Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Succulent Chicken Breast

I've always wanted to be able to cook perfectly juicy chicken breasts. I've been experimenting for the last couple of tries and failed. Mr. Husband would complain that the stuff was too dry. Then I gave in and decided to cheat. I looked up these online recipes and they did help. I like to do my research and read up more than one recipe to confirm the directions. Call me paraniod but I put a lot of heart and effort into my dishes so I want to be sure I am doing the right thing before I start. Anyhow, I'm impressed with the results.

So now I know it. The trick to succulent chicken breasts are twofold: 1) pound the heck out of them 2)cook covered on low heat. How easy was that? But the Indian in me could have never guessed!

Thanks to the cyber world I achieved success with a recipe that was outside my comfort zone. :-)

Serves 2.

1. 2 chicken breasts
2. Salt
3. pepper
4. Butter, 2-3 tbsp
5. Olive oil, 1 tsp

1. Wash the chicken breasts well.
2. Cover them with parchment paper.
3. Pound well untill all parts are even and flat.
4. Make slits using a knife.
5. Rub salt, pepper and olive oil on the side up.
6. Heat a skillet and melt butter.
7. With the smooth part up, add the chicken breasts in the skillet and cook on medium high until it browns slightly.
8. Flip the breasts and cover and cook on medium low heat for exactly 10 mins.
9. Turn off heat and let it sit covered for another 10 mins.

Voila! Yummy juicy chicken breasts are ready. Adjust seasoning to taste. Serve over a bed of pasta or cut them up to throw them in a salad or into a rice dish , or as a main with a side of salad and roasted potatoes. The choices are umpteen.

And what  a happy coincidence! This matches my detox diet! Am I happy or am I happy?!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Home made Chicken Soup

I loved this one. It's been adapted from various online sources (too many to list here). I doubted how good it would turn out because the ingredients seemed too simplistic. And that is why I kept looking for the "right" recipe to reaffirm my trust in this recipe. My bad. Little did I know that simplistic recipes too have their charm and can surprise!

1. chicken cubes ripped apart, 1 can
2. 1 carrot, diced
3. 3-4 stalks of celery, minced
4. Chicken broth
5. Chili garlic sauce, 1/2 tsp
6. Salt to taste
7. 1 Bay leaf
8. 1-2 garlic pods, minced
9. 2 Tsp olive oil
10. 1 onion, chopped

1. Heat a wok then throw in bay leaf, onion, garlic and stir fry.
2. After 3-4 mins, throw in carrots and celery and cook.
3. When cooked, add in broth, chicken, salt, and chili sauce.
4. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Serve warm.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Carrot Uttapam (Rice and Lentil Flatbread with Carrots)

Uttapam is a South Indian delicacy made of rice and lentils. In the modern day, Uttapam is also made using semolina as it cuts down on the preparation time yet yields similar results.This recipe is the traditional one.

1. Carrot, 1, shredded
2. green chili, 2 chopped
3. Onion, 1/2 chopped
4. Rice, 2 cups
5. Urad Dal, 1 cup
6. Salt to taste
7. Oil.

1. Soak rice and urad dal overnight with just enough water such that it is covered.
2. Blend rice and urad dal to make a batter. Add water such that the batter is not exactly runny but just about.
3. Add salt to the batter and let it ferment overnight.
Tip: I usually pre-heat oven to 400 degrees for 10 minutes and then leave the batter in the oven for quick fermentation.
4. Mix chili, carrot, and onions into the batter.
5. Pour a ladle of the batter on a non-stick greased pan.
6. When the batter seems to detach from the base, flip and cook on the other side.

Serve warm with Coconut chutney.

Tamatar Nariyal Chutney (Tomato Coconut Condiment)

This one is my favorite. It fits with my diet and adds flavour to my food. What more can I ask for? It's a perfect condiment for idlis, utthapams, dosas, or vadas, often relished at breakfast. There are so many variants of this condiment out there. I have one on my blog too (without the tomato). Check it out here.

Try it to believe it. I bet you will love this one!

1. 1 large semi ripe tomato, chopped.
2. 1/4 cup shredded or grated coconut
3. 1 green chili
4. 1 dried red chili
5. A fistful of chana dal
6. A fistful of urad dal
7. tamarind pulp 3-4 tsp
8. Salt to taste
9. Cumin seeds, 1 tsp
10. Mustard seeds, 1 tsp
11. Curry leaves, a couple
12. Oil, 2 tsp

1. Heat a wok and add one part of the oil.
2. When the oil is hot, add cumin seeds and let it sizzle.
3. Add green chili, red chili, urad dal, and chana dal.
4. Let it fry until the lentils turns brown.
5. Add coconut and fry more.
6. Next add the tomatoes and cook until it looks dry.
7. Let this cool.
8. Add into a blender and add salt, and tamarind pulp and blend to a smooth paste.
9. To temper, heat the rest of oil in a wok, when the oil is hot add in curry leaves and mustard seeds.
10. When the start to seeds pop, the temper is ready. Pour it into the paste.


