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 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.

Kolkata Chicken Roll

We love Chicken rolls. Those of you who read my blog and follow my recipes would know that I love different styles of Chicken wraps, be it a Chicken Roll or Burrito or Tacos. I think the love for Chicken rolls came from my Mom. During one of her trips to Mumbai, she had tried some Mutton Tikka boti rolls at a Parsi eatery and tried reinventing them at home which is actually loved by the whole family.

So, when I came across a wonderful pictures of Kolkata Chicken Roll, I had to give it a try. The flavor of Kolkata roll is not just different, it actually bombards your taste buds with a joy ride of different things. From what I have read, its pretty renowned and a popular street food in Kolkata. Though I have never been to Kolkata, there is something about the food and culture that connects me to it and I find it amazingly attractive. Recipes like this are so easy and fuss free that while it connects you to your roots, which is just so important for people like me who live so far off from their home country, but also makes it easy for your kids to eat. Its healthy, nutritious and perfect for on the go too.

I grew up eating and loving my mother Tikka Boti Roll, which she initially only made with meat but then also started making with Chicken and I loved both. I have always been a fan of being able to make something that was good for road trips. See, some trips allow you to stop by at hotels on the way, but not all and for those trips or those after game hunger pangs while you might be stuck in heavy traffic, these are the recipes that just don’t come handy but also are flavorfully satisfying.

I marinated the Boneless Chicken with Salt, Ginger garlic paste, Lemon Juice and Yogurt. Spices I used were Fenugreek leaves, Tandoori powder, Red chili powder, cumin powder and fennel powder. Chicken can be marinated and left in the refrigerator overnight but if you are short on time, it can also be marinated for 30-45 minutes.

This recipe might not be exactly same as what you might have experienced in Kolkata, if you have been lucky enough to try the street food there, but after the numerous trials and efforts made by me and going through uncountable recipes of different kinds, I managed to stick to this one for the Kolkata Chicken rolls. I am not too sure how the Chicken rolls are different from the Kolkata egg rolls, but my mom would always spread some egg was on the Roti and fry it for the Tikka Boti so I did the same thing for my recipe and I feel the taste is deliciously enhanced. This recipe is inspired by numerous flavors that I have tried all my life and I feel with the numerous trials that I have made, I am able to give this dish a flavor different from my regular Chicken rolls. Hope you try it, like it and enjoy it as much as my family and I do.  

Chicken in the Egg

This is a fluke dish, like so many other ones. My boys love eating Tandoori chicken and during the covid 19 stay at home days, their super inquisitive minds always came up something new and they were adamant that I implement those ideas and make something for them.

So, one day my older one said, can’t you make Chicken rolls in something that isn’t Roti or bread. I first thought of adding them to Lettuce and making Lettuce wraps, but I was out of Lettuce or Cabbage, so I came up with the idea of making Omelet and wrapping some chicken in it. I initially couldn’t decide how to spice up my chicken, as in what kind of marinade I should use and then I felt trying it with my Tandoori chicken would be the best idea.

Tandoori Chicken was marinated for an hour with Yogurt, ginger garlic paste, tandoori powder, Red chili, salt and Lemon juice. The omelet was made with whisked eggs, salt and white pepper powder. I cooked the Tandoori chicken on a pan, though you can always grill or bake yours if you want to. This is an easy dish, you can always cook it for a playdate, easy snack, Game time snack or even Lunch and Dinner. Enjoy!!!

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!!!

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.

Tava Kaleji Buns

One of the most important holidays that we have, as Muslims is Eid-ul-adha’a. The concept of sacrificing in the name of Allah, for Allah is divine, holy and extremely purifying. The meat is divided into 3 parts, one for the less privileged, friends and relatives and the last part for us. Sharing what you have with people makes us more humble and makes us care more for the community.

The day also brings in huge varieties of dishes. We, as Muslims are always on a lookout for new meat dishes and the more we go exploring, the more better and more creative we need to be. It always has to get better from the past year. With all that in mind, we are now in time and age where the kids aren’t satisfied with just kebabs and curries. The fusions have become so popular that not trying them at home makes you feel left out. Also, the fact that our generation is more adventurous in trying new ways of consuming foods and new cooking styles are always welcome.

