Inito – a journey into the flavours of Indian street food in London’s East End

Journey into India’s by lanes without leaving London? Yes it’s possible well at least transporting your taste buds is. Simply head to London’s east end for a treat to your senses. Located a stone’s throw away from Liverpool street, @Inito_UK has the look and feel of a really cool dhabba plus an old college canteen rolled into one.

While we waited for all our friends to arrive we were served some thick and delicious lassi, I love salted lassi and this one made me greedily want another round – it’s the kind of lassi that you will happily drink and not worry about your ‘lassi moustache’ – I almost thought I was stuck in the dhabba scene from Rang de Basanti for a minute there (which reminds me I must add a road trip to the North of India to my bucket list – with loads of stops at roadside dhabbas included and if I can do this one a motorbike – waah!!) As expected the Mango lassi was most popular choice.

1-2015-03-21 19.18.59 (Copy)

We were then served Chicken Lollipop with a mini masala dosa, the chef was generous enough to even give some dosa batter away to experiment at home to one of us. Chicken lollipop is another very popular ‘item’ on the menu in India and is very popular even as a starter for parties. Dosa stalls dot streets where dosa lovers throng to eat a variety of different dosa’s with delicious stuffing , there is at least one dosa stall to be found outside every big railway station in Mumbai.

Inito served the dosa with some delicious coriander and mint chutney.

Then came Pani- Puri – the one snack that makes me go weak in the knees. Everytime I go to Mumbai I must head to Elco Pani Puri to gobble up as many plates I can possibly stuff myself with! The pani puri was ok and much better than what I have tried elsewhere in London but amongst everything we sampled that evening I would put this at the bottom of my list. This has nothing do with the what they served per se but more to do with what type of pani puri I am accustomed to having back in Mumbai.

2-2015-03-21 20.06.46 (Copy)

Then came the bhel and the dahi chaat – both were excellent and the tamarind chutney was fab.

1-2015-03-21 20.09.26 (Copy)

Then came a huge platter with various roti- rolls – basically loads of meat or veggies with some fresh veggies and chutney stuffed inside. I loved the chicken and lamb – the meat was cooked tender and it was what I would expect in terms of taste. Reminded me of Tibbs Frankie ummm The prawn roti roll was my least favourite – I would rather have had the prawns on their own.

We were given a selection of different dips and chutneys to go with these roti-rolls, my favourite was a chewy aubergine chutney, very good. The adventurous few can even design their own roti rolls. No wonder then the Chef Saurav Nath is an award winner – he has managed to retain the authenticity of most of the dishes while coming up with clever fusion dishes like the pau slider and roti rolls.

2-Inito - samsung s5 dropbox pics1

Then came the Tikka’s – tender and succulent portions of meat, chicken and paneer- Indian cottage cheese – marinated in Awadhi spices and yoghurt and then skewered inside a tandoor. I loved the mini pau-sliders too. Highly recommend pairing the tikka’s with Bombay Blonde a blonde beer crafted specially to compliment the complex flavours of curry and a great alternative to Indian Lagers.  For those who have had Cobra beer before can order Cobra, Mongoose or Kingfisher too. I love Kingfisher especially when I am in Mumbai or Pune over summer – nothing better to help me survive temperatures upwards of 32 deg cel!

1-2015-03-21 21.20.32 (Copy)

The chef then got us some curries to try and dum-biryani. While all of us went into a frenzy clicking pictures and capturing the moment when the lid was lifted off the biryani , the air filled with the unmistakable biryani fragrance of basmati rice, spices and meat  The very thought of that steaming hot biryani  makes me salivate even now  -ummm . I had fun explaining to my one of blogger friends who had never seen anything quite like that before. Folks its worth the trek to this place just for the biryani! – Head over to my Instagram feed to check out a cool ‘biryani’ video here

2-2015-03-21 21.54.33 (Copy)

The curries were delicious and I am biased in favour of the lamb. But by this point I was ready to explode and so were the others. It was good then that some jumped at the chance to take some the curries home, I would have hated to see the food go waste.

