Spice in the City http://spiceinthecity.co Delicious, Gorgeous Food for Busy Families! Thu, 13 Apr 2017 17:05:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.4.10 Oh Fudge: Badam Halwa {Indian Almond Dessert} http://spiceinthecity.co/2017/04/13/oh-fudge-badam-halwa-indian-almond-dessert/ http://spiceinthecity.co/2017/04/13/oh-fudge-badam-halwa-indian-almond-dessert/#comments Thu, 13 Apr 2017 17:05:50 +0000 http://spiceinthecity.co/?p=7778 This fabulous Badam Halwa, soft Almond Fudge, rich with Ghee and deliciously flavored with Saffron and Cardamom is an exquisite Indian Dessert for special occasions! Long time, no see, huh? I seem to be experiencing some kind of extreme lethargy when it comes to blogging these days. I am still cooking and photographing, but when...

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This fabulous Badam Halwa, soft Almond Fudge, rich with Ghee and deliciously flavored with Saffron and Cardamom is an exquisite Indian Dessert for special occasions!
Badam-Halwa
Long time, no see, huh? I seem to be experiencing some kind of extreme lethargy when it comes to blogging these days. I am still cooking and photographing, but when it comes to writing a post, words and mood fail me.
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Have any of you been in a rut like this? How do you snap out of it? How do you find new things to say without them all being clichés that we’ve heard before?
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On a more cheery note, we are on Easter break this week, so lots of cooking and DIYs are happening at home, including celebrating the Munchkin’s 6th Birthday! Yep, she’s Six, you guys!!
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I am working on a fun cake for her birthday party next week with her classmates, but for her actual birthday, I made a large batch of this golden deliciousness: Badam Halwa.
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Badam Halwa is a decadent, melt-in-your-mouth Almond Fudge, cooked in oodles of ghee and laced with saffron and cardamom. It is one of the richest Indian desserts you have ever tasted, so small portions please!
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This recipe requires a bit of hard work to constantly stir the halwa while it’s cooking, but it’s a great arm workout to make up for the rich halwa you will soon enjoy.
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And that beautiful color? It is all natural from a generous pinch of Saffron, which lends a divine flavor to the badam halwa too. This badam halwa tastes heavenly when slightly warm.
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Badam Halwa

This fabulous Badam Halwa, soft Almond Fudge, rich with Ghee and deliciously flavored with Saffron and Cardamom is an exquisite Indian Dessert for special occasions!

  • 2 cups Almonds
  • 1/2 cup Milk
  • 1 cup Sugar ((add more as per taste))
  • 5 tablespoons Ghee
  • 1 generous pinch Saffron
  • 4 pods Cardamom, (seeds powdered)
  1. Soak the almonds in water for at least 2 hours or overnight. Peel the soaked almonds.

  2. Blend together the almonds along with the milk in a blender or food processor and grind to a coarse paste.

  3. Heat a heavy bottomed pan and add 2 tablespoons Ghee.

  4. Add the almond paste and stir well. Cook for about 5 minutes with constant stirring.

  5. Add the sugar and the saffron. Mix well and continue stirring.

  6. Add the rest of the ghee gradually, stirring constantly, as otherwise the halwa will stick to the pan. Taste a bit of the halwa and add more sugar if desired.

  7. The mixture will thicken and look glossy as the ghee starts separating out, after about 15 minutes. Add powdered cardamom and mix well.

  8. At this point, the halwa is ready. Cool slightly and serve warm.

If you make a large batch, it will last in the refrigerator for about 5 days. Just heat and serve!

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This fabulous Badam Halwa, soft Almond Fudge, rich with Ghee and deliciously flavored with Saffron and Cardamom is an exquisite Indian Dessert for special occasions!

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Color Me Happy: Mango Shrikhand / Amrakhand http://spiceinthecity.co/2017/03/12/color-me-happy-mango-shrikhand-amrakhand/ http://spiceinthecity.co/2017/03/12/color-me-happy-mango-shrikhand-amrakhand/#comments Sun, 12 Mar 2017 16:05:43 +0000 http://spiceinthecity.co/?p=7737 Let these lovely bowls of sunshine, filled with divine Amrakhand, a Western Indian Mango Yogurt dessert, initiate you to the Indian Festival of Colors, Holi! Holi or Rang Panchami, the fun-filled festival of colors descends on India slowly every year come Springtime, weeks before the actual day. One could be walking down the street minding...

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Let these lovely bowls of sunshine, filled with divine Amrakhand, a Western Indian Mango Yogurt dessert, initiate you to the Indian Festival of Colors, Holi!
Amrakhand
Holi or Rang Panchami, the fun-filled festival of colors descends on India slowly every year come Springtime, weeks before the actual day. One could be walking down the street minding one’s business and suddenly get drenched by a water balloon that came out of nowhere.
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Street vendors start appearing with baskets of bright powdered colors and a huge selection of water pistols in bewildering shapes. When I was a kid, these water pistols, or pichkari were pretty rudimentary and looked like the toys there were. Now, they look like props from an Avengers movie!
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Holi is one of the raunchiest Indian festivals. A festival dedicated to merry-making, eating and drinking. The practice of drenching each other in colored water supposedly comes from the habit of the naughty God Krishna, who loved throwing water on the milkmaids in Vrindavan, his hometown.
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Fascinated by Holi? You can read more in my posts here, here and here. Meanwhile, let me talk about this delish, golden dessert, Amrakhand or Mango Shrikhand.
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It’s a 4 ingredient dessert that gets ready in a jiffy, requires no cooking, is creamy and decadent and still quite healthy. And if you love mangoes, you gotta try this Amrakhand. I used frozen Alphonso Mango pulp here, but you can also try with other fresh mangoes.
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Amrakhand is usually enjoyed with Puri, a deep-fried flaky flatbread. But with my aversion to deep-frying, I served the Amrakhand in little bowls, topped with pistachios and strawberries.
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A pretty, colorful sight, isn’t it? Just perfect for Holi! You can serve the Amrakhand plain too and it will still taste fabulous. Be sure to use full-fat yogurt though. 2% fat just won’t cut it!
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I wish you a fun and color-filled, safe Holi! If you don’t celebrate I wish you have a gorgeous Spring, filled with sunshine and flowers! Btw, do you like these little flowers from my garden?
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Amrakhand (Mango Shrikhand)

Let these lovely bowls of sunshine, filled with divine Amrakhand, a Western Indian Mango Yogurt dessert, initiate you to the Indian Festival of Colors, Holi!

