Honey Mustard grilled chicken and Fried Bamboo rice

When I teeter between eating that last ladle of biryani and finding a dabba, transferring the last of the biryani into the dabba and putting it in the fridge I usually elect to eat it. It is so much simpler. While eating the extra biryani, I imagine myself determinedly jogging round after round the next morning burning away all those extra calories. When (if) I am jogging the next morning, I am panting like a crazy dog halfway through the first round and I stop and walk the rest of the way I imagine myself thoughtfully taking tiny bites off an un-buttered slice of toast. In short my life. Could bamboo rice be the redemption for all the biryani excesses? I doubt. But I gave it a shot anyway. Jagan bought a pack of bamboo rice while on our vacation in Kerala. We bought it in a small souvenir shop in Wayanad. The bamboo rice came in simple plain plastic packing. It was un-branded and un-processed. For the first time in nearly 2 decades, I transferred the rice onto a moram and sat outside in the portico to pick out stones from the rice. The last I saw someone doing this was my ammamma who’d take the rice in a moram and pick out stones and grit from the rice, everyday. I felt all nostalgic, got carried away and spent about half an hour going through the rice. This ain’t the green rice (rice that is infused with bamboo juices) that is popularly called bamboo rice in the west. This is the real deal. Bamboo rice looks almost like wheat. It takes much longer to cook than white rice. It is chewier and has a grassy, nutty undernote. I was sceptical if it’d taste good as fried rice. I was surprised that it actually tasted better in fried rice form.  We grilled the chicken on our barbecue. But you can grill it in your oven too. We loved the combination of hot, sweet and tangy flavours. I served the grilled chicken on the fried bamboo rice. Jagan was smitten with the combination and the kids ate with great gusto. Overall – big success. And to think it was healthy too. I am surprised it went down so well. Prep time: 15 mins (grilled chicken) + 25 mins (fried bamboo rice)Cooking time: 20-30 mins (grilled chicken) + 25 mins (fried bamboo...

Peri Peri Chicken | Nando’s style Peri Peri Chicken

My family loves all things chicken and Jagan loves grilled chicken – any kind. He tells me that when he was in the UK, he visited Nando’s every other day, more often than he called me. So when we heard Nandos had opened in Chennai, we fought Velachery traffic for over an hour (not much by velachery standards), parked for a ransom, waited in line for a table and finally sat down to a chicken-aholic dinner. I ordered the mildly spiced variant and kicked myself for not interpreting the chilli scale correctly. Even hot is generally not really hot for us, Indians. But the chicken was really good. It was really different from the grilled chicken that we’re used to. The chicken was mildly hot with a slight lemony tang and bursting with lovely fresh flavours. I made a mental note to try it later but forgot about it until I signed up for the “African cuisine” theme in Srivalli’s blogging Marathon. If you don’t know the connection, peri-peri means African bird’s eye chilli. Portuguese explorers who came to Africa discovered this wonderful chilli and also concocted the peri peri sauce. I found a recipe that I really liked and I followed for the most part and it turned out great. I served it with a slaw alongside a west African Peanut soup (recipe coming up tomorrow). I just cannot tell you how easy grilled chicken is. Photographing it isn’t easy but making it is really easy. Easy enough to make on busy weekday mornings as well. Just marinate the chicken the previous night and shove it in the fridge. If I am using frozen chicken, I don’t even wait for it to thaw. I get nervous if I need to wait during cooking. I score the chicken (you’ll have to use a little bit of brute force and blow over your hands while doing this) and then rub the marinade all over and let it thaw in the fridge overnight also soaking in the marinade at the same time. It works. Then first thing in the morning, before you brush your teeth, preheat the oven. Then brush your teeth. Then just dump the chicken, marinade and all into a roasting pan, place in the oven and forget about it. The aroma will beckon you after an hour. Prep time: 10 minsMarinating time: 4 hours or overnightGrilling time: 40 minutes...

South Indian style Whole Roasted Chicken

This South-Indian style whole roasted chicken was our Sunday Grilling fix. The chicken was just about perfect with a crispy skin and perfectly juicy and succulent inside. You don’t have to roast a whole chicken this way to use this recipe. The beauty of this roasted chicken is in the marinade. You can use the marinade to soak individual breast pieces (these are the best and my favourite) and grill them or marinate regular chopped chicken pieces before making a curry out of them. I really like this marinade. The curry leaves and whole black peppercorns add a nice south-indian punch to this grilled chicken. I am going to be using this marinade in many other ways surely. That’s Jagan taking the roasted chicken out of the oven Chicken is Jagan’s first love, roasted chicken his best buddy. He wanted to do a restaurant style roasted chicken where the chicken rotates inside the oven and the juices drip down slowly. His theory is that this way, the chicken gets cooked evenly and in its own juices. It did work beautifully but I think it would have worked equally well if we had just placed it on a tray. However you choose to do it, just make sure to cover your tray with aluminium foil before you start grilling. It saves all the clean-up time. It would be a good idea to make a sauce or gravy with the remaining marinade to go with the grilled chicken. When you roast the whole chicken, the inside stays slightly bland and a sauce or dip would be a nice addition here. Prep time: 10 minsCooking time: 40 minsServes: 5 Ingredients Chicken – 1 whole with skin, cleaned Marinade Shallots/Sambar onions – 6 peeledGinger – 3 inch piece, peeled and roughly choppedGarlic – 12 cloves, peeledGreen chillies – 4, roughly choppedWhole black Peppercorns – 2 tbspCurry leaves – 1 stemRed chilli powder – 2 tbspTurmeric powder – ½ tspLemon juice – from 1 lemonSalt to tasteWater – 2-3 tbsp Method 1.      Clean the chicken and make slits in the chicken’s skin, so that you can rub the marinade under the skin. You could make slits in the chicken’s flesh at places so that the marinade sinks in. 2.      Grind together all ingredients under “Marinade” with a little water to a paste, except red chilli powder, turmeric powder, salt and lemon juice. Add these to...

