chicken · non veg · spaghetti

Chicken Spaghetti in cream of cauliflower

Chicken spaghetti in creamy cauliflower white sauce.. ummm sounds good isn’t!! Well it tastes even better, and what more, its guilt free too, yes you are free from maida guilt ( recently acquired by Indians ). Personally I miss using maida cos I feel there is nothing like it. However with increasing maida consciousness, there is huge demand for maida free recipes by friends and family alike. I haven’t yet completely replaced maida in baking but its fairly easy to do so in cooking.

So I tried white sauce with maida for the first time. I have used cauliflower but it can be done using mushrooms too. But! don’t go overboard by mixing cauliflower and mushrooms both for the white sauce, cos I have a feeling, it will be a disaster.

They say no to maida (all-purpose flour) in the white sauce but can you do with out cheese? No! Guess someone should first find a replacement for cheese, and that someone would definitely be awarded with, I donno, may be the best International invention award!!!

So this recipe wasn’t bad at all and luckily I did not even miss the flour so much. So lets get on with it.



Ingredients (Serves 3 )

1 pack of Spaghetti
250 gms boneless chicken pieces
1/2 cup milk
2 cups cauliflower
2 big garlic cloves
1 large onion juliennes
1 tsp corn flour 
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 Amul cheese cube (or equivalent)
Black pepper as per taste
Salt as per taste
Thyme as per taste
2 tbsp butter
2 cups chicken stock (Maggi chicken cubes is a good alternative)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sugar


In a frying pan, add 1 tbsp oil and 1 tbsp butter. When the pan is hot, add crushed garlic, onions and sugar and fry on high heat stirring constantly till onions caramelize (turn brown).

Now, add the chicken pieces, and fry for exactly one minute on high flame with out turning them. This will brown one side of the chicken. Add the chicken stock, add salt if the stock doesn’t have any salt and with out mixing, cover the pan with a lid. Simmer the flame and cook for exactly 10 minutes, do not open the lid during this time. After 10 minutes, leave it to rest for another 10 minutes without removing the cover. All this is to ensure soft and succulent chicken pieces.



Separate the chicken pieces and remaining stock in two different containers.

Saute cauliflower in 1 tsp oil until al dente. Add some salt for seasoning. Puree after it cools down.

Mix 1 tsp corn flour in milk for thickening the sauce.

In the same pan, add butter, chicken stock, cauliflower puree, milk, amul cheese cube and seasoning (salt, pepper and thyme). Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning.



Boil spaghetti as per instructions on the pack.

Here comes the last step – plating. Put spaghetti on a plate, add chicken pieces, pour some sauce on top. Finally, add cheddar and sprinkle thyme on top.

Chicken spaghetti in cauliflower puree white sauce is ready! 




chicken · non veg · pizza · snack

Chicken Chettinad Pizza

When I told my friend I have lot of chicken Chettinad for Sunday, she suggested some varieties using the curry like sandwich or a frankie.. and I thought thats a brilliant idea! why have it with rice alone, why not a pizza!! Turned out to be a huge hit in my family! My husband even went on to say that you can open a pizza delivery outlet with just this one flavour 😉 Taste this once and I bet it will make it to your list of top 10 pizzas.


If you have already made chicken curry, you are just a few steps away.

Ingredients

Chicken chettinad curry (Please follow the link for recipe) 
Grated mozzarella cheese as much as you like
Onion julienne as much as you like ( I use a cup of onions for each pizza )
Other veggies like capsicum ( half of the amount of onions or as per your liking )

Pizza base (makes 4 pizzas)
315 gms sifted all purpose flour
2 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp sea salt coarsely ground
1 tsp sugar
160 ml warm water
11/2 tbsp olive oil

Sauce for pizza base (makes 4 pizzas)
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes
3/4 cup tomato sauce
1 tsp chilli sauce
4 garlic cloves
1 tsp mixed herbs
Salt to taste

Making pizza base,

Add yeast to 4 tbsp water, gently stir and leave for 1 minute. Whisk once.
Add sugar, salt to flour. 
Add oil, yeast mixture, remaining water to the flour and knead until you get soft silky dough ball. Apply some oil on top.
Cover the vessel with a cling wrap and leave it to rise until it doubles in size (1-2 hours)
Now gently knock the air out of the dough.
Make 4 balls. Place a ball on flat oiled surface and roll out a 1/4 inch thick round or make it thinner if you like thin crust.
Preheat microwave at 230 degrees.


