Thursday, 14 May 2015

KFC fried Chicken strips




My little ones (LO's) favorite food is Chicken nuggets/ crispy fried chicken. I hate to feed him chicken nuggets from the burger places. Unfortunately, while we are out, that's is the options we will end up in. However we occasional dine out & whenever we do, My LO'S order will be crispy fried chicken with pasta. At home I make these at least twice a week. These are really easy to make & I use organic chicken breasts. These taste very similar to KFC fried chicken . These chicken strips are crispy outside & juicy inside. This is how I made them.




Making time: 30 mins
Frying time: 5 mins
Serves: 2 - 3 people

Ingredients:

  • 400 gms organic chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup of all purpose flour
  • 1 tspn garlic powder
  • 1/4 tspn black pepper powder
  • salt as per taste
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • Vegetable/ canola oil for deep frying
  • 3 different plates
Method:
  1. In one plate mix all dry ingredients, All purpose flour, garlic powder, pepper & salt .
  2. Mix the beaten egg in one plate
  3. Cut the chicken breasts into thin strips & set aside
  4. Heat the oil & turn the flame to medium heat. 
  5. Dip the Chicken in the egg mixture, now put them in the dry mixture & make sure you coat the entire chicken with the dry mixture. Now again dip the coated chicken in the egg & back again in the flour. Set this aside until you have 4 to 5 chicken strips ready,
  6. Now drop these strips in the oil & fry them for 3 minutes in the medium heat & another 2 minutes in the high heat, turning in between to make sure its cooking evenly. 
  7. Remove from oil & serve the chicken hot with ketchup or ranch sauce.

Note:
  1. Frying them in oil in medium first & then in high is the key to getting juicy chicken strips. Do-not fry them in very hot oil, which will burn them outside & the inside will remain undone. 
  2. You can also make these spicy by adding chili powder into the dry ingredients. 

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Chicken Lollipop





Sorry guys for not being so active in this space. You all know that I am an entrepreneur at "Sweet Zions Bake house" This small caking business has kept me very busy these days. This month is the month of birthdays & I was having cake orders every other days. We were also out on a holiday last week to Disney Florida. So all in all the May month is & has been a wonderful month. 

Today got up early as Hubby had to go for cricket practice. I am happy coz my son is still asleep & I thought will soon post one recipe. Whenever I have house parties, my friends keep asking me for recipes of dishes that I made. So today I am sharing this mouthwatering, very famous in mine & my mom's kitchen "Chicken Lollipop"  




Making time: 45 mins
Serves: 8- 10 people (20 lollipops)
Cooking time: 8-10 mins

Ingredients:

  • 10 chicken wings
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup Corn flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbspn ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tbspn red chili powder
  • 1/2 tspn cumin powder
  • 1/2 tspn garam masala powder
  • 1/4 tspn back peppercorns
  • 2 tbspn lemon juice
  • 4 tbspn of water
  • salt as per taste
  • color optional.  (I use kashmiri red chili which given natural coloring)
  • oil for deep frying
Method:
  1. You need to clean the wings & make lollipops out of them. Watch this video on how to make it here
  2. Lightly beat the 2 eggs & make a paste with flours, ginger garlic, cumin, chili, pepper, Garam masala, lemon juice, salt & water. 
  3. Marinade the lollipops in this paste & set in in the fridge for at least 2 to 4 hours, Overnight is even better. 
  4. Heat the oil until its very hot, now turn off the flame to medium, slowly start dropping the lollipops in the oil & fry them on medium flame for 5 minutes & on high flame for 2 to 3 minutes. Once they are evenly cooked, just remove them and put hem on a kitchen paper towel to remove any access oil.
Note:
  1. The main point to note to have crispy juicy chicken is to fry them at the right temperature. You need to make sure you fry them in medium heat & then in high heat. In medium heat the chicken will slowly cook inside & still will retain the moisture. High heat in the last stage will ensure that the outer coating gets crispy. 
  2. If you fry them in high heat throughout, you will end up with a dry, burnt lollipops.
  3. Add extra water to the paste to get the right consistency. The paste should be like a pan cake batter consistency 


Saturday, 21 March 2015

Creamy Egg scramble




Its a start of spring here in Austin & I cant tell you how happy I am. The sun is up,  its so bright & nice... I love this time of season the most. I have already done my Patio cleaning for the spring & waiting to decorate it this week. I have also been so busy this & last month with so many cake orders. I am also catering my desserts to a catering company that delivers to offices across Austin. Now that is a super good news for me. So my weeks are very unpredictable, I can get a order any time & I need to be ready to take it. I am loving the way my life is going as I am totally occupied & doing something that I am passionate about. However I will definitely find some time out of my busy schedule to blog once in a while.


