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.

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.

Hot Chicken Sandwich

We all love sandwiches, specially hot/warm sandwiches if well made just make your taste buds dance and enjoy every bite. There are so many varieties that I make and my boys still never seem to have enough. I sometimes feel that they look at me and see a food invention machine because I work according to their wants and cravings and sometimes, invent something by mixing up 2-3 of their favorite flavors which makes up a new dish and is loved by all.

This Sandwich seems to be one of those. My boys are big fans of hot and saucy Chicken wings. Once when our nearest Halal grocery store was out of Chicken wings and my boys were craving them, I made Boneless chicken and mixed them up with Hot and spicy chicken wing sauce and they loved it. It was like an added variety which was created in a fluke. Not just the chicken wings and the boneless hot chicken stripes became popular in my house, even their friends started making requests to make them for play dates and I did.

After few weeks, and making multiple different sandwiches, I came up with the idea of hot chicken sandwich. Not sure how my critics [my husband and kids] would react, I made it without a discussion of what they would think of the combination. Trust me, this will just blow your mind and the people you make it for will not stop praising for serving them with something so wonderfully delicious.

The recipe is pretty simple to what it turns out to be. I am pretty sure if you ask someone to guess the recipe after the first bite, they will assume it to be something difficult, but honestly it’s pretty simple and easy to make and if you just follow the recipe steps as elaborated you will not just be able to serve a great sandwich, but also your chicken will have a super crunchy and crispy exterior and the inside will be juicy and flavorful.

So, basically to start with I cut the boneless chicken to thin long strips. I then marinate the chicken in egg, milk, lemon juice and spices for around an hour. You can definitely do it longer if you wish. Usually 30 minutes is fine too. Make sure the chicken is completely soaked in. After that the chicken has to be rolled in a mixture of flour, spice and crushed cornflakes. We then deep fry the chicken pieces. The sauce is made using hot sauce and butter. I also used extra red hot chili powder, which you can always omit if you do not prefer your hot chicken less spicy. Add the chicken pieces to the sauce and then add them to the long Italian bread along with sliced onions, garlic mayo sauce and shredded cheese. Let them bake in the oven at 350F for 8-10 minutes. Serve hot/warm. Enjoy!!!

Chicken Reshmi Seekh Kebab

Reshmi is an Indian word used for “silk”. Reshmi Kebab are silk textured, soft, juicy and delicious kebabs made with minced meat or chicken from the Mughal Kitchen. As the name depicts, Reshmi Kebab is juicy succulence of meat added to the skewers. The meat has to have a perfect texture thanks to the marinade in which it is soaked.

The problem with seekh kebab that usually happens is that it goes dry if the marinade isn’t good enough. A good marinade for seekh kebab cannot be too saucy or it will be hard to hold the seekh shape and it cannot be too dry or the seekh would not taste so good. As much as you have to be careful about the ingredients that go into the dish and a lot of times, I see people messing it up with the seekh breaking mid way while being cooked, the process is simple. A few tricks and you are good to go.

In this recipe, I added a paste of fried onions. Onions by itself release water when added to a dish so the best way to add onions to a dish when you want the flavor and fear the dish getting excess moisture is by frying the onions. The process of frying onions dries up the moisture. The fried onions also tend to get a little sweeter so, make sure you adjust the spices accordingly. When you grind the coriander leaves with mint leaves and chilies, make sure that you don’t add too much water. In fact, add water a drop at a time and avoid if not needed. The green paste doesn’t really have to be a paste, it can be roughly chopped paste.

If you follow the recipe properly, you will be able to achieve a perfect seekh kebabs and trust me, these ones are to die for. They are perfect, juicy and absolutely delicious. Enjoy!!!

Chicken Tikka Masala Curry

One dish that Indians hold steady fast too, specially when we are far from home is Chicken Tikka Masala. Be it Paneer Tikka masala or Chicken Tikka Masala, it never fails to satisfy our taste buds. And, I think that’s why they are a part of every party buffet.

This recipe is very close to the restaurant style Chciken Tikka masala that you’d find at restaurants and you can always substitute the chicken with paneer and follow the rest of the recipe as is to get the perfect restaurant dish.