Making pizza sauce,

Grind together all the ingredients for sauce. I like my sauce less sweet and more tangy, so added some sundried tomatoes. If you are fine with tomato ketchup, use it directly. If you follow this recipe for pizza sauce, it will be less sweet, bit spicy and some garlic flavour, consistency would be thick.


Shred chicken curry pieces using knife and fork. 



Spread the sauce into a thin layer on the base, leaving 1/2 inch around the edges.

Arrange the veggies and chicken pieces on top and sprinkle cheese.



Bake for 10 minutes or until the edges turn brown and crispy.

One thing left to be done, EAT! The flavor of smokey grilled chicken chettinad pieces will make you go wow!!!





chicken · chicken chettinad curry · Curry · non veg

Chicken Chettinad

Coming from Tamil Nadu, chicken chettinad has found its place in every Indian’s heart. My friend and I recently visited Khane khaas in Bandra and ordered chicken chettinad, it was okay but nothing like chettinad, it tasted more like butter chicken and it was not surprising given that owner was a sardar ji! 🙂 I was still craving for chettinad and decided to make it that night. 


If you are in for some real spice, this is just for you. Here it goes..

psst.. chettinad tastes even better next day so make lots of it. This recipe is sufficient for 2 for at least 3 meals (including 1 or 2 friends 😉 )

another thing.. you will notice that there is boneless chicken too, I do that when I pack some of it for next day’s lunch. It is easier to have boneless chicken with roti.



Ingredients

1 kg chicken (curry cut)
1/2 kg boneless chicken
1 tbsp lemon juice
Pinch of turmeric
5 big onions finely chopped
2 tomatoes finely chopped
Salt to taste
2 tbsp oil for cooking
1 bay leaf

Garam masala paste

1+1/2 inch cinnamon stick
4 green cardamoms 
1 black cardamom
1 tsp Fennel seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
5 cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg powder
1/4 tsp black peppercorns
1/2 star anise
2 tsp sesame seeds
3 tsp fresh grated coconut or dessicated coconut
1 red chilli

Ginger garlic paste

10-12 garlic cloves
2 inch ginger
3 green chillies 


Wash and clean chicken, drain excess water. Pour the lemon juice and turmeric, mix well and marinate until rest of the ingredients are ready.



Dry roast garam masala spices, grind by adding little water to form paste. 


















Remove masala, use the same jar and grind together garlic, ginger and green chillies. Remove ginger garlic paste, pour some water and clean the jar, keep this water for cooking.


Add oil in pressure cooker, when hot, add onions and fry till they turn transparent. Add ginger garlic paste and fry for 5 minutes, Add tomatoes, reduce the flame to medium and cook with closed lid for 5 more minutes.

Add chicken, masala paste, salt and chilli powder (optional) mix well. Cook for another 5 minutes on high flame. Add water from the jar and add some more  to cover 3/4th chicken curry in water. 



Pressure cook on low flame for about 10 minutes.

Remove the lid when pressure subsides, if you find excess water fry on high flame until gravy thickens to desired consistency. 

Spicy Chettinad Chicken is ready! 



cheese · chicken · non veg

Pasta and Meatballs

The movie Cloudy with a chance of meatballs had inspired me to come up with the name “Raining food”, so its time I make some meatballs.

If you have gone through this post on Scotch eggs you are half way through. Actually I had planned for scotch eggs alone but while I was preparing them it occurred to me that the meat mix would be just idle for meatballs and that is how I made them too.

