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Cooking up Smiles..Across the Miles


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Cheese stuffed turkey meatballs..A slow cooker version

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A big hello.  Hope everyone is enjoying the warmer weather and looking forward to a gorgeous summer. Unless of course if you are in India, its a little bit too hot this year, as I have heard. Hope the rains bring some much needed relief soon. As for us, we are so ready for summer. 🙂

Sorry for missing in action for so long. I have not really been cooking much these days. There is however an exciting news coming up. Watch this space for more details.

Due to short of energy and time on hand, I have been experimenting a lot with my slow cooker these days. Besides trying a lot of Indian curries, I have also made some chicken, chili, meatballs etc. in this wonderful pot and have been more than pleased. 😀

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For today’s post, I am making some cheese stuffed meatballs in my slow cooker. You can definitely bake them too. Check the notes below to know how. Without further delay, lets move on to the recipe.

Ingredients:

Ground Turkey – 1 pound (feel free to use your favorite meat)

Bread Crumbs – 1 cup

Egg – 1

Mozzarella Cheese Sticks (String Cheese) – 4 (Or use any cubed hard cheese of your choice)

Garlic – 1 tsp, minced

Italian Seasoning – 1 tbsp.

Black pepper – 1/2 tsp

Salt to taste

Marinara Sauce & Boiled Spaghetti – as needed

Chopped Parsley – for garnish

Method:

  1. Cut each cheese sticks in about 6 pieces and freeze them for about 20 minutes.
  2. In the meanwhile, take a mixing bowl and add in the ground meat, egg, bread crumbs, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Mix everything very well.
  3. Now take out the cheese from the freezer. Scoop out a little bit of this meat mixture and roll it into a ball. Now push inside a cheese cube in the center of the ball and roll it again to seal the cheese inside the meat balls. Repeat the same with all the meatballs.
  4. Grease the inside of your slow cooker and add some marinara sauce at the bottom. Now place the meatballs in a single line. Top with more marinara sauce and stack the remaining meatballs as needed. Top with some more sauce to cover the meatballs.
  5. Cook this on low for about 4 hours or on high for 2 hours. The meat should no longer be pink.
  6. Finally, serve it with some boiled spaghetti and garnish it with chopped parsley. Dig in.

Notes:

  • If you would like to bake the meatballs, just place them on a greased baking dish and bake in a preheat oven at 400 F for 20 minutes.
  • You can also make the meatballs ahead of time and freeze them. Cook them as needed.

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So here is how I made this delicious and cheesy meatballs.

Thanks for stopping by at my page. Do let me know if you try this out.

Love,

Ritu. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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25 Comments

Tandoori Chicken..Indian style barbecue chicken

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An old post, updated with new pics…still so delicious 🙂

I can’t believe summer is almost over. The nights are starting to get a little colder now which means Fall is on it way. I love the fall season as it makes everything around so beautiful. It just makes saying good bye to summer so much easier. End of summer also means end of picnics, beaches, barbecues and grills. And just in case you are looking to make something special before the summer ends, here is a perfect Indian style barbecue chicken aka Tandoori chicken for you.

Tandoori chicken is probably one of the most famous Indian dishes. Chicken is marinated with yogurt and spices and finally roasted in a tandoor or clay oven at a very high temperature. You can make it on the grill or also in your oven. It is pretty easy to put together and makes for a great party or picnic appetizer. You can also turn this into an entrée by cooking the tandoori pieces in a gravy, called Butter Chicken, another very famous Indian curry.

For this tandoori chicken preparation, I am using the same tandoori masala as used in my Whole Tandoori Cauliflower preparation, but you can most certainly use store bought tandoori masala here.

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Lets make some delicious Tandoori Chicken

Ingredients:

Chicken Drumsticks – 3 pounds or about 1.5 kgs, 10 pieces (feel free to use a whole chicken here and cut into pieces)

Thick yogurt – 1.5 cup

Lemon Juice – 4 tbsp.

Red Chilly Powder – 2.5 tsp, preferably Kashmiri red chilly powder

Salt to taste

Ginger Garlic Paste – 2 tbsp.

