Chicken Kothu Porotta

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I remember the first time I got introduced to this dish was when a fast food restaurant in Trivandrum(city where I grew up), that we used to often visit, included it in their menu.

We heard from many people that this new dish tastes really good. Like every other day, my dad set out to get us some snacks for the evening. This time for a change, he thought he would get us ‘Kothu Porotta’. So thinking of the 3 hungry souls waiting to attack the snacks he gets in the evening 😉 , my poor dad out of his ignorance(you would know the significance of this word when you read further down 🙂 ) thought of getting 10 of those.

The guy at the restaurant cross checked with my dad for how many people is he ordering the food. My dad promptly replied “4”. The restaurant guy suggested that 2 should be good enough for that many. Dad wouldn’t agree. After few attempts, with great difficulty, the restaurant guy could bring down the count from 10 to 6. Little did he know that this evening snack would suffice as dinner for a week 😛 That evening dad brought back home a lot of food and a lot of laughter 😀

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INGREDIENTS:

Onion – 1 large
Tomato – 1 nos
Ginger Garlic paste – 1 tsp
Green chilli – 2 nos
Curry leaves – 1 strand
Coriander leaves – 3 strands
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Red chilli powder – 1/4 tsp
Garam masala – 1/4 tsp
Coriander powder – 1/2 tsp
Kerala porotta – 3 or 4 nos
Oil – 2 tbsp
Salt – as per taste(apprx. 1/4 tsp)
Chicken curry – 1/2 cup or 2 tbsp

Tip: The best time to prepare chicken kothu porotta is when you have some left over chicken curry in your refrigerator ;-). It just saves some time for the preparation of kothu porotta. You can use the left over chicken curry for enhanced flavor or use freshly made chicken curry

METHOD:

1. Heat oil in a pan and put finely chopped onion, ginger garlic paste, chopped green chilli, curry leaves and little salt to it. Saute till the onion turns light pink.
2. Add red chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder and garam masala and fry till the masalas cook(about 2 mins).
3. Add finely chopped tomato and saute till the tomato is cooked through.
4. Now add the Chicken curry and mix well. The mixture shouldn’t be too watery.
Note: Ensure that the chicken pieces are crushed or broken to small bite size pieces.
5. Break the Kerala Porotta’s into small uneven pieces. Add the broken pieces of porotta into the mixture and saute well so that the porotta pieces are coated well with the masala.
6. Continue to cook for 4-5 mins on medium-low heat.
7. Remove from heat and garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

Serve hot with raita.

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Pav Bhaji

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Finally I found some time to get to my next post. This is one of my personal favorites. Both in terms of the ease of cooking as well as the taste of the end result 😉

Pav Bhaji is again one of the most popular street foods in India. If you are hungry at tea time and you need something filling and yet not a deep fried oily snack, Pav bhaji would be the best choice. Every place again has its version of this mouth watering dish. I used to love the Pav bhaji that we used to get in A2B in Bangalore.

One day my friend got Pav Bhaji for lunch at work. That is when I realized that this is not something that you could only buy from street stalls but you could ALSO make it at home 😉 Since this was never made before at my home, and given the fact that I knew nothing about cooking, I thought of taking a cooking lesson from this friend of mine on ‘How to make Pav Bhaji’ 🙂 I remember the enthusiasm both of us had and we were looking forward to that cooking session. All I recollect now though is that I had some delicious mouth watering pav bhaji made by my friend and I wasn’t of much help to her!!!

After several tries, I have now come up with the perfect recipe of Pav Bhaji that I stick to these days. It is as simple as it could be.

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INGREDIENTS:

Butter – 2 tbsp
Pav/Bun(Store bought) – The bread should be fresh, else you would never get the real taste
Potato – 1 nos. large sized
Tomato – 2 nos.
Onion – 1 nos large sized
Ginger garlic paste – 1 tsp
Green bell pepper – 1/2 nos.
Green peas – 3/4 cup
Cauliflower – 3-4 florets
Green chilli – 2 nos
Red chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
Coriander leaves – 6-7 strands
Salt – to taste (appx. 1/4 tsp)
Pav Bhaji masala(Store bought, any brand) – 1 tbsp

You could also make the pav bhaji masala yourself. Below is the ingredients if you are not using any store bought masala.

