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.

Garlic Lemon Butter Tilapia with Shrimp

Seafood has amazing recipes. I usually don’t enjoy baked fish, as I feel baking tends to make the fish dry but this recipe for baked fish is just outstanding. This recipe doesn’t require any mayonnaise, or cheese, or any kind of flour or bread crumbs. All you need is butter, lemon, garlic, a few spices, and salt. This Fish by itself is also Keto friendly. I paired the fish with baby potatoes, asparagus, and mushrooms. I also cooked the Fish and shrimp with bell pepper and jalapenos. But the choice of vegetables is always a personal choice. You can always substitute the vegetables you like. This dish is super simple, low carb, gluten-free, and amazingly delicious.

What kind of Tilapia is good?

If you have a store that sells fresh and clan fish, there can be nothing better. That kind of seafood is the best in quality. But mostly, the fish that I buy, especially Tilapia is frozen which is good too. There is always a possibility that any fish you buy has been frozen at some point in order to keep it fresh for transport.

Frozen fish sometimes are better than the Fish that appear fresh but you don’t see them live. Frozen fish is said to be freezer right after the catch, therefore feel absolutely sure to use the fish that is frozen since it is just as good to use as a live fish, and in most cases better than fish from the counter.

Tilapia is generally best and healthy if it’s wild-caught which is the case with most seafood. Farm-raised fish is also considered very healthy. Tilapia is a great source of protein. Though if you are buying farm-raised fish, make sure you check the reputation of the farm and the kind of feed they use for their fish.

I used Shrimp for some extra flavor which I feel goes fabulously with Tilapia. Baked or grilled veggies are a great source of fiber and fill you up too. This dish is great for kids too. The dish is filling, healthy, and low in carbs. Enjoy!!!

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.

Tava Tangdi Chicken Kebab

My experiments for Kebabs always have to be innovative, different and always have to be super delicious in taste. My boys love different styles of Kebabs and always look forward to trying different varieties and I believe that’s what pushes me to try different styles.

After making so many different styles of Chicken Kebabs, it does get hard for you to come up with something different with the same set of masalas. I mean its the same spices, yet playing around with them, adding them at different times at different cooking stages makes a huge difference in the flavor of a dish.

These kebabs barely need any marinating time which makes it better for people who are trying to serve something easy and fancy and decide at the last minute or for all those times when we have uninvited relatives/guests who come unannounced, but expect a wonderful menu. For all those times, these kebabs come in very handy.

These kebabs can be made without an oven and the ingredients are also not too fancy. Though I have used Chicken Legs and names them Tangdi Kebab, but you can always use other Chicken pieces or even boneless Chicken and follow the recipe. In case you use this recipe for boneless chicken, try using Boneless thigh/Leg meat and not the Breast. The Chicken Breast meat might be too thick and chewy for this recipe and since the Chicken isn’t marinated for too long and the choice of spices isn’t too fancy either, it might be hard for the juices to get inside the Chicken Breast meat.

This recipe is great for Beginners and Bachelors and pretty easy to impress a crowd by new chefs. Try it today and leave me a feedback as well. Enjoy!!!

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.

Bangalore Muslim Kheema

Kheema curry can be made in so many different styles. Growing up in Rajasthan, I had either tried the Kheema made at home by my Mom, which was a must for picnics and Road trips. My mom would made Kheema with Aaloo and Kheema with matar. There were never Kheema made with multiple vegetables together. I heard my mother also mention that my grandmother enjoyed adding cauliflower to Kheema, which I don’t remember trying it and honestly could’t get myself to making it since Mr. Parveez isn’t a cauliflower fan.

And then came Kheema curry that we would eat in Puraani Dilli, Jama Masjid area for breakfast when we went to Delhi and one of my other favorite was Mumbai Kheema Paav. I will be posting that recipe soon along with the recipe of the Paav. Both of those were my absolute favorite and I would look forward to them. Hot Tandoori Roti in Delhi as an early morning breakfast with Kheema, Nahari or Paaye makes anyoone’s morning special. Mumbai Kheema Paav on the other hand has Tomato base and mostly made of Chicken.

But this recipe is completely different from all of them. This recipe comes from Mr. Parveez’s family and its a recipe that most Bangalore Muslims make for Kheema. The recipe comes from Mr. Parveez’s Mom to us and we proudly call it “Ammi wala Kheema”. So, basically its chopped onions cooked with some whole spices in oil/ghee, with Ginger garlic paste, Goat Kheema, spices and tomato. Along with all these, there are a ton of veggies that make their way to this Kheema, potatoes, Beans, Fenugreek leaves and Dill leaves. This Kheema recipe is great for Breakfast, but tastes great even for 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.

Cod Fish with Roasted Veggies

We love all kinds of Sea Food. Curries, Fried, Grilled, any which way we love them. This dish makes a great option if you are on a diet, or looking for low carb options or following keto recipes. This is a quick recipe for lunch and a super nutritious one too.

I used Frozen cod but if you have fresh Cod available, that would be great. My boys love fish and grilled veggies or just cold salads on the side of a pan fried fish. These kind of dishes are easy, scrumptious, fits the budget, healthy and delicious. This is a perfect recipe when you are running short on time.

I use basic spices like Red chili flakes, Garlic powder, Onion powder, White pepper powder and Tandoori masala. I also added some dry parsley for flavor. You can always mix and match and use the spices you like. I personally don’t like much of cinnamon or Red chili powder on cod fish. I also feel that Black pepper makes it a little bitter so I prefer white pepper powder. Add a little Lemon juice and the marination is just perfect.

I grill or saute the bell peppers and Asparagus in the same pan as the fish once i am done cooking the fish. I feel it adds a lot of flavor from the fish and the spices to the vegetables. This is a great dish if you want to involve your budding teenagers and teach them easy and quick dishes.

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.