I have always pictured the taste and texture of meatballs in a certain way in my mind and this recipe is totally coming from my imagination. I did not have Spaghetti so settled with Fusilli instead. Often wonder why Spaghetti and meatballs is such a famous combination, when it should work well with other types of pasta too. Anyway.. lets start with the recipe

Meatballs and pasta

Ingredients 

250 gms Fusilli (Serves two)

For meatballs (Makes 20 of 1.5 inch diameter)

2 eggs beaten
2 onions finely chopped
200 gms minced meat of your choice
1 cup of refined wheat flour
Lot of good quality white breadcrumbs (I used 6 slices of bread for this)
Dried herbs of your choice (I used oregano, thyme, sea salt)
1/2 tsp mustard sauce
1/4 tsp garlic powder or 1 tsp crushed garlic
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (You may increase the amount of cheese)
1 tsp black pepper
Oil for deep frying
Salt to taste

For marinara sauce (You can totally skip this by ready made marinara or pasta sauce with tomato base)

2 large onions finely chopped
2 tomatoes pureed
6 garlic cloves finely chopped or crushed
2 cups chicken stock (Use Maggi chicken cubes)
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce (Optional)
1 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 tbsp butter


To prepare the meat, 
add 1/4th of the breadcrumbs, onions,herbs, cheese, pepper, mustard sauce, garlic powder and salt to it. Mix well.

Keep breadcrumbs, beaten eggs and flour ready.

Apply some oil on your hands and make meatballs 1 inch in diameter.

Now roll it in the flour and then dip it in the beaten eggs and finally roll it in breadcrumbs. Again dip in egg and roll in breadcrumbs. This will ensure a thick crispy layer on top in case you want to have them just like that with ketchup.

Heat oil for deep frying and set the burner on medium heat when oil is hot.

Gently dip each meatball in oil and fry till it turns golden brown. The heat should be low enough to be able to cook the meat for about 4 mins each.

If you want to avoid deep frying which you totally can, you can bake them in the oven and lightly roast them on a pan later (again, roasting is optional). Preheat microwave at 200 degrees and then bake for 20 minutes o
r the latest trend is that of Paniyaram or appe pan easily available online and offline too. Healthier and more convenient way of cooking, you may invest in one as it is definitely worth it. 

Okay now that your meatballs are ready, lets make some sauce for pasta.

Meatballs and pasta on rainingfood.com

Because we are adding lot of cheese to the meatballs, I prefer going for tomato based sauce and not a white sauce which is also cheesy. 

We are going to make some marinara sauce for pasta.

Heat butter in a frying pan, add onions and cook till they turn transparent. Add garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Add tomato puree and simmer the flame, cover the lid and cook for another 5 minutes.

Add stock, ketchup, Worcestershire saucesalt to taste and mix well. Check salt and add if required. If you find the sauce too tangy, you may add some fresh cream or milk as per need. Bring to boil

Add meatballs, cover and cook for 5 minutes. The sauce is ready. At this point, you may add some dried herbs of your choice.

Cook fussili,as per instructions on the pack.

One last step, Serve hot!






non veg · snack

Scotch eggs with goodness of cheese and chicken

I learned about Scotch eggs from a guest chef who once visited Godrej Nature’s basket located in Hill road, Bandra. This preparation of egg is undoubtedly the most beautiful one to look at too. 

So what are scotch eggs? Well, they are hard boiled eggs wrapped in spiced minced meat,coated with egg and bread crumbs and then fried. The outside is super crunchy and inside soft and juicy.

This is my first attempt at Scotch eggs with little imagination of my own, result was amazing.



Ingredients

4 hard boiled eggs peeled
2 eggs beaten
2 onions finely chopped
200 gms minced meat of your choice
1 cup of refined wheat flour
Lot of good quality white breadcrumbs (I used 6 slices of bread for this)
Dried herbs of your choice (I used oregano, thyme, sea salt)
1/2 tsp mustard sauce
1/4 tsp garlic powder or 1 tsp crushed garlic
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp black pepper
Oil for deep frying
Salt to taste





























To prepare the meat, 
add onions,herbs, cheese, pepper, mustard sauce, garlic powder and salt to it. Mix well.






























