Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Chilly Chicken

Chilly Chicken is one of our family favorites. Considering the fact that it is an Indo-Chinese dish, I used to think that it is a delicacy of the Chinese which we have altered to suit our taste buds. But now my realization is that it is purely an Indian invention using some of the Chinese ingredients.

If you search for a chilly chicken recipe on the web, you would get tons of them. And the interesting part is these recipes vary a lot in the way they are prepared. So I am assuming it tastes different to different people across the world. For us, the best chilly chicken we have had is from the restaurant "Open House" in Trivandrum. We have a list of restaurants that we would visit every time we go on a vacation to India and this is one of them. They do not have a lot of options on their menu, but their chilly chicken and paratta is one of the best I have tasted. So this is an attempt to recreate the "Open House" taste. The recipe is actually from my mom and I have tried to build on that. Not sure whether this is anywhere near the "Open House" taste, but it tasted good and we enjoyed it!

Coconut Oil- 3 tbsp
Chicken- 1 1/2 lbs
Onion- 2 big (chopped)
Ginger - 1/2 cup (chopped)
Garlic- 1/2 cup (chopped)
Green Chilly- 6 (chopped) - reduce depending on your spice
Tomato Sauce- 3 tbsp
Green Chilly Sauce- 3 tbsp
Light Soya Sauce- 3 tbsp
Dark Soya Sauce- 2 tbsp
Corn Starch- 1 tsp
Water- 1 tbsp to 1/2 cup
Salt- to taste

1. Heat oil in a pan. You could use refined oil as well.
2. When the oil is hot, add the onions and saute it until transparent.
3. Add the chopped ginger, garlic and chillies and saute until the raw smell is gone.
4. Add the chicken pieces to this. Chicken pieces should be almost cube sized. Boned
chicken would work best and taste best too. I used boneless this time though.
5. Immediately add the sauces - tomato sauce, chilly sauce, light soya sauce and dark soya sauce.
6. Mix everything well and add salt, if needed. Soya sauce has enough salt that you may not need anymore.
7. Let the chicken cook. Keep stirring in between.
8. When the chicken is done, check the amount of gravy in the pan. This would be water from the chicken, as we have not added any additional water to the preparation at this point.
9. Depending on how much gravy you need, use a tbsp to half a cup of water to mix the corn starch (could use corn flour as well) with out lumps. Add this to the pan and mix well.
10. Cook for 2-3 minutes and turn off the stove.

So if anyone reading this has had the "Open House" chilly chicken, make this and let me know what you think!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Mutton Biryani

I am BACK from my vacation - actually it's been more than a week now. I am saying this out loud, more for myself than my friends out there. Helping myself get back into reality! This is an attempt to get back out of my do-nothing mode.

This vacation was very special to me as it was my lil-sister's marriage. So the 4 weeks back in Kerala flew like 4 days; and not to say that I had such a great time back there with my sweet family. And my son has come back as a spoilt brat with all the pampering.

And to my surprise, when I came back there was a gift waiting for me at Foodie Blogroll. It was a set of 2 books from Kelly Donleaa who blogs at Organizing Dinner -  70 meals, One Trip to the store & Cook Once...Eat Twice! I was so excited to receive the gift especially considering the fact that I am all into collecting cook books now. This was a perfect addition to my collection. Thank you Foodie Blogroll and Kelly!

I have not cooked much since I came back and am still trying to get back to my normal self. I was feeling really bad that I am not giving much attention to my blog and hence decided to see what I have in my drafts and found a perfect one to celebrate my sister's wedding with my blogger friends. So here is a virtual feast for all my friends out there with a Mutton Biryani.

For Mutton Gravy:
Coconut Oil- 3 tbsp
Mutton- 2 lbs
Onion- 2  (Sliced)
Ginger Garlic paste- 3 tbsp
Cardamom- 5
Bay Leaf- 3 -  5 small
Cloves- 5
Cinnamon- 2 - 1" piece
Chilly Powder- 1 tbsp
Coriander Powder- 2 tsp
Turmeric Powder- 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala- 1/2 tsp
Tomato- 1
Coconut Milk- 1 cup (Thick)
Salt- to taste

1. Heat oil in the pressure cooker.
2. Add cardamom, bay leaf, cloves and cinnamon when the oil is hot.
3. Saute for a few seconds and add the onions.
4. When the onions become transparent, add ginger garlic paste and saute until the raw smell is gone.
5. Add the chopped tomatoes and saute for 2 minutes.
6. Add the chilly, coriander and turmeric powder and saute well for a minute.
7. Add the mutton, salt and garam masala and mix well.
8. Close the pressure cooker and let it cook for 3-4 whistles.
9. Once done and the pressure is completely released, open the cooker and add the coconut milk and cook for a few minutes. Make sure there is enough thick gravy to mix with the rice. If not, add additional water and boil again.

For Rice:
Oil- 3 tbsp
Rice- 2 cup
Cumin Seeds- 1/2 tsp 
Salt- to taste
Water- 8 cups

1. Soak the rice in water for 30 minutes and drain it.
2. Heat 8 cups of water in a vessel and add salt to it. It should be slightly on the saltier side.
3. When the water starts to boil, add the cumin seeds.
4. Once water is completely at a boiling stage, add the soaked rice.
5. Pour the oil to this as well. This will help prevent the rice from sticking to each other.
6. Once the rice is 3/4 done, drain the rice and keep aside.

For Garnish:
Ghee- 3 tbsp
Cashews- handful
Raisins- handful

1.  Preheat the oven at 350 degree.
2. In an oven proof dish, mix the 3/4th done rice and the mutton together with the gravy.
3. Also mix 2 tbsp ghee to this.
4. Evenly spread it out on the dish and seal the dish with an aluminium foil.
5. Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degree.
6. In a small frying pan, add 1 tbsp ghee and fry cashews and raisins, until the raisins become plump.
7. Garnish the biryani with the cashews and raisins.

Now let me share the 2 awards that I received from my friends while I was gone.

1.Honest Scrap Award from Beena Shylesh of My Kitchen
2.Sunshine Award from Adukala Vishesham

Thank you friends for considering me to share these awards.

I would like to share these with
1. Kairali Sisters
2. Memory Archived
3. Cooking and Recipes
4.Asra Ashaon Ka
5. Faiza Ali's Kitchen
6. Saju's Kitchen
7. Pan Gravy Kadai Gravy
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