No Indian meal is complete without some freshly made pipping hot gulab jamun and ice cream and even with full tummies , everyone did justice to the sweets. I was quite delighted to hear that the ice cream was Horlicks flavoured – Horlicks and Bournvita were my favourites while growing up and made drinking hot glasses of milk bearable. The mini Gulab Jamuns were irresistible little bite sized ones in sugar syrup. (as confirmed by my friends since I did not touch them – had vowed to stay away from sweets – whyyy???!! But I just had to try the ice cream and allowed myself as teensy weensy taster)

The rasmalai was fabulous too (as confirmed by my friends) with the right consistency and topped with pistachios and cardamom floating in a sweet thickened milk.

The best thing about going for a review dinner with blogger friends is that you have great company sorted and you hope for good food and when food is fabulous it just turns into one of those evenings that you wish would happen more often. I got to meet my friends, eat fab food, discuss things food and blogging related that only like minded folks can fathom and enjoy discussing – what more can one ask for, huh?

We were served by smiling and courteous staff and sampled a large variety of dishes from the vast menu. The Chef came and spoke to us at length and I loved chatting him up in Hindi. The food is brilliant and I would certainly  recommend anyone who wants to try fabulous melt in your mouth tikka’s , steaming hot biryani and tangy chaat – If the food managed to transport my taste buds to Mumbai then am sure they got that bit right!

The minimalist decor goes well with the street food theme and the bright wall art will have you clicking away to share pictures on Instagram – I did !

1-Inito - samsung s5 dropbox pics

*With  thanks to the PR Agency and Inito for the invite. No monetary compensation was offered for a positive review. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own. 

 

 

Pasta Please Challenge – April 2014

Spring is here and so is April, Easter breaks around the corner. With kids being at home its a great time to cook up some delicious , healthy and quick pasta recipes for the whole family. I love cooking pasta because it is a great way to bring smile around on full tummies and its a great way to combine lots of greens with meat or leave out the meat totally and get a very healthy meal on the table.Its also a thrifty meal idea to use up things from your larder and fridge that would otherwise face sure death.Pasta comes to the rescue always!

This is the first ever food challenge and linky that I shall be hosting so am nervous and hopeful that everyone participates with great enthusiasm 🙂  Thanks to Jacqueline who blogs at Tinned Tomatoes for letting me host this lovely food challenge for April’14.

The theme for this months entry is – OLIVE OIL . I have just infused a bottle of olive oil with crushed garlic ,chilli flakes and fresh italian herbs! Am very  excited to create something tasty with this oil and use some of  large packet of Pappardelle Pasta I purchased yesterday!

Sounds exciting? Ready to join in the challenge?

The rules ARE:

PASTA PLEASE – Food Blog Challenge – April 2014

To join in, simply post a pasta dish on your blog by the 28th of April 2014 and:
  • Link to Sliceoffme and Tinned Tomatoes.
  • Use the Pasta Please logo in your post.
  • If you use twitter, tweet your post with @tinnedtoms and @manjirichitnis using the hashtag #PastaPlease and we will re-tweet it to our followers.
  • Current theme is Olive Oil.
  • Vegetarian dishes and  with any dishes using  meat,sea food,pork,beef,chicken,dry fish are  allowed (any non-vegetarian
    dish).
  • One entry per entrant.
  • Recipes must be added to the linky by 28 April 2014.

