First blog post

Hello World!! I am Bhavay Arora, a 15 year old cooking enthusiast from India……

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Lemonade/Shikanji

Shikanjvi is a type of traditional limeade or lemonade from North India.

While the base ingredients include lemon or lime juice, ginger juice, ice and water, shikanjvi often contains other ingredients such as salt, saffron and cumin.

It is also known by limun paani or nimbu pani.

Ingredients:

6 tablespoons lime juice

8 tablespoons sugar

1/4 cup fresh mint leaves(optional- if making mint lemonade)

1/2 tsp salt or as per taste

1 tsp black salt(optional)

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 liter/ 32 ounces of cold water

Few mint leaves – required for garnish

Ice cubes- as required

Method:

Mint Lemonade

Grind the 1/4 cup of mint leaves to a fine puree

Add 1 liter of water to a jug.

Add the lime juice, the sugar, the salt, the black salt and ground pepper to the jug.

mix it till all the sugar is dissolved.

Now add the mint puree just before serving and give it a quick mix..

Crush the ice cubes

Fill the serving glass halfway with crushed ice.

Pour chilled lemonade over the ice and garnish with a mint sprig.

Lemonade

Add 1 liter of water to a jug.

Add the lime juice, the sugar, the salt, the black salt and ground pepper to the jug.

mix it till all the sugar is dissolved.

Crush the ice cubes.

Fill the serving glass halfway with crushed ice.

Pour chilled lemonade over the ice and garnish with a mint sprig.

You may add club soda instead of water for a unique taste….

Aloe Tea

A common herbal remedy and holistic treatment, aloe vera tea has many nutritional benefits when it comes to a healthy lifestyle. Aloe vera tea comes from the sap of an aloe plant. This plant grows in warm environments, and can be used to treat many things from sunburn to digestive issues. Be sure to contact your physician before taking any herbal supplements, such as aloe vera tea.Aloe vera tea can be used for many different ailments. The tea can serve as a wash for eyes and wounds, or to treat certain digestive disorders. It is used to treat burns and alleviate the symptoms of over-exposure to the sun by pouring the tea on the affected area. Aloe can also help treat skin conditions such as rashes or insect bites. 

Ingredients

  1. Flavored Tea, Green tea is the best – 1 cup
  2. Fresh aloe vera gel/jelly or concentrate – 1 tsp
  3. Honey – as per taste

Method:

  • Brew your favorite flavored tea.
  • Pour it out in a cup.
  • Take one teaspoon of fresh aloe jelly –
  •  You can take the gel out by squeezing a cut leaf of aloe Vera
  • You can also use aloe concentrate if you can’t find fresh gel..
  • Add a teaspoon to one cup and mix thoroughly.
  • Add the desired amount of honey and mix it well
  • Voila! Your healthy and medicinal Aloe tea is ready…..

Baked Potato!

A baked potato, or jacket potato, is a potato that has been baked for eating. When well cooked, a baked potato has a fluffy interior and a crisp skin. It may be served with fillings and condiments such as butter, cheese or ham. Potatoes can be baked in a conventional gas or electric oven, a convection oven, a microwave oven, on a barbecue grill, or on/in an open fire. Some restaurants use special ovens designed specifically to cook large numbers of potatoes, then keep them warm and ready for service.

 

Prior to cooking, the potato should be scrubbed clean, washed and dried with eyes and surface blemishes removed, and basted with oil (usually Olive oil) or butter and/or salt. Pricking the potato with a fork or knife allows steam to escape during the cooking process. Potatoes cooked in a microwave oven without pricking the skin might split open due to built up internal pressure from unvented steam. It takes between one and two hours to bake a large potato in a conventional oven at 200 °C (392 °F). Microwaving takes from six to twelve minutes depending on oven power and potato size, but does not generally produce a crisp skin. Some recipes call for use of both a microwave and a conventional oven, with the microwave being used to vent most of the steam prior to the cooking process.

Ingredients

1 large russet potato

Vegetable oil

Salt

Heat the oven to 350 degrees and position racks in top and bottom thirds. Wash the potato (or potatoes) thoroughly with a brush and cold running water. Dry, then using a standard fork, poke 8 to 12 deep holes all over the potato so that moisture can escape during cooking. Place it in a bowl and coat lightly with oil. Sprinkle with the salt and place potato directly on rack in middle of oven. Place a baking sheet on the lower rack to catch any drippings.

Bake 1 hour or until skin feels crisp but flesh beneath becomes soft. Serve by creating a dotted line from end to end with your fork, then crack the spud open by squeezing the ends towards one another. It will pop right open. There will be some steam, so be careful.

