Maa’s Tikka Boti

As the name suggests, this recipe comes from my Mother.

Maa’s Tikka Boti is called Tikka Boti at my mom’s place. This recipe is very close to my heart and one of my most favorite. My mother, once when she went for a vacation to Mumbai, then Bombay tried something from an Iranian cafe. Now Iranian cafes in Mumbai have food to die for, especially the non-vegetarians. Iranian kheema paav is one of my most favorite dishes as well.

So, getting back to my mom’s trip. She tried a chicken roll from the cafe and though she couldn’t have asked for the recipe, but with what she tasted, she calculated roughly and started making this dish and this was one dish I always loved having. For the years, I always felt there should be more occasions when this should be made. I feel there was so much effort that went into making this dish that my mom always found it tough to make it on a random day and probably somewhere felt more acknowledged when there were more people around to appreciate the effort. Therefore, this was strictly only made on get-togethers. I feel that was just a way of thinking and also a shortage of resources. Like, when I was a kid back in India, the kitchens weren’t airconditioned plus the region I belonged to was hot, and cooking in those extreme temperatures was more than tough.

Now things are so much more convenient and easier for those who want to cook at home. So, here I am with a recipe most loved by me and everyone who has tasted it, from my mother’s kitchen. The recipe is pretty simple and if you find it hard to make Rotis at home, you can always get store-bought rotis and spread some whisked egg over it and fry from both sides.

Is this dish different from Kathi Roll?

Not really. It’s different since I have not seen eggs being spread on Kath rolls and the parantha that they make is also a little different. I like both, they are made differently and have their own special flavor.

I just happen to love this more since this dish brings me beautiful memories and the flavors are just reminders of pure mother love.

This dish is great for school/office lunches, an easy road trip lunch/dinner.

Chicken Veggie Wrap

With all the different kinds of foods that we consume, at times you just feel that your tummy needs a break. You feel you need more veggies, less oil, fewer carbs, in all just a healthy meal. But, the problem that people like me face is that we also need something that tastes scrumptious and good along with all the health benefits.

Specially, if you have children as demanding as mine, you basically fight a battle. When the demand is to make veggies look more appealing and to make their protein go leaner without them noticing. That’s when dishes like this are invented.

Now this isn’t your regular Chicken veggie wrap. Its a little different. The wrap that I have used is not a Tortilla, though you can always use a home made/ store bought Tortilla. The Chicken I used is boneless thigh meat, but you can also use Chicken breast. I cooked it with little Olive oil, Garlic powder, Onion powder, Red chili flakes and white pepper powder with Vinegar. Once the Chicken was cooked, add Bell peppers and Onions. Further, just add hot sauce to add a little zing. Wrap everything in lettuce leaves with some onions and chilies/jalapenos and further in a roti or whole wheat tortilla with some garlic Mayo sauce and enjoy the scrumptious bites of goodness and health.

Chicken Quesadilla

These are delicious wraps with spicy pan fried chicken and cheese that come together in under 30-40 minutes. This is something that will make your children ask for more. They are easy to make and can also be made partly ahead of time. These little scrumptious bites are something you will fall in love with.

For Chicken, you can use Rotisserie chicken or any chicken that’s left over, or any grilled chicken or even chicken kebabs. I cooked my chicken in a tex mex style. I cooked the chicken with some onions and green chilies and added Paprika, cumin powder, chili flakes, cumin powder, Garlic powder, Onion powder and Dry parsley. I also added little Apple cider vinegar and hot sauce to spike it up a little. Just cook everything till the chicken dries up and the sauce coats the chicken completely.

The quesadilla can always be made from store bought Tortilla. I made mine at home with All purpose flour and Corn flour. They are pretty easy to make as long as you have a Tortilla maker. Once you make the Tortilla, add some cooked chicken and cheese, fold them up and place them in the oven for 10 minutes.

The quesadillas can be cut into two to make them look nicer while serving. These quesadillas are scrumptious, filling, easy to make and scrumptious.

