October 7, 2020

Chicken Millet Soup

 


Chicken millet soup is nutritious, healthy, easy to make, and the most satisfying soup to enjoy the cold weather. 

Well, if you ask me what kind of person I am when it comes to food. I am a soup person! I love including soups in my regular menu. In other words, I can define that soup is my comfort meal. There are many varieties of soup available around but personally, I prefer my soup loaded with vegetables, proteins, and carbs to make it a complete meal. My today's soup post is a simple variation of my regular chicken soup in which I have included Kudo millet and also, used the technique which I recently learned from my culinary class. I have prepared this soup with the basic ingredients which are readily available at home. 

So far I have posted many interesting soups on my page like Betel leaves chicken soup, carrot, and Beetroot soup, Veggies, and dal soup, Chayote soup, Sausage coconut milk soup, etc. but including millets in my soup was on my to-do list for a quite long time. Apart from chicken and millet, I have included vegetables and spices to the soup which indeed makes the soup a complete balanced meal. We know that a balanced meal consists of proteins, grains, and vegetables. Likewise, this soup consists of all the elements required for a balanced meal. And for all vegetarians, who are looking out for an option for chicken. Don't worry! Just skip the chicken and make a lovely vegetable stock using onion, celery, and leek. And, include chickpeas to get the protein in the soup. 

I chose to include millet in chicken soup is to make my little one learn about the benefits of millets. Being a picky eater, he doesn't prefer to include millet in his menu but as a mother, isn't my responsibility to feed him a nutritious meal? So, I decided to include millet in his favorite chicken soup and he loved the soup especially the addition of millet excited him and asked me whether I included tiny ball pasta in this soup :) What else do I need to be happier :) 

The ingredients used in this recipe to make a delicious soup: 

Millet - Millets which is considered a poor man's food in olden days is a trend food ingredient now because of the awareness of its nutritional values. Millet is a whole grain and used in meals, in the substitution of regular rice. There are different varieties of millets available in the market. Little millet, Kudo millet, Pearl millet, Foxtail millet, etc, are some of the varieties of millets. Incorporating millets in our diet helps in weight loss, improves immunity, controls blood sugar, helps in digestion, acts as antioxidants, etc. Apart from serving millets as rice, these can also be included in the baking. Many interesting recipes like Burnt garlic fried rice using foxtail millet, Kudo millet - Poha idly, Millet maple syrup Pongal, Millet chicken pulao, etc. can be prepared using millets. In this recipe, I have included Kudo millet which can also be substituted with any varieties of millet. Kudo millet resembles the rice compared to the other varieties. The cooking method is also similar to regular rice. The millet is soaked for a few minutes before adding to the soup which fastens the cooking process.  

Chicken - Boneless chicken is used in this recipe for convenience but adding chicken with bones gives a lovely flavor to the soup. But, make sure to separate the flesh after preparing the broth. The cooked chicken is shredded and added back to the soup. 

Vegetables - I have included only the basic vegetables like onions, tomatoes, ginger, and garlic in this recipe. Variations can be made by including carrots, pumpkin, etc. The ginger and garlic are included in the soup to aid the digestion. 

Spice bag - The spice bag consists of bay leaf, crushed peppercorns, and fresh thyme. I have included 4 varieties of peppercorns to enhance the flavor of the soup. All the ingredients are tied in a muslin cloth and dropped in the stockpot. The spices can also be included directly in the soup but this method helps to discard the spices easily. 

Butter - Butter is used as fat in this recipe which also helps to enhance the flavor. If you are health conscious, feel free to use olive oil. 

Water - I have included water in this recipe but to make it more flavorful, include chicken stock or vegetable stock. 

Here come the recipe and procedure for the Chicken Millet Soup... 


Ingredients:

70 gm Kudo Millet 

15 gm Butter 

180 gm Onion, Medium dice 

60 gm Tomato, Medium dice 

330 gm Chicken, boneless 

6 gm Ginger, chopped 

10 gm Garlic, peeled and chopped 

750ml water + 240 ml water 

Salt to taste 

Finely chopped Spring onions for garnishing ( alternatively, coriander leaves can be used ) 

Spice bag / Sachet: 

1 Bay leaf 

2 Sprig of Fresh Thyme 

3 gm Peppercorns (I have used 4 varieties of peppercorns in this recipe) 


Method: 

Keep the mise en place ready. 


Heat butter in a stockpot and add onions. 

 
 


Sweat the onions and add chopped garlic followed by ginger. 


Add the chopped tomatoes and cook until it turns soft. 


Add chicken pieces and saute. 



Now add 750ml water along with the spice bag. 


Tie the spice bag at the handle which helps to remove the spice bag easily. 

Skim regularly to remove dirt and oil from the surface. 



Let it simmer for 30 - 40 minutes. Once done, remove the spice bag and discard it. 

Remove the cooked chicken pieces, shred, and keep aside.  


Transfer the remaining ingredients to the blender and grind it to a smooth puree. 

Strain the ground puree and keep aside. 


Soak the millets for half an hour. Wash and drain the water. 


Heat the strained puree and add the washed millets followed by the remaining water and salt. 


Let it cook until the millets get cooked. 

Add seasoning and the shredded chicken to the soup. 


Boil for a couple of minutes and remove from the flame. 

Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with spring onion or coriander leaves. Serve hot. 