This recipe is one of the Best Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe that you can cook with ease. The flavor is smoky and making this dish at home also gives you the benefit of eating clean and fresh. At present my reasons to try this dish is because its the quarantine period and as much as I enjoy cooking, I leave some dishes to the restaurant to enjoy some favorites outside the house. But since we hit the Covid-19 Quarantine period, I had to start cooking at home and with the high spiked taste buds of my kids, I got down to making an at home Chicken Tikka Masala curry.

Ingredients to make Chicken Tikka Masala Curry Recipe, we would require Yogurt, I prefer the thick greek yogurt but you can always use the regular yogurt and hang it for 30 minutes to an hour. The thick yogurt helps adding a lot of creaminess to the curry. Boneless Chicken thighs work best for the recipe. A lot of times I have been asked why I prefer Boneless thighs over Boneless chicken breast and my answer is simple, that chicken breast tends to get dry quickly and specially with gravy dishes, Chicken breast fails to absorb the juices from the gravy.

The chicken needs to be marinated in ginger garlic paste, lemon juice, salt, vegetable oil and tikka masala spice mix to marinate the chicken. You’d require onions, whole spices, tomatoes [chopped and pure’ed] , chilies, ginger garlic paste and the regular spices as red chili powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder and tikka masala powder, along with honey, kasuri methi and cream.

Kaju Chicken Curry

Cashews are my favorite dry fruits. I can eat them raw, fried, baked, salty, sweet. You name it and I can eat it. So, with my love for cashews, I also enjoy their flavor in my curries. Addition of cashews makes the curry milder, thicker and a little sweeter. Its a good substitute to cream as well. I am not a big fan of using cream in my dishes, I mean I do but as little as possible and mostly its for decoration purposes.

So cashews do mostly make the gravy mild and the sauce turns a little more thicker, but the fact is that you can not put in more than 10-12 cashews pieces, soak them and grind them and add them to the gravy. Be it any curry, adding cashews does add a lot of life and adding a little more makes the flavor of cashews more prominent.

This recipe is one of those where I added more than usual cashews and the curry base has a very strong taste of cashews. Other ingredients have also been pureed to add a balance. In usual recipes that I come up with I also suggest substitutes and for this one, if you aren’t a big fan of Cashew or happen to have any allergies, You can follow the recipe the same way with Almonds. The only stipulation is that you need to soak the almonds and take the skin off. The recipe is easy and has been my kids favorite for quiet some time.

Butter Chicken

Never met anyone who doesn’t like Butter Chicken. Simple, flavorful and so divine. But most of time people never try and make it at home and Butter Chicken becomes an eat out special. Many times I have read where people tried the recipe following a famous chef, but the dish still does not come out as good as the ones at restaurant.

The recipe below and simple to make and the closest you can get to the authentic Butter Chicken flavor.

Murgh Paras Kebab and Murgh Laal Tikka

My love for Mughlai dishes is hard to go unnoticed. The kebabs are not just delicious but also easier to make. The  marination are pretty easy and usually its only leaving marination for a longer time that infuses the flavor in your meat or chicken and gives out  fabulous taste.

I am not too sure about the origin of these dishes but I believe looking at the ingredients, it look that influence is more from the  middle east. A lot of Afghani Kebabs do have a similar taste. The great thing about middle eastern kebabs are that they are an excellent option even if you are dieting. You get great great tasting food without compromising on flavors.

Murgh Paras kebab and Murgh laal tikka are both wonderful for small parties, I mean an evening tea/coffee party or a small get together or even those friends who announce their arrival 2 hours before and prefer being treated with something special.  For all those occasions that come without notice or giving you time to decide, this is a go to dish.

Murgh Laal Surkh Tikka

I first tried something like this in 2009 when we took a trip to Agra. The Mughal Sheraton was just not a super cozy and comfortable hotel but also the chefs there served amazing delicacies and this dish was one of those that I tried.

The first look at the dish makes you feel that it must be somewhere close to Tandoori chicken but its only when you taste it, is when you realize that both dishes are not even faintly close and share no resemblance in taste. While Tandoori is all spice and cooked on grill, this dish contains corn starch and is pan or tava fried.

The funny coincidence is that 2 years after we visited Agra is when I finally got down to trying this dish and funny enough, I do not remember the original name of the dish. This is pretty close to what we have tasted but then again this is my version and recipe. My friends and family always loved it and so I am sharing what is different and a truly fantastic recipe.