Please email me your post with one image on fruitsnveg@yahoo.com.(Why? because the Linky has a GREMLIN inside and is not working! Thankfully its the last day to link up -phew!)

pasta please

 

 

Entries So far :

  1. Tagliatelle with Chorizo,Garlic and Sundried Tomatoes by Corina of searchingforspice blog.
  2. Veggie Packed Tomato and Mascarpone Pasta by KneadWhine blog.
  3. Armoniche Mushrooms by Spicy Quiry Serendipitous Blog.
  4. Fusilli with Baked Eggplant and Marinara Sauce by Ridhi of Drizzling Delicious Blog.
  5.  Easy Entertaining :Stuffed Pasta Shells by Katie of Feeding Boys Blog.
  6. Chicken Riggies: A Utica,New York Pasta Speciality by Rachel at The Crispy Cook Blog.
  7. Lemony Pasta with Broccoli and Chickpeas by Lisa of Lisa’s Kitchen – Food and Spice Blog.
  8. Red Peppers in Pasta Bake, Stuffed and in Soup by Johanna of Green Gourmet Giraffe Blog.
  9. Penne Pasta with Tomato and Basil Sauce by Tina of  The Spicy Pear blog.
  10. Extremely Delicious Vegetable Lasagne by Chris of Cooking around the world blog.
  11. Rocket and Mozzarella Faralle Salad by Jaqueline Meldrum of Tinned Tomatoes blog and creator of the #pastaplease challenge!
  12. Aubergine Pasta Bake by Vanessa of Jibber Jabber UK blog.
  13. Farfalle with Sicilian Pesto by Torta di Rose.
  14. Gnocchi with Asparagus,Sage & Prosciutto by Louisa Foti of Eat your Veg blog.
  15. Macaroni,Beans and Asparagus Sauce by Maria and Andrea of Oil and Life blog.
  16. Spicy Chorizo Pasta with loads of veggie goodness! by me 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapali Kebab Recipe

Succulent, melt in your mouth meat that is a rich mix of flavours and a popular starter – Kebabs – I love sheekh kebabs the most and close on their heels are Chapali Kebabs. I decided to do a taste experiment and used 500gm of lamb mince or kheema to make Chapali Kebabs using a packet shop bought ready to cook masala mixture and used the remaining 500gm of lamb mince to make the very same kebabs using a mixture of my own spices and homemade garam masala – oh yes I finally got around to making my own Garam Masala (recipe coming up this week with a huge surprise!)

But before I let you in on my easy peasy recipe a ”sliceoff” history behind the dish – oh yes – every great recipe has a story!

The word Chapli derives from the Pashto word Chaprikh which means flat.  It is prepared flat and round and served with naan.Kebab (also kebap or kabab) is a Middle Eastern dish of pieces of meat, fish, or vegetables roasted or grilled on a skewer or spit originating in the Eastern Mediterranean and later adopted in Central Asia and by the regions of the former Mongol Empire and later Ottoman Empire, before spreading worldwide.Indian cuisine is widely influenced by the various rulers and  dynasties that ruled and colonised India at various periods including the British Raj. The Mughal Empire has left a heavy influence on the food,culture and tradition and is deeply woven into the fabric of society to create a new ,beautiful and modern day cuisine that has been adapted,modified to local taste and is now our own. 

In American Englishkebab with no qualification refers to shish kebab (Turkishşiş kebap) cooked on a skewer, whereas in Europe it refers to doner kebab, sliced meat served in a pita. In the Middle East, however, kebab refers to meat that is cooked over or next to flames; large or small cuts of meat, or even ground meat; it may be served on plates, in sandwiches, or in bowls. The traditional meat for kebab is lamb, but depending on local tastes and religious prohibitions, other meats may include beefgoatchickenpork or fish. Like other ethnic foods brought by travellers, the kebab has remained a part of everyday cuisine in most of the Eastern Mediterranean and South Asia.

Though traditionally these are kebabs are large and very flat – almost as large as the palm of your hand , I wanted to make a smaller patty , easy to fry and serve as a starter and easy to pop in the mouth while wielding a chilled glass of wine don’t you think?

