Greek Easter Feast with Tonia Buxton and Total Greek Yoghurt

One of things I enjoy most about being a  food and travel writer that am exposed to many little traditions from various cultures and an opportunity to celebrate various festivals and of course meet wonderful new people .Even better is a chance to cook with someone as passionate as Tonia Buxton who taught us how to make a 3 course greek feast and took us through a journey of how Easter is celebrated back in Greece, relating in a very animated manner the the rituals,prayer and festivity surrounding the occasion.Total Yogurt the makers of the deliciously thick and creamy yogurt put together  this cooking fest at a Cookery School called La Cucina Caldesi located in the heart of Central London.

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Tonia Buxton a Greek Cypriot is the Total Greek Yogurt Brand Ambassador and a presenter of the award winning T.V series on Discovery Channel called ‘My Greek Kitchen’ and has also authored a book titled  ‘Tonia’s Greek Kitchen’. Soon  to star in a new T.V series called  ‘Pauls Family Feast’ a TV show by well ,Paul Hollywood 🙂

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After a quick ice breaker session we got in groups and started preparing the main dish of the meal – Greek Lamb Pattie Tray Bake. I love cooking lamb and am delighted with the similarities in Greek and Indian cuisines. We took love our spices and cumin does add a very deep flavour to lamb. If I was to make it at home though I would tweak it and amp up the spices  especially the cumin and just because I love heat crushed or paper thin slices of green chillies with seeds ummm!

Here is the recipe:

Greek Lamb Pattie Tray Bake

Serves: 4

Ingredients

100g TOTAL Greek Yoghurt
100g fresh wholemeal breadcrumbs
400g lamb mince
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp ground cumin
4 red onions (2 finely chopped, 2 cut into wedges)
Large handful mint, chopped
4 waxy new potatoes, i.e. Charlottes cut into wedges
4 courgettes, halved & quartered lengthways
250g pack juicy cherry tomatoes on the vine
2 unwaxed lemons cut into 6 wedges each
4 tbsp olive oil
100g feta cheese, crumbled

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Method

  1. Heat the oven to 200°C / 180°C Fan / Gas Mark 6.
  2. Put the breadcrumbs, the lamb mince, egg, plenty of seasoning and cumin in a bowl.
  3. Add the chopped onion and sprinkle in half the chopped mint. Give everything a good mix and shape into 8 patties.
  4. Lightly oil a large, shallow roasting tray and add the patties.
  5. Place the onion wedges on the tray around the lamb patties with the potatoes, courgettes and tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil and season. Bake for around 40 minutes, turning & basting everything once halfway, until the lamb is cooked through and the vegetables are tender. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the feta and remaining mint.(We used up most of the mint and our minty lamb patties were very juicy and yum)
  6. Serve with a large dollop of Total Greek yoghurt and tahini sauce.

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While our lamb patties were cooking we played a fun Greek easter egg game with eggs painted a cheerful bright red.We had to go about smashing our egg onto everyone else and in the end I was up against Tonia- of course she won! Years of experience laster she has mastered the technique 🙂

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We then made a Greek dessert called Anarocrema using Anari Cheese, which I flavoured with orange blossom extract ,fresh fruits and generous bits of freshly made filo pastry crispy bits .This creamy dessert is made using goats cheese and marries well with fruits ,pistachios,almonds and honey too is  very filling and morish dessert.

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While our desserts were sent for chilling we got cracking on with the starter a light and superbly flavoured starter –  Greek Sea Bream fillets with olives,capers,lemon and yoghurt Tahini Sauce.

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Thanks to @satureyes for the brilliant  photos.

It was a very well organised event and I got an opportunity to meet so many more bloggers.Cooking up in a team with Fiona (London Unattached) and Heidi was good fun and it great to be working with familiar faces. Many thanks to @TotalGreek yogurt for the lovely event & @ToniaBuxton  for her lively,warm and friendly way of conducting the cookery workshop and sharing so many beautiful experiences.

Hope all of you had a brilliant Easter Weekend and are looking forward to another long weekend coming up!

Disclaimer: With many thanks to Total Uk  and Tonia Buxton.I was not required to write a positive review and was not compensated monetarily for this post.Like all my previous posts about events and reviews, ALL opinions expressed here are entirely my own.

Sweetcorn and Paneer Bhaji/Sabzi

In March I had rushed to be by my mothers side when her recovery post a double knee replacement surgery which was supposed to give her a new lease on life went badly wrong.

