Monday, July 30, 2007

Tandoori Chicken Baked in Oven

DSC02708 The word Tandoori is synonomous to India. Tandoori Chicken is so famous in India as Pizza is in Italy.

My Tandoori chicken recipe is not made in the traditional Tandoori oven but can be baked in our home conventional oven or on a Barbaque Oven.

It has a simple recipe and except for the time to bake all that takes is a 3-5 minutes to prepare the marinade for marinating the chicken overnight.

It tastes better when consumed fresh and hot. So at times when we feel we may not finish all the chicken that is marinated, bake only the amount that can be finished at that time. We can save the remaining for the next day to bake it fresh.

Chicken Thighs with Drum sticks : 4 (Skin and fat removed)
Magarine to coat a Baking Tray lined with foil.
Yogurt : 1/4 cup
Ginger Garlic Paste : 1 Tbsp
Tandoori Chicken Masala : 2 Tbsp ( I use Kissan Brand)
Finely chopped Mint and Coriander leaves - 1/4 cup
Salt - to taste
Oil - 1 tsp
A hint of Seekh & Bihari Kabab Masalas - 1 tsp together ( I use Shan brand)
Red chilly powder - 1/4 tsp (for extra spice)

1. Prepare marinade with the marination ingredients above.
2. Marinate the chicken in the marinade masala, preferably overnight or atleast for 3 hours, in the fridge.
DSC02557 3. Pre heat the oven for 350 C,
4. Arrange the Chicken on the foiled tray and place it in the oven to bake for 20 - 25 minutes on one side.
5. Now drain off the excess water and the oil that comes out of the baking chicken in the tray and turn the chicken peices and bake them on this side for another 10 - 15 minutes.
6. Again drain off any excess oil and water, turn the chicken again and bake for 5 minutes more for the final finish and the red color.
7. Remove the tray from the oven, keep aside for 5 minutes and then transfer the chicken peices into the serving plate.

This is served with a salad, slices of cucumber, onions and lemon.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Lemon Talapia


I've never seen or tasted this fish back home. But in North America almost every grocery store carries it. In the beginning my hubby encouraged me to get it so that we can try it out. Not knowing in which form I'm going to cook it I just bought it, and dared to explore the this fish in my ways, slice it and fry, make gravy etc. Then I recollected that I have eaten this fish in one of our dear Chinese friend's home on time and in our dear dear Trinadad friend's home the other time. Both of them Baked this fish as whole.

So I deceided to Bake it marinating it with my Indian Masalas and Lemon slices. Uuuuhh!!! that was a real treat.


Most of the time baked fish becomes very dry. But in this recipe the juices from the lemon keep the fish moist. And the lemon tarty flavour really compliments this mild fish.


Talapia Fish - 1 whole ( Cleaned and open in the tummy, with some lateral slits on both sides to apply the marination)
Lemon - 1 whole (Cut into thin Slices)

Lemon Pepper - 1 tsp
Fish Masala - 2 tsp ( I use Shan Brand Fish Masala)
Red Chilly powder - 1/2 tsp (for Extra Hot- optional)
Ginger Garlic Paste - 3/4 tsp
Salt - to Taste
Oil - 1/2 tbp

Baking :

Line the foil on a tray and apply magarine;
oil to brush the fish while baking.


Procedure :
Preheat the oven to 350 C .
1. Mix all the marination items with enough water to make a thick paste
2. Apply the marination on all sides and inside the tummy of the fish.
3. See that the marination penetrates into the slits cut.
4. Place the fish on the foil tray.
5. Insert some lemon slices into the tummy slit and in the mouth of the fish.
6. Place a slice at the bottom and the top of the fish.
7. Bake the fish for almost 20 - 25 minutes, brush the fish 2 - 3 times with oil in between to keep it moist.

