Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Chicken Ghee Roast

Spring has officially arrived and I cannot tell you how good it feels to cook in a bright sunny kitchen. It's strange how something as simple as sunshine can perk you up and get you charged. While the flowers are just about popping up here and there, we are still waiting for the riot of green and all the color.
I have been motivated sufficiently enough to whip up new dishes for the family. This particular recipe had been bookmarked a long time ago, but I definitely lacked the mojo to prepare it..:D By the time I was done with the photo shoot, I promptly sat down with a chicken piece, the yummylicious dry gravy and some brown bread to go along and it wasn't even lunch time!!!! So there, I hope I have tempted you enough to try this out.

Source: Ruchik Randhap

  • 1 kilogram chicken washed and cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup ghee/clarified butter
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves and a few curry leaves(I didn't have any)
For the marinade:
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 cup thick curds or yoghurt
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • salt to taste
For the masala:
  • 15 Kashmiri chillies *
  • 8 Bedgi chillies *
  • 12 peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp jeera or cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 12 garlic flakes with skin
  • 1 marble sized tamarind soaked in 2 tbsps water

  1. Marinade the chicken pieces with the ingredients mentioned For the Marinade and refrigerate anywhere between 1 to 4 hours.
  2. Heat a tawa a or a non stick pan and dry roast the chillies, peppercorns, coriander, cumin and fenugreek seeds. Using a little water grind this along with the garlic and tamarind paste. 
  3. Heat 1/4 cup of ghee in a wide thick bottomed pan, add the marinated chicken pieces and cook over an open flame till the pieces are almost cooked. Transfer the pieces to another vessel and the liquid/gravy to another bowl(I had only half a small bowl of gravy).
  4. In the same pan add the remaining ghee and fry the masala for 5-6 minutes or till the oil leaves the sides of the pan.
  5. Add the cooked chicken, the reserved gravy and salt to taste(If added in sufficient quantity before, then omit). Cook on a medium high flame till the masala dries up. Add the sugar and mix.
  6. Garnish with curry and coriander leaves. Turn off the flame.
  7. Serve hot with neer dosa, roti or plain hot rice with some tomato saar as accompaniment!
* To know about the chillies used, click on this link.
* Since I didn't have bedgi chillies, I ended up using the shorter variety. It did turn out spicy, but then I LOVE spice..:D

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Poached pears in spiced red wine

One thing we miss big time here in Germany is Indian food and going out to eat. It's not that we have no restaurants out here. Oh, there are with lots of beer overflowing. To me, eating out is not just about taking leave from the kitchen and relaxing, it's also about feeding my taste buds with delicious delights. Somehow, we have not been able to achieve the latter. The best restaurants that we have come across have been during our travels. So, while in Lohr we rarely venture out to eat. While I do have one particular restaurant in town which is my favorite, thats about it! This means that I need to get that eating out feel at home...:-)

For the past month, lots of Birnen(pears) are being sold in the market. The kids especially sonny loves having a pear daily after dinner. Hubby had picked up the Feb issue of Good Food India during his unexpected trip back home which featured this recipe. The tingling wine soaked in the juicy pear turned out to be one royal dessert for me.

  • vanilla pod 
  • red wine 750 ml
  • caster sugar 225g
  • cinnamon 1 stick halved
  • fresh thyme 1 sprig 
  • pears 4, peeled but kept whole with stalk intact
  • sprigs of thyme or mint for garnishing.
  1. Halve the vanilla pod lengthways, scrape out the black seeds and put in a large saucepan with the wine, sugar, cinnamon and thyme. Cut each piece of pod into three long thin strips, add to pan, then lower in the pears. 
  2. Poach the pears, covered, for 20-30 minutes, making sure they are covered in the wine. The cooking time will vary much depending on the ripeness of the pears. They should be tender all the way through when pierced with a cocktail stick. You can make these up to 2 days ahead and chill.
  3. Take the pears from the pan, then boil the liquid to reduce it by half so that its syrupy. Serve each pear with the cooled syrup, a stir of vanilla, a piece of cinnamon and a small thyme or mint sprig.(I used only the mint)