Monday, April 29, 2013

Crispy Beetroot Cutlet

Why Beetroot? As a mother of two growing daughters, I have the daunting task of making tasty yet healthy snacks for them every evening. Those who are on the same situation as me, would definitely agree with me that how difficult it is to combine taste & health in a nice way.

Very few veggie can match the nutritional value of the humble beetroot. Beetroot contains potassium, magnesium & iron as well as vitamins A, B6 & C and Folic Acid. It also contains carbohydrates, proteins, powerful antioxidants and soluble fiber. Not only is beetroot great for boosting stamina and making muscles work harder, but also can help in reducing blood pressure as well as its associated risks such as heart attacks & strokes.

If the above info is too technical to digest, don’t worry too much. You’ll find beetroot cutlet, made as per the recipe given in this blog, to be a nice & tasty evening snacks, which would bowl over your loved ones.

For Filling
Beetroot – 2 Large size, grated
Carrot – 1 large, grated
Potato – 1 Large
Green peas – 1/2 cup, optional
Peanut – 2 tbsp, roasted and peeled
Raisins – 1 tbsp, soaked
Ginger paste – 1 tbsp
Green chilli – 3 Chopped
Fennel seed – 1/2 tsp
Roasted Spices – Cumin, Coriander, Fennel seeds in equal amount
Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
Chilli powder – 1 tsp
Salt – As per taste

For Coating
Cornflour – 1 tbsp
Flour – 1 tbsp
Water – 1/4 cup
Egg Beaten – 1 no, optional if we are not making it pure vegetarian
 Oil for Frying

Boil potato and mash it slowly with hand. Keep it aside. Dry roast Cumin, Coriander, and Fennel Seed and then grind into fine powder.

Heat oil in a pan and add fennel seeds. Add Ginger paste and chopped green chillis. Fry for some time and then add grated vegetables and sauté for few minutes. Add turmeric powder, chili powder, and salt and cook till veggies become soft. Add mashed potato and stir again.

Add boiled Peas and roasted peanut and roasted spices. Mix well with the veggies.
Cook till veggies get mixed completely. Switch off the flame and allow it to cool for some time. Take a small portion of the mixture in you palm and roll it and then press to give the shape of a round cutlet.

Take a bowl and add cornflour, plain flour and pinch of salt and water to make a batter of medium consistency.  Beaten egg (optional) can also be used. Take another bowl and pour some breadcrumb and spread it.

Dip each cutlet in the batter and then roll them into breadcrumb and make sure the cutlet is coated well with that. Coat all cutlets like this and keep them refrigerated for an hour. Your cutlets are ready for frying.

Heat oil in a pan and deep fry the cutlet in medium flame until it turns golden brown.
Serve hot along with your favorite sauce/dip.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Healthy Butter Chicken

Butter Chicken or Murg Makhani is, undoubtedly India's best culinary export to the world. There are not many Indian restaurants around the globe which don't serve Butter Chicken. It is a thick yoghurt-tomato based gravy preparation of chicken, best enjoyed with either Roti, Naan or Pulao.The origin of this dish is credited to a  certain Kundan Lal Gujral, who had started preparing this in his Moti Mahal restaurant in Peshwar of pre-independent India. After partition, he shifted to Delhi and opened Moti Mahal there. This preparation was particularly popular with the Sikh/Punjabi community who is said to have made it popular through their diaspora in UK, USA, Canada et al
Though Butter Chicken is known to be a high-calorie dish, I have tried to reduce some calories by giving it a healthy twist. Instead of frying the chicken pieces, we would be  grilling them in the oven and also using very little oil & butter during cooking

Chicken - 1 kg, either boneless or with bone cut into cubes
Ginger paste - 1 tsp
Garlic paste - 1 tsp
Onion paste - 2 tsp
Tomato –  2 nos, made into puree
Oil – 3 to 4 tsp
Yogurt - 1/2 cup, beaten
Fresh cream -1/2 cup
Cloves - 2
Cardamom - 4 to 5
Cinnamon sticks - 1 piece of 1” size
Chili powder - 1 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Cumin powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - ½ tsp
Dried fenugreek leaves (Kasoori methi) - 1 Tbsp
Salt - according to taste
Sugar – ½ tsp
Butter - an 1" size cube
Chopped coriander leaves for garnishing


