Chaat Tart

  
 These cups, they have everything i love in a tiny appetizer. Plus, they are cute. Everybody loves cute food. This is a fusion food, where i gave a makeover to our indian chatpatta snack named chaat. I served the chaat in a tart…sounds good right! 

   
 

For those of you who are not familiar with this north indian savory snack….Chaat is a term used to describe savory snacks, typically served at road-side tracks from stalls or food carts in India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh……thanks for the info, wikipedia! :) 

  
  
I love chaat. I can have it for breakfast, brunch, lunch, tea time and dinner. :D There are different varieties of it. So you know…different ones at different times…oooh yummm! 

   
  
I wanted to make a variety named katori chaat. Katori means bowl, and i thought of making the traditional bowl with grated potatoes, where you grate the potaoes, add a little cornstarch and with the help of 2 tea strainers you deep fry these individually to get these gorgeous potato bowl, which would taste like potato chips. But i knew that it will be quite time consuming to make that and i absolutely, surely knew that i wont be able to make it now with a 6 month old baby. 

   
 
So, i thought why not make a tart shell, which is much more simpler to make and you can make many shells at a time. I made it and it was a super success. It had all kinds of texture and flavor in every bite. You feel the flaky and buttery tart, crunchy sev, refreshing veggies and the burst of spicy, sweet, tangy, and hot flavors from the two chutneys. In short, it is sweet, tangy with a touch of spiciness, all in equal proportions thus giving a perfect balance of flavors. 
   

  
You can serve this as a starter for any party, im sure your guests will enjoy this. And people who will be fasting during the month of Ramadan, save this recipe for iftar. :)
  
Serves 4

INGREDIENTS:

  • Tart shells
  • Red chilli powder
  • Boiled potatoes, cut in cubes
  • Lightly crushed chickpeas 
  • Chopped onions
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Green chutney
  • Tamarind chutney
  • Boondi
  • Nylon sev
  • Coriander leaves chopped

  

For the tart shell:

Get the recipe from here.

  1. Follow the same recipe, but after rolling out the dough, cut them in rounds and place them in a tart pan. I cut mine with a flower shaped cookie cutter.
  2.  After placing them in the tart tin, poke holes all over it so that the pastry doesn’t  puff up while baking. 
  3. Then place over it some weight, i used broad beans. You can use rice or kidney beans too. This is again to make sure that the pastry doesn’t puff up while baking. 
  4. Place the tart in a 350F preheated oven and bake for 15 mins. Take it out remove the beans and bake again for another 10 mins till the tarts turn golden in color. 

   
   
Chutneys recipe courtesy: Dassana Amit of Vegrecipesofindia
  

For the green chutney:

  • 1 1/2 cups coriander leaves chopped
  • 2 green chillies
  • 1/2 inch ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp chaat masala
  • Salt to taste
  • 1-2 tsp water
  1. Grind everything to a smooth paste. 

  

For the red chutney:

  • 1/2 cup seedless tamarind (packed)
  • 1/2 cup seedless dates (packed)
  • 1/2 cup powdered jaggery
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp ginger powder
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • Black salt to taste
  1. In a pan, place the tamarind, dates and water
  2. Cook for 8-10 minutes till they turn soft. 
  3. Add jaggery and cook till dissolved. Let the chutney get thick. 
  4. Add in the spice powders. 
  5. Simmer for 1-2 minutes. Add salt. 
  6. Remove from heat and let it cool.  
  7. Grind this mixture till smooth, add little water while grinding. 
  8. Strain it. 

   

   

Assembly:

  1. In the tart shell first add in little red chilli powder, then potatoes, chickpeas, onions, tomatoes, two chutneys, boondi, sev and finally coriander leaves. 

  

Notes:

✔️ You can add whatever filling you like. Add green mangoes, chaat masala, youghurt etc. 

✔️ i used masala boondi. 

✔️ Assemble the tart only right before you eat. Or else the tart shell will get soggy. 

  

Malai Chicken Kebab

  
Malai chicken kebab is a moist chicken kebab that is highly loved by Indians as well as many others. Here in Kuwait, I’ve  seen that the Arab crowd devours chicken kebabs…..and many other north Indian food for that matter. 