Mumbai Style Bhel Puri

Bhelpuri is made from puffed rice and Sev mixed with potatoes, onions, Chat masala and chutney and mixture (a mix of different types of fried snacks), as the base of the snack.Bhelpuri has a balance of sweet, salty, tart and spicy flavors, with different textures as well, including crispy and crunchy from the puffed rice and fried sev. Other commonly used ingredients include tomatoes, and chilis added to the base; In northern India recipes also made by adding boiled potatoes cut into small pieces.

Different chutneys impart a sweet,tangy or spicy flavour. There are two popular chutneys used: a dark brown sweet one made mainly from dates and tamarind  and a green spicy chutney made from coriander leaves and green chillies.


INGREDIENTS:

1 cup of puffed rice 

1/4 cup diced, seeded tomatoes 

1/2 cup of finely chopped onions 

1/4 cup of boiled, diced potatoes 

1 tsp of grated ginger 

1 cup of crushed chaat papdi (papad) 

1.5 cups of nylon sev 

3-4 tbsp of green chutney 

2-3 tbsp of red chutney 

1/2 tsp of black salt (or to taste) 

1/2 tsp of garam masala or chaat masala 

1/4 cup of roasted peanuts (salted or unsalted) 

1/4 cup of chopped coriander leaves 

1 tbsp of lemon juice (more or less to taste)

INSTRUCTIONS:

Prepare the chutneys first. You can do this anytime and store them in the refrigerator.

For green chutney, grind together mint leaves, coriander leaves, cumin seeds, chaat masala, lemon juice, and rest of ingredients to a smooth paste with water.

Recipe for date and tamrind chutney will be available on my blog by Tomorrow!

Once you have the chutneys ready and have boiled the potatoes, putting together the bhel puri is a breeze.

To assemble the bhel puri:

1. Set aside 1/2 cup sev and add all other ingredients to a wide bowl.

2. Using a wide spoon or spatula, mix thoroughly until all ingredients are combined fully. The most important step is right after this – taste testing! Taste test to see if the sour vs sweet vs spicy is good and suits your taste. Adjust the ingredients (add more sweet chutney, salt, etc) to make it perfect. Adjust ingredients according to how spicy, sour, sweet you want your bhel puri to be.

3. Finally, add the reserved sev and garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

Serve immediately, otherwise the bhel puri will get soggy. If making for a large group, mix the ingredients in batches to ensure freshness and crispness of the sev and puffed rice.

Chicken Soup..

 

  • Ingredients:
    • 200 gm – Chicken
    • 1 tsp. – Black Pepper Corns
    • 1/2 tsp. – Cumin Seeds
    • 1/4 tsp. – Turmeric Powder
    • 1/2 tsp. – Coriander Powder
    • 1/2 tsp. – Ginger Garlic paste
    • 1/4 cup – Tomato (chopped)
    • 1/4 cup – Freshly Chopped Cilantro
    • 7 – Curry Leaves
    • 2 tsp. – Sesame oil
    • 1 cup – Water
    • 1/2 tsp – Salt (Adjust to your taste)
    • *** To Clean the Chicken ***
    • 1/4 tsp. – Turmeric powder
    • 1/2 tsp. – Sesame Oil

Method:

Wash and chop the tomato. Wash and chop the coriander leaves. Wash the curry leaves. Clean the chicken well with water. [Once I drain the water, I apply 1/4 tsp. turmeric powder and little (say 1/2 tsp.) sesame oil and mix well. Then I clean it once more with water. This way you can remove little of the raw chicken smell.]. 

For soup recipes, it’s good to use boneless pieces of chicken. Cut them into bite size pieces. Keep aside. 

In a blender, add the black pepper corns and cumin seeds.

Close the blender and grind it little coarsely.

In a pressure cooker, add the cut chicken pieces, turmeric powder, freshly ground black pepper corn and cumin seeds, sesame oil curry leaves, little of the freshly chopped coriander leaves , ginger garlic paste(optional), coriander powder and tomato.

Add required water and salt. Mix well. Check salt. Close the lid with the whistle. Keep it on the stove in High flame.

Pressure cook for 1 whistle and turn flame to LOW. Switch off the stove after 10 minutes

Once the pressure subsides by itself (takes 5 minutes), open the lid. Add the remaining freshly chopped cilantro (coriander leaves). Check salt and pepper. Mix well and divide it in two soup bowls. Serve the Chicken Soup hot.

