Kofta Biryani

kofta biryani

Eid ul Adha or the more common Bakri Eid is here and we are celebrating with some Kofta Biryani.

Kofta Biryani is a biryani that uses minced meat balls or koftas instead of meat pieces. Mince can be of any meat of your choice; however, mutton is the most commonly used meat for this biryani.

I made this special biryani for the main Eid that marks the end of Ramzaan, Eid ul Fitr and had documented the recipe then to be shared specially around Bakri Eid as that is when most people stock up on mutton and are looking for new ways to convert it into a lip smacking dish.

As exotic as it sounds, the biryani has many steps to it but is not difficult to prepare at all. Try is to treat your friends and family this Eid.

Eid Mubarak!

chicken kofta biryani

Kofta Biryani Recipe
Makes a pot enough for 4 to 6 people

Ingredients

For Koftas
250gms fine minced meat (chicken / mutton)
1/4th cup chopped onion
½ teaspoon chopped green chillies
2 tablespoon chopped coriander
1 bread slice (soaked in water for 5minutes)
1 tablespoon besan (gram flour)
1 teaspoon ginger – garlic paste
½ teaspoon turmeric powder (haldi)
½ teaspoon red cilli powder
½ teaspoon coriander seeds powder (dhania powder)
Salt
½ cup refined wheat flour (maida) for dusting the koftas
Oil for frying koftas

For the Kofta gravy
1 cup sliced onions
2 tablespoons oil
2 nos. Bayleaf (tejpatta)
2 nos. Green cardamom (elaichi)
1 inch stick of Cinnamon (dalchini)
3 nos. Peppercorns (kali mirch)
2 nos. cloves (laung)
1 teaspoon Cumin seeds (jeera)
2 green chillies slit
1 cup chopped tomatoes
3 teaspoon Biryani masala
½ cup curd (yoghurt / dahi), whisked
1.5 cups water
Salt

500 gms Basmati rice or any long grain rice meant for Pulaos & Biryanis
½ cup chopped coriander leaves
½ cup chopped mint leaves
1/4th teaspoon saffron (kesar) mixed with 2 teaspoon milk

Method

IMG_20170623_102020

Step 1 – To make the koftas, mix all the ingredients except the refined wheat flour and oil. Keep the mince mixture in the fridge overnight or at least for 8 hours.

 

IMG_20170623_103850

Step 2 – Divide the mixture in 10 portions and roll into smooth koftas.

 

IMG_20170623_105106Step 3 – Coat the koftas with refined wheat flour.

 

Step 4 – Heat enough oil in a kadhai and fry the koftas on medium heat till they are golden in colour. It’s not necessary to cook the koftas completely, they will simmer in the gravy eventually.

 

Step 5 – To make the kofta gravy, fry the sliced onions in hot oil (one used to fry koftas) till slightly brown. Remove immediately on an absorbent paper and keep aside to cool. Crush once cooled.

 

IMG_20170624_115812

Step 6 – In a thick bottomed pan, heat the 2 tablespoons oil and crackle bayleaf, green cardamom (elaichi), cinnamon (dalchini), peppercorns (kali mirch), cloves (laung), cumin seeds (jeera) and green chillies.

 

Step 7 – Add in the tomatoes, salt, biryani masala and crushed fried onions. Cook well till mixture leaves oil from the sides.

 

IMG_20170624_121124Step 8 – Add in the whisked curd and cook gravy for 5 minutes.

 

IMG_20170624_131828Step 9 – Mix in water and gently place the koftas in the pan. Simmer the gravy for 15 minutes. Remove from flame and keep aside.

 

IMG_20170624_133141

Step 10 – To prepare the rice, wash well and soak it for 30minutes. Then boil in 3 times the water with salt till the grains are almost cooked (around 80%). Do not overcook the rice. Drain and keep aside.

 

Step 11 – To layer the biryani, take a deep,wide and thick bottomed pan. Put in 1 tablespoon of oil and spread ½ the quantity of rice over it.

