Archive for August, 2012

Appetizers are a must and most happening part of any party. You can think of thousand dishes for appetizers but this dish is very easy and quick. This dish is made with Pepperidge Farm’s Puff Pastry sheets, extremely simple to assemble, and need no preparation time, except thawing the pastry sheets. You can make stuffing of any choice like curried potatoes, cheesy spinach etc. This dish can be made fresh or ahead of time and reheated.

Ingredients :-

Puff Pastry Sheets, PeppridgeFarm or any 1 Package,Frozen
Paneer/Cottage cheese
1 cup
Onion,Finely Chopped
1/4 cup
Red Chilli Powder 1/4 teaspoon
Turmeric Powder 1/4 teaspoon
Chaat Masala
1/2 teaspoon
Amchur/Dry Mango Powder
1/4 teaspoon
to taste
Oil 2 teaspoon
Cilantro, Chopped
2 teaspoon
Cheese, Shredded
4 tablespoon

Method :-

  • Thaw the pastry sheets for about 40 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400 degree Fahrenheit (200 degree Celsius).
  • Crumble the paneer/cottage cheese in a bowl with hand.
  • Heat oil in a pan. Add chopped onion. Saute it for 2 minutes and then add all the masalas except cilantro and cheese.
  • Let the mixture cool and then add cilantro and cheese and mix it properly.
  • Till the mixture cools dust a flat surface with some all purpose flour/maida and open the pastry sheets. Dust a little flour on the sheets and roll it a little very gently.
  • Divide the filling and spread into two sheets. Now roll the sheet tightly and gently. Once you reach to the edge seal the edge with water  and make sure its completely sealed.
  • Using a sharp knife cut gently cut a half inch wheels and place it on greased tray. Bake it for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Remove from the oven. Serve warm….Great for parties and potlucks.


The word “Chicken” makes me nostalgic and takes me to my childhood days when having a chicken dish was feast for us (me and my 2 younger brothers). Being the eldest child it was always expected from me to sacrifice everything for my siblings. But how in world can anyone expect me to sacrifice for succulent and juicy leg pieces (Yum Yum!).  Still I don’t know why there was so much fascination for chicken legs. Maybe as a kid we were more interested in holding meaty bone than the white meat. After all  life is all about these little rewards . Alas, chicken only has 2 legs, so to have the leg piece a big battle of Mahabharata used to be fought at our backyard (or aangan you can say). Yah you read correctly, our special non vegetarian dishes were cooked in backyard and not in kitchen due to my mother’s special rites and rituals. And winner was either me or youngest brother. The younger brother (after me) was always confused why he was born in between two devils :D. Stories apart, whether you have tried Chicken Tikka Masala or not you will be in love as soon as you taste it. Its a real treat. The vegetarian version is Paneer Tikka Masala (but in comparison it stands nowhere). Its a dish comprising chicken pieces marinated in yoghurt , grilled and then added to a thick tomato and cream based gravy. This dish is worth all the efforts as it will surely accrue many praises and compliments for you. Enjoy it in cool and brisk evening.

Ingredients :-

For Chicken Tikka –

First Marinade

Boneless Chicken, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces 800 gms/1.25 pounds
Ginger Paste
1 tablespoon
Garlic Paste 1 tablespoon
Kashmiri Red chilli powder 1 teaspoon
Lime juice
1 teaspoon
to taste

Second Marinade

Yogurt hung 1 cup
Ginger Paste
1 tablespoon
Garlic Paste 1 tablespoon
Kashmiri Red chilli powder 1 teaspoon
Turmeric Powder
1/4 teaspoon
to taste
Oil 2 teaspoon
Ajwain seeds
1 teaspoon
Gram Flour
2 tablespoon
Garam Masala 1/2 teaspoon
Mustard Oil 3 tablespoon

For Onion Tomato Masala

Onion, chopped
2 large
Tomatoes, chopped
4 medium
Garlic, chopped
7-8 cloves
Cumin seeds /21 teaspoon
Roasted Cumin Powder
1/2 – 1 teaspoon
Coriander Powder 2 teaspoon

For Gravy

2 tablespoon
Ginger Paste
1 teaspoon
Garlic Paste
1 teaspoon
Tomato Puree
1/4 cup
Onion Tomato Masala
1 cup
Kashmiri Red chilli powder 1 teaspoon
Garam Masala Powder 1/2 teaspoon
Fresh Cilantro Leaves, chopped
2 tablespoon
Dried fenugreek leaves (kasoori methi),roasted and crushed
1 teaspoon
Cream 1/4 cup
Ginger, cut into thin strips
1 inch
to taste

Method :-

1st Marinade –

  • Add garlic paste, ginger paste, Kashmiri red chilli powder, salt and lemon juice to the chicken. Mix it well and marinate it for at least 45 mins.

