Mar 20, 2011

Dahi Chicken- Chicken in a Yoghurt And Coriander Sauce

( I am still holidaying in Thailand. This is an auto-scheduled post, Woohoo technology!)

Sometimes I get a craving for Indian food so bad and I want it NOW. The food has to be quick, easy and hearty. This curry hits all the right spots. It is a delicious creamy curry with a slight tang from the yoghurt and a hearty flavor from coriander.
All the quantities in the recipe fall under the ‘roughly’ category. I didn’t really weigh them, but you can’t go wrong with this recipe. Simply do the- If it’s heavy on the spices, add some more yoghurt, if it’s too bland, add more spice- dance. But watch out that you don’t overcook it,yoghurt tends to curdle and lump from overcooking instead of giving a creamy texture. Also, use freshly roasted and ground coriander seeds if you can. The difference in taste and aroma between freshly ground and pre powdered is huge.

  • 3 chicken breasts.
  • 2 big onions. Chopped.
  • 7 big fat garlic cloves
  • A thumb of ginger. Approx 25 grams
  • 300gm thick natural yoghurt. I used a 2% Greek yoghurt.
  • 3 whole cardamoms
  • 2 bay leaves.
  • Half tsp turmeric powder
  • Half tsp chilli powder
  • 2 green chillies ( Optional )
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp tsp garam masala
  • Handful fresh coriander. Chopped with stalks and all.
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • Salt to taste

  • Chop onions into cubes. Finely slice ginger. Finely chop garlic. Cube chicken into bite sized pieces.
  • Bring a heavy bottomed pan or ‘kadhai’ to heat on medium and add oil. Add whole cardamoms and bay leaves when oil is ready.  Add onion, garlic and ginger when the whole cardamoms start to sizzle. Fry until golden brown and tender. Cook for approx 5 minutes stirring continuously. If the mixture sticks to the bottom of the pan, ease it out by adding some water and stirring.  Add turmeric powder and chilli powder to the mixture and stir for another 3 minutes or until oil starts separating from the mixture.
  • Add chicken pieces, give it a good stir, cover and cook on high heat till chicken is done. (Approx 2 minutes) At this point, add half of your fresh, chopped coriander.
  • Turn heat down to medium and add yoghurt. Add coriander powder and garam masala. Stir regularly till chicken is cooked through. The curry should be done when you spot some oil droplets floating up to the surface of the curry. Add salt to taste. Garnish with fresh coriander and serve with basmati rice or any Indian bread such as Roti or Naan.

Mar 13, 2011

Sangria Blanco

It was not summer in Denmark, not on 25th February 2011. But it was my birthday, so I was allowed to pretend that we are at some place warm, on a sunny balcony with chilled drinks. I am tired of serving wine and beer, Denmark’s favourite drink to my guests, so carafes of Sangria Blanco it was. Essential ingredients of sweet white wine aside, there is no fast set recipe for Sangria Blanco. There are versions with berries and various kinds of fruits. I had apples and oranges in my fruit bowl and I used those. And hey you fancy pants! Don’t uncork an expensive bottle of wine. That would be a shameful waste. As for me, I bought a cheap sweet wine in a tetra pack.

INGREDIENTS (Makes little over 2 litres) 
  • 2 (750) bottles of sweet Spanish white wine (or a sweet Sauvignon Blanc)
  • 1/2 cup (Ideally Spanish brandy, I used Old Monk Rum!)
  • 1/2 cup Spanish orange liqueur
  • 2 oranges, juiced
  • 1/2 cup superfine sugar
  • 1/2 cup sliced apples.
  • 1/2 cup orange, peeled and sliced.
  • 1/2 lemon, halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 cups club soda, chilled

  • In a cup add sugar, brandy and orange liqueur. Stir till sugar has dissolved well.
  • Combine all ingredients, including chopped fruits, lemon and brandy-orange liqueur-sugar mix in carafes.  Stir well.
  • Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • Add chilled club soda just before serving. Serve in large wine glasses topped with a slice of an orange or lemon, you ‘know to look nice and all.

Mar 8, 2011

Salmon Roe Canapés.

This is the kind of food I considered 'posh' when I was a teenager. Now it’s more about how ridiculously easy it is. All we need to do is assemble it and yet they always disappear so fast at cocktail parties. Typically, crème fraiche is used, but I used Greek yoghurt, because of aforementioned holiday in Thailand and the fact that it will involve bikinis. I prefer Greek yogurt over crème fraiche, it adds more substance and flavour. I used a store bought, sesame topped Danish knækbrød (I don't know what it is called in English. Crisp Bread maybe? ) but any type of crisp, mildly salted cracker should work. With looks like that, this canapé is always a winner.

  1. 100 grams jar of salmon roe or caviar if you grocery budget is bigger than mine.
  2. 100 grams of Greek yoghurt
  3. 1 packet of knækbrød or any non brown, non cheese cracker.
  4. Few stalks of fresh Dill leaves.
  • Lay your knækbrød on a tray.
  • Using a teaspoon, lay tiny dollops of yoghurt on the crackers. You could also use a plastic cone.
  • Using the back of a spoon, gently top the yoghurt with salmon allowing some to drip over the portion of the cracker not covered with yoghurt.
  • Stick in spring of dill like the proverbial feather in the cap. 
Say hello to  my dog Picolo, he has a love affair going on with yoghurt.


Mar 3, 2011

Hummus Topped Cucumber Canapé.

Hello from warm Thailand! I am on a month long holiday and plan to take some cooking lessons while here. In the meanwhile, I have pre scheduled few recipes of the nom noms I served on my birthday. I am not even sure this can be called a canapé because Wikipedia tells me that canapés are served on a bread. Whatever!

Canape or not, this is a light and perfect finger food for cocktail parties. Especially during summer. Being healthy as it is, you can knock back that extra drink without guilt. You will of course need a cucumber sliced into centimetre long rounds. Use the leftover slices of cucumber on your bleary eyes the next day ;)

  • 1 can of chickpeas. ( Save the liquid)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

* To make Tahini from scratch- Blend 2 Tablespoons sesame seeds, 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 cup tepid water until smooth.

  1. Drain chickpeas and blend it with remaining ingredients. Blend for 3-5 minutes on low until thoroughly mixed and smooth. Add the liquid you saved from the chickpea can to get desired consistency if hummus if too dry.
  2. Put hummus into a plastic cone/ bag and squeeze over cucumber slices.
  3. Garnish with black sesame seeds, parsley leaves or olives.