Tandoori Chicken

When it comes to Indian cooking / cooking with spices, I rarely (ok, up until this weekend, never) buy premixed spices. I always add my own quantities of each spice to whatever I’m making. I learnt from my mom and she would also cook this way, meaning she wont use a briyani mix that you get sold at stores.

Over the weekend I was at a spice shop and saw a packet of tandoori chicken spice – all you had to do was add yoghurt and marinate, before grilling. I decided to give it a go – test it out and see if its worth buying. If you work full time and rely on convenience cooking, it would be ideal.

As per instructions on the the packet, added yoghurt to the spices and marinated drumsticks and thighs for a few hours in the fridge. I then baked / grilled it for about 25-30 minutes on 200°C.

This is what it looked like: (I expected it to come out slightly more red).

tandoori_chicken
I served it with rice and salad. You can also serve it with raita.

The verdict: I liked it, so did my husband. It was spicy and hot.
He said: Will definitely eat it again.
Perfect for: Lazy weekends – not much effort involved or weekdays if marinated in the morning.
Alternate serving options: Naan or rolls.

Chicken a la King

This is very old recipe of mine – I learnt how to make it in high school. It was taught to me by my home economics teacher – you generally get taught flop proof recipes, so I can assure you, its not difficult and chances are, it wont flop.

I stopped making Chicken a la King for a while because I couldn’t get halaal chicken stock – but I previously made it with vegetable stock but the taste was so different. By chance yesterday, I asked Woolworths if they keep chicken stock and I was thrilled to see it was halaal. Why didnt I ask them sooner?!

I prepared it in my wok, instead of a frying pan. I decided to take pics of each step, so you can see how it should look as you’re going along.

What you need:

  • 250g chicken (cooked, coarsely chopped – I prepared 3 fillets with chilli powder & dhania / jeera powder)
  • 60g mushrooms
  • ½ green pepper (thinly sliced)
  • 30ml margarine
  • ½T flour
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 140ml chicken stock
  • 75ml milk
  • 75ml single cream
  • salt
  • pepper

What you do:

  1. Melt margarine, sauté pepper for about 5 minutes
  2. Add mushrooms, sauté until tender
  3. Remove pan from stove, blend in flour, gradually add stock and then milk
  4. Return pan to stove, bring mixture to a boil, continuos stirring – until thickens
  5. Add salt, pepper and chicken – heat for about 5 minutes
  6. Beat cream and egg yolk lightly in a bowl, stir some hot sauce into it (optional), then add the mixture to the pan and heat – don’t boil.
  7. Serve immediately with boiled rice. I added the rice to the work and mixed it all together.

My only regret was not making more.

Haleem

This is my first attempt at making haleem. I used my mother’s recipe and eliminated the crushed wheat and gram dholl because it wasn’t available at any store near me.


Ingredients

  • 1 cup barley
  • 500g chicken (I used fillets)
  • butter
  • cooking oil
  • ½ t whole jeera
  • ¼ t black peppercorns
  • 1 onion
  • 1½ t chilli powder
  • 1½ t gharam masala
  • 1½ t dhania & jeera powder
  • 1 t ground green chilli
  • 1 t ginger & garlic
  • salt to taste
  • ¼ bunch dhania

Step 1:
Boil the barley with water and some salt until it gets soft. Once cool, liquidize and set aside.

Step 2:

  1. Braise onion in butter and cooking oil.
  2. Add jeera, peppercorns and chicken. Add spices salt and cook till done. Add water if necessary.
  3. When done, add the liquidized barely. You may add some water at this point. Mix and bring to the boil.
  4. Add about 2 cups of water. Mix.
  5. Cook for 2 hours on low and stir it every 10-15 minutes.
  6. About 10 minutes before switching off, in a small frying pan, heat some butter on high and add some whole jeera – about a teaspoon and a half. When it sizzles (after about 1-2 minutes), add it into the haleem.
  7. Add dhania to garnish.
  8. Serve with lemon juice.

