Chicken Changezi is an extremely popular dish in Delhi, that has been served for generations. It has a notoriously suspicious looking crimson color, due to the cooking down of the tomato gravy in ghee. The name ‘Changezi’ is due to the fact the the dish originated during the times of the fearsome Mongolian warrior and conquerer, Genghis(Changez)Khan. It was however, not made for him as been widely misconstrued.
In actuality, Genghis Khan never invaded Delhi. He in fact only went as far as the Indus and then turned back. The dish however must have been a hit, since it has prospered for so long, but in all likeliness the warrior himself would not have fancied the dish, with its typical Indian spices and richness, quite foreign to the Mongolian seasonal diet consisting mostly of meat and dairy, influenced by both China and Russia.
Chicken Changezi is rich, creamy, and quite delicious, served with flatbreads like Naan or Tandoori Roti. It is not so spicy, due to the addition of Kaju (Cashew) paste, milk and cream. Here is the recipe for this tangy, creamy and rich Restaurant style dish. Check out the Video below to see how to make it!!!
Moroccan Baked Salmon – to spice it up !
If you like a spicy baked Salmon, you will love this one. Salmon is a regular item in our house. Twice a week at least, I will prepare salmon. And you know I love variety… There are so many ways to make salmon delicious. This is my new favorite. It’s quick and easy. Spiced and jazzed up with the flavors of Morocco. You might find it to be your new favorite too 😉
Of all the different fish varieties, salmon is held a step above when it comes to nutritional value. Salmon is also considered to be a ‘brain food’. An excellent source of quality protein, vitamins and minerals (including potassium, selenium and vitamin B12) but they are of course known for the content of omega-3 fatty acids.
Kunafa – How can Ramadan be complete without making this warm melty cheese filled, crunchy and unique pastry?
I loved Kunafa when I lived in the Middle East. I haven’t been able to make it the same since I came to Singapore, because I couldn’t find the Kataifi Pastry. Well, I found it a long time ago and made it a few times, but I didn’t get the desired effect, from the memory I had. I have changed the recipe a bit from the authentic one, I add a white sauce to the filling along with Mozzarella cheese. This time, it was pretty incredible tasting. My little one couldn’t stop moaning with delight. I must warn you that it is a sinful dessert if you are on a diet! Small Tiny portions are enough!
I also must emphasize that you must not leave that Kataifi pastry in the freezer too long before making this. It looses its freshness and you won’t get the crispy delicious flavor that you are after.
Ramadan Porridge | Ramadan Kanji
Ramadan is almost over this year, but I thought it would be good to add a recipe, since so many have mailed/ messaged me requisitioning it. Ramadan Porridge is made so often during the month of Ramadan. It is a warm and comforting porridge that you can enjoy some time after breaking your fast. It is also a good item for the suhr meals. I have a recipe for the basic Cumin Rice Porridge here : (Jeeraka Kanji). This recipe adds to that some vegetables, a little meat and stock. This Ramadan Porridge, makes it more savory and more filling, perfect for when you want to store that energy for the rest of the fasting period.
Here, I have added a little mutton that was removed from the precooked mutton for a Korma that I made. You need very little meat, so it’s a good idea to remove some when you are preparing for another dish, if you plan to make this. Chicken may be used as well.
Orange Blossom Bellinis – The Exotic Mocktail.
I was introduced to this beautiful drink on my trip to Dubai. It’s been a staple at my dinner parties ever since. The perfect mocktail, if you ask me. The light scent of the Orange Blossom Water along with the addition of nibbles is a combination of flavours to tease the senses. No alcohol required! This recipe replaces the customary peach puree and prosecco with sparkling grape juice, cranberry and sometimes blood orange juice. Here, it is the exotic scent of Orange Blossom that makes it all the more special.
This recipe was one of my contributions to a wonderful project, a Christmas Recipe Book that I was part of along with some fabulous foodies. Foodies+ Christmas Cook Book.
Njandu Chikkiyathu | Spicy Shredded Crab Meat with Coconut.
Vacations to India are often filled with road trips. Long scenic road trips, either for liesure or to visit relatives who are spread all over the place. It’s fun although the kids seem to spend more time playing games on their phones than looking out and experiencing the new sights. They don’t know life outside of Singapore. India is so very vast in it’s culture and traditions. Just looking out while driving, you can witness so much.
