Saturday, November 20, 2010

Pressure Cooker chicken curry with touch of coconut milk - Zesty Autumn Treat

For Weekend meals,  my family always  crave for some non-veg spicy curry. I had some chicken thighs and breast pieces in refrigerator. For a change, I decided to make chicken curry in pressure cooker. It  cuts down cooking time and brings intense curry flavor. I gave less stress on Garam masala, increased Corriander and cumin proportions, added little coconut milk. This turned out very delicious and therapeutic chicken curry preparation for chilled autumn day.

 Scroll Down to view three autumn pictures.

Ingredients :-
  • 4 chicken Thighs - 2 pounds,cut in medium pieces.
  • 2 small size chicken breasts - 1 pound , Cut in 1 inch cubes.
  • 2 Tb.spoon oil
  • 1 extra large onion - cut length wise
  • 8-9 fresh garlic cloves - finely crushed
  • 2 inch piece of ginger - finely crushed
  • Cilantro chopped - 1 cup (use stem and leaves both)
  • 1/2 Cup coconut milk
Spice Blend
  • 1 Tb.spoon heaped - corriander seeds
  • 1 T.spoon heaped - cumin seeds
  • 1 medium size star anise
  • 2 cardamom
  • 6 cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 inch cinnamon piece
  • Dry Red chilies - I used 1 Guajillo for color + 7-8 Arbol for heat. ( you can use Byadgi chilies for color or in absence of dry red chilies you may use good quality red chili powder)
Combine above whole spices in a small jar of grinder and make fine powder.

Preparation Method :-
  1. I used four chicken thighs and two small size chicken breasts. In each thigh I made 4-5 pieces by keeping bone intact. Since weather was cold, I left some fat on thigh pieces.This will help to get nice red oil layer on curry. I cut breasts  into one inch cubes. Marinated lightly with salt and kept  it aside for half an hour.
  2. Heat 2 tbsp. oil in pressure cooker / pressure pan. (minimum 4 quart size) Add onions and saute on medium heat for 7-8 minutes until they turn soft.
  3. Add finely crushed ginger and garlic and mix with onions. Saute for one minute. Now add powdered Masala , save 1 tsp for later stage. Mix well and stir with wooden spoon for 1.5 minutes. It gets dry at this stage so sprinkle 1 tbsp water and stir for one more minute. It is fine if some portion of masala powder gets a bit burnt, it will bring enhanced aroma to the curry.
  4. Add all salt  marinated chicken pieces and combine well with onion Masala base. Reduce heat to low and keep it simmering for 3-4 minutes. Do stir at interval.
  5. Now pour in half cup coconut milk, add some more salt and remaining 1 tsp masala powder. Leave it to simmer at medium low temperature - for about 7-8 minutes. Do keep stirring at interval. Make sure there is enough liquid built up in curry, if required add half cup of water.
  6. Now cover pressure cooker lid and reduce the heat to medium. Wait until it builds enough steam pressure inside. Just allow to blow single whistle and switch off the gas. It is fine if it blows second whistle. Allow it to cool for 10-15 minutes. ( Some times pressure cooker will not release whistle, in that case maintain medium heat and cook for 12-15 minutes  and shut off the gas. In between lift the whistle and release some steam.)
  7. Open the lid and sprinkle finely chopped cilantro and serve this curry with rice or roti.
Self  Note- Recipe posted on 11th January 2011.

Autumn Pictures....


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Skin on Split Moong Dal Curry with Spinach and Tomatillo. / (NC Fall Season pictures - 1 )

In Indian cooking Split moong Dal with skin  is well known for its easy to digest quality. It cooks quickly and adapts to various recipes like Curry,  Usal, Dosa, Vada, Khichadi. I gave slight sour twist by adding Tomatillo. No garam masla is used in this curry. All ingredientes and herbs together bring nice green tone to this nutritious Mung Dal curry.

Scroll down to enjoy beautiful glimpses of fall foliage  shots captured around home.

Ingredients :-
  • 3/4 Cup Split moong Dal with skin - picked and rinsed.
  • 1/4 Cup split green peas (soak for half an hour)
  • 1 Cup diced Tomatillo
  • 1.5 Cup tightly pressed  frozen chopped Spinach ( If using fresh - take 3 Cups chopped)
  • 6-7 cloves of garlic - finely crushed
  • 1.5 inch piece of ginger - finely crushed
  • 3-4 green chilies - finely crushed
  • 8-12 curry leaves
  • 1 medium size onion - finely chopped
Cooking Process :-
Step - A

  1. This curry is cooked in two seperate cooking steps and later combined together to retain green color of Spinach.  Heat 1 tbsp oil in pressure pan or pressure cooker. Add  curry leaves and sizzle for 6-7 seconds. Add chopped onions and saute on medium heat until they are soft and translucent.
  2. Now add rinsed split moong dal + green split peas with 2 Cups water. Add salt and let it simmer. Once it starts boiling cover the pressure pan lid. Allow one whistle then quickly reduce the heat to low, after 5-6 minutes shut off the heat. During this process it is ok if it blows second whistle. Keep pressure cook aside to cool.
Step - B
  1. Combine and finely crush ginger, garlic, green chilies.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a skillet. Add crushed ginger, garlic, green chilies..sizzle for 10-15 seconds..quickly add diced tomatillo - saute for 5-6 minutes. Sprinkle little water if it gets completely dry.
  3. Mix chopped spinach, little salt -saute on medium low flame for 7-8 minutes.
  4. Now combine Spinach+Tomatillo mixture with cooked split moong dal in cooker. Place pressure pan again on heat and simmer for 7-8 minutes on medium temperature. Adjust consistency by adding little more water. Enjoy with rice/roti...also enjoy in a bowl as thick hearty soup by drizzling spoonful of hot melted ghee.
Note :- In absence of pressure cooker you can cook split moong dal on stovetop. Take 3 quart size pot and follow step-A...Here mung beans will absorb water so increase water quantity. It should take 30-35 minutes to have tender cooked texture.

Mixing together Spinach+Tomatillo mixture with cooked Moong Dal+Green split peas



First four pictures are taken almost at the same spot with interval of few for the  changes in colors.


Friday, November 5, 2010

Deepavali Greetings & Rangoli

Wishing all my followers and readers  a very Happy Deepavali & prosperous new year blessed with peace, wealth and good health. This year I made small is  very relaxing experience to draw and fill colors in Rangoli and more joy is to watch it glow in oil Diyas of Deepavali...Enjoy the pictures.