More info on Haleem.

Chicken Stroganoff

Since I love pasta, I thought I’d try this recipe from the Australian Women’s Weekly. Its very simple to make. It got done faster than I anticipated.

What you need:

  • olive oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2t paprika
  • 250g sliced mushrooms
  • 1T worcestershire sauce
  • ¾ cup chicken stock (I used water)
  • 1 ¼ cup sour cream
  • 1 cooked chicken (I used a bunch of fillets)

What to do:
Heat oil and cook onions. Add paprika. Cook for 2 mins. Add mushrooms and worcestershire sauce. Cook until brown. Add stock and cream – bring to the boil. Reduce heat, simmer for 5 minutes, until sauce thickens. Add the sliced and cubed chicken.

I served it with fettuccine.

Impromptu Meal

What do you do with 3 uncooked chicken fillets and extra spaghetti from 2 separate packs? (This happens because I cook about 350g of pasta and eventually I have to use the spares). Well, you throw them together to get a filling meal!

This meal was an impromptu one – I just used whatever spices that I thought might make an interesting taste.

Spaghetti and Chicken

Spaghetti and Chicken

I braised onions and added some Portuguese Chicken spice, Smoked Paprika and Barbeque Spice along with some black pepper. Tossed in cubed chicken fillets and let it cook. Lastly I added some of Mavis’s corriander and chilli chutney.

I boiled the spaghetti and made some white sauce. Added everything together neatly and put in a pyrex dish. Coated with cheese and thyme and popped into the oven for about 20 minutes.

Butter Chicken 2.0

I previously made butter chicken but when I made it over the weekend, I decided to try it without the tomatoes. I also added about a mug of boiling water to the tomato paste seperately before adding in the chicken. For those who missed this post, here is the new and improved recipe.

Butter Chicken

Butter Chicken

What you need:

  • 4 cubed chicken fillets
  • 1 tin tomato paste
  • 250ml fresh cream
  • ground cashew nuts
  • 1 chopped onion
  • butter
  • spices and salt to taste

Add a chunk of butter – about 100g into a pot and when it melts add your onion. Add spices. I used chilli powder, dhania/jeera powder and gharam masala. Add salt to taste. Add chicken and add garlic(ready for cooking). Let the chicken cook till done. Now – empty your tin (small) of tomato puree into a big mug and gradually add boiling water while stirring. I used a large mug – just above average size. Add it into your pot. Let it cook until it blends in – shouldn’t take more than 5 mins. Add ground cashew nuts (about quarter to half cup – depending how thick you want it). Mix nicely. Lastly add fresh cream. You dont have to use all 250ml  add slowly until you get desired colour. Let it cook for a further 5-7 mins.

Serve with roti / naan / bread rolls.

Chicken Curry + Rice

This is my favourite curry and special because its the first curry I learnt to make when I was a teenager. My mom taught me how to cut up a whole chicken – which I still know how to do but out of convenience I buy my chicken already cut (and skinned if I see it). Woolworths has a lovely selection.

Chicken Curry, Rice with Salad

Chicken Curry, Rice with Salad

Curry:

8 pieces of chicken (thighs + drumsticks)
onion
potato
tomato
garlic
spices and salt to taste

Braise onion in oil. Add spices and salt. For the above I used 2tchilli powder, 2t dhania + jeera powder, 1t gharam masala and about ¼ttumeric powder (I dont usually use this spice). Add washed and skinned chicken pieces. Add garlic (the ones that you get at a spice store -ready for cooking). Cook till done. Add potatoes (I cheated for the potatoes – bought the ones where you microwave for 10 mins – I look for the easiest and convenient way). I halved them before throwing it in. Lastly added about 1.5 tomatoes and let it cook for a while.

Rice:

Basmati rice (Tastic one in a green packet)
Salt
tumeric powder

Add boiling water to a pot and throw in rice, salt and about ¼t tumeric powder. The tumeric powder is optional, I used it for the colour. Boil till done.

Ready to eat.

Serve with salad