Chicken Pita Pockets

Cuisines in every culture and tradition or every country have wonderful recipes to offer. Trying different cuisines around the world just makes you experience how amazing the world of flavor is. In a way, it makes you experience another culture. This recipe has a very middle eastern and Greek flavor. The reason or the inspiration behind trying these amazing Pita pockets was to serve my kids with more veggies.

Honestly, I feel that in today’s time everyone finds it difficult to have their kids finish veggies on their plate or just simply consume the basic portion recommended. Cooking Vegetable curries is a great option but when you have kids like mine, the curries cannot save your day either. Times like these are when this dish is a savior in every good way. The chicken is cooked with very little oil

Eating your way around the world is a fun thing you can do from home. Trying foods from different countries is also a great way to experience another culture. You can start with this chicken in pita pockets. This recipe is filled with loads of flavor plus its healthy too. Lunch or dinner, it’s always filling and nutritious. Greek flavor and will really fill you up. In fact, these serve as a lunch or dinner but could be an entire meal.

A pita pocket is the best sandwich bread you can use. Pita bread can easily be cut open. I usually prefer cutting it in half creating a pocket. Chicken pita pockets are a perfect example of how delicious veggies and chicken be while being healthy. Don’t get scared looking at the recipe or feel looking at the pics that the end product seems too complicated. This dish is easy, not super easy, and not something I would suggest to a beginner, but it’s still not too time-consuming, and if you follow each step as directed, your finished product would be fabulous. this works.

Honey Lemon Chicken Wings

Chicken Wings are an all-time favorite for everyone I know. I had never tried Chicken wings before I came to the USA. Our cuisine in India does not offer kebabs or appetizers using Chicken wings. Initially, Chicken wings were always something we ate outside. It’s not that I didn’t think of trying them but it’s just that Mr. Parveez and I as a couple liked Chicken wings but weren’t that huge of a fan. There was a halal restaurant that made Chicken wings with green masala and every once in a while we would go and enjoy the awesome wings. And, after a couple of years, the restaurant shut down.

Well, that didn’t really inspire me to start making my own Chicken wings. A few months later we discovered another wonderful Halal Gyro place that all make Hot saucy Chicken wings which were great, but with time the restaurant lost its taste of making good food. I believe the management changed and hired a new chef that couldn’t maintain the flavors. This is when I felt I should start making my own.

The first-ever Chicken wings I started making were the Buffalo Chicken wings. The kids loved it and it served as a great appetizer or a side dish for brunches and playdates. Once I spent few years making them and seeing fans increasing, I decided on experimenting with different flavors using wings. That’s when I made the green Chicken wings followed by the Special Haala’s hot saucy Chicken wings and finally these. The main reason behind trying these was that I wanted to come up with a recipe that has a little sweet and spicy taste. This recipe is great for people who find it hard to handle spices.

Why Wings?

Wings are cooked with skin and when pan-fried or deep-fried become crunchy. Any flavors, especially those that are saucy taste great with anything that is crisp.

Why use honey and not sugar?

Honey blends in better with spices than sugar. Sugar tends to crystallize or make the sauce more watery so, honey is the best option.

These wings are lightly sweet and lightly spicy which tantalize the taste buds in a way of playing hide and seek. Spicy and sweet together are a wonderful combination and if you combine that with Chicken wings, the crispy texture of the skin and the flavors mingled along with it are just beyond the word “delicious”. If you like Chicken wings, you should try this recipe.

Korean Chicken Bites

Asian food has so much variety. Chinese, Japanese, Indonesian, Thai, Malaysian, and Korean…. all different from each other yet so alike. We have tried all of them but just with seafood. I know it gets difficult to be a Muslim and practice the basics of eating only halal food. I have friends who seem to be comfortable with consuming non-halal Chicken and meat as well, but not us. I feel that when there are ways and options for us to follow these basics then we should.

