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.


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!!!

mexican · snack · vegetarian

Baked nachos chips and Salsa dip

A very healthy way to indulge in nachos and feel totally satiated. In fact you can have them everyday! This recipe is of basic corn chips but you can improvise by adding any spice of your choice.

If you have home made salsa dip to go with the corn chips, nothing like it! Home made dips are so so refreshing as compared to outside! I always prefer making dips at home, gives me a chance to experiment with different flavours. When it is so easy to make then why bother buying!

So lets get started!

Ingredients (Serves 4)

For corn chips

1 cup corn meal flour (makki ka atta)
1/4 cup wheat flour
1/4 tsp black pepper
Pinch of garlic powder (optional)
2 tsp oil
Oil for brushing baking tray
3/4 cup warm milk
Salt to taste

For salsa dip

1 Tomato (not very ripe)
1 small Onion
1 small Capsicum
1/4 tsp Thyme
1 tsp Olive oil 
2 tsp Balsamic vinegar
Goat cheese (Optional)
Salt to taste
Black pepper as required

Lets bake some corn chips!

Mix all the ingredients for corn chips except milk. Now add little milk at a time and make medium soft dough, you may not need entire milk. You will see some cracks in the dough, thats okay. Cover and set aside for 15 minutes.

Usually next step is to make makki ki rotis and lightly cook on tava till it becomes firm and them cut into desired shape and deep fry. I did it differently.. so you skip all these steps and also avoid deep frying!

Preheat microwave at 180 degrees. Invert your baking tray, meaning, put it upside down and coat the surface with oil. Take half of the dough and make a ball, now you will be making roti on baking tray directly. 

If you have any experience of making makai ki roti then you would have guessed the next step otherwise it is going to be a new experience for you. You will also learn how to make makai ki roti.

Place the ball in the centre and lightly press it. Now spread some oil on top. Put thin plastic cover on top and use a rolling pin to make roti very gently. Do not press too hard and its okay if its not perfect round shape. I did not click a picture while doing this, but I do have a picture of making makki ki roti. Take a look below, this is what I am talking about. Make it as thin as possible without breaking.

Now remove the cover and cut into desired shape and put the baking tray in oven. Bake for 12 minutes at 180 degrees. 
They will become crispy once they have cooled down so give it time.

Now lets make some tangy sweet and spicy salsa dip

Finely chop tomatoes, onions and capsicum. Put in mixer and grind for no more than 4 seconds, we want it coarsely ground. Please refer to the picture. 

Add salt, pepper, thyme, tiny pieces of goat cheese and oil to the vegetables and mix well. Refrigerate for at least an hour before using.

And we are done!! Enjoy :-))

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.


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.

andhra breakfast · breakfast · snack · vegetarian

South Indian Pizza – Uttapam with spicy beetroot topping

I have tried most cuisines across India but South Indian is my favourite. I can have idli, dosa, uttapam for breakfast, lunch, dinner forever and not to forget, rice!! A die hard South Indian eh?! 😀

Okay, so I love to try different Uttapams. One such Uttapam turned out to be a huge hit in my family. Traditionally Uttapams are made up of chopped onions, tomatoes, green chillies and some ginger in dosa/idli batter. Here is another recipe to make Uttapams more interesting

Ingredients [There is no fixed quantity for any of the ingredients. You can use as much or as less as possible depending on your taste]

Idli batter [or Dosa batter ]
Finely chopped onions
Finely chopped beetroot
Finely chopped green chillies
1 heaped tsp Jeera
Salt to taste
Oil for frying

Add some salt to the batter. If it is idli batter you are using then you need to add some extra water.
Mix onions, beetroot, green chillies, jeera and salt. 
Heat a frying pan, use a tissue paper and wipe its surface with oil.

Pour a ladle of batter and spread it to make a round shape of half inch thickness. 
Add the beetroot mix on top, spread it evenly, do not press. 

Pour some oil around the corners and on top, simmer the flame and let it cook for 2 minutes.
Flip and cook for another 2 minutes. Flip again, increase the flame and let the bottom turn brown by cooking for another minute.

