Posts Tagged ‘green pepper’

In celebration of completing another major step towards my PhD!!!

I know I have been missing from my blog from a very long time. In fact it will be two months on the 22nd of August. But well I guess sometimes you just need to prioritize and you end up giving up the very thing that makes your life less stressful. But I can say one thing about the last two months, I did manage to accomplish two major milestones towards my doctoral degree; first – I submitted my PhD proposal and second – I completed the written part of my comprehensive exam. A couple more steps and I will be pretty close to officially completing my PhD program…

So in celebration of having completed all these milestones, I decided to make some chicken tikka masala tonight. In fact I was to start making it around 6:30 pm but thanks to the dust storm that rolled into Phoenix this evening, I was stuck at school for an hour more than I had planned.The chicken tikka masala essentially has two main ingredients, the gravy/masala and the chicken tikka. This recipe serves 4 persons and takes about an hour to prepare from start to finish if you make the chicken tikka and masala simultaneously.

Ingredients:

  1. 500 grams of boneless cubes of chicken
  2. 2 tbsp oil
  3. ½ tsp Cumin seeds
  4. 1 Bay leaf
  5. 2 Black cardamoms
  6. 3 Green cardamom
  7. 3 Cloves
  8. 1 inch Cinnamon
  9. 3 medium / 2 large Chopped onions
  10. 2 tbsp Ginger garlic paste
  11. 3 chopped Tomatoes
  12. 1 ½ tsp Coriander powder
  13. 1 tbsp Red Chili powder
  14. ¼ tsp Turmeric
  15. Salt to taste
  16. 4 tbsp Cashewnut paste
  17. 1 Tomato (no pulp chopped into large chunks)
  18. 1 Green pepper / Capsicum chopped into large chunks
  19. 1 Onion chopped into large chunks
  20. 2 tbsp Cream
  21. ½ tsp Garam masala
  22. fresh Coriander for garnishing
  23. 1 tbsp lime juice

For the chicken marinade

  1. 1 tsp Ginger paste
  2. 1 tsp Garlic paste
  3. 1 tsp Chili powder
  4. Salt to taste
  5. 1 tbsp Lime juice
  6. 2 tbsp Oil
  7. 1/2 tsp mustard powder
  8. 1/4 tsp carom seeds / ajwain
  9. 2 tbsp Gram flour
  10. 1 cup Yogurt
  11. 1 tsp red Chili powder
  12. 2 tsp Ginger garlic paste
  13. ¼ tsp Turmeric
  14. Salt to taste
  15. ½ tsp Garam masala

Directions:

Chicken Tikka

  • Marinate the chicken in ingredients 1 to 5  under ‘For the chicken marinade’ for 20 minutes.
  • In the meanwhile heat the oil and add the carom seeds. Once the carom seeds start popping, add the gram flour and roast it till it is cooked through. There will be a nutty smell once the gram flour is cooked.
  • Now add this to the yogurt, red chili powder, ginger garlic paste, turmeric, salt and garam masala.
  • After 20 mins add the marinated chicken to the yogurt mixture.
  • Let the chicken marinate for about 2-3 hours. (I did not have 2-3 hrs. I managed to marinate it only for an hour or so)
  • Once the chicken is marinated long enough, oil a baking sheet and pre heat the oven to 425F.
  • Skewer the chicken cubes onto skewers and place the skewers on the baking sheet. The chicken will cook pretty fast, about 15-20 mins. After once side is cooked, turn over the chicken on the skewers. After about 10 mins, turn it over once again. It should be browned slightly on either side.
  • Add the chunks of tomato, green pepper and onions to the leftover marinade.
  • Set the chicken aside. You can start preparing the gravy while the chicken cooks.
  • Once the chicken is cooked, set the oven to the broiler setting and transfer the vegetables on the same baking sheet.
  • Once the vegetables brown remove them from the oven and set them aside.

For the Masala / Gravy

  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Once the oil is hot add the cumin seeds, bay leaf, cardamom (black and green), cloves & cinnamon to it. Once the whole spices start imparting their fragrance, add the chopped onions.
  • Brown the onions and add the ginger garlic paste at the very end. Once the ginger garlic paste is also fried add the tomatoes and cook till the tomatoes are completely incorporated with the onions.
  • Next add the coriander powder, red chili powder, turmeric powder and salt. Let the dry spices cook through, it will take just a couple of minutes.
  • Once the dry spices are cooked through add the cashew paste and cook it for a couple of minutes till the oil starts separating from the mixture.
  • At this point add the chicken and mix thoroughly. You may want to add some water to the gravy at this point if it is too thick.
  • Let the gravy simmer for a couple of minutes then add the roasted vegetable chunks to the gravy. Mix the vegetables together and let it simmer for a couples of minutes.
  • Next add the cream, coriander leaves and lime juice to the gravy.
  • The chicken tikka masala is now ready to serve.

