Tomato Gotsu-Inspired Chicken: Why Ever Not?!

Like the Brussels Sprouts that embraced the Tomato Gotsu savory and spicy sauce the other day, I have a story here of Chicken that did the same!  And why ever not, right?  What’s good for the goose must be good for the gander too, or in this case, you could say:  what’s good for the veggies is good for the non-veggies too!  And this is how it all happened:

  • Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil
  • Add salt and a pinch of turmeric to it
  • Add boneless, skinless pieces of chicken breast tenderloin and let cook for 8-10 minutes
  • Drain water, and chop up the chicken into bite-sized pieces
  • Heat up that trusty skillet and add a dash of oil to it
  • Toss your chicken in and stir-fry
  • Next, the fun part:  Add the delectable Gotsu– as much or as little as you wish
  • Stir-fry some more until you like the way it looks
  • Serve with rotis/rice

Is that good or is that good?  Of course, it’s good!  Actually, it’s better than good!  It’s excellent!  See for yourself how good and easy it can be!  Oh, and this is where you click to see the post on how to make that versatile Tomato Gotsu.

The Transformation of Italian Meatballs: Another Creative Indian Flick-of-the-Wrist

If you believe that Italian Meatballs are good only for a hearty meal of Spaghetti with Marinara Sauce, you are monstrously mistaken, gentle reader.  Because I am here to tell you that one can take these same readymade hearty Italian Meatballs and do with them something completely unexpected and extraordinary.

And what might that be, you ask?  Well, here’s what– and let me present this as if it were a recipe:   
  1. Take those meatballs and toss them into a skillet.  I always like to add some water to recondition them and let the liquid evaporate and/or be absorbed into the balls. 
  2. When they’re “done”, cut them up into four parts each so they’re nice bite-size pieces.
  3. Next, take a good dollop of that handy Garlic-Chilli Paste (that you must always have in your refrigerator), and add to your skillet with a tsp. of oil so as to fry it a little before you stir it up with your meatballs.
  4. Next open a bottle of a fine Salsa— I prefer one with chipotle peppers, black beans and corn.  Toss into your skillet and stir-fry on a high heat. 
  5. Now:  on the side, in the microwave, you ought to have baked a few Yukon Gold Potatoes in the microwave.  Cut these up into small chunks, and add to your meatball mixture
  6. Stir some more, and then cover lid and simmer for a bit
  7. Turn off heat, set the table, and serve with Rotis or Rice.
Mmmm!  I believe the Italians would say Buon Appetito! but around these parts we say Yeh Hui Na Baat!

Alukoftas

Semiya/Payasam/Sivaiyyan: Roasted Vermicelli In Sweet Seasoned Milk

A very common dessert in both the north and south of India, this is one sweet dish that is served at the most important holidays and functions as it is on any ordinary day.

The inspiration for the creation of this dish today came from a friend who lives in the large southern metropolis of India, Chennai.  We are engaged in an exercise of “sharing and learning” where one of us prepares a dish and provides a recipe for it, and the other replicates it even as she may alter it in terms of either ingredient or technique.  And yet, it is the same recipe.  My main variation of this dish is in the technique, while most of the ingredients are the same, although I have added one significant one:  sabudana, aka, Tapioca Seeds.  Also, I make mine on the thicker side.

So, my friend’s recipe for this dish is presented below, and my written recipe for it is available on the last two pictures in the set of pictures that follows.  Between these two, you might find inspiration to customize it for yourself, perhaps?  If so, good luck; if not, enjoy this grand visual offering prepared by yours truly earlier today.

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My friend KJ’s recipe follows.  My version upon which this dish is made may be found in the one picture that follows (I hastily scribbled my recipe on the back of an envelope while I was making it!):

Ingredients:
1 cup Vermicelli
3/4 cup Water
1 cup Sugar
A pinch Saffron
1 cup Milk
3-4 Cashew nuts
7-8 Raisins
2-3 Cardamom
Method:
  • Saute the vermicelli in ghee till it turns brown.
  • Boil the water in another vessel
  • Put the vermicelli in the boiling water and cover it for a bit, while stirring the mixture occasionally.
  • After the vermicelli becomes soft, add the sugar while making sure to stir the mixture continuously.
  • Fold in the milk and whisk the mixture till you find the vermicelli has taken the flavour in its fold.
  • Powder the cardamom and add it to the mixture. (this is optional, I didn’t do it because not many of us like cardamom here at home)
  • Flavor the desert with fried cashew nuts and almonds. (You can also try raisins)
  • Simmer the vermicelli for about two minutes. Your delicious payasam is ready to be served- serve cold or piping hot- works either way!
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Chinese Fried Rice: The Best, This Side Of The Yangtze

Yes, that’s the claim I’m making, and I’m sticking to it!  Because I have yet to taste a tastier version of Chinese-style Chicken Fried Rice than the kind that I make at home. 