Thats it! Uttapam is ready!! Enjoy it with your favourite chutney. Few chutney recipes can be found here.. Plain Coconut chutneyTomato chutney, Coconut chutney, Turai chutney (Beerakaya pachadi)

chinese · Eggetarian · snack

Chinese egg hakka noodles

On days when you don’t feel like having dal rice, most of us inadvertently think of Chinese. Noodles is one of the easiest Chinese recipes which gets ready in minutes and require very few ingredients.

Here are the ingredients for Chinese egg hakka noodles (Serves 2)

1 pack of egg noodles (500 gms pack)
3 Eggs
2 onions chopped 
1 red capsicum chopped in desired shape
1 cup chopped cabbage and other vegetables of your choice
1 1/2 cup finely chopped spring onions
2 green chillies finely chopped [optional]
2 tsp ginger garlic paste
2 tsp finely chopped garlic
2 tbsp olive oil + 1 tsp 
Salt to taste
1/4 tsp ajinomoto [Optional]
2 tsp vinegar
2 tsp soya sauce
[Actually, I didn’t have both so experimented with balsamic vinegar. Added after turning off the gas and it was awesome! Give it a try]
Bring 1 litre water to boil. Add 1 heaped tsp salt and 1 tsp oil to water along with noodles. Boil for 5 minutes or as per the instructions on the pack. Drain water and spread the noodles on a tray.

Heat 2 tsp olive oil in kadhai. Add garlic and fry till they turn golden brown.
Add onions, ginger garlic paste. Stir continuously on high flame for a minute. Break the eggs and stir continuously till egg is cooked. Add some salt, mix well.
Simmer the flame and add capsicum, vegetables and green chilli. Cook for 4 minutes. Check salt and add some if required.
Increase the flame and add noodles. Sprinkle ajinomoto, pour vinegar (any vinegar of your choice) and soya sauce. I used balsamic vinegar, turned out equally good!
Toss the noodles, make sure noodles are well coated with spices.
Add spring onions and mix well.

Ready to serve!

non veg · snack

Quick and happy meal for two

Day before yesterday when I was home tired from work with lots spinning in my head.. naturally work related.. was least in a mood to cook. We all experience those odd days when we don’t feel like cooking nor do we feel like ordering from outside because we are bored of that too!

On such occasions I settle for simple south indian food like dosa, idli, upma or grilled or baked “stuff”. This stuff could be veg, non veg or mixed bag. The combinations are numerous.. will be sharing one such combo here today..

What did I have in fridge that day.. umm I had Broccoli, mushrooms, some chicken ham. You may add other vegetables that you prefer and make it more interesting.

250 gms Broccoli
250 gms mushrooms
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp apple cider
2 Garlic cloves crushed
1 levelled tsp Oregano
1 levelled tsp chilli flakes
Some chicken ham or meat of your choice (optional)
Sea salt as per taste

Scrambled eggs
Milk (1/4 cup for 4 eggs)
Olive oil (2 tsp for 4 eggs)
Salt as per taste

Cut each mushroom into two halves.
Use your hands instead of knife to cut broccoli into pieces. This will give you neat mouthful chunks of broccoli.
Preheat microwave to 210 degrees. If you do not have a microwave, you can stir fry these vegetables in a frying pan.

In a bowl, toss broccoli and mushrooms in olive oil, apple cider, sea salt, crushed garlic, oregano and chilli flakes.

Place them in a baking tray and bake for 20 minutes at 210 degrees. Meanwhile stir fry ham in olive oil. Sprinkle salt, oregano and chilli flakes.

Whisk egg, milk and salt till they blend well. Heat olive oil in a pan and simmer the flame. Add eggs and lightly cook until no liquid is left. Turn off the gas, remember not to overcook, not even slightest of browning.

When your juicy baked vegetables are ready, put some on a plate for serving. Add ham on top and scrambled egg becomes your perfect side dish.

I bet you can’t wait until all these flavours burst in your mouth. 🙂


Pop corn and McDonalds Piri-Piri mix

Khoob jamega rang jab mil baithengein teen yaar, Cricketpopcorn and McDonalds Piri piri mix. If you like spice then you must try Piri piri mix in mcdonalds. Each pack costs Rs 15 and its worth it! Try it with a pack of McDonald’s french fries. It is extra spicy, extra tangy and worth every penny. 