Puraani Dilli Ka Burrah Kebab

Puraani Dilli or Old Delhi is an awesome place for food. I believe being a central place that connects Punjab, U.P., Rajasthan, Bihar and also being close to Kashmir, it has people from all neighboring states. Hence, there is a medley of food. My dad took a lot of trips to Delhi for work. Even we as a family, would be visiting the capital of India quiet often since back in the 80’s and 90’s, we didn’t have the concept of direct trains from one city to another. So, we would take a train to Delhi and then another one to the destination. Since, My maternal family lived in U.K., dropping someone off to Delhi or picking them up from Delhi or we visiting our maternal home was always a trip through Delhi.

Now, being a non vegetarian, purani delhi is the place to be. Despite the crowd, the pollution and uncountable hygiene issues, every non veg lover at some point visited “jama masjid area” to satisfy their cravings. We did that on almost every trip and my father tried it at least twice each time, if not more. Some very popular restaurants serve awesome and delicious kebabs and curries with sheermaal, roomali roti and finger licking biryani.

Amongst the various variety of kebabs, Burrah kebabs stole my heart. Made from lamb/Goat meat marinated for a few hours, these kebabs are juicy, crunchy and full of beautiful flavors. So I had to search for the recipe. Though the recipe that I found wasn’t close to what my taste buds witnessed as a kid but being a home chef I knew how to add and deduct things and come out with the exact taste.

Dilli ka Burrah Kebab also has a funny story connected to it. I suffered from Typhoid and I was forced fed all the food without oil or spice for days and when it got over and I fully recovered, the doctor asked me a simple question, “What is the first thing you would like to eat?” and I said, “Burrah Kebab”. Of course the doctor had no clue what a seven year old was saying but my parents couldn’t stop laughing realizing how tortured I was after the sickness.

This is a must try for people who love Mutton kebabs. Pretty easy to make and can be stored too.

Indonesian Chicken Satay

Most South East Asian countries offer their version of Chicken Satay. Though I have never visited any of the countries [despite they are so close to India], from what I have watched and read, its a popular street food. This one is the Indonesian version and to me, is the easiest, you can get everything you need from the supermarket, simple to put together and simply delicious. The kebabs have a peanut sauce mixed in the marination and I find peanut butter to be an awesome substitute.

Satay Chicken is more known as Malaysian and Thai, though Indonesia is actually the country that came up with the dish. All these countries have their own recipes and versions of these wonderful dish. I will be sharing Malaysian Chicken satay as well. I am a big fan of Malaysian food but for some reason always find it easier to make the Indonesian version of Chicken Satay, since its easy and scrumptious and my kids love it.

When I was looking into the various chicken Satay recipes, I realized that even though they all had very close similarities, they all taste entirely different and are easily distinguishable. The Indonesian version is easier and kind of a little faster than the other.

The Peanut Sauce in the recipe has been substituted with Peanut butter and if you happen be someone who prefers going more authentic, you can always try getting some peanut sauce from the Asian market. The traditional Peanut sauce is made by grinding Peanuts, soy sauce, Hot peppers, baby onions and lemon together. The paste is usually thick and water is only used little at a time. if you plan to make yours at home, I suggest you to use peanuts without skin, and use dry Red chilies as an option for hot peppers. Lemon juice and little water as needed. Just using a blender to combine everything together.

Since I use Peanut butter, I add Red chili flakes, sugar, soy sauce and lemon juice separately. I feel marinating the chicken pieces together with all the spices and Peanut butter does an amazing job and makes the dish deliciously flavorful. I have made thise for school lunches, home lunches, small gathering and for pot luck. It has always been loved and appreciated and its a super amazing recipe to bookmark and pass on. Enjoy!!!

Lahori Chicken Chargah

Lahori Chargah Chicken is one of the easiest and yummiest kebabs that I make. I believe there are few different recipes for Lahori Chargah and you might find some recipes different from what I make. My recipe is based on the first and the only Lahori Chargah I have tried.

