Friday, October 13, 2017

Recipe : Nandini style Andhra Chilli Chicken

For our entire friend circle, Nandini in Bangalore is iconic for its Andhra Chilli Chicken served with Andhra Chicken Biryani. The biryani itself is quite mild, but the chilli chicken is absolute dynamite.

Thanks to a friend on one of the many facebook groups that I follow, I finally found a recipe that works brilliantly. All thanks to Rashmi Shenoy who shared her recipe on Konkani Amchi Food.
When I told my sister that I had found a recipe that was perfect, her first reaction was "Oh, so you won't be needing my courier services anymore!" Yes! That is how much we love this combination! When we lived anywhere else in India, this was what we would ask friends and family who were visiting from Bangalore to bring for us. The chilli chicken freezes well and can be reheated as you like.


I have made a few changes to Rashmi's recipe to adjust for flavours that I don't like (I don't use ajinomoto). She doesn't have a blog of her own, but you can see the original recipe from her, here.

This is a super spicy  recipe, so do not attempt unless you have a high spice tolerance.

Warning :
Better if you can keep your kitchen windows open and kitchen door closed.

Keep a box of tissues on hand. I think I used up about 20 before I was done cooking.

Do not, I repeat, DO NOT TOUCH your eyes while cooking!

I don't think, I've ever posted a warning before posting a recipe before.

Ingredients :
1kg Chicken with bones (curry cut is best, I found the legs and thighs too large for the flavours to permeate)
30-40 Green chillies - grind into coarse paste (yes, thirty to forty)
10-12 Green chillies slit or whole
2 tbsp Vinegar
1 tsp Soya sauce
1 tbsp lemon
Salt to taste
3-4 tbsp Cornflour
3-4 tbsp Water to make the cornflour paste.
2 tbsp Oil
2 tbsp Ghee

Tip : you can use garlic (10 cloves)& ginger 1" pieces while grinding green chillies.
I did it and enjoyed the flavour

Method:
Marinate the chicken with soya sauce, lemon juice & 1/2 tsp salt for 30 minutes.
Coarsely grind the green chillies (and ginger and garlic if using)

Heat a deep pan (for 1kg chicken, take a pan that can hold 2 kgs).
Add oil& ghee.
Once the ghee melts, add the whole / slit green chillies and fry for a minute till it turns white on the outside.
Now add the green chilli paste & fry well.
Protect your nose and eyes.

Once the oil separates from the sides, add the marinated chicken & fry for sometime.
Add a little water and let it cook for 20 minutes on low heat.
Adjust salt to taste.

Add the cornflour paste & vinegar.


The Andhra Chilli chicken is ready to be served with Nandini style Andhra chicken Biryani and Onion Raita

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Recipe : Nandini style Andhra Chicken Biryani

For our entire friend circle, Nandini in Bangalore is iconic for its Andhra Chilli Chicken served with Andhra Chicken Biryani. The biryani itself is quite mild, but the chilli chicken is absolute dynamite.

For those of us who moved away from the city, this was the holy grail of recipes that we have been searching for. We have all tried many versions and failed dismally, with spouses shaking their heads and saying "it just isn't there".

Well, it finally "is there" Thanks to a friend on one of the many facebook groups that I follow, I finally found a recipe that works brilliantly. All thanks to Rashmi Shenoy who shared her recipe on Konkani Amchi Food.

When I told my sister that I had found a recipe that was perfect, her first reaction was "Oh, so you won't be needing my courier services anymore!" Yes! That is how much we love this combination! When we lived anywhere else in India, this was what we would ask friends and family who were visiting from Bangalore to bring for us.


I have made a few changes to Rashmi's recipe to adjust for flavours that I don't like (star anise instead of mace, a little less ghee and I added eggs). She doesn't have a blog of her own, but you can see the original recipe from her, here.

The biryani itself is quite mild, so no worries on spice levels in this half of the recipe.

Ingredients :
1/2 kg chicken (smaller pieces better - curry cut)
1/2 cup Yogurt
3 small Onions sliced
6-7 Green chillies
4 Cloves
2" Cinnamon stick 2 x 1"
4 Cardamom 4
1 star anise / biryani flower
2 Bay leaves
1/2 tsp Pepper powder
1/2 cup Coriander leaves
1/2 cup Mint leaves (no stalks)
4 -5 cups Basmati rice (washed & soaked in water)
3-4 eggs hard boiled and skinned.
Salt to taste
2-3 tbsp Ghee

Method:
Heat ghee in presssure cooker, add the whole spices.
When they sputter, add sliced onions and let it turn golden brown .
Then add green chillies, coriander & mint leaves and fry for 2-3 minutes.

Add chicken pieces to this and cook for 5-6 minutes till chicken changes colour on the outside to white.

Add yogurt now with a little salt and mix well.
Use a wooden spoon, so you aren't breaking things up.

