recipe: tandoori chicken

I’ve decided to go ahead and post a few recipes on my blog on the prodding of a few people. Since I am not in the business of being a creative cook, I will duly credit the original proprietor of a recipe. 🙂 Photos will be added if I remembered to take them!

Name of Dish: Tandoori Chicken
Author: Meg(‘s mom)

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I think we did about 3.75 lbs or so)
  • 1-1.5 onions
  • 2 tsp ginger paste
  • 2 tsp garlic paste
  • 4-5 tbsp plain yogurt (low-fat is better than fat-free)
  • 3-5 tsp of Tandoori chicken masala (amount varies depending on spice required and strength of masala)
  • Salt, pepper to taste
  • Oil

Directions:

  1. Puree the onions and mix everything else together until it is nice and smooth to form the marinade.
  2. Add some oil to the marinade so that the chicken doesn’t stick to the grill, later.
  3. Poke holes/cut slits in the chicken so that the marinade can seep in.
  4. Mix the marinade and chicken together.
  5. Marinate in fridge for 6-8 hours.
  6. While grilling, grill on medium heat for about 10 minutes on each side (may be more depending on size of the pieces). Taste to make sure it’s done!
  7. Serve with onion rings (not the junk food type) and lemons/limes. You may also want to buy some naan and chutney to make it authentic.

See, it’s pretty simple. Of course, the fact that I had a great cook (Meg) and professional grillmeisters (Meg and Bill) teaming up with me meant that the end result was, quite simply, scrumptious!

eurotrippin’ in switzerland (day 4)

On our last day in Luzern and Switzerland, we decided to be tourists on foot instead of doing one of the pre-packaged tours. After having another hearty breakfast, we set off in the same direction as we had on the previous days—towards the old city. This time we had brought our cameras with us and got some good photographs of the lake/canals/bridges and buildings. There were also a lot of swans around, a few of them still asleep from the previous night, which we also photographed. I think we had lunch somewhere there, as well, but since none of us was that hungry, it wasn’t too memorable a meal.


A building…


Admiring herself in one of those distorting mirrors


Too early in the morning for this swan

After ambling around old city, we walked back to our hotel and left in the other direction. Map in hand, we were aiming to find “green”, which is how my Mom described large, green expanses in the map, which appeared to be parks. We followed the map pretty well, but it seemed that to get to the “green” we would have to climb up quite a steep incline. This idea was quickly abandoned, and we instead crossed over and walked on the lakeside. This time we were heading for a beach, whose name I have unfortunately forgotten, and on the way we saw many pretty houses that I did not photograph.

We walked about halfway to the beach before getting tired and heading back. On the way back we again stopped and sat near the lakeside, where there was a nice breeze (unlike everywhere else in Luzern!) which helped counter the heat. There were preparations going on for some music festival in the lakeside, and hence it was getting pretty busy. It appears that Heineken is the beer of choice for the Swiss, as this festival seemed to be entirely sponsored by them.

Finally, we headed back to our hotel, where we decided to have dinner. Everyone was tired from the day’s walking, but the food managed to revitalize us. I ordered a grilled chicken with a homemade lemon butter with a side of fries, my Dad ordered some sort of salad (which in Europe appear to be huge) and my Mom ordered a fish dish with a side of potatoes. The meal was pretty delicious and was a nice goodbye to Switzerland.


Man do I have a good choice in food!


I think there is salmon or some other fish hiding there, somewhere…


Choosing to be “healthy” with a salad

Once the meal was done and signed for, we went over to the reception and checked out, as we were going to be heading out early the next morning (as early as 5:45am to counter the traffic and the fact that we didn’t know the exact directions to the Zurich airport). We figured out all the details, such as when to bring the car out and where to drop off the key, and then paid and went back to our room. After having pieces of the various chocolates we had purchased, we finally rested our eyes in preparation for the, what turned out to be, long drive the next day.

(one of) the final installment(s) of the indian (food) summer

About a month ago I had the privilege of eating some home-cooked biryani as well as one of my favourite vegetarian dishes—rajma and rice. I can say that I had no role to play in the preparation of either dishes, and probably fortunately so, since they would have ended up inedible otherwise. Ramesh, our cook, is a genius when it comes to preparing biryani and I’m more than happy to be pampered and spoiled by his good cooking!

Biryani is an Indian dish that basically comprises of rice and a meat (in this case, chicken) cooked together. As you can tell, I don’t really have any idea of how it is actually prepared but talking with people who do know how to prepare it and observing them passively, I take it the two main steps are making the (chicken) curry and then making the rice and mixing them together and perhaps cooking them a bit more. Ramesh’s version features a “layered” style, wherein most of the meat is at the bottom and then there are layers of rice and other various goodies above it. It’s breathtakingly good, especially when enjoyed with a side of raita, which is basically a yoghurt-based watery mixture containing onions, tomatoes, and sometimes cucumbers. Enough talking, though, let’s see some pictures!

A huge pot of Ramesh’s biryani
A huge pot of Ramesh’s biryani

A huge helping of biryani (that is a normal-sized plate!)
A huge helping of biryani (that is a normal-sized plate!)