  • 200 grams Greek-style thick Yogurt (strained)
  • 150 grams Mango pulp or chopped fresh Mango
  • 3-5 tablespoons Sugar (as per level of sweetness desired)
  • 2 Green Cardamom Pods
  1. Add all the ingredients to a food processor and blend till smooth. 

  2. Divide among 3-4 serving bowls and chill for at least an hour

  3. Serve cold. You can top with chopped fruits and nuts of your choice before serving.

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Let these lovely bowls of sunshine, filled with divine Amrakhand, a Western Indian Mango Yogurt dessert, initiate you to the Indian Festival of Colors, Holi!

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Hello Sunshine: Saffron Lemon No-bake Cheesecake {with Homemade Lemon Curd} http://spiceinthecity.co/2017/02/27/hello-sunshine-saffron-lemon-no-bake-cheesecake-homemade-lemon-curd/ http://spiceinthecity.co/2017/02/27/hello-sunshine-saffron-lemon-no-bake-cheesecake-homemade-lemon-curd/#comments Mon, 27 Feb 2017 18:08:27 +0000 http://spiceinthecity.co/?p=7690   Celebrate the first signs of Spring with this Luscious, Sunny, Saffron Lemon No-bake Cheesecake! The Homemade Lemon Curd makes it all the more Spectacular! There are definite signs of Spring all around me. Days are getting longer, it is suddenly warmer this week, up to 6 degrees this week. Little Snowdrops and Eranthis flowers...

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Celebrate the first signs of Spring with this Luscious, Sunny, Saffron Lemon No-bake Cheesecake! The Homemade Lemon Curd makes it all the more Spectacular!

Saffron Lemon No-Bake Cheesecake
There are definite signs of Spring all around me. Days are getting longer, it is suddenly warmer this week, up to 6 degrees this week.
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Little Snowdrops and Eranthis flowers are making their all too brief appearance in my garden. And I feel all set for Spring. Days of alfresco lunches, dresses without stockings, and tall cold drinks don’t seem too far away.
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And then we get hit by a snowstorm. And crazy, whip your hair all around wind! That’s Scandinavian weather for you! Unpredictable and all too bizarre at times! I remember building a snowman during Easter break one year!
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I decided enough was enough. If Winter was being a prima donna and refusing to leave, I would make my own Spring, dammit!
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I got myself a bag of organic Lemons and made the most luscious Lemon Curd! Silky, tangy and sweet, with a cheery yellow hue, it was all I could do to not eat it all up with a spoon.
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Instead I used the Lemon Curd to make these fabulous Saffron Lemon No-Bake Cheesecake, in little jars. Aren’t they a sight for sore, winter weary eyes?
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Saffron and the Lemon Curd together give these cheesecakes the most beautiful golden color and sublime flavor that just scream Spring!
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The lemon curd can be used in a lot of other desserts, as well as a spread or topping. I’m having some on my oatmeal tomorrow. So good!
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Even the munchkin couldn’t stop gushing about how good these are. So they are definitely kid-approved! For the base, I used crushed digestive biscuits mixed with brown sugar and a bit of milk. Graham crackers, Gingersnaps, Oreos would all work well.
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And they are no-bake. How perfect is that when you would rather be enjoying warm weather with your loved ones? These are the perfect desserts to usher in warm weather!
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Saffron Lemon No-bake Cheesecake {with Homemade Lemon Curd}

Celebrate the first signs of Spring with this Luscious, Sunny Saffron Lemon No-bake Cheesecake! The Homemade Lemon Curd makes it all the more Spectacular!

For the Lemon Curd:

  • 4 tablespoons Egg Yolks
  • 65 ml Lemon Juice (freshly squeezed)
  • 140 grams Granulated Sugar
  • 55 grams Butter (chilled, cut into small pieces)
  • 1 tablespoon Lemon Zest (freshly grated)

For the Saffron Lemon No-Bake Cheesecake:

  • 250 grams Cream Cheese
  • 100 ml Heavy Cream
  • 1 tablespoon Lemon Juice (freshly squeezed)
  • 1 teaspoon Saffron
  • 1/4 cup Milk
  • 100 ml Lemon Curd (prepared as per instructions below)
  • 3 tablespoons Icing Sugar
  • 16 Digestive biscuits
  • 1/4 cup Granulated Sugar

Make the Lemon Curd:

  1. Add an inch of water to a medium saucepan.  Bring water to a simmer over medium-high heat. 

  2. In a medium-sized metal bowl, beat egg yolks and sugar vigorously with a whisk until smooth and well blended, about 1 minute. The mixture will be very thick at first, just keep mixing.

  3. Add lemon juice and salt, whisk until smooth.

  4. Once the water reaches a simmer, reduce heat to low and place bowl over saucepan. Do not allow water to touch the bottom of the metal bowl as this could scorch and possibly curdle the mixture. 

  5. Cook whisking constantly until thickened, about 20 to 22 minutes. The mixture will change from translucent to an opaque light yellow color and will coat the back of a wooden spoon yet still be liquid enough to pour. Do not allow the mixture to boil or it will curdle.

  6. Remove from heat and immediately whisk in lemon zest to release oils. Add butter gradually, one piece at a time, whisking well to combine. Allow each addition of the butter to melt completely before adding more.

  7. Allow curd to cool. The curd will continue to thicken further upon resting and chilling. Transfer to airtight container and refrigerate if not using immediately.

