Showing posts with label chicken. Show all posts
Showing posts with label chicken. Show all posts

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Another secret disclosed...

Okay. With a little apprehension, I am going to share my secret mustard chicken bites recipe. Yes yes, the same mustard chicken Ive blogged about over and over but never wanted to disclose the recipe for. Since no one in my nearest circle is left who has not tasted this delicious stuff from my kitchen, and I have plenty of other delicious cards in my possession, its time to pass on the treasure for someone else to receive wows and praises.

Disclaimer: If any of you use this recipe in a competition and win, you must claim me as the true winner! Seriously folks, at least send me a photo or a thank you note!

Honey mustard chicken served with hot sweet and sour sauce

The best thing about this recipe is that it can be served in different ways on different occasions with many different sauces and sides.

Mustard chicken with mild sweet and sour sauce

Mustard Chicken Bites

600 g boneless chicken
2 tbs ginger paste
2 tsp mustard paste
3 tbs worcestershire sauce
1 tbs vinegar
1/2 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp crushed black pepper
1 tsp salt
2 tbs cornflour
1 egg (M)
All purpose flour
Oil for frying

Cut chicken in bite size pieces.

In a bowl, mix together all the ingredients except flour and oil.

Marinate chicken in this mixture for atleast 2 hours. Tip: Overnight marination would bring out the best taste! Place in refrigerator.

Take out of the refrigerator and thread the chicken bites on tooth picks (2-3 pieces on each). This step is optional! I skip this when making as burger fillings or serving in gravy.

Next, coat the chicken with flour and put aside for 15 minutes. Tip: You can also freeze them after this step. Take out of the freezer whenever required, microwave for 15 seconds and proceed!

Deep fry in hot oil.

Once fried, place on kitchen papers to remove any excess oil.

Serve hot!

Here´s my favourite sauce to go with:

Hot sweet and sour sauce
Recipe courtesy: my sweet sister in law, Tasneem Saeed

1 cup vinegar
1 large green chili
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup ketchup

Cook vinegar with chopped chilies for 4-5 minutes. Strain the chilies from the vinegar and add rest of the ingredients into it (the liquid, ofcourse!). Cook until desired consistency is reached.

Alright, Im taking a bow here and awaiting your applause. Hurry!!!

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Ladies Brunch

Last Friday was all about girly fun and togetherness. It was actually a long overdue catch up with some of the fellow female pakistani expats living in Germany. I hosted a brunch at my place and it was so nice to just kick back from the typical stress our routines have to offer and relax, chat non-stop in our mother tongue and catch up on each others lives after such a long time. Too bad we couldn’t complete the group as not all invitees were lucky enough to make it to the meetup. As usual!!! Silly us, we always pledge to meet more often but never succeed in doing so because there will always be one of us who's not free.

Here´s what was on the menu

  • Cranberry scones with lemon curd
  • Tunisian farka
  • Chicken puffs
  • Mini pancakes with blackberries and maple syrup
  • Curd, granola, red berries and home made raspberry sauce cups
  • Multi layered peach and almond torte
  • Cheese and salami platter
  • Baked egg baskets (used the same recipe but baked small röstis in a muffin tray instead of cooking in the frying pan)
  • Mustard chicken bites with sweet n sour red sauce
  • Breads
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Fruit Juices

Okay please dont let your jaw drop too far after reading all this. It might appear too extensive and complicated but its not! All you need is a bit of planning and preparation!

One way that I like to keep myself organised is to decide the menu first, then print out the recipes for each dish. Then I type all the ingredients and set up a shopping list in Excel. The groceries are usually done two days prior to the main event - the decorating  stuff and serveware even earlier! When I’m cooking, I make sure not only to keep the printed recipes handy but also set my ipad up on the counter so that all tips and notes are at my fingertips!

A day ahead of time I
  • baked the almond sponge
  • prepared and refrigerated the lemon curd 
  • made the scones dough, cut them into shapes and popped into the freezer
  • soaked couscous in the sugar syrup, chopped and roasted the nuts for making farka
  • perpared fruit purees for the curd cups and torte
  • marinated the chicken bites and prepared the red sauce seperately
  • prepared filling for the chicken puffs
  • assembled the torte and placed in the refrigerator to set
  • placed drinks in the refrigerator to chill
  • ironed my dress and took out the matching accessories

Before taking the quick shower and getting myself ready for the guests this is what I managed to do

  • prepared choux pastry and baked mini puffs, filled them with the chicken mixture
  • spooned curd, berries, granola into cups/glasses
  • filled ramekins with the prepared farka and nuts
  • spooned red sauce into serving glasses
  • grated the potatoes and baked small nests in the muffin tray
  • baked scones
  • arranged the salami n cheese platter
  • prepared the pancakes batter
  • cleaned the living room and dining area (I couldve done that a day earlier..arrrrghhh)
  • set the table and co

When the first guest arrived, I was ready to bake the mini pancakes and throw the eggs in the oven.