Ingredients for making pav bhaji masala:

Coriander powder – 3/4 tsp
Cumin powder – 1/4 tsp
Amchur/Dry mango powder – 1/4 tsp
Asofetida – a pinch
Fennel seeds powder – 1/4 tsp
Garam masala – 1/2 tsp

METHOD:

1. Boil all the vegetables(potato, green bell pepper, green peas, cauliflower) in a cooker adding little salt. Mash them and keep aside for using later.
2. Heat butter in a pan and put finely chopped onion, ginger garlic paste, chopped green chilli and little salt to it. Saute till the onion turns light pink.
3. Add red chilli powder, turmeric powder and pava bhaji masala and fry till the masalas cook(about 2 mins).
4. Add finely chopped tomato and saute till the tomato is cooked through and the mixture becomes like a paste.
5. Now add the mashed vegetables and mix well. You can add little water to adjust the consistency but the bhaji shouldn’t be too watery. It should a thick paste.
6. Remove from heat and garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
7. on a tava/pan, heat butter. You could add little pav bhaji masala to the butter and toast the pav/bun lightly (The pav/bun should be cut into halves before toasting).
8. While serving, squeeze little lime into the bhaji/gravy and top it will some finely chopped onion.

Spicy Eggplant and Hummus burger

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Sandwich and burgers are usually good alternative when you are hungry and you don’t have enough time for an elaborate cooking. The easiest thing probably is to just store some frozen patties in your refrigerator so that you could make a burger anytime you feel like. But for me, I don’t like the frozen patties. So I prefer making the patties myself. The reason I brought this is up is because, unlike most people, assembling a burger is not as easy for me 😦

Few weeks back, on one of those lazy days when I didn’t get time to prepare my lunch,
I accidentally had an Eggplant burger at the cafeteria. Why accidentally??? Okay let me explain 🙂 Eggplant is one of those vegetables that I wouldn’t go near also and taking a risk with eggplant burger, ( burger being one of my favourites!! ) was totally not by choice. But somehow that day, I bought this and my opinion about eggplant changed. I think I can have eggplants now by choice 🙂

Here is a simple recipe of a spicy eggplant and hummus burger(or you could call it a sandwich). Its simply delicious and worth a trial 😛

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INGREDIENTS:

Eggplant – 1 nos
Burger buns
Hummus
Red chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Coriander powder – 1/4 tsp
Cumin powder – 1/2 tsp
Garlic powder – 1/4 tsp
Onion powder – 1/4 tsp
Chaat masala/Sandwich masala – 1/4 tsp
Garam masala – 1/4 tsp
Freshly ground black pepper – 1/4 tsp
Lime juice – 2 tsp or Vinegar – 1/2 tsp
Salt – to taste (apprx. 1/4 tsp)
Oil(I used olive oil) – 1 tbsp

METHOD:

1. Cut the eggplant into 1/2 inch thick slices. Rub the slices with little salt so that any bitter taste will be gone and wash thoroughly. Pat the slices dry with kitchen towel.
2. Mix all spice powders together with lime juice/vinegar. To the mix add 1/2 tsp oil also so that the mix will bind well to the eggplant. The mix should be in the form of a thick paste so that it is easier to apply it on the eggplant. Add water to bring the mix to the right consistency if required.
3. Using a spatula, apply this spice mix on the eggplant slices. Let it marinate for 15-20 mins.
4. Preheat the oven to 400 deg F. On a baking sheet or foil, spray some oil. Place the eggplants on the sheet and rub oil on both sides of the eggplant.
5. Bake the eggplant for about 30-40 mins turning them around once during this time.
6. On both sides of the burger bun, spread generous amount of hummus. Place an eggplant slice on each bun and your burger is ready to be served!

Pani Puri

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Street food is a very popular trend in India. Once you step out of your school or college or office, there will be a variety of different kinds of street food and stalls to choose from. Again, each State and city has different specialty to offer. If you go to streets of Mumbai, the most popular thing to find there would probably be a ‘Vada Pav’ or ‘Pav Bhaji’. If you go to Hyderabad, it probably would be ‘Cut mirchi’ or ‘Mirchi Bajji’. If you go to Kerala, the items change to ‘Paruppu vada/Dal vada’ or ‘Pazhampori/Banana fritters’. Interesting thing is, you get the authentic and the most amazing flavors of these items in street stalls only.

