Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Ginger Chicken

This is a recipe that I've had for a long time, wrote it in my diary and totally forgot about it.
Came across this yesterday. 
Its really easy and quick to make with very little ingredients, that you usually already have at home.
This takes about 30 minutes to whip up, so if you have unexpected guests that come over near dinner time, you can cook this to impress them. They'd think that you've spent hours in the kitchen making this incredibly delectable dish!

You'll need:
1 kg Chicken
4 medium Tomatoes (blended with a little water)
2 tsp of Red Chili Powder
1 tsp of Coriander Powder
Salt to taste
1 tsp of Garam Masala Powder
1 tsp of Garlic Paste
250 grams of Yogurt
2 inch piece of Ginger
Coriander leaves

Add Garlic paste and coriander powder to yogurt. Mix and keep aside.

Heat oil in a wok, Add chicken, cook till the chicken turns white. 
Add the blended tomatoes, red chili powder and salt.
Cook till the oil is released and the tomatoes change color, about 15 minutes.

Add beaten yogurt. Cook for about 5 minutes.

Add the julienne ginger, garam masala powder and 2-3 whole green chilies. Cover and cook for 2 minutes.

Garnish with ginger and coriander leaves. Serve

Monday, 27 October 2014

Mutton Biryani

Hi Guys !
If you have been following me, you'd know by now that we have 'Friday Biryani Lunch Fest' (thats what i'm calling it)
It gets quite boring actually, what if I want to eat biryani some other day of that week? or for dinner? 
It was always made for dinner at my mother's house, and whenever we wanted. There was no specified day for it. 
Well these things dont matter, what matters is that it gets quiet monotonous and boring to make biryani every week.
To make it a little interesting, we are always on a lookout for new biryani recipes.
This recipe is my sister-in-law's, who found it somewhere on the internet.

Serves: 5-6

For Marination:
1 kg of Mutton/Beef/Chicken (I used mutton)
1 cup Yogurt
1 tbsp Ginger Garlic Paste
4 tbsp of Raw Papaya Paste
Salt to taste
1 tsp of Red Chili Powder
1 tsp of Garam Masala Powder
Juice of 1 Lemon

For The Rice:
700 grams of Rice
4-5 Cloves
6-8 Black Peppercorns
2 Star anise (you can skip this, if you don't have it on hand)
1 Bay Leaf 
1 tsp Fennel Seeds (Saunf)
1-2 sticks of Cinnamon
2 Black Cardamom
2-3 Green Cardamom
1/4 Nutmeg (Jaifal) you can skip this, if you don't have it on hand, but it does give a beautiful aroma
1 Mace (Javatri) You can skip this too.
2 tsp Salt

Other Ingredients:
4 Onions (sliced)
2 medium Tomatoes (chopped)
2 Potatoes 
1 tsp Ginger Garlic paste
4 green Chilies (chopped)
1 1/2 tsp of Red Chili Powder 
1 tsp Coriander Powder
1/2 tsp Cumin Powder (Zeera Powder)
1/2 tsp Garam Masala Powder 
1/4 cup Milk
a few Saffron strands
Yellow Food Coloring
To Boil Rice, add all the spiced to a small cloth. Tie a knot and put it in the water with bay leaf. 
You can put them in the water without the cloth. 
Boil rice till ALMOST done.
Drain in a colander, pass under cold water (this prevents rice from sticking together during dam)
Keep aside.

Marinate Meat with the Marination Ingredients (see above)
Leave for at least 6 hours. Leave overnight if possible.

Fry 2 Onions till golden brown and crispy. Take out and keep aside.

Heat oil/ghee in a heavy bottom pan, add the remaining 2 onions and green chilies. Cook till golden.
Add Ginger garlic paste, cook till fragrant.
Add potatoes at this stage (if you are adding) and a little water. Cook covered on low flame till the potatoes are fork tender.

Add the marinated meat...

...Red Chili powder, Cumin powder and Coriander Powder.
Cook on high for 7-8 minutes

When the oil seperates, add 2-3 glasses of water and let it cook on medium flame till the meat is tender.

Add tomatoes, garam masala powder...

...and coriander leaves.
Cover and cook for 10 minutes till thick like Korma.

Add Saffron to warm milk. Leave for 20 minutes.

To Layer.
Add half of the korma in the bottom,
followed by crispy Onions and mint leaves
add half of the rice
Pour saffron infused milk on the rice.
Repeat 1 more time.

