Jul 24, 2012

Stuffed Chicken Breast with Mushrooms

                               Chicken stuffed with mushrooms flavored with Indian spices without a drop of oil. What more can you ask for!!!
             This delectable dish can be served with a side of rice to make a complete meal. Chicken breast is stuffed spiced mushrooms and covered in a saran wrap and foil and boiled in pot of hot water till the chicken is thoroughly cooked. In this method, chicken absorbs all the juices of mushrooms while cooking and remains tender and moist without addition of any fat.  Next time, I would prefer to make the chicken breast thinner. If you want the rolls to be thinner, wait for the chicken to cool off a bit and then cu. I was too hungry impatient , so cut the roll as soon as it was out and enjoyed my scrumptious lunch.

Ingredients:
  • 1 boneless chicken breast
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 5 white mushrooms (chopped)
  • 2 garlic cloves( chopped)
  • ½ chopped onion
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • ¼ tsp garam masala powder
  • ¼ tsp cumin powder
  • salt n pepper

Method:
Bash the chicken breast with rolling pin or meat hammer to make it of uniform thickness.
After the chicken is flattened, season with salt and pepper.
Place the chicken breast on a clean work surface, smooth side down.
Now keep a large pot of water for boiling with the lid on.
In a small frying pan, put olive oil. Add garlic and onion.
Once onions turn transparent, add chopped mushrooms. Season with salt, pepper, chilli powder, garam masala and cumin powder.
Let the mushroom mixture for for 2-3 mins. Place the mushroom stuffing onto chicken breast.
Cut a piece of plastic wrap to fit the chicken breast.
Roll the chicken breast up into a neat roll.
Wrap the chicken rill with plastic wrap as tightly as possible. This plastic wrap seals all the juices in the chicken and prevents water from entering the roll.
Seal the roll in tinfoil, making sure the package is nice n tight.
Till now, the water must have reached the boiling point. Place the chicken roll in the boiling water and cook covered for about 20 mins.

Once cooked, you can cut into rolls or serve entire stuffed chicken roll.
Serve this protein rich entree with small portion of vegetable rice. Voila, dinner is ready...




Jul 19, 2012

Indian Shepard's Pie

                       My mamma loves to cook recipes which she sees in television. If she likes some recipe, she is very prompt to make it immediately for dinner. She has had her quota of failures and successes. Me and my dad used to still do tease her a lot, if her recipe didnt turn out great. Poor mamma.. She's one adorable cute lady who is always smiling. She never scolded me or was angry at me EXCEPT during studies.. She was very strict when it came to education. I was a tomboy as a kid, always wanted to play, climb trees and bruise my knees. I wasn't interested in studies  but then who is.... Mamma made sure I studied regularly and I used to read novels inside my books....Did I mention, I am completely crazy about books. I stay up late at nights till 3am just go to sleep without knowing the end of the story and if I am forced to sleep leaving my book incomplete, I lay tossing and turning throughout the night. Then I get up early in the morning and finish the book and then go off to sleep when everyone else is awake...
         Anyways. thanks to my mamma's efforts and god's blessings, I managed to score well in my high school and become a doctor. I give my dearest mamma full credit, for taking my life in her hands when it was required and molding me to become the person I am today. Love you ma.....

       This recipe was first made by my mamma, watching some marathi cookery show. It turned out great and became regular in our household.. This is Indian version if Shepard's pie... a prefect delicious dinner entree...
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tsbp minced garlic
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup grated carrots
  • 1/4 cup chopped roasted capsicum
  • 1/2 cup green peas
  • 2 cups chopped mushrooms
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp chilli powder (to taste)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • 1 1/2 cup mashed potatoes
  • salt n pepper to taste
  • 100 gm grated cottage cheese (paneer)
  • 4 cheese slices/ grated cheese
Method:
  •  Peel potatoes, boil in salted water in pressure cooker or covered pot.
  •  While the potatoes are cooking, roast the capsicum on direct flame, turning on all the sides, so that the skin of capsicum is burnt with blisters and turns black. once the capsicum is well roasted all over, place the capsicum in a bowl and cover it with cling wrap so that the steam cant escape. After 10 min, you can easily separate the black charred skin from the capsicum and discard it. chop the softened capsicum in small pieces..
  • In a large frying pan,heat the oil. Once its hot, sauté over medium heat for 2 min. Add carrots and green peas and cooked for few more min till they are almost cooked. 
  • Add  roasted capsicum and mushrooms and saute for few more min.Add all the spices and salt.
  • Mash potatoes in bowl, season to taste.
  • Place the cooked vegetables at the bottom of  baking dish. 


  • Distribute mashed potatoes seasoned with salt n pepper on top.

  • Evenly distribute grated paneer all over the mashed potatoes.

  • Cut pieces of cheese slices or grated cheese over the paneer 













  • Cook at 180 C in the oven until bubbling and brown (about 30 minutes). Broil for last few minutes if necessary to brown.
Serves four.