Chicken Teriyaki – Grilled Chicken with Asian flavours

I’ve not been able to blog the past few days because I was busy with work. You see, got to work on work also in office. To all those millions who were eagerly waiting for my next recipe, here it is – Chicken Teriyaki. This chicken teriyaki is a hot and sweet grilled chicken – zesty, succulent and full of wonderful Asian flavours – ginger, soy and brown sugar. This teriyaki marinade is a delightful combination of flavours and a great alternative to tandoori chicken or plain roasted chicken (a la prime roaster, what happened to prime roaster?). The brown sugar is important, so don’t omit it. The brown sugar beautifully balances the heat from the red chillies and tartness of the tamarind and makes the marinade what it is. There are many like my husband who don’t like to taste “sweet” in their main dishes. To them, only desserts can be sweet. Food conservatism! But don’t worry, the chicken teriyaki doesn’t taste sweet. My husband really liked it. You could serve these grilled beauties as they are. It really doesn’t need any chutney or dip. It makes for an impressive starter for a dinner party. You could marinate these the day before in the refrigerator and grill them just before the party. Prep time: 10 minsMarinating time: 1 hour to overnightGrilling time: 20-40 minsServes: 5 Ingredients Chicken – 5 Leg pieces or any cut of chicken MarinadeGinger – 1 inch peeledGarlic – 5-6 cloves peeledTamarind – small marble sizedDry Red chillies – 5 soaked in a small cup of hot water for 20 minsSoy Sauce – 1 tbspVinegar – 1 tsp (I used white distilled vinegar)Brown sugar – 1 tbspSalt to tasteWater as necessary Method 1.      Clean chicken and make oblong cuts in the chicken so that the marinade can sink in. Pat dry and set aside. 2.      Grind together the ginger, garlic, tamarind and soaked red chillies in a mixer grinder to a fine paste. Transfer the ground paste to a large bowl. Add the soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar and salt and mix well. Add a little bit of water if necessary to thin the marinade. 3.      Rub the marinade on the chicken pieces making sure all the pieces are well coated. Cover and let marinate for a minimum of 1 hour. You could let it marinate overnight in the fridge also. 4.      Grill on a barbecue...

Indian style easy Grilled Chicken

Chicken is the family favourite. Chicken in any form is loved at home. We could negotiate for a separate account at KFC, we’re that regular there. My daughter loves KFC’s chicken strips and making an oven baked version of these strips is on my long list of “To try recipes”. Yeah, I know I am not a very good mom by circle of moms standards, I let my kids eat junk food but I think it’s ok if it’s once in a while. Coming back to this recipe, this is by far the easiest, most basic grilled chicken recipe. The marinade is an Indian style tandoori chicken type masala which is simple and tasty. The key to grilling chicken in an OTG is making sure it’s not overcooked. When chicken is overcooked it gets dry, stringy and chewy. So start checking from the halfway point. You could serve these as starters or as a side with biryani. Preparation time: 10 minsCooking time: 40 mins -1 hourServes: 5 Ingredients Chicken – 5 leg piecesGinger – 2 inches peeledGarlic – 7-10 podsGreen chillies – 2-3Red chilli powder – 2 tbspTurmeric powder – 1 tspLemon juice – from half a lemonSalt to taste Method 1.      Clean chicken and make oblong cuts in the chicken so that the masala can sink in. 2.      Grind together ginger, garlic and green chillies to a smooth paste. In a bowl, add the ground ginger-garlic-green chilli paste, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, lemon juice and salt. Add water to make a smooth marinade neither too runny nor too thick. 3.      Throw the chicken pieces into the marinade and mix well making sure to rub the marinade into the slits in the chicken. Cover and let the chicken marinate for a minimum of 2 hours. 4.      Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Cover the crumb tray with aluminium foil to protect the tray from drippings. You can discard the aluminium foil once the chicken is done; saves you from washing the crumb tray. 5.      Transfer the marinated chicken to the oven and grill/broil for 40 minutes to 1 hour. Turn over the chicken halfway through and baste with remaining marinade. Start checking the chicken from 30 minutes onwards to make sure it isn’t overcooked. Serve hot with cut onion rings and lemon wedges. Notes 1.      Once the chicken is cooked, if you’d like the outside to be crispier, cook...

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