Turmeric powder- 1 tsp
Red chili powder- 1 tbsp
Coriander powder- 1 tbsp
Hung yogurt – 2 tsp
Garam Masala powder – ½ tsp
Salt- according to taste
Ginger paste- 1 tsp
Garlic paste- 1 tsp
Lemon juice- 2 tbsp
Salt- according to taste

Oil- 2 tsp

Clean and wash chicken pieces and drain out excess water completely

In a bowl add chicken and all the marinade ingredients together. Mix well and let it marinate for minimum 5 – 6 hours or overnight

Pre-heat the oven in 425o F/200o C. Put an aluminium foil on a tray, put the marinated chicken pieces on that. Place the tray on the top rack and grill for 18-20 minutes. Half way through, baste the chicken pieces with oil and turn them around

In case you don't have an oven, you can pan fry the chicken. Spread very little oil in a non-stick frying pan and put the chicken pieces, brown both sides by quickly turning in high flame. Reduce the flame, cover the pan with a lid and cook for around 7-8 minutes, turning the chicken pieces in between, to evenly cook them

In a heavy bottomed wok, add oil and heat. Now add whole cardamom, cinnamon stick and clove to the hot oil

Add ginger-garlic paste and onion paste. Fry till it turns golden yellow. Now add chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder and Cumin powder. Add a little water and fry till oils start separating from it. Now add tomato puree and again stir for couple of minute in high flame

Reduce the flame and add beaten yogurt  Stir a little and add salt and sugar as per taste. Stir the thick creamy gravy and then add grilled chicken pieces slowly. Wrap the chicken pieces with the thick gravy and add half 1 cup of water with garam masala powder. Cover and let it cook for 5 minutes

Now add fresh cream(optional, used to make the gravy richer) and Kasoori methi and stir slowly. Cover it again and cook for a couple of minutes

Garnish it with Coriander leaves and the cube of butter. Serve hot with Roti or Naan

Monday, April 15, 2013

Easy peasy Mishti Doi (Kolkata styled sweetened yogurt in a jiffy)

Hi friends!! I am back after a long gap of more than 1 year. I had joined a job and was completely busy in settling myself in the big, bad corporate world. However, I’m kind of settled down now and would, once again, continue to share lip-smacking recipes in my blog. I’m back with a new & improved look of my blog site. Stay tuned with my blog for more interesting recipes.
What would be a more auspicious day to start a new lease of blogging life than Poila Boisakh, the 1st day of Bengali Lunar Calendar? And, what would be a better choice of food than Mishti Doi (Kolkata styled Sweetened Yogurt), a quintessential Bengali sweet delicacy? Wish you all Shubho Noboborsho!

I never thought I could prepare Mishti Doi at my house and that also in such a jiffy and minimum effort, till I met Bipasha di, my sister-in-law in Dubai a couple of weeks back. She has been preparing this at home for many months and has received lots of appreciation from friends. She has been kind enough to share this recipe with me and here I am, sharing this with my readers. Thank you, Bipasha Di
Full cream yogurt – 1 kg
Condensed Milk – 600 gm
Brown Sugar – 2 tsp – you can use white sugar too, but brown sugar gives a very good flavor
Red food color – 2 drops – optional, in case you want to give it some color
Saffron – 4 to 5 strands – optional, in case you love the kesariya taste & flavor

Drain excess water from the yogurt. Mix all the ingredients thoroughly with a hand blender till it becomes a smooth mixture. Pour the mix in a microwave proof bowl
If you are using any color or flavor like saffron or vanilla, mix it now. Put the bowl inside the microwave and put it in high for 6 minutes
After 6 minutes, get the bowl out and rest it outside for around 1 hour till it cools down. Refrigerate it for minimum 2 hours and enjoy chilled Mishti Doi, Kolkata styled, made in a jiffy at home!!


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