Jul 18, 2012

Paneer Parathas

                        During college days, it used to be very very tight schedule in the morning, getting ready and running to catch the train. If we used to miss first train it would be late for the second connecting train.If you have traveled frequently in Mumbai by local trains you will know what I am talking about. Its a big accomplishment, starting from climbing in the completely jammed packed first class compartment of fast train. cross over to the other side to get down at Kurla.. Start running on the overbridge to reach the harbor line. Catch the train to nerul.. Again run to catch the autorickshaw. Reach the college elevator to realise that there are 20 people before you in queue to board the elevator.. run across the four floors and reach the classroom...
             You tell me, wont you be hungry after so much of adventure early in the morning. so we used to eat dabbas (lunch boxes) right after or in our first lecture. We were group of 7-8 friends  and 3-4 dabbas were over in the first lecture. the rest would be eaten in the actual lunch break. the items selected for the intial snacking were dry dishes as in parathas, chips, sandwiches,, My mom used to make these paneer parathas which were loved by all my friends and one of my friend was really very fond of them. She still talks about these paneer parathas whenever we meet.. So here is my mom's recipe for you Dhruti...
                Paneer parathas is a healthy wholesome meal for kids and adults. It is great as breakfast along with some yogurt and pickle.. Great dish to carry in your lunch boxes...
Ingredients:
For dough
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Approx 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp oil
For filling
  • 200 gm grated paneer
  • 1/2 cup grated cheese
  • 1 cup chopped coriander
  • 2 finely chopped green chilllies
  • 3 tbsp chopped garlic

  •  More flour for rolling
  • Ghee 
Method:
A) For the Dough
  • Mix whole wheat flour with salt in a large bowl. 
  • Add about 1/3rd cup of water and mix the dough in water. Now add water teaspoon by teaspoon till you are able to bind the dough together. If you add excess of water, the dough will be too soft to roll out and will be sticky. If you add less water, dough will be stiff and hard when you parathas are done..
  • Once you feel you just need some more water to get all the dough together, add oil and knead to get a smooth and elastic ball.. 
  • Drizzle with few drops of oil and spread over the surface.Cover the dough and let it rest for 30 min.After 30 min, knead the dough once again, you will find consistency of the dough is smoother now.
B) For the filling.
  • Combine all the ingredients for filling. Adjust the seasonings as per your taste. You may want to cut down chillies or totally omit them in the stuffing for your child. I used light green thick chillies which are not very hot.

C) Making the parathas
  • Divide the dough into 8 equal balls and divide the stuffing into 8 equal parts. The stuffing should be equal in amount to the dough balls. This ensures you have well stuffed parathas.
  •  Now dip the dough ball into a bowl of wheat flour, so that wheat flour lightly coats the dough. Roll the ball into a disc of about 3 inches. Using your fingers, start pinching the edges of the disc, so that the center is thicker than the edges.
  • Now place the filling in the center. Gather the edges of the disc and bring them up and seal over the top.Then dip this stuffed ball into the wheat flour, flatten the ball into small disc with your fingers.
  • Placed smooth part of the stuffed disc facing towards you and gently roll the disc into paratha with a rolling pin.
                            
  • Heat the tava/ skillet on the cooking stove on medium heat.
  • Place the paratha on the heated skillet and let it cook for sometime till you see light brown spots on the underside.
  • Flip the paratha and cook on the other side.

  • Drizzle with some Ghee ( clarified butter) and serve with yogurt.
  • Repeat with rest of stuffed balls...

Jul 12, 2012

Eggless ChocoChip Muffins


                     The holy month of Shravan is coming up and its the time when most of Indians abstain from eating non vegetarian food. Its during this month, when you start craving for forbidden stuff, cakes being one of them. So here's the eggless chocochip muffins for taking care of your cravings in Shravan and for my lots of friends who dont eat egg..
                     We are waiting for couple of friends who are coming over,, Yuppie, ya thats the reaction I have when I learn guests are dropping in. I am super thrilled, as I will be able to cook something special for special people as well as I don't have to worry about the calories, they get shared ;).
                        And the second most important reason is we love having people around... Right from childhood, I am used to a house filled sometimes overfilled with people... Whenever I visit Mumbai, I am so glad to meet loads of friends and family. Me and Neil make up our quota of family n friends fun time. Staying in Bangalore since past 3 years, its like staying in desert with no family and few friends around. Its sometimes depressing, not being able to even chat about simple things like weather to anyone. Well it does have its pros as well.. You can do whatever you want whenever you desire. There is no one judging you..
                   Ok, back to the recipe, decided to make eggless muffins filled with chocolate. It is an experiment turned out good, its my first ever attempt with eggless baking , so I substituted eggs with bananas and curd and added baking soda to the mix. Baking soda acts with sour substances to give raise to muffins. The bananas I used were elachi ones and ripe. I didnt use overripe bananas, as I didnt want banana flavor to dominate, just a hint of banana was enough for this cake. Also added oil as fat instead of butter, bit more healthier option.

