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Monday, September 22, 2014

Barbecue Pulled Chicken & Sandwiches

Well, its fall here. As in officially. The climate has started getting cooler, the leaves have started changing colors and we have brought out our sweaters and fall shoes. I like this weather but I hate what it has in store and the aftermath. Winter is never our thing. It would be if it was a matter of months. But not when you have to face that thick blanket of whiteness for more than four months. And thats why I hate and love fall.

I have always been a fan of trying new recipes. And the leftover rotisserie chicken called out my name to try something new. Barbecue pulled chicken has been in my head for quite some time and I decided to give it a try keeping in my mind my palate preferences. If you are using leftover rotisserie chicken use the two breast pieces and if you are using frozen chicken then use two chicken breasts.

Prep time: 15 mins; Cook time: 25 mins; Serves - 3-4
~*What U Need*~
Chicken breasts - 2, 1 lb
Onion - 1/2, sliced
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Garlic powder - 1/2 tsp
Chicken stock - 1/4 cup
BBQ sauce - 3/4 cup
Salt, pepper - to season
Toasted buns of choice - to serve
Cheese slices - to serve

How I Made it:
In the pressure cooker, heat oil, add the sliced onion and allow to brown. Add the dry spices and mix well. Fry for 2-3 mins. Place the chicken breast and mix well.

Add the chicken stock, barbeque sauce and give it a toss. Pressure cook for 2 whistles and reduce the heat to low, cook for 10 mins. Release the pressure, season with salt and pepper and if you need more sauce, add as per liking. Cook in medium flame till you get the desired consistency. Using two forks, shred the chicken and toss in the gravy.

Serve on toasted buns with cheese!!!

So thats it Folks...
With Love,

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Ambur Chicken Biryani | Ambur Style Chicken Biryani

To the huss weekends are never complete without a plate of chicken biryani. So if I don't make biryanis in the weekend I make it a point to make some by middle of the week. This biryani happened like that. We are not spice lovers, well we like it but we generally prefer mild spices in our food. The ambur version of biryani never fits our bill. Its super spicy and the color of the biryani screams spiciness when you even look at it. This is my version of the ambur biryani cos I have used my own strategies to reduce the spice level. But if you are in for the game then skip the cashew paste in the recipe, reduce the yogurt to 1/4 cup and add more chillies as per your spice level.

Prep time: 10 mins; Cooking time: 40 mins; Serves - 3-4

~*What U Need*~
Chicken - 1 lb, with bone
Oil - 2 tbsp
Ghee - 2 tbsp
Onions - 1, large, sliced
Ginger garlic paste - 2 tsp
Coriander Leaves - a handful, chopped
Mint Leaves - a handful, chopped
Tomatoes - 1 large, chopped
Thick yogurt - 1/2 cup
Biryani rice - 1 1/2 cups
Water - 2 cups

To grind:
Cashews - 5-6, whole

To grind separately:
Red chillies - 2, seeds removed

For biryani masala:
Fennel Seeds - 1 tbsp
Cinnamon - 1"
Cardamom - 2
Star anise - 1/2
Cloves - 2

How I Made it:
Wash and soak the rice. Soak the red chillies in hot water for 5 mins. Drain and make it into a smooth puree. Set aside. Grind the cashews and set aside. Heat oil in a kadai. Add 1 bay leaf and fry for a min. Add the onions and saute well. Once golden brown, add the ginger garlic paste and fry till the raw smell goes off.

Add the tomatoes and fry well. Add the chopped mint and coriander leaves and saute for a min. Add the fresh biryani powder and saute well.

Add the cleaned chicken pieces and mix well. Now add the chilli paste and fry till the chicken is half cooked. Add the cashew paste and fry for 2-3 mins.

Add the yogurt and mix well. Add water and the drained rice. Add 2tbsp ghee, give it a stir and pressure cook for 2 whistles. Open the lid and fluff the rice.

Serve with some raitha!!!