It is actually the default dish when there’s too much leftover white rice.  Of course, it helps if there’s also some leftover rotisserie chicken, but even without it, you can whip up this dish in no time.  Oh, and did I mention that you also need a 16 oz. bag of frozen peas and diced carrots.  And Ching’s Chili-Soy Sauce from your Indian grocery store, and of course one fresh red onion and some garlic.

Use a nice flat bottom wok or a skillet.  Heat up the oil in it, throw the diced red onion in and toss about.  A spoonful of garlic paste goes in next, and when you smell the onions and the garlic overpowering you but before they begin to brown, toss in a cup of diced chicken.  Next the peas and carrots go in as they are– defrosting not necessary.  Add a big splash of the chili-soy sauce, and let everything get nicely assimilated.  Finally, add your white rice (I warm it up in the microwave before adding), a pinch of salt and black pepper, and fry for a few more minutes on a high heat.

You’re ready to serve it immediately– as a most satisfying main entree or a side dish!  I don’t know what the Chinese would say (and I’m not even particularly curious), but around these parts, we say, Yeh Hui Na Baat! 

Rajma-Fava-Choley Chawal: A Twist on the Usual

Well, of course you know about Rajma-Chawal and Choley-Chawal, but how about mixing it up sometimes?  Be bold, be bright, everything’s all right!

Here’s what I did recently:  I cooked the most delectable dish of three-beans and call it my Rajma-Fava-Choley Delight.  Rajma is the kidney-bean, Fava are another lesser known red-colored fleshy beans, and Choley is the chick-pea or garbanzo bean.

Bring them together with all the regular masalas for a rich red curry (fried onions, ginger, garlic, tomato paste, dried powerdered masalas, splash of lemon), and serve with fresh hot steaming Basmati.  It’ll hit the spot right away, right on.

And for a two-punch, make some Papads on the side.  I’ve made here the Punjabi Masala variety of the Lijjat brand.

A plate of this, and trust me, even if you don’t speak Hindi, you’ll be saying, Yeh Hui Na Baat!

Sunny Side Up: The Only Way To Be!

That’s right, I like them sunny side up– my eggs, that is.  But I like the yolks set so they’re done but not all the way:  just so, if you know what I mean.  And my Indian-style of making them goes like this:

  • Heat up a frying pan and put in a tablespoon of oil or butter into it
  • Add finely chopped green chilies to the oil so they instantly begin to splutter
  • Break your eggs into the pan– I do four at a time in mine
  • Sprinkle salt on top
  • Cover the pan and simmer for a couple of minutes (you can add a tsp. of water before you cover if you wish)
  • Remove lid and serve right away

These pictures are from a quick-and-easy breakfast last week.  The eggs have infused the heat of the green chilies, and are so scrumptious you can easily inhale more than one.  I cut out a small piece of cheese and served it with a roti.  Didn’t take long for it all to be gone! 

Like we say around here:  Yeh Hui Na Baat!

Petha: The Ubiquitous Mithai of Northern India

I’ve eaten a lot of Petha growing up in Uttar Pradesh, India, as a child.  There’d always be a piece or two in a mixed-mithai box, and of course, you could buy it separately, if you wished.  I was never a big fan of it, but I never disliked it either.  The petha from Agra was always said to be the best of its kind.

Made from pumpkins and melons, the petha is quite a unique sweet, and the other day, I happened to chance on it in our local Indian grocery store.  For old times’ sake, and to introduce it to my kids, I picked it up and brought it home.

“Interesting candy” is the comment I got from my secondborn– which is saying a lot, considering she might not have ventured with a second bite had she not liked the first!  But she did, which brought a big smile to my face, and I thought to myself I should bring some Gur Revdi the next time!

Here’s what it looked like.  If you wish to learn more about Petha, check out the wiki entry here.  And if you want to try some, go get some!