Mexican style chicken

Mexican style Chicken

It takes just a handful of common place ingredients, a nice rub, a good sear in a well-greased pan, shred and toss together for a just saucy enough, juicy, flavour-packed chicken that can be scooped into tortillas, tacos, layered between bread or served alongside rice.
Murghir Jhol

Murgir Jhol – Bengali chicken curry

I am still on the movie subject. People go to a masala movie and complain that it’s just masala. People go to a movie with a solid script and fret that it is slow. They go to a movie like 2.0 and tut-tut that it’s too absurd (the very same ones who rave about the transformer series). They’re disappointed that gangster movie A does not have all the elements of gangster movie B, different story notwithstanding. All of them will claim that they thoroughly enjoyed “Inception”. I am surprised that people do not employ simple everyday logic in movie criticism. A movie is what it is. Take it as it is. Do not ask for Nasi Goreng in Saravana Bhavan. Don’t complain that the sushi place has very few vegetarian options. They are what they are. A masala movie cannot be an art movie, an animation movie and a “Hey Ram”. Comparing movies and expecting one to be the same as the other is dumb. If it’s the same, it’s a copy. Every gangster movie need not be like “Godfather”. Let me say it. I wasn’t as taken by “Godfather” as the rest of the world. Just my opinion. See I am not comparing “Godfather” to “Billa” or “Basha”. That Hollywood movies are by default the better, superior versions – I refuse to accept. Nitpicking little details in the movie and taking offence is absolutely ridiculous. I cannot imagine what people would do in a Karan Johar movie? I suppose they’d do the reverse of what they do in a regular movie – sit in for the songs and go out to smoke the rest of the movie. Enough about movies. Let’s move on to food. I am drawn to Bengali food the way I’ve been drawn to Kerala food. I’ve never eaten Bengali food before. I just know I’ll like it. I stocked up my pantry with Nigella seeds and mustard oil. I’ve been reading about Aloo Posto, Murgir Jhol, Chana bhapa.. I am smitten. I started with Murgir Jhol. It seemed like just the kind of thing to make for a Sunday lunch. I was weary of Sunday biryanis.  Also my last couple of experimental biryanis did not turn out too well. I was wincing from that memory and I wanted to take some time out from biryani until we could both reconcile. As much as a Sunday...
Lemon sevai

Lemon Sevai

I’ve fallen terribly behind schedule in posting my healthy recipes because I’ve been swept up in a movie watching frenzy and the resultant domino effect on everything else. If you have to watch the first day first show at 4 am and get back in time and drop kids off at school, come back home and leave to office then you’ve got to prep your ass off. If you have to watch the same movie the next evening with your office buddies and you’ve got a ton of work to get through, you’ve got to work your ass off. All for cinema. What will we do without cinema? It’s heartening that I am surrounded by bigger, crazier cinema fans. End of this week I would have watched Petta 3 times. How many times have you watched Petta? Today’s recipe is a simple lemon sevai recipe. Easy, quick and light. I made this sevai with a pack of readymade Millet sevai for an extra boost of health. You can choose rice sevai or any of your favourite sevai varieties. Having a couple of sevai packs in your pantry will always come in handy. Let me know if you like this lemon sevai recipe. Enjoy! Print Recipe Lemon Sevai Lemon Sevai - easy, quick and light tiffen for anytime of the day! Course main Cuisine Indian Prep Time 5 minutes Cook Time 10 minutes Servings 3 people Ingredients 200 gm Readymade Sevai 1 Onion, chopped fine 2 Green chilli, chopped fine 1/2 tsp Grated ginger 1 stem curry leaves 1 Lemon, juiced 3 tsp Cooking oil 1/2 tsp Mustard seeds 1/2 tsp Split urad dal 1 handful coriander leaves, chopped fine Course main Cuisine Indian Prep Time 5 minutes Cook Time 10 minutes Servings 3 people Ingredients 200 gm Readymade Sevai 1 Onion, chopped fine 2 Green chilli, chopped fine 1/2 tsp Grated ginger 1 stem curry leaves 1 Lemon, juiced 3 tsp Cooking oil 1/2 tsp Mustard seeds 1/2 tsp Split urad dal 1 handful coriander leaves, chopped fine Instructions Soak sevai in normal room temperature water for 2 minutes. Squeeze out the water from the sevai and place in a plate. To a kadai, add the oil and wait till it gets hot. Add the mustard seeds and wait till the mustad seeds splutter. Add the split urad dal and allow them to turn golden brown. Add the curry leaves,...
Peas Poha upma