Make the Saffron Lemon No-Bake Cheesecake:

  1. In a small bowl, warm 2 teaspoons milk and soak the Saffron in it.

  2. In a food processor, blend together the granulated sugar, digestive biscuits and the remaining milk, till a sandy consistency is arrived at.

  3. Add 2 teaspoons each of this mixture to the bottom of 8 serving bowls and press to form the crust of the cheesecakes. Refrigerate while you prepare the topping.

  4. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, icing sugar and heavy cream together till light and fluffy.

  5. Add the lemon juice and lemon curd and beat again till well blended. Add the saffron soaked in milk and mix well.

  6. Add 2-3 tablespoons of this cheesecake mix to each of the 8 serving bowls prepared earlier. Refrigerate for at least a couple of hours before serving.

Serving Suggestions: Top with a dollop of whipped cream, some mint leaves or blueberries!
The leftover Lemon Curd can be used for a variety of desserts: think filling in little tarts, topping muffins or spread over pancakes!

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House of Carbs: Baked Vada Pav http://spiceinthecity.co/2017/02/17/house-carbs-baked-vada-pav/ http://spiceinthecity.co/2017/02/17/house-carbs-baked-vada-pav/#comments Fri, 17 Feb 2017 21:27:54 +0000 http://spiceinthecity.co/?p=7662 Baked Vada Pav, a Scrumptious Indian Street Food of Soft Buns baked with a Spicy Potato Filling, will transport you to the streets of Mumbai!  What is it about carbs that makes them so delicious to tuck into on a cold winter day? Bread and potatoes, humble ingredients, yet on the right kind of day,...

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Baked Vada Pav, a Scrumptious Indian Street Food of Soft Buns baked with a Spicy Potato Filling, will transport you to the streets of Mumbai! Baked Vada Pav
What is it about carbs that makes them so delicious to tuck into on a cold winter day? Bread and potatoes, humble ingredients, yet on the right kind of day, they can be all that you need to warm your heart.
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Back home in Mumbai, it never got really cold. Yet carbs are an important part of the diet in the Indian subcontinent. Wheat-based in the northern part of the country and rice in the south. There was plenty of protein too, in the form of lentils, beans and meat, but the largest part of the meal was carbs.
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One of my favorite carby foods ever is the humble Vada Pav. An iconic Mumbai Street Food, also known as the Indian Burger, it is a humble snack of a deep-fried potato fritter, the Batata Vada, stuffed into a bun, the Pav.
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So simple, yet so delicious! It is the poor man’s lunch and dinner. It is the college student’s meal on the go, grabbed between lectures and cramming sessions.
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It is one of my biggest guilty pleasures and usually one of the first things I eat, as soon as I step off the plane in Mumbai.
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This time last year, I was in Mumbai, and as reminded by Facebook, enjoying a Vada Pav. When that image popped up on my phone screen, I grew a bit desperate and had to re-create the Vada Pav magic at home.
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Instead of making separate Batata Vada and Pavs, I remembered trying a Baked Vada Pav in Cafe Coffee Day in Mumbai last year and that is what I went for here. No deep-frying needed and it also saves a bit of time.
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Forgive these pictures though, if you can. They were taken when the sun had already set and they do not do justice to the deliciousness that is Baked Vada Pav!
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House of Carbs: Baked Vada Pav
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Baked Vada Pav, a Scrumptious Indian Street Food of Soft Buns baked with a Spicy Potato Filling, will transport you to the streets of Mumbai!
Author:
Recipe type: Snack
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 8
Ingredients
For the Pav:
  • 2 cups All-purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Sugar
  • 12 grams Fresh Yeast or 1 teaspoon Active Dry Yeast
  • 2 tablespoons Butter
  • Salt to taste
For the Vada Stuffing:
  • 3 large Potatoes, boiled, peeled and mashed
  • 2 teaspoons Oil
  • ½ teaspoon Mustard Seeds
  • ½ teaspoon Cumin Seeds
  • 1 sprig Curry Leaves
  • ½ teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • Pinch of Asafoetida (Hing)
  • 1 Green Chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped Ginger
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped Garlic
  • 1 small Onion, finely chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • A small bunch Cilantro, finely chopped
To Assemble:
  • 4 teaspoons Red Chilli, Peanut and Garlic Chutney (recipe link below)
  • 1 teaspoon Butter
  • 2 teaspoons Milk
  • 1 teaspoon Sesame Seeds (optional)
  • A few Cilantro leaves (optional)
Directions
For the Pav:
  1. In a large mixing bowl take ½ cup warm water and sugar. Add the yeast, mix well and allow to activate. This should take about 4-5 minutes,
  2. Sift in the flour into the bowl. Add salt and knead by hand for about 7-10 minutes until a very soft dough is formed.
  3. Add butter and knead for a further couple of minutes.
  4. Tuck the dough well till it is smooth.
  5. Cover the bowl with cling wrap and leave the dough to rest in a warm place for 2 hours.
  6. In the meantime, prepare the potato stuffing.
For the Vada Stuffing:
  1. In a saute pan, heat the oil. Add the mustard seeds and when they sputter, add the cumin seeds and asafoetida. Mix well.
  2. Add the chopped ginger, garlic and green chilli and saute for a minute.
  3. Add the turmeric powder and salt. Mix again.
  4. Add the boiled, mashed potatoes. Mix well till combined.
  5. Finally, add the chopped cilantro and give it a final mix. Set aside to cool.
Assembling the Vada Pav:
  1. Grease a baking dish with butter and keep aside.
  2. After 2 hours of resting, the Pav dough would have doubled in size. Punch the dough well to get all the air out.
  3. Knead the dough well and divide it into 8 balls.
  4. Divide the potato stuffing into 8 parts too.
  5. Take one ball of dough and flatten it with your hands.
  6. Add half a teaspoon of the Red Chilli Peanut and Garlic Chutney on the flattened dough.
  7. Place a portion of the potato stuffing onto the dough too.
  8. Gather the ends of the dough and form the whole thing into a ball again. See pictures in the post for more details.
  9. Place the ball into the greased baking dish.
  10. Repeat until all the dough has been formed into balls with stuffing.
  11. Cover the baking dish with cling wrap and leave to rest for 1 hour in a warm place.
  12. Pre-heat the oven to 180 C.
  13. Brush the balls with milk and top them with sesame seeds and cilantro if using.
  14. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 25-30 minutes, until the bread is golden.
  15. Serve warm, with more chutney on the side.

