Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Butter Chicken Wings

Eating chicken wings with your fingers is a feeling unsurpassed by anything else. And, when the flavour is both strange yet familiar, you can't help but devour them. The idea for these Butter Chicken Wings that I made last week popped into my head and refused to leave till I made it!

So when I had some friends over for dinner last weekend, I knew this was the moment to execute it.Fortunately, I had a pack of wings in the freezer - all I had to do was put it together. I planned it around a Modern Indian themed dinner - complete with Masala Roasted Potatoes - marinated in ghee, garlic, green chillies, chopped up curry leaves and Maharashtrian Goda Masala - Sausage spaghetti (like a Sausage Pulao) - and some traditional Sheer Korma. 

The execution is simple; I used the gravy recipe from my Butter Chicken Recipe - marinated the chicken wings with flour and Chicken Tikka Powder; fried it off (you can also bake it), and then tossed it in the gravy. Top with slivers of ginger and green chillies and voila - they are ready!

Butter Chicken Wings 
  • 500 gms chicken wings 
  • 4-5 tbsp flour (maida or rice flour work well)
  • 2-3 tbsp Chicken Tikka Masala powder (I like Shaan as a brand)
  • Salt and pepper to taste 
  • Butter chicken gravy (find the recipe here)
  • Oil to deep fry
  • 1/2 inch ginger (julienned)
  • 3-4 green chillies (deseeded and julienned)
  • 1 tbsp kasuri methi
  • Wash the chicken wings well and dry them properly. 
  • Separate the wings and the drumettes (basically in two halves - here's a guide on the structure of chicken wings.)
  • Coat them generously with the flour, tikka masala, salt and pepper. 
  • Set aside for at least half an hour. 
  • Prepare the gravy in the meanwhile - according to the instructions in the link. 
  • The only difference here is that, we dont add the remaining marinade of yoghurt, garlic, ginger paste to the tomato base. And, that is okay. 
  • I simply added a little chicken tikka masala to the tomatoes and sauteed them before grinding - to amp up the flavour. 
  • Once the gravy is done, heat up the oil in a saucepan. 
  • Now, add the chicken wings one by one till they crisp up and are golden brown. 
  • Once they are all done and drained of the oil, mix them with the gravy. 
  • Top with the garnishes and serve hot as a starter.
If you want to bake the wings, put them in a 180 degree preheated oven for at least 25-30 minutes. 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Smokey Chicken Burgers with Caramelised Onions and Homemade Mayo

The origin of the hamburger is vaguely recorded. Despite common myths that it was originally made using ham, several theories have cropped up over the years - first attributing the idea of the minced beef or lamb patty to the Mongols, then to the German town of Hamburg, then to several businessmen in the the USA, who sandwiched minced meat patties between slices of bread and served it to customers - all by chance.

Nothing beats a juicy hamburger with a great filling, delicious toppings and the right sauce to go with it! Over the years, the burger has transformed it self, from flavourings, to toppings and even different sauces.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Hasselback Apple w/ Rosemary Streusel & Salted Caramel Parfait

I devour recipe videos, articles and blogs on food, and food shows on a regular basis, and my inspiration to cook comes from all of this. Recently, a leading food magazine in the UAE organised a competition on apples, and I knew this was my opportunity to try and make something unique.

The recipe for this dish is a combination of ‘Tasty’ videos and MasterChef Australia, which has been inspiring me ever since its first season. So many of my skills, or attention to detail in cooking has come from watching the Masterclasses in the first few seasons. The last two seasons of the show have been focusing a lot on parfaits – the French ice cream like dessert. So, when it came to this competition with Bicolored Apples, I was interested to see how I could pair a parfait and apple.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

HomeCooked: Creamy Yoghurt Dip with Carrot and Cucumber Sticks

What do you do when a couple of friends plan to come over at the last minute, and you have no clue what to feed them to keep them occupied while you think of a more elaborate menu? Offer them chips, or fries, or similar junk food? While all of these are certainly the easiest options, they aren't the healthiest. 