Ingredients:
  • 1 ½ cup of all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • a pinch of salt
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 3 ripe elachi bananas/ 2 medium bananas
  • ½ cup curd
  • 4 tbsp of vegetable oil
  • ½ cup chocolate buttons
  • almond slivers for garnish
  • Sift all purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. I sifted the mixture for 2-3 times. this ensures well mixing of baking soda and baking powder. If the soda and baking  powder isn't well distributed and lumps are present, you will land up some areas of muffin with soapy taste. You sure don't want that.....
  • In a measuring cup or glass bowl add curd, oil and mashed bananas and whisk to form paste. 
  • Add sugar to flour mix and mix all together. I added granulated sugar as it adds crunch to the muffin.
  • Mix wet paste into the flour mix and combine with a silicon spatula, just incorporating wet paste into dry flour. DO NOT OVERBEAT....
  • Now comes the best part, adding the gorgeous  chocolate buttons or choco chips to the mix and gently fold them in. I have got hold of nestle toll house choco chips which are bigger than the chocolate chips found in India. Bigger the Better. 
  • Spoon the batter in muffin covers in the muffin pan.Garnish with slivered almonds. They get slowly roasted andadd nice crunch to these yummilicious muffins..
  • Bake at 180 C for about 20 mins, till the skewer comes out clean when you insert in the middle of muffin. The skewer might get chocolate spread on it, that's ok as this indicates your choco chips have melted and add more oomph to muffins
  •  I made 6 large muffins and 4 mini muffins. You can also make 6 extra large muffins.. Like I said earlier, Bigger the Better...








Enjoy.....

Jul 11, 2012

Spinach n Paneer Tartlets



    Ahan, finally I made tarts. I have been planning to make them since so long but was always afraid of the tart pastry not being flaky and being undercooked or multiple of things that can go wrong. I was very very apprehensive of trying them. But I did it, made my first ever tarts filled with spinach and paneer. They turned out pretty good for the first attempt.
The crust was nice flaky and crumbly. But I have tough time rolling out pastry in afternoon heat. So next time, evening is going to be my tart time. I remember me and Abhi sharing fruit filled tartlets in farmer's market in Sunnyvale. They were so crisp and just melted in mouths with fresh fruits topped on them. I so wanna make them, but with due respect to my ever increasing waistline, have decided to cut down fats n sugars from our diet..... So healthy food coming up..... I hope I will be able to stick to my new year's resolution atleast this year,,Getting back in shape.....
            The classic combination of spinach and paneer turns this tart into a classic treat and pinenuts just adds  glamour.

Ingredients:

A) For the tart dough
  • ¾ cup all purpose flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 75 gm unsalted cold butter cubes
  • ice cold water
B) For the filling
  • 4 cups of spinach
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt n pepper
  • ½ cup creamy full fat milk
  • 2 egg yolk
  • 100 gm paneer
  • 2 tbsp pinenuts

Method:
  • On a large board, sift flour and salt and add small cubes of COLD butter. The butter needs to be really cold as you want few pea sized pieces of butter and few small pieces in your tart dough to make really flaky tart. It would be best to make the dough on a clean marble platform. If you are making dough in a bowl, use metal bowl and chill it as well.
  • Now using fork start breaking the butter and mixing with flour till the mixture resembles bread crumbs.
  • Add ICE COLD WATER, tsp by tsp just enough to get the dough together.
  • Roll the dough in a circle and divide into four pieces.
  • Wrap the dough in cling wrap film and chill the dough for 30 min.
  • Remove one piece of dough and roll the dough into a circle larger than your tart plate. Carefully lift the dough into the tart pan and press to fit. Neaten the edges and trim the excess dough. Repeat with rest of three tarts and let them chill in fridge for next 30 min.
  • Preheat the oven to 190 C
  • Place a parchment paper into each tart and fill it with beans or rice. Now bake them blind in the preheated oven for 10 min.
  • While the tart shells are being baked in the oven, get ready fill the filling. Blanch the spinach in boiling water for 2 min, drain and squeeze all the water out. Chop the spinach
  • Add olive oil to the pan, add chopped spinach and cook till its dry. Season with salt n pepper.
  • Mix the creamy milk and egg yolks and add them to the spinach mixture, keeping the flame low. If you do it on high flame, you will get scrambled eggs with spinach. For a vegetarian version simple avoid the eggs and substitute milk with cream and some grated cheese.
  • Now the tart shells are ready to be filled. Discard the parchment paper with rice, its obvious isn’t it. Place paneer in the tarts and top with creamed spinach.
  • Bake for further 10 min.
  • Sprinkle pinenuts over the tartlets and cook for additional 5 min. Pine nuts seem to add a bit of glamour to just about anything.But you could substitute pinenuts with grated cheese or sliced almonds.