Simple Chicken Pilaf – whole spices – Indian recipe


Falak bhabi, you are the bestest (hmm, can I say bestest too? :) )

This is a super simple recipe (my favorite words for description, huh -_- super simple, easy peasy, etc etc)

But you know this is also one recipe that people of all ages, nations will love! (Now thats news worthy right?)

You must be thinking why… because my friend, this is an Indian recipe I agree, but unlike the usual recipes, where you use a ton of ground spices, here we use only whole spices (hmmmm so it smells wonderful), which gives the food its flavors, and not the ‘heat’ (which is generally associated with Indian food).

So now tell me, arent you getting impatient to find out the recipe? :)

So here you go:

Ingredients:

Chicken pieces (I recommend using a whole chicken, for most flavor; or boneless is fine too, but put a couple leg or wing pieces, so it makes a good chicken broth)
Basmati rice (any rice is okay too, but basmati is best while making pilaf)
(for the proportion, use the same amount of chicken pieces/rice as you would use for biryani) more or less, does not matter
whole spices: fennel seeds, cumin seeds, cardomoms, black pepper, bay leaf, cloves (am I missing anything? I will talk to Falak bhabi and confirm)
ginger garlic paste
garam masala
1 onion sliced
oil for cooking

Method:

First put the chicken, the whole spices tied in a little muslin bag (I put them in a tea ball :D good idea huh, but cleaning it later is tough, but it works) and ginger garlic paste with water (Enough to make good quantity broth which will be used to cook rice later)

Boil, till chicken is all cooked.

Throw out the spices, remove chicken pieces, and save the broth for later.

Now wash the rice and keep ready.

In a big pan (big enough to cook all the chicken and rice in), heat oil, and fry the onion, till translucent.

Then add the cumin seeds.

Add the chicken pieces, and fry gently, then add some more fennel seeds, a little garam masala (optional: maybe add some shan chicken curry masala for another taste).

Then finally add the rice, and the broth enough to soak the rice completely. (Bhabi says to add only 1.5 cups of broth for 1 cup rice, but I mess up, so I almost use 2 cups, its better to be over cooked, then under right?)

Then get it to a boil. Then turn to simmer and cover and cook till done.

In Kashmir, generally, when it starts to boil, they cover the pan with a tight lid, and turn off the heat. And then when its time to eat, they heat it on simmer for a while.

I have some leftover of the rice, I will take a picture today, but its not going to look pretty :S

(I also added, some potatoes and peas to it, just for a variation!)

Hope you try this out and it comes out great!

( I do not have the exact measurements for this recipe, but it shouldn’t matter if its a bit more or less, since these are not ground spices)



Look what I ate today – Chicken 65


Chicken 65, is my new best bud, I mean for my taste buds.

It is soooooo delicious, and spicy and so flavorful, people really wont be able to tell you used a box of spices to make it. To make this you need very few ingredients (cilantro and curry leaves, lots of them and couple eggs), and the box of Bane Nawab’s Chicken 65 masala. I got it from a Indian grocery store. Just follow the recipe to the letter, and newbies I promise you it will be perfect!

I ate it first at dear Falak bhabi’s house, you know the one who stays in Michigan with all the super spoilt, and adorably amazing kids, yeah, that bhabi. Why do all our bhabi’s have super cute kids? I dont know, I guess so I can be busy spoiling them all :)



Look what I ate today – Salmon, sweet peppers, potato wed



I think I am really mean just putting up pictures of the wonderful simple food I am eating, and leaving you all with no recipes.

Since this wonderful meal really just took a few minutes to make, I am quickly going to write how you could have it tonight and share it with your friends and family.

Today’s Menu:

Salmon (Pan fried),
Baked potato wedges,
Charred mini sweet colored peppers

Ingredients:

For Salmon:
salt, black pepper, garlic powder, good oil couple tbsp for frying (I used Olive Oil)

For Potatoes:
potatoes, washed, cut into wedges, salt, little black pepper, little red chilli powder, lots of oil, bread crumbs,

For Mini red peppers:
salt, oil, black pepper

Method:

Did you all notice, the ingredients, salt, pepper and oil are the base of all 3 dishes, so can you all imagine, how quickly you can put all this together? Also, less time for cleanup!

I started with the potatoes first, since they take the longest to cook.
Pre heat the oven to 400deg F, and then in a tray, put the potato wedges, and throw in all the ingredients, give it a nice toss and bake for about 30 minutes, pull out the tray, flip the wedges over, and bake another 10 minutes. Done.

Next, pull out the potatoes from the oven, drizzle the oil, salt, pepper over the peppers, and this time, put the oven on Broil (in certain ovens there is only temp setting, mine has 3 ie low, medium, and high, I put it on broil Med till the skin got charred a little bit)
Pull out the peppers, Done.