Ingredients:

  • 500gm of lamb mince or kheema
  • 1 tsp of dried pomegranate seeds
  • 2 tsp freshly crushed ginger
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice 
  • 1 heaped tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 heaped tsp coriander powder
  • 1 heaped tsp Cumin powder
  • a handfull of fresh coriander leaves finely chopped
  • 1 small red onion finely chopped
  • 1/2 a medium juicy red tomato finely chopped
  • 2 small green chilli finely chopped
  • 3 small eggs
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 heaped tsps of rice flour or corn meal

Method:

  • In a large mixing bowl ,crack the eggs and beat lightly, add all the spices and mix with a fork.
  • Then work in the corn flour and then the meat.
  • Ensure any excess water is drained out and then add the finely chopped tomatoes and red onions.
  • Spread a large sheet of kitchen plastic foil on a flat table or kitchen platform and place the flatted patties on it,cover with another sheet and refrigerate.
  • If like me you like in a tiny but expensive urban flat with the an open plan kitchen – read tiny as a birds nest,then probably bets to leave the entire mixture in the bowl,cover and refrigerate for about half an hour.
  • In a kadhai or wok take enough oil for frying and fry them , serve hot with lots of chopped tomato and red onions.
  • Delicious with a fresh green coriander mint chutney or the life saving ketchup 🙂

3-IMG_6561 (Copy)

1-IMG_6557 (Copy)

References :Wikipedia

Am submitting this recipe to Made with Love Mondays hosted by Javelin Warrior on his blog Cookinwluv

Made with Love Mondays Resized Badge

Irani Bakeries Still Soldiering On

Guest Post by Mrinal Kulkarni who blogs at Retro-Reflections.

Since childhood bakeries have held a special fascination.The exotic and delicious goodies displayed in the glass counters and shelves often led me to press my face against its glass  to peer even more closely.Not to mention the whiff and aroma of freshly baked bread and rolls further tantalizing the pallette. To own a bakery then became a childhood  dream.Though I knew that could never be, visiting one was on my daily agenda .

Living in colonial cities like  Bombay,Coonoor, Wellington, Madras and up  north  in the hills of Musoorie and Shimla through the 50’s,60’s and the 70’s saw a plethora of bakeries almost around every street corner.Each one having  a special quality of its own.

Finally settling down in Bombay and  during my growing years I  perceived bakeries in a different light.Living in a suburb,the area was practically surrounded by at least five to six  bakeries.But these bakeries were different with cafes attached.They belonged to the Iranis who did a brisk business throughout the day and late into the night. Their  method of working, the fare they offered, the ambiance that was created around them made it so popular especially the simplicity sans any  frills. Some of these bakeries had  two sections – a  variety of breads—pau, whole sliced  bread,bun and  brun pau and  bakery products like mawa cakes,cream rolls and the other section was a tea space  with grayish white marble-topped square tables and black chairs against a backdrop of dark brown glass cupboards stacked with different utilities like groceries (the range which expanded over the years). The walls were often adorned with pictures of old Bombay or English countryside. These small joints  eventually began to be known as cafes.These  small  café spaces or little tea and cake joints were in existence for a long time. They excluded an old world charm.Daily samplings soon became a regular  feature for  tongue tickling treats and a place easily accessible and affordable for all.The goodies were not eye-catching nor were they colourful but tasty and tantalizing.The entire aura around these little cafés  was alive and buzzing  which attracted attention of any passerby.The high-and  low-pitched voices of the Irani owner giving orders, the chatter of the Irani errand boys executing  the orders, the clatter of crockery and a general bonhomie that went with it was just as alluring and endearing as to what they were serving.Whiffs and aromas of all kinds made you want to sit around (literally in a no-time bound frame of mind) soaking in the milieu and drinking endless cups of sweet mana——the Irani  chai.

The bakeries were owned by Iranis who  migrated to India,from Iran  to Surat,a flourishing commercial city on the west coast of India, in search of some lucrative  enterprise.They came to India in the late 19th century.Most of them who migrated were not well versed in the literary sense  but possessed astute business sense  and were  proficient  in the business of baking – as  this was their traditional business and the only enterprise they understood.Soon they set up Irani cafes all over the city which  became synonymous with the city’s landscape. A unique feature of an Irani café was that many of them were situated at corner of the street.It is believed they acquired these corner spaces as the Hindu shop-owners were superstitious about setting their own shops there as they felt it would not prosper.