Makai Vada (Corn Flour Fritters)

Have you heard of Methu Vada? This is a counterpart from the corn family. It's a Gujarati delicacy and my MIL's recipe. Deep fried in oil, this one is a snack that you'd occasionally want just for a change.

1. 5-6 green chili, shredded
2. 4-5 cloves of garlic, shredded
3. A big handful of cilantro, shredded
4. 2 tsp coriander powder
5. 1 tsp red chili  powder
6. 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
7. 4-5 tbsp yogurt whisked.
8. 4 tbsp jaggery
9. An inch of ginger, shredded
10. Salt to taste
11. Corn flour 200-300 gram
12. Some water
13. Oil for frying

1. Mix jaggery with the whisked yogurt.
2. Make a dough of corn flour with ingredients 1-10.
3. Oil your palms.
4. Pinch out small round balls of the dough (1 cm in radius) and then flatten by pressing between your palms
3. Deep fry until brown.

Serve warm or cold.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Oats Khichdi (Oat and Lentil Stew)

In my quest to cook with Oats, I am discovering new and easy recipes. I am loving this new side of culinary feasts that I had missed on for so long.
This recipe is is a combination of Oats and Moong Dal. In South India, this dish is known as Pongal and traditionally cooked with rice.
It is a great dish because it can be devoured any time of the day, requires minimal ingredients, and can be prepared in a jiffy!
For the traditional Khichdi recipe, check this out.

1. Cumin seeds, 1 tsp
2. Curry leaves, 3-4 twigs
3. Ginger, 1 inch, minced
4. Oil
5. Cashews (optional), a fistful
6. Peppercorn, crushed, 3-4 (optional)
7. Oats, 1 cup
8. Moong dal, 1/2 cup, steamed/cooked through
9. Water, 1.5 cup
10. Salt to taste
11. Turmeric powder, 1 tsp
12. Hing, a pinch
13. Green chili, 1, chopped
14. Spinach, a bunch, chopped

1. Heat a non-stick wok.
2. Add in oil. When the oil is hot, add in cashewnuts, cumin seeds, hing, ginger, curry leaves, peppercorn, and green chili.
3. When they turn brown and the cumin starts to sizzle, add in oats.
4. Then add water, turmeric, and salt and mix well.
5. Cook for about 5 minutes until the consistency is thick and oats absorbs most of the water.
6. Add spinach and moong dal.
7. Mix and adjust the seasoning.

Serve warm.

Thanks to Rak and Sailu for this delicious and healthy recipe.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Oats and Tomato soup

In allegiance to Oats, this one is fanasty food for health freaks hands down. And good timing on this one as the temperature dips below freezing. A warm serving of home made soup soothes likes none.

Thank you IndusLadies for this recipe.

1. 1 green chili
2. 4-5 cloves of garlic, peeled.
3. 2 big tomatoes
4. 1 carrot, peeled
5. Salt to taste
6. Pepper to taste
7. Vegetable broth
8. Oats, soaked, 1 cup

1. Pressure cooker carrots, garlic, chili, and tomatoes. Add salt.
2. Let it cool.
3. Blend it to a smooth consistency in the food processor.
4. Transfer to a wok and let it come to a boil.
5. Check the flavour and adjust with pepper and salt. Add broth to reach the desired consistency.
6. Add on oats.

Serve warm.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Healthy Homemade Vegetable Soup

A figment of my imgination, this recipe is goodness revealed. No sugar, No diary, No gluten. A wholesome and nutritious one pot bowl of comfort.

1. Carrot, 1, peeled
2. Cauliflower florets, 1/2 of a cauliflower
3. Brocolli head, 1
4. Green onion, 1 bunch, copped
5. Garlic cloves, 2, minced
6. Zuchini, 1, cut up
7. Salt to taste
8. Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
9. Vegetable broth (optional), to desired consistency.
10. Olive oil
11. Celery Stalk, 1, chopped

1. In a hot non stick wok, add olive oil, green onions, and garlic.
2. Saute until brown.
3. In a pressure cooker, boil ingredients 1-6 and celery (green onion and garlic from the steps above).
4. Let it cool.
5. Blend in a food processor.
6. Tansfer back to the wok and and salt, pepper and broth.

Serve warm. Garnish with chopped green pepper.


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