Chocolate Pancakes!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup plain flour 

3/4 tbsp coco powder

1 tbsp melted butter 

1.5 tsp castor sugar 

1/4 tsp soda by carb/ baking soda

3/4 tsp baking powder

Pinch of salt

1/2 cup milk 

1.5 – 2.5 tbsp butter milk 

1/2 tsp vanilla essence


For Garnish:

  • 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • Chocolate Syrup- As required

Method:

For the Batter:

– Sieve together the dry ingredients – plain flour, cocoa powder, castor sugar, baking powder and baking soda– Add the wet ingredients to to – vanilla essence, melted butter, buttermilk, milk and salt and whisk it all together to make the batter

To cook:

  • Heat some butter on the hot pan and pour the batter.
  • Spread the batter evenly.
  • When bubbles start to appear, turn the pancake and cook well.
  • Take out on a plate and garnish with chocolate chips and syrup.
  • pour some melted butter for extra flavor………

Lemon Coriander Soup!

Lemon coriander soup is a light and clear soup and with the aromatic mixture of lemon and fresh earthy flavour of coriander leaves,it gets even better.As you can see it is easy and heart warming recipe.I decided i will make this often.So let us see how i made this wonderful soup..

Ingredients to make Lemon Coriander Soup

  • 1 tbsp  lemon juice
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 cups basic vegetable stock
  • 1/4 cup finely sliced carrots
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cabbage
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onions
  • 2 tsp finely chopped green chillies
  • 2 tsp finely chopped garlic
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped coriander
  • 2 tsp cornflour (dissolved in 2 tbsp water)

Steps to make Lemon Coriander Soup

  1. Heat the oil in a deep non-stick pan, add the garlic and green chillies and sauté on a medium flame for a few seconds. Add the onions and sauté on a medium flame for 1 to 2 minutes.
  2. Add the cabbage and carrots and sauté on a medium flame for 1 minute. Add the basic vegetable stock, lemon juice, salt and cornflour-water mixture, mix well and cook on a medium flame for 2 to 3 minutes, while stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the coriander and mix well. Serve the soup hot immediately.

Tandoori Chicken

Tandoori chicken is a dish originating in the Indian subcontinent. It is widely popular in India, other South Asian countries, and over the years it has also become popular in other parts of the world mainly United Kingdom and Southeast Asia. It consists of roasted chicken prepared with yogurt and spices. The name comes from the type of cylindrical clay oven, a tandoor, in which the dish is traditionally prepared.Tandoori chicken as a dish originated in the Punjab before the independence of India and Pakistan. Although tandoor cooked chicken dates back to as early as the Mughal era, the dish is believed to be invented by Kundan Lal Gujral, a man who ran a restaurant called Moti Mahal in Peshawar. Gujral moved to Delhi, India after the Independence of India and Pakistan and the subsequent partition of the Punjab Province.

In India, tandoori cooking was traditionally associated with the Punjab and became popular in the mainstream after the 1947 partition when West Punjabis resettled in places such as Delhi. In rural Punjab, it was common to have communal tandoors. Some villages still have a communal tandoor which was a common sight prior to 1947.

  • Ingredients:

    Chicken – 1 whole chicken cut into 10 pieces

    Butter or Ghee for Brushing on top

    Chat Masala for Sprinkling on top

    For First Marination:

    Chilli Powder – 1 tblspn

    Salt to taste

    Lemon Juice – 2 to 3 tblspn

    For Second Marination:

    Thick Curd / Yogurt – 1 cup

    Chilli Powder – 1 tblspn

    Coriander Powder – 2 tblspn

    Cumin Powder – 2 tsp

    Chat Masala Powder – 1 tblspn

    Black Pepper Powder – 1 tsp

    Garam Masala Powder – 1 tblspn

    Turmeric Powder – 1 tsp

    Ginger Garlic Paste – 2 tblspn

    Kasuri Methi Leaves – 1 tblspn

  • Kashmiri Red chili powder – 2 tbsp

Method:

  • Take chicken in a bowl, make deep slits on them. Add salt, chilli powder and lemon juice to them and mix well. Leave this aside for 30 mins.
  • Now take second marination ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Pour this over the marinated chicken and mix well.


  • Leave this to marinate for 6 hours or over night.


  • Next day, remove it and let it come to room temp.
  • Preheat oven to 250 Degree C. 

  • Now place the chicken over a foil lined baking tray and pop it in oven for 5 mins, remove it and flip over, apply leftover marination over it if you have any and bake it for 5 more mins.Remove the tray from oven, apply ghee all over it.
  • Now reduce the oven temp to 160 degree C and bake it for 10 more mins. 
  • Remove it and flip over and apply ghee all over it and bake it for 10 more mins.