I was left with some sachets from earlier orders and used it with popcorn. Awesome combination! Enjoying cricket and popcorn!

Read this on BBC after hearing about it for first time at McDonalds: Piri-piri is an African word for chilli and also a hot chilli sauce used in Portuguese, African and Brazilian cookery

You can find piri-piri mix at near by gourmet stores also. It may or may not be as good as McDonald’s but you can improvise a little. It makes for a good marinade for chicken too!
Go ahead and get your piri piri mix or sauce and use your imagination and make mouth watering recipes.

You can start with home made french fries, pop corn and chicken.

non veg · RainingFood · snack

My regular day in Kitchen

 I started off writing this post with title “Making yesterday’s food tasty today” but as it turns out, it is more about how a working woman applies all the tips and tricks in the world to help ease her efforts in kitchen.

Keeping aside all the special recipes that I post on RainingFood, life is more about managing the regular menu that consists of simple things like dal, rice and roti on a daily basis. Fact is, it is more challenging to make these simple things on busy weekdays as compared to special recipes on leisurely weekends.

As a working woman who also manages kitchen, it is important that we not only cook but also retire to bed with a smile instead of cribbing about how tired we are managing work at home and office.

We do not want our whole lives to be a bag full complaints, do we!!?? Although this  problem/issue/concern is often sidelined, I feel, over a period of time we will only end up becoming more frustrated with our lives instead of enjoying each day! No matter how hard I try, there are always those days when I end up doing just that! But then, nobody’s perfect!

I am going to share few things that I do to ease my efforts in kitchen and also make some yummy food that is well appreciated by everyone in the family. Tough task ehh??! 🙂

While there are many who make enough food that lasts today and tomorrow, most of us try to make as less food as possible so as to avoid having it next day! Well, there is nothing wrong in both ways.

I think I fall somewhere in between.

I belong to a south Indian household which makes me an avid rice eater which makes things a little easier for me I guess…

On most week days when we are off to work, my regular menu consists of the following..

Breakfast – one of the following- Upma (Sooji, saviya, daliya, oats) , Idli chutney combo, dosa chutney combo, bread omelette, bread and egg bhurji, lemon rice and my favorite, egg roll.

For lunch I make rotis and sabzi, mostly veg and sometimes non veg.

For dinner, rice, dal, curd along with some sides like potato fry, raw banana fry, omelette, pickle, papad. Apart from these I make other rice items like biryani for dinner.

With practice and frequency of cooking, I have become quite efficient at cooking biryani and so must you be with some special dish which becomes a savior in the middle of the week when you are bored of your regular menu. If you do not have such a dish in mind then quickly think of one and it is time you perfect it.

I usually wake up at 7 in the morning, while my lemon tea is put to boil I knead the dough for rotis. Curry/subzi I make the night before, so all I do in the morning is make rotis, pack some salad and buttermilk along with curry from the night before. This plus something for breakfast.

I personally do not like eating the same curry for dinner and then for lunch next day, so the curry I cook is only for lunch and we do not have it for dinner. There are a few exceptions, example, chicken or meat! 🙂

In the evening I do most cooking. Menu consists of dal, rice and mostly potato fry or omelette for dinner and I also make one curry for next day. It takes anywhere between 40 mins to 1 hour.

I store plain boiled dal(toor) sufficient for atleast 3 days in fridge.
Instead of making lots of tadke wali dal for more than 1 day which also tastes stale or less tasty than fresh tadka, one can store plain dal and give tadka when required. I make various vegetable dals, like cabbage dal, tomato dal, lauki dal, raw mango dal. While putting rice to boil, I also put some dal along with a finely chopped vegetable. Both are ready in matter of 5 whistles in cooker. All that is remaining is to put tadka.

How to store dal in fridge – Use very little water to boil, it remains fresh for long. After boil, there should not be any excess water in dal. Add salt. Store it in an air tight container.

As it takes some time for the pressure to come down in cooker, you fry potatoes or make an omelette in the meantime!

Ok, omelette is still possible but what about potato fry? well it is possible if you already have boiled potatoes in your fridge. Boiled potatoes will stay fresh when you store with the peel.

