Pepper Chicken Recipe

An easy pepper chicken recipe that goes very well with naan, roti or rice. Perfect for weekend lunch or when you have guests.

Pepper chicken recipe

Pepper chicken is my go to recipe whenever we have guests coming over at our place. It is always a hit and I love it because it is so easy to prepare along with other dishes on the menu.

The pepper chicken recipe has a thick gravy and it pairs best with naan, roti, cumin rice or a pilaf.

This recipe for chicken has lot of flavor coming from the black pepper. The use of freshly crushed or pounded black pepper corns really makes a lot of difference to the recipe. You may increase or reduce the amount of pepper as per your heat tolerance.

This recipe has two steps. First, you saute all the ingredients for the gravy and blend it into a paste. This forms the gravy of your dish. The second step is to sear the chicken and then simmer it in the gravy until all the flavors are infused into the chicken pieces.

Try to use chicken with the bones. The dish tastes absolutely delicious when the chicken is completely cooked through and the meat can be easily removed from the bone. Enjoy the delicious pepper chicken this weekend with your families.

recipe for chicken

INGREDIENTS

3 tablespoon oil, divided
1 medium red onion, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon ginger, roughly chopped
6-7 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon salt, divided (as needed)
1 tablespoon coriander powder
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 tablespoon shredded coconut
1 medium tomato, roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1-1.5 pound chicken pieces, with bones (washed and patted dry)
1 whole green bell pepper, cubed
1/2 bunch cilantro with stems, finely chopped
2 teaspoon black pepper, coarsely pounded, divided

INSTRUCTION

  • In a pan, heat a tablespoon of oil on medium-high heat. Add onion, ginger and garlic, a little salt and saute for a few minutes until the onions have turned translucent.
  • Add coriander powder, turmeric powder, coconut, and tomatoes. Mix well, cover and cook for 2 more minutes until tomatoes have softened a bit. Transfer to a plate and allow it to cool. Once cooled, blend it into a smooth puree without adding water. Set it aside.
  • In a pan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil on medium-high heat. Add cumin and fennel seeds. When it starts spluttering, add the chicken pieces, a little bit of salt and saute for 5-6 minutes on high to evaporate any moisture and to get a good sear.
  • Next, add the above ground mixture. Mix well, cover and cook on medium-low for 15 minutes. Scrape around the edges and base every few minutes to avoid the gravy sticking to the pan.
  • Add bell pepper, cilantro and black pepper. Add water only if you need to thin the gravy. Simmer for 10 more minutes and the curry should have changed its colour to dark brown.
  • Garnish with cilantro, black pepper and serve with naan, roti or rice.
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Yogurt Rice or Curd Rice

Yogurt rice, an easy summer recipe for days when you are too tired..

curd rice recipe

The sun in Florida is always shining way more than I can handle. I am definitely not a cold climate person but this heat is unbearable too. And, the summer is yet to begin. Every time I go out in the sun, I end up having headache which drains me off my energy for atleast 2 days. I then have to drink lots of water, buttermilk, coconut water and sometimes an electrolyte too.

Yogurt rice, is one such recipe I like to make on days when I have no energy to cook, yet I want to eat something cooling and comforting. It is a very easy recipe which can be made in 5 minutes if you have pre cooked rice.

Yogurt rice or ‘curd rice’ as called in India, tastes better when the rice is slightly over cooked and the yogurt is made from whole milk. Avoid using greek or low fat yogurt for this recipe. You can replace chana dal with cashew nuts. Curry leaves are found in Indian grocery store. Leave it out if you do not have at home.

Serve it as a main or as a side accompanied with lime or mango pickle.

INGREDIENTS

1 cup rice, cooked
3/4 cup plain yogurt
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon milk (optional)
2 tablespoon water
1/4 bunch cilantro, finely chopped

For tempering:
2 tablespoon oil or ghee
1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon chana dal
1 tablespoon chopped curry leaves
1 teaspoon chopped ginger
2 green chillies, finely chopped or slit lengthwise
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder

INSTRUCTION

  • In a bowl, add rice, yogurt, salt, milk and water. Mix well. Add more water or milk or yogurt to get the right consistency. It should not be too dry neither too watery. Combine the chopped cilantro and set aside.
  • In a small pan, heat oil or ghee on medium high flame. When the oil is hot, reduce the heat to medium setting, and add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, chana dal, curry leaves, ginger, green chillies and turmeric powder. Saute for a minute until the chana dal has slightly browned.
  • Pour the tempering over the rice and yogurt mix. Combine all together and serve with pickle of your choice.