The recipe for the Red Chilli, Peanut and Garlic Chutney can be found here.

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Baked Vada Pav, a Scrumptious Indian Street Food of Soft Buns baked with a Spicy Potato Filling, will transport you to the streets of Mumbai!

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Snow Day Feast: Murgh Changezi http://spiceinthecity.co/2017/02/12/murgh-changezi/ http://spiceinthecity.co/2017/02/12/murgh-changezi/#comments Sat, 11 Feb 2017 23:12:05 +0000 http://spiceinthecity.co/?p=7636 Warm up on Cold Winter Days with this Rich, Hearty & Wonderfully Spiced North-Indian Curry, Murgh Changezi, with Roasted Chicken in a fabulous Tomato Sauce! Hi Y’all! How are you guys doing? Has Spring shown up in your part of the world yet? Here, Winter is still in full swing with a bit of a...

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Warm up on Cold Winter Days with this Rich, Hearty & Wonderfully Spiced North-Indian Curry, Murgh Changezi, with Roasted Chicken in a fabulous Tomato Sauce!
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Hi Y’all! How are you guys doing? Has Spring shown up in your part of the world yet? Here, Winter is still in full swing with a bit of a snowstorm thrown in! It sure makes everything look even prettier though!
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Schools in Denmark have Winter Vacation this week and as it is the Munchkin’s first year in school, we are taking time off along with her and enjoying a relaxed stay-cation.
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This week will be spent on some much-needed downtime. Reading, DIY, crafts with the munchkin and trips to theatres, museums and the newly re-opened Experimentarium in town.
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And hopefully, cooking and enjoying loads of comfort food! I don’t expect everything to make it to the blog though, as that will seriously cut into relaxation time.
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While I can’t wait from Spring to get here, while frosty weather lasts, I’m making the best of it with indulgent feasts like this fabulous Murgh Changezi.
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Granted, it’s a bit more elaborate than your average curry, but the effort is so worth it! It is the perfect luxurious weekend lunch to dish up on a cold afternoon.
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So Murgh Changezi is named after Changez Khan, or as the rest of the world knows him, Genghis Khan. Now what does a ferocious Mongol warrior have to do with a delectable chicken curry? I have honestly no idea!
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What I do know is that this dish is quite popular in the bylanes of Delhi and taste wise, it is a distant cousin of the very popular Butter Chicken. Murgh Changezi is a bit rougher around the edges though, more spicy, with bone-in chicken pieces and in myriad other details.
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Another thing I do know is that Murgh Changezi is to Die-for Delicious! Like drool-inducing delicious! Succulent pan-roasted, marinated chicken and a tomato sauce many layers of flavor make this truly a curry to remember.
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5.0 from 1 reviews
Snow Day Feast: Murgh Changezi
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Warm up on Cold Winter Days with this Rich, Hearty & Wonderfully Spiced North-Indian Curry, Murgh Changezi, with Roasted Chicken in a fabulous Tomato Sauce!
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 kilogram Chicken, bone-in, skinless pieces
For the Marination:
  • 1 tablespoon Ginger-Garlic Paste
  • ½ cup Greek Yogurt
  • ½ teaspoon Cumin Powder
  • ½ teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • ½ teaspoon Red Chilli Powder or Cayenne Pepper (adjust as per level of heat desired)
  • 2 teaspoons Coriander Powder
  • 1 teaspoon crushed Kasuri Methi (Dried Fenugreek Leaves, available in Indian Grocery stores)
  • Salt to taste
For the Sauce:
  • 4 Red Onions, thinly sliced
  • 15 Cashew Nuts
  • 3 tablespoons Cooking Oil or Ghee
  • 1 cup Tomato Puree
  • 2 teaspoons Ginger Garlic Paste
  • 1 teaspoon Garam Masala
  • ½ teaspoon Chaat Masala
  • 1 Green Chilli, split length-wise
  • ¼ cup Milk
  • ¼ cup Cream
  • 1 tablespoon chopped Cilantro
  • Salt to taste
Directions
  1. Take all the ingredients listed under 'For the Marination' in a large bowl. Mix well and add the chicken pieces to it. Coat chicken well with the marinade and refrigerate for an hour.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the sauce.
  3. Take 1 tablespoon cooking oil in a large saucepan and fry the cashew nuts and onions, till the onions are golden brown.
  4. Cool and grind the onions and cashew nuts to a coarse paste in a food processor. Keep aside.
  5. In the same saucepan, add the remaining 2 tablespoons cooking oil.
  6. When hot, add the ginger garlic paste and saute for a minute. Add the tomato puree, milk and garam masala. Mix well, cover with a lid and let simmer for 15 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, heat up another large saucepan or fry pan and pan-roast the marinated chicken pieces. Roast until the chicken releases water and is about 90 percent cooked. This should take about 15 minutes.
  8. To the tomato sauce, add the ground onion and cashew nut paste and mix well.
  9. Add chaat masala, green chilli and the cream. Give it a stir and then add in the partially cooked chicken pieces along with any liquid left in the roasting pan.
  10. Mix everything well together, cover with lid and cook on medium to low heat for about 5-7 minutes.
  11. Check seasoning and add more salt if needed. Add chopped cilantro and mix.
  12. Serve hot with naan or rice.

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Warm up on Cold Winter Days with this Rich, Hearty & Wonderfully-Spiced North-Indian Curry, Murgh Changezi, with Roasted Chicken in a fabulous Tomato Sauce!

