Tag Archives: chicken

Lighter butter chicken or pulled chicken in curry sauce


We as a family love chicken. It provides a great source of protein and can be cooked in many ways. Any who knows anything about the indian food knows one dish for sure, ‘Butter chicken or Chicken tikka masala’. My kids love CTM  as well. However the standard recipe for the sauce for CTM or BC is loaded with cream.  I saw this recipe Sharmishta posted and took inspiration to make a lighter version of CTM.

Often times when you make chicken breast it tends to dry out and then it is no fun to eat. The steps in this recipe ensure that you have a moist chicken.

For CTM, the chicken is grilled and made into Tikka and then added to the sauce, here we will try to bring in some of those flavors using another shortcut.

I am learning Spanish and I am obsessed with it. So to practice while I am cooking, just for fun, I have listed some ingredients in Spanish.



For the chicken stock:
1 lb Boneless Chicken breast piece flattened with a kitchen pallet
1 onion cubed
2-3 cloves of garlic
1/2″ pc of ginger
Few cilantro stems
Whole garam masala (cloves , cinnamon, cardamom and star anise)

spices for the stock.JPG
For the sauce:
2-3 Onions chopped finely
1/2 Tomato puree
1 tspn ginger garlic paste
Salt acc to taste
1 tsp Kashmiri Red Chilli powder
1 tsp Coriander seeds powder
1 tsp Kasoori Methi
Garam masala pwd
2-3 tbspn cream
2 bay leaves
1-2 tspn Tandoori Masala

spices for the sauce.JPG

1 few drops of liquid smoke ( optional)

For the tempering
1 tbspn ghee
1 tspn finely chopped garlic
1 Whole red chilli


First boil water in a large pan and add the ingredients listed under stock. Once the water becomes flavorful add the chicken pieces and bring it to a boil. Turn the gas off and let the chicken sit in it for 5 mins. Then remove the chicken pieces with a slotted spoon and shred it.


Also strain the stock and keep aside.
Mix some tandoori masala to the shredded chicken and sauté in little ghee for a minute or two and keep aside. Sauteing in the ghee with the masala imparts a flavor close to grilling it in a tandoor


Now heat oil in a pan and add the bay leaf and onions. Fry till it starts turning golden brown and add the ginger garlic paste and tomato puree. Add the dry spices  along with 1 tsp tandoor masala and sauté till you see oil leaving the masala.


If you feel the masala becoming too dry you can add the stock little at a time.


Now add the shredded chicken to the masala and sauté well. Once the masala coats the chicken well add the remaining stock and let it cook.


Once the stock reduces add the cream garam masala and Kasoori methi. Adjust the seasonings. Add the liquid smoke if using.

Now in a separate pan heat ghee and sauté dry red chilli and chopped garlic and pour over the chicken masala. Cover and let it stand for a minute or two so that all the flavors are absorbed.
You can serve this with naan , roti , Paratha or roomali roti.


I made chicken salad sandwiches and wraps with the left overs and it was fun. My co workers loved it too. In fact, we are now going to make this together at my house in summer.


Chicken tikka vietnamese Spring Rolls


When I have an idea in mind, I can not rest easy until I execute on it. One such idea was variations on the Vietnamese Spring rolls. I wanted to try making an Indian version, I thought it would go really well with the concept.But before we talk about that recipe, let me tell you my  first encounter with these spring rolls.

The first time I ate these spring rolls when I was pregnant with my first child. I had a terrible time with the morning sickness and could not keep anything down. Around that time we were invited to my husband’s colleagues wedding reception. The bride and groom both were of Vietnamese origin and so at  the celebrations the food served was Vietnamese.

Forget eating and enjoying, I could not even stand the smell of most of those things. It had a lot of fish sauce,and all kinds of meat. Everyone tried to see what I can eat, offered so many things but nothing felt right at that time. Then someone got these interesting looking things that they called ‘Spring rolls’. They were nothing like the ones I knew from back in India. They did not look fried and almost looked transparent. I loved those..I loved the fresh basil and mint and the crunchy bean sprouts… it was perfect.

I have been making these for a while now and love making variations.