2nd Marinade –

  • Heat oil in the pan. Add ajwain seeds and gram flour and cook it in medium flame as you don’t want the gram flour to get burn. Keep stirring the gram flour and you will get a nutty smell which means that gram flour has cooked.
  • Add this cooked gram flour to the hung yogurt. Add Kashmiri red chilli powder, ginger garlic paste, turmeric powder, garam masala powder and whisk this mixture into smooth creamy marinade.
  • Add the mustard oil and mix it properly. Now add marinated chicken to this mixture. Keep it for at least 3-4 hrs. I kept it overnight.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degree Fahrenheit. Take the chicken out of the fridge before 30 minutes so that it comes to room temperature and cooks evenly.
  • Thread the chicken onto skewers. Arrange it in a foil lined baking tray. Place the tray in the top rack and grill the chicken. Cook, turning the skewers a few times, so that the chicken gets cooked and evenly browned on all sides.
  • Take the pieces off the skewers and place on a plate. This is Chicken Tikka and you can have it as starter.

Onion Tomato Masala

  • Heat the oil in a pan. Add the cumin seeds and when they begin to change color, add the onions and saute till well browned.
  • Add the garlic and saute till lightly browned. Add the ginger and garlic pastes and continue sauteing. Add the cumin powder and coriander powder and mix well.
  • Add the tomatoes and continue to saute on low heat till the tomatoes are completely cooked and the oil separates.
  • Add salt and mix. Remove from heat and set aside.

Gravy –

  • Heat the butter in a separate pan and add the ginger and garlic pastes and tomato puree and saute for two minutes.
  • Stir in half a cup of water and cook for two to three minutes. Add the chicken and onion-tomato masala and simmer till the gravy reduces a little.
  • Adjust salt according to taste and add the red chilli powder, garam masala powder and half the coriander leaves. Mix well and cook for two minutes.
  • Stir in the kasuri methi and cream. Remove from heat and serve hot, garnished with the ginger strips and the remaining coriander leaves.

Note :-

  •   Don’t keep the chicken pieces larger as it will not cook faster.
  • You can skip adding mustard oil if you don’t like its flavor. But for smoky kebab it is a  must required.
  • You can also add Capsicum, Onion, Tomato cubes to the chicken tikka masala. Remove the pulp of tomatoes. Just before adding the cream to final gravy add onion.Let it cook for 2 minutes along with the final gravy and then add cubes of tomato and capsicum. This will add flavor and colors to the chicken tikka masala.
  • Here I have not added red color to chicken tikka which is generally added in restaurants. If you want you can add to get authentic and extra color.

Mexican cuisine is very much similar to Indian cuisine. Its a style of food that originated from Mexico and is famous for its variety of spices, colorful combination of ingredients and for its diverse flavors. I have adapted this dish from Tarla Dalal. This is a simple and colorful recipe which is a blend of Indian and Mexican cuisine. Its a filling combination of spicy vegetables, rice and cottage cheese patties. Its one meal dish which require some extra effort and time but the end result is worth all the pain and sweat.

Ingredients :-
For Rice

Steamed Rice
2 1/4 cups
Onion Chopped 1
Boiled Mixed Vegetables 1 cup
Chilli Powder 1 1/2 teaspoon
Oil 3 tbsp
Salt To taste
Ginger garlic paste
2 teaspoon

For Cheese Patties

Potatoes Boiled and mashed 2
Crumbled Paneer
1/2 cup
Green Chillies Chopped
Cilantro Chopped
2 tblsp
Plain Flour
1 tblsp
For cooking

For Tomato Sauce

Tomatoes 3 large
Onion 1
Garlic cloves
Chilli Powder
1/2 teaspoon
Dried Oregano or Carrom Seeds (Ajwain)
1/2 teaspoon
1/2 teaspoon
1 tblsp
Cheese For Baking
3 tblsp

Method :-

For the Rice

  • Heat the oil and fry onions for 3-4 mins. Add ginger garlic paste to it and fry again for 1 minutes.
  • Add the chilli powder, vegetables and fry for 2 minutes.
  • Add the rice, salt and mix thoroughly.

For the Cheese Patties

  • Mix the potatoes, paneer, cilantro, flour, green chillies and salt and shape like patties.
  • Cook on a tawa with the help of a little oil.

For the Tomato Gravy

  • Heat the oil and fry the onion for 2 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and fry again for a few seconds.
  • Add the tomatoes, ajwain/oregano, chilli powder, sugar and salt and cook until soft.
  • Blend in a mixer. Do not strain. If the gravy is too thick, add little water.

Final Arrangement

  • Spread the hot rice in a greased baking dish.
  • Put the cheese patties over the rice.
  • Cover with the tomato gravy and sprinkle grated cheese on top.
  • Bake at 400 degree F (200 degree C ) for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Serve hot.

Tip :-

  • Keep the rice and sauce hot so that the baking time gets reduced.
  • Here the preferred oil is Olive oil.