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Feel the Beet: Red Velvet Beetroot Buckwheat Pancakes http://spiceinthecity.co/2017/02/03/feel-beet-red-velvet-beetroot-buckwheat-pancakes/ http://spiceinthecity.co/2017/02/03/feel-beet-red-velvet-beetroot-buckwheat-pancakes/#comments Fri, 03 Feb 2017 19:34:35 +0000 http://spiceinthecity.co/?p=7606 These Delicious Red Velvet Beetroot Buckwheat Pancakes get their fabulous crimson hue naturally… from Beets! Gluten-free too, and just perfect for Valentine’s Day! Gosh, I’ve lost track of when I saw the Sun last! It has been grey here, not 50 shades, just one! A dull, depressing grey, with loads of fog thrown in for...

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These Delicious Red Velvet Beetroot Buckwheat Pancakes get their fabulous crimson hue naturally… from Beets! Gluten-free too, and just perfect for Valentine’s Day!
Red Velvet Beetroot Buckwheat Pancakes
Gosh, I’ve lost track of when I saw the Sun last! It has been grey here, not 50 shades, just one! A dull, depressing grey, with loads of fog thrown in for an extra gloomy winter.
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As you may have read in my last post, our house is on sale and our realtor has been holding open house each weekend. It’s a bit tiring to keep the house looking perfect at all times, but all that cleaning and stress also means I get little time to photograph and blog.
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To cheer myself, I’ve been doing things that make me happy: binge-watching Seinfeld on Prime Video, indulging in retail therapy during the winter sales… and cooking some colorful food.
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With Valentine’s Day coming up, Red Velvet has been on my mind lately. But I hate the amount of food color it takes to get that bright scarlet and I simply couldn’t bring myself to do it.
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Then I came across organic beets in the supermarket about the same time I saw Beth Kirby’s gorgeous Red Velvet Cake using beetroot on Pinterest. I did not want to make an elaborate cake, so I went with pancakes instead. They take a bit of prep in roasting and pureeing the beetroot, but it is so worth it! Look at that color!!
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These Red Velvet Beetroot Buckwheat Pancakes have a hint of cardamom in them. They are soft, beautifully fragrant and absolutely delicious! They are gluten-free too and believe me, Buckwheat, Beetroot and Cardamom are a match made in heaven.
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We enjoyed them topped with honey-sweetened yogurt and pistachios! The munchkin was deliriously happy with the dark red color and I love the fact that they are so healthy. The perfect wholesome, yet exotic breakfast!
Red velvet pancakes small2-001If you liked this post, please share with your family and friends using the Social Share buttons underneath this post or down the side of the page! And sign up to receive posts right into your Inbox (there’s a box on the right)! For free!

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Feel the Beet: Red Velvet Beetroot Buckwheat Pancakes
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
These Delicious Red Velvet Beetroot Buckwheat Pancakes get their fabulous crimson hue from Beets! Gluten-free too, and just perfect for Valentine's Day!
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 2
Ingredients
For the Pancakes:
  • 1 Beetroot
  • 100 ml Milk
  • 100 grams Buckwheat Flour (you can also use regular flour)
  • ½ teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 2 Cardamom Pods, seeds powdered
  • 2 tablespoons Honey
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 teaspoons Butter or Cooking Oil
To Serve:
  • ½ cup plain Yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon Honey (or more as per taste)
  • 5 Pistachios, chopped
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 200 C. Place the beet in a baking tray along with 1/ 4 cup water. Cover the dish with foil and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes.
  2. Cool the beetroot. The skin should peel right off when you rub it. Cut the beet into pieces. Transfer to a blender along with the milk, to form a puree.
  3. Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl.
  4. In a separate bowl mix together the egg, honey and cardamom powder.
  5. Add the beet and milk puree to the egg mixture and whisk until combined.
  6. Finally, add this mixture to the flour and baking powder.
  7. Mix with a hand whisk until you have a classic pancake batter consistency.
  8. Melt some butter or oil in a frying pan over a low heat.
  9. Add some of the batter (the amount will depend on how thick or thin you want your pancakes to be) and cook for 2-3 minutes on either side for thick pancakes or 1-2 minutes either side for thin ones.
  10. To serve, mix the yogurt and honey together in a small bowl. Drizzle over the pancakes and top with chopped pistachios.
Notes
It is very important that you cook these pancakes on a low heat, otherwise they will turn brown.

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These Delicious Red Velvet Beetroot Buckwheat Pancakes get their fabulous crimson hue naturally... from Beets! Gluten-free too, and just perfect for Valentine's Day!

Sharing this deliciousness at Angie’s Fiesta Friday and at Saucy Saturdays  with  Dini,  Jennifer,  Swayam and Christine!

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Sweet Resolutions: Nutty Oatmeal Dulce De Leche Bars http://spiceinthecity.co/2017/01/06/sweet-resolutions-nutty-oatmeal-dulce-de-leche-bars/ http://spiceinthecity.co/2017/01/06/sweet-resolutions-nutty-oatmeal-dulce-de-leche-bars/#comments Fri, 06 Jan 2017 19:28:05 +0000 http://spiceinthecity.co/?p=7563 Packed with Healthy and Naughty ingredients, these Nutty Oatmeal Dulce De Leche Bars  are a Delicious Treat which won’t make you break your New Year’s Resolutions! Happy 2017, people!! It’s been real quiet around here, hasn’t it? It’s been 2 months since I last posted! What blogger hibernates during the holidays, the time when most...