Today’s variation has a Indian touch. The meat used is the pickled chicken, I think it compliments the fresh mint and cilantro.

This recipe for the Achari chicken is a perfect addition to the fresh ingredients of the spring roll. You can also use chicken tikka or any other nicely seasoned meat. I have made this with marinated Tofu/Paneer to make the vegetarian/vegan version. It tastes just as well.

Achari chicken spring roll

Achari chicken spring roll



  • 3/4 lb boneless Chicken ( for vegetarian option use Tofu/Paneer)
  • 2 ½ tablespoons Achari Masala
  • 1/4 lb Hung Yogurt (this is basically yogurt hung in a cheese cloth)
  • 1 tablespoon refined flour
  • 2 tablespoons Mustard Oil

Other ingredients

  • Bean Sprouts
  • Few green lettuce leaves
  • Thin rice noodles, cooked according to the packet
  • Julienned carrot
  • Few mint leaves
  • Few cilantro leaves
  • Few Rice paper sheets



  • Heat Mustard Oil in a 10 inch nonstick pan until it smokes.
  • Add Achari Masala to the pan. Cook the spice mix for 20 seconds, then remove from heat. Let cool for 10 minutes.
  • In a glass bowl, mix yogurt and cooked spices well. Make sure to include the oil.
  • Cut cubes of chicken & marinate it with the pickled curd marinade for minimum 60 mins.
  • IMG_3233

Now cook the chicken on medium flame, add refined flour and cook for 8-10 mins. Once cooked evenly, keep it aside.


Dip the rice paper in cold water for 5 seconds. Take it out and shake off the excess water. Make sure you use cold water and also don’s leave the rice paper in the water for too long. Although when you take it out, it might still feel stiff but it does soften up.


Lay the wet rice paper flat on a board. Layer all the ingredients. In works the best to start with a piece of lettuce, this helps provide a base and stability to the roll. Now continue with the rice noodles, Chicken, sprouts, carrots, cilantro, mint.

Now roll like a burrito making sure that no vegetables are poking out. We want our spring roll to look pretty.


Make sure that you keep these covered so they don’t dry out.

Cut in half and serve. Depending on the flavor of the chicken you can pair with the right sauce. For example when I make it with an indian flavored chicken, I serve it with a Tamarind-date chutney.




Indian Pickled chicken in lettuce cups


My first take on Saransh Goila’s recipe, ‘Achari Tikka Bread cones’  turned out yummy, everyone loved it. I made it for dinner and paired it with a soup and it was a hit. That night I had my friend over for dinner and he is sort of doing a Paleo diet, so I decided to make a variation for him that was not as carb heavy.

This has all the flavor of the original minus the bread. I kept the croutons on the side so he could add a few if he wanted.  I loved how pretty it looked.  I also made a vegetarian version with ‘Paneer’ for a vegetarian friend and that turned out yummy as well.

Achari Chicken lettuce cup with garlic crouton

Achari Chicken lettuce cup with garlic crouton

3/4  lb  Boneless Chicken
2 ½ tablespoons Achari Masala ( I used ready made Indian pickle masala)
100 grams Hung Curd
1 tablespoon refined flour
2 tablespoons Mustard Oil
2 Thick bread slices, cubed
2 tbsp butter melted
1 clove of garlic crushed

Chopped carrots, cilantro, green bell pepper

Bean sprouts
Endive leaves separated



Heat Mustard Oil to a smoking point & then add Achari Masala to it. Cook the spice mix nicely. Take it off heat, let it cool down for 10 minutes.

Add this spice mix into hung curd. Mix nicely.

Cut cubes of chicken & marinade it with the pickled curd marinade for minimum 60 mins.

Now cook the chicken on medium flame, add refined flour and cook for 8-10 mins. Once cooked evenly, keep it aside.



Preheat the oven at 325 F

Toast the bread cubes in the oven till they are crisp.
Take them out and pour the garlic butter and toss them well. Bake them again for 5-6 mins to get them golden brown.

Mix with chicken with the croutons, chopped carrot, sprouts, and cilantro.



Now, take the endive leaves and fill them up with the mixture. And serve.