The living room was full of humble, intelligent and ambitious women and my dining table was full of colourful goodness.

ladies brunch food ideas

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

The mistress of spices!

Being a complete food freak, who loves trying new cuisines and places above anything, I am always open to discovering new tastes and learning new things about different communities and cultures. There may be religious and ethnic reasons for saying no to a few food items but otherwise everything finds its place in my stomach.

And it is actually quite easy to please me - let it be plain noodles with a quick tomato sauce or a good toasted slice of bread topped with melting cheese, even the simplest of a culinary endeavour is enough to make me drool like a puppy (PROVIDED the food on the plate is not moving, doesnt have flapping wings or something similar and is not hurting the religious spirit in me).

But like most of you, its usually my mood that dictates my choice of cuisine when cooking a regular meal for the family (or dining out in a restaurant). I like dabbling in new flavours or things what I am not an expert in but yes, if theres something I can tackle well in cooking, it is the choice and amount of right spices:)

Yes, you got it! The inherited love for the hot and bold ingredients is something in myself I am really proud of. Sure, it may not have been the greatest quality as almost every girl of my ethnic background has it running in the blood but each time I put in my freshly ground home-made garam masala to a dish, its rich fragrance and gentle taste makes me feel like such a cook that my soul automatically feels compelled to say a little prayer for all my great south-asian ancestors....

I have already shared a few recipes for desi appetizers and dessert on the blog but here comes the main course:

Creamy Fenugreek Chicken Karahi


350 g boneless chicken

For the marinade:

1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp home-made garam masala
1/4 tsp red chili powder
1 tbs corn flour
1 tsp garlic paste
1/2 tsp chopped fresh green chili

For the masala curry:

1/2 cup oil
2 large onions
3 tbs yoghurt
1 tbs tomato paste
1/4 tsp red chili powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
3 tsp ground almonds
1 1/2 tsp dry fenugreek leaves
1 cup water
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup cherry tomatoes (optional)
1/4 tsp red chili flakes (optional)
1/4 tsp garam masala (optional)
chopped green chillies and fresh green corriander for garnishing

Marinate chicken with the above given ingredients and set aside for atleast 30 minutes.

Peel and slice the onions.

Heat oil in a pan and fry the onions until light golden brown in colour.

Take out the onions and make a paste using an electric blender. Now fry the marinated chicken in the same pan and remaining oil, you had used for browning the onions.

Fry for a while until chicken changes its colour. Add in yoghurt.

Add in all the spices (except for fenugreek and chili flakes), onion paste, almond powder as well as the tomato paste.

Fry for a while and then add about one cup of water. Stir a bit, add in the crushed fenugreek leaves and cover the pan with a lid for a few minutes.

Add the cherry tomatoes, chili flakes and heavy cream.

Turn off the heat, sprinkle garam masala on top and garnish with chopped fresh green chilies and corriander.

Serve hot with fresh naans. Wahhhhh....:DDD

Now in case you want to know, from where did I get these fresh naans in Germany???? What do you think, if I can make such mouth watering curries, wouldn´t I also be putting some effort in making the best accompaniment to them. The naans too are fresh from my kitchen, or to be more precise, direct from my pressure cooker;)

Have a spicy day you all!!


Monday, 11 July 2011

Getting a meal on the table..

Planning a meal is definitely one of the few things I am getting better at with time. As a matter of fact, I have actually started enjoying this creative and delightful activity lately. Its like a game where you sort and arrange a series of cards by flipping back and forth through different ideas, ingredients, likes and dislikes and recipes until you come up with a perfect combination. It might sound a bit crazy but trust me, once you start playing it with interest, it can become really addicting!!!

The weekly meals are pretty easy as Ive learned how to communicate with my refrigerator now and with a little aid from other kitchen gadgets, deciding on what to cook for dinner is no longer a stressful job. The weekend meals, on the other hand, still need a bit more of practice as you have to deal with many additional factors as well that are attached to the two leisure days of the week.

The most difficult part in planning a weekend menu for me is the choice of vegetables as both the men at my home are very fussy eaters when it comes to including healthy foods on the platter. But I am glad that there are generally no issues with the cooking style or choice of cuisine. As far as the food is flavourful , they are ready to eat anything that is set before them on the table.

Here is a glimpse of what we devoured at the lunch table on Saturday.

Balsamic Chicken served with Cauliflower and Home-made Bread

Ingredients for Balsamic Chicken:

1 kg chicken (pieces)
4 big potatoes halved ( or 8 baby potatoes )
1 tbs of coarsley ground coriander seeds
1 tbs garlic paste
1 tbs lemon juice
2 tbs of balsamic vinegar
1 tsp of ginger powder / paste
salt , pepper

1/4 tsp nutmeg powder
1/4 tsp chili flakes (optional)
1/2 cup cashews (powdered)
2 tbs of olive oil
1/4 cup of apple juice
1/2 cup fresh cream


Wash and pat dry the chicken pieces with a kitchen paper. Place them in a plastic bag.

