Friday, 12 June 2015

Red Kababs

Chicken is favourite meat on my dinner table specially when it is boneless chunks. I love to cook with these due to the versatile nature they have. I use them in curries, bbq, rice, stir fries etc. These kababs are very quick to make and packed with flavour. I used a griddle to fry them but use a bbq or oven by all means. I make some garlic rice but feel free to serve with anything of your choice.

Chicken Ingredients

Chicken breast                           2 lbs cut into cubes
Red bell pepper                          1 cup chopped
Garlic                                         2 cloves
Cumin powder                            1 tsp
Red chilies                                  2-4
Lemon juice                                1/4 cup
Olive oil                                      1/4 cup
Salt                                             1 tsp                  
Black pepper                               1/2 tsp


Put everything in a blender except chicken and make a thick paste.
Add chicken pieces to it and marinate for at least 30 minutes or upto 24 hours.
Put the chicken on skewers and fry on medium flame until chicken is all cooked. Cooking time varies according to the size of the pieces, I had 1 1/2 inch cubes so they took 4-5 minutes each side. You can bbq them on charcoal grill as well. For bbqing, baste the marinate on the pieces half way through.

Rice Ingredients

Basmati Rice                             2 cups
Garlic                                        1 head
Oil                                            3 tbsp
Salt                                           1 1/4 tsp
Tomato                                     1 medium chopped
Water/chicken stock                  3 1/2 cups


Wash rice well till water runs clear. Let soak for half and hour.
Put garlic cloves, tomato, salt and oil in the pot. Add 1- 1 1/2 cups of water and let cook until garlic is tender.
Increase the flame and dry up all the moisture until oil starts separating from the garlic.
Add water/chicken stock and bring to a boil.
Add rice and stir once immediately. When water starts bubbling, lower the heat to minimum and put the lid on. Let rice cook for 12-15 minutes until all the moisture is dry and rice looks done.
Open the lid and fluff the rice using a fork.

You can marinate and keep them in the freezer for later use.

Monday, 9 March 2015

Shahjihani Pulao

Rice is a staple diet for us and when I mention rice, it automatically means the long delicate, nutty, aromatic basmati rice. I might sound bias here but without any doubt basmati are the king of rice due to its nutty fragrance and thin long slender grains. Basmati are grown in the foothills of himalayas and a very demanding crop. The plants need plenty of water so rice paddies are flooded during moonsoon season to quench their thirst. Once harvested, they need to be aged for around a year to achieve that nutty flavour and texture. For optimal results, they need to be washed and soaked for around an hour minimum or else they will not reach their maximum length which can be up to an inch a grain.
Pulaos or pilaf as called in west is my favourite way to cook it. Pulaos are rich in flavour since they are cooked in stock. Addition of whole spices and saffron makes even more delectable. I have used boneless cubes of beef  but feel free to use any meat of your choice with or without bone. This gravy is adaptable and forgiving so you can replace red chili powder for paprika if you want it to be mild or add a few green chillies if you love your food hot and spicy.



Meat                               2 lbs
Onion                              2 medium thinly sliced
Garlic                              1 head
Tomato                           1 large skinned & chopped
Salt                                 1 tsp or to taste
Red Chili powder             3/4 tsp
Turmeric powder             1/4 tsp
Garam Masala                 1 tsp
Cumin powder                 1 tsp
Coriander powder           1 tsp
Lemon Juice                    1 tbsp
Oil                                   1/4 cup


Basmati rice                     2 cups
Cumin seeds                     1 tsp
Cinnamon stick                 1 inch pc
Star Anise                         1
Black pepper                    10 pcs
Cloves                              4 pcs
Green Cardamom             3 pcs
Stock                                4 cups
Salt                                   1 1/2 tsp
Oil                                    1/4 cup
Saffron                              1 big pinch
Milk                                  1/4 cup warm


Eggs                                 4 boiled and quartered
Potato wedges                  3 potatoes cut into 6-8 wedges


Yogurt                               1 cup beaten
Garlic                                 1-2 cloves paste or grated
Salt                                    1 pinch



Add oil to the cooking pot and put the sliced onions in. fry till they become golden brown.
Put the meat and salt in the pot and fry till it changes colour.
Add garlic and tomato and 1 cup or enough water to soften the meat.
Once the meat has tenderize, increase the flame and add your spices in.
Bhunofy the gravy till oil separates from it and it becomes dark in colour. Bhuno is a term used to brown the masala on medium high heat while stirring continuously to avoid burning and scorching it.
turn the heat off and sprinkle lemon juice and a bit more of Garam Masala. Cover and  let rest for 5 minutes.