Keep breadcrumbs, boiled eggs, beaten eggs and flour ready.

Cut each egg into half length wise.

Apply some oil on your hands and take some minced meat, the quantity should be just enough to cover the egg completely and the coating should not be thicker than 1 cm. Gently wrap half of an egg with the meat. Now roll it in the flour and then dip it in the beaten eggs and finally roll it in breadcrumbs. Again dip in egg and roll in breadcrumbs. This will ensure a thick crispy layer on top.

Heat oil for deep frying and set the burner on medium heat when oil is hot.

Gently dip each coated egg in oil and fry till it turns golden brown. The heat should be low enough to be able to cook the egg inside out for about 4 mins each.

Beautiful looking scotch eggs are ready! Serve hot with a sauce of your choice.



chicken · non veg · salad · sauteed vegetables

Caramelised chicken in pineapple sauce

Chicken makes for perfect dinner on busy weekends, but its not fun if you were to eat the same type of chicken everyday. So here is another variety, which again is extremely simple and yummy.


I had some boneless chicken and some pineapple and that’s how it all started.. Shredded chicken was marinated in some sauces and finally fried and caramelised in pineapple sauce. It was yummmmmmmmm Enjoy sweet, spicy and juicy chicken with sautéed vegetables.

Ingredients
250 gms boneless chicken shredded
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
4 tbsp pineapple juice
1 cup pineapple chunks
1 cup each of red pepper, yellow pepper
1/2 cup sweet corn
1 cup broccoli pieces
5 garlic cloves
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp sugar
3 tsp olive oil (for chicken)
3 tsp olive oil (for vegetables)
Salt to taste


In a bowl, add shredded chicken, balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, crushed garlic cloves, pepper, salt, sugar and mix well. Leave the chicken to marinate for 30 mins

Meanwhile, stir fry all the vegetables in 3 tsp oil. After the veggies cool down, add salt and 1/2 tsp pepper.

In the same pan, add 2 tsp oil and fry chicken for 5 minutes on high flame, by continuously stirring. When chicken turns brown, add pineapple juice and stir on high flame till water evaporates. 
Serve chicken on bed of vegetables.


fish fry · non veg · sea food

Gongura thalimpu (Khatta saag or Ambadi)

A favourite amongst Andhraites, this is a must try recipe if you haven’t already.


Its basically a green leafy vegetable which is tangy in taste. In Mumbai its called Ambadi and in Andhra its called Gongura. If both the names don’t ring a bell to your vendor, you can ask him for khatta saag, The recipe is just like how you would make spinach, only difference is, you don’t add tomatoes here because its already tangy.


Here is the recipe that I follow


Ingredients

Ambadi or gongura leaves (Atleast 3 bunches of the size of spinach that you get in market)
5 garlic cloves
2 green chillies finely chopped
2 onions finely chopped
2 tsp chana dal 
5 methi seeds
1 heaped tsp besan (optional) 
Pinch of asoefotida
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 tsp vegetable oil
Salt to taste

Wash the leaves thoroughly and bring them to boil in pressure cooker by adding half a cup of water.

Grind the pulp finely using an electric blender.

For the tempering

Heat oil in a kadhai.
Add asoefotida, methi seeds, chana dal and mustard seeds. When seeds start to splutter,  add coarsely crushed garlic and let it turn brown. 
Now, the optional part, add besan and stir fry till light brown. This helps reduce the tanginess of saag. 
Add onions and green chillies and fry till onions turn transparent.
Add pulp of saag to it. 

Bring to boil, and add salt to taste.


