Sunday, May 31, 2015

Murgh Makhani - Butter Chicken

Today, I am sharing a famous and everyone's favourite tasty chicken curry,Butter Chicken..'Murgh' in Hindi means Chicken and 'Makhani' means Butter..This dish origin is in Punjab,India..According to Wikipedia, this dish is first cooked in restaurant chain , 'Moti Mahal Delux' which is introduced by Kundan Lal Gujral and Kundan Lal Jaggi..It also said that this curry is cooked to serve foreign guests who don't like to eat spicy curry..Gravy which is combined with spices is pureed in order to form thick consistancy..It has a final garnishing of cream and butter is added in order to reduce the spiciness..Hence it is called Butter Chicken..
In Butter Chicken,Boneless or Bone in chicken is marinated with yogurt and spices,which is kept for hours or overnight..Traditionally,Chicken is cooked in Tandoor ( Clay oven)..Most of the household don't have tandoor, so grill is used..I heard from other sources that butter chicken is made with left over tandoor or grilled chicken..The grilled chicken is cooked in gravy which consists of whole spices, onions,tomatoes and spice powders which are sauted in butter and pureed into thick paste..Some may add cashew paste for thick gravy..Finally it is garnished with cream and a dollops of butter for richer gravy..That makes the curry taste and it is not much spicy..It may be the reason butter chicken is favourite among foreigners too..
Infact,butter chicken is tasty and rich curry too..It might not be good for cholesterol patients and those who are health freaks ;)..But doesn't matter, if you prepare once in a while or if you have guests..Its not very difficult to make..Everyone has their own method for making this curry,but the basis of preparation will be same..I read the recipes from various sources and finally I have my own idea of making it..I had made it many times and it is hit among my family..Do make this curry and impress your family..Ok,Lets go to the recipe :)

Cute paper flower gifted by son's nursery at Mother's day 


       For Marination;
  • Boneless Chicken/ Bone-In - 500 to 700 gm, cut into medium-small pieces
  • Ginger-garlic paste - 2 tsp
  • Yogurt - 2 tbsp
  • Kashmiri Chilli pdr - 2 tsp heaped
  • Turmeric pdr - 1/4 tsp
  • Garam masala pdr - 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin pdr - 1 tsp
  • Coriander pdr - 1 tsp
  • Kasoori methi  ( dry fenugreek leaves) - 1/4 tsp
  • Salt - as required
  • Lime juice/Vinegar - 1 tsp
       For Gravy
  • Butter - 2 tsp + a dollop for garnishing
  • Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
  • Cardamom - 2 no.s
  • Bay leaf - 1 no. broken into pieces
  • Cinnamon - a small pc
  • Cloves - 3 no.s
  • Onions, roughly chopped - 3 medium
  • Red Tomatoes,roughly chopped - 2 large
  • Garlic,roughly chopped - 4 large no.s
  • Kashmiri Chilli  pdr - 1 tbsp
  • Coriander pdr - 1 tsp
  • Turmeric pdr -  a pinch
  • Kasoori methi - 1/4 tsp
  • Salt - to taste
  • Cashew nut paste - made from 5 to 6 cashew nut ( optional )
  • Cooking Cream - 1/4 to 1/2 cup + few drops for garnishing.
  • Chopped coriander leaves - required for garnishing
  • Marinate the chicken as mentioned in 'For marination'  for 6 hours in a refrigerator or overnight for best results..This step is a must as it makes this dish tastier..
  • Grill the chicken in a grill pan or oven till 80 percent cooked..Remaining it will cook on gravy..If you don't have grill never mind..You can shallow fry chicken pieces in a fry pan by adding little oil or butter..Take out the chicken pieces and keep aside..
  • In a wide pan or kadai, heat butter in a low flame till melted..Add all the whole spices from ' cumin seeds' till 'cloves' and let it splutter..
  • Add onions and saute till it changes colour..Add garlic and tomatoes and saute well for few seconds..
  • Add mentioned spice powders and kasoori methi and saute well..
  • Off the flame and set aside to cool completely..
  • Blend the cooled mixture into thick paste..
  • Switch on the flame again, add pureed thick paste in a kadai and saute for few seconds..Add 1/4 cup of water to loosen the gravy..
  • Add grilled or shallow fried 80 percent cooked chicken pieces.. Cover and cook the chicken in a medium flame for 5 mins..
  • Add cashew nut paste ( if using) and cook for few seconds..Add salt of your taste..
  • Add cooking cream and cook in a low flame for 1 second..After adding cream,do not cook for more time otherwise cream will curdle..switch off the flame
  • Finally add chopped coriander leaves and a dollop of butter..Cover it for few minutes to infuse flavour..
  • At the time of serving drizzle few drops of cream to look attractive..
  • You can add it with a combination of poori,battoora,appam,plain rice,ghee rice,chappati etc..
  • I strongly recommend to use kashmiri chilli powder to make this curry..It is not spicy and it gives nice red colour to this curry..I normally use homemade kashmiri powder which is made by my MIL in Kerala..I don't buy readymade kashmiri pdr..Ready made kashmiri pdr may be mixed with ordinary red chilli pdr and they do add preservatives..
  • Most of the restaurant will add red colour to the curry to look attractive..I don't use any artificial colour in my cooking..Colour of K.chilli pdr gives nice colour to the gravy which is enough for me..Colour of the butter chicken gravy will be orange or orange red in colour..
  • Some may blanch the tomatoes and make tomato puree seperately..I don't use this step..I saute the onions and tomatoes and spice powders together and puree it..It not only saves times it tastes delicious too..
  • If you don't like to cashew nut paste and cream, substitute it with almond paste and little milk..