She was put on a very strict diet and asked to avoid more food stuff than she could eat, besides the heat in Pune was killing and the numerous medicines made her terribly hungry and moody. Not to mention the times when she was in so much pain I regularly went in the room next door and sobbed my guts out into a pillow…

On one of the better days when she really wanted to eat something tasty and refused all the options I gave her my maushi (that’s we call mum’s sister in Marathi language – my mother tongue) saved the day by making her this simple yet delicious vegetable which was packed with flavour in-spite of having on onion,no garlic and no tomatoes which mum was not allowed at all…If you have someone at home who is being given blood thinner medicines to avoid blood clots you may be asked to avoid foods that contain Vitamin K which is a natural blood coagulant.

Since this was only for one person we took a handful of each ingredient and used spices as we thought appropriate to suit her taste buds dead with all those medicines. Please feel free to amp up the spice if you wish.

Serves 2 as a side or 1 as a main

Preparation of veggies and Cooking Time:45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Cauliflower florets 150 gm
  • sweet corn 50 gm
  • carrots chopped into tiny cubes 50 gm
  • green peas 50 gm
  • Paneer cubes/Cottage Cheese 50 gm
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt as per taste
  • a pinch of red chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin and coriander powder mix
  • a small pinch of ground clove powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • Finely chopped fresh green coriander leaves -just enough to garnish.

Method:

  • In a pan take 1/2 tbsp of olive oil and sautee the bay leaves, clove powder and cumin and coriander powder for about 30 seconds.
  • Add the sweet corn and cook for about 3 minutes with spritz of water on a very low flame with lid to allow the corn to cook well.
  • Add the chopped carrot cubes and add water and cover an allow to steam for 2 -3 minutes on a low flame.
  • Reason for cooking the sweetcorn first and then the carrots is that they will take longer to cook than the cauliflower and peas which will become mush in the vegetable if all these are added at once. To save time you could used boiled sweetcorn and carrot. Avoid canned and ready to eat variety.
  • When carrots are almost cooked add the cauliflower florets ,green peas and season with the turmeric and red chilli powder and salt.Mix Well.
  • Add very little water just enough to allow the veggies to cook well.

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  • When they are almost cooked after not more than 5- 8 minutes , add the soft paneer cubes and mix well and serve hot with a chapati fresh off the pan.
  • Garnish with a tiny bit of fresh coriander leaves finely chopped.Ensure they are washed thoroughly to ensure no muddy bits are hiding between the delicate leaves.

Needless to say aai loved the bhaji and after almost 15 days of bland food she was really upbeat. Soon after she really began to recover at a desirable pace and was coming up with many of her own ideas to make delicious food with less oil, minimal spices and without any tomato. Cheers to you aai , you are a very brave person to have come out of such a bad health situation only a few months ago, to a point where you are 100% independent and cheerful as ever.God bless all those that stood by us and the few special people who came to help me in the hour of need, no questions asked, you know I love you people tons right ?:)

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Disclaimer: Please note this is a true account of what my mum had to eat with her many food restrictions and is not meant to be treated as a medical advice for anyone following a diet where they have been asked to stay off Vit K .Please always consult your doctor before eating anything that is out of the ordinary for your condition.

Achari Mutton Curry – Mutton in a rich pickle flavoured curry.

I had tasted Achari Chicken a few years ago when we were all at my bosses house in Pune and one of my buddies who is a trained chef made Achari chicken and roti’s for us in a flash ! It tasted so divine!

When I was to fly to India for an unexpected development when my ma-in-law’s health suddenly went downhill and she was due for an open heart surgery on the 7th of Nov, I had to do something to lift hubby’s spirits and comfort food had to be manufactured. A good afternoon nap after a reasonably heavy meal of mutton curry and rice sounded like just the thing.

Fresh Mutton was procured but I didn’t have any puree’s to marinate them in and then a brainwave happened ! I got out my most treasured bottle of mango pickle made by my sister’s mum in law who is an expert with pickles and makes a minimum of 10 varieties every summer, these are then packed and sent all over the world !!

