Thursday, 22 September 2016

Zucchinni Ricotta Gallete




Zucchini and Ricotta Gallete




A gallete is a rustic free form tart made with a pastry crust or bread dough. The term free form means that you don't need any pie tin or pan for baking this tart. The gallete crust sheet is simply placed on a baking tray with a moist filling on top and the edges are folded up and around the filling.

Galletes can be either sweet or savoury, the filling options for both varients are endless. I am making this savoury zucchini gallete recipe as a segue to end of  summer recipes. This rustic and stylish zucchini and ricotta gallete can be served as an appetiser, entree or side dish. I  bet you haven't tried my Zucchini Chips  recipe yet. So check it out before you move on.


For the filling I am making use of zucchinis and ricotta cheeese along with mixed dried herbs for an extra spark of flavour to the savoury gallete recipe. The filling is up to your choice you can use any preferred vegetable instead of zucchini. Vegetable pies and tarts are always healthy but you can make them even healthier by using whole wheat pastry crust. The pastry sheet is everything but flaky so incase you fancy a flakier pastry I suggest repalcing the olive oil with cold butter.


You an even use 50 % white flour and 50% whole wheat if you don't like 100% whole wheat flour.
I hope you will make this recipe someday but first you must learn how to make this delicious ricotta and zucchini gallete. So follow the step by step photo guide given below and making zucchini and ricotta gallete  will be easy peasy from today.



IngredientsQuantity
whole wheat flour2 cups
olive oil6 tbsps
iced cold water4 tbsps
Ingredients For The FillingQuantity
zucchini2 medium cut into circles
ricotta cheese250g
parmesan cheese (grated)8 tbsps
mixed dried herbs 1 tsp
freshly ground black peeperto taste
saltto taste
egg wash   1 egg mixed with 1 tsp of  milk
chilli oil   optional


Mix together the olive oil and the cold water.

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Add 2-3 tbsps of whole wheat flour and whisk with the help of a fork

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Add the salt and the whole wheat flour. Knead until a soft dough is formed. Place in the fridge for 1-2 hours.

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Separately mix the ricotta along with the parmesan and herbs.

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Season with salt and black pepper. Mix until all the ingredients are well combined.


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Cut the washed and dried zucchini into thin circles.

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Take out the whole wheat pastry dough from the fridge and roll out onto a floured surface into a medium thick circle of 9 inches. Once rolled transfer the pastry circle on to a baking tray lined with a parchment paper.

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Place the ricotta filling in the center of the circle. Leave about 2 inch margin at the border.

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Align the zucchini circles along the margin of the circle.

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Keep arranging the zucchini circles in a uniform manner inside the circle as shown.

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Now start folding the border over the edges pleating as you fold as shown in the photo.

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Complete the pleating and fold and then drizzle with chilli oil or olive oil along with some salt and pepper.

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Bake the gallete in a preheated oven at 200 degrees for 25 -30 minutes or until the edges are golden brown in colour.




Buon Appetito!

Do make this recipe for zucchini and ricotta gallete and let me know if you like it.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Mushroom Samosas

Homemade Mushroom Samosas


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Samosa is a popular Pakistan/Indian tea time snack, or apetiser. Basically its a triangular savoury pastry filled with potatoes or other vegetables. The non vegetarian variety of samosas consists of lamb mince or a chicken filling.

The samosas are usually fried but these days baked samosas are also quite popular with the diet concious world. I am quite naughty when it comes to dieting so no diet stuff for me and hence I stick with the real stuff i.e fried samosa.

I have tried all sorts of fillings for my samosa recipe, vegetarian and non vegetarian but recently my all time favourite is the mushroom samosa. I love mushrooms they have a mild earthy taste which easily blends with other ingredients. In this mushroom samosa recipe  I have used sauteed champignon mushrooms with bolied potatoes all spiked up with basic curry spices like red chilli powder, coriandr, cumin and garam masala.

The key to crispy samosas lies in the pastry dough, which should not be too soft or too firm. The dough should be nice and pliable. One thing I love about homemade samosas is that you can turn any left over vegetable dry curry to make the samosas. Even minced meat cooked in Pakistani style mince makes a nice filling for the samosas.

Below is the step by step guide to teach you how to make homemade samosas, so follow it properly and making this all time favourite teatime snack will be a breeze from now on.