TIPS: Add grated cucumber or carrot for a variation when mixing the rice with yogurt.

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Healthy Banana Bread Recipe

Best healthy banana bread recipe, promise..

healthy banana bread recipe

This is one recipe that I am too eager to share with you all.

Reasons..?

Healthy
No sugar, honey or maple syrup
No butter
Moist, textured and tastes delicious
Loved by kids and adults
Uses combination of nuts, oats and wheat flours, and bran

banana nut bread recipe

Seriously, this recipe is too healthy and delicious to not try. I do not like using the word delicious so many times, but I just can’t help. It really is too good guys.

This is not the authentic banana bread recipe. This is my recipe, adapted from several recipes on the internet with a few changes to make it healthier, so that I can indulge my toddler’s sweet tooth when he is up from his afternoon nap and mine too.

This recipe uses almond flour, walnut flour, oats flour, whole wheat flour, all purpose flour and bran too. It has no added sugar, all the sweetness is from the bananas and raisins. This banana bread recipe is not overly sweet, but just the perfect sweetness that can satisfy any sweet cravings.

best banana bread recipe

I had to take the above picture to show you how soft, moist, crumbly and textured is this banana bread. My 1 year old gobbled up one whole slice in 5 mins and it made me super happy.

I have baked this in a 9×9 inch pan, since I do not have a loaf pan. Also, I have used raisins, chia seeds and sesame seeds in this recipe, all of these are totally optional. But I think adding these ingredients, not just gives a nice texture and taste but also increases the health quotient of this banana bread recipe.

I do not like the flavor of cinnamon in my baking recipes. I think it overpowers the flavor of other ingredients in a dish. But if you are a cinnamon lover, feel free to add to your liking.

Now, to the recipe for banana bread.. healthy banana bread…

recipe for banana bread

INGREDIENTS

2 eggs
1/3 cup canola oil
1/4-1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large ripe bananas
1/2 cup coarsely ground almonds
1/2 cup coarsely ground walnuts
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup ground rolled oats
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup oats or wheat bran
2 tablespoon raisins (optional)
2 teaspoon chia seeds (optional)
1 teaspoon sesame seeds (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit (162-165 Celsius). Lightly grease a 9×9 inch pan.
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs using a whisk.
  • Add oil, milk, baking soda, vanilla, and salt. Mix well. Stir in the mashed bananas.
  • Next, add the almond flour, walnut flour, whole wheat flour, oats flour, all purpose flour and oats or wheat bran. Combine all together.
  • Stir in the raisins, chia seeds and sesame seeds.
  • Pour the batter into the greased pan. Sprinkle a few raisins, chia seeds and sesame seeds on top. Bake for 50-55 minutes.
  • Cool on a wire rack, slice, and enjoy!
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Sprouts Salad with Greek Yogurt Dressing

Mung bean sprouts salad with greek yogurt dressing is a crunchy fiber rich salad.

greek yogurt dressing

Salads – colorful, crunchy, loaded with variety of fresh raw ingredients are simply screaming ‘I am healthy. You are going to lose weight, have a glowing skin, have more energy, you know I am good for you’… There is instantly a feel good factor, every time I feed myself salads or even smoothies.

Onions, cucumber, avocado, tomatoes and bell pepper are almost always in my fridge. Just sprinkle some salt, pepper, and lemon juice and this is my go to salad almost anytime. Sometimes, I like to change things up, add some greens, some nuts, some beans or sprouts, or some seasonal fruits. Each ingredient has its own nutritional value.

Today’s recipe is one such recipe. Well, it makes no sense in calling this a recipe. It is just chop, toss and eat kind of recipe. The creamy greek yogurt dressing is what makes this salad so delicious. The combined taste of cumin powder, red chilli powder, salt and sugar is just too good to eat by itself. If you want to avoid sugar, you can substitute it with dried cranberries or raisins just as well.

 

sprouts salad

sprouts salad with greek yogurt dressing greek yogurt dressing salad

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup mung bean sprouts
1/2 cup chopped strawberries
1/2 cup chopped bell peppers (red/yellow/orange)
1/2 cup chopped cucumbers
1/4 cup chopped avocado
2 tablespoon chopped red onions
1 tablespoon dried cranberries (optional)
1 tablespoon seeds/nuts (almonds/walnuts/pepitas)

For the Dressing:
1/4 cup greek yogurt
1/4 teaspoon cumin powder
1/4 teaspoon red chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon pure cane sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Place all the salad ingredients in a bowl and toss gently.
  • Whisk all the ingredients in dressing until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust the seasoning as per your preference.
  • Pour the dressing over the salad. Gently mix all the ingredients and serve.
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Falafel Recipe

Falafel – deep fried crispy chickpea fritters served in pita pockets or as an appetizer.

easy_falafel_recipe

Falafel recipe is a popular Middle Eastern recipe. It is known to have originated in Egypt. The star ingredient of this dish is chickpeas. It is soaked, drained and blended with few herbs and spices and deep fried. Falafels are crispy, spicy and loved by all.