This fish is right portion for a couple. Since it is spicy I don't think kids can handle it. So it will make the right dish for that candle light dinner for a couple, accompanied by Ceasar Salad.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Gobi Aloo in Tomato Sauce (Cauliflower Potato)

Cauliflower(Gobi) is one of my favourite vegies. And who won't like Potatoes(Aloo), in any form they are cooked. So combine both of these is a perfect match, be it with rotis, plain Rice, Pulav, or fried rice, Aloo Gobi makes good combination.
I use to cherish this preparation made by my GrandMother(Bhanu Aunty) thats what she was called by most of the people, and for me and my brothers she was much more than a Mother figure. This blog is dedicated to her. Because most of my dishes are inspired by her simple but yet tasty cooking. No doubt is always had that one secret ingredient "Love" in all her recipes.
Apart from regular times this dish was most cherished at christmas lunch. Though we had all those great Non-veg dishes my GM use to make this specially for me and I remember how she use to say "rina likes it".

Vegetables like Cauliflower, Broccolli, and Brussel sprouts carry the properties of Vitamin B6 useful to help the liver to metabolize xenoestrogens and help to boost immunity.
Now coming to the recipe:

Here are the Ingredients:

Cauliflower medium size - 1
Potatoes - 3-4
Tomatoes - 3-4 OR Tomatoe Puree - 1 cup
Mustard - 1/4 tsp
Onion - 1 small
Green Chillies - 2 slit
Curry leaves - 1 reem
Chilly powder - 1 tsp
Salt - to taste
Coriander leaves - a small bunch
Oil - 1 tbsp

Procedure :1. Peel the Potatoe skin and cut into medium size cubes.

2. Make the Cauliflower into small florets

3. Add oil in a heated Kadai/Pan, allow msutard to splutter and then add cut onions, green chillies, curry leaves adn saute til onions turn slightly brown.

4. Add the Cauliflower and Potatoe peices, red chilly powder, salt, and mix well to give an even coat of all ingredients.

5. Sprinkle some water and cover with lid to cook the vegies in steam for about 15- 20 minutes.

6. Keep mixing periodly to add more water if reqiured.

7. Once the vegies are almost cooked add the tomatoe puree, mix well.

8. Cook for another 5 minutes or till the vegies absorb the tomatoe flavour into them.

9. Add the finely chopped corainder leaves just before removing from heat.

Allow this preparation stand for some time till all the combinaton sets, to really enjoy that soury taste of tomatoes.Serve with rotis or rice.

Paasi Paruppu Payasam (p3)


Moong Dhall(Paasi Paruppu- Tamil, Pesara Pappu - Telugu) Payasam is one of the delicious desserts of Tamil Nadu. And is a must in all their festivals and celebrations. Obviously because my hubby is a tamilian I had to learn it, when I lived in Madras. It has a very simple procedure.

Moong Dhall - 1 Cup
Jaggerry(Velam/Belam) - 1 Cup
Cardamon powder - 1/2 tsp
A pinch of salt
Ghee - 2 tbsp
Cashew & Rasins - 1/4 cup

1. Pressure cook the moong dhal with alteast 2-3 cups of water.

2. Smash the cooked dhall, add salt cardamom powder and let it simmer.

3. In a seperate vessel melt velam(jaggery) with a little water till the lathery state.

4. Now add this melted velam to the dhall mixture, add more water if the consisitency is too thick.

5. Simmer for another 5 minutes till the velam and the dhall get mixed into each other and the sweet aroma starts filling the room.

6. Now heat ghee in a small vessel, add cashews & rasins, fry till rasins are puffed up.

7. Add some of this to the Payasam that is simmering.

8. Remove from heat and serving in small bowls and then garnish the small cups with the remaining of cashew & raisins each.

Mostly consumed warm or at room temperature.


Onion Pakora


Onion Pakora or Pakodi(telugu) is one of the favourite snacks of many Indians. Eat it as a starter or a snack it is cherished by all. My GM used to make it for an evening snack especially when it is raining out there. In India we use to love the eveing rain so much, that we long for some spicy(Chat pat) snack with Chai(Indian Tea).
One such item is the Onion Pakora/Onion fitters. The aroma of fried onions along with the channa dhall powder is very tempting. Add to this is aroma of curry leaves and coriander making it ultimate.

