and allow it to cool so that the burnt smell escapes.
              •  Once cooled remove the food layer by layer without disturbing the burnt part.
          • Old bread from the fridge should not be discarded but can be cut to 2 cm. pieces and added to Poha.
          • Old bread can be dried and powdered to use as crust for making cutlets/ fish fry.
          • To maintain green color of spinach in Palak Paneer,
              • Dunk the cleaned and washed spinach in salted boiling water and remove after 2-3 min.
              • Grind it to thick and added the paste to the paneer masala and cook for just 2 min.
              • Added 1 tea spoon of coriander leaves paste just before removing from gas
                            Vegetable will come out of beautiful green color.
          • To increase the shelf life on Semolina (Suji), Ground nuts,and sesame seeds :, palak Paneer,
              • Roast them before storing.
          • While making vegetable of Okra (Bhindi),
              • Do not add salt in the starting.
              • Add all spices except salt, cover and cook on low flame.
              • When all sliminess of bhindi disappears then add salt and mix gently and cook till done.
                             This way the okra vegetable will always come out nice and dry.
          • As far as possible cook food in nonstick pans,
              • This ensures less oil consumption.
              • Least possibility if food sticking at the bottom.!
          • For those who are weight conscious and so purchase toned milk,
              • Instead get full cream milk.
              • Heat it 10-12hrs. Before required time and keep in fridge.
              • All cream (Malai) will get deposited at the top.
              • Remove the cream and collect it in a bowl.
              • After a week take it out and beat nicely using your fingers/fork/egg beater.
              • Butter will separate.
              • Remove the butter use it or heat it on low flame to convert it to Ghee.
              • Add some curd to the left over milky liquid and keep it overnight, fat less butter milk is ready for consuming.
              • Else heat the milky liquid, paneer will separate which can be used to make stuffed paratha/paneer bhujji.
          Do not keep the cream in the fridge for more than 10 days else it will start getting rancid.

          • Try to dry and store Methi, Palak, during season when it is less expensive.
              • Just clean (do not wash) and shade dry.
              •  It comes handy when vegetables are either very expensive or leafy vegetables are not available in market.
              • Just take handful of dried vegetable soak in water for 10min., sieve wash with running water in a sieve.
              •  Cook with potato pieces and make tasty  vegetable/add it to dough of whole wheat flour and make tasty puri, parathas.
              • Kasoori Methi is nothing but dried methi leaves and is very expensive in market, so you will have home made Kasoori methi !!
          • While cleaning chicken rub it with lemon it will not smell.
          • While making chicken biryani do not discard the skin. Boil it with 2-3 cloves, 1cm. cinnamon stick, and pinch of nutmeg powder. Filter and use the stalk for cooking the rice instead of water, it will enhance the flavor of biryani.
          • To the marinade of mutton add 2 tea spoons of raw papaya paste.
              • Mutton with cook better and fast.
              • Do not add papaya paste to chicken

          Sunday, 16 October 2011

          Poran Poli (Sweet, Stuffed, Shallow fried Wheat Flour puff )

          Poran poli and Ambti
          In Southern  and Western part of India during any festival,or ceremony this delicacy is made along with tangy, spicy soup called Ambti. No festival in Maharashtra is complete without poran poli. It is sheer gastronomical pleasure to have this sweet and tangy combination. In some parts of Maharashtra it is eaten with Milk/ Curd. But my favorite choice is Ambti and Poran Poli. Top it up with some ghee (clarified butter) and it will taste heavenly. I always over eat when I make Poran Poli.

          Preparation Time: 15 min.
          Cooking Time: 60 min.
          Servings: Approximately 10-12 Poran Poli will be made from above material.

          Ingredients Required For Poran Poli : -

          For Poli (Outer cover) : -
          • 250 gm . Wheat flour.
          • 25 -30 ml. clarified butter(ghee) / cooking oil.
          • 1/2 Tea spoon salt.
          • Water.
          • 50 -60 ml. Cooking oil / ghee for cooking Poran Poli.
          For Poran (Stuffing) : -
          • 250 gm. Split Black Gram(Chana Dal).
          • 50 - 75 gm. Jaggery/sugar.
          • 1/2 Tea spoon Cardamom Powder.
          • 1/2 Tea spoon Salt.
          • 1/2 Tea spoon Turmeric powder.
          • 750 ml. Water.
          Direction To Make Poran Poli 
          • First take the atta (wheat flour ) in a bowl add salt to it and mix.
          • Add ghee/ oil to it and mix nicely using your fingers till it resembles bread crumbs.
          • Add water in little proportions and knead.
          • Knead to make a soft dough.
          • Keep it aside.
          Dough for Poran Poli
          • For stuffing take washed chana dal in a pressure cooker add water , turmeric powder , salt and put the lid.
          • Keep on gas on high flame till pressure is built then lower the flame and cook for 10min. 
          • Remove from flame and allow the cooker to cool.
          • Dal should be soft but not over boiled.
          Chana dal boiled to softness
          • Sieve the dal through a sieve and store the liquid (filtrate) for making Ambti.
          • Keep a thick bottom wok on low flame and put boiled dal, jaggery/sugar in it and cook with regular mashing and stirring, till the mixture becomes like a dough.
          Boiled chana dal being cooked with jaggery for Poran(filling)

