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.

Steak Akhni

I made the following curry and rice decided to mix it together and let it steam in the oven for 30 minutes – for a better flavour. It makes a huge difference than if the curry was eaten the usual way. I think it can be called an akhni. The best description of akhni I can give is that it is like a breyani without the lentils. Best served with raita and sambals. I eliminated onion and chilli from the sambals since I’m not the biggest fan of onion and I don’t do well eating fresh chilli.

My sister once asked me how I get a lot of gravy in my curry. The trick is to add a little more spices which allows you to add an extra tomato. If an extra tomato is added without increasing the spice quantity – the flavour gets lost. It tastes abit bland.

For the steak curry

  • cubed steak
  • chopped onion
  • 1T chilli powder
  • 1T dhania / jeera powder
  • ½ T gharam masala
  • ginger/garlic
  • green chilli (optional)
  • salt to taste
  • tomatoes liquidized
  • potatoes

Heat oil and sauté onions. Add spices and salt. Add steak and cook till done. I cheated a little and used the microwavable potatoes. Add tomatoes and let it cook abit.

Rice:

  • 2 cups Basmati rice
  • ½ t tumeric powder
  • Salt

I boiled the rice and added tumeric for a light yellow colour.

Mix the curry and rice nicely and put in an ovenproof dish in the oven for 30 mins. I did this on 180ºC

Serve with raita and sambals. Raita is a sour-milk salad made of sour milk, fresh coriander, mint, green chilli, salt. Liquidize ingredients. Optional – add cucumber.

Prawn Akhni

The best description for “akhni” I can provide is that it is like a breyani without the lentils. Just like breyani, it cooks in the oven for a bit and is served with raita.

After my first attempt at making prawns, I decided to make a seafood paella. I chose my prawns and while it was being cleaned, dashed off to buy seafood marina mix. Unfortunately it was temporarily out of stock after I chose my prawns so I had to make something. I decided on my mom’s recipe since it always came out so good and I hadn’t had it in a while. I suggest switching your oven on to 180ºC halfway through cooking.

Prawn Akhni

Prawn Akhni

Marinate prawns in the following and leave in the fridge for about an hour (I used about 25 black tiger):

2T chilli powder
1T dhania & jeera powder
1T mozambique peri peri rub
lemon juice to make a paste
garlic
salt to taste

For curry:

onion
2 tomatoes
potato
sour milk
butter

Add butter and a little oil into your pot. Add sliced onion and braise for about 5 mins. Add garlic. Add prawns from fridge and cook for about 6-8 minutes – until pink. Add some sour millk – I dont remember the exact quantity – I think 3 tablespoons. Add liquidized tomato and cook till it blends in. For the potatoes I bought the one in Woolworths – its peeled, small, round and in a bag. After cooking it in the microwave, I added in to the above curry.

Rice:
Boil about 2.5 cups basmati rice and add a little tumeric powder (half a teaspoon) and salt. Cook the rice until almost done.

Mix the curry and rice together and put in into a dish that is oven proof. Cover with foil and put into oven. After 10 mins, drop the temperature to 120ºC and leave for 20mins. By doing this, the flavour mixes with the rice.
My favourite part was removing the foil after it was done. The smell was just divine! I called my mom to tell her how good it came out.

Raita

Raita

Raita:

1 bunch corriander
sour milk
mint
salt
green chilli for a kick
cucumber

Liquidise sour milk, chopped corriander, mint, sliced chilli and salt. Remove from blender and add cucumber. (I halve it, so its not too big).

Ready to eat.