Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Chili Chicken(Chicken Cooked with Capsicum and Spring Onions)

Chili Chicken

Chili chicken is spicy chicken cooked with capsicum and spring onions. Extremely tasty and goes very well with all types of Indian bread. Since it is cooked in very little oil and has lots of green in it, it is very healthy. The sauces added to it give it distinct tangy flavor. I love this chicken preparation. No marination is required for making chili chicken so the preparation time is also reduced. Chili chicken is cooked on high flame if cooked on low flame it becomes chewy and rubbery.

Preparation Time: 30 min.
Cooking Time: 30-40 min
Servings: 8 large servings

Ingredients Required for Making Chili Chicken:
  • 1 Kg. Boneless Chicken
  • 1 Bunch spring Onions (Having at least 10-12 spring onions)
  • 500 gm. Capsicum
  • 5 Green chilies
  • 15 ml. Soy sauce (2 Table spoon)
  • 2 Table spoon Green Chili sauce
  • 5 ml. Vinegar
  • 4 Tea spoons Corn flour
  • 10 ml. Cooking oil
  • Salt to taste
Directions For Making Chili Chicken:
  • Roast corn flour on low flame to golden pink color.
Roasted Corn Flour
  • Wash the chicken in running water and squeeze water from it nicely.
  • Cut the chicken to 4 inches pieces. And keep aside.
Chicken Cleaned and Cut to Pieces
  • Wash and cut capsicum to 2 inches pieces.
Diced Capsicum
  • Clean the spring onion of all yellow leafs and roots.
  • Wash the cleaned spring onions in running water and drain all water.
  • Cut the spring onions finely.
Cleaned and finely cut Spring Onions
  • Remove the stalk of green chilies,wash and slit them. Remove the seeds and keep aside.
  • In a thick bottom wok take oil and heat it. When the oil is hot (Not smoking hot) add the washed and cut chicken and cook on high flame with constant stirring and turning over the chicken pieces. Cook till the chicken starts turning very light pink in color and becomes tender. (Juices from chicken will come out while cooking and chicken will get cooked in it). This will taker 15-20 min.
Chicken cooked and ready for Capsicum and spring onions
  • Add capsicum and slit green chilies. Mix nicely. Cook for 2-3 min. on high flame.
  • Add spring onions and mix.
Capsicum and Spring Onions added and mixed
  • Add corn flour and mix.
Corn Flour added to the cooked chicken, Capsicum and spring onions mixture.
  • Add
    • Soy sauce
    • Green chili sauce
    •  Vinegar
Sauces added
  • Mix nicely.
  • Add salt, roasted corn flour and mix nicely.
  • Add 15 ml. water and mix. Cover and cook for 5 minute with occasional stirring.
  • Chili chicken is ready. Serve with roti/parantha or crisp toast.
Chili Chicken
  • Do not cook the chicken on low flame it will become chewy.
  • Too much of corn flour should not be added it is meant to hold all ingredients together.
  • The chicken should be almost cooked before adding capsicum because capsicum and spring onions tastes nice in it when it is not over cooked.
Suggested Variations:
  • Soy sauce can be replaced by dark soy sauce but the amount should be reduced to half.
  • Chili chicken is meant to be spicy and hot but if you prefer less spicy then reduce the amount of green chilies and chili sauce as per taste.
  • Amount of capsicum and spring onions can be always increased. It will enhance the taste.

