Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Pesarattu and ginger chutney (allam pachadi)

I tasted the pesarattu with the ginger chutney when we visited a friend, and learned that this one is an authentic Andhra dish. Pesarattu is made of moong dal which is nutritious and easy to digest, and ginger has its own medicinal values. So this is a complete healthy meal for a dinner or breakfast.

Things you'll need:

For the batter:
Moong dal (whole) - 1/2 cup
Rice - 3/4 cup
salt - as required

For the chutney:
Chana dal - 1/4 cup
Urad dal - 1/4 cup
Red chillis - 5 or 6
Ginger (skinned and cubed) - 1/2 cup
Jaggery- 1/2 cup (or more if you want want it too hot)
Curry leaves - a handful
Tamarind extract - 2 tbsp
salt - a pinch
oil - 1 tbsp

Yield - approx. 15 pieces


Soak the moong dal and rice overnight or at least 8 hours. Grind them to a coarse batter adding required amount of water. You can add a small piece of ginger and one green chilli while grinding to give the pesarattu an extra flavor. There is no need to ferment the batter. So add some salt and it is ready for use immediately.

For the chutney, fry the chillis, chana dal, urad dal, ginger,  tamarind extract and curry leaves, in the oil, cool them and grind together with  the jaggery and salt.

You can prepare the pesarattu and serve them hot with the ginger chutney.

Sending it out to Vardhini's  Dish it out event

Monday, February 27, 2012

Chicken tikka masala

This is one of my favorite dishes with chicken. But I haven't tried it at home for a long time since I thought it was a time consuming process. But when I was checking for chicken recipes sometime back I stumbled upon this dish at vahrevah.com. That recipe mentioned in the website was a very easy one and did not seem to take much time. So I decided to try it for dinner on a Friday evening.  It came out so well and became an instant  hit with my daughter and my husband.

Things you'll need:

Chicken - 1/2 lb
Onion - 2 (1 minced, 1 cubed)
Tomato - 1
Tomato paste - 1 tbsp
Bell pepper - 2 (mixed colors or just green, cubed)
Ginger garlic paste - 2 tbsp
Chilli powder - 1 tbsp
Coriander powder - 2 tbsp
cumin powder - 1 tbsp
yogurt  or curd - 1/2 cup
Kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves) - 1tbsp
turmeric powder -  2 tsp
lemon juice - 2 tsp
whole garam masala (cinnamon stick, cloves, cardamom, bay leaf) - as required
Salt - as per taste
heavy or light cream - 1/2 cup (optional)
wooden skewers - 4 or 5 (optional)

Yield -  4 Servings


Clean the chicken and cut into cubes (breast meat would be good for this recipe). Cut 1 onion and the bell peppers into cubes. Soak the wooden skewers in water for few minutes to avoid breaking while cooking the tikkas. Set the oven to 450 degrees.

Prepare the marinade using half of the spices (chilli powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, ginger garlic paste, kasoori methi, turmeric powder), yogurt and some oil. Marinate the chicken and vegetable cubes for 5-10 mins. Arrange them alternately in the wooden skewers and place the skewers in a baking sheet. Bake the tikkas for about thirty mins turning the skewers every  10 mins. You can even grill the chicken and vegetables directly on a grill pan.

While the tikkas are cooking, heat a little oil in a pan, add the whole garam masala and some cumin seeds. When the cumin seeds crackle, fry the onions, add ginger garlic paste, tomatoes and tomato paste (instead of tomato paste you can make puree of one tomato and add it). Add the remaining spices and a little water to avoid burning of the spices.

When the spices are well cooked, add 1/2 cup of water and bring it to a boil. Add salt, cover the pan and allow it to cook in a slow flame for few minutes. Add the tikkas from the skewers (you can save some tikkas for yourself to snack while cooking), and cook the tikka masala for 10 more mins, and your chicken tikka masala is ready. You can add some cream at this stage to further thicken the tikka masala. Garnish with some coriander leaves if u prefer.

Serve them with rotis or naan...enjoy!!