I came across this recipe for a simple dip a long long time ago when I visited a friend and her mum served it up with Doritos. Years later, I tried it out with my own twist, and it was just perfect. The best part about this dip is that you need not hang the curd all night - a minimum of an hour is enough since the remaining whey gives it a different creaminess. Moreover, you can add all sorts of ingredients to the final hung curd to pimp it up - you'd be surprised at how amazing yoghurt is as a carrier of flavours. 

Thursday, June 30, 2016

HomeCooked: Dahi Vada – Black Gram Dumplings with Sweet Yoghurt and Sweet and Spicy Chutneys

I’ve been trying to go gluten-free (and refined sugar-free – but that’s a story for another time) for some time now. And, no it’s not to keep up with the Joneses; it’s more about eating what suits my body. And, I found out that it would probably be easier to create gluten-free than to find it in restaurants or supermarkets! Things that you wouldn’t think of have gluten in it – extra gluten I might add! Plus, did you know that gluten is addictive? Kind of explains my consistent mid-day craving for pasta!

Anyway, so in an effort to find out all about the possible gluten free food that I can eat, I was not surprised when my research took me back to the indigenous Indian ingredients that we have grow up with.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Spending a Day in Amsterdam

Amsterdam from the flight
Amsterdam is not only about weed, the Red Light District and partying. I found that out last month on my work trip to Amsterdam!

Not only was it my first time there, but it was my first time travelling to Europe. Boy, was I excited! After a few hold-ups, I finally boarded a KLM red-eye to Schiphol Airport with my colleague. We reached Amsterdam in the morning and were greeted by pleasant weather, a beautiful airport and most of all, greenery (which if you live in Dubai, you will know why the excitement). Taking a cab to our hotel was quite an experience because the driver had a suit on and drove a Mercedes! The roads, brownstone buildings and tram lanes were all fascinating. While my first two days were filled with work and just an outing in the nights, the third day was one that we spend walking across probably 3/4ths of Amsterdam.

Here is a low-down on what all you can do in that one day!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

HomeCooked: Stir-Fried Ladies Finger (Bhindi Fry)

I love Bhindi - or Okra or Ladies Finger, as it is called otherwise. This green vegetable has plenty of health benefits and has a sweetness to it that is complemented well by our Indian spices. However, a lot of people dislike Ladies Finger owing to its gluey, resin-like liquid that it secretes once its cut; moreover, some species also have a lot of seeds that tend to get stuck in the teeth that makes it further unlikable.

But, those who love Ladies Finger, do so with a passion. It can be used in any kind of cooking - a stir fry, crisped up by deep-frying, in a Sambhar (South-Indian dal preparation), or even a gravy. Possibly the most popular preparation in India is the Bharwa Bhindi - or Ladies Finger stuffed full of a spice paste and then fried gently in some oil - it is simply delicious! But, my favourite preparation is a simple stir fry, with or without onions, with the basic spices. That is why it is the best recipe for my #HomeCooked series.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

HomeCooked: Spicy Masala Aloo (Potatoes)

Cooking is a life skill - no it is not the relegated duty of the lady of the house.

It is my belief that everyone should know the basics of cooking - irrespective of gender - if they want to eat healthy, good food. As a child, even if my mother was out of town, my sister and I were never deprived of home cooked food. My father loved cooking and was an excellent cook, as you may already know from here.

I still remember, when my mother went to the US when I was 9, my father was in charge of us and everyday would be a special dinner menu. From gingerbread-man shaped puris to whole course Chinese meals, we would have different cuisines at the dinner table. Till today, whenever I smell onions and carrots sauteing in oil, it reminds me of when I would stand tippy toes at the stove and stir the ingredients together for a Chinese fried rice. And, that is what life skills are about - ensuring that no matter what situation you are in, you have the ability to cook and eat good, healthy food.