Monday, November 23, 2020

Butter Chicken Masala | Murgh Masala

Butter chicken Masala needs no introduction, right? It's one of the famous Indian curries around the world. It's creamy and delicious, tastes good with both rice and any rotis or flat breads. There are so many variations in this recipe and here i'm gonna share the simple home style version of butter chicken masala with basic ingredients. It's one of the most requested recipes for years now by friends and readers. I don't know why i took such a long time to share this simple recipe.Better late than never, right? So without further due, let's dive into the recipe. For any substitute ideas or doubts check out the below FAQs !! 

Why is my butter chicken not as orange as a restaurant?
The bright orange color comes from the red chili powder and tomatoes. 
  1. Using kashmiri red chili powder gives bright orange color without increasing the spice level. 
  2. Use well ripened tomatoes.
  3. To be honest, most restaurants use food color, so don't compare home made with restaurant.
What do I substitute for cream?
Cream is for extra richness and mild sweetness in the curry. So,instead of cream, you can add a little bit of milk also. 

Any tips for beginners ?
  • Don't try to achieve the bright color by adding more tomatoes, it turns the sauce more tangy.
  • I like capsicum in my chicken curry, but it's totally optional in this recipe.
  • Don't reduce the amount of butter. It gives silkiness, flavor and richness to the curry.

Butter Chicken Masala

Preparation Time : 10 mins | Cooking Time : 25 minsServes :
Recipe Category: Curry | Recipe Cuisine: Indian
Chicken Butter Masala,Butter Chicken, Murgh Chicken Masala, Butter chicken Curry, Indian Chicken Curry Butter chicken Masala needs no introduction, right? It's one of the famous Indian curries around the world. It's creamy and delicious, tastes good with both rice and any rotis or flat breads.
Boneless Chicken - 1/2 lb
Onion -1/2
Capsicum - 1/2 
Red chili powder - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Garam masala powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Dried methi / fenugreek leaves - 1/2 tsp
Butter - 1 & 1/2 tbsp 
Cream - 1 tbsp
Salt - to taste
To grind
Tomato - 1 (large about 1/2 lb)
Ginger - 1/2 inch piece
Garlic - 2 gloves
Cashews - 4 

First clean the chicken and cut into bit size pieces . In a bowl, add chicken and the half of all spices(turmeric, red chili, coriander and garam masala powder) and salt (just enough for the chicken). Mix it well and let it marinate for 20 mins.In the mean time, boil the tomato in hot water for around 5 mins and then remove the skin and  put into the blender along with all other ingredients listed under "To grind" and grind into smooth puree.Chop the onions, capsicum into small cubes. Heat the pan with 1/2 tbsp of butter.Add the onions and capsicum along with pinch of salt and saute till they are soft and keep aside.In the same pan add 1/2 tbsp of butter and add the chicken, saute it in butter for around 5-7 mins and keep it aside. In the same pan add the tomato puree and all the spices(turmeric,red chili,coriander and garam masala powder) ,salt and 1/4 cup of water. Let it simmer until all the raw smell of the spices leaves.Then add the chicken and the remaining 1/2 tbsp of butter, cover the pan and let the chicken cook thoroughly. Finally add the onion, capsicum, dried methi & cream into the curry. Mix it well and switch off the flame.Delicious and creamy Butter Chicken Masala is ready. Serve it with rice or roti. We had it with chapathi.
For soft roti/chapati, check out my recipe here  and for more chicken and non veg recipes, check out here 
  •  The color of the curry greatly depends on the color of the tomato and chili powder. So use bright tomatoes and red chili powder for vibrant color.
  • I have used chicken breast for this recipe.
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Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Thakkali Kai Chutney | Green Tomato Chutney | Chutney Recipes

Thakkali Kai Chutney, a delicious chutney made from raw/green/unripe tomatoes. In our tomato plant, there were so many unripe tomatoes when the temperature started to drop here and I was wondering what to do with all the unripe tomatoes since this is the first year we're growing the tomato plants. So after extensive online search, I found a couple of simple ways to ripe the tomatoes after they are plucked from the plants and got success with around 80% of tomatoes  and with the remaining green tomatoes, tried various recipes and this chutney is my most favorite among all of  my experiments. 
The cumin and the mint used in this chutney really elevates the taste and flavor to another level. In the last one month, I had already prepared this chutney 3-4 times. It tastes great with both idli and dosa varieties. So if you're able to get hands on green tomatoes, then definitely give it a try on this chutney or else you can use the regular tomato also for this chutney. Now let's check out on how to make this delicious chutney.