Enjoy this saag with steam rice. Prawns or fish makes for great accompaniment with it. The recipe of crispy fish fry in this picture can be found here


fish fry · non veg · sea food

Simply Fish Fry

Hope you all are enjoying Sunday.. some of us are having a holiday tomorrow also on the occasion of Eid, so fun continues!! I had major plans of trying out lots of recipes during the long weekend, but guess what! I did not do any of it and instead stuck to simple recipes. Here is one such recipe of fish fry that I made last night for dinner… simple and effective 



Ingredients (The portion of ingredients is sufficient for 5 pieces of fish)

Surmai fish pieces for frying (King fish)
2 tsp Ginger garlic paste 
1/2 tsp Mustard sauce 
Salt to taste
Red chilli powder as per taste
Pinch of turmeric
1 tsp corn flour
2 tsp oil for marinade
3/4 cup sooji rawa
2 tbsp oil for frying

Clean and pat dry fish pieces and place them on a plate.
Add ginger garlic paste, corn flour, chilli powder, salt, mustard sauce on top and gently spread the masala to coat all the pieces.
Set aside for 30-45 mins.

In a separate plate, add the rawa, some turmeric, salt and chilli powder. Mix well. 

Heat oil in a frying pan.

Coat each piece with rawa on all sides and fry.

Fry on medium flame and gently turn after every 2 minutes. You should be done in 10 minutes.  





























Serve crispy fried fish in few simple steps!!


A tip, if you have buttermilk masala at home, you can add that to sooji. Tastes yummy!
Here is another photo of fish fry that I made to go with gongura or khatta saag

Curry · Dry curry · egg · Main course · non veg

Egg Masala with a twist

There are probably a thousand ways of cooking eggs and every family has its special egg recipe, well here is mine.

Unlike preparing the masala and breaking eggs in it, chop boiled eggs to pieces and add to the masala. Trust me, the same masala will taste different in both versions! So you can alternate between these two styles of cooking eggs.









Ingredients (serves two)


4 hard boiled eggs

3 onions finely chopped
2 tomatoes finely chopped
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp jeera powder
1/4 tsp sonth (Dry ginger powder)
1 tsp chinna ullipaya karam ( okay okay! don’t give me that look!! it is roasted red chillies crushed with garlic pods and some jeera!! there is no fixed proportion, just try it with whatever proportion you like.)
1/4 tsp garam masala
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 cup finely chopped coriander
2 tbsp +1 tsp oil
salt to taste

Okay, so as the picture on the right suggests, heat oil in a pan and add onions. When onions turn transparent, add tomatoes and simmer the flame.

When oil separates, add all the masalas along with lemon juice and mix well. Cover with lid for 2 minutes.


Meanwhile, heat 1 tsp oil in a separate pan and fry the eggs as is till they turn golden brown. Now chop them into big chunks and add to the pan with masalas. Mix gently and sprinkle salt.


You are done! 


If you like, sprinkle some coriander at the time of serving. Serve with hot rotis/parathas 🙂 



appetizer · non veg · soup

Cream of carrot soup

This heavenly cream of carrot soup is must try. It is an exotic soup made of everyday ingredients which I am sure all of us have in our kitchen.

If you are just about to have lunch/dinner, you can quickly add this yummy and nutritive soup to your menu! 




Ingredients (Serves two)

1 carrot
2 garlic cloves
1 onion
1 1/2 cups chicken broth/ vegetable broth along with something for thickening [Some options discussed below]
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup chopped coriander
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp butter 


The broth.. that is going to give your soup the soupy texture. There are several options for you based on what you have at the time of cooking.

Option 1 >> Make 1 1/2 cups of stock using readily available chicken/vegetable stock cubes (I used Maggi) + 2 tsp corn flour diluted in 1/4 cup water at the time of cooking

Option 2 >> No stock cubes? Dont worry, you must be having cabbage? Make fine puree of chopped cabbage (about 2 cups) + 1 garlic clove and bring to boil by adding some water. To this add 2 tsp corn flour diluted in 1/4 cup water at the time of cooking

Option 3 >> Okk no chicken/veg stock, no cabbage and no corn flour too!! I hope you have a potato then.. you can add one medium size peeled potato along with rest of the ingredients.

Make a fine puree of carrot, garlic, onion and potato (if you are using one).
In a pressure cooker, add some butter.
Pour the puree in it, add the broth and milk along with salt and pepper. Mix well and pressure cook for 10 minutes on low flame.

Yummy creamy and nutritive cream of carrot soup is ready! Sprinkle coriander at the time of serving. And yes, server hot!!