Friday, 30 November 2012

Kathal Biryani...'Jack' the 'fruit'

Yes, I was one of those who couldn't see the purpose of a Veg waste of space in my food world...BUT when I heard enough people swear by Kathal Biryani , was finally brave enough to try it and so glad that I did :-)...hubz who is a passionate kathal hater went for second serving and then the third...guess these vegetarians do know what they are talking about!!

Kathal Biryani/Jackfruit Biryani

Cut Kathal/Jackfruit in even sized pieces and boil with salt + ginger till soft but not mushy. Strain and keep aside to cool. 

Lightly fry till golden brown the kathal from all sides in a non stick pan with a little oil.

Wash and soak the rice for about half an hour. Boil with green cardamom, cloves, bay leaf, cinnamon till about 2/3 done. Add a tablespoon of desi ghee at the end of boiling time.Strain and keep aside to cool.

Heat oil in a kadhai and crackle cloves, cinnamon and black cardamom. 

Add sliced onions(lots) and fry with a little sugar + salt till golden brown. 

Add garlic paste, ginger paste (twice the amount of garlic), green chilies paste, Kashmiri red chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, garam masala powder, 3/4 cup of yoghurt and cook the masala till oil releases.

Add in the kathal, cover and allow the flavors to blend on a simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes.

Take a heavy bottom pan and smear the base with ghee . Place the kathal along with the gravy at the bottom, cover with boiled rice. 

Sprinkle saffron infused milk ,green chilies and ghee on top. 

Cover with a tight fitting lid and cook over low indirect heat (pan placed over tawa) or in an oven on for about half an hour, until it steams and it's done!

Besan Pooda...feeding my soul

Besan Pooda/Besan Cheela...Some foods are more than foods...they are trips down memory lane...I was quite a “chun chun” bachha (and some wld say that I still am)coming back from school and seeing roti & sabzi would mean throwing a tantrum...this is one of the things that my grandparents used to make to calm me down...I still can’t decide whether Bhabhiji or Pitaji made better poodas...or maybe I know but feel it won’t be right to name just one person...mine are not even half as good but at times you need something to feed the soul...

Besan Pooda/Besan Cheela (Spiced Savoury Indian Pancakes)


  • Besan/Gramflour/Chickpea flour, 1 cup
  • Baking powder, ¼ tsp (optional)
  • Ajwain/Carom seeds, ¼  tsp (optional)
  • Red Chilli powder, ¼ tsp to taste
  • Turmeric Powder ¼ tsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Onion, finely chopped, 1 medium
  • Green Chillies, finely chopped, 1-2
  • Fresh Ginger, paste or finely shredded, ½ tsp
  • Fresh Garlic, paste, ½  tsp
  • Fresh Coriander leaves, a handful, chopped (not used in this as I had run out after making chutney)
  • Water, to make batter
  • Oil, to fry 


Add besan with baking powder, salt and all the spice powders in a large mixing bowl. Add the water little at a time and using a wire whisk, whisk really well to make sure there are no lumps in the batter. The batter shouldn’t be either too thick or too thin – like single cream consistency.

If not using baking powder, do add 1 tsp of oil in the batter while whisking and also leave the batter to rest for about 15-20 minutes.

Now add the chopped onions, green chillies, ginger paste, garlic paste and coriander leaves to the besan mix. Whisk well and add a little more water to adjust batter consistency.

Heat a small non stick pan on medium low heat with about ½ tsp of oil.  

Pour a ladleful of the batter and using the back of the ladle spread batter evenly on the swirl the pan to coat the bottom of the pan. The thickness shouldn’t be too thick- ideally just a little thicker than crepes or dosas.

When the sides start kind of pulling away, add about 1 tsp oil on the sides and cook on both sides till light golden brown and crisp around the edges.

Keep warm wrapped in a tea towel or kitchen foil while you make the rest with the remaining batter.

Serve warm with green chutney , ketchup or kasundi. 

Adding Potato or paneer filling/sabji makes this a complete meal.

**new photo added 2nd June, 2016: served with Thecha

Rice Tikkis...with things left behind..