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Packed with Healthy and Naughty ingredients, these Nutty Oatmeal Dulce De Leche Bars  are a Delicious Treat which won’t make you break your New Year’s Resolutions!
Nutty Oatmeal Dulce De Leche Bars
Happy 2017, people!! It’s been real quiet around here, hasn’t it? It’s been 2 months since I last posted! What blogger hibernates during the holidays, the time when most food bloggers go into overdrive with Christmas Baking and New Year Nibbles??
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Well, this one apparently! Towards the end of an especially stressful year at work, I just felt the need to stay away, relax and recharge. I was cooking a lot, but the only time I picked up the camera was to take pictures of my home and family during Christmas.
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Speaking of home, we have decided to sell Casa Spice in the City! We will miss this gorgeous house which has been our home for seven wonderful years…
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Onward and upward though, to new adventures! After the crazy year we’ve just had, I’m looking forward to what 2017 has in store, for the blog and otherwise.
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Sweet treats are great for beginning a new year and new endeavours and when the treats are this healthy, they won’t make you break your New Year’s resolutions.
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Meet these absolutely fabulous Nutty Oatmeal Dulce De Leche Bars! Packed with Walnuts, Almonds, Oats and Whole Wheat Flour, all held together with decadent Dulce De Leche, these delicious crumbly bars are a promise of good things to come.
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I made a small batch of these lovelies and watched them disappear in a couple of hours. The munchkin is in love with them and has insisted they be made again, stat!
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Easy to make, few ingredients and did I mention, heavenly? Chewy, crumbly and nutty, these make great snack box treats too!
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How have you started this New Year? And what have you resolved to do or not do this year? Would love to hear from you!
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Sweet Resolutions: Nutty Oatmeal Dulce De Leche Bars
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Packed with Healthy & Naughty ingredients, these Nutty Oatmeal Dulce De Leche Bars are a Delicious Treat that won't break your New Year's Resolutions!
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 16
Ingredients
  • 70 grams Rolled Oats
  • 90 grams Whole Wheat Flour
  • 50 grams shelled Walnuts
  • 1 heaped tablespoon Brown Sugar
  • 100 grams cold Butter, diced
  • 190 grams (1/2 can) Dulce de Leche
  • ¼ cup slivered Almonds
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  2. Line a 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
  3. In a food processor add the walnuts and pulse till they form a coarse powder.
  4. Add all the remaining ingredients except the dulce de leche and almonds into the food processor.
  5. Pulse a few times until it comes together in a ball.
  6. Reserve ½ cup of the dough. Shape it into an oval disc, wrap it in plastic wrap and place it into the freezer.
  7. Press the remaining dough evenly on the bottom of the prepared baking pan.
  8. Bake in the heated oven for 10 minutes.
  9. Meanwhile, add the dulce de leche to a small saucepan, and heat it gently on the stove, stirring constantly.
  10. Without turning off the oven, take the pan out and pour the warm dulce de leche over it.
  11. Grate the frozen reserved cookie dough over the dulce de leche layer. Sprinkle the slivered almonds all over.
  12. Place the pan back in the oven and bake for further 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  13. Take the pan out of the oven and leave to cool completely before cutting into bars.

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Packed with Healthy & Naughty ingredients, these Nutty Oatmeal Dulce De Leche Bars are a Delicious Treat that won't break your New Year's Resolutions!

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Cold Comfort: Creamy Potato Leek Soup http://spiceinthecity.co/2016/11/12/creamy-potato-leek-soup/ http://spiceinthecity.co/2016/11/12/creamy-potato-leek-soup/#comments Sat, 12 Nov 2016 10:09:12 +0000 http://spiceinthecity.co/?p=7531 This Delicious Classic French Potato Leek Soup is an Easy, One-Pot Wonder that makes a Divinely Comforting Weeknight Dinner for those Cold Evenings! I have been quite melancholic this past month and even Diwali this year did not manage to cheer me up. You see, I was just recovering from a long, stressful, albeit quite...

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This Delicious Classic French Potato Leek Soup is an Easy, One-Pot Wonder that makes a Divinely Comforting Weeknight Dinner for those Cold Evenings!
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I have been quite melancholic this past month and even Diwali this year did not manage to cheer me up. You see, I was just recovering from a long, stressful, albeit quite successful project, when my company announced there would be large-scale layoffs in a few weeks.
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Five weeks of waiting to know who among us would keep our jobs…putting on brave faces, going to work each day and trying to carry on as if everything was all right. Five weeks of over-analysing, trying to read between the lines in the information given to us, to the media (the company is the largest and most respected employer in the country)…
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It took its toll and i think those weeks were the least productive ones. We were finally put out of our misery last Friday and though I kept my job, I lost quite a few good colleagues and it was a horrible day.
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The weather these days seems to reflect the mood at work. Dark, moody, cold and with bits of sunshine here and there. And we all need comforting on these frosty days.
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This delicious Potato Leek Soup has become a favorite weeknight dinner at our home, during the past weeks. It is fast, easy and practically cooks itself in one pot.
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It is also wonderfully creamy and comforting. Paired with a crusty baguette, it can almost make you forget your worries and enjoy the ‘now’. We all need that, don’t we?
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This Potato Leek Soup or Potage Parmentier is an easy French classic, that you can build on to make quite a few variations. You can even serve it chilled in warm weather for some delicious Vichyssoise!
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The season of fuzzy socks and warm duvets is upon us and I’ll be rustling up some more cold weather favorites in the coming days. And I am so looking forward to get started on Christmas prep! How about you guys?
dsc_0595If you liked this post, please share with your family and friends using the Social Share buttons underneath this post or down the side of the page! And sign up to receive posts right into your Inbox (there’s a box on the right)! For free!

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Cold Comfort: Creamy Potato Leek Soup
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This Delicious Classic French Potato Leek Soup is an Easy, One-Pot Wonder that makes a Divinely Comforting Weeknight Dinner for those Cold Evenings!
Author:
Recipe type: Soups
Cuisine: French
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil (or Butter)
  • 3 cloves Garlic, finely chopped
  • 4 leeks, white and light green parts only, washed and roughly chopped
  • 600 grams Potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 sprig fresh Thyme
  • 4 cups Vegetable Stock or Water
  • ½ cup Heavy Cream
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
Directions
  1. Heat the olive oil or butter over medium heat in a large pot.
  2. Add the leeks and garlic and cook, stirring regularly, until soft and wilted, about 10 minutes. Do not brown the leeks.
  3. Add the potatoes, stock or water, thyme, salt and pepper to the pot and bring to a boil.
  4. Cover and turn the heat down to low. Simmer for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are very soft.
  5. Fish out the thyme sprig, then purée the soup with a hand-held immersion blender until smooth.
  6. Add the heavy cream and bring to a simmer.
  7. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
  8. If soup is too thin, simmer until thickened. If it's too thick, add water or stock to thin it out.
  9. Garnish with fresh herbs if desired and serve hot with some crusty bread.