Achari Chicken lettuce cup with garlic crouton

Achari Chicken lettuce cup with garlic crouton

Achari Chicken Tikka cones


Chicken pickled with Indian spices is used as a prime ingredient in making an Open Canape.

You read in my previous post that there was a challenge/ healthy competition on a facebook group, where a very famous chef  Saransh Goila has shared some of his amazing recipes, and the members of the group are trying to recreate those. The second recipe was Achari Chicken Tikka Canape.

I thought it was genius..I love the pickle flavor and to combine that with a crispy buttery toast, and topped with crunchy sprouts. I could totally see myself making this quite often as an appetizer in summer.

Back to the competition, we were supposed to follow the recipe but it was ok to put a twist on it. So I decided to make it three ways. The chicken was the same, but I varied the bread used and also presented it in three different ways.

Variation 1- Bread Cones

Achari Chicken in garlic bread cone 1

Achari Chicken in garlic bread cone


300 grams Chicken
2 ½ tablespoons Achari Masala ( I used a ready made masala)
100 grams Hung Curd
20 grams Bean Sprouts
1/4 cup shredded cabbage
1 tablespoon refined flour
2 tablespoons Mustard Oil

1 can of crescent roll dough

1 tsp soft butter mixed with some crushed garlic

few thick papers

Few aluminium foil



Heat Mustard Oil to a smoking point & then add Achari Masala to it. Cook the spice mix nicely. Take it off heat, let it cool down for 10 minutes.

Add this spice mix into hung curd. Mix nicely.

Cut cubes of chicken & marinade it with the pickled curd marinade for minimum 60 mins.

Now cook the chicken on medium flame, add refined flour and cook for 8-10 mins. Once cooked evenly, keep it aside.

Mix with shredded cabbage and set aside.

Bread cone

While the chicken is marinating, you can start the preparation for the bread cones.

Preheat the oven at 350 F.

Make a cone with a thick paper and cover it entirely with an aluminum foil.

Spray with a cooking spray.

Take the crescent roll dough out and cut in 1 inch strip. Wrap around the aluminum cone. Bake for 9-10 mins.

The cones won’t be completely baked, take them out of the oven and take out the foil cone.

Now brush them inside and out with garlic butter and sprinkle with panch phoran.

Bake for a few more minutes.

Fill up with the chicken mixture and top with some sprouts.

Achari Chicken in garlic bread cone-close up

Achari Chicken in garlic bread cone

300 grams Chicken
2 ½ tablespoons Achari Masala
100 grams Hung Curd
20 grams Bean Sprouts
1 pcs. Iceberg Lettuce
50 grams Butter
30 grams Peeled Garlic
6 pcs. Bread buns
1 tablespoon refined flour
2 tablespoons Mustard Oil

Heat Mustard Oil to a smoking point & then add Achari Masala to it. Cook the spice mix nicely. Take it off heat, let it cool down for 10 minutes.

Add this spice mix into hung curd. Mix nicely.

Cut cubes of chicken & marinade it with the pickled curd marinade for minimum 60 mins.

Shred the lettuce & store it in chilled water.

Now cook the chicken on medium flame, add refined flour and cook for 8-10 mins. Once cooked evenly, keep it aside.

Add chopped garlic to softened butter. Now spread this butter on half sliced buns.

Toast these buns on a non stick pan or in the oven.

Assemble the canapé – Take the toasted bread. Place lettuce leaves on it. Add the pickled Chicken on the top.

Garnish with sprouts & serve.

Kozhi Korma – a delicious curry with southern indian flavors




Kozhi Korma

Kozhi Korma 1

When I came to the US of A, I barely knew how to cook. I still remember my first attempt at making a ‘Capsicum- Potato’ stir-fry, it was a disaster. I underestimated how big the bell peppers were and created more of a mess than a stir-fry. I used to call my Mom practically every day to ask for recipes, and call to India would cost $1.2. I think I used to spend just as much money on phone calls for making dinner as I spent for groceries.   Internet was not available so the only source was cook books and of course, Call Mom.