I really didn’t want to use up all the pickle but for a kilo of mutton I just had to , ah well small scarifies for the larger good I say 🙂

Serves :4

Marination Time :overnight + 30 minutes , more if freezing overnight

Cooking Time: 1.5 hours on hob and 30 minutes in pressure cooker

Ingredients:

  • 1 kilo mutton curry pieces
  • 1/2 bottle of mango pickle – about 250 gm of pickle
  • 2 heaped tablespoons of freshly ground ginger garlic paste
  • 1/2 tub of yogurt – 200gm
  • 2 medium sized tomatoes
  • 3 small red onions
  • 4 heaped teaspoons red chilli powder
  • 3 heaped teaspoons turmeric powder
  • a pinch of asafoetida
  • 2 bay leaves
  • a small stick of cinnamon
  • 4 heaped teaspoons coriander and cumin mix powder
  • 3 and 1/2 tablespoon oil
  • 4 boiled eggs peeled and sliced into halves.

For the Chilli Marinade:

  • 3 green chillies
  • Juices of 1 lime
  • 1 large tablespoon oil
  • 1 heaped teaspoon red chilli powder

Method:

  • Wash the mutton pieces thoroughly and then pour the pickle over them and add the ginger garlic paste and mix well such that each piece coats well in the pickle.
  • Ideally I would marinate this mutton overnight to really let these flavours seep deep into the fibers of the meat,also as as mutton curry takes longer to cook than lamb it is necessary to ensure that for full maturity of flavours to develop marination must be for over 5 hours.
  • Cover the meat with a plastic cling film and leave in the refrigerator overnight, do not freeze unless the temperature outside is over 35 deg Celsius as at that temperature if the cooling in the fridge is not good the meat may go bad. If freezing the mutton allow at least 4 hours to totally defrost by first moving from freezer to fridge and then keeping it outside.
  • Pour the yogurt over the marinated meat and mix well,leave aside for 20 minutes
  • Just when you are ready to cook the mutton peel and roughly chop red onions into chunks and also made big pieces of the tomatoes and puree them in the food processor.
  • In a large vessel heat the oil and add a pinch of asafoetida, sautee the bay leaves and the cinnamon stick for about 30 seconds on a medium flame.
  • Then add the  red onion and tomato puree , sautee in the oil ,stirring well and let it simmer on a low flame with 1 cup of water.
  • Add red chilli powder,turmeric powder, coriander and cumin mix powder.
  • Let this cook for about 10 -12 minutes.
  • Now add the marinated mutton and add enough water to make a good amount of gravy , if you are going to use the pressure cooker then add a little extra.
  • Cook on a medium flame for about 1 and a half hour , in a pressure cook give it 8 whistles.
  • Mutton pieces have a lot of fat attached on the sides which also adds to the oil used for cooking hence I have used less oil.I am unable to eat the overtly oily curry which leave a huge layer of oil on the top if allowed to stand.
  • Now for the spicy dip, slit the green or red chillies lengthwise and dip into the oil and red chilli powder mix and add the juice of one lime.
  • When the curry is cooked serve hot on a bed of steaming hot rice with half a boiled egg.For extra flavour bite into the fiery red chilli with the lime-chilli mix.It’s not for the faint hearted though, but if you really do manage to relish the aftertaste of hot chilli you can safely say that you can now eat any fiery dish without breaking a sweat or getting the runs, a sort of baptism by fire food ritual!! One only for only for the brave souls!This powerful blast of heat on the tongue will see your forehead  dotted with beads of sweat.Truly a labour of love.

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The resulting mutton curry is rich in flavour and served hot with fluffy Jeera rice it is such a satisfying and comforting meal. But the best bit is when you leave the balance of this curry overnight , the next day the taste is so much better I’d almost choose left over curry over the fresh 😉

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Highly recommend serving this curry with a cooling curd side dish – half a cup of yogurt mixed with  with sliced red  onions and cucumbers ,seasoned with a pinch of salt , half a spoon of sugar and 1 heaped teaspoon of toasted cumin powder ,garnished with some freshly chopped coriander leaves.I’d wash down the meal  with butter milk or a good glass or two of a full bodied red wine .

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Egg Curry/Anda Curry/अण्डा कारी from my college days

Egg curry and soft paav or square buns are the most common hostel food that one can make with a saucepan,some eggs and a few basic ingredients.It is hugely popular as a filling,tasty curry and there are as many variations as the imagination, ones budget and availability of ingredients on a particular day will allow 🙂

This version is what I always make and is sort of derivative of what would be made in the North of India.I sometimes like to make it into a coastal flavoured one by adding fresh grated coconut but that’s only if I want to make it posh but that’s very, very rare. After all this is a quick ,save the evening sort of curry!

