Chicken Kulthi Curry [Kutt ka Salan]

Some dishes sound absolutely weird, but when you taste them, they are so amazingly delicious. This is dish is one such dish too. So, initially, when I heard from my husband that some lentils are cooked with Chicken and the curry tastes amazing, I would just think that he likes the taste because he grew up eating certain foods and therefore likes them but cooking Chicken with lentils is such a waste of Chicken.

Now, let me get to the root of the “Dish story”. The lentils used in this are horse gram and though I make everything from scratch and trust me, it isn’t very difficult to do, but back home in Bangalore, they get it from horse stables. Yeah, you read that right. The horse gram is soaked and boiled and the extra water in which it’s boiled is what they get home while the horse gram is served to the horses. That liquid with little horse gram is used to cook chicken and makes this delicious dish.

I had never tried this dish in Bangalore, and honestly, I never looked forward to trying it either since it never sounded so tempting. But one fine day, we find the horse gram daal in our local grocery store. Mr. Parveez sure got excited, but this meant we had to start from scratch and we had no idea how to get the daal at that cooking stage. That’s when one of my sister in law’s suggested that I should soak the daal overnight and then boil it with turmeric powder, cumin powder, salt, and Red chili powder until soft. Though she asked me to use the water with 25% of the daal and discard the rest. I decided on keeping the daal and grinding it to the paste.

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.

Andhra Shrimp Dry

Shrimps are always easily loved by everyone. My first time trying shrimp wasn’t really good. I honestly hated them to the extent of puking out my first bite. I was 8 years old and we visited some family friends in Mumbai [Bombay then]. The family invited us for dinner and one of the dishes they cooked was Shrimp curry. I still remember that the flavor of the curry was mild and I didn’t like it one bit and promised never to have it again.

My second time was after I was in my early twenties and I visited Mumbai again with my parents and my father took me to this small restaurant somewhere in Juhu. My father ordered a dish called Tandoori shrimp and Oh my God!!! I cannot thank my Late father enough to make me try that. It just washed away all the memories of my first time and I was in love with shrimps. Before all this let me tell you that my hometown Jodhpur barely has any fresh seafood and Shrimp is out of the picture altogether, even to date. So, I never tried anything in my hometown ever.

Once married, I came to the USA and being Muslims, we only consumed halal food or sea food. With seafood, Shrimps were my favorite and after some time, I started trying different recipes with Shrimps at home. Initially, it was Pasta using Shrimps or sandwiches or rolls and wraps and soon, I got down to curries and kebabs.

This recipe is using Andhra style of cooking which makes it spicy, crispy and delicious. I used loads of curry leaves, mustard seeds, Red chilies and various other spices. This dish is easy to make and goes great as side dish with simple food like Daal Chawal.

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 ke Sholay

With wide variety of Chicken Kebabs that we try every now and then, some cooked at home and some eaten at restaurants. This Kebab dish is from one of our favorite restaurants, which has quiet a few branches around New Jersey and a few neighboring states. This Kebab was always a family favorite and a dish we regularly ordered.

And then for some reason the restaurant nearest to our house shut down. Now, for people who live or have been to United states know that nothing is “close”, but when we think 5 miles, we mean its close. So, we basically didn’t have any of the restaurant branch anywhere close which definitely makes us sad, but there is always an option to try and make what we like. I feel this is sometimes a test just to prove ourselves our caliber.

So, I got down to trying out making these awesome bites of goodness. It did take a few trials but I think the perks of being in love with your food and being able to play with your spices makes you enjoy cooking food that satisfies your taste buds. The hard part is to just try and get the correct amount of spices to make a dish taste exactly like how we have eaten. The best part is that these experiments make get some wonderful dishes to your dining table which are always a delight and loved.

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.

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.

Murgh Darbari Tangdi Kebab

As the name suggests, this recipe is from the era of Mughals and I believe must have been a favorite of Mughal Emperor, Shehenshah Akbar. Going through history, its amazing to read of how different ingredients were introduced at different times. Like spices or khada Masala, like cinnamon, bay leaves or cardamoms and cloves were never a part of the Indian cuisine and were brought in by the Mughals when they migrated to India. I believe there has been no other clan unlike the Mughals who not only brought in so much with them but also adapted the cultures of India and settled with the people and built families.

Where the spices were brought in by the Mughals, India already had food enhancing flavors like Turmeric, red chilies, coriander etc. Mixed together, the food that came out was super amazing like this kebab or a lot of Biryanis that I share on this website.