As mentioned earlier one could, or rather one wanted to  linger on in the café for hours.It served as a meeting  place for some,an appropriate setting for both serious political and social discussion for others and leisurely conversation for all and sundry.This space cut across all classes and community.The sweet and delicious hot cuppa-dunked with the typical Irani khari (a buttery and subtly flavoured light flaky biscuit which almost disintegrated  before you could put your mouth to it) was and still is to die for….

The word “Irani” conjures images of old-fashioned  bakeries,wine shops, restaurants and its delicious fare with their typical names——the ubiquitous maska pau (thick yellow butter slathered on a small round of fresh bread, the pau,the origin which dates back to the time of the Portuguese who first introduced this now hugely popular bread in India, particularly Bombay.These cafes, bakeries and restaurants have evolved over the years, introducing several other items on their menu. Khari chai and bhurji, mawa cakes to name a few. At one time almost half the Irani population in the metropolis was  involved in  running of these enterprises (a tradition dating back to almost 100 years) which at one time thrived but now facing stiff competition from modern type of bakeries and deli.The famous Irani bakeries which were one of the famous landmarks of Bombay and visible at strategic corners in most suburbs are practically non-existent except for a few which are trying to be a bit more aggressive  to compete with the modern cafes. However,today the baking process too has changed — all traditional breads baked in wood fire ovens have been replaced with modern energy efficient ovens.

This article besides highlighting their popularity  takes a look at the  plight of the existing bakeries which still occupy certain pockets of the city and are still popular among young and the old who still want their usual fare of  brun maska or khari and chai to drink at leisure and watch the world go by.

What makes these Irani bakeries tick? Obviously its mouth-watering fare – the brun maska (a hard round bun which is oh so soft inside  which when you cut when hot and slather blobs of  butter and dip it in tea is sure to leave a slick of melted butter on the surface –that’s the way its supposed to be eaten. Have it with kheema(minced meat),scrambled eggs with green chillies onions and tomato (akoori) or plain fruit jam , it delicious all the same.Each café puts up its own menu of the day but brun maska, mawa cakes and khari are  constant.

The bread making process  in Iran goes a long way back.Even before the  Iranis migrated to the city of dreams, bread making  in Iran was a traditional process; bread was prepared and baked at home in special ovens.The practice is still carried out in most villages.Each bakery specializes in a special kind of bread and they do not bake other kinds of bread simultaneously. Irani breads are of a wide variety. Barbari  made of white flour is thick and popular among the Turkish people . It is a specially type of leavened bread that seems to have been introduced in Iran fairly recently like the  European style bread. It  is  a long  narrow loaf about 2 to 3 ft long  inch thick and 2-3 ft long and 8-12” wide. It is separated before baking to give it an added crispness and is sprinkled with sesame seeds. It needs to be eaten soon after baking as it becomes stale quickly and is often used as breakfast bread.  La vash made of white flour is thin and several lavash are enough for one person, is of Armenian origin. Sangak is also thin but made from brown flour. It gets its name from the process of baking it on a bed of heated pebbles instead of the wall of the oven , which gives bread a very crisp and irregularly surfaced texture.

Barbari Bread

Image – Courtesy Iranian.com – Barbari bread

La Vash

Image -credit Wiki – La Vash Bread

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Image credit Wiki – La Vash bread stacks

Sangak wiki image 1 wid 2 people

Image credit Wiki – Sangak

Sangak_bakery

Image credit Wiki – Sangak goes into a hot oven

Taftoon or Taftun is made from white flour and is thin but oval in shape.Taftoon and La vash  are baked thin against the wall of the oven and differ primarily in the type of wheat (whole wheat or white) is used to make them.

La vash is very soft. In rural areas many families bake their own bread on a weekly basis and produce a hard La vash which is softened at the time of use by sprinkling a little water on it.

Naan In Iran is a kind of flat bread which is brought directly from the bakers who are called naanva i.e. a naan baker.