Peas poha upma

It’s that time of the year in Chennai when everyday is a potential school holiday. Give one holiday and we’re spoilt. We keep checking the news and whatsapp groups for a holiday announcement every day after that. For me, a school holiday means an extra hour of sleep, so that I start cooking late and I am late to office by the same amount of time that I am late on school days. I am consistent that way. I feel vulnerable when I am out of idli maavu (idli/dosa batter). It’s like you’re at a function and nobody seems to notice you and you don’t have your phone, so you can’t act busy. You could have scrolled through your empty whatsapp chat and looked at people’s profile pictures. Now you’re forced to look at people, half-smile because it’s not clear if they’re smiling at you. You end up making conversation with some aunty next to you and realize it’s not so bad after all. You realized you’re not as anti-social as you thought you were. Only when I am out of idli maavu do I explore other tiffen possibilities. I quite enjoy the different tiffens that I come up with and I am surprised I didn’t try these more often. One of those days, I made Peas poha with the leftover Aval (poha) from Krishna Jayanthi. I like my poha on the chewier side, so I don’t cook it too long. If you like it softer, you can sprinkle a little bit of water and cook a little longer. This Poha Upma is infinitely customizable. I skipped the usual boiled potatoes because I wanted to cut down the carbs. Instead I added peas. You could add sweet corn or paneer or anything else you fancy. You can add some grated ginger for extra zing. You can add fried cashews for extra interest. Make it your own. It’s infinitely easy and is full of fresh, yummy flavours. Enjoy! Print Recipe Peas poha upma Peas poha upma is infinitely easy and is full of fresh, yummy flavours. Enjoy! Prep Time 5 minutes Cook Time 5-8 minutes Servings 3-4 people Ingredients 4 cups Poha / Aval / Flattened rice 1 cup fresh green peas 1 Onion chopped fine 2 Green chillies chopped fine 1/2 tsp Mustard seeds 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder Salt to taste 1 lemon, juiced 2 tbsp oil 1/2 cup fresh...
Cucumber egg sandwich

Cucumber egg hung yogurt Sandwich

Waking up 40 minutes before the school van arrival is the status quo at home. I wake up with a start, shriek in panic which serves to wake up the kids and get them scurrying to the bathroom to escape from their crazy mother. I scrunch my hair on top of my head and go straight to the kitchen while frantically working out lunch ideas in my mind. I don’t always have a plan. Today was one such 40 minute frantic cooking session. I managed to make this egg-cucumber hung yogurt sandwich and a simple lunch and pack in time. I obviously did not have the forethought of leaving yogurt in the strainer overnight to make hung yogurt. I brute forced yogurt into hung yogurt in 20 minutes. I wouldn’t recommend that to you. This sandwich is so unbelievably easy and quick otherwise, it is great for rushed mornings, as a snack or as a last minute addition to a menu. This is an un-toasted sandwich, the kind you make with soft bread. I used soft whole wheat bread. I am calling this a healthy meal because there’s no butter and no toasting. I used hung yogurt instead of calorie laden mayonnaise and whole wheat bread instead of white bread. You’ll not miss the mayonnaise though. The hung yogurt is creamy and delicious. These sandwiches are best eaten as soon as they are made. Enjoy!   Print Recipe Cucumber egg hung yogurt sandwich Creamy, delicious cucumber egg sandwich with hung yogurt and none of the guilt! Prep Time 10 minutes Cook Time 20 minutes Servings 6 sandwiches Ingredients 12 slices Whole wheat bread, crusts removed1/2 cup Yogurt, strained overnight to thick hung curd1/2 Lemon, juicedSalt to taste3/4 tsp Black pepper powder1/2 tsp Sugar1 Organic cucumber, chopped4 Hard boiled eggs, chopped Prep Time 10 minutes Cook Time 20 minutes Servings 6 sandwiches Ingredients 12 slices Whole wheat bread, crusts removed1/2 cup Yogurt, strained overnight to thick hung curd1/2 Lemon, juicedSalt to taste3/4 tsp Black pepper powder1/2 tsp Sugar1 Organic cucumber, chopped4 Hard boiled eggs, chopped Instructions Line a strainer with a cheesecloth and place inside a container. Pour yogurt into the cheesecloth lined strainer and place inside the fridge. Leave the setup overnight. In the morning the liquid would have drained away and you should have thick hung curd in the strainer. Scoop the hung curd into a large bowl and...