Today I am sharing one of my favorite Breakfast egg recipes. This recipe is super simple & not many know about this. I remember as a child when we visited Bangalore, my parents used to take us to a cafe in MG road. I really don't know the name of the cafe nor the dish. But I remember that we used to order this dish. You all know that I am from a foodie family. My parents have this habit of asking the restaurant people for recipe & fortunately they shared the recipe:) This is how I made it...

Making time: 5mins
Serves: 1 person
1 Non stick Pan for cooking

Ingredients:
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • salt to taste
  • Black pepper for garnish
  • 1 tspn Oil
  • 1 Large toasted Bread
Method:
  1. Lightly beat the egg, milk & salt in a bowl
  2. Heat the non stick pan on low flame, add oil & egg mixture into the pan. Now start scrambling the eggs with a wooden spatula until it all comes together, This should take less than a minute. When you see the milk separating you know the eggs are done.
  3. Now take it out & pour it on top of the toasted bread. Garnish the eggs with Black pepper powder
Note:
  1. The pan should not be very hot, the flame should be on low heat. In case you feel the pan is very hot, turn off the heat. 
  2. Do not over cook the eggs. The egg texture should be soft, creamy & you will see the milk slowly starting to separate. 

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Top 15 Valentines day dessert



The moment we here Valentines day the first thing that comes to our mind is colour Red :). Then follows the whole list...Heart shaped pillows, roses, chocolates, cakes, candlelight dinners etc etc... This is one day that all are excited about. Its become a special day for couples to express their love for each other. As this day is nearing, I would like to collate top 10 interesting desserts recipes that you can make it at home & serve your loved ones. I have collated top 15 dessert recipes from my site. Apart from these there are many more recipes in the Sugar section in my blog too:). Happy Valentines day to all my readers!
  1. Heart shaped Peanut Butter Cookies
  2. Banoffee pie
  3. Banoffee cake
  4. Red Velvet Beetroot cake
  5. chocolate cake
  6. Red Velvet cake
  7. Red colored Cake
  8. Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Mousse filling
  9. Peanut Butter Chocolate Brownies
  10. Coconut Vanilla Rainbow Cake
  11. Sticky Date Cake with Orange Toffee Sauce
  12. Double Chocolate Cake
  13. Tiramisu
  14. No Bake Oreo Cheese Cake ,No Bake Chocolate Cheese Cake
  15. No Bake Blueberry Cheese Cake













 

Chicken malai Kebab


Its Valentines week & I have been busy taking cake orders. I am sure by now you know that I have a home baking business here in Texas & I have named it "Sweetzions Bakehouse". If you haven't been to my page yet, please go there & like my page:). This week is a busy week for me & I already feel exhausted.

I had promised myself that I would do video recipes without fail and I am so glad that I kept up to my promise:) I have taken a video recipe today, while I was making my chicken Malai kebab. This recipe is my version & the most simplest version. I make these more often coz its so flavorful & healthy too. I also tried to add cauliflower into these kebabs. If you are a vegetarian, you can omit the chicken & add just cauliflowers. This is how I made it.


Making time: 2 hours
cook time: 22 minutes
Serves: 5- 6 people
Course- Appetizer

For video recipe click here

Ingredients:
  • 120 gms Boneless chicken cut into cubes
  • 2 cups cauliflower Florets (Around 10 florets)
  • 3 Tbsp cream cheese
  • 3 Tbsp yogurt
  • 3 Tsp Lemon juice
  • 1 tspn cardamom seeds
  • 7 flake Garlic
  • 2 inch Ginger
  • 5 green chilis chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Kasuri methi
  • salt as per taste
  • 3 Tbspn Olive oil
  • 4 to 5 Wooden skewers  soaked in water for 20 minutes (optional)
Method:
  1. Grind the ginger, garlic, green chili, cardamom & salt in a blender or mixer to a semi smooth paste
  2. Now in a bowl add cream cheese, yogurt, ground paste, lemon juice, kasuri methi & make a smooth paste for Malai Kebab. This will be the marinade for the chicken.
  3. Marinate the chicken & cauliflower in the smooth Malai paste. Set this in the refrigerator for about 2 hours. This process will season the chicken well & also make the chicken tender.
  4. After 2 hours of marinating, line the chicken in the skewers &  bake them in the pre heated oven for 20 minutes at 400 degree. After 20 minutes, remove chicken & apply olive oil on top of the chicken. Now put them back in the oven & bake them for another 3 minutes at 480 degrees.
  5. Now the Kebabs are ready & just brush some butter on top of the chicken just before serving.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Kesari Bath