          Poran (filling) for Poran Poli
          • Add cardamom powder to the cooked dal jaggery/sugar mixture cover and allow it to cool.
          • Make small ball from the wheat flour dough flatten it a bit with your palms and make a depression in the center to a cup shape.
          Ball of dough for poran poli
          Dough ball flattened and made to a cup shape in the palm
          • Fill the cold stuffing generously and seal the edges properly by pressing them together.
          Poran filled in the dough cup

          Edges being folded after filling poran
          • Sprinkle some dry wheat flour on a rolling board and place the prepared stuffed ball on it, sprinkle some dry flour on the stuffed ball to avoid sticking and flatten it to make a flat round of 3-4 mm. thickness.
          Dough ball filled and ready to be rolled

          Rolled Poran Poli
          • Heat a tawa (flat pan without edges) on gas and when hot place the rolled poran poli on the tawa.
          Poran Poli being cooked on Tawa
          •  Cook on both sides by applying little oil/ ghee, till golden brown on both sides.
          Poran Poli
          • Serve with Ambti/Milk/Curd/Ghee.
          Poran poli with Ambti
          Tips :
          • Poran (stuffing) can be made and kept in the fridge for 2-3 days , so make it in advance for it will make your work easy.
          • You can grind the boiled dal on a grinding stone before cooking it with jaggery /sugar. 
          • Drain out water completely by sieving before cooking it with jaggery / sugar.
          • Do not over cook the Dal because the stuffing will not come out correct and difficult to fill.
          • More the stuffing filled better the Poran Poli.
          • You can change the amount of sugar / jaggery as per the sweetness you want in the poran poli
          Suggested Variations:
          • To change the flavor of Poran cardamom powder can be replaced by nut meg powder / cinnamon powder.
          • Adding 2 / 3 tea spoons of dry coconut powder gives poran poli an altogether different flavor.
          • Refined flour / 50:50 mixture of refined flour and whole wheat flour can be taken for making the dough of poli.
          • To make poran (filling) you can also cook the boiled dal with jaggery and little water till the jaggery looks thick and syrupy.
          Boiled dal cooked with jaggery and little water
          • Cool the mixture and sieve it through a sieve with regular mashing.
          Sieving the cooked dal and jaggery mixture with regular mashing.
          • Cook till it becomes like a dough of poran.
          Poran (filling) for Poran Poli

            Upama ( Low calorie dish prepared from Semolina)


            Upama is very low calorie but high on nutrition and easy to digest. I was introduced to it by one of the hostel warden in Jaipur (Rajasthan) and I just loved it and now my family loves the Upama made by me. It is a savory dish mainly made in southern part of India but eaten by most of the Indian with equal zest. So what is stopping you!!! Try it with porridge and fruits as a combination for breakfast and make your family healthy.

            Preparation time: 5-10 min.
            Cooking time: 15 min.
            Servings: Serves generous helping for 4 people.

            Ingredients Required For Upama : 
            • 150 gm. Suji (Semolina)
            Roasted semolina(suji)
            • 100 gm . Finely cut mixed vegetables.(carrot, french beans, peas, cauliflower). 
            Mixed vegetables
            • 1 Medium size finely cut Onion.
            • 1'' Ginger piece (grated).
            • 1 Medium size finely cut Tomato. 
            Finely cut Tomatoes
            • 2Tea spoons finely chopped Coriander leaves.
            • 4-5 Curry leaves.(sweet neem leaves)
            • 2 Tea spoons Urad dal.
            • 1 Tea spoon Cumin seeds.
            • 1/2 Tea spoon Mustard seeds.
            • 2 Green chilies finely cut.
            • Salt to taste.
            • 10 ml. cooking oil.
            • 150 ml. Water.
            Direction To Make Upama 
            • Take a thick bottom wok and roast suji to light golden color on low flame.
            • Keep the roasted suji aside in a bowl.
            • Put oil in the wok and let it heat .
            • Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, curry leaves, urd dal and cook for 1 min. The mustard seeds, cumin seeds will split and urd dal will become golden in color.
            • Add onions and cook till transparent in color.
            Onions being cooked to transparent stage
            after seasoning with mustard seeds,
            cumin seeds, curry leaves and urd dal.
            • Add green chillies, ginger and cook for 1/2 min.
            • Add all vegetables and cook for 2-3 min. 
            • Add tomatoes and cook till they become soft.
            • Add roasted suji and mix thoroughly so that the vegetables get coated with suji. 
            Mixed vegetables, tomatoes, suji being cooked
            • Add salt and mix again.
            • Add water and mix 
            Water added to the mixture of suji and vegetables.
            • Cover and cook on low flame for 10 min.
            After adding water the wok is covered and kept on low heat
            • Add coriander leaves mix nicely.
            • Cover and remove from flame 
            Tips : -
            • Suji can be roasted and stored this makes the morning work easy as well as avoids suji getting spoiled ( infested with pests).
            • Never use Pumpkin, Brinjal, Baigan, bottle gourd (Lauki), cabbage, Drum sticks,in upama.
            • Upama can be used as evening snack also.Filling yet light.   
            Upama ready to be garnished and served
            Upama is ready to be served and of course eaten with coconut/ground nut chutney / Coriander mint chutney 
            / Hariyali chutney

            Suggested Variations :
            • To make it more attractive for children you can add cashew, raisins, cherry in little amount.
            • Instead of suji finely broken wheat for upama can also be used.


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