Drain & add the soaked rice, mix well and fry for a minute or two.
Add the boiled eggs.

Add hot water to the rice. (Rashmi advises using 1:1.5 ratio of rice: water, I eyeball it)
Check seasoning salt and pepper.

I cooked it in the pressure cooker, same as I would for any biryani. (this is a trick & measure of time and heat dependent on each pressure cooker and the kind of heating that you use.)

Rashmi says :
Trick here is to close the pressure cooker lid and not to put the whistle. Once the steam is out, place a steel glass on the nozzle and simmer the flame and cook for 15 minutes.

If you are using normal (not boiling water, same process but cook for 20 minutes.

Once done, carefully open the lid and mix the rice slowly.

This goes perfectly well with Andhra chilli chicken recipe


Optional garnish with coriander leaves and crisply fried sliced onions. As you can see in the first picture, I also served an onion raita on the side with the Andhra Chilli Chicken.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Recipe : Baked Corn on the Cob

Now, this may seem like a really easy recipe, so why have I turned it into a blog post?

Well, I absolutely love corn that is grilled on coals or a flame that is served all round India on the streets during the rainy season. When I had a gas stove in India, it was easy to roast corn on the flames. But that's not the case with the induction counter tops here. Also in our tiny London apartment, I don't have the option of Barbecueing it either and pressure cooker or boiling it, just doesn't give it the same flavour and texture as grilling or roasting it. So I thought that if I can char brinjal/aubergine in the oven, why not try it with the corn?

This is what worked for me.


Some freshly grilled corn on the cob (in the oven) even on a rainy day.

These went into a pre heated fan oven at 180C (for regular ovens 190C) for 30 minutes with the skins on.

If you just pop it in a regular oven with everything on, its much easier to clean after it's cooked and keeps all the moisture trapped inside. It doesn't give you the charred effect though.

If you want a charred effect, then you need to clean it up after baking and pop it under the grill for a few minutes after cooking.

Peeled and drizzled with a lemon juice + chilli powder + salt dressing. So, so good!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Recipe : Purple Sprouting Broccoli Salad

A couple of weeks ago, I was at a book launch for Thomasina Miers latest cookbook - "Home Cook", where she served us a lovely sprouting broccoli on sourdough toast.

When we visited Osterley Park, I found some fresh purple sprouting broccoli at the farmers stand and I had to buy them and cook them immediately.

This salad is inspired by Thomasina Miers recipe from her cookbook, with my own twist on it.


Ingredients:
1 bunch purple sprouting broccoli (will work with regular broccoli too)
1 handful shelled & halved walnuts
1-6 cloves of garlic finely sliced (depending on how much you like garlic, I used 6)
1/2 tsp olive oil (to fry, not extra virgin)
lemon juice to taste
pomegranate molasses to taste (balsamic vinegar will work as a substitute)
chilli oil to taste (or any other flavoured oil)
cheese to garnish (optional) - goats cheese or anything creamy combines beautifully


Method:
Lightly roast the walnuts in a pan and keep aside.
Warm the olive oil in the pan, and add the sliced garlic.
As the garlic begins to brown, add the broccoli.
When cooked to your satisfaction (I like it crunchy without the raw smell), take it off the heat.
Toss with the toasted walnuts.

Put it in a serving bowl.
Drizzle lightly with lemon juice, pomegranate molasses and chilli oil.
Garnish with cheese if you like.

Eat as is or on toasted bread.

Tip:
If the broccoli isn't tender, halve the mature stems away from the heads and cook those first before adding the broccoli heads, so that everything is evenly cooked.

Thomasina Miers at the Book Discussion:


The Broccoli on Sourdough Bread that she served (pardon the terrible picture, but it was difficult to get a good shot in the crowd)

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Recipe : Indian Style Spicy Scotch Eggs - Nargisi Kofta


Scotch Eggs are a great way of using up leftover mince and they are very yummy too. I don't have any post-frying pictures, as they disappeared so quickly!

These ones were made with leftover low fat pork mince

I made this minced meat recipe of mine without the tomatoes or the peas. But you can use any recipe you like.

Take the leftover mince and potatoes and grind it in the food processor (add water if it isn't grinding & then later slow cook on a low flame to dry it out to the right consistency)

Add fresh coriander leaves and fresh chilli chopped.

You can fry these as it is for cutlets.
Deep fry them as meat balls and use in your favourite pasta sauce or Indian curry.

But to make Nargisi Koftas:

Boil eggs, cool, peel and dry completely before encasing it in the mince.

I sliced the eggs in half before covering with mince, but you can make them whole and slice before serving if you prefer

Dip in beaten egg & coat with rawa/semolina (optional - makes it crispy) and fry on a low flame with a little oil (they can also be deep fried)

I make this with beef, chicken or lean pork mince.

They get gobbled up so quickly.

You can even stuff them in burger buns or pita breads for a more filling meal.

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