Monday, May 25, 2015

Crispy Nutella Cookies

Today, I am sharing one of the easiest  homemade cookies, Crispy Nutella Cookies..These cookies are thin in shape and crispy as in the name..This cookies are so tasty,you don't need to buy any more store bought cookies..These cookies are simple to make..It contains only 4 ingredients,which is easy to remember..I made these cookies second time :)..
Do make these cookies in large quantities and keep it in airtight container..As Nutella is one of the kid's favourite, I am sure they will love to eat these cookies too..Lets go to the recipe..

I made these cookies before ( Second pic)

  • Nutella ( Chocolate -Hazelnut spread) - 1 Cup
  • All Purpose Flour - 1 Cup
  • Large Egg,beaten - 1 no.
  • Powdered White or Brown Sugar - 1/4 to 1/2 Cup ( I reduced to 1/4 cup,as Nutella contains sugar, which is enough for me)
  • Preheat oven to 180 degree C..Grease the baking sheet with oil or line it with parchment paper..
  • In a bowl, mix all the ingredients one by one and mix all together with a large spoon,stand mixer or hand till it resembles smooth dough..

  • Divide the dough into walnut or small lemon sized balls..Do not roll into large balls as cookies will increase the size while baking..
  • Place all the balls in a baking dish..Leave distance with each balls in order to give space to enlarge while baking..
  • Press each balls with a back of a glass slightly to form disks..
  • Bake it in a oven for about 12 mins..Leave it in a oven for about 5 mins..Then, take out from the oven and leave it outside to cool for few second..Then take each cookies carefully and place it in a rack to cool completely...Cookies will turn crisp when it cools completely...
  • Transfer it into airtight container..
  • Serve it with a glass of milk or a cup of tea or coffee..

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Homemade Beef Stuffed Buns

I am sharing a recipe of perfectly baked,soft and tastiest home made bun which has a stuffing of beef masala..My first attempt of baking bun is a flop..But when I tried second time, bun is perfectly baked and I am proud of it..I got the recipe from here and followed a basic of making bun,it turned successful,but I make my own filling..Making of bun is not very difficult,but you have to follow each method carefully..
Its much better than bakery bun..This is one of the tastiest and soft bun I ever tasted..I made these for dinner..My hubby and bro in law loves my bun very much..Next day, we had remaining for breakfast.
Lets move to the recipe..

Recipe Courtesy: Adapted from here ( bun dough)


       For Bun Dough
  • All Purpose Flour - 2 1/2 Cups
  • Active Dry Yeast - 1 1/2 tsp
  • Lukewarm water - 2 tbsp
  • Sugar - 2 tsp
  • Lukewarm Milk - 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup ( required for kneading)
  • Veg Oil - 3 tbsp
  • Egg - 1 beaten 
  • Egg White - from 1 egg, for egg wash
  • Sesame seeds - required for sprinkling
        For Beef Masala
  • Chicken/Mutton/Beef - 200 gm shredded ( cooked with pepper,chilli,coriander,turmeric pdrs and salt)
  • Onion,chopped - 2 medium size
  • Ginger-garlic paste - 1 tsp
  • Chopped green chilly - l large
  • Tomato sauce - 1 tbsp
  • Garam masala powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Turmeric pdr - 1/4 tsp
  • Kashmiri chilli pdr - 1 tsp
  • Chopped coriander leaves - 1 tbsp
  • Chopped curry leaves - 1 tbsp

