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.

Paradise Chicken Fry

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.

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.

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.

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.

Hyderabadi Chicken 65

Chicken Kebabs are an all time wanted and favorite for everyone. Chicken Kebabs go so well with Daal Chawal as a side dish and even by themselves. I love making Chicken Kebabs for my get together with friends as well. People always feel that you cannot experiment much with Chicken Kebabs at home, where as experimenting with different Kebab flavors at home is the best thing to do.

The basic thumb rule is follow the fragrance and the flavor. If there are spices that go well together and there are spices that don’t go too well. Spices like Black pepper is something that you need to add little at a time, since if its too much the dish tends to get bitter. If you need to enhance the flavor of Black pepper in your dish, its always better to add less of Black pepper and more of White Pepper to balance the pepper taste. Adding Tandoori masala gives a lot of kick to Red chili powder and makes kebabs more flavorful. You can always use citric acid in place of Vinegar or Lemon juice. Adding Flour with Rice flour and Corn starch Powder will add a lot of crunch to your kebabs if you are frying them.

With the Hyderabadi Chicken 65, I added Red chili powder and other spices with Ginger garlic paste and mixed it well. Further rolled the spiced Chicken pieces in Flour, Rice flour and cornstarch powder and fried them. Later cooked them in a sauce made with Onions, green chilies, various spices and Yogurt. I also add a little cornstarch powder to the gravy to make it a little thicker.

Chicken 65 is made in different ways in different places of India. Though the original recipe was made in Chennai, but different places modified their ways and made it suitable to their taste buds. Honestly, every pace has their unique flavor and we always tend to have our favorites but making them in different ways is always great to add more variety to your dinner table.

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.