Thakkali Kai Chutney | Green Tomato Chutney

Preparation Time : 5 mins | Cooking Time : 15 minsServes : 2 to 3 
Recipe Category: Chutney | Recipe Cuisine: Indian
Thakkali kai Chutney,Raw tomato chutney,green tomato chutney,side dish for idli, Thakkali Kai Chutney, a delicious chutney made from raw/green/unripe tomatoes.
Thakkali Kai/Raw Tomato/Green Tomato -  3
Onion - 1/4
Green chili - 4
Chana dal - 1 tsp
Urad dal - 1 tsp
Cumin seed - 1/2 tsp
Coriander leaves - a handful
Mint leaves - a handful
Coconut - 2 tbsp
Salt - to taste
Sesame Oil - 1 tsp
To Temper 
Sesame Oil - 1 tsp
Mustard & urad dal - 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves - few

First wash and chop the tomatoes roughly, then clean mint & coriander leaves and keep all ingredients ready. Heat a pan with oil, add cumin seed, chana dal and urad dal. Roast till they are golden brown, then add the tomatoes, onions & green chili. Saute it in the oil for couple of mins and then cover the pan with lid and let the tomatoes cook.Once the tomatoes are soft, add the mint & coriander leaves. Give a good mix and then add the coconut & switch off the flame. Mix the coconut with the rest of the ingredients in the residual heat. Let them cool completely. Then add into the mixie jar along with salt and grind into smooth paste. Add water as needed for grinding the chutney.Temper the ingredients listed under "To Temper " and add it into the chutney. Tasty and flavorful Thakkali Kai Chutney is ready. Serve it with idli or dosa.

For more idli and dosa side dish recipes, check out my collections.
  • Adding dals gives the thick consistency to the chutney.
  • You can try this chutney with regular tomato too.
  • Mint & cumin seeds give great flavor to the chutney.
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Monday, November 9, 2020

Maida Burfi | Halkova | Diwali Sweets

Maida Burfi/ Halkova, a delicious fudge made from maida/all purpose flour, ghee and sugar. Looking for a super easy & no fail burfi recipe for this diwali? Then this maida burfi is for you !! I had already shared maida burfi recipe in which sugar syrup is prepared to make the burfi. But the recipe that i'm sharing today doesn't need sugar syrup,so no need to worry about single string consistency of syrup, this recipe is so easy to make perfect burfi and works like a charm every SINGLE time. 
The maida burfi made from sugar syrup has chewy texture whereas  this maida burfi has melt in your mouth texture just like besan ladoo or moong dal ladoo. Personally I like this burfi more than the burfi made with sugar syrup because of its texture !! Ok, before moving to the recipe, let's check out the FAQs !!

What is Maida Burfi / Halkova ?
A delicious fudge made from maida/all purpose flour, ghee and sugar.

What are the other flavors I can use in this burfi?
Apart from cardamom and rose flavor, the vanilla and pistachio flavors also taste good. 

Can I reduce the amount of ghee ?
No, the burfi needs the mentioned amount of ghee for melt in your mouth texture. 

Any substitute for ghee?
Commercially, vanaspati/dalda/shortening is used in this recipe,so ghee is the best alternative already !

Any tips for beginners ?
  • Make sure to let the roasted maida cool down(it's so important) completely before adding sugar. Otherwise the whole mixture would become watery and unable to set. 
  • Make sure to roasted the flour well otherwise it tastes raw
  • This is one of the recipes that you have to follow the measurements religiously. That's the key to get a perfect and tasty burfi.
  • If you're a beginner, then I would recommend trying this burfi with a single flavor on the first try. It would be a lot easier.

Maida Burfi | Halkova

Preparation Time : 15 mins | Cooking Time : 10 minsServes : 20 
Recipe Category: Sweets | Recipe Cuisine: Indian
Maida Burfi, Burfi, APF Fudge, Halkova,Diwali recipe, Maida burfi with powder sugar Maida Burfi/ Halkova, a delicious fudge made from maida/all purpose flour, ghee and sugar.
Maida / All purpose flour - 1 cup
Ghee - 1/2 cup
Powdered Sugar - 1/2 cup
Cardamom  powder - 1/8 tsp
Rose essence - a few drop(optional)
Pink food color - a few drop(optional)