On Top:
Sprinkle Cumin
Mint Leaves
Drops of yellow food coloring
Tarka of Onions.

Make sure the pan is heavy bottomed. Or put a flat tawa on the stove, than put the pan on top of the tawa. 

Put on Dam for 30-35 minutes.

Take out and serve with Mint raita and Salad.
Brace prepare yourself for all the praise you are going to get !! 


Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Travel Dairies: Jabel Shams

Hey guys !! 
I was going through my pictures today when i found a few of our trip to Jabel shams and i thought why not share these with you guys!
So here they are. I'll tell all about the place and how we spent the day !

We wanted to escape the hot weather here in Oman and go someplace cool, so on a whim we planned a trip to Jabel Shams
It was quite an adventure.

Jabel shams literally means 'Mountain of the Sun'. It is considered the Grand Canyon of Oman.
It is located in the north eastern region of Oman. The height of this mountain is 9934' (3028 m) (source: google)

So this is how the day went.
It was 22nd August. The day was Friday. 
It was a typical hot summer day in Oman, the sun was shining awfully bright and it was really hot, I remember sweating when i was going to the car, which, thankfully, my husband has already started 10 minutes earlier and cranked up the AC (best husband ever!)

Before we go any further, let me tell you where we live. Our house is in 'Al Wadi Al Kabir' which is about 8-10 minute drive from Muttrah.

So we packed up the things for Barbecue and left our house around 8:30 am.

It was a long drive. It took us about 4 and a half hours to reach there. But the stunning view and the weather was totally worth it ! 
It was 33-34 degree centigrade in Muscat, but there it was 22-23. It was incredible !

The most magnificent sight is this jaw dropping cliff, which is so incredibly deep (you cant really tell how deep it is from the picture, which i captured with my iPhone)
We walked around for a bit, than cooked food, ate and clicked pictures!(sharing a few)

Distance (from Muscat to Jabel Shams): 273 km (source: google maps)

The Route We Took: We started on the Expressway from Qurm, took an exit for Nizwa (i dont know the exact kilometer to the exit, but it takes about 20 minutes to reach there). 
Followed the direction to Nizwa. Muscat to Nizwa is around 160 km (took about 2 hours to reach)
Once you enter in Nizwa City, Make your way to Al Hamra roundabout. Take a right from there.
After a while you will start your ascend. Some areas of the road are pretty steep, It is better if you have a 4WD, which we had. But i did see some 2WD on the way and on top as well. So i think it should not be a problem for experienced drivers.

There is 20-25 km of unpaved road in the middle. Which takes up about 45 minutes. it would take in a total of about 1 to 1 and half hours from Al Hamra roundabout to reach the top

Things to do: You can spend the day barbecuing, enjoying the view and the weather.
You can spend the night at Jabel Shams Resort which is about 2 minutes from the cliff.
Theres not much else to do.
But this in itself is enough. The quiet. Clean, cool air. and Stunning view!

Pros: Breathtaking scenery, Cool weather, Great place to spend the day.
Cons: Long drive. Steep and unpaved road (in one part)

Will I go again? : Absolutely! I'm already planning a trip in Winters !

So beautiful !

On the way to Nizwa

Going up !! 

Magnificent view !

Saw some slithery friends too !

About 20 km stretch of the road is unpaved.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Masala Dosa

Masala Dosa is a light and crispy savory pancake filled with masala and served with chutneys.
Me and my sister love this, we used to go eat it at a dhabba near our house.

I always wanted to try this at home, but my first attempt was a big fail, as i didnt leave it to ferment and that was 4 years back. I never had the guts to try it again. But last week I became obsessed with making the dosa again and this time i made sure that I gave it a lot of time to ferment. And it came out delicious.

The Onion and Tomato chutney on itself is so delicious, you can just have it with roti or puri.

You'll need:
(For The Dosa)
1/2 cup of Rice
1/4 cup of Urid Dal (or Mash dal)
1 tbsp of Channa dal
1/4 tsp of Fenugreek seeds (Methi Dana)

(For Masala)
2 large Potatoes (boiled and coarsely mashed)
a few Fenugreek seeds
a pinch of Mustard seeds
1/2 tsp of Urid Dal
a few Curry leaves
1/4 tsp of Cumin Seeds (Zeera)
1 Onion (chopped)
1 Green chili (chopped)
Salt to taste
1/4 tsp of Turmeric Powder
1/2 tsp of Red Chili Powder

(Tomato and Onion Chutney):
1 large Tomato
1 medium Onion
1 dried Red chili (optional)
a few Curry leaves
a pinch of Fenugreek seeds
1/4 tsp of Urid dal
1 tsp of Red Chili Powder
Salt to taste
1 pinch of Sugar

Soak all the ingredients for the dosa in water. Leave for 3-4 house.