The weather here is getting better & this week we see sunshine everyday. It feels good to see the Sun after a long time. However the fluctuating weather has made all of us sick. Zion is home this week as he is down with fever. When he is home, I cant do anything. He is full time around me & doesn't let me do anything.

Today I will be sharing Kesari Bath Recipe. This is one easy Indian sweet recipe. When I crave for Indian Ghee sweets, this is the one I make it as it can be done is less than 30 minutes. It was Pongal 2 weeks ago & I decided to celebrate it at home by making the traditional South Indian Tamil food. I made Khara Pongal, Medu Vada, sambar, chutney & Kesari Bath. Since my friend was getting Sweet Pongal, I decided to make Kesari Bath for sweet instead. It is also called as Rava Kesari, Suji ka Halwa in Hindi. This sweet is made in all parts of India & is given different names. There are also different recipes for this but this is how I make it & is the best.


Serves: 5 people
Making time: 30 minutes


Ingredients:
  • 1 cup Semolina
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup Ghee (Clarified Butter)
  • 1/4 tspn Elachi powder
  • 1 tspn Orange color
  • 2.5 cups water
  • 1/4 tspn Salt
  • Handful of chopped cashew nuts or Almonds

Method:
  1. Dry roast semolina on medium flame for about 3 to 5 minutes, until you smell a nice aroma & the semolina becomes crispy.
  2. In a heavy bottom Pan, add water sugar, elachi powder, salt & bring this to a boil. Reduce the flame to medium. While the water is boiling, add the color & dry roasted semolina slowly while continuously stirring. The semolina will start to bubble but keep stirring.
  3. Now cover a lid & allow the semolina to cook for 2- 3 minutes on low flame. Now give it a good mix with a spoon. By this time the semolina will be fully cooked.
  4. Finally add in the Ghee into the semolina & give a good mix. Cover the lid & continue to simmer for another minute. Turn of the flame & let Kesari Bath rest in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes. Garnish the Kesari Bath with chopped nuts & its ready to serve.


 

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Banofee Cake



From today my lill boy is going for full day school. All these while I knew that I had to pick him by 2 & then he is at home troubling me & talking non stop. Today its noon time & I am already missing him. Hope he does better in school & enjoys the full day. Now that I have a lot of time alone, I really have to utilize it very well. Currently I am watching this series "Switched at Birth" & whenever I am bored I watch this on Netflix. Currently I am watching it too:) Today I am sharing with you all a very tasty & my favorite cake recipe "Banoffe Cake" Its a simple Vanilla sponge cake with Banana, toffee & whipped cream filling. I had made this cake couple of months ago for one of my friends Birthday celebration. This is how it is made..


Makes: 8 inch 2 layered cake
Serves: 15-20 people
Making time: 60-90 minutes

Ingredients:
  • For the Basic sponge cake recipe click here
  • For the toffee sauce click here
  • 3 cups Heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 1/2 tspn Vanilla Extract
  • 3 medium riped Bananas cut into small rings.
Method:
  1. Whip the cream along with sugar & Vanilla until stiff peaks. You will need t use an electric beater or whisk attachment for the stand mixer. This process will take about 4 to 6 minutes. Once the cream reaches stiff peaks, just refrigerate it.
  2. Once the cake has been cooled down, cut them into 2 half's or just one depending on the height of your cake.
  3. Apply a layer of Toffee sauce (Dulce de leche) on top of the cake, now layer the chopped Bananas on top & then the whipped cream with a spatula.
  4. If you have another layer of cake, then continue the same process of layering, sauce, banana & cream. Once the layering is done, cover the whole cake with whipped cream.
  5. I used a star tip, colored the whipped cream with shades of pink & designed the cake.
 
