Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Olive Stuffed Chicken breast with Mushroom Sauce

Olive Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Mushroom Sauce
Stuffed Chicken Breast with Mushroom Sauce

Chicken meat is very tender and does not require too long cooking as well as much fat / oil while cooking. This preparation of chicken is very healthy with minimum fat and least calories but full of nutrients as it has herbs, olive and mushroom. Since chicken is cooked in a pan not in tandoor thus the temperature at which chicken is cooked is not extremely high thus retaining all nutrients intact along with the juice of chicken and olive. If guests arrive suddenly and you have to prepare chicken dish this is an apt dish as it is easy to cook, take less time than other chicken preparations and very very tasty.

Olive stuffed Chicken Breast
Preparation Time: 1 hr.
Cooking Time: 20 min
Servings: 2 medium servings

Ingredients Required For Making Stuffed Chicken Breast:
  • 2 Bone less Chicken Breast
  • 10-15 black Olive
  • 4 Tea spoon Cream (Optional)
  • 1 Tea spoon Dry Basil / 10-12 Fresh Basil Leaves.
  • 1 Tea spoon Mustard paste and 1 tea spoon honey / 2 Tea spoon Mustard Honey Sauce
  • 2 Teaspoon Olive oil
  • 1 Tea spoon chili flakes
  • Salt to taste
Ingredients Required For Making Mushroom Sauce:
  • 10-15 Button Mushrooms
  • 10-12 Fresh Basil Leaves
  • 6-7 Cloves of Garlic
  • 5 ml. Vinegar
  • 1 Tea spoon Honey
  • 4-5 Black Olive
  • Salt to taste
Direction for Making Stuffed Chicken Breast:

Marinating process:
  • Cut the chicken breast from the center as such that it remains intact from one edge.
  • In a bowl take olive oil, Basil (if you are taking fresh basil then shred the basil leaves to small pieces)
  • Chili flakes,Salt and mix nicely. Marinade for chicken is ready.
  • Prick the breast pieces from inside and outside with a fork.
  • Apply the marinade nicely on all sides of chicken breast.
  • Keep for 30 min.
 Stuffing Olive to Marinated Chicken:
  • Cut black olives to thin round pieces.
  • Mix the olive pieces and mustard honey sauce in a bowl.
  • Open the chicken breasts two parts and spread the olives on the lower part of chicken breast, and let the upper flap fall on it so as it gets closed.
Chicken breast and Black olive marinating in olive oil,Basil,white pepper,salt,chili flakes
  •  Spread one tea spoon of mustard honey sauce evenly on all sides of stuffed chicken breast.
Mustard honey in marinated chicken
  •  Leave aside for 10 min.
  • Put cream on stuffed chicken breast and carefully spread it evenly on all sides and inside.
Cream added to marinated chicken
Cream mixed to marinated chicken
  • If any olive spill out just push them inside.
Olive stuffed marinated Chicken breast
  •  Heat a non-stick pan on medium flame.
  • Carefully place the stuffed chicken breast on the pan.
Stuffed Chicken breast placed on hot non-stick pan
Stuffed marinated chicken breast pieces being cooked without oil on low flame (After 5 min)
Stuffed chicken breast being cooked on hot non-stick pan on low flame (After 10 min.)
  • Lower the flame and cook without disturbing the chicken breast for 3-4 min
  • The side touching the pan will get light golden brown color.
Shifting chicken pieces to the edges so that it gets cooked on the sides also
  • Flip the chicken breast so that the other side also gets cooked.
Golden brown on one side and being cooked on the other side
  •  Cook on low flame for 3-4 min. Both sides will become golden brown.
  • Mix 1/2tea spoon vinegar and 1/2tea spoon honey in 20 ml water.
  • Add 10 ml. of this water to the chicken in the pan and cook on low flame till all water evaporates.
Chicken breast being cooked with stock
Chicken breasts cooked till all stock got absorbed
  • Turn the chicken breast pieces and add rest of the vinegar-honey water and cook till all water dries.
  • Chicken breasts are now cooked. The chicken breasts will look beautiful with golden brown color and green specks due to basil in it.
  • The chicken should be bouncy to touch when cooked.
Testing by pressing with finger tip
Olive stuffed Chicken Breast
Direction For Making Mushroom Sauce:
  • Wash and cut each mushroom to 3-4 long pieces.
  • Peel and cut garlic to small pieces.
  • Shred Basil leaves.
  • Take 3-4 drops of olive oil in a nonstick pan and heat it.
  • When the oil is hot lower the flame and add garlic to it cook for 30 sec.
  • Add mushroom and cook for 1 min.
Mushroom, Olive  and fresh basil being Sauteed  in 1ml, olive oil
  • Mix vinegar, honey and 30ml. water and add this mixture to the mushrooms in the pan.
Ready for Honey,Vinegar olive stalk to be added
  •  Cook for 2 minute. 
Mushrooms being cooked in stock for 2 min.
  • Add salt, mix nicely and switch off the gas.
Salt added and gas switched off
  • Delicious mushroom sauce with basil flavor is ready.
Mushroom sauce
How to serve:
  • Heat the stuffed chicken breast on a non-stick pan or in micro wave oven.
  • Place hot chicken breasts on a serving plate.
  • Pour hot mushroom sauce on it.
Olive stuffed chicken breasts with mushroom sauce
  • Serve hot.
  • Use non-stick pan and do not use oil, this recipe does not require oil during cooking.
  • If you do not have non-stick pan then only grease the cooking utensil with 3-4 drops of oil and place the chicken breast on medium hot pan, not very hot pan.
  • You can make fresh mustard-honey paste by taking fresh paste of mustard seeds and honey in 1:2 ratio and mixing both nicely by beating with a spoon/fork.
Suggested variations:
  • 4-5 teaspoon grated Parmesan cheese can be mixed with olive and then stuffed.
  • Instead of black olive green olive or mixture of black and green olive can be taken.
  • Thyme can be taken instead of Basil.
  • If you want to make chicken breast completely fat free then omit cream.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Home made Ginger-Garlic Paste

