Spicy Yogurt Chicken / Dahi Murgh

Spicy Yogurt Chicken / Dahi Murgh

There is something extremely comforting about curries. And there is no reason to stress out to make most of them, for they are real simple to make.

Our Indian cuisine boasts about a number of curries, from all regions. There are traditional recipes , popular recipes  and heck, in many cases, every household has its own versions of those recipes. Chicken curry is one such dish. Chicken in yogurt based curry is hugely popular and I believe it is one such curry , for which the recipe would vary from region to region, kitchen to kitchen.

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This post here is about my version. A version that I picked up when I started making chicken curries , back in the day with my ma.

I love this because it is extremely flavourful. I love the rich intense aroma when it is cooking. I also love it because it really easy. And you can’t really go wrong with this.

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 The flavour, the heat of the spices blends so well with the mild tang of the yogurt. It tastes gorgeous. ( Yogurt also keeps the chicken very tender) 

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 This can be made with lamb too, if one prefers that.

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Recipe : Spicy Yogurt Chicken / Dahi Murgh

Ingredients – For 2 -3 servings

  • Chicken – 1/2 to 3/4 kilo chicken ( I used curry cut. Feel free to use boneless. Although, chicken with bones are so much more flavourful than the boneless.) 
  • Dry Spice –
    •  Coriander seeds – 1 & 1/2 tsp
    •  Dried red chillies – 6-8 (depending on how hot they are)
    •  Dried Ginger – 1 inch ( or use the powder – 1 tsp)
    • Jeera / cumin – 1 & 1/2 tsp
    • Cinnamon – 1 inch
    • Cardamom – 5-6 pods
    • cloves – 3-5
    • Yogurt – 200 – 250 Ml
    • Turmeric – 1 & 1/2 tsp
    • Garlic – finely chopped – 1 &1/2 tsp
    • Salt – to taste
  • Onion – 2 small to med size
  • Bay leaf – 1 -2 med
  • Oil & Ghee (optional)
  • Garnish – Almond flakes & mint leaves ( optional)
  • Lemon ( optional)

Method :

  1. Make sure the chicken is clean and cut into desired size.
  2. Roast the dry spices ( coriander + red chilli + dry ginger + jeera + cinnamon + clove + cardamom) in a wok/ pan for a few mins so they lightly release the flavours. Let it cool for a few mins and grind it into a fine powder. Keep aside.
  3. To marinate the chicken , take a bowl large enough. Add the chicken, tip in the yogurt, salt, turmeric, chopped garlic and 2 -3 tsp of the ground dry spice blend. Massage it well and let it rest for anywhere between 2 hours t 24 hours. ( in the fridge)
  4. When ready to cook – In a pan, add a bit of oil,  the finely sliced onion  and bay leaf. Sauté it a little , or till the onions are a bit translucent.
  5. Add the chicken that had been marinating.
  6. Saute it gently in low heat. Add another 1-2 tsp of the ground roasted dry spice powder ( the one used in the marinade). If you like enjoy your curries with more heat- feel free to add a little more red chilli powder. Add half cup water, mix well and cover it. Let it cook for about 20-25 mins. Make sure it is in low- med heat throughout.
  7. In between make sure you stir it from time to time.
  8. I also added about 2 tsp of ghee in between, while it was cooking ( You could either use butter or oil or Completely drop the idea) There is enough fat in the yogurt already 😛
  9. When ready, garnish it with some almond flakes and fresh mint.
  10. Works well with rotis, naans, pav or just a bowl of good old rice.

Barley Coffee – No Caffeine Coffee

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         Woke up to a cold chilly morning…so guess it is winter and I hope this weather stays (minus the untimely rains though). Although a little sun during the day will be great.

I absolutely love this weather! I have a million memories I’ve made over the years during these cold wintery days… I fall in love with a season because of what it brings with it. I love the nip in the air…Love the colours of winter – the hues of pale green, browns, yellows , dull oranges… I love the warm winter foods… I love the winter spices…. I love layering myself with warm clothes….I love to snuggle under a blanket… I  love indulging in my signature boozy hot chocolate (yes! )  ….Love digging into my winter pies or a bowl of hot curry and rice ( oh! that rhymes) or ..I love sipping on a gazillion cups of teas and black coffee!

Speaking of hot beverages during cold days …well that is something that gets people going, around the world. Sipping on my smoked green tea ( Yes! smoked 😛 ) with ginger while I’m writing this, btw. 

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My cousin Priya, lives and works out of the cold desert mountains of the himalayan valley. She lives in Spiti, the north-eastern part of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh (def. worth looking it up!).