Acorn bread was made in ancient Iran. A small bread oven and the remains of acorns were discovered by archaeologists in Iran to conclude that ancient Iranis did bake bread using acorn flour, over 3000 years ago.The Ayapir cultural heritage team found almost 40 kinds of plants species at the ancient site of Izeh in Khuzestan Province, Iran , a dig carried out prior to the rising waters of the reservoir of Karun 3 dam.

To quote Hajir Kiani, the head of the team, “the acorns’ resistance to the elements made it an important foodstuff for the local people. Different parts of the oak tree such as fruits and leaves were used as food and medicinal purposes . The tools found in the mountains when compared to tools found in the present day nomads of the region prove that the baking method  has been almost the same for the past 3000 years.

The Bakhtiari nomads who currently live in the region grinding acorns with a grindstone, then put it inside a basket made of thin branches of the almond tree and put the basket in the stream for about a week. This helped to remove the bitter taste of the acorns.The acorns expand and gradually turn into dough within a week. The only thing to do is to pick up a handful of dough , knead it well and put it on the fire to bake”.

Religiously speaking, bread is treated with so much respect among the Iranians. Muslims are taught to avoid dropping bread on the floor or under feet or dumping it in a disrespectful place.Unused bread is used as feed for birds.

The type and quantity of bread found in the Iranian meals can to some extent be understood as an artifact of traditional dinning habits. During earlier times , the custom was to sit on the floor , a large cloth called sofrah would be spread out and the bowls and platters containing the various dishes put on it. Formerly, there were no plates and cutlery instead thin sheets of flat bread served as plates and for eating from utensils or for  scooping  up morsels of food. The art of fine dinning and etiquette was absent. It was only  under European influence ,use of tables and chairs forks and spoons became common especially in urban areas. These have been described in detail by European travelers who came to Iran.

Grain crops such as wheat and barley are well-suited for cultivation in the arable areas of the Iranian plateau and have been growing there since ancient times . Wheat was used to make a variety of breads that form part of the daily diet. In towns and cities , it is customary to buy bread freshly made from one of the many neighbourhood artisanal bakeries. That is why bakeries cook their bread three times a day, early morning, noon and in the evening . Scenes of crowded bakeries at this time is very common. Since most of the people come to buy bread at the same time, bakeries have long queues at rush hours and families prefer to send male members especially teenagers to buy bread.

 Iranian cafes and bakeries started by the Iranian immigrants in the 19th century  provided cheap food and good company in a leisurely setting.

After coming to India, the Irani bakeries modified their typical Irani bread to suit the taste buds of the Indians as well as specialize in a whole range of eats from garlic bread, shrewsberry biscuits, mawa cakes and to the bun maska and brun maska fare ( a bun or crusty bread sliced horizontally and generously slathered with butter dunked in paani kum chai (strong milky tea) which is usually eaten in the bakery itself  either standing near the entrance or some bakeries do provide for a small tea space where a few chairs and tables are laid . This is usually a quick fare which is satisfying and wholesome.Those cafes with ample  space provide full meals of  akoori on toast ,chicken/mutton patties, kheema pao, lagaan nu custard, falooda (chilled milk with rose syrup, vermicelli and basil seeds).

Honest to a fault the Iranis believe in offering good value for money but have lost ground in the bakery business due to the northerners taking over bakery business.Today the bread is baked elsewhere and through contract.The owners are totally dependent on the delivery.

Living near a Irani café,I  have had several opportunities to meet the owners and understand their problems and methods of survival. It has been a fascinating journey for them when they set out but a hard struggle now and yet they are popular. Often Sunday morning with its  special menu like kheema rice and mutton biryani, long queues are seen.Is this a sign of survival  if so how many more years. The second and third generation of owners certainly do not want to be behind counters.They want to explore the whole wide world  like their counterparts. Will they succeed or come right back into the business,one doesn’t know.

Interview with some Irani owners just might reveal  whats on their mind. So look out for the next read on the Irani cafes and their owners.

 Mrinal blogs at retro-reflections.