         Lets start the bun dough first:
  • Add yeast and sugar in a luke warm water ( not boiling hot water,otherwise yeast will be killed) and set aside for 10 mins and cover..After 10 mins yeast will ferment and mix well..Keep aside..
  • In a large bowl, add 1 cup flour ( do not add entire flour in one go),salt,veg oil and make it into a smooth paste...
  • Add beaten egg,yeast mixture and another 1 cup of flour and knead by adding little lukewarm milk...Add remaining flour and lukewarm milk little by little and knead well for few minutes till you get a smooth dough without any cracks.(.If your dough is too sticky, add very little flour and knead again..If your dough is too dry, add very little lukewarm milk and knead again).. 
  • Cover the dough with a large plate or plastic wrap and keep it in a warm place for 2 to 3 hrs till the dough double in volume..
          Lets make Beef Masala at this time:
  • In a fry pan, heat oil and add 'chopped Onion' till 'tomato paste' and saute one by one..
  • Add all the spice powders and chopped coriander leaves and saute well till raw smell goes away..
  • Add cooked meat and saute well.
  • Finally add chopped curry leaves and sprinkle little garam masala powder and switch off the flame and set aside to cool..
      Preparation of Bun
  • Punch the double volume dough and knead again for few sec..
  • Divide the dough into medium sized balls...I got about 9 buns..
  • Flatten each balls into circles with your palm and add 1 1/2 tbsp beef filling each,,..Pinch the dough from all sides and re-shape into balls..
  • Place the buns in a oil greased baking dish .. place pinch part of bun at bottom of baking dish..
  • Brush all the buns with egg-white and sprinkle sesame seeds on top of it..
  • Keep the buns aside for 15 to 20 mins to rise ..
  • At that time, Pre heat the oven to 180 degree Celsius for 15 mins...
  • Place the baking tray with buns in a oven and bake for about 15 to 20 mins till top of the bun turns brown in colour or click  'bread' button if you are using convection oven and adjust weight accordingly
  • Immediately brush oil on top of all the baked buns to prevent drying..
  • Serve warm with salads of your choice...
  • While kneading the dough for any bread, please note that do not add all the flour in one ago and add flour little by little and knead till the dough is soft..
  • Please make sure that if you are using active dry yeast ( yeast granules) it should be proofed in lukewarm water not boiling hot,otherwise yeast will get killed..Make sure that yeast should be brand new and do not use yeast which is near to expiry date,it will not proof..If using Instant yeast (powdered proofed yeast), no need to soak in water as it is already proofed,add it directly to the dough and knead ..
  • Instead of All purpose flour you can add mixture of Whole wheat flour and All purpose flour...You can make with whole wheat flour too,without adding all purpose flour..Texture of whole wheat bun is dense in texture and it might not be too soft in the case of APF..
  • Always add lukewarm milk/water to knead the dough of bread..
  • You can make any filling for bun according to your spice level and taste,,You can also make plain buns without any filling..

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Peanut Butter- Nutella Thumb Print Cookies ( Flourless Cookies)

Hi..I noticed that I didn't share the recipe of any of the cookies in my blog..Reason is that I rarely make any cookies and my hubby is not a sweet tooth either..Me and my kid is just opposite of him:). I decided to share a recipe of one of the homemade baked cookies, Peanut Butter- Nutella Thumb Print Cookies..As a name suggest,this cookies is definitely a combination of peanut butter and nutella,..Earlier,I shared these combination in the form of brownie,which is mentioned here...The base of this cookie is peanut butter which is filled with a dollop of Nutella in center..Unlike other cookies, it does not contain flour and is baked twice..My son is fond of Nutella,but not peanut butter..I decided to make peanut butter and nutella combination in the form of cookies...Finally, I decided to try this cookies,which is found here..Its name, attractive and mouthwatering looks of cookies tempted me to try this recipe..These cookies not only looks attractive,but tastes very delicious..Its very simple to make ..Do try these cookies and give feedback :)

Recipe Courtesy: here

  • Creamy or Crunchy Peanut Butter - 1 Cup
  • Brown/White Sugar - 1 Cup
  • Egg beaten - 1 Large
  • Baking Soda - 1 tsp
  • Salt - 1 tsp
  • Vanilla Essence - 1 tsp
  • Nutella - required for filling

  • Preheat oven to 180 degree Celsius.
  • In a bowl, add all the ingredients from 'Peanut butter' till 'Vanilla essence' and mix well with a spatula or a large wooden spoon and make it into a smooth dough..
  • Divide the dough into walnut or goose berry shape balls..Do make into large balls, as cookies will enlarge while baking..Press each balls lightly with your palm..
  • Keep these balls in a greased baking dish..Make sure to keep 1 inch distance from each cookies as cookies need space to enlarge while baking...
  • Bake these cookies for 8 to 10 mins..
  • Take the cookie tray from the oven, make a impression ( holes) with a back of half tsp measuring spoon or with your thumb ( make sure not to burn your thumb :P ) in the center of each cookies..
  • Drop a small dollop of nutella inside the impression of each cookies..
  • Return the cookie try back to the oven and bake for another 2 to 4 mins till golden brown..
  • Take out the tray from the oven and set aside to cool..Take out the cookies carefully and place it in a rack to cool completely..Make sure to cool the cookies completely, so it will turn crisp..
  • Store it in a airtight container,when it cools completely..
  • Have it with a glass of milk, tea or coffee..Enjoy..