If you ask any Indian, they will have their own favorites among these street foods. If you ask mine, I would say…hmm, well..It is difficult to pick ONE, but Pani Puri undoubtedly is among the top 5. But one thing with the Pani puris that you get from these street vendors is that, you have to take the risk of a stomach flu the next day you eat it 😉 So I prefer to have Pani puris I make at home. And it has always come out well. I love chat varieties and so, I like to make it just the way I want it. I don’t like the ‘Meetha/Sweet’ sauce they usually add to the chats. So making it at home gives me 2 advantages. No stomach flu risks and the taste is just suited for my taste buds 🙂

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INGREDIENTS:

Potato – 1 large sized
Onion – 1 medium sized
Green chilli – 2 or 3 nos
Chaat masala – 1 tsp
Coriander leaves – 3 or 4 strands
Salt – to taste(apprx. ¼ tsp)
Everest Pani puri masala – 1 tbsp
Puris – Any store bought pack

METHOD:

1. For making the masala , boil the potato , mash it and keep aside.
2. Finely chop onion, green chillies and coriander leaves. Add salt to it and mix well. (It is always good to mix salt with raw onion and keep for couple of minutes. This takes away the rawness of the onion.)
3. Add the onion, green chilli and coriander leaves from step 2 to the mashed potato. To it add half tsp of chaat masala.
4. For making the ‘Pani’ (Pani means water in Hindi) of the Pani puri, take 2 cups of water(preferably cold water). To it add the Pani puri masala(Everest is the best I have tasted so far). Also add the remaining half tsp of chaat masala to it and mix well.
5. Now take the puri and make a hole on one side of the puri. Usually one side of the puri will be more brittle. Just tap or press the puri on one side using your thumb.
6. Spoon in the masala into the puri through the hole you created in the puri.
7. Dip the stuffed puri into the Pani and fill it and relish it immediately 😉

Veg Hakka Noodles

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Right from my childhood, if there is one thing that has consistently been in the top 5 of my favorite food list, that would be Noodles. I remember during my schooldays, I used to take noodles almost 70% of the times for lunch. And I was very skinny then. So everyone used to tease me saying I eat so much noodles and that’s the reason I look like it too 😛 Funny huh!!! But that never demotivated me 😉

There used to be a time, when I used to really enjoy Maggi , Top Ramen and all. But these days, I prefer making noodles with flavors I like. So I prefer buying any kind plain noodles (Hakka noodles, Egg noodles, rice noodles etc. ) Today let us make Veg Hakka noodles. This is one of the most easiest recipes and a quick one too. And it tastes yummy just like you would get in an Indo-chinese fast food restaurant 😀

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INGREDIENTS:

Hakka noodles – 2 cakes or 300 gms
Red bell pepper – ½ nos
Green bell pepper – ½ nos
Cabbage – ½ cup
Carrot – 1 small sized
Green onion – 4 nos
Onion – 1 small sized
Garlic – 5-6 pods
Oil – 6 tbsp
Ground Black pepper – 1/4th tsp
Ajinomoto(optional) – a generous pinch
Salt – to taste (approx. 1/2 tsp)

METHOD:

1. In a sauce pan boil sufficient amount of water to boil the noodles. To avoid sticking of noodles, add 2 tsp of oil to the water. To boiling water, put the noodles and boil for few mins so that the noodles is 80% done. Drain the water and keep noodles aside.
2. Cut all the vegetables into thin slices or julienne.
3. Heat oil in a wok/pan. Add sliced garlic and saute till it becomes light brown.
4. Add onion and saute in medium flame for a min. Add red bell pepper, green bell pepper and carrot and saute for 1 more minute.
5. Then add the sliced cabbage and saute all the vegetables for about a min. To this add enough salt, ajinomoto and freshly ground black pepper.
6. Note that the vegetables doesn’t have to cook through fully. For this kind of noodles, the vegetables should have little crunch to it.
7. To this add the cooked noodles. Stir for couple of minutes.
8. Garnish with chopped green onion.

Serve with chilli garlic sauce or ketchup/hot sauce.