Chickpeas or garbanzo beans are high in proteins and fiber, low in saturated fats and cholesterol. For a healthier choice, you may wish to bake. Since I don’t make these often, I don’t mind treating myself to a deep fried version which has a far better taste and texture than the baked ones.

I like to use my Cuisinart Hand Blender for grinding the chickpea and other ingredients. It is a mini hand immersion blender with a chopper attachment. I prefer to use the chopper attachment, since it helps in grinding the chickpeas and other ingredients without adding any additional water, whereas in blender, you will have to add water. The mini chopper is most useful for making ginger garlic paste, or finely mincing onions, tomatoes and herbs for everyday cooking.

Falafels are usually served in pita pockets with some raw veggies, pickled veggies and tahini sauce. I like to simply serve it with spiced greek yogurt and enjoy the falafel as a whole dish.

vegan_falafel_recipe vegan_falafel_recipe vegan_falafel_recipe

INGREDIENTS

11/2 cups raw chickpeas, soak for 12 hours
4 garlic cloves (big cloves), finely chopped
3/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
1/2 cup spring onions or yellow onions, finely chopped
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon red chilli powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
2 tablespoon sesame seeds
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2-3 tablespoon all purpose flour
2 teaspoon salt (or as needed)
oil, for deep frying

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Using a blender or food chopper, grind the soaked chickpeas to a fine paste (a little bit of coarse texture is okay) without using any water. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
  • To the bowl, add chopped garlic, parsley, onions, cumin powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder, baking powder and sesame seeds. Mix well with your hands.
  • Add lemon juice and baking soda, mix again. Add all purpose flour to absorb the moisture, one tablespoon at a time.
  • Refrigerate the mixture for 2-3 hours.
  • When ready to fry, take out the mixture from fridge. Add salt and mix well.
  • Heat enough oil in pan to deep fry. While the oil is eating, make flat or round small sized patties and fry on medium-low heat until brown on both sides.

Tip: Do not add salt beforehand. It releases moisture into the mixture and may make your patties difficult to manage. You may then have to add more flour

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Easy No-fail Dal Fry Recipe

Spicy, tangy, yummylicious dal tempered with ghee and garlic is an easy and no fail recipe. Serve it with simple steamed white rice, pickle and papad for finger licking meal.

dal_recipe_pressure_cooker

Dal, the most loved comfort food and so easy to make. This dal recipe has all the flavors of sweet, spice and tang which satisfy your palate instantly. It is best enjoyed with white rice and any dry vegetable curry like sauteed cabbage or okra fry. You can also have it with some pickle and papad or spicy potato chips on the side.

The sheer sweetness from the lentils and onions, the spicy kick from the chillies, ginger and garlic, and the tanginess from tamarind pulp and tomatoes make this dish a win-win every time. You can just not go wrong with this recipe.

In this recipe, I have used toor dal, you can also use split mung dal. Also, I use the same recipe to make palak dal. Just add a cup or two of chopped spinach and you have palak dal. A simple recipe where you cook all at once in a pressure cooker and add a simple tadka to bring the whole dish to life.

You might also like to try:
Swiss chard and whole red lentils with coconut
Mung beans with fenugreek leaves
Rajma chawal

INGREDIENTS

1 cup toor dal
1/2 cup chopped yellow onions, finely chopped
2 green chillies, finely chopped or slit lengthwise
1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
1 medium size tomato, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
2 cups spinach (optional)
1 teaspoon salt or as needed
2 tablespoon tamarind pulp

For tempering:

2 tablespoon ghee or oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
3-4 whole red chillies
1 tablespoon thinly sliced garlic
cilantro for garnishing