This is basic Kaleji recipe that is served with buns. At my mother’s place, everyone was always excited about consuming Kaleji/ Liver. It was made with overload of Onions, green chilies and spices. Its dry, with little juice or separated Oil that its cooked with. On the other hand, Mr. Parveez’s family prefers consuming Kaleji in the form of a curry. This recipe though cooks Kaleji with curry masala and its cooked in a way till it gets dry. After that the cooked Kaleji is placed between the lightly toasted buns with cheese.

This dish is great for kids play date and tea parties too and are an excellent choice for brunch as well.

Chicken Tacos

Mexican food is a big hit in USA. Quesadillas, tacos and Burritos are so popular and make it to the list of fast food. The delicious tacos are easy to make and no one ever seems to get bored of it. The chicken is spiced up with taco seasoning [homemade or store bought], Olive oil and lemon juice. I usually make my taco seasoning at home and you can always follow the recipe which is pretty neat to follow and make.

But you know how they say that if you ever visit Italy, you might not love the Pizza. The reason is simple, its authentic and outside the original place, food acquires the flavors of the places its cooked. So, there are restaurants that serve authentic Mexican food, but otherwise its Americanized Mexican food and that’s exactly what I tried out.

These chicken tacos are warm corn flour tortillas filled with diced marinated chicken, lettuce, chopped onions, jalapenos, white garlic sauce, hot sauce, chopped tomatoes and cheese.

My reason behind trying these tacos was simple. We can only consume Halal Food which makes Chicken from restaurants unconsumable for us, therefore, anything that requires chicken or meat is something that I cook at home. The flavor of the chicken is mainly from the Taco seasoning which can also be used for Fish or Shrimp tacos.

The Tortilla is homemade simply by making a dough of corn flour and water and with the help of Tortilla maker, which was a gift by Mr. Parveez years ago and never used. So, finally I decided to put it use. There is another funny story to this. My mom loves ordering things from Teleshopping. So, years back around end of 90’s she ordered a Roti maker and this tortilla maker reminded me of that, except tortillas are easier and nicer. I believe the wheat flour ends up being very chewy and therefore a regular Indian chapati was a misfit, on the other hand Corn flour comes out great. So, I would suggest you buy one for homemade perfect Tortilla. Nevertheless, if you are always on a run, you can use store bought.

This recipe is great for a nutritious, easy and fast meal, good option for schools, trips, after game meals and endless times when we moms look for a healthy and fast option and something that our kids consume without a fuss. Enjoy!!!

Philly Chicken Steak Sandwich

On one of our trips to Florida, we ate at a restaurant that serves Halal sandwiches, basically Halal American food. For people like us, it feels like hitting a jackpot. As much as we feel like trying the american food, unfortunately we do not have American restaurants in New Jersey that would serve halal food. I am pretty sure that will change with time, with the increasing Muslim community and their demands to try out new cuisines, but for now, we get excited each time we find a restaurant serving non Indian/ Pakistani halal food.

So, going back to us trying the American chicken sandwich, we tried a Philly chicken steak sandwich which was absolutely delicious. The sauce, the marination flavor of the chicken grilled with cheese that melts in the mouth and all the flavors mixed with crunch of grilled bread.

The sandwich is something you fall in love with, specially the kids. The spice levels are moderate which makes it easy for people who do not enjoy a lot of spice. So, after we returned home, I had to give this lovely sandwich a try. The few things that I changed included the spice level [which is optional] and the size of the bread. The sandwich we had was a part of french long bread and I find that a little hard, since it gets more crunchy and a hard texture once it is grilled. swapped the Long French bread with the hot dog buns, they kind of make it easier for kids to hold, and also the softness of the bread soaks more juices from the chicken making the sandwich more flavorful.

Chicken Shwarema

I lived in Jordan for 2 years. One of the dishes that I loved the most was Shwarema. Now, Shwarema is popular in the whole middle east or middle eastern restaurants but there is a huge difference between Shawaremas from different countries are very different from each other. Where Shwarema from Dubai or Saudi is filled in pita, Shwarema from Jordan is filled in a thin roti kind of bread.

The best part was that the Shwarema had some garlic sauce in between and was served with pickled olives and cucumbers. It would be soft, juicy, mildly spicy and flavorful….so tried making what I liked. It tastes very close to the original Jordanian Shwarema and if you are like me and want more flavor from the chicken then the bread, this dish is for you.

This is great for kids, the flavor isn’t too strong that they can’t handle. Makes a great wrap for school/office lunch, or a picnic roll. It tastes great even when it has cooled off so you don’t have to worry about it not tasting too good when eaten later.