   
 
Charred and succulent cubes of chicken pieces with the amazing flavor from the spices, saffron and cream accompanying drinks, raitas and relishes and mounds of fluffy pulao or biryani is enough to tempt anyone in the world. 
  
   
The one who made me fall in love with these kebabs is my besty, my food guru, my cooking inspiration, my ethatha (sister❤️). I love the kebabs she makes……actually i love whatever she makes, even if it is just a lemonade it will taste out of this world. Ok, back to the kebabs- yeah…the main feature about all of her meat dishes is how juicy and tender it will be everytime, just all the time. She says the key to getting juicy, tender chicken are cooking them right and using the magic ingredient….raw papaya

   
 
She always tells me not to overcook the chicken, which will give you hard, rubbery meat. 15 minutes cooking time is enough actually, especially when cooking with breast pieces. 

 
Raw papaya, my friends is the best! It is a natural meat tenderizer. I used it for this kebab and it was juicy and tender like never before. I think you cannot mess up when you use this ingredient. I researched on how this works and read that papaya has enzymes that breaks down the collagen and other connective tissue in meats. It’s  that simple! 

If you are a kebab lover, definitely make these. 

  

INGREDIENTS:

  • 500 gms chicken breast
  • 3 tbsp yoghurt
  • 3 tbsp cream
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 11/2 tsp pepper powder
  • 2 chopped green chillies
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1/4 cup chopped coriander leaves
  • 2-3 tbsp butter/ghee for the marinade and 1-2 tbsp butter/ghee for basting while grilling
  • 1 tbsp raw papaya paste
  • 2 tbsp saffron water (soak few strands of saffronin warm water for 5 minutes)
  • 1 tbsp rose water
  • Salt to taste

METHOD:

  1. Soak the chicken pieces in all the above ingreidents except salt and marinate overnight. 
  2. Add in the salt just before grilling. Grill till cooked. Remember to baste the chicken with a little ghee twice while grilling. 

  

Notes:

✔️ You can use boneless thigh piece if you prefer that. 

✔️ To make the papaya paste, peal the papaya and and make a paste out of it in a blender. 

✔️ Do not overcook the meat. 

✔️ You have to marinate this overnight to get tender kebabs. 

   

 

Pizza Bomb

  
I don’t know about you guys, but i sure do love appetizers….and if it is this bite sized bombs, ill throw myself right into them. These pizza bombs are just the perfect size for dipping in whatever sauce you like and popping in the mouth. 

  

  
The filling i used for this is quite simple…just some chopped cajun grilled chicken,  pizza sauce, pickles and the main star of this recipe-lots of mozzarella cheese. But seriously, you can customize the filling in whatever way you like. Cheese alone would be amazing, ground chicken or beef, or any sort of chicken filling, sausage, veggies like fried brinjal/eggplant or zucchini etc etc. but make sure you dont skip the mozzarella. 
   
 I made my own pizza dough, but you can use store bought ones. You can also make these with the readymade cresent roll dough, or flaky biscuits dough or even puff pastry would work well, i guess. 

   
 
I love making these when we have any get togethers, because it is very easy to make a large batch and you dont have to fuss with extra plates or anything. Not only do these fluffy, tender cheese filled rolls jazz up any meal…they can actually be the meal. 
   
 
In just a few minutes of prep time you will have hot cheesy pizza rolls that are so comforting. I hope you try out this recipe and do come back and to lemme know what you think. 

  

For the pizza dough: 

Get recipe from here.

For the filling:

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts

1/2 tsp curry powder

11/2 tsp cajun spice

1/2 tsp red chilli powder

1/2 tsp garlic paste

  
For pizza sauce:

Get recipe here.

Other ingredients:

Butter

Pickled green chillies

White sesame seeds

FOR FILLING:

  1. Cut the chicken breast in cubes and marinate with the ingredients listed above.  Keep for 2-3 hours. Grill it and then chop into smaller pieces. 

  
 

   
   ASSEMBLY:

  1. Roll out the dough and cut into 3 by 3 inch squares. Gently move each square into greased muffin or tart tin. 
  2. Fill each with a small piece of butter, pizza sauce, chopped chicken, chopped pickled green chillies and finally mozzarella cheese.
  3. Gently fold the tops to close.
  4. Place the rolls folded side facing down. 
  5. Brush with butter and sprinkle white sesame seeds on top. 
  6. Bake at 375 degrees for 12-14 minutes until the top gets the golden brown color. 