INSTRUCTION

  • In a pressure cooker, add dal, onion, ginger, garlic, tomato, turmeric powder, chilli powder, spinach (if used), salt and 21/2 cups water. Mix well and cook for 2-3 whistles.
  • Once the pressure is released, remove the lid and whisk to make it smooth and creamy.
  • Add the tamarind pulp and water if needed. Bring to a boil.
  • Meanwhile bring a small pan to heat on medium flame. Add ghee.
  • When the ghee is hot enough, add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Allow it to crackle. Next, add the whole red chillies and garlic slices. Fry for a minute until the garlic has slightly browned.
  • Pour this mixture to the dal and simmer for 4-5 minutes on medium-low heat.
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve hot with steamed rice.

dal_recipe_palak

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Broccoli And Carrot Cutlet

Broccoli and Carrot cutlet – Easy, gluten free and egg-less appetizer or snack recipe!

broccoli_carrot_cutlet

Recently, I bought a big bag of broccoli florets from Costco. In spite of using it every day, there is still half a bag left in the fridge. Bored with all the other ways of eating broccoli, I had to come up with something that was not too time consuming and yet taste good. So, I just literally pulled everything from my fridge and mixed it all together and came up with this recipe.

It is a quick cutlet recipe, but with no potatoes and eggs. I added the green chillies and ginger, because I wanted it to be spicy. Also, I added carrots, paneer and pumpkin seeds to make it healthier. Just mixed it all together and pan fried it. It was crispy on the outside and soft inside, spicy as I wanted. Paired it with yogurt and ketchup for an afternoon snack.

broccoli_carrot_cutlet_recipeINGREDIENTS

3 cups broccoli florets,
1/4 cup paneer (Indian cottage cheese)
1/2 red onion
3 green chillies
1/2 inch piece ginger
1/4 of a bunch of cilantro
2 tablespoon roasted pepitas
2 medium carrots, finely grated
2 tablespoon flaxseed powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup oil for pan frying

INSTRUCTIONS

  • In a food processor, pulse all the ingredients, broccoli florets, paneer, red onion, green chillies, ginger, cilantro and pepitas, until you get a fine texture. Do this step in batches for even blending.
  • In a large bowl, bring all the ingredients together, except oil, and mix well.
  • Using a cookie spoon, scoop the mixture into the palms of your hand, press slightly to flatten and shape into rounds.
  • Drizzle a tablespoon of oil into a large frying pan on medium heat. Place the shaped mixture into the frying pan and turn the heat to medium-low. Drizzle some oil over the top and around the edges and cook until crispy on both the sides.
  • Serve hot over a bed of greens with ketchup or yogurt.

vegetable cutlet recipe

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Swiss chard and lentils with coconut

Swiss chard and lentils with coconut is a healthy recipe that can be served over brown rice or quinoa for a complete meal.

swiss chard and lentil recipes

There is something satisfying about eating healthy wholesome meal, especially when you make it with few basic ingredients. Chard and lentils is one such recipe which has proteins, greens and healthy carbs. Garlic, onion, red chillies and turmeric bring all the ingredients of this dish together and a little sprinkle of shredded coconut enhances the flavor.

In this recipe, I have used red lentils. This recipe works well for brown or green lentils too. You can also substitute swiss chard for spinach, but it is always good to have variety of green leafy vegetables in you diet. Serve this with brown rice or quinoa. Or, just simply top with a dollop of yogurt, which is my favorite way of eating this dish.

For more lentils and beans recipe on my blog, visit here.

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
1/2 teaspoon red chilli flakes
1/2 red or white onion, chopped
1 bunch swiss chard, stems and leaves chopped separately
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup whole red lentils, boiled in salted water
1/4 cup shredded coconut, unpacked

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Bring a pan to heat in medium flame. Add mustard seeds and garlic. Saute until the garlic is lightly browned.
  • Add onions and red chilli flakes. Saute for 2 minutes. Just when the onions start to sweat, add the stems of swiss chard, and saute for 2 more minutes.
  • Add the swiss chard leaves, turmeric powder, and salt and mix well. Saute until the chard is fried well.
  • Add the cooked lentils and shredded coconut and mix well. Cook on medium-high heat to evaporate any excess moisture.
  • Top it with greek yogurt or serve with rice/quinoa.
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Palak Paneer Recipe

Palak paneer, Indian cottage cheese in spinach gravy is a healthy recipe, best served with garlic naan or roti.

paneer recipes

Paneer, an Indian cheese, is a good source of protein, vitamin B12 and calcium. It is most popularly used in north Indian cooking and is a favorite in every Indian restaurant.

Making paneer at home from scratch is an easy process and does not require any fancy ingredients. Check out the step-by-step recipe for homemade paneer in 30 minutes in Li’l Vienna’s blog, where she shares the recipe with images for every step. You can also buy paneer from an Indian grocery store in the frozen foods aisle.