Ginger-Garlic Paste

Ginger and garlic are the two spices which are very often required during vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian cooking. There are times that even a house wife finds it taxing to make fresh paste of ginger and garlic every time it is required for cooking. Working ladies and mothers with small children are always stretched for time. I was a working young mother staying in cantonment area, thus had to plan, preserve and economize while running of the house hold, for there used to be times when even simple thing like garlic or ginger would not be available. I used to purchase ginger and garlic in bulk, and make the paste in large quantity at home. That is when I realized that apart from being pure, unadulterated ginger-garlic paste it was proving to be very economical and certainly the taste imparted to the dish by this pate would be exactly like fresh paste. 32 years of my married life and I have yet to purchase marketed Ginger paste, Garlic paste or Ginger-Garlic paste.
I strongly recommend for all of you to atleast try it once to know the benefit of home made spices.

Preparation Time: 15 min.
Making Time: 10 min
Servings: 500 gm. Ginger-garlic Paste.

Ingredients Required For Making Ginger-Garlic Paste:
  • 250 gm. Ginger
  • 250 gm. Garlic
  • 100 ml. Vinegar (preferably fruit vinegar than synthetic vinegar)
Grape vinegar
Directions For Making Ginger-Garlic Paste:
  • Wash ginger thoroughly to remove all soil and dirt attached to it.
  • Dry the washed ginger with the help of a towel / cloth.
  • Peel the washed and dried ginger 
Peeled Ginger
  •  Cut / grate the peeled ginger.
Peeled and Cut Ginger
  •  Peel garlic and wash the peeled garlic to make sure no soil or any other dirt is attached to peeled garlic cloves.
  • Dry the peeled and washed garlic with the help of towel/cloth.
Peeled Garlic
  • Cut peeled, washed, dried garlic to small pieces.
Peeled and Cut Garlic
  •  Take the cut garlic and ginger in a mixer/grinder.
  • Add 50 ml. of vinegar and grind to smooth paste.
  • If required then add remainder of vinegar in small portion.
Ginger and Garlic made to paste in Grape Vinegar
  • Store this ginger-garlic paste in a glass bottle.
Ginger-Garlic Paste
  •  Store it in the fridge for 3-4 months also and it will neither loose its flavor not go bad.
  • If you are taking fruit vinegar then the paste may change color slightly, but not to worry it is the fruit in the vinegar causing the color change, flavor will not change.
  • If stored outside , not in fridge then the paste will last for a month minimum, because vinegar acts as preservative.
  • Fruit vinegar not only acts as a preservative but also adds nutrition so preferably use fruit vinegar.
  • Make sure ginger and garlic are clean and dried before you cut them.
  • Do not add water while grinding, always use vinegar. If you do not want to use fruit vinegar then take synthetic white vinegar, but water never.
  • Make sure the container in which you are storing the paste is clean and complete dry.
Suggested Variations:
  •  Ginger-Garlic paste can be stored in airtight good quality plastic containers also.