   

 

Notes:

✔️ I used the same pizza dough recipe which i used for chicken tikka pizza. But for this i didn’t keep it in the fridge, instead i kept it in a warm place for 3 hours, let it rise and used. 

✔️ I had left over tikka pizza sauce from chicken tikka pizza, so i used that only for this recipe too. You can make your own pizza sauce or use store bought ones. Or else you can just use sweet chilli sauce, sriracha sauce or any sauce you like. 

✔️ Other chicken filling recipes are here and here

✔️ You have to serve this warm, so that cheese oozes out when you take a bite. 

✔️ My oven doesn’t do the baking and broiling together, so i first baked the lower part. It took about 10 minutes. And then i turned the rolls and baked the other side for another 5 minutes. Just keep checking if it is done.  

  

Instant No Oil, No Cook Mango Pickle

  
Just the thought of this pickle makes my mouth water. This pickle has the tanginess and sourness from the mangoes, sweetness from the sugar, spice from the red chilli powder and that kick from the garlic. It is sooo soooooo easy, that you cant make it anytime, just anytime you want.

   
  

Just chop up the ingredients, and mix. That’s it! No cooking required. This pickle is that instant….who can resist? No soaking, or waiting. So you can get instant gratification. Isn’t that great?

   
 

I have to thank my sweetest aunt, whom we call paayi with love. She had sent a bottle of this pickle 2 weeks back from India. Me and Fadal finished it within a week, it was that yumm! 

  

  
We absolutely wanted more of that pickle, so i ringed up my aunt and got the recipe for it……the simplest recipe ever and here it is. Dunno if mine is as perfect as hers, but i guess it is really there. 

   

 

3 medium Green raw mango

10 cloves garlic

3-4 green chillies

2.5 tbsp red chilly powder 

3 sprigs curry leaves 

5 tbsp sugar

Salt to taste

  

     
 1. Chop the mangoes, garlic, green chillies, and curry leaves really fine. I just chopped everything together in my hand blender.  

  
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and store in the refrigerator. 

  
Notes:

✔️ This pickle would store in the refrigerator for about a months time. 

✔️ Dont reduce the quantity of the sugar, you may increase it if you like. The sweetness is the main feature of this pickle. 

  

Gooey Caramel Molten Lava Brownie Mug Cake Sundae 

  

How’s the name of the dessert??? Haha! You all are drooling already right! Its a BIG name but the perfect name for this dessert. This my dear friends, is what chocolate dreams are made of.! A brand new addition to the blog. 

   

  

I happily present to you ooey, gooey, fudgy, melty, chewy, smooth, creamy……….and so on, brownie mug cake. Yes, exactly! the one that you make in the microwave. This is my second mug cake post, i had posted minute mug cake earlier which you all really appreciated. I really love making mug cakes because, obviously its so easy to put together. 

  
  
This cake turned out so wonderfully…sinfully decadent with warm chocolate oozing out when you dig in with the spoon. This recipe is great, microwaved in less than 2 minutes, the ingredients which you will have ready in your kitchen pantry-so easy to prepare and tastes like……no words to explain, you can make out from the picture itself, right?! 

   
 
The only downside is the number of pounds it packs- its a bit too high on calories as you guys can say. For those who are figure conscious or health conscious, just make smaller servings in small mugs. You can make it in 2 medium mugs. 
   
 What makes this even more rich is the icecream, i used pralines and cream- my fav and topped it with toffee sauce, melted chocolate and crushed almonds. Ooooooh SOOOO good! Irresistibly incredible! 

   
 

Recipe courtesy: Julie Ruble of Willowbirdbaking

For the cake:

2 tbsp unsalted butter

2 tbsp chocolate chips

1/8 tsp salt

2 tbsp all-purpose flour 

1/4 tsp baking powder

1 large egg

1/2 tsp vanilla essence 

1/2 tsp instant coffee powder

2 tbsp sugar

1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

1-2 sqare of your favorite milk or dark chocolate

  
Toppings:

Caramel sauce/ toffee sauce

Melted chocolate

Good quality icecream (i used pralines and cream)

Crushed toasted nuts

Crushed cookies 

  
  

FOR CAKE:

1. Place the butter and chocolate chips on the mug you are goin to make the cake and microwave for a total of 45 seconds but you have to stir it every 15 second intervals (so a total of three stirs). 