Fast forward a few years, internet came along and so did Facebook. I sometimes wonder how we lived our lives before the internet was around. I love being able to learn about  different cultures, their traditions and rituals, and naturally along with that their cuisines.  I love sharing what I have learnt and along the way learn a few things from people who are generous enough to share their knowledge. I am learning how to bake, how to take good pictures and so much more.

One such source is a Facebook group I am part of, it is all about honest to goodness food. Many talented chef are part of that group and share some amazing tried and tested recipes. One such recipe is ‘Kozhi Korma’, my co food lover Harjeet shared it.

Kozhi Korma 2

It is amazingly easy to make but very very yummy. It uses very basic ingredients that you would have in your pantry and comes together very quickly. I like the fact that it comes together in less than 30 mins.


1 lB chicken ( I prefer using boneless since my family likes it that way)

3 Tablespoon Oil
2 Teaspoon Ginger chopped
3 Teaspoon Garlic chopped
3 Tablespoons Coconut milk
2 Teaspoons Green chili chopped
2 Teaspoons Chopped coriander
10 Curry leaves
4 Tablespoons Onions chopped
4 Tablespoons Tomatoes chopped
1 Teaspoon Aniseed
1 Teaspoon Mustard seeds
1″ Cinnamon
5 Cloves
Salt to taste
1 Teaspoon Turmeric
3 Teaspoons Coriander power
2 Teaspoons Red chili powder
2 Teaspoons Tamarind pulp
1 Teaspoon Curry powder

Kozhi Korma Ingredients 1


Heat oil in a Lagan add mustard seeds,cinnamon,clove & curry leaves
Add onion and sauté for them for a while.  


Now add chicken along with  chopped ginger, garlic, green chili & stir fry for a while. Add all dry spices and sauté them for a while,add some water and cook till chicken is little tender.

 Kozhi Korma 4

Add chopped tomatoes and add coconut milk. Add tamarind pulp and check for seasoning.Garnish with chopped coriander and serve hot with steamed rice.

Kozhi Korma 3

Thai basil chicken


If I had to pick my favorite food it is obviously Indian, I grew up in India and that was the only cuisine I ate until I came to the USA. When I came to the United States is when I tasted Mexican and Thai cuisines. And now these two cuisines are my favorites. I love the use of fresh herbs in thai cuisine. Galangal, lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves and of course Thai basil. These aromatic herbs add a lot of flavor without any fat and most of these also have medicinal properties. In spring you get many kinds of basils in the farmers market and one of these basils is ‘Lemon Basil’- it has a unique flavor which is a combination of lemongrass and basil. I love it. Today’s recipe is super simple and can be made in 15 mins if you have all the ingredients ready.

Thai Basil Chicken


2 chicken breasts, chopped in small pieces 4 cloves of garlic 4 thai chilies ( adjust as per your spice level preference) 1/2 tsp oyster sauce 1/2 tsp sweet soy sauce 1/2 tsp dark soy sauce 1/2 tsp sugar A handful of basil leaves


Make a coarse paste with the chilies and garlic. Don’t make it extra fine. I feel like the ingredients are simple and so is the technique. I prefer using mortar pestle for making the chili garlic paste.   Heat oil in the pan. The pan should be super hot. Make sure you are ready with all the ingredients, you don’t want to eat burnt garlic. Sauté the garlic paste for a few seconds making sure it does not burn. Add chicken pieces and sauté for another 30 seconds. Add the liquid mixture of soy sauces, oyster sauce and sugar. If the chicken is cooked, add the basil leaves and turn the heat off.   Cover and let the basil flavor infuse in the meat.      Serve with brown or white rice. Vegetarian option It is made exactly the same way as the chicken. I like to use vegetables like mushrooms, snow peas, broccoli, bell peppers and onions. Make sure you cook the vegetables on high heat so that they don’t give out water and become soggy. Once ready you can also mix these vegetables into your chicken to combine to make a wholesome dish. I always  include vegetables in our meals and also if you have any vegetarian friends they can also enjoy the lovely flavor of the lemon basil if you make this variation.