Oil – 2 tbsp., more for basting the chicken, as needed

Tandoori Masala* – 3 tbsp., (more or less, as per your spice preference)

Red food color – 1 tsp, optional

Onion rings and lemon wedges – serve on the side

Method:

  1. Make cuts in your chicken pieces on both sides and keep aside. Mix together lemon juice, salt and the chilly powder and apply it well inside the chicken cuts. This ensures your tandoori chicken is well flavored inside out. Let it rest for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, mix together the yogurt, ginger garlic paste and the tandoori masala. Now coat the drumsticks well in this second marinade. Finally drizzle 2 tbsp. oil on top and mix well. The oil helps the marinade to stick to the chicken.
  3. A zip lock works best here. Just transfer the marinade and chicken pieces to a zip lock, mix well and let it rest in the fridge for as long as you can, preferably overnight.
  4. Once you are ready to cook, preheat your oven to 400F. Line a baking dish with foil. You can also place some vegetables like peppers or onion at the bottom and then place your drumsticks over it which helps air to circulate and cooks the chicken better. A rack over your baking pan would work too.
  5. Cook the chicken for 30 minutes, turning midway and applying cooking oil as needed. Once the chicken is almost done, turn on the broil or grill mode and cook for a few minutes to get a beautiful color and crisp to your chicken.
  6. Serve it hot with some onion rings and lemon wedges. A little chat masala sprinkled on top would add a lot of flavor to this lip smacking appetizer.

*Notes:

Tandoori Masala Recipe

Red Chilly Powder – 1 tsp

Coriander Seeds – 1 tsp

Cumin Seeds – 2 tsp

Nutmeg Powder – 1/2 tsp

Black pepper Corns – 1 tsp

Whole Cloves – 1 tsp

Cinnamon Stick – 1 inch piece

Paprika – 1 tsp

Red color – 1/4 tsp (optional)

Roast all these spices in a pan for a few minutes until fragrant and ground to a fine powder. Use as needed.

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So there was my recipe to make this delicious tandoori chicken. I hope you will give this a try and let me know if you like it.

Thanks for stopping by.

Love,

Ritu. 🙂


18 Comments

Baked Chicken Nargisi Kofta..Indian Scotch eggs

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Hello there. Sorry for being away for so long. We just came back from a trip to the Niagara Falls in Canada. It is undoubtedly the best fall in the world. Here is a picture of the beauty. If you have never been there, I highly recommend it. 🙂

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Today I am sharing some Chicken Nargisi Kofta with you, or Indian scotch eggs. It is made by coating hard boiled eggs with minced meat and then deep frying them. These koftas are then added to a delicious gravy and the result is a treat you don’t want to miss. So just like the Niagara Falls above, this is one of a kind and definitely a must try. 😛

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Here is how I made it:

Ingredients:

For the Kofta

Hard Boiled Eggs – 6

Minced chicken – 1 pound (Use your choice of meat)

Ginger Garlic Paste – 1 tbsp.

Roasted Chickpea flour – 1/2 cup

Red Chilly powder – 1 tsp

Salt to taste

Mint Leaves – 1/2 cup, made into a paste, optional

For the curry

Oil – 1 tbsp

Onion – 1 medium, finely chopped

Tomatoes – 2 medium, pureed

Ginger Garlic Paste – 1 tbsp

Cashew nut paste – 1/4 cup

Cumin Seeds – 1/4 tsp

Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp

Red Chilly Powder – 1 tsp

Garam Masala Powder – 1.5 tsp

Salt to taste

Water – 1/2 cup

Cilantro leaves – for garnish

Procedure:

  1. Hard boil the eggs, peel and keep aside.
  2. In your minced chicken, add in the ginger garlic paste, roasted besan or chickpea flour, red chilly powder, salt and the mint paste. You can totally skip the mint if you don’t like the taste. Make a smooth paste of this mixture.
  3. Wet your hands and gently coat the eggs with this minced meat mixture making sure an even coating on all sides.
  4. These eggs are usually fried but I baked them instead to make a healthier version. You can definitely fry them. To bake them, preheat your oven to 400F and bake them for about 30 minutes, turning sides midway.
  5. While the eggs are baking, we can make the gravy. Heat oil in a pan and add in the cumin seeds.
  6. Once, the cumin seeds crackle, add the ginger garlic paste and let it cook for a minute. Now add the finely chopped onions and let them cook till they get a beautiful brown color, about 5 minutes.
  7. Its time to add in the tomato puree now. Some people also like to use yogurt for the gravy. You can add half cup of yogurt in place of the tomatoes if you like. Cook the tomato puree till you see some oil oozing out from it.
  8. Once the onion tomato masala is ready add in all the dry spices – salt, red chilly powder, turmeric and the garam masala. Mix well.
  9. Finally, add in the cashew nut paste and about half cup of water. Mix everything well and let it come to a boil. Cook for a few minutes.
  10. Now gently slide in the egg koftas in the gravy, making sure not to break them. Cover and cook for about 2 minutes.
  11. Finally, garnish with some chopped cilantro leaves and serve hot with your choice of Indian Bread or rice.

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So that is how I made this delightful dish. It looks beautiful when you cut the koftas and the eggs inside are such a pleasant surprise. I hope you will give this a try.

Thanks for stopping by.

Love,

Ritu. 🙂


18 Comments

Turkey Seekh Kebabs…Can also be made with Chicken.

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Seekh Kebabs are such a delicious way to enjoy minced meat. I am using the turkey mince to make kebabs today but chicken mince would work just as fine for this recipe. If you are looking for a quick and delicious non vegetarian appetizer, this is it. These are traditionally made in a Tandoor or clay oven but turn out just as delicious in your conventional oven, on the stove top or also in an appe pan. And now that the grilling season is here, this would definitely be a great option.

I would also like to take this opportunity to wish Ramadan Mubarak to all my fasting friends. May this fasting month bring lots of happiness to all of you. Stay blessed.

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Now fasting or not, lets make some delicious Kebabs. 😛

Ingredients:

Turkey Minced – 1 pound (Can use Chicken or lamb mince meat as well)

Lemon Juice – 1 tbsp.

Onion – 1 small chopped

Garlic Cloves – 4, finely chopped

Ginger – 1 inch piece, finely chopped

Green Chilies – 2, finely chopped

Egg – 1 (or use 1/2 cup roasted Besan/gram flour)

Garam Masala – 1 tsp

Black pepper Powder – 1 tsp

Salt to taste

Cilantro leaves – 2 tbsp., finely chopped

Oil – 1 tbsp. (more, as needed for basting)

Method:

  1. Soak your wooden skewers in water for at least an hour before cooking to make sure they do not burn.
  2. Mix all the ingredients, except oil and keep it covered to marinade for at least an hour, if you can. I have made them without marinating too and they turn out fine.
  3. If you plan to bake these, preheat your oven to 400 F. Wet your hands, put the chicken paste on to the skewers and place them in a greased baking sheet. If your chicken is not sticking to the skewers, you can just shape your mixture like a rod and insert the skewers in it.
  4. Bake for about 15 minutes, turning midway to ensure even cooking. Baste your chicken with oil as needed.
  5. Once done, broil/grill the kebabs for another 2 minutes to get a beautiful brown color.
  6. You can also make these on the stove top. Just heat a tawa or a skillet pan and drizzle some oil on it.
  7. Place your skewers on the tawa and cook them, turning around to ensure even cooking. Baste your kebabs with oil as needed.
  8. Your delicious kebabs are ready. Serve them with Onion rings, lemon wedges and some green chutney.

 

Notes:

  1. For a variation, I sometimes add a mashed ripe avocado to the kebabs. This makes super soft and delicious kebabs or burgers.
  2. You can enjoy them as is or as a roll in between a tortilla or roti. Or make them like a patty and enjoy a delicious burger.

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So that is how I made these yummy kebabs. I hope you will give these a try and let me know if you like them.

Thanks so much for stopping by.

Love,

Ritu. 🙂


21 Comments

Butter Chicken..Sinfully Delicious Recipe

IMG_1349IMG_1320Butter Chicken is probably one of the most well know dish in the Indian cuisine. It originated in North India but is made and enjoyed all over the world. It is made with marinated and grilled chicken that is finally cooked in a tomato based gravy. The traditional preparation is with chicken on bones and is generally more spicy. I however like it without bones and a little on the milder side as per my family preference. Feel free to change the spices as per your taste buds.

