Posts Tagged dinner

tofu vegetable saute with schezwan seasoning

Besides meat and eggs, I try to maintain my protein intake by eating tofu at least twice a week. However I am short on new tofu recipes, but this one is an all time staple and seldom a failure.

You will need:
1) 1 pack of extra firm cubed tofu (if you buy uncubed, cube them into 0.5 inch cubes)
2) 1 cup of mixed vegetables of broccoli, beans, snow peas, carrots, bell pepper
3) 1 pack of schezwan sauce mix
4) 2 tbsp of soy sauce
5) 1/4 cup water
6) 1/2 tsp of sugar (depending on desired sweetness)

Make it:

1) In a bowl, mix items 3 – 6 and set aside (The sauce mix has corn-starch, hence no need to add any starch separately)
2) In a wide skillet, add 2 tbsp of oil, and lay out the cubes of tofu in a single layer and brown the sides for about 2-3 mins each side on medium flame. Set aside
3) Add 2 tbsp of oil, turn up the heat, add all the mixed vegetables, and saute them for 4-7 mins on medium -high heat until they are crunchy and almost 3/4 cooked
4) Now add the sauce mix, the fried tofu, gently mix it all together and simmer for 5 to 7 mins until the sauce thickens. Serve hot with Jasmine rice.


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Chicken biriyani

This is my first post of 2012. I know you were wondering that this blog is dead or I stopped cooking, but here it is still alive. No way I would stop cooking, just that I have not been posting.

This dish deserves a post, as this is the first time I am making biriyani in this method, which is restaurant style, the meat and rice are partially cooked separately and then mixed together and cooked fully. Initially I thought this would be a lengthy process, but it wasn’t that bad. The last time I made biriyani in a pressure cooker, I ended up not liking it much, and I had to force myself to eat it without wasting it.

Marination of the chicken:

In a wide bowl, add the following:
1) 1 lb of chicken pieces (I used a mix of boneless thighs + chicken breast)
2) 2 tbsp of plain yogurt
3) 2 tbsp of ginger + garlic paste
4) 10 slit green chillies (according to the desired spice-ness)
5) 1 tbsp of red chilli powder or 2 tbsp of ‘chicken biriyani’ masala (spice powder that is available in indian groceries)
6) 1 tbsp of salt
7) 2 tbsp of oil

Mix everything together until the chicken pieces are coated well and refrigerate for overnight or at least 3 hours

Final Preparation:

A) Preparation of the rice:
1) Rinse and wash about 2 cups of basmati rice
2) In a wide bowl, bring 4 cups of water to a boil (5 mins) + 1 tsp of oil, add the rice and turn it on high, let the rice to roll over or boil (takes about 6-7 mins) and switch of the rice, and drain the water in the rice and let it cool

B) Chop 1 medium red onion and fry it for 7-8 mins until golden brown in a pan with 2 tbsp of oil and set it aside

C) Cook the chicken and layer the biriyani:
1) In a wide pan, add 2 tbsp of oil, add the marinated chicken and keep it closed, stirring for every 7 mins for about 30 mins until the meat is cooked
2) Remove the cooked chicken to a bowl
3) In a wide stockpot, start with a layer of half-cooked rice + sprinkle fried onions + 1 layer of chicken alternatively and once all the rice and chicken has been layered, cover it and either put it in the oven at 350C for about 25 minutes, or on the stove top for 25 – 35 mins on low flame. Close the lid tightly by lining with an aluminium foil so that the steam does not escape.
4) After 25 mins, open the pot, check whether the rice is cooked, add 2 tbsp of ghee(melted butter) + 1/2 cup of chopped cilantro, mix everything together and serve hot.

* The rice in biriyani should get cooked by the moisture from the meat and the steam, but sometimes it might not get cooked fully, so you might want to sprinkle about 4-5 tbps of water and keep it closed and cook it for 8-10 mins on low flame

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Fettuccine without the alfredo

Noodles were the most common alternative in most part of asia. Until one fine evening, I dined in Olive garden that fed me the lovely fettuccine Chicken alfredo. One bite of the creamy sauce that took me to the sky and I just fell in love with it.

From then, I have been trying to make my own Alfredo sauce and haven’t been that successful. I mean the sauces I made were okay, but the taste was not extraordinary to be proud of. I am not giving up, still going to give it a few more shots.

Meanwhile for a change, I adapted this recipe to fettuccine and it was turned out lovely.

Thanks to Clara for sharing the simplest best thing ever.









The only addition I did was adding some red pepper flakes and 1/4th tsp of italian seasoning.


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cracked wheat upma

My recent trip to visit some of my friends got me reminded of ‘upma’. Back home, not many are fond of this dish growing up; reason being, the simplicity of the dish could demand less focus, and hence the result of a so simple recipe could easily be messed up. But growing up I have enjoyed every bite of some of the most delicious upma in my home as well as my aunt’s. This is usually made for dinner/breakfast as an alternative to rice with either sooji or with cracked wheat.


You will need:
* 1 cup of chopped beans + carrots + 1 potato (optional)
* 4 green chillies slit lengthwise
* 1 medium onion sliced lengthwise
* 1/2 inch of ginger finely chopped
* 1 medium tomato finely chopped
* 1 cup of cracked wheat lightly roasted
* 2 tbsp of ghee

Make it:
1) In a wide pan, add 3 tbsp of oil + jeera + mustard seeds
2) Once they splutter, add the chillies + onion + ginger, fry for 2 minutes and add the chopped veggies, followed by tomatoes and salt and stir it all together and let it cook for about 5-7 minutes until the tomatoes get mushy
3) Add 2 cups of water, adjust the salt and let it come to a boil
4) Soon after the water starts to boil, add the cracked wheat and mix everything together and simmer the heat for about 10 – 12 minutes; once all the water is evaporated, add the ghee and serve hot

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mildly colored chicken tandoori

If you happen to dine in an indian restaurant, you will not miss this; it’s always on the menu and haunts with its red color.  Yes, I am talking about ‘tandoor chicken’ .  One would think that it would be spicy for them, due to its bright red color; but the color comes from the food color powder, and NO, they don’t really add all(only) red-chilli powder for the spiciness.  If you are familiar with the aroma of the various spices in ‘garam masala’, then you can smell a few when you take a bite. I did not use a whole lot here, but just stuck with the basic few.

Now, let’s try doing this @ home minus the food color.  There is not too many steps.

1) Clean about 6 pieces of chicken drumsticks, skin out

2) Prepare the marinade by grinding together 1″inch piece of ginger + 5 cloves of garlic + 3 jalapeno chillies + 1/2 small onion

3) In a wide bowl, mix together the ground paste + 1 tsp of lime juice + 1/2 tsp of soy sauce + 1 tbsp of plain yogurt + salt (as desired) + 1 tsp of oil

4) Add the chicken pieces and let it sit for about 1 hour or refrigerate overnight.

5) Preheat the oven to 400C and line a baking sheet with aluminium foil, spray some oil, line up the drumsticks and bake for a total of 50 mins at least.

Note: For every 15-20 minutes, you might need to check and turn the pieces that the spices all over get  roasted and cooked thoroughly.  You will notice some oil/liquid coming out of chicken, but it will eventually it will go away, and the chicken would start to turn golden.

And if you want to eat a few with some good wine, this would taste heavenly :). For some color, I sprinkled about 1/4 tsp of chilli powder over the chicken pieces before I shifted them to the oven.

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