Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Malted Apple and Tropical Fruits Smoothie

I love smoothies. Not fond of mushy bananas but the only thing that keeps me from feeding them to the chickens is my ability to transform them to a smoothie. If you want a mixed fruit smoothie and you don't want it to taste like bananas, you should use apples. I had some frozen tropical fruit mix which had mangoes, pineapples and strawberries.

I have this as an accompaniment to my breakfast or as a mid morning refreshing drink. I like the texture of basil seeds and add a couple of tbsp. of that. Chia seeds might work as a good substitute. I found these yellow opal apples which are really sweet and the skin is fairly thin so don't have to peel the apple. Peeling or using with the peel is your personal preference.

I have my trusty mixer(the Indian style blender) while a Vitamix or a Bullet will make an easy job of it.

Get the fruits, milk, malt and ice ready. Soak the basil seeds.
Blend the fruits, pour them into glasses and top with basil seeds.

Morning or mid morning smoothie is ready to refresh.

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Malted Apple and Tropical Fruits Smoothie
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Serving Size: 2 - 12 ounce glasses
  1. 1 apple cored and cubed (used yellow opal apple)
  2. 1 cup of frozen tropical fruits (fresh is perfectly fine)
  3. 3/4 cup of milk (reduce or use any kind of milk you prefer)
  4. 2 tbsp. of malt (I used Horlicks, Carnation malted milk is perfectly fine)
  5. 5-6 ice cubes
  6. 1/2 tbsp. of basil seeds

  1. Soak the basil seeds in 2 tbsp. of water or milk.
  2. Depending on the blender/mixer thaw the frozen fruit a little bit. I have to for mine.
  3. Take all the ingredients in a blender jar other than the basil seeds, and blend it in high 1-2 minutes till it is all blended smooth.
  4. Pour into glasses and add about a tbsp. of the soaked basil seeds. Mix and enjoy.

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Sunday, January 26, 2020

Kadai Chicken - Gravy Style

I used to watch a whole load of Tamil movies when I was younger. Not so much mow. Now I sleep while watching movies, meaning the minute the movie starts playing I go to sleep. At some point I stopped watching Tamil movies altogether. I picked it up a couple of weeks ago due to boredom. Night comes sooner and add to that cloudy, rainy, windy or snowy days, movie watching is what is left to do :(

I look for movies with actors that I know and hoping there are no cringe worthy scenes, and having to juggle the remotes to switch to a different channel when kids walk in. The movie that was decided on was "Un Samayal Arayil" with Prakash Raj and Sneha. Was it a good decision or what!! The opening song set the tone and it was treat for the senses and the tongue . It again confirmed, no other cuisine can come anywhere close to Indian cuisine. Food Memories made me wonder for the umpteenth why I left my home country. Even if you don't watch the whole movie, just watch that one song to tingle your taste buds.

I have a version of Kadai Chicken which is a slightly drier version of the recipe. The one today has a rich gravy and is perfect to eat with flaky parottas. After watching the movie that was what I was craving.

The recipe has a few steps without which the gravy can be made but the end results won't be this smooth luxurious gravy that we made here. Ideas came from my brother and was cooked by my mother and brother. I took a spectator role :) Together with some soft chapatis I was in food heaven.

This one is not the quick and easy curries that I normally make. If you want to make this choose a lazy Saturday or Sunday when you can dedicate 45 minutes to an hour to cook.

Dry roast coriander, cumin, peppercorn, cinnamon, cloves, remove to a blender and blend to a powder. Chop onions, ginger, garlic and red chilies.
Sauté the onions, garlic, ginger along with the chilies and add that to the powdered coriander seeds mixture and blend to a smooth paste. Separately blend about 1/2 cup of raw onions. In a wide mouthed deep pan add oil, when hot add whole spices and the blended raw onions, sauté till it leaves oil, add the chopped tomatoes and let it get mushy.
Sauté the raw onion and tomato mixture till all the moisture evaporates, now add in the blended onions and spice mixture and sauté till it bubbles and leaves the sides of the pan.
Once the gravy is nice and thick, add in the chicken and let it boil till the chicken is completely cooked.
Sprinkle coriander leaves on top and turn off the heat.

Perfect with some soft chapatis, rotis or steamed rice.

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Kadai Chicken - Gravy Style
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 40 minutes
  1. 2 lbs of *chicken thighs with bones cut into bite sized pieces
  2. 1 1/2 cups of red onion or shallots finely chopped split into 1 cup and 1/2 cup.
  3. 5 cloves of garlic + 2 inch piece of ginger
  4. 6 -8 red chilies (depending on the heat)
  5. 6-8 tomatoes chopped
  6. Whole spices - cinnamon small piece, few cloves, 2 leaves of star anise, fennel seeds
  7. To Roast - 1 tbsp. coriander seeds, 1/4 tsp cumin seeds, 1 tsp pepper corn, small cinnamon piece, few cloves
  8. a handful of coriander leaves
  9. salt to taste
  10. 2 tbsp. oil

  1. In a sauté pan dry roast coriander seeds, cumin seeds, pepper corn, cinnamon and cloves. When they change color transfer to a blender. Blend to a powder.
  2. Take 1/2 cup of the raw onion and blend it to a paste. Set aside.
  3. In a sauté pan heat 1/2 tbsp. oil and sauté the onions, garlic, ginger and red chilies. Transfer to the blend with the powdered spices. Now blend them together to a fairly smooth paste.
  4. In a deep bottomed wide mouthed pan heat oil (cast iron Dutch oven), add the whole spices and let them turn color (about a minute).
  5. Add in the onion paste and sauté till the oil starts to separate, a good 8-10 minutes.
  6. Add in the tomatoes and sauté till it turns mushy and the moisture is completely removed and the mixture moves away from the sides another 8-10 minutes.
  7. Now add the blended masala paste and let it come to a boil. You will see bubbles on the surface. About 6-8 minutes
  8. Add in the chicken pieces and continue to cook till the chicken is completely cooked. About 8 minutes or so depending on the kind of chicken.
  9. Once the chicken is cooked sprinkle the coriander leaves and turn off the heat.

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