IngredientsQuantity
plain flour2 1/2 cups
vegetable oil 4 tbsp
saltto taste
carom seeds (ajwain) 1 tsp
warm wateras needed
Ingredients For The FillingQuantity
vegetable oil1 tbsp
boiled potatoes3 medium
champignon mushrooms 400g
chopped onion 1 small
red chilli powder 1 1/2 tsp
cumin powder1 tsp
coriander powder1 tsp
garam masala1/2 tsp 
salt to taste1/2 cup
chopped fresh green chillies 1-2 
vegetable oil for frying


Method:


To prepare the filling saute onions in vegetable oil add the mushrooms. The mushrooms release a lot of water. Cook until the moisture from the mushrooms evaporates. Now add the boiled potatoes, red chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt.

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Add the cumin and coriander powders and also the gram masala powder and green chillies. Mash the potatoes with the the help of the back of a spoon. Cook for 4-5 minutes until all the ingredients are well incorporated into each other. Remove from the heat and let cool.


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 While the samosa filling is cooling prepare the pastry. Take flour add salt, ajwain, oil. Knead with luke warm water.

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Keep in fridge for 1-2 hours.

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Divide the dough into 8-10 small balls. Roll each ball ito a small 4 inch circle.

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Cut each circle into half so that it makes two semi circles. Overlap both sides of the semicircle to form a trianagle, as shown in  the photo.


Place the filling inside the trianangle as shown.

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Trim off the extra ends and apply water or (a paste made with flour and water) at the base. Press the base of the triangle to seal.

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Heat oil to medium hot and fry the samosas until crispy and golden brown on both sides. You might have to turn the samosas a couple of times to ensure even frying.

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Remove the samosas from oil and place on a paper towel to remove excess oil. Serve with chutney or ketchup.


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I hope you will make this recipe for mushroom samosas some day. Don't forget to share with your friends and family. I would love to hear your samosa making experience.

Boun Appetito!

Check out Labanese Sfeehas Recipe and Couscous and Vegetable Cutlets for interesting snack ideas.

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Caprese Pasta Salad

Caprese Pasta Salad



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Caprese Pasta Salad is a light and easy and refreshing Italian pasta dish made with fresh spring/summer ingredients like basil and cherry tomatoes.  This cold pasta salad is perfect as a side dish or on it's own when you want something light for dinner or lunch on any hot summer day.

The basic wallop of flavour comes from the vinaigrette which consists of balsamic vinegar, minced   garlic, olive oil and some basic seasoning. I prefer using mini mozzarella balls because of  ease of use, meaning no use of knife or chopping board and hence no cleaning afterwards. Feel free to use any type of mozzarella cheese available to you.

The mozzarella not only adds complexity but also balances out the flavour of balsamic vinegar and tomatoes.  I have used halved cherry tomatoes for this Caprese Pasta Salad recipe but you can use any type of fresh salad tomatoes. Also make sure to use freshly cracked black pepper for seasoning. Pre ground pepper is less peppery because of the loss of volatile compounds. So use freshly ground black pepper whenever possible.

Check out 5 A Day Veggie Pasta and Pasta Primavera for more healthy meal ideas.

 Follow the step by step recipe for Caprese Pasata Salad and do let me know what you think about it.


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IngredientsQuantity
pasta con500g
cherry tomatoes 250g
mozzarella balls 250g
balsamic vinegar 1/4 cup
extra virgin olive oil4 tbsp
freshly ground black pepper to taste 
salt to taste 
freshly chopped basil leaves1/2 cup
minced garlic  1-2 cloves



Method:

Prepare the dressing by mixing the balsamic vinegar with extra virgin olive oil and minced garlic.  Add salt and freshly ground black pepper. Whisk with the help of a fork and set side.

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Boil the conchiglie pasta (al dente) according to the instructions on the packet. Drain and set aside.

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Add the cherry tomatoes cut in halves to the boiled and drained conchiglie pasta.

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Add the mozzarella balls and chopped basil leaves. Once again I forgot to photograph the mozzarella balls and the chopped basil leaves. Another episodes of brain freeze *sigh*

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Pour over the balsamic vinegar dressing and mix with the help of a salad spoon or fork. Here I have made it with spiral whole wheat pasta. So basically you can try any pasta you prefer.  Serve as a salad, side dish or a light and refreshing meal.

Buon Appetito!