 

Step 12 – Spread the entire kofta gravy over the rice. Top with chopped coriander and mint leaves.

IMG_20170624_134428Step 13 – Spread other half of rice over the gravy and sprinkle the soaked saffron evenly.

 

Step 14 – Pour ½ cup water from sides and place the pan over low heat. Keep on flame till you get the Biryani aroma, it should be approximately 20 to 25 minutes.

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Guilt Free Chicken Hot Wings

Chicken Hot Wings are the perfect snack to indulge when its pouring outside and all you want to do is snuggle up with some comforting food while watching a movie or reading a favourite book.

However, it is given that scrumptious food that satisfies you today, usually takes you on a guilt trip later on. So, here’s a quick snack hack of making Chicken Hot Wings in the most guilt free way.

chicken hot wings

 

Guilt Free Chicken Hot Wings Recipe

Ingredients

For the wings
20 chicken wings
2 teaspoons garlic powder
¼ cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons oil
Salt as per taste

For the sauce
¼th cup melted butter
1/4th cup any hot sauce (shezwan or red chilli sauce)

For serving
Cheesy dip or Mayonnaise

Method
Step 1 – Clean and wash the Chicken wings.
Step 2 – Toss them with garlic powder, flour, salt and oil. Keep aside for 1 hour.
Step 3 – When ready to cook the chicken wings, pre-heat Bajaj Air fryer to 400ºF for 3 minutes. Next Air-fry the marinated chicken wings for 12 minutes and do remember to shake half way through cooking.
Step 4 – To prepare the sauce, mix both the ingredients well in a bowl and throw in the hot wings. Give a quick toss coating the wings well with the sauce.
Step 5 – Dish out the wings in a serving platter and serve the delicious wings with cool blue cheesy dip or mayonnaise.

Hope you liked the recipe, do try it out and treat yourself to a delicious delight.

If you too have some quick, delicious and healthy snack hacks then Bajaj Electricals has something exciting in store for you. Head to Bajaj Electricals’ Facebook and participate in the #HackTheSnack contest to win assured Grofers cashback vouchers, Bajaj Air-fryer, Sandwich Maker and much more!

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post and the recipe is suggested (not tried) by me for the given product.

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Methi Murg Tangdi Kebab

It’s the last weekend before school re-opens (Yay!) and I decided to treat Nabeel with his favourite food – Chicken. It’s Ramzaan too so I narrowed down on an Indian recipe this time which would double up as our iftar treat 🙂
On an average, Non-Indian recipes (read baking recipes) out number Indian recipes on my blog, why? Because, I usually am bored cooking up the everyday (& boring) dal, chawal subzi, that’s why the blog recipes are an exclusive affair to keep the interest alive. Therefore, today’s recipe is a sumptuous Indian Grill – Methi Murg Tangdi Kebab.

methi murg tangdi kebab

Before moving onto the recipe here is a bit about why this title. Honestly, this is the very first time I struggled to name my dish. I like my recipe titles to be very clear and straightforward, so that even before you get to the recipe you get a fair idea of what it’s going to be just by reading the title. Methi Murg was incorrect because that name is commonly used for a gravy based dish…so misleading. Since it’s a grill I wanted to use the word kebab, but technically kebabs are made of minced meat and this one is not. I had to fit in the word “tangdi” (chicken drumsticks / leg) any how along with kebab and this is the best I could come up with. I personally find the title a bit too long and if you too, then please bear with me.

Sorry, let’s get back to the recipe.

chicken kebab

I made the most of the sun these last few days by drying leafy vegetables in order to preserve them for a longer duration. I dried Methi / Fenugreek, Mint / Phudina and Lemon Grass, it’s so simple to do so; the flavours also intensify giving the dish a very good aroma and taste. Plus, it is very easy to store as the bunch of fresh leaves reduces to 1/4th (or even less) of its original size.
I used part of the dried methi to make khakhras, a snack the family loves. And then, some of it to make this grill.
I have shared a short note on how to dry methi leaves at home. I urge you to do so. But, if you are not in the mood to do so use the readily available “kasuri methi” for the dish.