Well, that doesn’t stop us from trying things we would love to. I believe that’s the best part about having strong taste buds and enjoy cooking. So, here I am with another mouthwatering recipe of a similar dish that I tried with scallops and loved them. I modified the recipe slightly. The scallops that I tried were not marinated or batter-fried, which to me was a little bland and all the flavor only came in through the sauce. The sauce was nice, not too spicy, just with a little kick. So, when I decided to make something similar using Chicken, I decided to add a little crunch and flavor. I, therefore, marinated the chicken, since Chicken has no flavor by itself and absorbs the flavors you add so adding little spice to Chicken is always mandatory. Even if you are adding chicken to noodles, always cook it with a little salt if nothing else.

This Chicken marination is with Buttermilk, chili flakes, onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper powder, white pepper powder, oregano, and salt. Leave it to marinate for at least an hour if not longer. Further roll the Chicken pieces in a mix of flour, salt, and corn starch powder and fry them. The sauce has crushed Garlic and Ginger, soya sauce, sesame oil, gochujang sauce [a sweet and spicy Korean sauce available easily in all Asian food markets], Honey, Brown sugar, vegetable oil, and Red chili flakes. I used scallions and sesame seeds for garnishing, but you can always add them to the sauce. I feel the scallions lose their crunch if mixed in the sauce.

Substitute for Buttermilk?

Take equal quantity of milk as of the Buttermilk required and add 1 tbsp of lemon juice to it. Mix well and add chicken to it.

The flavor of this Chicken is sweet and spicy which makes it an excellent choice for all taste buds of all ages unless someone cannot tolerate any spice at all. I find them a great choice for playdates and small get-together parties.

Cooking in advance

You can fry the chicken bites and keep them in the oven too. The oven needs to be preheated. Keep it on warm or at 200F. Anything above it would overcook the chicken making it chewy or burning it.

Chicken Veggies oven special

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.

This Chicken is marinated with spices making it flavorful. The spices can always be switched or played around with. I added Tandoori powder and Red chili powder to make the flavors a little more spicy, but you can always reduce the quantity or omit the spices altogether. I find this a great recipe for easy lunch and dinner.

Pasta with Garlic Chicken and Mushroom

This is a great recipe and cooks pretty quickly as well. I am not a fan of Alfredo sauce with my Pasta and honestly the boys were never big fans of cheese sauce either but when I came across dish that has Mushrooms and Chicken cooked with Garlic, it kind of sounded interesting.

So I got down to trying and cooking my own. I love Mushrooms, but the kids aren’t a big fan so the dish had to be interesting enough. Roasting garlic in the oven enhances the flavor in a dish. So, I roasted garlic with skin with olive oil, salt and pepper till its soft and mushy. Cook the chicken pieces in a pan with little oil, salt and pepper. Further adding butter and oil to the same pan and added the mushed garlic and a little chicken broth followed by mushrooms. After it comes to a boil added a little heavy cream and further the cooked chicken. I also added Red chili flakes and White pepper for extra flavor.

This dish can be served by itself or with Rice too, since its a little saucy, but I personally felt that it goes on best with pasta. I served it with Spaghetti Pasta and a side of Garlic bread. Trust me, my boys who do not like Mushroom at all loved this dish. This dish easily qualifies as an awesomely flavorful and delicious dish. The taste is that of a dish you’d get at a high end Italian restaurant. It might seem a little complicated but trust me if you follow the recipe and make it once, you will become pro and will manage making this dish in no time. This dish is actually perfect for those surprise dinner dates. This impresses anyone and everyone.

Chicken Broccoli and Rice

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.

Eating Green or eating more greens is always good and if you manage to make recipes that makes your kids consume more greens. This Chicken cooked with Broccoli is one such recipe. I serve it with boiled white Rice, but you can always serve it with Brown Rice, Quinoa or even Barley.

I like to mix and match veggies and I feel Broccoli, onions go really well with Chicken. Add little Olive oil to a pan, followed by chopped Garlic. Once the garlic changes color, add the boneless pieces of Chicken followed by chopped onions. Further season with Red chili flakes, Black pepper powder, Garlic powder, Onion powder, salt, cumin powder and paprika. Once the Chicken is cooked, add the chopped Broccoli and stir fry for 5-7 minutes and its ready to serve. Serve with cucumbers and Avocado on the side and boiled Rice. You can always choose to serve it with any other grain of your choice.