Than discard excess water and blend to make a paste. Use as little water as possible.
Leave this to ferment 8-10 hours. 
I left it overnight.

It will double up in size.

(For The Masala)
Heat a tbsp of oil in a pot. Add Urid dal, fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds. When they start to splutter add curry leaves and Cumin seeds. Cook for 30 seconds or so.

Add onion and Green Chilies. Cook till transparent

Add salt and Red chili Powder...

and the mashed Potatoes. Add a little water. And let it cook for about 5-6 minutes.

When thick, turn off the heat and keep aside.

(For the Onion and Tomato Chutney)

Blend Onion, tomato and dried red chili with a little water to make a paste.

Heat oil. Add fenugreek seeds, urid dal. When they start to splutter, add curry leaves and cumin. cook for a minute.

Add the blended paste, salt, red chili powder and sugar.

Cook for about 10-15 minutes till thick and saucy. Taste and adjust seasoning.

(To Assemble)

In a non stick frying pan, pour a little batter with a ladle and spread it thinly and quickly in a round. let it cook on medium heat till it lightly browns. 

Flip. and let it cook for about a minute 

Turn it over again and add the masala in the center.

Fold from both sides.

Serve with Onion tomato chutney and the leftover masala.

Enjoy !

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Homemade Subway Sandwich

I love Subway Sandwiches. The contrast of crunchy lettuce, meat and sauces is incredible.

I never actually thought i'd ever make these at home. They are pretty cheap as it is, but there is some inner satisfaction in knowing how to make this sandwich from scratch.

The whole obsession with the sandwich started when we bought Salami (turkey and beef)
Ready-made french bread was pretty hard on the top, so i thought i'd just make the bread.
I search around on the internet and found this recipe, its incredible. the bread is so fragrant and really soft. 

This recipe makes 2 really big sandwiches.

For The Bread:
Recipe adapted from Melissa Griffiths
1 1/2 cup of Flour
2 tsp Yeast
2 tsp of Sugar
3-4 tbsp of Milk
1 tbsp of Oil
1/4 cup of warm water

Sauces :
(Honey Mustard):
2 tbsp of Mustard
1 tsp of Honey

(Onion Sauce):
2 tbsp of Mayonnaise 
1 tsp of ketchup
a few drops of Chili sauce
1 tbsp of finely chopped Onion
pinch of Salt
pinch of Black pepper
a few drops of White Vinegar
a few leaves of Coriander
a few drops of Lemon Juice 
a few drops of Olive oil (optional)

Other Ingredients:
Meat of any kind  (grilled chicken, roast chicken/mutton/beef, Salami, sausage, hot dogs)
I used Salami (beef and turkey)
Pickled Jalapeno Peppers
Gherkin (pickled cucumber)
Iceberg Lettuce (Any lettuce would do)

Other Toppings that you can use :
Spring Onions
Roasted garlic
Caramelized Onions

To Make The Bread:

Add yeast and sugar to warm water. (water should be not be hot, just warm), Mix and leave for 5 minutes to foam up. Than add milk, oil and salt.

Add flour, mix to make a soft dough. Add more warm water if needed.

Leave to Rise for 30 minutes.

Grease baking sheet. Divide the dough in 2 (if you want big sandwiches) or 4 (if you want smaller ones) roll into a log. Place on the sheet and leave for 20 minutes to rise again. 
Meanwhile preheat oven at 200 degree centigrade,

See these beauties?
Pop them in the oven for 20-25 minutes.

Take them out when they are golden brown on top and bottom
They would have a hard crust on top.
To make them soft, rub the top with butter and cover with a dish towel. Leave for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile prep the toppings.

Take out the Salami

Cut the vegetables

Mix the ingredients for Onion sauce. Keep aside.

Mix mustard and honey. Keep aside.

Cut the bread in half, keep it attached on one side.
Add cheese (either cheddar or mozzarella) I used shredded mozzarella.
Toast in the oven if you want.

Add the meat

Spread the Onion sauce on the upper part of the bun.
Spread vegetables on top.

Top it with sauces.
ketchup and honey sauce.
Use aluminium foil or butter paper to fold it close.

Its super juicy and so delicious.

Enjoy !!