Add the ghee in a pan and let it melt completely, then add the maida.Keep the flame in medium and roast the maida till it's fragrant. It takes around 8-10 mins. Remove from the flame and let it cool completely(this is so important).  If you're going for two flavors, then divide the dough into two equal parts.Keep one part of the dough aside. And in the remaining dough, add 1/4 cup of sugar and the cardamom powder. First mix it with spatula and then use your hand to come together the dough as single mass. Grease the pan with ghee and add this maida dough and smooth the surface evenly with spatula.To the other part of the dough, add the sugar, rose essence and pink food color. Mix it well together until all comes together. 
Transfer the maida dough into greased bowl and smooth the surface on the top.Let it set aside until it's firm to touch(For faster setting, keep it in refrigerator for 30 mins). Then slice into desired size as you like.Tasty Maida Burfi / Halkova is ready.
  • Make sure to cool the roasted maida before proceeding further.
  • Apart from cardamon and rose flavor,  other flavors like vanilla, pistachio can also be used.
  • If you're using food color, take time to mix it well with the flour. 
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Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Thenkuzhal | How to make Thenkuzhal murukku | Diwali Snacks

Thenkuzhal Murukku, one of the traditional diwali snacks made from the rice flour and urad dal flour. It's super crispy and absolutely delicious !! Never can imagine a deepavali without making a murukku at home!! In those days, only during deepavali time, murukku was prepared at home.While growing up, Amma used to make the murukku at least two or three days before deepavali and the murukku would last for at least a week after diwali. During diwali week, for every meal, i used to eat at least one murukku. Do I need to tell you about the other time? 
Ok, now coming to this thenkuzhal murukku recipe, it's one of the easiest and tastiest snacks that you can prepare at home with pantry basic ingredients. I often make this at home as our evening snacks and when i'm making a list of recipes to post here for this year diwali , i was shocked to know that i haven't shared this recipe so far. So this was the first recipe that I had prepared for this year's diwali post !!! Let 's check out on how to make the super crispy thenkuzhal murukku and if you're beginner, do check out the below FAQs  

Here are some basic FAQ about murukku

Why is it called Thenkuzhal ?
When you break this murukku, you can see a small hole running throughout and it seems like a  pulankuzhal(a music instrument)  hole. It's the most common reason that I have heard for the name "Thenkuzhal" 

Why did my murukku break into oil ?
If the dough doesn't have enough moisture in it, the murukku breaks easily in the oil and also it breaks while squeezing the dough. So add a little more water in the dough.

Why is my murukku not crispy ?
If the oil is too hot, then the outer turns darker easily and it won't be crispy. Cook it in the medium flame for the whole process helps to get crispy murukku

Why is my murukku hard?
It doesn't have enough fat in it. Butter used in the murukku helps to keep the murukku crispy and as light.

Does the murukku burst in the oil?
Chances are there!!
  1.  If the dry ingredients like rice flour and any other flour used in the recipe has any big granules. So make sure to sieve all the flour once before making dough
  2. Once all the dough is squeezed, don't tempt to roll the left over dough into seedai and fry. It has the chance to burst.
Why does my murukku have a dark color or not as white as the store bought?
There are 2 reasons why murukku became dark in color.
  1. Adding too much of urad dal makes the murukku become darker easily
  2. Cooking for a longer time even after the "Shh" sound stops.
Ok, hope i have answered the basic FAQ about murukku!! 

How to make Thenkuzhal murukku

Preparation Time : 10 mins | Cooking Time : 20 minsServes : 20 
Recipe Category: Snacks | Recipe Cuisine: Indian
Thenkuzhal, How to make Thenkuzhal, Thenkuzhal murukku,Savory Snacks, Diwali Snacks, Deepavali Sancks Thenkuzhal Murukku, a crunchy, delicious and traditional savory snack made from the rice flour and urad dal.
Rice flour - 2 cups
Urad dal flour - 1/4 cup
Butter - 3 tbsp
Sesame seed - 1/2 tsp
Cumin seed - 1/2 tsp
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Water - as needed
Oil - for deep frying

First in a bowl, add rice flour, urad dal flour, sesame seed, cumin seed and oil. Mix it well. Then add the room temperature butter and mix it well with the flour.
Next add water little by little and make a soft dough. Take the murukku press and add a three hole disc in it, fill 3/4 of the press with the dough and close it with lid.Heat the oil for deep frying. Squeeze the dough in a circle on to the small plate/ flat laddle as show in fig below. Once the oil is heated(to check the oil temperature, add a pinch of dough, it should come up immediately) add the pressed murukku doughAdd more depends on the oil level and cooking vessel. Let it cook on medium flame.Once the 'shh' sound stops and the shh sound stops and the murukku floats without any bubbles around it, remove from the oil and place it on tissue paper. Do the same for the remaining dough.Tasty and crispy murukku is ready. 
For more diwali snacks, check out my diwali collections
  • It stays well for up to 10 days at room temperature
  • Dont reduce the amount of butter used in the recipe
  • This murukku doesn't absorb lot of oil, but if you're making it in larger batch, make sure to top up the oil in need