One of those sleepless nights again...and I craved something fried and crunchy in the morning...had some leftover stuff so thought of making Rice Tikkis/Cutlets...

Rice Tikkis/Cutlets


  • Cooked Rice, 1 cup, lightly mashed
  • Potatoes, 3-4 large, boiled, peeled and grated
  • Frozen peas, 1 cup, thawed and lightly mashed
  • Red Chili powder, 1 tsp
  • Cumin Powder, 1 tsp
  • Aamchur/Dried mango powder or Chaat Masala, 1 tsp (optional)
  • Fresh Ginger, grated, 1 tbsp
  • Fresh coriander leaves, a handful, finely chopped
  • Green chilies, finely chopped, 2-3
  • Salt, to taste
  • Oil, for shallow frying 


Nicely mix all ingredients except oil in a bowl and form into a dough.

Apply a little oil on your palms and make equal sized cutlets.

Heat a little oil in a non-stick pan. Over medium low heat, shallow fry the cutlets a few minutes until golden brown on each side .

Drain on a paper towels to soak up excess oil.

Serve hot with ketchup or chutney of your choice.


  • Replace Rice with Paneer/ Indian cottage cheese and /or added veggies of your choice like grated carrots, steamed cauliflower, bean sprouts. 

  • You can deep fry these for added crunch. If deep frying, add a couple of tablespoons of corn starch or rice flour for additional binding so that they don’t break. 

Suji Toast...yes,its almost better than a toast!

Suji Toast/Semolina Toast

Mix finely chopped onion , green chili  salt and plain yogurt/dahi with suji/semolina – Idli batter consistency. 

Spread on a slice of bread, cover with another slice and grill on a non stick pan with a little oil till golden brown on both sides.

Chicken Sandwich w/Honey Mayo Mustard....says it all

Chicken Sandwich w/Honey Mayo Mustardno rant, no preambletoo busy eating!! J

Chicken Sandwich w/Honey Mayo Mustard


  • Poached/boiled boneless chicken breast (I add salt, black peppercorns, grated ginger while poaching), shredded
  • Onion, chopped finely
  • Bread of your choice
  • Salad leaves of your choice (I especially like rocket leaves with this one)

(Specifying measurements to give an idea of proportion, adjust to taste and/or qty needed accordingly)
  • Mayonnaise, 5 tbsp
  • Honey, 1 tbsp
  • English Mustard, 1 tbsp (switch to Dijon mustard or American mustard for less heat, switch to Whole Grain mustard for more heat)
  • Fried or Roasted garlic flakes (from store bought bottle), 1 tsp OR Fry 1 tsp of fresh chopped garlic in a little oil
  • Red Chili Flakes, ¼ tsp
  • Black pepper powder, ¼ tsp
  • Salt, to taste


In a bowl, whisk together mayo, honey, mustard, garlic flakes, chili flakes, salt and black pepper. Add in the onions, shredded chicken and mix well

Spread the salad chicken mix on bread (toasted or untoasted), top with salad leaves and dig in!!


  • Add the onions in raw or sauté them first in a little oil till OR cut into ¼ inch thick rings and grill them first. 
  • Add in some finely chopped celery. 
  • Add in some finely chopped pickled gherkins.

Spring Onion i got away with it I wanted to make my korean pancakes or chinese pancakes with my  honey soy drumsticks...when the maid came in the evening, realized I didn’t hv any maida :-( made kadak crispy thin Spring Onion Paranthas with atta and served it with chili dip!!...i could have tried adding the egg to see what it would taste like but by then my famous laziness had come into play

Spring Onion Paranthas 


  • Wholewheat flour
  • Spring Onions greens
  • Salt, sugar, red chilli powder
  • Oil, for frying paranthas

Instead of using the greens as stuffing, made the dough with greens added…Stiff dough…thin tawa, fried crisp

Honey Soy Drumsticks..."ba-DUM ching"

Drum rollllll for drumsticks...Honey Soy Drumsticks is one of our favorite recipes of chicken...drumsticks or chopping , no slaving over the stove is an added bonus.