For this recipe, you first need to blanch spinach in hot boiling water for 2 minutes. And then make a coarse puree of it along with onion, tomato, and other spices. It is best to use an immersion blender and leave a bit of texture in the curry. Also, use very little water in the dish, as it tends to thin the gravy and water starts releasing when it has cooled.

For more paneer recipes, visit paneer jalfrezi post on my blog.

Some people like to shallow fry the paneer and then add it into the dish. I prefer to use paneer just like that. Just soak it in warm water while you are preparing the gravy. It makes the paneer very soft.

palak-paneer-recipe

If you want to get the creamy texture like that of restaurant, you can use 1-2 tablespoons of cream. Since I do not use cream in my everyday dishes, my trick is to use a tablespoon of plain yogurt. Alternatively, grind 2 or 3 cubes of paneer while blending the spinach mixture.

Enjoy this healthy dish with your family and your kids are bound to love it like my one year old. Serve it with any Indian flatbread like naan, roti or chapati.

INGREDIENTS

200 grams paneer or Indian cottage cheese, cut in 1/2 inch cubes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, sliced
1/2 tablespoon ginger, finely chopped
5-6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon salt or as needed
1 tablespoon plain or greek yogurt
2 cups blanched spinach
1 teaspoon garam masala powder

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Soak paneer in warm water
  • In a deep wide pan, heat olive oil on medium heat. Add onion, ginger, and garlic and saute until onions have turned translucent. This step could take about 5 minutes.
  • Add tomatoes, salt and spices, turmeric, chilli and coriander powder. Saute until tomatoes have moistened.
  • Add the blanched spinach and saute for a minute more.
  • Let the mixture cool for a while and then pulse it a few times in blender or use an immersion blender to create a coarse puree. Add 2-3 tablespoon of water only if needed.
  • Once pureed, add yogurt and cook on medium heat uncovered till you see oil on the edges of gravy.
  • Add 1/4 cup of water or more as necessary and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add garam masala powder and paneer cubes and mix well. Cook for 3-4 minutes and serve with naan or roti or rice.

quick and easy paneer recipes

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January Favorites 2017

In today’s post, I thought of sharing my favorites for this month. It is a little unusual post for a food blog, but then why not. It is nice way of sharing my personal interests. I cannot promise if I will be doing this every month, but this is a start!!

I don’t have a huge list like everybody else and my favorites may not entice you as of other bloggers, but I am giving it a try. Here is the list of some of my favorites for January 2017..

Beauty


Carmex Broad Spectrum SPF 15 Water Resistant Sun Screen .15 OZ (3 pack of 3 sticks, 9 sticks total)
The first item on my list is in beauty category. It is a lip balm by Carmex brand which you can find in any drugstore or grocery store. I found out about this lip balm from Kaushal’s beauty youtube channel. She mentioned it as one of her favorite lip balms. I had made a mental note of it, but never intended to buy as such. And then one day in the grocery store, I saw the lip balm by the aisle at the billing counter where they store chocolates and magazines to tempt you into buying them at the last minute. And then, I bought it to give it a try and have been buying it ever since. It comes in a little stick and also contains SPF. It has become a must have for me this winter.

Food

chocolate-ganache-supreme-cake

The second item is a chocolate ganache supreme cake from Publix (a grocery store). My husband got this for my birthday and it has been one of the delicious cakes I have ever tasted. It is outstanding and do yourself a favor, buy it in slices (2 slices at $4.99) and not the whole cake because you are going to eat it all at once. The next time I visit, I have to keep myself away from the bakery section.

The third item is also from the food category. It is the homemade rajma masala or red beans with rice recipe, which I posted yesterday on my blog. I absolutely love this dish and so it had to be on the favorites list.

Travel

st-augustine-florida

The fourth item is a holiday destination. We visited St.Augustine on the new year’s day. It is one of the oldest cities in Florida, U.S. It has beautiful Spanish architecture and a great place for a weekend getaway with family. I suggest you buy the Old Trolley tour tickets. It can be used for 3 days and have various pick up and drop points.

Book

100 First Words (My Big Book of Lift and Learn)
The next and the last item is a children’s book. It is my 15 month old’s favorite book – 100 First Words by Tiger Tales. I had to include it in this list because my son is obsessed with this book and I have to read him three times a day before putting him into his crib. He loves lifting the flap and enjoys it when I describe the picture to him.

Well, this is all I have for this month.

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