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Lets make some creamy and delicious butter chicken 😛

Ingredients:

For the First Marinade

Chicken thighs, cut into small bite sized pieces – 1 pound (Feel free to use chicken with bones or chicken breasts)

Lemon Juice – 1 tbsp.

Red chilly powder – 1 tsp, preferably the Kashmiri Red Chilly Powder

Salt to taste

For the Second Marinade

Hung Curd or Greek Yogurt – 1/2 cup

Ginger paste – 2 tsp

Garlic paste – 2 tsp

Garam Masala Powder – 1 tsp

Oil – 2 tsp

Red color – 1/2 tsp, optional

For the Gravy / Sauce

Butter – 2 tbsp.

Green Cardamom – 2

Cinnamon Stick – 1 inch piece

Black Cardamom – 1

Cloves – 2

Black pepper corns – about 3 – 4

Tomatoes – 4, medium, roughly chopped

Tomato Sauce – 1/4 cup, (And no, I am not referring to Ketchup here, this gives a good color)

Garlic paste – 1 tsp

Ginger paste – 1 tsp

Kashmiri Red Chilly Powder – 1/2 tsp

Salt to taste

Honey – 1 tbsp. (Can use Sugar, this is just to balance out the sourness of tomatoes and not to make a sweet gravy)

Kasoori Methi Powder or crushed dried fenugreek leaves – 1 tsp

Cream – 1/2 cup (more or less as per your preference)

For Garnish – Slit green chilies and ginger juliennes, chopped cilantro leaves

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Method:

  1. Lets start with the first marinade. Coat the chicken pieces well with lemon juice, salt and chilly powder and leave it aside for about an hour, preferably in the fridge.
  2. Now mix all the ingredients listed under the second marinade and coat the chicken well with it. Leave it in the fridge for at least 4 – 6 hours or overnight, if you have the time.
  3. Once the chicken has marinated well, its time to grill the chicken. Put the chicken pieces on the skewers and baste them with some oil or butter. This can be done in your oven or also in a skillet on the stove top. I usually broil them in my oven for about 20 – 25 minutes, turning midway, till I get a nice brown color on the chicken. You can also bake them at 400F. Just make sure to broil towards the end to get a nice color.
  4. It is very important to not over cook the chicken as it will get cooked in the gravy too.
  5. While the chicken is cooking, we can make the sauce. In a large pan, heat the oil and add the green and black cardamom, cinnamon stick, cloves and black pepper corns. Sautee it for about 2 minutes.
  6. Add in the ginger and garlic paste and let it cook for another minute.
  7. Finally, add in the chopped tomatoes and let them cook for about 5 minutes. You will know its done when the tomatoes start leaving some oil or butter. You can also puree the tomatoes and add to this gravy but I feel the taste is better when we cook the tomatoes first and then puree it.
  8. Add in the tomato sauce, salt and red chilly powder and mix well. Add half cup of water and let it boil. Once everything is well mixed, transfer this to a blender including the whole spices and make a smooth paste. This ensures a silky gravy and also that you do not bite into the whole spices in your gravy.
  9. Once done, strain this sauce through a strainer to get a smooth and velvety gravy.
  10. Bring this gravy back to the pan and add in the chicken pieces. Cover and cook the chicken pieces in this gravy for about 10 minutes stirring in between. Add more water if needed.
  11. Once the chicken is well cooked, add in the honey and the kasoori methi powder and mix well.
  12. Finally add in the fresh cream, stir well and let it cook for a minute.
  13. Do a final taste test. Garnish it with slit green chilies, ginger juliennes and chopped cilantro leaves. Dig in.

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So there you have it, the recipe for the best tasting chicken dish in this world. Do give it a try and let me know if you like it.

Thanks so much for reading. See you again soon.

