Saturday, 27 December 2014

Spinach & coriander chicken

Winter in West Bengal brings a lot of vegetables with it. With peas to carrot, cauliflower to spring onion, Vegetable seller’s baskets are not less colorful than toy-seller’s. Just strolling in the bazaar has become a soothing experience for eyes and soul. You can almost heard yelling of every vegetable or fruits to be picked up. We began by picking up garden-fresh green bunches of Spinach and Coriander leaves and  welcomed this winter with Spinach & coriander chicken.

Spinach & coriander chicken
Ingredients to serve two to three persons :  
1 bunch of Spinach (Palang saag)
1 bunch of Coriander leaves (Dhania saag)
600 gm. Chicken
4 Onions (chopped)
2 Garlics (crushed)
2” long Ginger (in paste form)
Salt to taste
200 gm. Sour white Curd
10 Green chillies
2 table spoons Mustard oil
Marinate the chicken with white curd for at least an hour. Boil the Spinach with little water. Then blend it along with 5 whole green chillies. Keep aside. Separately make another paste from Coriander leaves. Heat the mustard oil in a heavy bottom Pot (Kadai). Add onions and fry till they become golden brown. Add 5 slit green chillies, garlic and ginger pastes. Stir for 3-4 minutes. Then add the chicken with the marinade. Cover and cook till the chicken is almost cooked. Now add the spinach paste. Stir and add salt per your taste. Finally add the  Coriander paste. Cover and simmer till the chicken becomes soft. Serve hot with Roti, Paratha or Polao.
Trick of this recipe lies in creating the right combination of hot flavours of Mustard oil and chillies and the tangy taste of curd. Paste of Spinach and Coriander leaves will help you to keep balance between these two.  
Note that, above measurements are only approximate. You can freely play with them, adding some more of one, less of other depending on the mood you are in. One may just want to play safe and go per written words.
Other may want to experiment and dare to play some mischief. One may want to trigger the festive spirit. Some may be looking for warmth of a chilly night in chillies and mustard oil. So point is finally it all depends on YOU-n-ME.

Monday, 22 December 2014

Steamed chicken Momo

Not very long ago this steamed chicken Momo has turned out to be my saviour when my Kid was not eating her tiffin in school. Her alibi was “I told you I do not like bread and I do not like noodles. Don’t give paratha Mom, it sucks.” Every day the Domestic help was complaining “Didi did not eat her tiffin today”. Kid’s Grandparents were casting doubt on my motherly skill “You are not paying enough attention. Can’t you see ? She is becoming thinner every day.” So the sole target, this paranoid mom part did a desperate net surfing and started a session of trial and error. Finally one fine day, an empty tiffin box came home. Yippee!!

Yes, yes I know nothing is permanent and specially a kid’s palate. But there is nothing wrong in enjoying the sweet present.  
Steamed chicken Momo
Minced Chicken 250 gm.
2 big Onions: finely chopped
1 whole Garlic (12-20 garlic cloves) : finely chopped
Coriander leaves: finely chopped (optional)
White oil (refined vegetable oils like Rice bran oil or Soybean oil or Sunflower oil) 
1 medium bowl of white flour (Maida)

Mix a pinch of salt with the flour. Knead the flour into a soft dough with warm water. Keep aside.
Put Minced Chicken, finely chopped Onions, Garlic and Coriander leaves and little salt per taste in a Pressure cooker. Add just enough water to cook the meat. Drain excess water if any. Now make small round balls from the dough and roll thinly on a plate like a roti. Dip the balls slightly in the oil before rolling to avoid sticking. Cut circular pieces from it using a small bowl with sharp edge. Then put a teaspoon of filling in the centre. Finally bring the edges together and pinch. Make pleats and twist them with fingers to ensure a tight seal.   Then you steam the Momos in a steamer for about 10 minutes. With the above measurement I make about 30 to 35 Momos. Serve with sauce of your choice.

Alternatively one can also deep fry the Momos before serving them.