 


 

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Medu Vada


I have started my daily Gym routine from today. Its been almost a month since I have worked out. Its time to get back in shape & also get fit. I used to feel so energized & active when I used to exercise daily. I don't do too much, but just the treadmill & cycling. My legs are hurting very badly  today, coz every time I start after a break its like this for a week. I need to somehow keep myself motivated & workout regularly.  

Today is Pongal & I thought I will make some Tamil special for Dinner. I have made Ven Pongal, Sweet Kesari, Vada, Sambar & chutney for dinner Well, why  not sweet Pongal? coz one of my good friends is dropping by this evening to give me sweet Pongal:). I am so blessed to have wonderful friends in my life.  Today I am sharing Medu Vada recipe. This is called Uddina Vada in Karnataka & many other names in different parts of south India. Its a very simply recipe but you need to get the technique right. These are also called as Indian savory Doughnuts. You need to make sure that you grind the Urad dal thick & add very less water. This is how its made


 
Makes: 8 to 10 Vadas
Making time: 30 mins
soaking time: 4 - 6 hours
 
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup Urad Dal(Soak in water for 4 to 5 hours) and grind to a semi smooth paste (don't add water. add very little if required)
  • 1 tspn finely chopped Ginger
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 finely chopped green chili
  • 4 to 6 chopped curry leaves chopped
  • 2 tbspn finely chopped coconut pieces (I used frozen)
  • 1 tbspn whole Black pepper
  • Salt as per taste
  • Oil for deep frying
 Method:
 
  1. Grind the soaked Urad Dal in a Mixer into a smooth paste. Make sure you do it in small quantity. Add very little water if required. If you feel the batter is watery, just put it in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours. This will help the batter to thicken.
  2. Now mix rest of the ingredients mentioned above into the batter.
  3. Heat Oil in a pan, take small size batter with greased hands (or wet hands) make a shape of doughnut & immediately drop it in hot oil. Fry for 2 to 4 minutes until golden brown on medium heat. You can also make round Vadas. Just use a tablespoon, pick the batter and drop it in the oil. Now the Vadas are ready.
 
Note:
  1. If you are making these for the first time, you will find it hard to get the shape right. Practice will make it perfect. The shape depends on the batter consistency too.
  2. Be careful when you drop in the Vadas in the oil, sometimes the oil will splutter & you will end up burning your hands. I have had many accidents in the past :)
  3. This goes very well with Sambar & Chutney. I will post my Sambar recipe some other time.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Stuffed Gobhi Mussallam

 

 
(Please note that the Olive oil in the picture was added to make the picture look more presentable. In real, you will not have so much oil. I have also presented only a small portion of the dish in the picture with just 3 florets)

 I have now decided that I will at least post 2 or more recipes in a week in my blog. This morning I have been thinking of making something new & different. I had heard about this dish "Gobhi Mussallam" for the first time a month ago, when my friend mentioned about it. She said it was made during Diwali & other occasions at her home. That is when I started my research for this recipe. Finally I found one which I felt could be good. Well traditionally the whole Cauliflower is baked/tandoored & added into the masala. I decided to cut mine into big florets & add them. Somehow I am not very comfortable to have a big vegetable:) Upon checking the Mussalam recipe, I felt it was very similar to the regular masala recipe. That is why I tweaked in the recipe to make it more tastier. This turned out super delicious & a must must try recipe. My hubby kept licking his fingers... This is how I made it.