Friday, 3 January 2014

Sarson Ka Saag

Sarson Ka Saag
Makke ki roti, Sarson ka Saag and Chas
Sarson (Mustard) leafs are tangy in taste and fresh leafs when are cut exude the smell of mustard. In northern India Sarson ka saag is very popular in winters. Season leafy vegetables like Bathua/Chinopodium Album (lambs quarter/Melde), spinach are added to mustard leafs and then cooked to make Saag. Most popular in Punjab the combination of Sarson ka Saag and Makke (Corn flour) ki roti has caught up the taste of taste buds of people all over India. Rich in calcium, Iron, and many micro nutrients like vitamin A, Vitamin B Sarson ka saag is extremely tasty. I love to eat this saag not only with Makke ki roti but also with Jowar (Sorghum) flour roti (Bhakri) also. In winter season it is helpful in fighting the biting cold of north and dollop of butter provides not only taste but the most required calories in winter season especially by farmers and people doing out door work. Nature has gifted us seasonal fruits and vegetables so make maximum use of them and avail health benefit.
Preparation Time: 30 min.
Cooking Time: 45 min
Servings: 8 Large servings 
Ingredients Required For Making Sarson Ka Saag:
  • 250 gm. Fresh Mustard sprigs/Sarson (One Medium size bunch)
  •  250 gm. Spinach sprigs (Palak)
Palak (Spinach)
  •  250 gm. Bathua (Melde) sprigs
Bathua (Melde)
  •  100 gm. Onion
  • 50 gm. Garlic Paste
  • 50 gm. Ginger Paste
  • 250 gm. Red Ripe Tomatoes
  • 2 Teaspoon Dhuli Urd Dal (Urd dal without chaff)
  • 1 Teaspoon Cumin seeds (Jeera)
  • 7-8 Whole Red chilies
  • Salt to taste
  • Red chili powder to taste
  • 2 Teaspoon Garam masala
  • 50-75 gm. Makke ka Aata unrefined corn flour (8-10 teaspoons)
Directions For Making Sarson Ka Saag:
  • Cut onions and tomatoes finely.
  • Clean Sarson, Bathua, Palak of roots/yellow and decayed leaves/Hard stalk.
  • Wash all green leaves in running water three or four times to ensure all dirt is removed from them.
  • Cut all three leafy vegetables finely.
  • Place all three cut vegetables in a thick bottom container add ½ teaspoon salt and cook till it starts boiling.
  • Cook on low flame by covering the container for 5 min.
  • Switch off the gas and let the vegetables cool.
Boiled Leafy vegetables
  •  Heat oil in a thick iron wok and once the oil is hot add urd dal and 2-3 whole red chilies. Cook till it gains light pink color.
Dal and Whole Red Chilies in Oil
  •  Add finely cut onions and cook on low flame till they become soft and transparent not brown.
Onions sauteing
  •  Add garlic and ginger paste and stir. Cook for 2 min. with stirring.
  • Add makke ka aata in little proportions and keep on stirring to avoid from burning of flour.
  • Add red chili powder and mix.
  • Add finely cut tomatoes and stir. Cook on low flame till the mixture starts leaving the edge of wok. 
  • Once tomato onion mixture is cooked then add the mixture of boiled leafy vegetables and mix nicely. The water of the boiled vegetables will be enough to mix the mixture in the wok. 
Boiled vegetable added to mixture after flour is added
  • Add salt to taste and mix.
  • Cook on low flame and keep on mashing. Mashing will make the vegetable soft and smooth.
  • Add water in little by little (50-75ml.at a time) and cook on low flame for 25-30 minutes with mashing occasionally. 
Water added and being cooked
  •  Mashing and continuous stirring avoids the vegetables to settle down and burn.
  • The cooked vegetable should look uniform and have thick consistency not dry or watery.
  • Add garam masala and mix.
Saag ready for tempering
  •  Take the Sarson Saag in a bowl. Heat ghee in a thick base container. When the ghee is hot add cumin seeds, hing and whole red chilies.
  • Cook for a minute. The seeds will splutter and the chilies will gain dark color. Tempering is ready. 
Tempering for Saag
  •  Pour the tempering on the saag and cover it. Covering the saag after pouring the tempering helps retaining the flavors in the saag.
Sarson Ka Saag
  •  Serve hot saag with dollop of butter, Makke ki roti  and chas.
  • Always discard the leaves with holes as they have mites in them leaves.
  • Hard stalks should never be taken the fibers in them do not get cooked.
  • While boiling the vegetables care should be taken not to over boil them. Too much boiling will cause them to turn very dark in color and loose the flavor.
  • Care should be taken that corn flour (Makke ka aata) should not form lumps.
  • Do not add too much water at one go to reduce your work, water should be added in small portions as and when needed.
  • If some vegetable settles at the bottom then either scrap it immediately. If it has been settling for long time do not scrape but while removing the cooked vegetable take care that it is not scraped to the serving bowl.
  • Add salt less in the starting as it can be put after tasting before removing from wok and tempering.
Suggested Variations:
  • 6-8 inches of carrot and radish one small turnip can be cut fine or grated and added along with boiled leafy vegetable mixture.
  • The stalk of whole red chilies should be removed or some crack in the chili should be made to avoid it bursting during making of tempering.
  • To increase the green color 5-6 sprigs of cilantro can be added along with the rest of the vegetables during boiling.
  • Corn flour (Makke ka aata) can be roasted before adding this gives a lovely flavor.
  • For quick making of saag the boiled mixture of leafy vegetable can be made to coarse paste in grinder/mixer before adding to the wok with onion tomato mixture.

