Friday, December 19, 2014


Chicken Chimichanga 
Chimichanga is a burrito prepared with a choice of meat, vegetables, beans and spices. deep-fried to a golden perfection, and served on a bed of lettuce with cheese and mild sauce. All the yumm flavor in a fried tiny bundle. You can serve it with extra beans on the side or lime cilantro rice. Make sure to serve all the fixins, the experience enhances with every topping you add. 

Ingredients: serves 4
For the Chicken filling
4 tbsp olive oil
1 small red onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, diced (optional)
1 1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground cumin
Kosher salt
1 small tomato, chopped
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
2 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken
  1. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a small pan. Add the onion, garlic and jalapeno and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the chili powder, cumin, and salt to taste and toast 30 seconds. 
  2. Add the tomato and coriander and cook until slightly dry, about 2 minutes. Stir in the chicken and warm through. Remove from the heat.
For the Guacamole
1 avocado
Juice and zest of 1 lime
1 tsp minced garlic
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Mash the avocados with the lime juice, garlic, and salt. Season with pepper. Adjust with more lime juice if necessary to taste.

For the Black beans
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 red onion chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 tsp chili flakes
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp olive oil

  1. Heat olive oil in a pan and add onion and garlic. Saute for 1-2 minutes till onions tern pink and add the tomato paste and drained beans. Season with cumin powder and chili flakes and mix well to incorporate the tomato. Set aside.

For Pico de gallo
1 large diced tomato
1/2 diced medium sized red onion
1/4 bunch of cilantro (use more or less depending on your taste)
juice of half a lemon
1/2 teaspoon of minced garlic
1 tsp of salt
1 jalapenos (or more if you prefer it hotter)

  1. Mix up all ingredients and keep at room temperature for half an hour to let flavors blend in.

For Salsa Verde: Green Tomatillo Salsa
The slushy, herbaceous freshness of the all-raw tomatillo salsa with the buzz of the fresh hot green chili adds thrill to this dish.
5-6 medium tomatillos, husked, rinsed and roughly chopped
Green chilies, to taste (roughly 2 serranos or 1 jalapeno)
5 or 6 sprigs fresh coriander , roughly chopped

1 clove garlic (optional)

  1. Roughly chop the tomatillos and the chilies. 
  2. In a blender or food processor, combine the tomatillos, chilies, cilantro, garlic (if using) and a little lime juice or water. Process to a coarse puree, season with salt.
Other toppings
Mixture of melted 2 tbsp butter with 2 tablespoons olive oil
8 medium sized tortillas, whole wheat or corn
Shredded iceburg lettuce
4 tbsp Sour Cream (I used hung yogurt)
1 cup shredded cheese of your choice
Jalepeno peppers thinly cut in rings

To Assemble :
  1. Warm the tortilla in the microwave. Top with a scoop of beans, chicken mixture, cheese and pico de gallo. 
  2. Fold all four sides to make a parcel. Brush with butter-oil mixture and place seam side down on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes at 450 F, brushing again after you flip.
  3. Alternately shallow fry these parcels in a pan at medium heat in olive oil till crisp and lightly brown on both sides.
  4. Serve topped with Salsa Verde, sour cream, guacamole, lettuce and olives. You can also serve lime cilantro rice on the side. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Karahi Paneer

Karahi Paneer
A flavorful dish to serve with naan or roti, karahi paneer has its roots in Mughlai cooking. Succulent pieces of paneer and smoky peppers are cooked in a tangy tomato sauce with a hint of creaminess. Adjust the consistency as per your taste.  

Dry Spices ground coarsely 
1/2 tsp each cumin and coriander seeds
2 cloves, small black cardamom,
2 green cardamoms, few black peppercorns

1 tsp oil for tomato sauce
ginger slit into small pieces
2 garlic cloves chopped
2 large tomatoes pureed

2 Tbs oil for paneer
400 gm paneer (Indian cottage cheese) cubed
1 each red and green sweet pepper cut into strips
1 tbsp kasuri methi
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp coriander powder
red chili powder
salt to taste
2 tbs plain yogurt, blended until smooth
1 tbsp sour cream (optional)
  1. In a small pan heat oil and add ground dry spices. Let cook for 10 seconds. 
  2. Add ginger and garlic and stir for a minute. 
  3. Add tomato puree, yogurt and a little bit of salt. Also, red chili powder if desired. 
  4. Stir and cook on high for 3-4 minutes till tomatoes and yogurt get cooked, water evaporates and oil leaves the side of the pan. Keep aside. 
  5. In another pan heat oil and add kasuri methi. Stir for 10 seconds. 
  6. Add cubed paneer and on medium heat lightly fry them till they turn golden. 
  7. Add the peppers and all the spices. On high heat stir well till the peppers get a little crispy, for about 2-3 minutes. 
  8. Now add the tomato sauce and coat well. If it is too dry add 1/4 cup or more or less of boiling water as per the desired consistency. 
  9. Take out of the heat and add the sour cream if using and mix. 
  10. Garnish with fresh green coriander and serve with roti or naan.
Karahi Paneer

Friday, December 5, 2014

Tandoori Masala

Tandoori masala is a blend of several spices used specifically to flavor dishes which are cooked in the tandoor or clay oven. This characteristic red colored spice mix is spicy and very aromatic, used mainly in North Indian BBQ dishes. When using as a marinade blend it with hung yogurt along with salt to marinate chicken, fish, paneer, veggies such as peppers, mushrooms, cauliflower, onions and potato. Also remember that this home made version is very potent and a little goes a long way to spice up curries and stir fries. Store it in an air tight container for several weeks.

The characteristic red color comes from the Kashmiri chillies which have a distinctive flavor, though not very spicy. I use the powder sometimes but if you have the whole dry ones, use them. Below are some of the BBQ dishes made using Tandoori masala.  

Ingredients: (Makes about 10 tbsp )
Whole Spices

2 tbsp coriander seeds
2 tbsp cumin seeds
2 black cardamoms, pods only
2 green cardamoms
7-8 cloves
1 inch piece cinnamon
11/2 tsp red peppercorns
1/4 piece nutmeg
3-4 blades mace
1 tsp Kasuri methi
Ground Spices
1/2 tsp dry ginger powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp paprika
3 tbsp Kashmiri chillie powder
  1. Dry roast the first six whole spices on medium heat gently till fragrant 2 minutes. Take care to not change their color. Shut off the heat and remove spices from pan to cool.
  2. Dry roast red peppercorns, mace, nutmeg and Kasuri methi in the hot pan with the heat shut off for a minute. These are very delicate spices and can over roast easily. Keep aside to cool. 
  3. Cool and grind to a fine powder. Add the ground spices to this mix and pulse the grinder a few times to combine.
  4. Store in an air tight container.

Dishes to make using tandoori masala
Tandoori Fish 

Tandoori chicken

Tandoori paneer tikka

Tandoori Gobhi
Dumpukht chicken biryani