Recipe For Caprese Pasta Salad:



print recipe

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Caprese Pasta Salad
Caprese Pasta Salad is a light and easy and refreshing Italian pasta dish made with fresh summer ingredients like basil and cherry tomatoes.
Ingredients
  • 500g conchiglie pasta
  • 250g cherry tomatoes
  • 250g mozzarella balls
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 4 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
  • to taste freshly ground black pepper
  • to taste salt
  • 1/2 cup freshly chopped basil leaves
  • 1-2 cloves minced garlic
Instructions
Boil the conchiglie pasta (al dente) according to the instructions on the packet. Drain and set aside. Add the cherry tomatoes cut in halves.Add the mozzarella balls and chopped basil leaves.Pour over the dressing and mix with the help of a salad spoon or fork.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 6-8

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Persian Ice cream/Bastani Sonnati


No-Churn Persian Ice cream/Basanti Sonnati






Yippee!! I eventually tried out the recipe! Basanti Sonnati, Yes, this Persian ice cream is an electic mix of taste and flavour. Two ingredients reflect the basic flavour of this ice cream: saffron and rose water. Saffron lends complexity, while rose water imparts a floral taste to this Iranian ice cream recipe.

So you can say that Basanti Sonnati is a combination of complex floral flavours. The recipe in addition to salep (a starch like substance made from the tubers of wild  orchids) calls for basic ice cream ingredients i.e. milk, cream etc. The ingredient salep is what gives the persian safron and rose water ice cream it's chracteristic texture. I searched online and in store to find salep but to no avail. However after minutes, hours and finally days of contemplative musings I finally came up with an ingredient that could replace salep to a certain extent. I found out that using corn flour in the ice cream recipe gave me a texture more or less similsr to Bastani Sonnati.



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 The process of making the Persian Ice cream is intiated with a custard base. Salep is used to thicken the custard but as already mentioned I have used corn flour instead. After flavouring the custard with saffron and rose water frozen double cream is added to the cooled custard. The mixture is then blended along with condenesed milk and frozen. This is my version of  Persian Ice cream or Bastani Sonnati. In order to prevent the ice cream mixture from forming crystals you have to take it out from the freezer and whisk with the help of a fork. Keep whisking after every hour or so untill you have a smooth crystal free ice cream.


Now that you have had a complete dose of Persian Ice cream intro and basic method for its preparation, follow the instructions given below to learn how to make Persian Ice cream from start to finish.

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IngredientsQuantity
fresh whole milk 1 1/4 cups
corn flour 1 tbsp
conedensed milk4ooml
double cream400ml
saffron powder1/4 tsp
rose water5 tbsp


Crush the saffron either with a spoon or a pestle and mortar. Set aside. Also place the double cream in the freezer while you make the custard.

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Heat the milk in a saucepan on low heat. Add the saffron and let it dissolve into the milk. 

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Don't let the milk boil. Now take out about 2-3 tbsps of milk from the 1 1/2 cup and dissolve the corn flour. Add it to the saffron milk mixture. Stir continously while cooking on low heat. Cook the milk until it is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon.

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Let cool at room temperature. Once cool place in the fridge for an hour. After an hour take out of the fridge and put in the blender along with whipped cream and condensed milk. Add rose water and blend on high speed until the mixture is thick and homogeneous. Place in a container to freeze for 7-8 hours.

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It is important to keep whisking the mixture from time to time to prevent the formation of crystals.Garnish with pistachios and rose petals. I hope you like this recipe. Don't forget to share it with your family and friends.


Complete Recipe For Persian Ice cream/Basanti Sonnati




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No-Churn Persian Ice cream
Persian ice cream or Basanti Sonnati is an electic mix of taste and flavour. 
Ingredients
  • 1 1/4 cups fresh whole milk
  • 1 tbsp corn flour
  • 400ml condensed milk
  • 400ml double cream
  • 1/4 tsp saffron powder
  • 5 tbsps rose water
Instructions
Crush the saffron either with a spoon or a pestle and mortar. Set aside. Also place the double cream in the freezer while you make the custard. Heat the milk in a saucepan on low heat. Add the saffron and let it dissolve into the milk. Don't let the milk boil. Now take out about 2-3 tbsps of milk from the 1 1/2 cup and dissolve the corn flour. Add it to the saffron milk mixture. Stir continously while cooking on low heat. Cook the milk until it is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon.Let cool at room temperature. Once cool place in the fridge for an hour. After an hour take out of the fridge and put in the blender along with whipped cream and condensed milk. Add rose water and blend on high speed until the mixture is thick and homogeneous. Place in a container to freeze for 7-8 hours.It is important to keep whisking the mixture from time to time to prevent the formation of crystals.Garnish with pistachios and rose petals. I hope you like this recipe. Don't forget to share it with your family and friends.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 8 servings

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Firecracker Chicken

Firecracker Chicken



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It's been ages since I cooked my last Chinese recipe, in fact my last Chinese dish was a delicious one pot meal named Prawn Stir Fried Rice. So since my latest Chinese cooking venture was a hit, I planned on making another Chinese recipe that would fire up my family's taste buds.