Wash the rice under cold water until it runs clear. Soak for at least one hour.
Add Oil to the pot, once hot put in the whole spices. Crackle for a few seconds and add stock or water.
Once it comes to a boil, put the salt and rice in. Stir and taste for the salt at this stage. It should be as salty as your soup.
Cook on high flame until all the moisture has evaporated. Add saffron to hot cup of milk and pour on the rice.
Lower the heat to minimum and put on a heavy tight fitting lid to trap all the steam.
Let cook until you can see the steam escaping from the sides of the lid around 10-15 minutes. Turn the stove off and take the lid off. Cover the pot with kitchen towel for 5 minutes.
Fluff the rice very gently using a flat slotted spoon or a fork.


Beat the yogurt and add salt and grated garlic.


Boil the eggs and peel and quartered them.
Fry the potatoes until nice golden brown and sprinkle salt right after taking them out of the oil.
Add the rice at the bottom of the serving dish.
Put the meat mixture in the centre.
Decorate with eggs and potato wedges.
Spread garlic sauce on and serve hot.

I have used boneless beef cubes but you can use any meat like chicken or goat.
Home made garam masala makes a huge difference in this recipe so I would suggest to make you own.
You can serve them with different variations as follows:
I served raisins on the side. You can sprinkle the on top.
Add a few lemon slices.
Serve some sauteed peas and carrots.
Extra garlic sauce on the side.

Friday, 27 February 2015

T-Bone Steak with Green Beans

Beef steak is delicious when cooked properly. Every one has a favourite kind of steak and its T-bone for us.
I usually serve it with different side options like potatoes, mushrooms, green beans, spinach, fresh salad, garlic bread etc.
Thickness of the steak depends on your choice, i normally go for 3/4 inch of thickness. cooking time also varies according to your liking of done-ness of the steak. For 3/4 inch thickness you need 15-18 minutes of Cooking time for medium rare and 20-22 minutes for well-done.


T-Bone steak                 1   3/4 -1 inch thick
Salt                                2 big pinches
Black pepper                 2 pinches
Olive Oil                        1 tbsp
Worcestershire Sauce    1 tsp
Soy Sauce                     1 tsp
Lemon juice                   1 tsp

For the Green Beans

Green beans                  1 cup
Butter                            1 tsp
Salt                               1 pinch
Chili Flakes                    according to taste (optional)
Garlic clove                   1


Using a paper towel dry the steak. Mix worcestershire sauce, soy sauce and lemon juice and apply all over the steak. Let rest for at 30 minutes. Drain and pat dry.
Preheat your oven at 400.
Heat a heavy bottom skillet on medium high. Rub olive oil on both sides and sprinkle salt and pepper on both side of the steak.
When skillet turns hot, put the steak in. Do not touch until you can see edges getting nice golden colour around 5-7 minutes. Flip and brown on the other side around 4-6 minutes.
Transfer steak in an oven proof dish if your skillet is not oven proof.
Put the pan in the oven and let cook until the desired done-ness is achieved. Cooking time for well done would be 10-12 minutes in the oven.

For the beans, trim the edges and wash.
Add butter in the pan let melt. Add chilli flakes if using. Add chopped garlic clove and cook till it softens.
Put washed beans and sprinkle salt. Pour 1/4 cup of water and cover. Let steam for 5-8 minutes until beans are bright green in colour. Beans should be tender but still crisp.
Serve steak and beans with brown butter parsley potatoes.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Naan Khatai

Shortbread cookies or as we call it 'Naan Khatai' is my most favourite cookie. There are many reasons I adore this cookie. One of the easiest to make with least number of ingredients with no chilling or relaxing the dough involved. It truly takes less than 20 minutes from prepping to accompany your cup of tea :)
They look like soft snow balls and thats how they taste like too. Melt in your mouth, light as a cloud, very subtly sweet, rich and buttery...all I can say is YUM!
There are many variations to these cookies like adding nuts, eggs, chickpea flour etc. You can also add spices like cardamom, nutmeg and cloves to add aroma. I favour these ones as they can go in school lunch boxes with out worrying about any allergies. I can go on and on praising them :)