So thats it Folks...
With Love,

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Monday, September 15, 2014

Rye Bread | Bread Recipes

Rye flour has got its own health benefits. Rye is a good source of fiber, promotes weight loss, lowers diabetic risk, promotes gastrointestinal health and has many more benefits. The taste of rye bread is something you hate totally or love with all your heart. Adding rye flour to your bread dough gives it a a sourdough kinda taste in the end product, a taste which you will fall for or you will run away from. Luckily, the huss and me and even pappu have taken a liking for the bread right from first bite. The first time I made rye bread, I didn't know what went wrong but the bread was dense, and hard, there was no significant oven spring and the bread was a total disaster. I have been experimenting ever since and this recipe from King Arthur bread is a keeper. Perfect crust, fluffy crumb and not an overpowering rye flavor. Since this was a trial, I halved the recipe but feel free to try the original recipe, you can never go wrong.

~*What U Need*~
Warm water - 1/2cup
Rye flour - 1/2 cup
Sugar - 2 tsp
Instant yeast - 1 1/8 tsp
Yogurt - 1/4 cup
Salt - 3/4 tsp
Unbleached all purpose four - 1 cup + 6 tbsp
Vital wheat gluten - 1 1/2 tbsp

How I Made it:
In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the water, sugar, rye flour and yeast, mixing to form a soft batter. Let the mixture rest for 20 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, mix and knead the dough until smooth.

Place the dough in an oiled bowl and let it rise for 45-60 mins. Gently deflate the dough, knead it briefly, and shape it into an oval loaf. Place them on a lightly greased parchment-lined baking sheet. Let rise until puffy for 45 mins. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Slash with a knife. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Remove the loaf from the oven, and transfer them to a rack. While still warm, brush with melted butter, if desired.

Serve with spread of choice!!!

So thats it Folks...
With Love,

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Friday, September 12, 2014

Honey Lime Sweet Potato Tacos

I love tacos because it is easy to assemble and makes for a delicious dinner. Well its only me when it comes to world cuisine, the huss has never been a big fan. The thing he never enjoys when I try new dishes at home but for that reason he never detests what that is served for him. He eats the dinner whole heartedly, but he would always prefer a plate of biryani. I love trying new taco recipes and I came across this honey lime sweet potato tacos from Cooking Classy when I was browsing Pinterest and it immediately caught my attention. The flavor pairing was so good and even pappu loved the filling. He loved picking the beans, the corn and the sweet potatoes and calling out names everytime he popped one into his mouth.

~*What U Need*~
Sweet potatoes - 3/4 lb, peeled and diced
Olive oil - 1 tbsp
Cumin - 1/2 tsp
Chilli powder - 3/4 tsp
Ground coriander - 1/8 tsp
Onion - 1/2, chopped
Garlic - 1 clove, minced
Black beans - 1 can, rinsed & drained
Frozen Corn - 1/2 cup, thawed and drained
Honey - 2 tbsp
Lemon juice - 2 tbsp
Cilantro - 1/4 cup, chopped
Corn tortillas - to serve
Lettuce - chopped
Cheese - to serve

How I Made it:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a bowl, toss the sweet potatoes with 1/2 tbsp olive oil, cumin, chilli powder, ground coriander, salt and pepper. Spread this on a lined baking sheet and bake for 15-20 mins. In a large skillet, heat remaining olive oil over medium-high heat, add onion and saute until golden brown. Add minced garlic and saute well. Reduce heat to medium-low, add in black beans, corn, honey and lime juice. Heat until warm. Toss in roasted sweet potatoes and cilantro.
Serve over warm tortillas with desired toppings.

So thats it Folks...
With Love,

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Palak Tofu

Just like avocado, the huss has an aversion for tofu. Paneer is welcome in his book but tofu is a strict no-no for him. But I buy it occasionally as in once a month because I like to include it in our diet atleast once a month for the sake of pappu. While I am still experimenting with tofu recipes, I have decided to give the basics a try first, like this palak tofu, tofu masala, kadai tofu etc.

Making palak paneer or palak tofu is a breeze. Blanch, grind and simmer ~ and the sauce is ready to go. And its a healthy way to use all your greens. Spinach is widely used but you can experiment with different greens like baby kale or baby collards. This makes a perfect side dish for chapathis and even better ~ jeera rice. You can add cream at the end to make it more rich or you can replace the milk with cream to give at even more richer taste and use butter or ghee to give at a restaurant style makeover.