Chicken porcupine  kabob


  You hear all the time that kids are fussy eaters and you got to try all kinds of tricks to get them to eat good stuff. I must say I got lucky, both my kids never troubled me with eating, they eat anything & everything I make for them( may be barring ‘indian bitter melon). 

I also see and hear that the kids want to eat junk and throw tantrums if they don’t get any. I have seen kids eat chicken nuggets everyday. Again, I can not complain here, my kids don’t eat junk at all, in fact if you open my pantry, you will not find any chips, cookies with vegetable shortening. Instead of eating something that is processed and full of preservative, excess salt and sugar, my family eats dry fruits, dehydrated fruits & veggies, nuts…I am very thankful for that. 


As you can see, my pantry is loaded with nuts, dry fruits, healthy indian style popped lotus seeds etc. I have a designated place for everything so they find it easily. Most of  my containers are clear and labeled.   


So back to the making food for kids. I feel that if you make it fun, the kids enjoy and might try different things. 

Today’s recipe is one such fun recipe. It is tasty, healthy and easy to make. 

Chicken porcupine kabob 


It is a very simple recipe and if you have all the ingredients, you can make it in under 30 mins. 


3/4 lb ground chicken ( I use a combination of breast & thighs)

1/2 onion chopped really fine

1-2 cloves of garlic crushed

1/2 inch Ginger, chopped or grated

1 green chill finely chopped 

1/2 tsp garam masala

1/2 tsp cumin powder

3/4 tsp coriander powder

1 tbsp chopped cilantro

1 tbsp chopped mint

1 tsp chaat masala


1/2 cup  basmati rice plus 1tsp salt, soaked for 1 hour

1 tbsp oil


Drain the soaked rice. Take it on a plate. 

Start boiling the water to steam out Kabob. 

Mix all the ingredient for kabob very well. 

Take the oil in a bowl. 

Make small balls from the chicken mixture. Dip it briefly in the oil, and roll in the rice grains. 

Arrange them on the steamer dish. 


Steam for 5-7 mins depending on the size of the chicken ball. 

Take out one and check if the chicken is cooked through. 


As  you can see the rice is steamed and pluffs up nicely. 

You can serve these with spicy mint chutney or a sweet and sour tamarind chutney or tomato ketch up.  


BIRYANCINIS- Biryani goes to Italy


I love watching Master Chef India. On that a couple of weeks ago someone had made arancinis with an Indian flavor. I remembered my experiment from two years ago a and thought I would blog it today. 

Here is my post from a couple of years ago. 


Arancinis are fried rice balls that are stuffed with cheese, originated in Sicily. I ate Arancinis in a famous restaurant in New York. Since then I have been meaning to put Indian tadka on it.

 So here is my attempt of ‘BIRYANCINIS’




2 cups of rice

3.5 cups of water ( that is how much I use)

2 green cardamom 

2 brown cardamom 

2 inch stick of cinnamon 

1 bay leaf

1/4 tsp black pepper corn

1/4 tsp cloves

Few thread of saffron soaked in 1 tbsp milk

Chopped mint and cilantro

1 egg

Method :

Soak rice in cold water for atleast 45 mins. 

Boil  water with all the whole garam masala like Cinnamon, clove, cardamom, bay leaf.  

Add soaked rice and cook until done. When it is almost ready add saffron. 

After it was cool add chopped cilantro n mint. Add the egg and mix. 


1/2 onion chopped

1 lb minced chicken 

Chopped mint 

1 green chili chopped fine

Powdered garam masala containing cardamom, shahee jeera,mace powder

1/3 cup shredded pepper jack cheese

1/2 bread crumbs seasoned with dry mint & paprika

Sauté chopped onions till caramelized.

 Add chopped green chili, garam masala powder.Add minced chicken and cook. Add a lot of chopped mint.

 When cooled, add the shredded pepper jack cheese( enough to bind) .

Make balls of the cooked rice with chicken mixture in the centre. 

Dip the balls in beaten egg white( we had only used yolk for the filling), roll in bread crumbs.  Deep fry in oil( next time will try it in appam pan).

Serve with cilantro raita as a dip.

