Wednesday, March 30, 2011

(indian) chinese chilly chicken

Even though Mr. Sachinky (who has now renamed himself as Mr. Tubby) and I are on a "diet," I thought that India's victory over Pakistan in the semi-finals deserved a good dinner. So I decided to make Chilly Chicken. The kind we get back home from the roadside locality restaurant. It's not really Chinese, more like, Indian-Chinese. Adjust the level of heat according to your taste-buds.

Gather ingredients: Chicken, flour, soya sauce, garlic, salt, pepper, honey, ketchup, spring onion, onion, green peppers, mushrooms, red chilly powder, jalapenos and vinegar. (Phew!)

Step One: Chop mushrooms, spring onions, onions, green peppers in large chunks.

Step Two: Marinate the cubed chicken in soya sauce, minced garlic, and a pinch of red chilli powder for half an hour.

Step Three: Dip the chicken in flour. Shake off the excess. (This is important. I did not do this thoroughly enough so it got a little soggy). Heat oil in a pan and (preferably, deep) fry the chicken till it browns.

Step Four: In a separate pan, heat oil and sautee the onions, jalapenos, bell pepper. I had mushrooms lying around in the refridgerator so I threw them in as well. But that's optional.

Step Five: Add beef/chicken broth. Add a spoon of soya sauce, vinegar, tomato ketchup, honey (or a dash of sugar). Salt and pepper for taste. Then add fried pieces of chicken of chicken to it.

Step Six: Let the chicken cook till the gravy thickens. Add spring onions as garnish.

I could've made some noodles as an accompaniment but I was way too hungry by then and it smelled so good. So legit, even. So we polished them off with tortillas.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

the 'kitchen-sink' daal.

I am not a big fan of daal (lentils/beans) to be honest. I do love me some daal makhni though. Aah, daal makhni, tandoori chicken at Azad Hind. And naan, how I miss thee. Anyway, I spotted some organic mung beans at Sunflower on sale the other day so I bought them and decided to cook them for Sunday lunch. With parathas. I was feeling rather adventurous (not as adventurous as Tim who once cooked me pineapple-daal) so I decided to slash-dash this baby right through. Adjust as you like.

Soak mung beans overnight. Boil them.

Chop onions, tomatoes, jalapenos.

Heat oil. Fry ginger and garlic paste. Fry the onions, jalapenos and tomatoes in it as well till the onions brown.

Here's where I veered off-track. I had some minced chicken in the freezer so I dropped that into the pan and sauteed the chicken with the vegetables.

Add the boiled beans to the pan. Add salt, pepper, chilli powder, coriander powder for taste. I threw in a cup of beef broth for the brown color. You can simply add water for the chicken/daal to cook in.

Then I went a little crazy and added a dollop of tomato ketchup and organic greek yogurt. The yogurt, mostly because I didn't have any cream.

Once cooked, throw in a couple of spoons of butter and break an egg over it. Scramble egg.

Let the daal simmer till the gravy thickens. Garnish with chopped coriander. Squeeze half a lemon over it.


Saturday, March 5, 2011

caramel custard.

I'm trying to replicate Maloti Mashi's infamous pudding. Caramel custard. I don't think it's quite happening but we shall see. Ma issued instructions over Skype.

Ingredients: Milk, sugar, eggs, vanilla essences. That's all.

Grab a metal bowl and caramelize the bottom. How? One spoon of sugar. Couple of drops of water. Slowly rotate over open flame till the sugar begins to hiss, sputter and turn a deep brown color.

Boil two cups milk with three spoons of sugar. Let it cool.

Whisk two large eggs in. Or three. Add a few drops of vanilla essence. The cheap imitation stuff does the trick.

Pour the mixture over the caramelized sugar.

Now set up one of those steamer/water-bath/double-boiler/I don't know what to call it thingie.

Cover the pot and let it cook, steam style. Mine was still a little soupy (I like it solidified) after an hour of replenishing the water supply (maybe I didn't use enough eggs) so I poured it in a baking dish and let it broil for a couple of minutes to see if that'll help it set.

Nope, didn't really help at all. Now, I just can't figure out what I did wrong! Waaaaaaaaah, I'm devastated. On the other hand, it tastes freakin' fantastic. And I did get a chance to use my lovely ramekins I purchased a few weeks ago. Oh well. There's always a next time.

vegetables in white sauce.

Ingredients: Carrots, potatoes, beans. Any vegetable you prefer. Salt, pepper, garlic. Milk, butter, flour.

Chop carrots, potatoes, beans. Boil in salted water. I add some red pepper flakes and garlic for flavor. Add peas and corn if you have any.

Drain once tender.

In a pan, melt one spoon of butter. Fry one spoon of flour in it. Add one cup of milk.

[This pan clearly wasn't dishwasher-safe.]

There, now you're all privy to my mother's awesome not-so-secret 1:1:1 white-sauce recipe. Add salt, pepper, red pepper flakes for taste.

Add the boiled vegetables and mix well. Let the sauce thicken.

Mix in one large spoon of cream cheese to mellow the dish out. Serve as a delicious side to roast chicken.