~*What U Need*~
Tofu - 10 oz, cubed, extra firm
Salt - a pinch
Oil - 1 tsp
Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam masala - 1/2 tsp
Chilli powder - 1 tsp

For the sauce/ curry:
Spinach - 2 cups, washed
Water - 1/4 cup (I used the water that I blached the spinach in)
Milk - 1/4 cup
Almonds - a handful, soaked in warm water for 10 mins
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp
Green chilli - 1
Tomato - 1
Onion - 1, small, chopped
Garam masala - 1/4 tsp

How I Made it:
In a pan, heat oil to medium heat. Add the chopped tofu and saute for 2 mins. Add the spice powders and salt and toss to coat. Cook for 8-10 mins. Meanwhile, boil water in a large pan, put the spinach and blanch for 2 mins. Remove and let cool. Add this to the blender with the water, milk, almonds, ginger garlic paste and blend well. Heat oil in a pan and add 1 tsp cumin seeds and allow to sizzle, add onions and fry till brown. Add the spinach puree and bring it to a boil, add the sauteed tofu and mix gently. Add garam masala and cook in medium heat for 10-15 mins. Taste and season as desired. Add 2 tbsp cream and remove from flame.

Serve hot with Naan or chapathis.

So thats it Folks...
With Love,

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Monday, September 8, 2014

Nutella Crepe Cake, for his 30th!!!

If you follow me on instagram and facebook you would have got a glimpse of the cake that I made for the huss for his 30th birthday. I wanted to surprise him and I was browsing for ideas in pinterest and the crepe cake kinda caught my attention. Its something that I have never tried before and I knew that the 30 layers would definitely surprise him. I first thought of using white chocolate ganache because the huss adores white chocolate but since the crepes are plain I was doubtful on the flavor combination and so I settled for nutella.

I wouldn't say that the cake is a breeze to make cos you have to make 30 perfect crepes then layer it with a thin coating of frosting taking care not to break the fragile crepes and then frost the whole thing patiently. But trust me its worth all the effort. The melt in the mouth crepes with that smooth and creamy ganache is definitely gonna bowl over the person for whom you are making this and not to forget the surprise that he is in for when cuts through the cake.

~*What U Need*~
For the crepes ~ adapted from Alton Brown
Large eggs - 2
All purpose flour - 1 cup
Milk - 3/4 cup
Water - 1/2 cup
Butter - 3 tbsp, melted
Sugar - 2 1/2 tbsp
Vanilla - 1 tsp

For the Nutella Gananche ~ my own recipe
Nutella - 118 g
Semi sweet chocolate - 82 g
Heavy cream - 110 g

How I Made it:
Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend for 10 seconds. Refrigerate the batter for 1 hour. Heat a small non stick skillet on medium high and butter the pan. Pour 1/8 cup of the batter into the centre of the pan and swirl to spread the batter evenly. Cook for 30 seconds and flip. Cook for another 10 seconds. Remove the crepes and leave them to cool on a wire rack. chopping board. Once cooled, you can stack them in ziplock bags and store it in the fridge for several days.

For the ganache, combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and cook over medium heat till the chocolate and nutella melts. Cool and use it in between the crepes like frosting and cover the sides of the crepe cake. Let the cake chill till needed and decorate as needed before serving.

Cut and serve!!!

So thats it Folks...
With Love,

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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Avocado Egg Salad Sandwich | Sandwich Recipes

Avocados have never been a favorite with the boys of the house. But I make it a point to include avocados in pappu's diet twice a week given the numerous health benefits of the fruit. Did you know that avocado is a fruit??? Well, I didn't and I had to browse to know that. Silly me. I like to incorporate avocados in our diet atleast occasionally and I usually make guacamole with tortilla chips for our evening snacks. When it comes to guacamole the huss never complains but when it is avocado in any other form, he just walks away. So I had to resort to another recipe. And this egg salad is what I came up with. You sub the mayo of a regular egg salad with avocado and job done... a healthy and filling sandwich.

~*What U Need*~
Hard Boiled Eggs – 2
Avocado – 1
Lemon – 1 tsp
Salt, pepper - to season
Italian seasoning - 1 tsp
Garlic powder - 1/4 tsp
Honey mustard - to serve
Lettuce leaves - 4
Bread of your choice

How I Made it:
Chop the eggs and avocado. Add 3. Add lemon juice, italian seasoning, garlic, seasoning, salt and pepper. Mix well but donot mash them. Slice the bread. Place the lettuce, top it with the salad, drizzle the mustard sauce. Close the sandwich.

Serve with juice!!!

So thats it Folks...
With Love,

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