Met her a couple of weeks ago and talked a lot about the food of that region ( besides other things of course). She has been living there for a more than year, I think and she has a very many stories to share. She is incredible interesting and noble. She is with an organization that is working towards conserving the Himalayan Ibex and the Snow Leopard. I absolutely enjoyed listening to the stories from her work, the place , the people, the food. Would love to share those with you all, So I’ve asked her to do a Guest Post here – whenever she is ready.  

This post is about something that is inspired by my conversations with Priya – Barley Coffee!

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Barley is a grain that is grown in abundance in the himalayan valley. It is used like how rice is used in the other parts of the country. As a whole grain or maybe the powder/ flour. What was also interesting to know is that they make coffee with Barley. So it also replaces the coffee bean!

After she told me about the Barley Coffee .. I was intrigued. I looked it up. So turns out that Italians have been making Barley Coffee sinces ages ( Caffè d’orzo )  and the good folks from SE Asia have been loving their Barley Tea forever.

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Curious to know how they make their coffee and tea – I continued my research and found out that is surprisingly very simple.

Keyword is “Slow Roasting“and a wee bit of patience!

Bought some barley the very next day and gave it a go.

So if you love coffee, chances are that you will definitely like this Barley Coffee .Note the use of the word ‘ like’ as opposed to ‘love’ – let me tell you why. 

When I was slow roasting it in the oven – my kitchen smelt exactly like coffee. The roasted barley grains didn’t look as devilishly darkish brown( or maybe I didn’t let them hit that level) , but it has the same nutty earthy ( not as bitter as coffee beans though) taste. The grains when blended , looked like cocoa powder. Mixed with hot water it looks exactly like black coffee / espresso.

I used my filter kapi maker for making the decoction. I figured that we can use  coffee maker also for this.

As for the taste ( because I like my coffee really and I REALLY dark , bitter ) – this one felt a little light. It doesn’t have that depth that our regular coffee has. But for someone who enjoys a light flavoured coffee – this will hit the spot!

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Will I have it again- oh! absolutely yes – I will make it stronger with more decoction. But , honestly this will never replace my love for coffee.  (And oh! I have a million other ideas on how I want to use some of that roasted barley powder in my cooks.)

And hey it is also Caffeine free, which makes it healthy! Will make an instant hit with many for that reason alone 🙂

So besides my regular coffee, I have this new sensational coffee-like coffee to keep me going through these cold “so called” bangalore winter. ❤

Will roast the next batch even more it to see how dark could the grains get. 

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P.S – Also starring in these pics are the incredibly healthy, super delicious energy chunks made of raw cacao , goji berries, nuts and seeds. I thank my Bro-in-Law & Sis-in-Law for these babies …every single time I have them! 

Recipe – Barley Coffee

Ingredients : Whole Barley Grains ( I used about 100 grams) + Hot water

Method: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees ( and I use the bottom most rack for roasting)
  2. On a baking tray – lay some baking sheet and spread the barley grains on it.
  3. Bake / roast it for approx. 45 mins at 160- 170 degrees
  4. IMPORTANT – Do keep checking on it every 15-20 mins ( You know your oven best. keeping a tab on the grains will ensure that you don’t end up over-roasting / burning it completely)

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5. Once it is nicely roasted and ready ( The colour of the grains and the coffee-like aroma is an indicator. You may also pop a few grains over to taste it) – take it off the oven and let it cool off a little.

6. If you have a Coffee Grounding Machine –  I’m sure you’ll use that. But if you are like me ( who doesn’t have one) , our best best is a regular blender. Make sure it washed and dried off.

7.  Ground it to a powder form – make sure it is smooth and not coarse at all.

8. Keep the powder in an air-tight jar ( just like your coffee powder) .Keeps well for weeks.

Powder

To Make Barley Coffee : 

  1. I used my Filter Kapi Maker for this. But you can use a regular coffee maker too.
  2. I used 2 – 3 teaspoon heaps and 1 cup of hot water to make 3/4 cup of decoction.
  3. In case you find some residue at the bottom of the decoction collector – just strain it again and you are sorted.
  4. Mix the decoction with hot water ( to your taste) to make your Barley Coffee.
  5. I didn’t use milk or sugar. ( If you’d like to try this coffee with milk and sugar – do let know how it turns out)

 

 

Breakfast Pizza ( Ragi Pizza with Pea Mash & Poached Eggs)

 

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Breakfast …one of the most honest meal on can have.

I believe that because that is the first meal one has after one wakes up., it basically sets the tone for the day. I for one, become so groggy if I don’t have my brekkie ( or on time). Believe me I get cranky. To add to that craziness, for me, it is not just enough that there is breakfast, but is also important that it is something I love…or like or something surprisingly new!

And I love eggs. I also love pizzas. I can never get enough of them.