Yes! Firecracker chicken meets all the parameters of such a great tasting recipe that is not only fiery but also sweet at the same time. Firecracker chicken is not only rich in umami taste but is pretty straightforward and easy to make.

While searching for Firecracker chicken recipe. I found out that all the recipes called for a lot of sugar ranging form 3/4 cups to 1/4 cup. Personally, I am against the idea of consuming sugar for my main meal. I mean why did we ever create such a wide variety of desserts if they were meant to be incorporated into our savoury recipes. It's like adding chilli powder into cake! That's my personal opinion and you don't have to agree with me. A dessert is a desert so let it be where it should be!

So for the simple reason stated above I am not adding any sugar and I mean precisely no sugar in this recipe. I hope my Chinese buddies will forgive me for making this change. Any one can add sugar to this recipe if they like to, but you won't find it in the ingredient list.


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Instead of sugar I have used ketchup because it already contains some sugar so you will still get the to die for sweet and savoury taste characteristic of the Firecracker chicken. The ketchup adds some thickness as well as sweetness and taste to the Firecracker chicken  recipe. For the zing I have used some buffalo sauce. People who don't like a lot of spice in this dish can adjust the amount of chillies according to their personal liking.

I am sure you will like my recipe for Firecracker Chicken so gather the ingredients and follow the steps given below to prepare this Chinese dish.




IngredientsQuantity
boneless chicken750g
buffalo sauce4 tbsp
corn flour2 tbsp
vegetable oil4 tbsp
soy sauce2 tbsp
red chilli flakes1 1/2 tsp
ketchup 4 tbsp
apple cider vinegar 2 tsp
bell peppers deseeded and sliced2 medium
onions cut into wedges or slices1 medium
sugar snap peas (ends trimmed)160 g
saltto taste
spring onions chopped 2-3
 fresh red chilli for garnish (optional)1
boiled jasmine rice for servingas needed


Marinate the chicken pieces with salt, soy sauce, buffalo sauce and 1/2 tsp red chilli flakes and corn flour.

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 Fry the chicken pieces in half the oil and cook till tender and cooked through. Once cooked remove the chicken from the pan and set aside. 

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Now add the trimmed sugar snap peas. Cook for 30 seconds.


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Separately saute the sliced bell peppers and onions with the rest of the oil and add to the chicken.



Add the apple cider vinegar 2 tbsps of buffalo sauce, ketchup, and 1 tsp red chilli flakes. Cook for 3-4 minutes until the chicken and vegetables are coated with the sauce ingredients. Garnish with fresh red chillies and spring onions. Serve with boiled jasmine rice.

Buon Appetito!



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Fire Cracker Chicken
This hot and spicy Fire Cracker Chicken is a Chinese main dish that is jam packed with flavourful ingredients.
Ingredients
  • 750g boneless chicken
  • 4 tbsps buffalo sauce
  • 2 tbsps cornflour
  • 4 tbsps vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsps soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp red chilli flakes
  • 4 tbsps ketchup
  • 2 tbsps apple cider vinegar
  • 2 medium bell peppers deseeded and sliced
  • 1 medium onions cut into wedges or slices
  • 160g sugar snap peas (trimmed)
  • to taste salt
  • 2-3 spring onions chopped
  • 1 fresh red chillies for garnish (optional)
  • as needed boiled jasmine rice for serving
Instructions
Marinate the chicken pieces with salt, soy sauce, buffalo sauce and 1/2 tsp red chilli flakes and corn flour. Fry the chicken pieces in half the oil and cook till tender and cooked through. Once cooked remove the chicken from the pan and set aside. Now add the trimmed sugar snap peas. Cook for 30 seconds. Separately saute the sliced bell peppers and onions with the rest of the oil and add to the chicken.Add the apple cider vinegar 2 tbsps of buffalo sauce, ketchup, and 1 tsp red chilli flakes. Cook for 3-4 minutes until the chicken and vegetables are coated with the sauce ingredients. Garnish with fresh red chillies and spring onions. Serve with boiled jasmine rice.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 6-8

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Tandoori Chicken

Restaurant Style Tandoori Chicken Without The Tandoor


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Tandoori chicken is a chicken usually roasted in a tandoor. A tandoor is a cylindrical clay oven used for cooking and baking. This recipe is dry, unlike a chicken curry. Chicken cooked in a clay oven is soft and succulent.