A look at the biryani as well as the aforementioned raita
A look at the biryani as well as the aforementioned raita

This blog has been dominated by meat so let me remind my readers that I am in fact not a carnivore. In fact, I enjoy a number of vegetarian dishes, one of my favourite being rajma. Rajma is the Hindi name for kidney beans and the way I like it best (as almost anything) is as a curry with rice. I have no idea how it is prepared but its red and tastes delicious!

Rajma curry
Rajma curry

Rajma with rice and Kunduru Bhaja in the background
Rajma with rice and Kunduru Bhaja in the background

Finally, let’s take a look at some food from Orissa, when I was at my mom’s house in Cuttack. I’ve never actually lived there but all my cousins at some period or another have been living there so the feel of family and bonding is great. As a result, we end up with some pretty large meals enjoyed by about 10-12 people simultaneously (there are 9 cousins all in our range and 2 more that are slightly younger but still welcome :P). Seeing that this may be last time in Orissa for a while, I was pampered with one large meal (you’ll see what I mean in a moment) as well as some mutton curry… yeah if you haven’t noted by now, we Oriyas love our mutton!

The grand spread!
The grand spread!

Yummy in my tummy… notice the stark contrast between my plate area and Pinku’s (one of my cousins)
Yummy in my tummy… notice the stark contrast between my plate area and Pinku’s (one of my cousins)

Yep, the grand spread represented my first meal at Cuttack this year and consisted of no little than 10 dishes. There was the breakfast that I hadn’t yet had in the form of idli and sambar. Then there was lunch, which consisted of rice, daal, paneer curry, some dish that I can’t remember now, saag, kunduru bhaja, kakharu phula bhaja and salad. Dessert was served alongside in the form of mangoes. In short, quite a large meal and one that I struggled to finish but ended with a smile on my face! This meal alone was probably responsible for 10% of my weight gain in those 10 days in Orissa!

And now the mutton…

No need for words to describe the taste!
No need for words to describe the taste!

What was judged the “reddest” curry and thus the one that should be photographed
What was judged the “reddest” curry and thus the one that should be photographed

So there’s the end of another food-astic blog! I will have one more up soon about my parents 30th anniversary which featured plenty of scrumptious eating, but that deserves its own separate little post. Must separate home-cooked and restaurant-prepared food, because home-cooked is just so much more deliciously wholesome!

A huge helping of biryani (that is a normal-sized plate!)

more cooking escapades

The months of June and July were filled with more, thus far undocumented, cooking adventures as well as the enjoyment of delicious Indian dishes that I was not involved in the preparation of. I learned a few different bhajis and whatnot, but the main dishes I picked up were a couple of chicken preparations. I can provide recipes if necessary but I don’t remember them offhand so I’m not including them in this blog. Let’s have a look at each of these chicken delicacies.

The final chilly chicken preparation
The final chilly chicken preparation

Another angle of the chilly chicken
Another angle of the chilly chicken

This was a simple chilly chicken dish and basically comprised of chicken, capsicum (bell peppers) and onions. I don’t remember the preparation exactly but there was chilli powder, green chillies, soya sauce and some other stuff. It was a bit spicy and pretty tasty. It seems like a pretty easy dish to make, too, so hopefully I will be able to repeat the efforts once I’m on my own.

Pepper chicken being cooked in the pot
Pepper chicken being cooked in the pot

Serving of pepper chicken (notice the large green chilli!) with roti
Serving of pepper chicken (notice the large green chilli!) with roti

Another look at one of the more peppery angles of the pepper chicken
Another look at one of the more peppery angles of the pepper chicken

This was a pepper chicken dish that my mom and I made the night we returned from Orissa. Although there is a recipe existing, in theory, in the cookbook I’ve been building up this summer, in reality the actual preparation was very ad-hoc. My mom added about 5 different types of different pepper mixes from several tiny, oddly-shaped bottles she has collected. I am confident that I won’t be able to repeat this one on my own, but it was tasty enough for me to pretend like I can, for those who don’t read the words in this blog!

cooking chicken, part 1

About a week and a half ago, I received my first non-vegetarian cooking lesson from my mom. The dish on the cards was the basic, straightforward Indian chicken curry. Luckily for me, the end result was actually not bad. In an effort to remember how the end product looked, I went ahead and took photos of everything. I also wrote down the recipe and hope I will have another opportunity this summer to make it, with limited supervision this time, to ensure that I actually learned how to make it, rather than learned how to follow directions.

Ingredients

  • Chicken – 2 breast pieces, 2 leg pieces
  • Marinade
    • 2 tsp dahi
    • 1 tsp ginger paste
    • 1 tsp garlic paste
    • 1 tsp salt
  • Onions x2
  • Tomato x2
  • Chicken masala – 2 tsp
  • Salt – 1 tsp
  • Haldi – 1 tsp
  • Chilli powder – 2 tsp

Directions

  1. Marinate the chicken in advance and let it marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Fry the onions until brown.
  3. Add chicken into pot with haldi, chilli powder and salt. Mix and cover for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add tomatoes and masala. Mix and cover for about 5-10 minutes.
  5. After oil separates, add hot water and simmer for 5 minutes before serving.

Photos

Chicken Curry in Preparation

Chicken Curry in Bowl