Chicken marsala- sounds like masala but so much different

Chicken marsala- sounds like masala but so much different

I love Chicken Marsala, it is flavorful not heavy and very easy to make. Another reason I like it is that it has mushrooms, and I love mushrooms.

Chicken Marsala

Chicken Marsala

I have always loved mushrooms. But when I ate Portabella mushrooms, I fell in love with them. I like the fact that it holds its shape even after cooking and does not melt away.


I feel that everyone should be like that, try to adapt to the situation without giving up your own. I feel very strongly about it since in India where I grew up, it is expected that  when a woman gets married she forgets her past, her existence and gives herself to the new family, adapts to the new customs and mold herself to the liking of her husband and her in laws. I think it is not fair..not only because she has to make so many adjustments but that she can not be herself any more. Change of name, wearing symbols showing she is married, keeping fast for her husband…all are one sided adjustments that are expected of a woman and very rarely reciprocated.

I guess Women rights is is not the topic of this post, mushrooms are, so moving on…

In winter when the farmers market sort of shrinks, there are very few vegetables, a star like mushroom comes to the rescue. And a dish like ‘Chicken Marsala’ showcases the mushrooms very well.

I had watched a food network show where a chef ( I think it was Giada)made Chicken Marsala, I thought it is so easy and have been making it for a while now.

The recipe itself is very simple, very few ingredients and comes together very quickly. It also looks very fancy so makes a great candidate when you have company. It can be made ahead and kept warm.


For the chicken cutlets

2 Boneless skinless Organic Chicken breasts

1/2 cup all purpose flour

Salt & Pepper to taste



4 cups sliced crimini mushrooms

1/2 cup Sweet Marsala wine

1/2 cup organic chicken stock

3 oz prosciutto chopped in small pieces

2 tbsp unsalted butter

1/4 cup chopped Parsley


Chicken Cutlets

Slice the chicken in half horizontally, or cut like butterfly. Put in on a cutting board, cover with plastic and pound  it with a mallet till it is nice thickness.

Season with salt & pepper.

Take flour in a wider bowl & season with salt & pepper generously.

Heat a skillet on medium heat.

Drench chicken in the flour mixture well. Shake off the excess flour.


Add olive oil to the skillet and add the flour covered chicken pieces.


Cook till it is nice and brown on both sides, about 4-5 mins on each side. If the chicken piece is thicker, it might take longer.


Remove and keep aside on a plate. Keep it covered so it stays warm.


In the same pan add the chopped prosciutto on medium heat. It will gives out some fat, after it browns.


Add the sliced mushrooms.


Cook the mushrooms until they are a bit softer. Season with some pepper.


Add the marsala and cook till the alcohol burns.


I like to flambe the mushrooms at this point. I think it adds a nice flavor to the mushrooms & helps burn the alcohol off.


Add the chicken stock and cook a few mins.


Add the chicken cutlets and heat through. Add butter and stir well.


Add chopped parsley.


I like to serve it with something like orzo, mashed potatoes.


I think these serve like a blank canvas, take on the flavors of the main dish, in this case the Chicken Marsala.

Dukkah crusted chicken in coconut oil


I made Dukkha just because I just loved eating it mixed in olive oil and eaten with a crusty bread but since I made it I have been sort of obsessed with its flavors. So when I needed to make some protein for a dinner to go with my porcini mushroom soup with truffle oil, I decided to use this spice blend.

Today’s recipe is an easy one that you can put together in 10 mins if you have the Dukhah ready.

Dukkah crusted Chicken with coconut oil





2 Boneless skinless organic chicken breast cut in strips

1/2 tsp All Spice powder

1 tsp Smoked paprika

1 tbsp oil

salt to taste

2 small cloves of garlic crushed

8 tbsp of Dukkah blend



Mix the garlic, salt, paprika, oil and all spice in a bowl. Add the chicken pieces and mix well. Let it sit for 5 mins.



Take the dukkah in a shallow bowl.  Take the chicken pieces one at a time and make sure they are coated well with the mixture. Press down a bit to ensure that the mixture sticks to the chicken pieces.


Take a pan and add some coconut oil.

Cook the chicken pieces on low flame until done on both sides.


Serve with a salad or a bowl of hot soup.