My breakfast , more often than not, is usually eggs with something in some form. I take pride in the fact that I can manage one month of eating eggs in different forms – I promise no two eggs dishes will be the same .. yes, I can!  My husband can vouch for it! Honest.

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   There are days when I’ve had leftover pizza slices from the night before as my breakfast next day. So having pizza in the morning is not a new thing for me 😛 But making one from scratch ..is!

A breakfast pizza.

My love for pizza has got me try different flours, different toppings etc. One such experiments was the use of Ragi Flour (Finger Millet Flour). I love Ragi flour …esp in my bakes! Makes a great alternative pizza base,  that needs no knead(ing) , needs no yeast and it is GF 🙂  How cool is that? 

 So an Alternative pizza …An alternative Breakfast Pizza

Basically any pizza + Egg(s) = Breakfast Pizza  ❤  ( Thank you! That is my formula)

And because ragi (finger millet ) is in this dark brown almost cocoa color. I wanted something that complements and brings out the eggs on that millet base.  Something Green!!

Peas are green. Just in case you don’t believe me – here is a picture 😀

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But peas are not much fun just by themselves. I love them with garlic, mint or lemon. I make it often as crostinis. With some beautiful goat cheese. Oh boy!

So turns out that this pea mash also makes a lovely pizza topping. Slightly coarsely mashed peas on a rustic millet base and some gorgeous poached eggs is one of them perfect, guilt free indulgences that you can also called breakfast.

I made two little versions of this- because my ma in law doesn’t eat eggs – so a no-egg version for her and one with poached eggs for my husband & I.

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Love how rustic it looks ….sliced or otherwise.

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Poached two eggs for us and kept them ready while the pizza was getting baked in the oven.

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And the colours that this pizza has is beautiful. The green, dark brown, white and yellow from the oozy yolk. Healthy and Gorgeous !

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Ingredients for the Ragi Base (Without Yeast)

  •  Ragi Flour / Ragi Huri Hittu Powder – 1 cup ( You can choose to do a 50:50 too – Ragi to Whole wheat) · Whole wheat flour-1/2 cup
  •  Spices – 1 tspn of mixed Dry/ fresh basil, oregano, red chillie flakes
  • Garlic – 1-2 pods grated
  • Curd ( half to ¾ cup) Or Milk ( half to ¾ cup ) – Add a little more of either based on how the flour dough feels. No problem if the liquid is more or the dough gets sticky. It will be okay after it rests a little. It will only yield soft base.
  • Salt to taste
  • Olive oil – 2-3 tbsp
  • Note – If you wish to add yeast – you may. In which case, you would need to add the yeast to the flour mix before you pour the liquid.

Ingredients for the Pea Garlic Mint Mash

  • 1 cup boiled / steamed peas
  • Garlic 4 pods (medium size)
  • Fresh mint – a handful
  • Couple of leaves of fresh basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil 2-3 tbsp
  • Water – 1-2 tbsp

Method for the Ragi Base Pizza

  1. Sift the flour mix into a bowl and to that add the dry spices , grated garlic , salt and either of the liquid ( curd/ milk).
  2. Knead well.
  3. To that dough add the olive oil .
  4. Knead a little more and cover and let it rest for about 15-20 mins ( room temp is just fine)

Method for Pea Garlic Mint Mash

  1. Use a blender or a mortar & pestle for this mash
  2. Mash the boiled peas, mint leaves , basil , garlic and olive oil , seasoning together (You may chop the leaves from before if you wish to) And ( Add water if you’d like to be slightly more smooth )
  3. Keep aside for later use.

Assemble and Bake

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C
  2. Take the dough that has been resting – dust some flour on the countertop and roll the dough into a pizza shape of your choice.( pref thin crust)
  3. Dust some rava/semolina flour on the base of the pizza pan/stone/bakeware and place the rolled pizza dough on it.
  4. Spread the pea mash generously on the pizza (NOTE : This pizza doesn’t require any base sauce. However, feel free to smear some pizza sauce and then spread the pea mash, If you wish to)
  5. Drizzle some olive oil and pop it into the pre heated oven for about 20 minutes- 25 minutes or till it’s done.

IMP NOTEPoach the eggs while the pizza is getting baked in the oven. Would recommend this – http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/technique/how-poach-egg

Alternatively, you can also poach your egg in microwave , if that works for you ( it doesn’t for me L ) Or you can also try some lovely fried eggs or soft boiled or even hard boiled eggs on top. That will work just fine. But try poached eggs though 😛

Mini Banana Walnut Muffins

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There is something amazing about fruits that need to be peeled to be eaten. The way I look at it is that there is always something incredible waiting to be discovered! We all have our favorites , for me the most ‘apeeling’ fruit has always been Bananas. It has never ever ever disappointed me with its delicious awesomeness.

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