There was a small restaurant that we used to go to when my first born was a few months old. We had a pediatrician for him who had her office pretty far from our house. Now those days, I wasn’t driving hence we always had to get a weekend appointment since it would otherwise be hard for Mr. Parveez. For some reason we always got an afternoon appointment and despite the appointment and reaching there on time. The lady who ran it had a very limited menu, one kind of Biryani, 2-3 curries and 1-2 kinds of Kebabs. This happened to be one of them that we really loved and this was a part of our regular order. She also made a different kind of Biryani which we later on found out that she actually didn’t make it herself , but used to get from a near by restaurant. We still loved going to the little cozy restaurant as we were pretty satisfied with the little menu with simple dishes, until one day she decided to move and close the restaurant.

That’s when my search for making a perfect Chicken Chargah started. I saw a famous brand name that sold Chicken Chargah masala, so I bought it and followed the instructions. Now knowing how particular Mr. Parveez and I are about the store bought Masalas, we couldn’t really continue with the box Masalas and I had to get down to figuring out and making my own masalas at home and following the flavor, I actually did. Its amazing how flavors communicate with your taste buds and I believe communication is the key to every successful relationship, be it any.

So, there I was mixing in my Roasted cumin powder, Black Pepper, Red Chili Powder, White Pepper Powder and Tandoori Powder with Apple cider Vinegar and Ginger Garlic Paste. The reason for using both Black Pepper and White Pepper is that adding too much of Black pepper tends to make the food bitter, so adding a little gives you the kick and adding White Pepper along side gives you flavor similar to Black Pepper without adding the bitterness to the food. Chargah is usually made using whole chicken but I always use Chicken legs, as I find them better and easier to serve. So, make them anyway you like and enjoy.

Shredded Chicken Burger

My boys prefer home lunches and also love varieties for their lunch. When I use the word variety, I mean that they would not want a dish to be repeated in 2-3 weeks and believe it or not, its a lot of pressure to make something that tastes great and that they would love it as well.

These chicken buns are easy to make and can be easily made by beginners as well. The chicken does not have to marinated for too long and even the process of marination is with pretty simple ingredients. This is great dish if you have boneless chicken available and haven’t thought of anything in mind, and need to get things ready in a rush.

My boys prefer this in the hot dog bun Sandwich, but this chicken would taste great even with a tortilla and Roti wrap too. I have tried them with ciabatta, french long bread and croissants as well.

I usually make this and serve it with a different spicy sauce . The recipe for the spicy sauce is in the sauce section. A blend of mayo, ketchup, hot sauce and mustard sauce goes perfectly with this spicy shredded chicken to give that kick to this sandwich.

Chicken Chatpata Dry Curry

In the world of flukes, the only things that keep you happy are genuine relationships found in fluke and recipes made in fluke. As much as people who you meet in a fluke become an integral part of your life, some recipes also become super special and your rush time go to save me ones.

A wise man once told me that a relationship should always be crystal clear, with nothing to hide and everything to tell. I think a recipe should always be the same too. And, since I find myself an expert at discussing food, I introduce one of my most awesome fluke recipes Chicken Chatpata Gravy.

So this is how the story goes, my boys on one fine beautiful weekend, stuck at home… Ohh!!! No, this is before the pandemic hit, good old days. We were stuck because one or both had some classes at odd hours and it would take a lot of time for me to drive #1 and then #2 and also feed them junk on the way with the hunger pangs, which seem to appear every hour. And, lets not forget the “can you make something different” demands. So, this dish was invented on one of those “different” making days by a clueless mom aka me, determined to impress my biggest critics and fans, my 2 boys.

I had chicken with bones and I tried mixing in spices with fresh coriander leaves and slit green chilies. Adding Greek Yogurt and ginger garlic paste with Red chili flakes and Vinegar added a lot of spike and flavor to the dish. The start to finish of the dish did not take me too long and this can definitely be made in a 30 minute time limit. And the taste oozes with different flavors in your mouth hence “chatpata”.