Makke ki roti ( Indian flat Bread From of Corn Meal)

Makke ki Roti with Butter
Makke ki Roti Sarson Ka Saag
Makka is corn and dried seeds of corn are ground to make unrefined flour. This unrefined corn flour is called makke ka aata. In whole of the northern belt of India flat bread made from this flour is very popular and winter is the season to enjoy the delightful combination of makke ki roti and sarson ka saag. From plain roti (Flat bread without oil/ghee) to different type of makke ka parantha are enjoyed along with salted drink of curd (Chas) or sweetened thick drink made of curd (Lassi). Though slightly tricky to make once learned you will want to make again and again. Seasoned experts do not use rolling pin to make this roti they use their palms I am unfortunately not one of them. Makke is roti with Aloo-Matar-Tamatar ki sabji is one of my favored combination when Sarson is not available. Try to end your winter dinner with makke ki roti with ghee and jaggery Oh! So yummy.

Preparation Time: 5 min.
Cooking Time 4-5 minutes/roti
Servings: makes 6-7 Medium size Makke ki roti

Ingredients Required for Making Makke ki Roti:
  • 500 g. Makke ka Atta
  • Water for making dough
Direction for Making Makke ki Roti:
  • Heat a thick tawa (Iron plate) and while you are masking the dough. If the tawa becomes hot lower the flame.
  • Heat 250 ml. water to 40-50oC (You should be able to dip fingers in it).
  • Take half of the flour and make a depression in the center. Pour 20-30 ml. water in the depression and slowly start mixing the flour with water.
  • When the flour and water is mixed with the help of the palm rub the flour water mixture and knead it till it becomes soft pliable dough. Mixing and mashing with palm can be done simultaneously. If more water is required then add in very small portions as excess water will cause dough to become too thin and will not be rolled to flat round.
  • The dough should be firm but soft. Dig your finger in the dough it should leave a depression.
Dough for Makke ki Roti
  • Divide the dough to two/three portions.
  • Take one portion Make a ball from it, flatten by pressing with your palm and sprinkle liberally all the sides with dry flour.
  • Sprinkle the rolling board with dry flour.
  • Place it on a rolling board and start rolling with rolling pin gently. This is the trickiest part.
Ball of dough liberally sprinkled with dry flour
  • While rolling if required sprinkle some more flour on it but do not try to pick the half rolled roti.
  • Once the roti is rolled to 5-6 inches diameter then pick up the rolling board with the roti and flip the rolled roti on your other hand palm or if possible on the hot tawa.
Rolled Makke ki Roti
Rolled makke ki roti cooking on thick Tawa
  • Spread 10-15 ml. water on the exposed side of roti on the tawa this will avoid the roti from becoming dry also the dry flour will not stick to the tawa.
Water spread on the exposed side of the roti
  • Cook on medium flame till the side touching the tawa starts getting pink spots.
Cooked on one side
  •  Flip the roti and cook for 30 sec.
  • Press with a clean damp cloth on the edges and the center till the other side also gets pinkish brown spots. 
Pressing with damp cloth to cook nicely
Cooked Makke ki Roti
Makke ki Roti with Butter
  • Lower the flame and wipe the tawa clean with a damp cloth.Repeat the same with rest of the dough. 
  • While the second roti is being made start making the dough for two more roti.
  • Serve this makke ki roti with Butter/ghee, sarson ka saag and chas/lassi.


Makke Ki Roti, Sarson ka saag and Chas
  • Do not get disheartened if the roti does not turn out perfect in first try, keep trying it will be tasty even if it is slightly on thicker side or breaks off.
  • Do not make all dough all at one time. This is one mistake I use to make. The dough becomes runny and difficult to roll. Maximum two roti dough should be made at one go.
  • Start making the dough when the tawa is hot.
  • More the dough is mashed by the heel of palm softer the dough easier to roll and lovely soft roti will be the result.
  • Never cook on too slow or too high heat first will make it hard second will cause it to remain uncooked from inside.
  • Do not add water in large portions while making the dough add little by little with mixing and mashing action.
  • Starters should give liberal sprinkle of dry flour to avoid the roti from sticking. Dust the rolled roti before putting it on tawa.
Alternate Suggestion:
  • Once the roti is cooked from both sides ghee can be spread on both sides and cooked to make parantha.
  • 1/2Teaspoon salt can be added to flour before making the dough.
  • Once you have perfected try adding grated mooli (radish)/finely cut onion/methi/palak to make different flavored parantha/roti of makka.
  • If you are a first timer then add 50 gm. of wheat flour to makke ka aata for easy rolling of the dough ball.


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