 

One pot meal- Easy and Healthy Chicken-n-Noodles – Ready in 20 minutes!

It was one of those days when I wished the dinner made itself ,but hey you know what I am saying right?Like it’s ONLY Monday and am wishing it was the weekend again , ya, ya that kind of a horrible feeling- gaaahhh! Happens to the best of us , yes even me , ok ok I will get on with the recipe.I  had this vegetable stock packet in my kitchen cupboard that had to be used or else! And I had some tomatoes, bright red  chillies, half a red onion sliced , some unused tiny onions, a juicy lime and a spanking new bottle of Kafir Lime leaves .

Since I had spent the better part of the day, well on facebook 😉 I got my lazy,fat a** out of my house and walked to the supermarket.Some chocken thighs ,a mixed bag with chopped carrot and brocolli on reduced price , just what I was looking for!

Ok so here’s a list of all the ingredients I threw in and managed to make something that made hubby go from ”hummm ummm” to ”interesting” to ” u came up with this recipe like now?” the best compliment, ok am showing off and that sickening right?

Serves:2 , Cook time including serving time :25 miutes

Ingredients:

  1. 500ml vegetable stock
  2. 100ml water
  3. 1/2 of a medium sized red onion sliced lengthwise
  4. 2 -3 shallots chopped lengthwise
  5. 2 cloves of garlic with the skin on
  6. 1 tiny pinch of cumin seeds
  7. 2 Kaffir lime leaves – no more ,they are POTENT!
  8. 2 bright red chillies slit lenghthwise
  9. 1 small tomato chopped into tiny pieces
  10. 3 pieces of chicken with the skin taken off
  11. Red chilli powder as per taste
  12. Salt as per taste
  13. 1 portion of thin egg noodles  – 100 gm approx
  14. 1 small palmfull of diced carrot  – 100 gm approx
  15. 2 -3 bits of broccoli cut into smaller bite sized portions – 100 gm approx
  16. 1/4th of piece of lime to squeeze onto the chicken
  17. 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  18. A smile on your face because you are going to make a new yum dish super quick and you n yours are gonna love-uh it!

The Ingredients

Preparation:

  • Wash the chicken pieces and remove the skin
  • Pan on hob and add one tbsp oil ,saute the thinly length-wise sliced red onion saving a few bits to go into the stock pot.
  • place the chicken pieces and lower the flame, turn the pieces in a few minutes after they start to fry, do not cook them fully as this pan fry bit is to ensure flavour on double impact and get the chicken to release it’s juices
  • at this stage add the tomato bits into the pan and flatten with a spatula after they have sizzled for a bit, this will make the sauted onion flavour marry with the tomato and lock in the chicken juices,squeeze the lime onto this
  • add about 2 tbsp of the vegetable stock to the chicken in the pan and simmer on  as low a flame as possible,keep checking to ensure it does not dry up!
  • Now add 1 tbsp in a saucepan and when it’s hot throw in the 2 big red chillies which have been split lengthwise,followed by the cumin,crushed garlic cloves with skin, some of the red onion chopped leftover from what went in the pan and the shallots chopped lengthwise.Keep the saucepan on a low flame to prevent burning of these ingredients.

IMG_2931 (Copy)

  • When the garlic is done and the pungent chilli and garlic gives off its trademark punch of aroma throw in the Kaffir lime leaves ,when the onion is totally pink n garlic crisp , throw in some of the vegetable stock and some water , add the noodles carrot and broccoli ,cover and bring to a boil, at this stage the carrot is almost cooked and the noodles too, scoop in the chicken and the thick onion-tomato gravy it was in, ensure you get every last bit of the thick sauce from the pan to not loose any of that wholesome goodness!

IMG_2935 (Copy)

  • Now throw in all the remaining vegetable stock and water and add salt and red chilli powder as per taste.
  • cook on a low flame with lid till done, the chicken should just fall of the bone easy and the carrot should be well cooked but not squidgy.
  • Serve hot with soft boiled potatoes in butter and herbs or a crisp baguette.