Ginger-Garlic Paste in Airtight Container
  • Ginger and garlic after cleaning and cutting can be ground separately to made ginger paste and garlic paste.
  • You can change the ratio of ginger and garlic from 1:1 to the ratio of your choice and taste.
  • White vinegar can be taken instead of fruit vinegar.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Besan Laddu (Sweet Balls Of Split Bengal Gram Flour)

Besan Ke Laddu

Besan is flour of Horse Gram pulse from which its brown cover has been removed (Chana Dal).  Chana being very rich in protein and dietary fibers is very good for nutrition. When laddu are made from besan, addition of ghee, sugar, nuts make it almost a complete food though rich in fat. But then why not eat sweet which satiates the sweet tooth as well is nutritious also. I remember the time when I used to walk 5 km. to my college from my home in Almora, India, my mom used to keep 2 laddus in my lunch box so that I get all energy I needed from healthy source and get all nutrition also.
Besan laddu started making their regular appearance in my home because my kids loved these homemade besan ke laddu. Now they have their own family and thrive to learn to make all they used to eat and loved when they were young. Now also before first batch of laddu finish second batch is made by me because I also love them very much.

Preparation Time: 15 min.
Cooking Time: 90 min
Servings: 50 medium sizes Laddu

Ingredients Required For Making Besan Ke Laddu:
  • 500 gm. Besan
  • 500 gm Bura / Sugar
  • 10-15 Green Cardamom
  • 15-20 Almonds
  • 100 gm. dry coconut
  • 350-400 gm. Ghee (Clarified Butter)

Direction for Making Besan Ke Laddu:
  • Peel cardamom and coarsely powder the seeds and keep covered aside.
  • Grate coconut and keep aside.
Grated Coconut
  • Make bura and keep aside.
  • Cut almonds and keep aside.
  • Take besan in a thick bottom wok and keep the wok on gas on low flame.
Besan Being Roasted in Thick Bottom Wok
After 10 min. of roasting Besan on low flame

  • Roast the besan on low flame till it changes the color to light pink brown, with continuous stirring. (roughly 30-35 min.)
After 35 min. of roasting the Besan on low flame
  • Wonderful smell will start coming when the besan is roasted.
  • Add ghee to the roasted besan and cook on low flame for 15 min. with continuous stirring and turning the mixture upside down.
Ghee added to roasted Besan
Besan and Ghee mixed nicely
  • The color of besan and ghee mixture will become darker after 15 min. of cooking on low flame with continuous stirring.
Besan cooked with Ghee for 15 min. on low flame
  •  Switch off the gas and add Bura (sugar heated and then powdered), grated coconut, finely cut almonds and cardamom powder.
Bura,Almonds,Cardamom powder and grated coconut added to Besan and Ghee mixture
  •  Mix nicely to make a homogenous, smooth mixture.
All ingredients mixed to make uniform, homogenous mixture
  • Let it cool enough to a temperature so that you can hold the mixture in your palm.
  • Take little amount of mixture in your palm and bind it nicely to make a ball.
  • Repeat till all mixture is finished.
Besan Ke Laddu
  • Keep the balls in a plate at a distance of 1-2 mm. apart till they cool to room temperature.
  • Store these laddus in air tight container, in dry place.
  • These Laddus can be stored for a month also that is if they are not polished off by your family before that.
  • Never use high flame at any stage of cooking while making Besan ke laddu.
  • Always take thick bottom wok.
  • Do not allow the mixture to cool completely while making laddu from cooked besan mixture.
  • If the mixture becomes cold warm it little, but do not heat too much else sugar will melt and caramelize.
  • Always make bura in advance and keep in an airtight container.

Suggested Variations:
  • Raisins, Pistachios, cashew nut can be added to the mixture along with almonds.
  • If you do not want to make bura powdered sugar can be added but it surely changes the taste and texture of Laddu.
  •  Chana dal can be roasted and then made to Besan this will reduce the roasting time and work while making Laddu.
  • You can roll the Laddu in powdered sugar / Bura / desiccated coconut.
Besan Laddu rolled in Bura (Dry sugar) powder


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