Honey Soy Chicken mmskitchenbites

Honey Soy Drumsticks


  • Chicken Drumsticks

(specifying measurements to give an idea of proportion, adjust to taste and/or qty needed accordingly)

  • Honey , 5 tbsp
  • Soy sauce, 3 tbsp
  • Oil, 1 tbsp
  • Garlic, minced, ½ tsp
  • Ginger, minced, 1 tsp
  • Red Chili Flakes, 1 tbsp
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Wash ,clean & dry chicken drumsticks and make 3-4 slits.

In a bowl, whisk together the rest of ingredients and marinate the chicken for a 3-4 hours. (check the marinade for balance/taste once before adding chicken to it)

Preheat oven to 180°C. 

Line a baking dish with thick quality foil.  

Place the chicken on the lined baking dish along with all the marinade.  

Bake at 180°C for about an hour or till done –turn the sides once about midway during baking. Sprinkle a cpl of tbsps of water if needed.

If you want to have a little sauce with the chicken, put the chicken a roasting tray and cover tightly. Bake till done - the marinade combined with the juices released by the chicken will give you just about enough sauce for an extra coating for the chicken. Uncover and bake for last 15 minutes to crisp up the chicken. 

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Mung Dal Idlis...idlis with a difference

Mung Dal Idlis...For one of those days or weeks when you want to eat healthy...and if you are one of those who eats healthy regularly...this dish is definitely for you...and hats off  :-)...keep it up!

Mung Dal Idlis


  • Whole Mung dal/ Green Moong Dal , 1 cup
  • Green chili, 2-3 or to taste
  • Ginger and Garlic paste, 1 tsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Eno/Fruit Salt, 1 tsp


Wash, soak mung dal overnight and drain the next morning. Grind with rest of the ingredients (except Eno) into a smooth fine paste of idli batter consistency.

Add Eno into the batter, mix well and prepare idlis immediately.

Grease idli pans, put the batter, place in the pressure cooker, and steam without the whistle for 10-15 mins or till done.Serve with any chutney/sauce/ketchup of your choice

Tastes best piping hot.


  • I have tried making these in the microwave but somehow the texture is not the same.
  • Couple of options that I make : do a tempering of oil+ mustard seeds + onions and mix into the batter before adding Eno ; add grated veggies.
  • You can use the same batter to make chillas/pancakes in a non stick pan, just don’t add Eno,

Tadka Aloo....South Indian ishhhtyle..

So why do I call it South Indian Style Tadka Aloo
...errr...umm...'cause I use Curry leaves!! sorrrrrryyyyy
This works wonderfully well as a snack as well as sabzi...especially towards the end of the week when you have run out of almost everything in the kitchen...

(South Indian Style)Tadka Aloo 


  • Potatoes, 2-3 large
  • Mustard seeds, ½ tsp
  • Dried Red chilies, 1-2 (optional)
  • Garlic, 8-10 coves (I use whole cloves; you can finally chop them or crush them slightly)
  • Curry leaves, 8-12
  • Coriander powder, 1 tsp
  • Red Chili powder, ½ tsp
  • Cumin powder, ½ tsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Oil, 1 tsp + 1 tsp


Wash &scrub the potatoes clean. With the peel on, cut them into thin wedges and soak in cold water with salt. Drain and sprinkle with salt, coriander powder, red chili powder, cumin powder and keep aside.

Heat the oil in a non stick pan and add black mustard seeds and dried red chiles.

Once the mustard seeds start popping, add in garlic cloves, curry leaves and fry till garlic cloves are light golden.

Add the potatoes, stir, cover and cook till done on low flame.

Once cooked through, increase the flame to high, drizzle in another teaspoon of oil and sauté till potatoes are golden and crisp.