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This Delicious Classic French Potato Leek Soup is an Easy, One-Pot Wonder that makes a Divinely Comforting Weeknight Dinner for those Cold Evenings!

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Wicked Good: One-Bite Pumpkin Halwa Tarts http://spiceinthecity.co/2016/10/23/wicked-good-one-bite-pumpkin-halwa-tarts/ http://spiceinthecity.co/2016/10/23/wicked-good-one-bite-pumpkin-halwa-tarts/#comments Sun, 23 Oct 2016 20:04:03 +0000 http://spiceinthecity.co/?p=7462 Looking for the perfect little sweet treat for your Halloween or Diwali Party? I’ve got you covered with these fabulous, dainty One-Bite Pumpkin Halwa Tarts!  So I’m sitting here staring at the wrong end of a one-week vacation, wondering where the time went! We really enjoyed the time off from work and school, but I feel...

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Looking for the perfect little sweet treat for your Halloween or Diwali Party? I’ve got you covered with these fabulous, dainty One-Bite Pumpkin Halwa Tarts! 
One Bite Pumpkin Halwa Tarts
So I’m sitting here staring at the wrong end of a one-week vacation, wondering where the time went! We really enjoyed the time off from work and school, but I feel like I got through only half the things on my list.
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Like the long walk in the deer park outside the city to enjoy the fall colors. Or the bread I had planned to bake…the poor organic fresh yeast is dying a slow death in my refrigerator.
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One thing that I actually managed to check off my list, was cooking with a pumpkin. Would you believe I’ve never ever bought a pumpkin?
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Or ever made a dish with pumpkin in it? Neither canned not fresh pumpkin have found a way into any of my dishes. Ever!
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This week, I finally managed to rectify that. I got myself a ‘small’ pumpkin. Seriously, this 3 kg pumpkin was listed as a small one. The large ones were about 10 kg I think!
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I roasted the pumpkin to make pumpkin puree, following The Pioneer Woman’s easy method. The puree freezes really well, so I have lots of pumpkin experiments coming up.
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The first thing I made with the puree was a scrumptious, all-American Pumpkin Pie. It was delicious, but not pretty enough to go on the blog. I know I have issues.
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Next came these beauties. Since Halloween and Diwali are overlapping spectacularly this year (really, I don’t know how to make jack-o’-lanterns and Diwali decor work together! Any ideas?), I made these fabulous one-bite Pumpkin Halwa Tarts!
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These really bring together the best of flavors and textures from two diverse cultures. The Indian Pumpkin Halwa: A gorgeous cardamom-spiced pumpkin pudding, this is a smooth, creamy version made with pumpkin puree and ricotta.
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I served the divine Halwa in little shortcrust pastry shells, like little pumpkin pies! I piped the halwa onto the shells to make for a pretty presentation. Aren’t they adorable?
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I topped them with pumpkin seeds for some added crunch. I love how they even look like little pumpkins. All that deliciousness, in one dainty bite!
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These Pumpkin Halwa Tarts are tiny, wickedly delicious and just perfect for entertaining. Be it Halloween or Diwali! Pick one up, put in your mouth and go to heaven!
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5.0 from 4 reviews
Wicked Good: One-Bite Pumpkin Halwa Tarts
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Looking for the perfect little sweet treat for your Halloween or Diwali Party? I've got you covered with these divine, dainty One-Bite Pumpkin Halwa Tarts!
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 24
Ingredients
  • 1.5 cups Pumpkin Puree (See Notes)
  • 1 tub Ricotta (250 grams)
  • 1.5 tablespoons Ghee
  • ½ cup Sugar
  • ½ teaspoon powdered Green Cardamom
  • Approx. 2 tablespoons Milk
  • 1 sheet Shortcrust Pastry
  • Pumpkin Seeds to garnish
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C.
  2. Roll out the shortcrust pastry and cut out 24 circles or flowers with cookie cutters.
  3. Place the pastry circles in a mini muffin pan to shape them like little bowls . Place a piece of baking paper on each pastry circle and add baking beads or beans. This will prevent the pastry from puffing up while baking.
  4. Bake for about 15 minutes or till the pastry circles are golden. Cool and keep aside.
  5. Heat 1 tablespoon ghee in a large saucepan. When melted, add the pumpkin puree. Cook on medium heat for about 15-20 minutes, till the pumpkin puree is thick and most of the liquid has evaporated from it.
  6. While the pumpkin puree is cooking, heat the remaining half tablespoon ghee in a medium saucepan. Add the ricotta and cook on medium heat for about 20 minutes with regular stirring, till the ricotta is dry and resembles large breadcrumbs.
  7. Add the ricotta to the thickened pumpkin. Mix well and continue to cook for a couple of minutes.
  8. Add sugar, milk and cardamom powder. Mix well and set aside to cool. The pumpkin halwa is ready.
  9. Fill the cooled pumpkin halwa into a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle.
  10. Pipe the halwa onto the little prepared tart shells.
  11. Top each tart with a couple of pumpkin seeds.
  12. Serve. The tarts will keep for a couple of days in the refrigerator.
Notes
You can use canned Pumpkin Puree or make your own. I made it as follows:
Cut open the Pumpkin and scoop out all the seeds and fibrous bits.
Roast the pumpkin halves in a preheated oven at 180 C for about 45 minutes or till the flesh can be pulled apart with a fork.
Cool and scoop out all the flesh. Put chunks of the flesh into a food processor and puree. Use immediately or freeze for using later.