Love

Ritu. 🙂


3 Comments

Easy and Quick Chicken and Broccoli…Great weeknight dinner option

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I love Chinese takeout. Its quick and delicious, plus I get a break from cooking. We all have those busy weeknights when cooking is the last thing in our mind. So when I came across this quick Chicken and Broccoli recipe on Gimme Some Oven, I loved it. It was like bringing the takeout to your home. Its quick, easy and delicious. I wasted no time in trying it out and was amazed at how quickly it was ready. And the sauce was so delicious. 😛

If you are looking for an easy and quick dinner option, I highly recommend this. I tried it with broccoli just as the recipe suggested which turned out great but you can easily substitute it for any other vegetable of your choice, or make it just with chicken alone. It will taste delicious, I can assure you.

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Here is how I made it.

Ingredients:

Olive Oil – 2 tbsp

Chicken Breasts – boneless, skinless – 2, cut them into small pieces to speed up the cooking

broccoli – 1 medium size, cut into florets

Garlic cloves – 2, mined

Ginger – 1 tsp, finely chopped

Soy sauce – 3 tbsp.

vinegar – 2 tbsp.

honey or agave nectar – 2 tbsp.

Corn starch – 1 tbsp.

Salt and pepper to taste

For garnish – thinly sliced green onions and sesame seeds

Method:

  1. Lets start with cooking the chicken. Take 1 tbsp. of oil in a large skillet and add the chicken. Let it cook on medium heat till the chicken is cooked thoroughly. It would take about 5 – 7 minutes, depending on the size of your chicken pieces.
  2. While the chicken is cooking, we can make our sauce. In a mixing bowl add the remaining 1 tbsp. of oil, soy sauce, vinegar, honey, corn starch, garlic, ginger and the salt and pepper. Mix it well till everything is well combined.
  3. Once the chicken is almost done, add in the broccoli florets and let them cook for another 2 -3 minutes. Make sure to retain both the color and crunch of the broccoli.
  4. Its time to add in your sauce. Mix it well with the chicken and broccoli and let it cook for another minute or two. The sauce will thicken and coat the chicken well.
  5. That’s it done. Garnish it with some green onions and sesame seeds and enjoy it with some rice or noodles.

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So thanks again Gimme Some Oven for this delightful dish which I will make it again soon. 😀

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Do try it and let me know if you liked it. Thanks for reading. See you again soon.

Love,

Ritu. 🙂


7 Comments

Shrimp/Prawns Red Thai Curry..Can be made Vegetarian.

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Red curry is a popular Thai dish made with Thai paste and coconut milk. It can be made with your choice of meat or by adding veggies and tofu. Its like a soup, best had with jasmine rice. It comes together really quickly, especially if you use store bought red curry paste. However, sometimes the red curry paste also has shrimp or fish sauce, so just check the ingredients before buying, if you prefer a complete vegetarian curry. You can also make your own red curry paste. I have included the recipe below.

Here is how to make the red curry:

Ingredients:

Oil – 1 tbsp

Coconut Milk – 1 can 14 oz

Thai red curry paste – 2 tbsp. (Adjust based on spice preference)

Brown Sugar – 1 Tbsp

Large Shrimp – peeled and deveined – 1 Lb

Mixed vegetables of your choice – 1 cup, I have used onions, red & green pepper, carrots and baby corn. Feel free to use what you like here.

Fish Sauce or Soy Sauce – 1 tbsp

Fresh Thai basil – for garnish

Method:

  1. Heat oil in the big pan and add the red curry paste. Mix it well and make sure its heated through.
  2. Add in the can of coconut milk and let it come to a gentle simmer.
  3. Once the milk has come to a boil, add the sugar and soy sauce or fish sauce, if using. Mix well and let it cook for a minute.
  4. If you would like to make this with chicken, you can add bite sized chicken breasts here and let them cook before you add the veggies.
  5. Its time to add all the veggies. We need to make sure that the veggies are not over cooked. Mix everything well.
  6. Add the shrimp (or Tofu, if making the vegetarian version) now and allow it to cook. Be very gentle while mixing.
  7. Let the curry cook for about 3 – 4 minutes and make sure the shrimp is well cooked. (Or the Tofu is well heated)
  8. Check the seasoning to ensure it suits your taste buds.
  9. Finally garnish it with thai basil leaves and dig in. Its best enjoyed with some Jasmine Rice.

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