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Monday, November 2, 2020

Sweet Somas recipe| Karchikai | Karanji

Sweet Somas, one of the traditional sweets from South India and it's extensively prepared for Diwali and other festive occasions. Somas is a deep fried sweet with crispy outside made from all purpose flour and sweet filling inside. There are different types of  fillings used in this sweet depending on the region where it originated. Therefore, it's also known by the name karchikai, karanji or somasi in other parts of India.  Traditionally, In Tamilnadu, a mixture of sweetened & powdered fried gram dal and coconut is used for the inside filling. 

Are Gujiya  / Somas /Chandrakala are the same ?
To my knowledge ,they are more or less the same in a way that they are prepared. In Gujiya, mostly sweetened khoya /rava is used as  filling. Somas is a tamilnadu version of Gujiya with a mixture of  sweetened fried gram dal and coconut as filling. Chandrakala is also similar to Gujiya, it got its name because of its shape and mostly chandrakalas is dipped in sugar syrup before serving. 

How long Somas last at room temperature ?
It stays well for a week or up to 10 days at room temperature. Unlike gujiya, in somsa, the fillings are mostly dried, so it stays really well for days !!

Why do my somas become soft after a few days?
This is the most common problem that many people face while making somas. To keep them crispy for longer time , there are few things need to be taken care of 
  1. The outer layer should be thin for crispy somas. So take time and roll as thin as possible
  2. The fillings should be completely dry without any moisture. If you're using fresh coconut in this recipe(actually it's the traditional way) make sure to roast them well until it turns reddish brown. 
  3. Once they are completely cooled, store them in airtight container and use dry hands when serving. 
All these steps would help to keep them crispy for weeks or until the final one lasts in the batch :-)


Any other tips for beginners
  • Make sure to seal the edges properly otherwise all the fillings would mix with the oil. 
  • Applying some water over the edges helps to seal them well and if you have somas cutter use it for some fancy edges.
  • Though the recipe is simple, it really takes a lot of time for rolling and shaping them. A helping hand would be useful for this recipe
Hope I have answered most of the FAQs !! Now it's time to check out on how to make these traditional somas !!!

Sweet Somas recipe| Karchikai | Karanji

Preparation Time : 1 hr | Cooking Time : 20 minsServes : 16 
Recipe Category: Curry | Recipe Cuisine: Indian
Sweet Somas, Somasi,Karchikai,karanji, Diwali Sweets, Deepavali Sweets Sweet Somas/Somasi, one of the traditional sweets from South Tamilnadu and it's extensively prepared for Diwali and other festive occasions.
For Outer layer
Maida/All purpose flour - 3/4 cup
Rava/Semolina - 1 tbsp
Salt - a pinch
Ghee - 1 tsp
Water - as needed
For inner filling
Pottukadalai/Fried gram dal -1/4 cup
Unsweeted coconut flakes - 1/4 cup
Sugar -1/2 cup
Cardamon - 3 

Oil - for frying

First let's make an outer layer. Add all the ingredients listed under "For Outer layer" except water in a bowl, mix it well and then add water little by little and make a stiff dough like poori dough.Cover the dough with damp cloth and let it rest aside for 30 mins. Next let's make the inner filling. Add all the ingredients listed under "For inner filling " in a mixie jar.Grind into fine powder and transfer into a bowl. Next take the dough, roll it as a log and cut into 16 pieces.Roll each piece into a smooth ball. Take a dough ball at a time and roll it into a thin disc using a rolling pin. Add about 1/2 tbsp of filling in the dough. Brush the sides with some water and stick the edges together as shown in pic below. If you wish you can fold the edges as shown below.Do the same for all the dough and filling. Heat the oil for frying, once the oil is heated(add a pinch of dough into oil, if it comes up immediately, then the oil is ready) add a few somas at a time.Cook it on medium flame till they are golden brown and crispy on the outside. Remove from the oil and place it on tissue paper. Once it's completely cooled, put it in airtight container. Tasty and crispy Sweet Somas is ready. For more diwali sweets and snacks, check out my diwali collections
  • Use any flavorless oil for deep frying. 
  • In this recipe, i have made them as mini. It's time consuming so you can make them as bigger size also
  • The filling tastes good as it is, so if there is any leftover filling, it can be served as it is as after lunch sweet !!
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