Last vacation we traveled through Bangalore, Mysore, Ooty and then headed to our state of Kerala. On the trips we like to stop at some great hotels but occasionally we also like to try those small off-the-road eateries. These are men and women who cook from their homes and turn part of their home into little tea shops or food shacks. We stopped at one place that looked pretty neat and the people were so friendly, with huge welcoming smiles. We washed up and asked what was on the menu. It was lunch time and they said the house special was their ‘Njandu Chikkiyathu’. ‘Njandu’ is Crab and ‘Chikkiyathu’ means shredded or scrambled. Among some other staples and Rice, we ordered the Crab.
It was hot and spicy, but not too spicy and just awesomely tasty! After the meal, my husband wandered off to take some pictures off a cliff nearby and I found it perfect opportunity to ask for the recipe. The lady was very kind, in that she not only shared this recipe in detail but also invited me into the kitchen while she was preparing another delicious looking shrimp curry. (Luck was on my side, as it was not a busy day for them, and we were the only customers) .
I wrote down the recipe in my travel book, as soon as we got back into the car. And I have made it a couple of times when I came back home. We cooked this once while camping out on the Beach and had many passers by attracted by the sweet roasting aromas. The addition of small bits of coconut flesh makes it extra tasty and adds a crunch! Cooked Crabmeat is added to a spicy tongue tickling masala and tossed to shreds, absorbing all the spicy and tangy flavors. I find myself making this whenever I chance upon fresh live crabs at the market. Very easy recipe! I was holding it back till I go a better picture, but it being Ramadan and all, I dont think I will be making Crab this month.
Muhallabia is a Middle Eastern Milk Pudding that is extremely light and extremely simple to make. My mom has made Muhallabia and many variation of it for years, and we always enjoy its super light feeling. You don’t feel overwhelmed by this sweet dessert at all, and it is therefore perfect after heavy meals and very popular for the same reason, during Ramadan. I have had this post in the making for so many months. I was waiting for Ramadan 2017, to post it. Here, I show you how to make it with just milk, cornflour, cream and sugar. I do make it sometimes by adding a little ground rice that has been soaked in water overnight overnight, when I feel like slightly more thickened pudding, but usually this ‘super light’ texture is what I opt for. There are two important flavorings to the Muhallabia as well. Rose water and Orange Blossom water are used in precise measurements for that Middle Eastern touch, quite whimsical indeed! I have seen many spellings of the dessert Mahalabia, Mouhalabieh,M’halabe and even more. Oh well مهليبة, it is in Arabic!
…Check out the video for Muhallabia below!
Kori Gassi | Mangalorean Chicken Curry is a speciality of the Bunt community in Mangalore, India. Translated, ‘Kori’ means ‘Chicken’ and Gassi is ‘Curry’. The use a dried red chillies and coconut is vital in the authentic taste of this unique and tasty curry. Often served with Rice Balls (Pundi), or a local Rice Roti , known as Kori Rotti. It also goes really well with thin rice Crêpes (Neer Dosa) . At my place we have it with Kaima Pathiri / Nura Pathiri. The combination is absolutely splendid!
Dahi Vada / Thayir Vada is a very popular cold snack in India. It can be served as a side with the main meal or it can be served as a ‘chaat’ item. It may differ slightly from region to region, and again from home to home. Dahi Vada is also known as:
- Dahi Bhalla in Punjabi and Urdu
- Thayir Vadai in Tamil , Thayir Vada in Malayalam
- Mosaru Vade in Kannada
- Dahi Bara in Oriya
- Doi Bora in Bengali
- Perugu vada in telugu
Skinned Black Gram Dal is soaked to make the fritters. These can be shaped like donughts or just plain balls. The fried fritters are indeed a snack on their own. For this chaat version, the fried fritters get soaked in water or dilute buttermilk, to soften before pouring the seasoned, whipped yoghurt and all the toppings over it.
Especially in hot weather this cold chaat is very refreshing and satisfying. It is also a great item to include during the month of Ramadan, which is approaching soon. Check out the video below.
Instant Wheat Dosa | Gothambu Dosa The quick breakfast remedy.
Instant wheat dosa is a life saver in my house on days when I wake up late or just am a little too sleep deprived to make a time consuming breakfast.
There are a few varieties of Wheat dosa that I have seen. Some versions are more savory, incorporating spice and other fresh ingredients. Some adding a bit of plain flour, semolina, dal or rice flour.
However, I prefer them with just wheat flour (Aata), water, ghee and salt! That’s just four ingredients! And you dont have to soak anything, grind anything or chop anything! Simply whisk everything together, heat your pan (tawa) and make just like you would make regular dosas. It goes well with any curry (especially coconut milk based curries) or if you prefer sweet, simply serve with coconut milk and sugar! I personally love it with my tomato curry and some simply dry black chick peas (Kala Chana/ Kadala) or Ghee Roasted Chicken.
Check out my quick video below.