Peel and cut the potatoes. Marinate alongwith the chicken pieces with balsamic vinegar, pepper, salt, nutmeg, lemon juice, chili flakes, cashew powder, ginger, garlic. Drizzle one tablesoon olive oil over it. Tie/close the bag tightly and shake it well until the chicken pieces are completely coated with the marinade.

Put in the refrigerator for atleast an hour. Tranfer into a baking dish. Pour the apple juice over it.

Drizzle the remaining oil on top. And let bake in the preheated oven (180C).

Open the oven after 30 minutes and pour the fresh cream over the chicken and potatoes. Continue baking for another 30 minutes. Check with a fork if the potatoes are done, remove from oven and serve.

I served it with the home-made bread following the same recipe as here.

The cauliflower recipe will also be uploaded in a day or two. Meanwhile, enjoy the tangy, spicy chicken with soft, freshly baked bread !!

Monday, 4 July 2011

The Arabian Nights

It looks like my obsession for the exquisite Arabian cuisine has been reignated once again. After receiving heaps of great feedback on the falafel recipe, I am now eager to get my hands on many family recipes that I had never given much importance to before.

Since my husband has spent his entire childhood in the Arabian Gulf, he is very fond of the Middle Eastern specialities and that is exactly what also makes him the worst critic for me. No alteration gets put into the recipe treasure unless approved by his qualified taste buds. I, on the other hand, love playing with the ingredients and cant stop myself from adding new flavours to the classics and the only convincing point that usually goes into my favour is that the Middle Eastern cuisine encompasses a huge spectrum of diverse yet similar delicacies. Depending on the region as well as the season, there exists many different ways of perparing a dish owning the same title.

For example, the traditional shawarma that most people are familiar with is usually prepared on a large rotating grill. The meat is then cut into thin slices and served in a wrap with fresh salad and tahini sauce. However a lebanese friend of mine once made it in the skillet and the taste was not at all disappointing. Since then, I have made a rule for myself. I make the red meat shawarma in the oven and turn on the grill function in the end which gives it a very delicious flavour and a nice crispy texture. But for the chicken variant, I am absolutely satisfied with my deep skillet. It turns out to be as great and tender as the one served at our local lebanese and syrian snack bar.

So, here comes the classic hit with a new kick...


Chicken Shawarma with Rice and Tahini Garlic Sauce

Ingredients for chicken shawarma:

500 g boneless chicken, cut into strips
3/4 cup thick yoghurt
1 tbs lemon juice
salt and crushed black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
1/4 tsp green cardamom powder
3/4 tsp garlic paste
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp garam masala (freshly ground)
1 tbs olive oil
2 medium sized onions, sliced or cut in circles
2 medium sized tomatoes, chopped

Mix all the spices in the yoghurt, add lemon juice and marinate the chicken strips in it for atleast 30 minutes.

Heat olive oil in a skillet, add in the chicken and fry on high medium heat until all juices from the marinade are cooked off.

Add the onion slices and fry for another two minutes.

Turn off the heat and add the chopped tomatoes into it. Tip: Do not cook the tomatoes!!

Ingredients for Yellow Rice:

400 g basmati rice, rinsed and soaked in water for 30 min
700 ml chicken stock
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
salt and crushed black pepper
1 stick cinamon
4 cloves
2 bay leaves
2 black cardamoms
2 green cardamoms
1/4 tsp powdered fennel seeds (optional)
yellow food colour

Tip: Chicken stock is the key ingredient here. For optimal results, always try to make the chicken stock at home, you can prepare it before hand and store in the refrigerator or freeze for later use). I usually make it by boiling chicken bones with two small carrots, one medium sized onion, garlic and 2 teaspoons of home made garam masala mixed in two litres of salted water. Bring the water to a boil and then reduce the heat. Let the stock simmer on very low heat for several hours.

Measure the chicken stock and boil in a pan.

Add in salt, pepper as well as all the above given spices. Tip: If you dont like picking whole spices from your plate of rice, using a tea strainer (ball) at this stage helps you easily remove them before serving.

Drain the rice and add into the stock. Cook on medium heat until almost done. Sprinkle yellow food colour and spread raisins on top. Reduce the heat to the lowest mark and cover the pan with a tight lid. Carefully open the lid after 5-10 minutes and toss the rice with very light hands.

Spread a layer of prepared rice on the serving plate. Make a well in the centre and fill it with the shawarma chicken. Decorate with fresh cucumbers and salad leaves; garnish with fresh parsely and serve with the tahini yoghurt sauce.