It’s National Curry Week and it’s wonderful to see how Britain has embraced an Indian food habit and made it, its own over the years, spinning off British Indian versions of popular Indian home cooked curries.

I wanted to start of my posts for National Curry week with this one because of how easy it is to make and a great recipe for students everywhere 🙂

Serves:2

Total Preparation Time :20 Minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs and use the same proportion of 2 eggs per person to scale up (for very hungry fells the more the merrier 😉
  • 2 medium-sized red onion finely chopped
  • 2 medium-sized tomatoes
  • 2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 heaped tsp garam masala
  • 1 heaped tsp cumin powder
  • 1 heaped tsp coriander powder
  • 2 green chillies
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • fresh coriander to garnish
  • 1 clove of garlic finely chopped
  • a pinch of asafoetida
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp olive oil – it’s easier on my conscience , use any oil or butter or ghee in dire straits!

Method:

  1. Boil the eggs in an open saucepan and leave aside to cool
  2. Roast the chopped red onion on a saucepan and spritz it in the mixer with the chopped tomatoes and green chillies.(If you want a coastal touch add 2 tbsp of fresh grated coconut in this mixture and puree it together,ensure to use atleast 3 finely chopped garlic in the pan as they set of the taste of fresh coconut beautifully)
  3. In a saucepan heat the oil and add a pinch of asafoetida,then add the chopped garlic and roast till it’s a light brown ,then add the ginger paste,turmeric,red chilli powder,garam masala,coriander and cumin powders.
  4.  Stir in the onion and tomato puree.
  5. Cook on a low flame for 2 minutes.
  6. Then add some water to make a gravy like consistency and ad the boiled, peeled eggs after cutting them in half, add salt and cook for a further 5 – 6 minutes.
  7. Serve with hot chapartis/naan bread,paav,soft fresh wholemeal bread or with steaming hot boiled white rice – to make the rice taste heavenly drop a blob of butter, the steam trapped in the grains of rice will melt the butter into a golden pool of gooey goodness – pour the egg curry into this and enjoy the best and simple pleasures of curry!

Anda Curry

Looking for a Curry Recipe? You might also like:

Upma/Uppet (उप्पीट)- a classic Indian breakfast recipe

In Marathi,my mother tongue we call this dish ”Uppit” and in the south of India its called Upma.

It’s a fluffy cooked breakfast made of roasted semolina and spices and can be customized by adding green peas and small carrot bits.I love eating this steaming hot garnished with a generous sprinkling of freshly chopped coriander and some finely grated fresh coconut – umm perfection, can almost feel a strong whaft of the aroma swirl around my nose as I sit here and type the recipe 😉

After Kande Pohe this has to be my number one favourite Indian breakfast option.Agreed there’s a lot of ingredients but there’s a lot of flavour too!

In Matunga area there are many good Udipi restaurants who do upma on their breakfast menu and it’s so good gobbling fresh hot upma and dowing a cuppa or tow of hot filter coffee before getting to work on a busy weekday morning in Mumbai city.It’s very filling and  budget friendly too:) All you need is some time before rushing for the daily commute to ensure you can squeeze yourself into the restaurant and sit on one of the long wooden benches with complete strangers and hope to god you don’t have coriander  stuck in between your front teeth if they smile at you  😉

Ingredients:

  1. 1 cup rava approx 100 grams
  2. 1/2 tsp urid dal
  3. 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  4. A pinch of asafoetida
  5. 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  6. 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  7. 1 heaped tsp turmeric powder
  8. 1tsp red chilli powder, actually 1/2 a tsp for the ones who do not like their Indian food too spicy
  9. 1 tsp coriander powder
  10. 1 tsp cumin powder
  11. 2 green chillies chopped fine
  12. 5-6 fresh curry leaves
  13. 2 pods of garlic chopped fine or simply smash them and drop in the saucepan with skin on!
  14. 1/2 red onion finely chopped
  15. 1/4th of a juicy red tomato
  16. Salt as per taste
  17. Fresh coriander to garnish
  18. Fine grated fresh coconut

Method:

  • I usually roast the whole packet of 1 kilo of semolina I buy on a flat pan on a very low flame stirring constantly and then allow it to cool down completely and then store it in tins ready to use when I need to make this dish or the sweet version called Gooda Sheera/ Sooji Halwa which is a popular Maharastrian sweet dish and especially important during festivals as we serve it as Prasad to Lord Ganesh or during Satyanarayan Pooja.
  • In a saucepan add the oil and as it starts to heat, add the asafoetida,mustard cumin seeds and urid dal.The urid dal brown very quickly so stir this around a bit.
  • When the mustard seeds begin to pop add the curry leaves,green chillies and garlic and chopped red onion.
  • When the garlic begins to turn a toasty brown and the onion reduces add the tomato and give this mixture a proper stir.
  • Now add the turmeric,red chilli powder, cumin powder, coriander powder  and salt and mix well
  • Then add double the amount of water as compared to the quantity of rava/semolina,cover the saucepan with a lid and let the water come to a boil.
  • If you wish to add green peas and carrots finely chopped for an extra burst of taste do it just when the water begins to boil and let it cook in the hot water.
  • Now slowly stir in the semolina ensuring that it does not form lumps.
  • Cover the saucepan with a lid and cook on a low flame for 2-3 minutes stirring occasionally to prevent lumps forming or the mixture becoming too dry, if it is very lumpy sprinkle water and mix well.

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  • Serve hot garnished with chopped coriander and fresh grated coconut.

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I am just beginning to experiment with photos taken using my new 50mm f1.8 Cannon lens – A’s gift to me for my birthday this, I quite like the steady pattern of gifts starting with my first DSLR on last years birthday.Just need to figure ways to wiggle out other gifts *evil laugh follows* 😉

Valache Birdhe (वालाचे बिरडे) – made in a typical C.K.P way

Valache Birdhe is an extremely popular bean gravy and has helped soothe many aching hearts and settle ruffled feathers after long gruelling work days.I managed to procure a few packets of these beautiful field beans with brown skin after a lot of searching!Hubs goes completely mental at the mere mention of this dish and insisted on me uploading the recipe and help all the other hungry hubbies out there..ahem ..so without further ado ladies and gents I present to you yummyscrummy recipe.

This is a typical C.K.P way of making a rather traditional legume curry. Vaal or kadve vaal (kadve meaning bitter in Marathi) are generically referred to as Field Beans in English.

Serves: 2

Preparation Time: 20 mins. Soaking and Sprouting: Depends on the climate, longer in winter about 2-3 days.

Serves:2 as a main course served with boiled rice or Indian bread – chapatti and a bhaji (sabzee/sabji) as an accompaniment

Ingredients:

  1. Vaal –
  2. Garlic Cloves – 3- 4 with skin
  3. Asafoetida a tiny pinch
  4. Red onion – one small finely chopped for the pan
  5. Dried Kokum – 2-3 or tamrind paste 1tsp or dried tamrind soaked in water -remove the pips and use the gooey thick bits
  6. 1/2 tsp Jaggery
  7. Mustard Seeds -1 tiny pinch
  8. Cumin/Jeera- 1 small pinch
  9. Oil – 1 and 1/2 large tbsp
  10. Red Chilli Powder -1 tsp
  11. Turmeric powder -1/2 tsp
  12. Coriander powder -1 tsp
  13. Cumin powder – 1 tsp
  14. Fresh Coriander finely chopped to garnish – half of bunch
  15. 3-4 heaped tbsp grated coconut paste made by running through a mixer fresh grated coconut or frozen coconut with 1 green chilli and 1 clove of garlic.My mum prefers to also add 1/2 a finely chopped red onion which has been tossed on a pan with the coconut and green chilli – must admit it lends a toasty warmth to the gravy but I skip this step simply because the I compensate for it by using the onion in the pan!
  16. Salt as per taste

Method:

  • Soak the Vaal overnight, change the water in the morning and by evening if they appear puffed then wrap them in a damp cloth and set aside in a vessel with a lid to create an environment warm enough to allow them to sprout
  • Remove sprouted vaal into a bowl and pour like warm water on them,stir with your palms to loosen the skin and many will float to the top,decant the water and remove all the rest of the skins and discard .
  • Heat the oil in a saucepan and dust some asafoetida and throw in the mustard and cumin.
  • When the cumin seeds begin to pop, throw in the garlic with their skin on and smashed to flatten them and as they turn colour and release their aroma,add he chopped onion.
  • When the onion turns a delicate pink add turmeric powder,red chilli powder and then add the vaal/field beans.
  • Now add the turmeric,red chilli,coriander and cumin powders and quickly stir in enough water to cover the beans.
  • On a low flame cook with lid.
  • When the vaal is almost done,add the jaggery,coconut paste and the tamarind paste or the water from the dried tamarind which has been soaked or dried kokum soaked in water and when the vaal are done add salt and garnish with finely chopped coriander.
  • The logic of adding salt towards the very end is so that it does not interfere with the rest of the spices as they pack a punch into the beans while they cook and also salt can hasten the cook time for the vaal which is not ideal as the full strength of all the flavours steeping into the curry will not happen.