All Purpose Flour                            1 cup
Ghee                                               1/2 cup
Sugar                                              1/2 cup
Baking Powder                                1/4 tsp
Cardamom Powder                          1 pinch


Preheat oven at 350 F.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Sift sugar, flour, cardamom powder and baking powder.
Add 1/3 cup of Ghee to the four mixture and knead together. Add more if required but no more than 1/2 cup. Mix until it all comes together.
Divide the dough in 18 portions for medium size cookies. Roll into balls and flatten them slightly by pressing with your fingers.
Place cookies an inch apart and bake for 10-12 minutes. For crispier naan khatai, add 2 more minutes of baking time.
Take out of the oven n let them cool in the tray completely before removing to a plate.

Traditionally naan khatai is white so make sure to take them out of  oven on time before they start browning.
Since they have just a few ingredients, quality of Ghee matters a lot in the end result so please make sure to use good quality ore preferably home made.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Red & Green salad

This name is given by my kids as this salad  was all about red and green colours :) We are a family of salad lovers, be it fresh garden variety or creamy rich ones. Salad is a must on dinner table and it can be boring if made same way every day. It is the easiest thing to make full of healthy ingredients.


Lettuce                       1 head
Cucumber                  1 cut in cubes
Celery                        2 stalks sliced
Green pepper              1 cup sliced
Strawberries               6-8  quarters
Cherry tomatoes          8 quartered
Dried cranberry          1/2 cup
Lemon Juice               1 tsp
Olive oil                      2 tbsp
Salt                            1 pinch
Black pepper              1 pinch


Add salt, black pepper, olive oil and lemon juice in a salad bowl and mix well.
Wash and dry the lettuce. I used romaine but feel free to use any greens of your choice like mixed greens or baby spinach leaves. Put them on top of the dressing.
Wash and cut the cucumber in cubes. Cut tomatoes in wedges and add to the lettuce.
Thinly slice celery and green pepper and put in the bowl.
Mix salad well to coat with the dressing and add strawberries and cranberries on top. Serve immediately.


If you are planning to serve it later, do not mix at this point. Mix right before serving.

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Chili Lime Shrimp

Another quick meal with an easy ingredient. 


Shrimp                                 1 lb shelled n de-veined
Chopped green chili             1 tsp or to taste
Honey                                 1.5 tbsp
Lime/Lemon juice                2 tbsp
Hot sauce                            1 tbsp
Olive oil                               1 tbsp
Salt                                      to taste


Pour all the ingredients in a bowl except  olive oil.
Marinate the shrimp in the mixture for 45-60 mins.
Heat a frying pan on medium high. Brush olive oil in the pan and add shrimps minus the marinade.
Cook for 5-6 mins till they turn pink.
Serve it on toasted bread as a sandwich or as a topping on pasta or rice. You can add it to a green salad to make a full meal out of it.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Short Bread Cookies

Short bread is a classic cookie with minimal number of ingredients. Their rich, buttery melt in your mouth texture wonderfully compliments a nice cup of coffee of tea. Easy to make and yum to eat. Dip them in dark chocolate to make them more festive.


Flour                   2 1/2 cups
Corn Starch        1/2 cup
Butter                 1 1/2 cup at room temp
Sugar                  2/3 cup
Salt                    2 pinches


Cream butter until pale. Add sugar and mix well.
Put salt, flour and corn starch in another bowl and mix.
Add flour mixture to butter a little at a time until all incorporated.
Divide the mix into to portions. Flatten each portion on a sheet of plastic wrap and seal.
Refrigerate for at least a couple of hours.
Preheat the oven at 350 F or 180 C.
Take one disc out and using a rolling pin and a bit of flour, roll to 2/3 cm of thickness.
Cut the cookies in any shape you want. Arrange the cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet one inch apart.
Bake for 10-12 minutes until the edges start changing color.
Take them out and let rest on the sheet for 8-10 minutes before transferring to the cooling rack.
Dip them in melted dark chocolate if you wish.

You can make all flour cookies replacing the corn starch for a firmer cookie.
For a crunchier cookie, bake them for two more minutes.
Dip one side in chocolate and make a cookie sandwich.