We had the chicken tikka masala with some naan and it was brilliant. Now no more craving for restaurant style chicken tikka masala. I can make it at home anytime. Though not too often, it’s not the healthiest of meals after all. But once in a while when you feel like indulging, its perfect. And I followed the recipe from the following link – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gh-SZ1drOMc. One change I made to the recipe was that I roasted the vegetables before added it to the gravy.

Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did both making and eating it. And hopefully no more such long breaks from blogging for me. I can definitely say that cooking is my stress buster for sure. Thank you for reading my blog and I hope you enjoy the chicken tikka masala.

An attempt to bring the magical smell and taste of Pav Bhaji and the streets of Bombay to Tempe

Who hasn’t had eaten street food and wondered why it tastes “oh so good”. Somehow it never is the same when cooked at home. I have always wanted to make pav bhaji at home that tastes like the pav bhaji you get at restaurants and street side stalls. In this never-ending quest of mine, I have made pav bhaji a zillion times but never managed to make something close enough to the pav bhaji you get in Bombay. That is till I saw the video of the pav bhaji being made at a stall at Juhu beach. I have seen them make it so many times but you don’t exactly pay attention to the exact process and ingredients. I have posted the video at the end of this post for anyone interested in watching the exact process. I have tried making this recipe a few times now and it has been a hit each time I have followed the steps as per the video. In the video they do not give exact measurements, but after having made this half a dozen times now, I have managed to decide on the exact amounts for all the ingredients.

The recipe from start to finish takes about an hour if you have to start with boiling the vegetables etc. If you do have all the chopped and cooked vegetables at hand, then it should take you about half hour to prepare. This recipe yields pav bhaji for 2-3 persons.

Ingredients:

For the Bhaji

  1. 2/3 cup chopped green pepper (Capsicum)
  2. 2 1/2 medium-sized boiled potatoes
  3. 2 tomatoes
  4. 2/3 cup cooked green peas
  5. 1 teaspoon + 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder (adjust to taste)
  6. 2 + 1 tablespoons ginger garlic paste
  7. 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  8. 1.5 + 1 teaspoon pav bhaji masala
  9. 2 + 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves
  10. 2 tablespoons butter
  11. 2 teaspoons oil
  12. 2/3 cup finely chopped red onion
  13. 1 teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves
  14. 1/4 teaspoon asafoetida (hing)
  15. 1/2 tablespoon lime juice
  16. salt to taste

For the Masala Pav

  1. 6 dinner rolls / pav
  2. butter (to spread on the bread)
  3. 1 teaspoon pav bhaji masala
  4. 1 tablespoon coriander leaves
  5. 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder

Directions:

  • Heat some oil in a flat pan. Add the green pepper / capsicum. Add water to soften it. Keep adding enough water to cook the green pepper without burning it.
  • Once the green pepper has softened and cooked, add the chopped tomatoes, boiled potatoes, cooked green peas, 1 teaspoon red chilli powder, 2 tablespoons ginger – garlic paste & 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder.
  • Add enough water (about 1/2 cup) and allow the vegetables to cook and prevent it from sticking to pan. Keep adding enough water to prevent the vegetables from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  • Add 1 teaspoon butter and stir till the butter has melted.
  • Mash all the vegetables till it’s a soft paste.
  • Add 1.5 teaspoons pav bhaji masala, salt and 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves to this and let it simmer for a few minutes.
  • While the vegetables are cooking, heat 1 tablespoon butter in a separate pan. Add the chopped onions, 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste, 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder, 1 teaspoon pav bhaji masala, dried fenugreek leaves, hing (asafoetida), 2 tablespoons coriander leaves and lime juice.
  • Fry this mixture for a couple of minutes.
  • Now add this onion mixture to the vegetable mixture.Continue mashing the vegetables together till all the vegetables form a smooth paste.
  • The Bhaji is now ready to be served.

For the Masala Pav

  • Pre heat the oven at the broiler setting.
  • Slice the bread / dinner rolls / pav into two halves. Spread butter on each side.
  • Meanwhile heat a teaspoon of oil in a pan (you can use the same pan you used to fry the onions). Add the pav bhaji masala, red chilli powder and coriander leaves to this and fry it for a couple of minutes.
  • Now spread this on the bread / pav / dinner rolls.
  • Place the bread in the oven on the top rack of the oven. The bread is ready in a couple of minutes or less, therefore so keep a very close eye on the bread.
  • Once the bread is ready, serve the Pav Bhaji with some onions, lime wedges and some coriander leaves as garnish.

Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I loved making it. I think it came very close to the food I have eaten in Bombay. I quote Amit here, he called it “awesome and brilliant”. This is a spicy pav bhaji recipe. Just spicy enough to make you want to drink something cold along with the pav bhaji.

Oh and here’s the You Tube video. Watch this video if you want to see how exactly pav bhaji is made at the street side stalls.