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I do know this process sounds rather cumbersome and complex but believe you me its easy peasy and the main labour is only getting rid of the skins.

Do leave me a comment of you make this dish and also any variations to the recipe that you may have heard of, any anecdotes,happy memories are always welcome.

Bon Appe’tit !

P.S: coming soon a Vaal Pilaf recipe that’s another firm family fav!

Pomegranate Chicken Curry using Chobani Yogurt

For my next recipe using Chobani Yogurt, I made a spicy chicken curry  main dish, the curry can be made less spicy as per taste by reducing the quantity of red chilli powder and garam masala used.

I have used Chobani Pomegranate Yogurt as it lends a subtle but noticeable tangy twist on the palate.

Serves: 2

Prep Time: 35 minutes including the chopping and slaving bit

You will need:

  • 4 chicken breast fillets chopped into chunks which are curry pieces, yet not totally bite sized.
  • 2 large tablespoons Chobani Pomegranate yogurt
  • 1 large green chilli chopped into big pieces
  • 1 large red spicy red chilli chopped into big pieces
  • Salt to Taste
  • 1 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 2  heaped tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala
  • A pinch of Pepper powder
  • 2 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 3 small red onions finely chopped
  • 1 heaped tsp fresh ginger garlic paste

Method:

  • Heat a sauce on a medium flame and add 2 large tablespoons of sunflower oil
  • Sautee the chopped onions and the ginger garlic paste till the onion changes colour
  • Then add the chicken pieces and reduce the flame , when the chicken changes colour reduce the flame to the bare minimum and stir in the Pomegranate favoured Chobani yogurt. Do this before the chicken begins to cook to run juices as at that stage the yogurt will not be able to lend it flavours to the cooked meat.
  • Then add in this order the red chilli powder, the chopped red and green chillies, the garam masala and the pepper powder, mix well and stir ,then add enough water for the chicken to cook and to allow for some thick gravy . Add just enough or else much will dilute the whole curry and make it will become one big mess- just in case it does, take a deep breath and add 2 small completely boiled or 1 medium-sized potato mashed well into the curry ,it will soak up the excess water but then one needs to adjust the salt and red chilli proportion as well.
  • Now add the salt and mix well. Adding salt before the rest of the ingredients somehow alters taste to a large extent. Cook the chicken on a low flame with lid on checking occasionally and stirring as well. Yes one needs to fawn over the pot like one would over a pesky but adorable toddler. Humm, well now this should cook fairly quickly, check by jabbing a piece of chicken with a blunt knife.
  • I choose to serve this Pomegranate Chicken with boiled basmati rice cooked with garden fresh green peas.
  • Serve with some red onion by the side and freshly chopped coriander (cilantro) for that fresh and tasty garnish.
  • Serving suggestion – serve with boiled basmati peas pilaf/pulav/poolav lightly flavoured with cinnamon and bay leaves – again made with just a tiny drop of oil to sautee the bay leaf and cumin seeds.So good ummm

Chobani Pomegranate

 

 

 

Pomegranate Chicken - Chobani

Caribbean Sweet Mini Pepper Salad

When I first purchased sweet mini peppers I made a pie with them, well honestly it looked anything but perfect and just about made it to ”ok” on the taste parameters, but I shall leave that discussion for a later date. This recipe is adapted from the one given on the cute resealable bag in which the vibrantly colourfull and tempting  sweet peppers were packaged in by the supermarket.