  • Original recipe said to make it with creamy peanut butter..But I used crunchy peanut butter as I liked to have a bits of peanut..
  • Cookies may feel soft when you take out from the oven..Do not worry, it will harden and turn crisp when it cools down completely..

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Alsa/Alisa/Harees - Mashed Whole Wheat Chicken Porridge ( Malabar Spl)

Today, I am sharing a recipe of a Malabar special item, Alsa or Harees..It is made with mashed skinless whole wheat with chicken or mutton and cooked with whole spices..It is a common dish in Kannur,North Kerala area..It is mostly eaten as starters before having heavy main meal like biryani..This dish might have borrowed from Arabs,which they call 'Harees'...Some of the Malabar dish do have Arab influence..In Kannur area, alsa is commonly made during marriages or any large gatherings..Hyderabadi's do prepare it in a similar way, but they add lentils and spice powders..Their dish is called 'Haleem'
Traditionally,Alsa is cooked in a large pot in a low flame which took hours to cook...Arabs do prepare this in similar method and they mostly make it during Ramadan ( Holy month of Muslims).
Though slow cook method are time confusing, but it tastes delicious..Now a days,most of them use pressure cooker for easier and fast cooking...
It is a healthy and refreshing one pot meal..When I prepare this, we don't prefer to have another item for dinner,as it fills our tummy :)..Its very tasty too..Do prepare it and give feedback :)

Recipe Courtesy: Umma

  • Skinless Whole Wheat - 1 1/2 Cup
  • Chicken Legs and Thighs with fat - 4 pieces
  • Garlic - 4 large cloves.
  • Onion,sliced - half of 1 large onion
  • Cinnamon - 1 small pcs
  • Cloves - 2 to 3 no.s
  • Cardamom - 3 no.s
  • Water - 3 to 4 cups
  • Salt - to taste
  • Fresh Cow's milk/ Thick Coconut milk - 1/4 Cup
     For Garnishing ( optional)
  • Ghee - 1 tbsp
  • Thinly sliced onion - 1 medium
  • Cashews,Raisins - 1 tbsp each ( Can add if you like, I didn't add it)

  • Soak whole wheat in a water for 6 to 8 hrs overnight or you can soak in a boiled water for 2 hrs covered if you don't have time..Wash and drain the whole wheat and keep aside..
  • In a pressure cooker, add all the ingredients from 'whole wheat' till 'salt'..Make sure that water should be just above the level of wheat..Also your pressure cooker must be large about 7 to 7.5 ltr..
  • Close the lid and cook in a low flame for 5 mins..Then turn the heat to medium-high and cook for about 6 to 7 whistles till wheat is cooked..
  • Let the pressure go by itself...Open the lid, discard the whole spices and separate the chicken from bones,shred the chicken pieces with your hands and keep aside..Keep the wheat mixture to cool completely for sometime..
  • When it cools down, add the wheat mixture in a blender and give a quick pulse..Do not make it into fine paste..It should leave tiny bits of wheat..Do not blend all the wheat mixture in one go..Do blend in batches as it is easy to blend...
  • Transfer the blended mixture and shredded chicken back into pressure cooker and heat it in a low flame..
  • Add coconut milk/fresh cows milk into it,mix well and heat in a low flame for few minutes..Taste and add salt if needed..
  • Meanwhile, in another pan, heat ghee and add sliced onion and saute it till golden brown..Drain and transfer into plate..
  • Add cashew nuts and raisins in a same ghee and fry till light brown in colour..Drain and keep aside..
  • Switch off the pressure cooker and pour it into serving bowl..Sprinkle fried onion and nuts on top along with heated ghee..
  • Serve warm..
  • Can serve it with a sugar if desired..That is how,we served it in Kannur,North Kerala..
  • Make sure to use skinless or bran less wheat for making Alsa..Otherwise when wheat is mashed, it tends to separate the fiber and taste horrible,which most of them don't like..Wheat used for making Alsa is generally whitish brown in colour..Its available in most of the Supermarkets,some of it mentioned is as 'Alsa Wheat'..
  • You can cook Alsa in a large pot for about 1 to 1 1/2 hr..Make sure to add boiling water in between..It is rather time consuming..For easy and fast cooking. now a days, most of them make in a pressure cooker..
  • Instead of chicken,you can add mutton or beef..Make sure to add it with bones with little fat,that what makes Alsa tastier..Do not add too much meat..
  • Decorating with fried onions and nuts is completely optional..You can ignore it..I add it mainly to look attractive and for blog purpose,else I don't add it..