  • Now remove it and set aside. Mean time, increase the oven temp to 250 degree C and set the mode to grill.
  • Place the tray near to the grill and cook it for 5 mins till you see some black spots over the chicken.

  • Remove it from oven, give a final glaze with ghee and sprinkle some chat masala over it.
  • Serve with coriander chutney, a lemon wedge, and onion rings!

Alternatively, you can use a hot pan brushed with olive oil to cook the chicken pieces. using a charcoal grill gives the best flavor. Gas grill can also be used. tandoori chicken can also be cooked on a grill pan. 

If you want to go an extra mile and add that traditional smoke flavor, follow the steps given below….

How to give that smoke flavor to your chicken:

  1. To begin, first take a piece of coal (about 3 inches big) and hold it over a gas flame with the help of tongs. The coal will begin to turn red hot and grey in about 5 minutes. This indicates that the coal is ready to be used for smoking.

  2. At this point take a pan and put your chicken pieces in it.

  3. Push the chicken to the sides and place a small glass or steel cup in the middle. Put your favorite spices like cardamom, clove, black pepper, etc. Now pour some oil on the red hot charcoal.

  4. It will begin to smoke. Immediately cover the pan and allow it to rest for about a minute. Open the lid and remove the coal cup. You chicken will now have the smoked tandoori flavor.

Make this Recipe and do share your experiences with us…….

Paneer Nuggets

Paneer Nuggets

Ingredients:

  • Paneer (cottage cheese) grated 100 grams

  • Fresh coriander leaves chopped 1/2 tablespoon

  • Turmeric powder 1/4 teaspoon

  • Cumin powder 1/4 teaspoon

  • Coriander powder 1/4 teaspoon

  • Salt to taste

  • Chaat masala – As required

  • Red chilli powder 1/4teaspoon

  • Lemon juice 1/2 tablespoon

  • Refined flour (maida) 2 tablespoons

  • Bread crumbs 1/4 cup

  • Oil for deep-frying

Method

  • Put grated cottage cheese, turmeric powder,

 cumin powder, coriander powder, salt,

 chaat masala, red chilli powder, lemon juice, 

and coriander leaves into a  bowl and mix well.

  • Mix refined flour and salt in another bowl, 

add sufficient water and mix well to make a smooth thick batter.

  • Spread the breadcrumbs on a plate,

 add salt and black pepper powder and mix well.

  • Heat sufficient oil in a wok or a pan.

 

  • Divide the cottage cheese mixture into

 small equal portions and shape them.

  • Dip them in the batter, roll in the

 breadcrumbs and deep fry in hot oil till golden brown.

  • Drain on absorbent paper. Serve hot.

Fried Chicken…

Fried Chicken…

Chicken is one of those foods which almost everyone relish eating. Fried chicken may not be a healthy choice but it can be eaten as a cheat meal like once or twice in a week. This recipe has more of an Indian touch to it in terms of flavor and believe me it’s going to be delicious. You can use Panko breadcrumbs for the best flavor. They are not easily available in India, so if you don’t find them, you may also use my recipe which I posted yesterday……..

Ingredients:

  • 8 chicken pieces (any cut will do)

For the marinade:

  • 4 tsp red chilli paste
  • 3 Tbsp ginger and garlic paste
  • 2 tsp chaat masala
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • 3 Tbsp curd
  • Salt, to taste
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon

For the coating:

  • Seasoned/ Plain breadcrumbs

Method:

  1. Marinade:
  • For the marinade:
  • In a bowl add ginger and garlic paste, red chilli paste, chaat masala,  masala, oil, curd, salt and lemon juice. Mix it well.
  • Rub the marinade on the chicken pieces, Marinate the chicken pieces for 30 minutes.

2. Coating:

Now, this step can be done in 2 ways, 

  • Mix the required amount of breadcrumbs in the chicken after taking the pieces out of the marinade.
  • or You can also roll the pieces in the breadcrumbs very well!

3. Frying:

  • Add enough amount of oil in a pan (heavy bottom is preferred).
  • Turn on the gas and heat the oil till it is medium hot.
  • Make sure it is not too hot or else, the chicken would not cook through.
  • Add the crumb coated chicken into the Medium hot oil and cook till it is cooked well.
  • Take the pieces out on an absorbent paper to drain off excess fat.
  • Heat the oil till it is very hot and add the chicken again.
  • Fry it for 1 minute or till the chicken turns golden brown.

Serve hot with your favorite sauce or eat it as it is.

You may try using Pulsed oats, brown breadcrumbs or pulsed cornflakes for a healthier choice…….