While the potatoes are getting fried, I start making some sabzi for morning. I pick up my vegetable depending on what time I return home 😉 If I am home by 7 (pretty early for me), I make vegetables like bhindi/ kundru/ beans that take some time to chop. If am very very late, I make veggies like cabbage or capsicum which are easy to chop and cook.

Some veggies that promise you little break sooner than you think are chana, chole and the likes, where you just have to fry some onions, tomatoes and ginger garlic and pressure cook pre-soaked chana/chole for 5 minutes.

On days when I make biryani, it becomes double convenient! I make enough for dinner and next day’s lunch. So it is just one dish which is sufficient for two meals and liked by family and friends in office.
Same holds true with a chicken or mutton curry too.

For dinner, I make something other than rice in the middle of the week for a change. Easiest is stir fried vegetables and/or grilled chicken. All you do is rub all spices on veggies/ chicken and bake or grill chicken. Boiled and spiced sweet corn makes for a great side dish. There are lot of similar recipes that you can find on Rainingfood.

These are some of the things I do to make my life easy and fun in the kitchen. Do you have some more tips and tricks?? please share them, they are invaluable 🙂

To end the post, I am sharing another such recipe which is super quick, has a surprise element and some innovation! Appreciation guaranteed!! p.s. you need some leftover pizza for that!! 🙂

And finally some pictures that sum up my regular day in kitchen… tomato and onion dal, boiled and tempered potato.

grilled vegetables · non veg · snack

Make the most of leftover pizza

Left over pizza from last night looks little boring isn’t?

Lets make it a little interesting..  for all you know, you may end up making this dish every time you get pizza home!!

You are just 4 steps away from giving your pizza a new avatar!

Step 1 – Chop some fresh vegetables like broccoli, yellow capsicum, red capsicum, mushrooms and some onions.

Step 2 – Heat some olive oil in a pan and toss the vegetables for 5 minutes on high flame. Sprinkle some pepper.  Sprinkle salt only after turning off the flame and vegetables have cooled down a little otherwise the vegetables will become soggy.  Empty the vegetables onto a serving plate.

Step 3 – Chop the pizza into bite like sizes.

Step 4 – Toss the pizza pieces in the same pan on low flame for 2 minutes. Give it 2 minutes standing time so the bread becomes softer. Spread the pieces over vegetables and the dish is ready!! 


Chole and Alu tikki

How much I loved this year’s women’s day celebration.. going to cherish unlimited fond memories of this day, right from having my friends home to brain storming the night before as to what I should cook for my special friends and make their day memorable. Icing on cake was all of us went out for movie in the evening, which was completely not planned. 🙂

As they were coming post lunch, one thing was clear in my mind.. I wanted to make something “Chaat” like,  at the same time make it healthy so they enjoy it to the fullest. Frankly speaking I love to innovate more when it comes to making something vegetarian. Instead of making alu tikki or chole tikki, I combined both to make alu chole tikki. Also added some spice to it. The extra zing was in the form of raw mango and fried onions!!

I am glad my friends liked it..

1 cup boiled chole – mashed
2 boiled potatoes – peeled and mashed
1 cup finely chopped fresh coriander
1/2 cup raw mango 
1/2 cup besan (bengal gram flour)
3/4 cup fried onions
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
1 black cardamom
2 strands of mace
Pinch of nutmeg powder
1 levelled tsp amchur powder
1/2 tsp white pepper powder
1 tsp jeera 
2 green chillies finely chopped
Salt to taste
Rice powder
Oil for shallow frying

Lots of ingredients ehh? well they are easy to find and like I said, these are special tikkis!!

Dry roast jeera, mace, nutmeg and cardamom. Grind them with raw mango.
Mix all the ingredients.

Make small tikkis and roll them in rice flour by lightly pressing. 

Heat oil in frying pan. Shallow fry until they turn golden brown. Turn them carefully. We are not using much besan which acts as binding agent.. so we need to be careful while turning them. 
The reason we added less besan is to make tikkis more soft, also the flavour is better.

The tikkis already have so many flavours.. I decided to keep its accompaniment rather simple. So served it with sweet curd in a bowl. It turned out to be perfect combination.

Do try, am sure you will love them.