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Looking for the perfect little sweet treat for your Halloween or Diwali Party? I've got you covered with these fabulous, dainty One-Bite Pumpkin Halwa Tarts!

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Southern Spice: Thalassery Chicken Biryani http://spiceinthecity.co/2016/10/12/southern-spice-thalassery-chicken-biryani/ http://spiceinthecity.co/2016/10/12/southern-spice-thalassery-chicken-biryani/#comments Wed, 12 Oct 2016 14:28:56 +0000 http://spiceinthecity.co/?p=7414 Aromatic Spices & loads of Flavor make this Thalassery Chicken Biryani from India’s Spice Coast, one of the most Spectacular Dishes you’ll ever eat! My last post was about a typical weeknight meal, easy to prep and on the table in minutes. Today’s recipe though is a diametrically opposite one. A luxurious meal that takes...

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Aromatic Spices & loads of Flavor make this Thalassery Chicken Biryani from India’s Spice Coast, one of the most Spectacular Dishes you’ll ever eat!
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My last post was about a typical weeknight meal, easy to prep and on the table in minutes. Today’s recipe though is a diametrically opposite one. A luxurious meal that takes a while to prep and cook, not a meal to be hurried.
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It is also a dish that should be enjoyed slowly, savoring the various components and techniques that go into making this spectacular creation, that is a treat for your senses.
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This is the famed Thalassery Chicken Biryani from the coastal spice town of Thalassery (formerly known as Tellicherry – as in Tellicherry Peppers!) in God’s Own Country, Kerala. Naturally there are quite a few spices that go into this fragrant biryani, but it is still a very delicately spiced dish.
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This biryani is a wonderful amalgamation of the Mughlai cuisine from north India and the Malabar cuisine from south India. The unique spice-mix and loads of fried onions (called ‘bista’ locally) give this biryani its tantalising aroma and signature taste.
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The rice generally used in this biryani is also different from the usual Basmati. Instead a short-grained, fragrant rice called Jeerakasala. I have used Basmati though and the biryani is still amazing.
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The biryani is prepared by layering spiced chicken and parboiled rice in a heavy bottomed dish and cooking it on a low flame, till everything is cooked through and wonderfully aromatic.
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And believe me, this is the kind of aroma that sends your salivary glands into overdrive. You have to tell yourself to quit drooling and find something else to do until it is time to eat.
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To me, this Thalassery Chicken Biryani is the ultimate weekend luxury: rich, sinful, wonderfully fragrant. The spices, the sweet fried onions, the rich saffron…all heady and indulgent. And perfect for cool weather when you need those spices and sensational flavors to warm you right up.
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Liked this Biryani and want more? How about this divine Chicken Dum Biryani or this tantalizing Keema Biryani?

If you liked this post, please share with your family and friends using the Social Share buttons underneath this post or down the side of the page! And sign up to receive posts right into your Inbox (there’s a box on the right)! For free!

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5.0 from 1 reviews
Southern Spice: Thalassery Chicken Biryani
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Aromatic Spices & loads of Flavor make this Thalassery Chicken Biryani from India's Spice Coast, one of the most spectacular dishes you'll ever eat!
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 6
Ingredients
For the Rice Layer:
  • 2 cups Basmati Rice (or other fragrant rice)
  • 2 Green Cardamom
  • 1 inch piece Cinnamon
  • 3 Cloves
  • 4 Black Peppercorns
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 cups Water
  • 2 teaspoons Ghee
For the Spice Mix:
  • 1 teaspoon of Aniseed
  • ½ teaspoon Black Cumin (Shahi Jeera)
  • ½ teaspoon Cumin Seeds
  • ½ inch piece Cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon Mace
  • 3 Green Cardamom
  • 3 Cloves
  • ½ teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon Black Peppercorns (optional, if you want a spicy Biryani)
For the Chicken Masala Layer:
  • 1 kilogram Chicken, cut into large pieces, with bone
  • 4 large Red Onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 large Tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons Ginger Garlic Paste
  • 2 Green Chillies, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of the Spice Mix
  • 12-15 Mint Leaves
  • ¼ cup chopped Cilantro
  • Juice of half a Lemon
  • ¼ cup Ghee or Cooking Oil
  • Salt to taste
To Garnish:
  • 2 tablespoons Nuts (I used Pine Nuts)
  • 2 tablespoons Raisins
  • 1 pinch Saffron soaked in 1/ cup Milk
Directions
  1. Clean the chicken pieces and make a few slits on each piece. Refrigerate until needed.
  2. Wash and soak the rice in water for 20 minutes.
  3. Cook the rice with the whole spices, ghee and water till the water is absorbed and rice is half cooked. Keep aside to cool.
  4. Heat the ¼ cup ghee or oil in a heavy bottomed pan and when hot, add the sliced onion in batches till they are golden brown. Set on a plate to cool.
  5. In the same pan, with the left over ghee or oil, fry the ginger-garlic paste and the chopped green chillies for a couple fo minutes.
  6. Add the chopped tomatoes and ¼ cup water and let it cook till mushy, about 5 minutes.
  7. Add the mint leaves, salt, the spice mix and the chicken pieces. Mix well, cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  8. Add about ¾ of the fried onion into the chicken cooked gravy. Mix well, cover and cook for 5 minutes on low flame.
  9. Add the lemon juice and the cilantro. Mix well. Keep the flame low.
  10. Spread the half-cooked rice over the chicken till it forms a uniform layer.
  11. Drizzle the milk with soaked saffrons over the rice.
  12. Add the raisins and nuts. Add the remaining fried onions.
  13. Cover the pan with a tigth-fitting lid. Cook on a very low flame for about 30 minutes.
  14. Put off the heat and serve with the Biryani hot with yogurt, pickles and other sides.

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Aromatic Spices & loads of Flavor make this Thalassery Chicken Biryani from India's Spice Coast, one of the most Spectacular Dishes you'll ever eat!

Sharing this deliciousness at Angie’s Fiesta Friday with co-hosts  Julianna @ Foodie on Board and Zeba @ Food For The Soul!

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