How to dry fresh methi / fenugreek leaves at home?
1. Separate out the leaves from the stalks and spread them out on a big steel or glass plate.
2. Keep the leaves to dry out in the sun till they wilt. Direct drying in sunlight will take about 6 hrs.
3. Alternatively, dry roast the leaves in the oven at a low temperature of 50C for an hour or so.

Yes, finally coming to the recipe.

indian grilled chicken

Methi Murg Tangdi Kebab is quite simple using few ingredients and requiring even less amount of your time to prepare it. Long hours of marination is the trick here. The succulent chicken legs have a dominating flavour of methi complimented by creamy texture lent by cream and yoghurt. You could even try replacing methi with dried phudina. I grilled few of the drumsticks on the gas stove and tried grilling a few in the oven. The oven ones cook better but lack the look. Choose whichever cooking method suit you. However, a real Tandoor is anyday the best choice 😉

I have compiled the step by step pictures into a video to create an interesting way of browsing through the recipe. Let me know how you like it and if you prefer to see recipes in this format, henceforth.

 

Methi Murg – Tangdi Kebab Recipe

Ingredients

1 kg drumsticks approx 10 to 12nos
1 cup grated cheese
1 cup curd (yoghurt), whisked
½ cup cream
4 tablespoon dried methi
2 tablespoon lemon juice
Pepper powder, as per taste
Salt, as per taste
Butter for cooking

Method
Step 1 – Marinate chicken legs with lemon juice and salt. Keep aside for 30 minutes.
Step 2 – Meanwhile, mix cheese, yoghurt (curd), cream, dried methi, pepper powder and salt in a bowl.
Step 3 – Coat the chicken well with the prepared marinade.
Step 4 – Leave the chicken overnight in the fridge or for at least 6 hours for the flavours to seep in.
Step 5 – To cook the chicken legs, take a pan and sizzle butter in it. Place chicken and cook.
Step 6 – Cook the chicken legs on both sides for 10 minutes or till the meat tenderizes.

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Popeye Pie

Popeye Pie
Most of my generation moms grew up watching Popeye – The Sailor and so were introduced to spinach very early and would not mind consuming it since Popeye did so and he could manage getting over any trouble. Sadly, our kids don’t know Popeye as he is taken over by the likes of Chotta Bheem and Doraemon, such a pity!
Anyways, leaving aside the entertainment quality woes, what is more worrisome is how to feed Spinach to kids? Spinach – the higly recommended vegetable for kids and which, ironically, kids hate the most 🙂

Well, Nabeel is no different and the question hounded me for quite some time now. I know most moms resort to the convenient Palak Paneer recipe but it hardly works. Nabeel loves paneer and so he would look forward to the Palak Paneer being made but when it was time to eat, putting his fine fishing skills to use the paneer was picked out of the green gravy, wiped onto the roti and bitten into. Duh! The palak was right there in his plate staring at me.

I wasn’t giving up so easily and tried a couple of other Spinach recipes which failed too. Finally, what came to my rescue was this super easy Spinach Pie Recipe which I have named Popeye Pie. The intention in naming it so it to familiarize Nabeel with the forgotten Popeye – his mom’s first hero (wink wink) and the famous Spinach stories.

Spinach Pie

So, the said pie is any mom’s dream food for her child. It is loaded with vegetables apart from spinach, can be made without much preparation, has good carb’s to keep the energy flowing and can also be enjoyed cold thus making it an ideal lunch box recipe.
Be creative, add and subtract vegetables as per your kid’s preference. Vegetarians, the chicken can be omitted without affecting the taste so you can try this recipe too. Replace the chicken with paneer, soy chunks or any other chunky ingredient you prefer (some more pasta maybe). To make the dish more cheesy, have a grated cheese layer between the spinach and potato layer. Again, if you do not prefer giving bread to the child then use rotis instead; however, the top layer won’t be as crunchy with the replacement.