Serves:6 as a side dish  Prep Time:15 Minutes, allow for at least half an hour of marination to allow flavours to really develop and pack a punch

Ingredients for the salad dressing:Juice of 1 lime

  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 garlic clove – remove skin and crush
  • 2 X 15 ml cooking oil, I used sunflower
  • 3 X 15 ml red wine vinegar
  • 1 X 5 ml hot pepper sauce
  • 1/4 X 5 ml Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 a teaspoon castor sugar
  • Salt to sprinkle
  • Freshly cracked black pepper to taste

Ingredients for the salad

  • 6-8 sweet mini peppers, de-seeded and  chopped into tiny cubes
  • 1 can of 400 gm (14 oz) ready to eat  red kidney beans drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 a cucumber, peeled and chopped into tiny cubes
  • 250 gm cherry tomatoes
  • 1 large red onion sliced lenght wise
  • 195 gm (7oz) sweet corn drained

I also added the remaining portion of the organic mangoes,roughly chopped into bite sized pieces, this is an optional add I just needed to use up the mango and it added a sweet-tangy taste which I love.You could also chop fine a small bunch of fresh coriander or skip it totally.

Method:

  • In a large salad bowl mix all the dressing ingredients and add all the salad ingredients into the bowl
  • Mix well and leave to marinate for at least half an hour.
  • Since it’s super hot right now I kept it in the fridge for a bit before serving.

This salad is a super side dish with Jerk Chicken and for those summer evening when you feel you cannot eat heavy meals, just combine it with a portion of roasted meat replacement done lightly spiced.I love my new salad bowl gifted by my aunt on her visit to ours.Love you maushi.

Caribbean Sweet Mini Pepper Salad

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.

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  • 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!

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  • 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

The Humble Cauliflower spiced up for bhaji/sabzee/sabji with green peas!

I love cauliflower as a vegetable for its taste and sheer possibilities in the kitchen, my fav everyday vegetable to be eaten with chapatis is a mix of cauliflower and green peas in a spicy,semi dry sabzi form.I used biryani masala to add a twang to my usual taste and the result was worth sharing:)

Skill level beginner,basic

Serves :2 with rotis and curd to make a light meal

You will need :

  1. I medium-sized cauliflower
  2. A handful of fresh or frozen green peas
  3. 1-2 red onions very finely sliced
  4. Curry leaves – 3-4
  5. Green chillies – 2 chopped in big pieces
  6. Biryani Masala
  7. 1/4th red juicy tomato chopped into tiny pieces
  8. ginger paste
  9. 2 cloves of garlic very finely sliced
  10. Oil for tadka
  11. Mustard seeds
  12. Cumin seeds
  13. salt to taste
  14. Turmeric and red chilli paste as per taste and colour requirements
  15. Coriander powder
  16. Jeera Powder
  17. 2 large spoon full of any packet biryani masala.
  18. few sprigs of fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped to garnish
  19. a tiny squeeze of lime
  20. A pinch of asafoetida/hing

Method:

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a saucepan – when it’s hot add the asafoetida and mustard seed, when the seeds start to pop add cumin seeds and the finely chopped garlic bits,as always I love the garlic skin, I let the beautiful aromas take over my olfactory senses ,my imagination ,my kitchen and umm well probably the building hallway as well ;)’
  2. Ensure the cumin seeds turn a toasty brown and then swiftly move on to the next ingredients
  3. Next go in the fresh green curry leaves and green chillies, chopped onion, I used the food processor this time so it was almost a puree and this onion takes up the flavours of the spices faster I imagine.
  4. Add the coriander powder,ginger and garlic pastes and stir well and allow it to become a sticky sort of paste
  5. Then add the biryani masala and feel the explosion in the aroma as it marries well with the paste we had ready
  6. Then go into  cauliflower florets neatly chopped and the green peas
  7. Turn off the heat for a bit,sprinkle turmeric powder,red chilli powder,cumin powder and salt to taste.
  8. Turn on the heat on a low flame and sprinkle some water enough to wet the veggies and allow for some steam to happen to cook the cauliflower.
  9. Stirring occasionally cook with a lid for about 10 minutes.
  10. garnish with freshly coriander finely chopped and a tiny squeeze of lime to add an extra twang.
  11. Eat with hot puffy rotis off the hob!

 

I am linking this favourite Maharashtrian vegetarian recipe for Cauliflower and Green Peas sabji with In My Veg Box for May2014 hosted by me for Nayna who Blogs at Simply.Food and Citrus Spice.

In my veg box cauliflower

 

I just noticed how I wrote my blog posts earlier on and how greatly my food photography has changed for the better – no its not a case of a donkey praising his own tail just a mere observation 😉