This technique is guaranteed to make your salmon perfect, that is crispy on the outside, and super soft and flaky on the inside.

Heat your pan on Med flame. Till then, on one side of the salmon, put salt, pepper and little garlic powder if you like. Put some oil in the pan, and when the oil is hot, gently put the salmon pieces in it, seasoning side down.
I recommend watching it while cooking, the color from the bottom is going to start turning lighter pink in color, when it reaches the middle of the piece, gently turn the pieces over. Again as the color from the bottom starts turning pink, and raises up, stop when it almost reaches the middle. Turn off the pan!
Its going to cook even if you take it off the pan. This will ensure a flaky interior :) not chewy :D Promise!

Enjoy a hot yummy simple meal, which seriously takes less than half an hour, hey Rachael Ray, aren’t you proud?

Note: I love drizzling lemon on fish before eating, it just tastes extra good!



Look what I ate today – Tuna Kebabs


This time, more like “going to eat today”

Recipe is here: http://www.lifensuch.com/fish-cake-fish-kebab.htm



Look what I ate today – Shrimp biryani


Okay, not exactly today again, but more like yesterday. But you all know how much I love this “look what I ate today” title :)

Shrimp biryani, yummy!

I have the recipe here: http://www.lifensuch.com/shrimp-and-vegetable-biryani.htm



Chicken sheesh kebab pilaf


So better late than never, right? This is made mostly from leftovers, like the kebabs, the rice, add fresh or frozen vegetables to get a punch of vitamins too.

Here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

Chicken sheesh kebab (leftover from a previous meal, I have recipe for it here: ), chopped up in bite size pieces
Rice (again leftover would work great)
a cup of two of mixed vegetables, fresh or frozen (I used frozen)
onions chopped,
cilantro for garnish, optional
oil for cooking
spices: corriander (dhania) powder, cumin (zeera) powder, red chilli powder, garam masala, turmeric (haldi), and to sprinkle over a bit of any biryani masala

Method:

Just start with onions in oil, fry a bit, add the masalas, saute a bit. Then add the frozen vegetables, cook till almost done (peas, corn, carrots, beans, etc).

Throw in the chopped up kebabs, and the rice, mix, put on low flame, cover and steam for about 5-8 minutes.

Done!

Couldn’t be simpler, huh?



Look what I ate today!


Yummy in my tummy!!

I just finished it up! Just ate plain yogurt (dahi) with it. Really it was so good! I have to put this recipe up for you all. I know you all must be saying, all talk, no action, I am so very sorry!

I am going to do it soon. Promise!

Stay warm if you are in the Northern hemisphere! Pretty cold outside these days!
If in the Southern Hemisphere, then please soak up all the sun, and some for us too!



Amazingly delicious chocolate truffles – Stahls Bakery in Kent, OHIO


    I had written a post long back about Stahls Bakery in Kent, OHIO. I talked about their truffles, I just thought maybe I need a picture to prove my post’s worth so here you are….

    I would like to also add about some more delicacies the dear owner had prepared that day; freshly baked bear claws, and the best the walnut cinnamon rolls, along with lots of different kinds of cookies (the little flower shaped ones I loved)

    So dont you think, it will be worth your while, the next time you are in Kent, Ohio, to stop by and have some of the amazingly delicious chocolate truffles (no offense, Lindt, I love you too)



Super simple egg salad sandwich


I just realized that most of my recipes start with ‘super’, ‘simple’, ‘quick’, and/or ‘easy’ in the title!!!

Well this recipe is all of the above, super, simple, quick and easy!

Ingredients:

Boiled eggs (1 per person)
Mayonnaise
Mustard sauce (if you like the flavor only then use it)
Salad leaves (optional, but it gives the sandwich a nice crunch)
Salt, pepper as per taste
Any whole grain bread slices (2 per person)
Butter (optional)

Method:

Peel the boiled eggs and almost mince them, add the mayo(enough to make a smooth mixture), mustard sauce (use sparingly, it has a strong flavor), taste and add salt and pepper as per your taste.

Butter the bread slices, spread some egg mix on the slice, top with a couple salad leaves and close the top with the other bread slice.

Done!

Now what was I saying earlier….easy peas-y? Oops I forgot to mention the source; dear Mumtaz aunty who was visiting recently with Qam uncle taught me new things, I always learn something new from her!



Deals galore everywhere I turn!


How lovely is the world where you only see Sale and Clearance on racks in malls! Tis the season to be jolly (I mean shopping which does make me jolly) la la la la la la la…

So, come on dress up a little, put on a nice sweater, some lip gloss, some mascara, and eat a good snack before you head out.

Macys, Dillards, Kohls, Target, or stores like TJMaxx, HomeGoods, etc etc. (geographically speacking in USA of course)

Good Luck, and incase you find a good deal, and would love to share with lifensuch readers, we are waiting to hear from you!

Take care and have fun!