Enough of reading let’s get to some cooking, shall we?

Popeye Pie Recipe

Ingredients

For the Spinach sauce
1 cup wilted Spinach
3 tablespoon plain cheese spread
1 tablespoon milk
1 medium green chilli

For the crust
4 bread slices
1 tablespoon peeled garlic cloves
2 teaspoon chilli flakes
Salt to taste

Other Ingredients
1/4th cup small pasta, uncooked
150 grams boneless chicken breast
1/4th cup corn
1/4th cup diced capsicum
1 medium boiled and peeled potato
Butter for cooking
Mixed herbs as per taste
Salt as per taste

Method
Step 1 – Blend all the ingredients for the Spinach sauce together, cover and keep aside.

Spinach Sauce
Step 2 – Grind all the ingredients for the crust to a coarse mixture as shown in the picture. Cover and keep aside.

Bread Layer
Step 3 – Boil enough water to cook the pasta. Once cooked, drain, refresh and keep aside. Use only small shaped pasta to match with the vegetable size. I used the one pictured below. You can use big pasta like penne or fusilli and cut it once it’s cooked.

Small Pasta
Step 4 – Dice the chicken breast and cook it in a non-stick pan with 1 tablespoon butter, salt and mixed herbs. Remove the chicken and keep aside.
Step 5 – In the same pan sauté the remaining vegetables, except potato.
Step 6 – In a clean bowl mix the corn, capsicum, chicken, pasta and the spinach sauce together. Season the mixture with salt and herbs, if required.

Layering the Popeye Pie

Step 7 – Take the baking dish, and layer the spinach and vegetable mixture.
Step 8 – Thickly slice the potato and layer. If adding extra cheese, then do so between the spinach and potato layer.
Step 9 – Top with the bread mixture and put small dollops of butter on the bread layer.

Step 10 – Bake the Popeye Pie in a hot oven for 10 minutes or till the crust forms.
Serve hot or cold.

Spinach & Pasta Pie

Hope this works for you too. Do you have a special Spinach recipe that your kids adore? Then please share it in comments.

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Chicken & Oats Squares

Chicken n Oats Squares

Today, I have one more chicken creation invented especially for Nabeel when he was holidaying and demanded all things new. It’s a fairly simple recipe using homemade chicken mince, yes homemade, because I am yet to find a decent store selling the perfect fine chicken mince that most of my recipes require. If you, too, are as finicky as me when it comes to chicken mince then just churn boneless chicken breast in your grinder till the desired level of mince is achieved. Yes, that simple!
Healthy Chicken & Oats Square Recipe is quite versatile as it can be eaten or used up in no. of ways, so I usually make a huge batch and freeze some of it to create new stuff every time. Read up the tips after the recipe to know more.

Healthy Chicken & Oats Squares Recipe

Ingredients
Fine Chicken mince – 500gms
Quick Cooking Oats – ½ cup
Peas – 1/3rd cup
Tomato – 1no
Ginger Paste – 1 tablespoon
Garlic Paste – 1 tablespoon
Green Chilli paste – ½ tablespoon
Egg – 1 no
Coriander leaves, chopped – ¼ th cup
Curry leaves / Kadi patta – 2 to 3 twigs, ensure only the leaves are used not the twigs holding them
Cumin seeds – 2 teaspoons
Red chilli powder – 1 teaspoon
Turmeric powder / haldi – 1 teaspoon
Cooking oil – 3 tablespoons
Salt as per taste

