Saturday, July 14, 2007

Chicken Do Pyaza

This one is the quickest and the easiest way of preparing a Indian style chicken dish that I am aware of ...... again a vintage mom's recipe which I love for the ease and simplicity ... According to mom the story goes that this dish was invented by the chefs of the Nawab of Awadh during one of the hunting trips of the nawabs.During the hunt the chef was so caught up in the action that he forgot to make preparations for the elaborate dishes he had planned . So , the chef just chopped up all that ingredients and tossed them into the pot . The result was a simple dish and aromatic dish that the Nawab loved this one so much that it became on the favorites of his...

I don't know whether the story is true or whether it was mom's invention to satisfy the umpteen questions I used to have about everything ...but it definitely makes for an interesting anecdote which I love to share with whoever is willing to listen ;-) .

Now this chicken do pyaza is quite different from the one you would have had in restaurants will not find chuncky pieces of onions etc in this one ...but the taste would definitely make it one of the favorites .... and the good thing is that you donot have to spend hours in the kitchen "bhunoing" the masala as is the case with most other north Indian non-veg dishes ....just roughly chopped up onions,ginger ,garlic....lots of whole spices and the chicken ...toss them all into the ubiqitous pressure cooker ..and let it cook ....and after 20-25 mins ...voila your dish is ready :-)

Ingredients :-

Chicken - cleaned - 3/4 kg

Onion - 3/4 kg - 3-4 large onions - roughly chopped

Ginger - 1 and 1/2 inch - roughly chopped

Garlic - 6-7 large pods - roughly chopped

Tomato - 2 large

Cinnamon - 1/2 inch piece

Cloves - 6-7

Black pepper - 7-8

Whole black cardamom - 1

Whole dried red chillies - 9-10

Green cardamom - 2

Oil - 3-4 tb sp.

Red chilli powder - 1tsp

Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp

Salt - as per taste

Garam Masala powder - a little

Method :-

Clean up the chicken pieces and keep them aside. Roast all the dried whole spices on a warm pan till you can smell the aroma , then just crush them slightly . Heat up the oil in the pressure cooker , once the oil is hot add the whole spices , saute for a minute , then add the roughly chopped up garlic and ginger followed by the onions ..(we need a large quantity of the onion coz it will make the semi dry gravy in this dish).Once the onions are translucent , add the tomatoes saute till it is a little soft add the chicken . Saute till the chicken becomes white in color .Add the red chilli powder , turmeric powder and salt and saute for 2-3 minutes . Then close the pressure cooker and keep the flame on high , after the 1st whistle lower the flame to low . After the 2nd whistle , turn off the flame and after depressurizing the cooker open it . There will be a lot of water left in the cooker so put the cooker on the burner and cook till almost all the water has evaporated .Then add the garam masala powder and mix the contents a few time so that everything is well mixed and the oil starts to separate a little . Taste for salt ....put in the serving dish and garnish with coriander .

Serve with Chapatis/parantha/rice .

Serves : 4

Note : since the dish is semi dry it will be better to serve it with a raita or even plain curd.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Cooling Watermelon,Pineapple & Feta cheese salad

Watermelon is the fruit of summer.....and what do we all look for in the sultry heat ...something cooling !!
Well when I saw that the "Fruit of the month" was my favorite watermeon I was delighted . A little search over the net revealed a number of ways of utilizing this beautiful and gorgeous fruit for making lovely and tasty dishes.

Salads are a favorites in the summers here's a colorful , cooling and gorgeous looking salad using this fruit . The firm texture of the pineapple wonderfully complements the watermelon and the feta cheese brings just the right amount of surprise element into the salad.

Ingredients :-

Watermelon - cubed - 1-2 cups
Pineapple - cubed - 1-2 cups (same quantity as watermelon)
Red onion - finely chopped - 2 tbsp.
Feta cheese - crumbled or diced - 3 tbsp.
Mint- finely chopped - 1-2 tbsp.
Freshly squeezed lemon juice - 2-3 tbsp.
Freshly crushed/ground black pepper - as per taste
Salt - as per taste

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and toss well .Refrigerate for 1/2 - 1 hour before serving. Add salt just before serving and toss well. Adding salt earlier will lead to a soggy and watery salad which we donot want. So go ahead and happy tossing :-)

This is my entry for
A Fruit A Month (AFAM) - July I hope it is accepted :-)

Watermelon Icer

Ingredients :-

Watermelon - cubed and deseeded - about 2 cups
Orange juice - 1/4 cup
Yoghurt - 3 heaped tbsp.
Vanilla essence - 2-3 drops
Ice - 1/2 cup

Method :-

Put all the ingredients in the blender and blend well .

Pour in a glass and decorate with a sprig of mint and a slice of orange/lime...

A wonderfully mellow and cooling drink is ready.

Serving - 2 medium sized glasses

This is my second entry to A Fruit A Month (AFAM) - July .....couldn't help myself I love the fruit too much :-)

I hope it is accepted too .... ;-)