Trying to make it look a little different and for some reason the taste reminded me of chicken curry cooked back home during Eid, I tried serving this the same way. While growing up, on an Eid afternoon my cousins would make a curry in a jiffy and serve it on a huge platter with Rotis on the bottom and curry on top and all of us would sit together in eat. I think that was fun and somewhere I do miss it. So, this dish made me try the serving technique with my boys and they had fun eating.

Kaleji Fry

Kaleji/ Liver of Lamb is a pretty popular dish in India, mostly served in Indian Muslim restaurants. Kaleji, Bheja, Paaya, Haleem, Nahari and a few others, are all staple Muslim non vegetarian dishes. With Muslim specialty dishes I mean that you will never find any high class Non vegetarian restaurant serving these. I mean forget high class, you won’t find any non vegetarian restaurant except for that belonging to a Muslim serving authentic Muslim dishes. Now, I never understood the reason behind it. I feel if you can make Biryani, curries, Kebabs then why not Kaleji, but with time I realized that these dishes have to be made a certain way and if you miss the trick, you lose the taste. So, I believe because our community sees our moms and grandmothers cooking them at home, we have the knack to cook it. Besides that, most people would not be very found of trying authentic dishes.

I always tell Mr. Parveez that I enjoy Chinese food more in India than USA. His reply is that Chinese or for that matter even Italian food served in any country beside China or Italy is nowhere close to authentic, which is very true. The indianised Chinese food is so good that I feel if a Chinese tries it someday will definitely settle down in India. Or if the Italians ever tried our wonderful Paneer tikka Pizza or the Tandoori chicken Pizza…LOLzzz.

Coming back to my Kaleji Fry, if you are a Muslim, you know it and if you aren’t and you happen to have Muslim friends, you would know this too. Kaleji Fry is one of the most awaited dishes in our homes, specially on Eid. I mean I can have it all year round except the high cholesterol part scares me and I pretty happy having it 4-5 times every year.

Kaleji/ Liver is served in the west too with some restaurants serving it in sandwiches. I have never tried those so I don’t really have an idea of how good they are but I believe if they are not cooked with spice, I might not be able to enjoy them much. The texture and the flavor would enhance with spice and without it, the Liver itself has a very strong flavor which will overcome all other things you put along with it.

Kaleji fry made on Eid brings me happy memories of back home, sharing food with my cousins and looking forward to getting money on Eid and then making plans on how to spend it. Kaleji was one dish that we all looked forward to and no matter where we were, would always be present to be on the table at lunch because our favorite Kaleji would be served.

The dish is pretty easy and makes an excellent Suhoor or Iftaar dish for Ramadan as well. And of course, it has to be one of the side dishes for Eid, thats mandatory. The Kaleji should be not overcooked so it doesn’t become rubbery, just a few minutes after it changes color, you kind of know its cooked. Always try and get fresh kaleji from the meat store if you are buying it. It goes great with Pita bread or phulkas.

Pull Apart Long Buns

My boys prefer home lunches and also love varieties for their lunch. When I use the word variety, I mean that they would not want a dish to be repeated in 2-3 weeks and believe it or not, its a lot of pressure to make something that tastes great and that they would love it as well.

These chicken buns are easy to make and can be easily made by beginners as well. The chicken does not have to marinated for too long and even the process of marination is with pretty simple ingredients. This is great dish if you have boneless chicken available and haven’t thought of anything in mind, and need to get things ready in a rush.

My boys prefer this in the hot dog bun Sandwich, but this chicken would taste great even with a tortilla and Roti wrap too. I have tried them with ciabatta, french long bread and croissants as well.

I usually make this and serve it with a different spicy sauce . The recipe for the spicy sauce is in the sauce section. A blend of mayo, ketchup, hot sauce and mustard sauce goes perfectly with this spicy shredded chicken to give that kick to this sandwich.