  
2. In another bowl, whisk together the egg, vanilla essence, and coffee powder. 

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. 

4. When the chocolate is melted in your mug, stir in the sugar and cocoa powder. Stir in the egg mixture. Then stir in the flour mix. Stir to eliminate lumps. 

  
5. Microwave the mug for 30 seconds. Stir. 

6. Microwave for another 30 seconds. The cake will rise to the top of your mug like a soufflé. Take out and press in the chocolate down into the centre of the cake. Microwave further for 30-35 seconds. Let the cake cool while you prepare the toppings. 

FOR TOPPINGS:

1. Melt the chocolate in the microwave by heating for 20 second interval, stirring between each, until melty. I had to keep only for two twenty seconds interval. 

2. Toast the almonds and crush them

ASSEMBLING:

1. Place two scoops of icecream on top of cake. Drizzle the caramel sauce, the chocolate sauce and the crushed nuts on top. You can add crushed biscuit, and whipped cream too. 

  
Notes:

✔️ Even though you are adding coffee powder, there won’t be any coffee flavor. It only enhances the chocolate flavor. 

✔️ You can use any flavor ice cream you like, but what would go well with the cake according to me are pralines n cream, cookies n cream or vanilla flavor. 

✔️ Whipped cream can be used as a topping too. 

✔️ Make sure you push the chocolate deep into the cake until it is fully covered. I didnt do that so, it was seen as a dent on top after baking. 

✔️ Please note that the cooking time will depend on the microwave wattage. The key for perfect mug cake is that you dont overcook the batter. The cake should rise a bit, ideally with a fluffy, moist, gooey texture and glossy top. The more you will cook, the more the cake will harden up and dry-so slightly undercook and keep an eye on them all the time.   

 

5 Ingredient Incredibly Easy Chicken Masala

  
This is a perfect recipe when you don’t  want to spend too much time in the kitchen. This is soo easy. Actually its so easy it’s embarassing to post this. Actually i was not planning on posting this recipe, but i couldn’t resist from posting as it is so incredibly delicious and soo flavorful even though you just need 5 basic ingredients to put this together excluding the chicken, salt and oil.  

  
  
It was my sweet mom in law who introduced me to this recipe. She had made it when she was here in kuwait. We all loved it so much and so i sat next to her with a pen and a paper and asked her for the recipe waiting to note down the huge list of ingredients. She was like you don’t need to note it down as its soo simple, you just need 5 ingredients. I was like…..”Noooo, really?”. 

Come on- just 5 ingredients? Hard to beat. 

   
 And she explained it to me and i couldn’t believe that a dish soo flavorful and perfect is this simple to make. 
So what’s a blogger to do?

Well, of course.

Blog them! :)

  
You guys must try this one out to see how awesome this dish is. Perfect recipe for all the busy people out there like, SERIOUSLY! :)

  
Serves 3-4

500 gms chicken

For marination:

2 tsp red chilly powder

1/4 tsp turmeric powder

Salt to taste

For the gravy:

7 cloves garlic crushed

2 medium tomatoes chopped

Curry leaves

3 tbsp coconut oil

  
1. Marinate the chicken in the above mentioned ingredients. 

2. In a heavy bottom pan, add the oil and when that heats up, add in the curry leaves and garlic. Sauté well for 2 mins. 

3. Add in the chopped tomatoes and cook till the tomatoes are nicely mashed up. 

4.  Add in the marinated chicken and cook on low flame covered for about 45 mins, stirring once in a while. You don’t have to add water. 

5. After 45 mins, if there is more gravy you can cook further on high flame to thicken the sauce. 

6. Serve with chapathi, pooris, paranthas or rice. 

  
Notes:

✔️ If you want, once the chicken is cooked you can take out the chicken pieces and shallow fry it in coconut oil and put it back in the thick gravy.