Chicken Mince Cake
Method

Step 1 – Cut tomato into half, lengthwise. Grate it in a bowl, only the seeds and pulp is required, discard its skin.
Step 2 – In a bowl add chicken mince, oats, peas, grated tomato, ginger paste, garlic paste, green chilli paste, egg, coriander leaves. Mix everything well.
Step 3 – In a heavy bottomed wide non-stick pan, heat the oil and crackle cumin in it. Add the curry leaves, red chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt. Mix and cook till you get the lovely aroma of curry leaves.
Step 4 – Add the above tempering to the chicken mixture and mix everything well. Keep the chicken aside or refrigerate it for at least 1 hour before cooking.
Step 5 – In the same pan (in which the tempering was done) evenly spread the chicken mixture. Cover the pan and cook on a low flame for 15 minutes.
Step 6 – The chicken mixture has enough liquids to prevent it from burning however it is wise to check the pan after the first 10minutes. Well marinated mixture will not taken more than 15minutes (or even less) to cook. The squares need to be moist and juicy so don’t overcook or else they will be dry.
Step 7 – The squares can also be baked in a non-stick baking dish @200C for 10minutes. The baking dish has to be covered with a lid or aluminium foil, to retain the juices.

chicken cakes

Tips:
1. The squares can be eaten on their own when freshly cooked accompanied with bread or roti and a salad.
2. Thinly sliced squares make a great sandwich filling.
3. If you don’t want to chew on the curry leaves while eating it is best to use whole twigs rather than loose leaves. Pull out the twigs from the mixture before cooking it, their flavour would have been absorbed by the mixture already.
4. You can also crumble the squares and use as a stuffing for samosas, parathas, spring rolls, etc.
5. Instead of peas, chopped mixed vegetables can also be added. Trying adding some nuts like walnuts or almonds too.
6. The squares can be transformed into a saucy kheema by sautéing onion and tomato paste along with Indian Keema spices. Mix in the crumbled squares and top with chopped coriander leaves.
7. This dish makes up for an excellent Suhoor Recipe during Ramadan.
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Chicken Malai Tikka

Hey everyone, I am posting nearly after a fortnight. Young Chef’s Academy, Nabeel’s nursery admission, a family wedding and school vacations in general kept me occupied and away from blogging 😦 But, BAM’s kitchen was never shut, almost on a regular basis Nabeel’s favorites were dished out, some new foods were also prepared to cheer up the bored taste buds..hehehe. So here’s one of the latest recipes I made using Nabeel’s pep me up ingredient…yes you guessed it right, Chicken 🙂

Malai Tikka _ Chicken

I usually have a stock of boneless chicken lying in the freezer especially for Nabeel. Earlier it was used for the ever popular Chicken Nuggets but of late I am done making them and Nabeel is done eating them. Besides, the boneless chicken I also have copious amounts of malai aka fresh milk cream accumulated in the freezer, at any given time. Hence, I decided to combine the 2 and create Chicken Malai Tikka – a comparatively less spiced recipe from the fiery tikka family. Nabeel is fascinated with the idea of pricking food with a toothpick and eating it..so the tikkas worked that way too.

The recipe is fairly simple, just needs good amount of marinating time. Unlike, authentic tikka making method I grilled them over gas flame on a Cerastone grill plate that my mom owns, I am totally in love with it.
This is also a good prepare ahead recipe, just marinate and freeze till you are ready to cook it one fine lazy day  Can be frozen for months, but I would not go beyond 20 to 25 days.

cream chicken barbeque

Chicken Malai Tikka Recipe
(Indian Barbequed Cream Chicken)

Ingredients
500gms Boneless Chicken (I always prefer the breast)
½ cup fresh milk cream or malai, whisked
¼ cup fresh curd or yogurt, beaten
1 teaspoon freshly powdered cardamom
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh ginger – garlic paste
Salt & Pepper powder as per taste

Method

Step1 – Wash & dry chicken. Cut it into bite sized pieces, roughly 1×1 inch.
Step 2 – Rub lemon juice, ginger-garlic paste, salt and pepper over the chicken. Let
it sit for 30 minutes.
Step 3 – After 30minutes, add malai, curd and cardamom powder to the chicken. Let
the chicken marinade for at least 2 hours, before cooking.
Step 4 – To cook the tikkas, skewer them on wooden or metal skewers and cook in a pre-heated oven @ 220C or 400F for 20 minutes, while basting with oil or butter every 5 minutes.
Step 5 – You can also pan cook them over gas flame in a non-stick pan or on a non-stick grill plate (the one I used). It’s important to brush the chicken occasionally with butter or oil to ensure even cooking and avoid dryness in tikkas.
Step 6 – Serve the tikkas hot along with a tangy sliced onion, tomato, cucumber, coriander and green chilli salad. A hot coriander – mint chutney also is a popular accompaniment with tikkas.