The super amazing cuisines that we taste at so many restaurants today have been fusion dishes of the old era which apparently weren’t recorded under the term “fusion”. The acceptance of a culture, embracing the traditions, values and flavors and giving the best of what we have does not only result in super new flavors but also becomes a part of our cuisines for the coming generations . For me reading history about a dish is as fascinating as trying to cook a dish.

This recipe of chicken kebabs comes from the era of Mughals. I know, most all kebabs do. Kebabs are a gift to the food world by the Middle East. The variety, the flavors and the fact that they are grilled in different ways can leave your taste buds joyful and crave for more.

I believe for a fact that when the Mongolians and the Persians rulers came to India, it wasn’t an invasion. I know during that era it does look like an invasion because all the wars were for power and land and the greed to appear mightier and stronger than other rulers always seemed to drive warriors crazy where they seemed to be baffled by the prosperity of the neighboring kingdoms and invasion seemed to be the only way to satisfy your hunger for more.  But, leaving all that aside, the Mughals brought in a lot of architectural science, spices and methods of cooking. They came to settle and make India more diverse and that’s what I fail to see in Indian news today.

I am proud to be an Indian, a country where friendship and mutual respect comes much before religion. Where Eid is celebrated with as much love as Diwali. Where Hindus are always at your house on Eid to taste awesome Biryani and your mom makes sure she cooks vegetarian food separately for your 2 vegetarian friends. Where stories of Jodha Akbar is less of Akbar, the Emperor who invaded India and more of the love between a Mughal Emperor and a Rajput Queen. India a country, that proves its a place accepting all religions and stands tall with its cultural heritage. With all that, food plays a very important role. The spices like cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and saffron changed the complete look of flavors and when mixed with Indian chilies, the result was food from Paradise.

This recipe goes back to the era of Akbar and Jodha. The story suggests that Emperor Akbar had a great taste in food and his Kitchens had the most exclusive dishes made, vegetarian and Non vegetarian. Queen Jodha also seemed to have a great interest in cooking the best dishes and made sure that the chefs prepare dishes according to his taste. This recipe comes in as one of his favorites.

Now, with the history books I read, I do get an idea of the ingredients but they aren’t a 100% of what were used in the original recipe. Therefore, these recipes are mine but they should be close to what the original food must have tasted. Each recipe that I share can have common ingredients, but they are completely different for each other. The only way you can find out is by trying. Hope you enjoy these Kebabs as much as I did.

Lobster Curry

My love for Lobster curry began in 2012 on our first visit to Kerala. We stayed in a houseboat in Alleppey. The backwaters with the perfect weather in Kerala. We were their around the Christmas time and I feel that that’s the best weather to visit Kerala. During our visit and stay at the houseboat, the host made amazing Kerala cuisine including loads of varieties of seafood. That’s where I tried Lobster curry for the first time.

I had tried Lobsters before at loads of seafood restaurants but they were all mildly cooked and had no spice except garlic and salt. The Lobster curry was beyond my expectations and outstandingly delicious. The houseboat had 3 guys responsible for cleaning, cooking and maintenance. Being there was one of the best vacations we ever had. The weather, the backwaters, the walks in the greenery and the hospitality all made our stay memorable.

Now after tasting the awesome Lobster curry, I had to request for the recipe and our host gladly gave it away. Thought the recipe given was rough but it was enough for me to understand and make this super delicious recipe.

The original recipe is made using coconut oil. I made mine in Olive oil since I don’t use coconut oil. I don’t think it makes much difference to the recipe, except making it less coconuty. Since I add coconut milk as well, it adds a perfect flavor to compliment the rest of the ingredients, but you can always cook in coconut oil if you prefer. There are few changes as well that I made to the recipe and therefore I cannot really call it a dish from Kerala.

I clean the Lobsters at home if I have to order them for home delivery, which of course is a preferred source these days, but usually if you happen to go to the Fish market and pick your own Lobsters, you can always have them cut the claws and cut it from the middle. I partially boil my lobsters with Turmeric powder and salt so they don’t smell musky. Then to cook the curry, I add Black seeds and curry to the oil followed by onions. Once the onions turn transparent, add Ginger Garlic paste along with spices and fennel powder. I think fennel powder adds a lot of freshness to a dish, specially when its seafood. Add coconut milk or coconut puree along with Tomato Puree and once everything blends and comes together, add the Lobsters and let it cook for another 10-12 minutes and your curry will be ready.

The Lobster curry seems difficult and hard to make but honestly, it takes less time than a chicken curry and looks super fancy on the dining table. This recipe can be used for cooking Crabs as well. You can always substitute Lobster with crab. Hope you enjoy cooking this dish and love it as much as my family and I do.

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.