Serves: 3 - 4 people
Making time: 1 hour
Preparation time: 10 mins

Ingredients
  • 1 Medium Cauliflower cut into big flowers
  • 3/4th cup Chenna (Soft cottage cheese)
  • 2 tbspn of olive oil for baking cauliflower
  • 1 Tspn Chili Powder
  • 1 cup organic Tomato puree
  • 1 Tspn Coriander powder
  • 1/4 Tspn Turmeric power
  • 1 Tspn Cumin powder
  • 1/4 Tspn Cumin seeds
  • 1 Tspn Ginger Garlic paste
  • 1 medium Onion (Around 2 cups roughly chopped)
  • 2 Tsp Kasoori Methi
  • 3 Tbspn Greek Yogurt
  • 1/2 tspn cardamom powder
  • 4 Tbsp olive Oil
  • Curdled milk (Chenna) from 1 Ltr whole Milk
  • Salt as per taste
Direction:
  1. Make a marinade with cottage cheese, cardamom powder, kasoori methi & salt. Stuff the washed Cauliflower florets with this marinade. Make sure it is well coated.
  2. Pre heat the oven to 380 degrees & bake the stuffed cauliflower for about 15- 20 mins. Make sure you sprinkle some olive oil on top of the cauliflower. Once they are cooked set it aside.
For the Mussalam gravy
  1. Grind onions along with ginger & garlic to a fine paste.
  2. In a heavy bottom deep pan add oil. Once its hot add cumin seeds & ground onion paste. Cook this for about 6 to 8 minutes until it starts to stick & fat separates . Make sure you keep sautéing in between.
  3. Now add in the tomato puree, cumin, coriander, turmeric, chili powder, salt & cook it on medium flame for about 5 to 7 minutes. Keep stirring in between.
  4. Now add in 2 cups of water, cover the lid & cook this on medium flame for about 10 - 15 mins or until fat separation & all the raw smell goes off. Make sure you sauté in between.
  5. Now add in 3 tbspn of greek yogurt & mix well. Now the Mussalam gravy is ready.
  6. Add in the baked cauliflower in the gravy. Either mix it with gravy or just place it on top of the gravy.
  7. If you feel the gravy is very thick add in some more water. I made mine thick, as I was having them with Rotis.


How to make Chenna:
  • 1 Ltr whole Milk
  • 1 juice of a lemon
  • 1/4 cup of water
Direction: Bring the milk to rolling boil. Into the 1/4 cup of water squeeze in the lemon juice & add this to the milk. Let the milk keep boiling for another minute on low flame. This process will curdle the milk better. Now turn off the flame & drain off the water on a muslin/ cheese cloth. keep this under running water for few seconds so that the tanginess from lemon goes off. Once the water is drained off , which takes about 10 mins, the Chenna will be ready to use. Since its fresh it tastes really creamy & tasty. You can also make this ahead of time & store it in the refrigerator

 
 
Here is the step by step picture to show how to bake the Cauliflower & make the gravy
 

 
 

Spicy Macaroni



Hello guys.... I have been asked by so many people that I have not been very active blogging. Yes, I have been very busy with some other stuff & hence got lazy. However my kitchen is always busy & I have been cooking all the time. The parties at my place are always on & I have been having friends come over for dinners at least once a month. I love inviting friends for dinner as much as I love cooking.

The weather here is Austin is bad now & it goes to - degrees most often.  This weather also makes me hungry all the time. You already know that I love other cusines apart from Indian & one of my favorites is (Italian) Pastas. I make them at least once a week. Mostly these are Indianised to suit our taste buds at home, But trust me... these are better than the restaurant bland ones. I mostly use the same sauce & just alter here & there to get a different taste. This is how I made these.



Making time: 30 mins
Preparation time: 20 mins
Serves: 3- 4 people

Ingredients:
  • 3 cups macaroni or any pasta you like
  • 1 cup Tomato puree
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tspn coriander powder
  • 1 tspn cumin powder
  • 1 tspn Red Chili powder (Skip it if you don't want it spicy)
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 250 gms beef minced. (Alternate with chicken or any meat of your choice)
  • 3 tbspn extra virgin olive oil
  • water for boiling the pastas
  • salt as per taste
Method:

  1. Boil Pasta in a pot full of hot water for about 10 mins or until its cooked. Once they are cooked, drain them & set it aside
  2. In the mean time, add oil to a big pot & fry the garlic until fragrant. Now add in the onions & fry them until they are pink.
  3. Once the onions turn pink which will take about 4 to 5 mins, add in the minced meat to uit & give it a good mix.
  4. Brown the meat for about 5 to 6 minutes in the pan. Now its time to add the Tomato puree & give it a good mix.
  5. turn the flame to medium heat & add in the spices into the pan along with salt. Now add a cup of chicken stock, cover the lid of the pan & cook this for about 10 mins stirring in between. You need to be careful at this stage as the tomato sauce splutters all over. So make sure you are using a big deep sauce pan.
  6. Generally in 10 - 12 mins the sauce is ready. Just taste the sauce and add in salt if required. The sauce will reduce in quantity & it get thicker. Incase the sauce is very thick add some water to get it to the right consistency.
  7. Finally add in the cooked macaroni & give it a good mix.
  8. Garnish the dish with Parmesan cheese before serving.
  9. You would also add in basil leaves or even coriander for garnish