indian chicken barbeque
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Butter Chicken

I have never done a main course recipe on my blog till date and today that shall change! Presenting, the ever popular Indian main course Butter Chicken from BAM’s kitchen. We just had a long weekend and I had to make something to pamper Nabeel’s taste buds. Nabeel LOVES chicken and with some boneless chicken handy I decided to treat him (and the others too 🙂 ) to some Homemade Murg Makhani aka Butter Chicken.
The recipe I am sharing is not 100% authentic its has a few of my touches here and there…the reason being, ONE – I did not have few of the ingredients that an authentic recipe calls for and TWO – I can never follow a recipe as it is, without tweaking the recipe there is no joy.

Murg Makhani
So what was tweaked? I did not have fresh cream instead I decided to make the gravy using cashew nuts and onions which would impart the same richness as cream to the dish. I also omitted the Tandoori masala in the marination and cooked the chicken in a pan instead of the tandoor or the oven. Kasuri methi was not added due to non-availability thus I used coriander for the garnish. Yellow Butter replaces White Butter and Garam masala was omitted too since I usually avoid it in most recipes. The dish appears orangish instead of the usual red due to the fresh tomato puree added in place of readymade puree.
Also note that I did not prepare for the recipe in advance, I had clean cut boneless chicken ready and was wondering what to cook, Butter chicken came to my mind and the dish was prepared all in all 40 minutes flat. No overnight marination, no Tandoor flavour and no kasuri methi, yet the dish was as good as any Butter Chicken made by following the traditional recipe. Try it to believe it! Here goes the recipe…

Chicken Makhanwala

Butter Chicken Recipe / Makhani Chicken / Chicken Makhanwala
The recipe is enough for 4 people

Ingredients
For the marination
500 grams Boneless Chicken, cubed
Salt, as required
1 tsp red chilli powder
2 pinches of red food colour
½ tablespoon Ginger Garlic Paste
¼ cup Fresh curds/ yogurt, whisked

For the gravy
2 medium tomatoes
1 small onion
½ tablespoon Ginger Garlic Paste
2 tablespoons cashew nuts, soaked in water for 15minutes

Other Ingredients
Lots of Butter – its butter chicken after all 
Fresh coriander leaves
Some cashew nuts for garnish

Step 1 – Rub salt, red chilli powder and red food colour on chicken. Keep aside for 10 minutes.
Step 2 – Add ginger garlic paste and yogurt to the chicken. Mix well and let it sit for another 15 minutes.

Butter Chicken Marination

Marinated Butter Chicken

Step 3 – Meanwhile, boil 2 cups of water and add the whole tomatoes to it. Remove them in 5 minutes and cool. Peel the tomatoes and grind them to a smooth puree
Step 4 – Grind the onions, ginger garlic paste and cashew nuts to a fine paste using minimal water.
Step 5 – Heat a non-stick pan with lots of butter and cook chicken pieces in it along with the marination. Once cooked, keep aside.

Cooked Butter Chicken

Chicken being cooked in a pan

Step 6 – Simultaneously, in another pan / kadhai / wok heat butter, add the cashew paste and cook till the paste comes together and leaves butter from the sides.
Step 7 – Add the tomato puree to the cashew gravy and cook till all come together.
Step 8 – Finally add the cooked chicken pieces, mix well. Add some water to adjust the consistency of the gravy and simmer for 10 minutes.

Butter Chicken RecipeServe hot Butter Chicken topped with melted butter, chopped coriander leaves and some cashew nuts. The dish is best eaten with off the griddle rotis and parathas. Enjoy!

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