Onions - 2 big
Channa Dhal - 1 Cup
Green Chillies - 2 ( cut into small pieces)
Curry leaves - 2 reems
Coriander leaves - A few chopped
Baking Soda - A pinch
Salt - to Taste
Red chilly powder - 1/2 tsp
Chat masala powdwer - 1/2 tsp ( for extra flavour)
Enough Water
Oil for deep frying


1. Cut the onions length wise and place them in mixing bowl

2. Add the rest of the ingredients with water to make the batter thick enough to slip into the heated oil. Do not add excess water, or else the Pakoras will drink up most of the oil.

3. Now drop small amounts of the mixed batter into the oil for deep frying.

Once the pakoras turn dark yellow or orange color strain them from oil onto a plate with issue paper to drain all the excess oil.

Arrange the Pakoras on a serving plate and choice of sauces ranging from Mint, Tamarind, plum, cherry or even a simple ketchup.

Flavoured Rice


I gave this name because I make this recipe when I don't want to eat just the plain rice at the same time don't want to strain myself and invest a lot of time cooking a Biriyani or traditional Pulav, nor want the dominating spicy rice dish.
I feel the most difficult part of the cooking is the cutting and cooking a lot of onions, tomatoes etc. Though our food processors come to our rescue a lot. But when we can enjoy the dish without having to work that much for it is a good alternative.
Therefore the flavoured Rice is born with ease to make and not losing the great taste. Goes well with a thick veg or non-veg gravy.

This is my entry for JFI (Jihva for Ingredients) - Rice,hosted by Sharmi of Neivedyam


Basmati Rice - 2 cups (Wash and Soak for 20- 30 minutes)
A few Fennel seeds, Cloves, Cinnamon, Cardamom
Can Coconut Milk - 1 cup
Ginger Garlic Paste - 1 tsp
Salt - To taste
Oil - 1 tbsp
Water - 3 Cups

To Garnish- Cashews, Raisins and Curry leaves fried in 1 tbsp ghee/butter.


1. In a deep pot or Pressure cooker, heat oil and add all the spices and sauté till they slightly change color.

2. Add ginger garlic paste, sauté,

3. Now add 1 cup Coconut milk and 3 cups water

4. Add salt, cover for one boil.

5. Then add the drained Basmati rice, cover and simmer till all the water is gone and the rice is cooked.If pressure cooking follow the same procedure of cooking rice.

6. Remove from heat and transfer into a serving dish.

7. Add the Ghee with fried cashew, raisins, and curry leaves and give it a light mix, to add the flavour of ghee to the rice.

Serve with any spicy gravy. The mild flavor of ghee, coconut milk, ginger garlic and curry leaves is really a compliment.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Mutton Varuval (Lamb Curry Dry)

This preparation reqiures any type of pre cooked mutton gravy.(I shall post the mutton gravy recipe the next time I cook it.) Say you can make this dish with the saved curry gravy from the the prevoius meal.

1. Mutton gravy - 1 cup
2. Onions - 1 Medium size
3. Green Chillies - 2
4. Curry Leaves - 8-10
5. Black pepper powder - 1/4 tsp
6. Coriander leaves - to garnish
7. Oil - 1 tsp


Procedure:1. In an non-stick tawa/pan pour oil after heating and add green chilies(Slit into half and cut into two thin peices) , onoins, 3/4 of curry leaves, and saute till onoins are almost cooked.

2. Add the Mutton/Lamb gravy into this seasoning, mix well and keep sauting till all the gravy is vanished and sticks thick to the lamb peices.

3. Add the Black Pepper powder, left over curry leaves and coriander leaves.

4. Saute a minute and remove from heat.

Serve with Hot Flavoired rice( my next post) or Plain rice with sambar.