My purpose for introducing these meals on my website is to just make more people aware of the fact that eating healthy does not mean eating tasteless. You can always incorporate more vegetables in your diet with excellent flavors. I hope you enjoy this quick meal which is not only nutritious but also filling and delcious.

Chicken Ramen Noodles

This Japanese dish was made almost without any prep work. My boys watch some Japanese show which had the character in love with Ramen Noodles and the boys had been on about how delicious the dish looks. now, I have never tried Ramen Noodles only for a simple reason that we never find any Halal Japanese restaurants. And, honestly they never appealed me to try out the seafood version.

But is there any way I could have my boys think the same way. Oh! No, never. They are just out and about and want to try everything under the sky that’s religiously permissible. There are barely any restaurants that serve Halal Asian food around us and my boys are at an age where they really like trying different varieties and since, their mom can cook well and enjoys cooking different cuisines, they just trick me into trying everything they want.

So, I started looking into different recipes over the internet and with 3 hours for research. Yes, 3 hours is all I got because they just started behaving worse than me when I was pregnant with them. The more confusing part was that I didn’t even have basic ingredients. Most recipes I saw have Buk choy, Lemon grass, Broccoli but all I had was Spinach, carrots, Mushrooms, cabbage and zucchini. I could have added Onions, but I think onions have a pretty distinctively sharp taste and adding them to something that soupy. Also onions tend to get a bit too soft and the mushiness in the soup, so avoiding onions is better.

Though I am not a pro at cooking Japanese food, but I am becoming a big fan and try to make them as close to the actual food flavors as I can. A few changes here and there to make it more adaptive to our taste. This is one of the amazing ways of serving your kids more vegetables. Hope you like and enjoy it just the way we did.

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.

Malabar Shrimp Curry

Shrimps are one of my favorite kind of seafood and I would always try shrimps with new kind of gravies or new styles of marinade and fry them or grill them in different ways. Mr. Parveez always preferred eating an actual fish to eating shrimps. He finds Shrimps to be a little tasteless. So, when I started making Shrimp curries, he was still not a big fan. He would eat, but you know not really enjoy it as much as how I would like him to.

We watch a lot of travel shows and during one such show, the host happened to be travelling around restaurants in Kerala and one such restaurant was cooking Malabar shrimp curry. Now before anything let me tell you this. We were watching this program around an hour or so before dinner time. While the chef in the restaurant was showing how he prepares his special Shrimp curry, we were glued to the TV and wished we could see it live in person and have a bite of that scrumptious looking curry. Anyways, just as I mentioned that it was around an hour or so before dinner. Looking at that curry, I was determined that I have to try making it. Funny enough I remembered that my freezer has a pack of frozen shrimps. I always believe in miracles and this might have been one such lucky day. I got down to making it that very moment. The curry came out amazingly delicious and a family favorite too. Now the chef had only given in a rough idea on how to make the curry and few things that I have added to my curry recipe was not a part of the show that we watched. So, you might not find this different from an authentic Malabar Shrimp Curry, but you will definitely get the hint of Malabar flavors and savor each bite.

I deveined the shrimps but left the tail on. I feel it makes the shrimps look prettier in a curry, but you can always take the tail off if you prefer. After washing and pat drying, I marinated the shrimps in Ginger garlic paste, Red chili powder, Fennel seed powder, Tandoori powder, salt and lemon juice for 15-30 minutes. I also added a bunch of curry leaves. Further added some Rice flour, All purpose flour and corn starch powder and deep fried the shrimps. Frying makes the shrimps crunchy and the texture with the curry sauce is very flavorful.

To make the curry, add mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds along with dry round red chilies. Once they splutter, add curry leaves and further add chopped onions. Add ginger garlic paste followed by black pepper powder, Turmeric powder, Red chili powder, coriander powder, fennel seed powder, salt and cumin powder. Add the Dry red chili paste, tomato puree and green chilies along with fried shrimps and dry fenugreek leaves.

This shrimp curry is pretty easy and would make a special place in your menu. Its goes along great with garlic naan or plain naan and also Kerala Parantha.