I have prepared my Tandoori Chicken Without The Tandoor in a normal oven but even though cooked in an oven my baked chicken can compete with any tandoor made chicken. The reason for this claim being the use of whole strained yogurt and oil for the marinade.

I have found out with trial and error that if I use skimmed yogurt in the marinade it gives out a lot of water and the chicken is not as juicy as it is if I use skimmed yogurt. This Resaurant Style Tandoori Chicken Without The Tandoor recipe  calls for marinating the chicken twice. The washed and dried chicken pieces are marinated with a mixture of salt, lemon juice and red chilli powder. The chicken is then left to marinate for about 30 minutes to 1 hour in the fridge allowing the chicken to imbibe the seasoning and lemon juice.

Once the first marination time is over the second marination is applied which consists of red chilli powder garam masala powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, strained yogurt and of course garlic/ginger paste. You may add a pinch of red food colour If you want your Tandoori Chicken to look like the Restaurant Style Tandoori Chicken recipe. The time of second marination is important. The longer the marination time the better will be the results. It is however, best to leave the marinated chicken in the fridge overnight. This gives the chance for all the spice flavours to penetrate deep into the chicken meat. This chicken is best served with naan and mint dip.


IngredientsQuantity
chicken thighs8 pcs
lemon juice1/4 cup
kashmiri red chilli powder1tsp
saltto taste
Ingredients For Second MarinadeQuantity
 kashmiri red chilli powder1 1/2 tsp
ginger/garlic paste1 tsp each
cumin powder1 tbsp
coriander powder1 tbsp
garam masala powder1/2 tsp
thick strained whole yogurt5 tbsps
vegetable oil4 tbsps
red food colour a pinchoptional



Wash and pat dry the chicken thighs. Make diagonal incisions on the chicken thighs across the flesh and joints.


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Mix together the ingredients of the first marinade and apply on the chicken thighs.  Leave in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 30 minutes.

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While the chicken thighs are marinating in the fridge prepare the second marinate. Take the thick yogurt and add the ginger/garlic paste, chilli powder, garam masala, cumin and coriander powders and also add in the lemon juice and the food colour (if using) Mix in the oil. Apply on the chicken thighs liberally after the first marination is over. Refrigerate again either over night or for 3-4 hours.

tandoori-chicken-without-tandoor-recipe-Indian-cumin-red-chilli-coriander-yogurt-lemon-juice-restaurant-style-

When you need to bake the chicken take it oit of the refrigerator, provided it has marinated for the second time and place in a preheated oven at 200 degrees C. Bake until the chicken is cooked through (test with a knife it should pass with ease) and the juices must run clear. Serve with naan, a salad and your favourite dip. I hope you like this recipe for Restaurant Style Tandoori Chicken Without The Tandoor. Do try this recipe and let me know what you think about it.

Buon Appetito!




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Restaurant Style Tandoori Chicken Without The Tandoor
The secrete to this delectable and juicy Tandoori chicken recipe lies in the marinade which keeps it succulent and spicy.
Ingredients
  • 8 pcs chicken thighs
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tsp kashmiri red chilli powder
  • to taste salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp kashmiri red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp each ginger /garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp cumin powder
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala powder
  • 5 tbsps thick strained whole yogurt
  • 4 tbsps vegetable oil
  • optional red food colour 
Instructions
Wash and pat dry the chicken thighs. Make diagonal incisions on the chicken thighs across the flesh and joints. Mix together the ingredients of the first marinade and apply on the chicken thighs. Leave in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 30 minutes.While the chicken thighs are marinating in the fridge prepare the second marinate. Take the thick yogurt and add the ginger/garlic paste, chilli powder, garam masala, cumin and coriander powders and also add in the lemon juice and the food colour (if using) Mix in the oil. Apply on the chicken thighs liberally after the first marination is over. Refrigerate again either over night or for 3-4 hours.When you need to bake the chicken take it oit of the refrigerator, provided it has marinated for the second time and place in a preheated oven at 200 degrees C. Bake until the chicken is cooked through and the juices run clear. Serve with naan, a salad and your favourite dip. I hope you like this recipe for Restaurant Style Tandoori Chicken Without The Tandoor
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 8
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