At 2 small spoons of oil and how it fills you, this one dish stock pot is filling, wholesome,relatively easy and a good for a weekday dinner when you are feeling  well BLAH 😉

please leave comments to let me know if this recipe rocked your boat or totally sucked !

Love,peace and good night bloggy world ,I love ya !

One stock pot chicken and noodle dinner

Sunday Special Lunch – A Family Tradition

What a Sunday Roast is to a traditional English Family Sunday Lunch is what the combination of Spicy Chicken Gravy and Jeera rice or layered Chicken Biryani is to my family . My sister and me have grown up eating these divine yet simple dishes prepared with great passion and with great efforts by my parents.Almost all the  ingredients were freshly procured on Sunday morning and accompanying my dad to get the chicken was part of the whole excitement for me . It was my mum’s way of getting me out of her hair is what I learned years later 🙂

Last year when my husband and me decided to move to London , I was super delighted when my parents visited a few months later. My parents had promised they would cook us their Sunday special and  my hubby would  watch and learn they created these dishes.

I shall start with my personal favourite Chicken in thick gravy and Jeera Rice ,followed by Layered Chicken Biryani in the next blog post. Hope you will enjoy cooking up these yummies and creating happy family memories of your own.

Chicken in thick gravy-Ingredient List:

  1.  Medium sized Chicken cut and deskined, usually available at any good butcher shop , ask for pieces suitable for a curry.
  2. 3 medium sized tomatoes and 4 red onions pureed together
  3. 1 Large bunch of coriander and 2 long green chillies pureed.
  4. Oil
  5. Turmeric Powder
  6. Red Chilli Powder
  7. Garam Masala
  8. handful of finely pureed grated fresh coconut
  9. Ginger Garlic Paste
  10. Finely Chopped coriander to garnish

Method:

  1. Wash the chicken pieces and marinate with a large spoonful of red chilli powder and turmeric, a generous blob of ginger garlic paste ,sat and some puree of the coriander and chilli paste.
  2. Take a large vessel and on a medium  add oil, when it is hot add the onion- tomato puree and sautee it till the colour turns a dark pink , add some ginger garlic paste ,salt , turmeric and 2 large spoons of garam masala.
  3. Then add the grated coconut puree and remaining coriander and chilly paste.
  4. Saute well and then add the marinated chicken .
  5. Add enough water to cover the pieces and enough to ensure good amount of gravy.
  6. Pressure cook for 3 whistles in a pressure cooker.
  7. Serve hot with steaming hot jeera rice and cucumber curd mix to balance off the heat.

As you will notice most ingredients are not accurately measured as would in a cake recipe , that’s because baking is really an exact science whereas curries especially this one function on judgement , it gets better with time , trust me , I have grown up eating this one 🙂

Ruskin Bond and Hayfever

I am suffering …it’s a crazy mix of Hayfever and a viral infection which is messing with my throat . So I am congested , sneezing ,wheezing,coughing and drowsy all the time .

As is my practise every morning , I logged into my email to check and there were 2 emails from my council library to come and collect the reservations – – Two Ruskin Bond books I have been waiting to get my hands on for months now !

In spite of all the misery , I am smiling , ready to rush out and get the books home, will then curl up on the sofa with a dozen fluffy pillows, a HOT mug of tasty chicken soup and read till I sleep into a blissful sleep – hopefully 🙂

I cannot believe I have gone through life not having read any of his awesome books , to think that he is of British descent and that many of the big book stores here do not stock his books is really sad . But thankfully the libraries run by the council’s in London are all connected so even if these books were miles away in another borough, I simply reserve them online ,albeit for a nominal charge and then just wait for then to make their to the library next to my house .

What I am looking forward to the most is slipping away into the bylanes of India’s northern states , seeing it through eyes and loosing myself in the magical tales he has weaved . I am sure he already has a long list of fans world over and I have added my name to that list . So Hayfever and a sore throat not withstanding, I am going to go get the books right away .

Ok maybe after a small ,much-needed nap 🙂