** update 24th Feb 2013, revisiting a dear old friend...with skin peeled off this time round and a slightly better photograph

Old Photograph

Chicken 65......gone wrong, gone right

Ok below is the recipe of my Chicken 65, dry and here is the story of how it went wrong and then right...while marinating discovered I didn't have rice flour and instead of grinding some rice which wld hv taken 2 mins, I used corn starch instead...heated some oil, and put the chicken in the oilthe oil wasn't really hot, the chicken was ice cold, instead of frying in batches as usual, dunked the entire marinated chicken in the kadhai...result...everything stuck to the kadhai...the more I stirred the more the marinade spread in the kadhai...there was no other back up plan so put some water in the kadhai and lowered the flame...yes it was only now that I realized that I was doing all that on high flame...anyway, stirred and got off all the crispy corn starch masala off the kadhai (crispy and still not burned)...put in some more water, covered and cooked till done...perfect with rice...oily, spicy, yummy...I need to do this again soon J

P.S they say don't drink and drive...they should say, don't drink and cook as well!!

Chicken 65 mmskitchenbites

Chicken 65, dry


  • Chicken, boneless thigh,cut into 1” cubes,250 gms
  • Oil, for deep frying chicken

To be Fried:

  • Dried Red chillies, 1
  • Curry leaves, fresh, a handful
  • Fresh Green chillies, slit & seeds removed, 5-6
  • Garlic Cloves, 5-6

For the marinade

  • Yogurt, 2-3 tbsp
  • Lemon juice/Vinegar,1 tbsp
  • Rice flour, 2 tbsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Red Chilli powder, 1 tsp
  • Ginger Garlic paste, 2 tsp
  • Coriander powder, 1 tsp
  • Black pepper powder, 1 tsp


Wash and drain the chicken pieces. 
Mix the marinade ingredients in a bowl. Add the chicken to the marinade to coat and marinate for a cpl of hours in the fridge.

Bring the chicken back to room temperature before cooking.

Heat oil in pan or kadhai for deep drying the chicken. 

Add the chicken pieces in small batches of four to five pieces and fry over medium heat till chicken is deep golden crispy on the outside and completely cooked through.

Remove the fried chicken to a clean plate and finish frying all the chicken. 

Fry the curry leaves, dried red chilli, green chilli and garlic. Add to the fried chicken, give a quick stir and serve hot with lemon wedges.


Please do note that my recipe doesn't include egg in the marinade as some other recipes you may find on the net. Please don't attempt the 'gone wrong' version with egg in the marinade. 

Nuts over Paneer...

You may call it Shahi Paneer or Malai paneer or Shahi Malai Paneer...One of my go to recipes when I am hosting vegetarians...has never failed me...whether they like Paneer or not, they have always liked this...and works well with the kukkad shukkad people as well 

Shahi Malai Paneer mmskitchenbites

Shahi Malai Paneer

Heat oil in a kadhai and add bayleaf, cloves, cardamoms, cinnamon, black pepper,cumin seeds and let it splutter. Add finely sliced onions and fry till golden brown. Add ginger garlic paste and fry for a couple of minutes and then add chopped tomatoes + fresh tomato puree. Fry for 5-7 mins.Add coriander powder, red chili powder, kashmiri red chill powder, salt, Punjabi garam masala ,a little sugar and cook on low flame stirring continuously till oil leaves the masala. Remove from heat and let cool.

Add some water and grind the mixture in a food processor/blender. Once done, pass this mixture through a sieve and to get a smooth gravy.

Since the mixture is ground with all the khada masala it has a little bite of the spices- if you don’t want that you can use a potli to add the khada masala and remove the potli before grinding into a paste. 

Soak equal amount of almonds and cashews in warm water for about 10-15 mins and grind it into a smooth fine paste.
Add water to the sieved mixture and bring it to a boil. Lower the flame and add the almond+cashew paste.(thodi zyada not just 1-2 tbsp!!) Mix well and cook for a further 15-20 mins.

The gravy as is rich enough but you can also add fresh cream in the final 4-5 mins of cooking the gravy.

Cut paneer into desired shape and soak in hot salted water for 10 mins.

Drain and arrange paneer in the serving dish. Pour the gravy on top. Do a final tadka/tempering with desi ghee with kashmiri red chili powder.

If u fear that paneer will be kachha , pls. add it to the gravy for about 5-7 minutes in the final stage of cooking