As I mentioned above, though it requires an extra step to prepare the broth, it is quite easy to make the recipe. Grinding the cooked vegetables into smooth puree gives a lovely body to the soup. The texture will be smooth and creamy. The starch from the millet also increases the thickness of the soup. The soup tastes delicious with the dominant flavor of the chicken. The perfect blend of millet, soup, and shredded chicken in each spoon will satisfy the palate for sure. The addition of seasoning is always one's preference so adjust according to the taste bud. 

I have involved a few techniques like skimming, preparing a broth, and preparing spice bag/sachet in this recipe. Skimming is nothing but removing the dirt and oil from the surface of the broth. It is always recommended to simmer the flame which helps the dirt and oil to float on the surface of the stock/broth. I felt really great to involve a few skills in this recipe from my culinary learning. The majority of my soup post (which I had posted earlier) had spices but I never tried them making a sachet. And also, after implementing the skimming technique in stock/broth, I noticed a major difference in the texture of the soup. I would love to try more soup recipes in the future which includes the other techniques too. In fact, I am planning to prepare this soup again but with the addition of diced vegetables and cream to make it healthier and rich. And also, planning to try seafood soup with the addition of millet. 

Variations: 

 If you want to add more vegetables to this recipe, follow the below procedure. 

Cut the vegetables like carrot, celery, etc. into small dice.

Before boiling the strained puree, heat 5gms of butter and saute the diced vegetables. Then, add the strained puree and follow the process as mentioned in the recipe. 

Substitute water with vegetable stock or chicken stock to enhance the flavor of the soup.  

I have garnished the soup with finely chopped spring onions but can also use coriander leaves which gives a lovely and fresh taste. 

I hope you all loved this interesting soup and if you try this recipe, please feel free to share your feedback to priyasmenu@gmail.com or tag me at @priyas.menu on Instagram. 

References:

Lang, A. (2020, March 19). What Is Millet? Nutrition, Benefits, and More. Retrieved October 15, 2020, from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/what-is-millet 

Marakani, P. (2019, November 22). Millets: Types, Benefits and Recipes: Millets & Weight Loss. Retrieved October 15, 2020, from https://www.healthifyme.com/blog/millets-types-benefits-recipes-weight-loss/














September 16, 2020

My Culinary Biography

Hi Friends...

I believe this post is going to be interesting as I am going to share more details about ME like who I am, what is my passion, why I chose the culinary field etc. Are you curious?? Then, let's jump in... 

I am Rekha Priyadharshni Jeyachandran and known as Priya Satheesh / Priyasmenu in the blogging world. I was born in a "Temple of City" in South India and then brought up in Chennai, Tamilnadu. I did my undergrad in Engineering with a deep passion for cooking. As a kid, cooking always intrigued me and I used to make simple Roti, Ghee rice, and Fried diamond biscuits along with my brother and kids next door. 

Coming from a conservative family, hotel management studies was a big NO and after a tug of war, Engineering happened. The twist of events happened to post my marriage with Satheesh who also shares the same passion with me. I started my blog in 2009 childishly to keep myself busy and to experiment with the rarely available Bell peppers, Zucchini, and flavored sausages. 

The happiness of cooking forgets all my worries and boosts energy and confidence. When I am stressed or emotionally down, I just step into the kitchen and try out new recipes with different flavors and cuisine. Being a foodie and a blogger, I love experimenting with flavours which makes me busy all day thinking about the combination and flavors of ingredients. 

I truly believe in the quote " Whatever happens, it happens for a reason". The childishly started blogging showed me a way to participate in cooking competitions, helped me to do a food product review, to become a recipe developer in a leading regional magazine back in hometown, to achieve my dream of publishing a book titled "50 Chutney Recipes" which is available as an ebook in Kindle. Blogging helped me to connect people around the world who share the same passion as me. And finally, all this food journey motivated me to follow my dream of becoming a chef. 


Few recipes which got published in the book....

 
Chicken Recipes


Innovative Pizza Recipes


Kashmiri Recipes 

I am sure you must be interested in knowing why I want to become a chef when there are multiple options in the food industry when I love food..... Here comes my answer :)  

Becoming a chef is my childhood dream. I always dreamt to be in a kitchen, cooking something delicious, and serve to my loved ones. Though I knew that being a chef is not an easy job as we see in the cooking shows, I love to work in the kitchen and I want to see people enjoying my food. Cooking for others gives me immense happiness and self-satisfaction. The smile on their face while enjoying their food is what I want. 

Though I had a dream of becoming a chef from childhood, I never worked in a real-time restaurant kitchen until I move to Canada. My first job in a Korean restaurant taught me that being physically strong is more important while working in the kitchen. Then when I moved to A&W, I learned to handle pressure during service hours. 

My Philosophy of cooking...

Hmm... Well, I can say that uniqueness is my philosophy of cooking. I respect the originality of the recipe but since I love to experiment with the flavors, I love to include some uniqueness in my cooking which I believe indeed gives a different food experience to people. 

My favorite quote... 

When it comes to entertainment, I love watching culinary-related shows and movies. The one movie which inspired me a lot is "Julie & Julia", a movie about a chef Julia Child. I adore the way she loved food and cooking and her quotes were very simple and practical. Among all the quotes, I just love this quote which I can relate with me as I love food ;)

"People who love to eat are always the best people" - Julia Child 

-, F., By, -, Flavia MedrutFlavia Medrut is a freelance writer, Medrut, F., & Flavia Medrut is a freelance writer. (2019, August 16). 18 Julia Child Quotes That Will Give You an Appetite for Life. Retrieved September 16, 2020, from https://www.goalcast.com/2019/02/20/julia-child-quotes/

There are many great culinary blogs that I have been following till now. Each blog has its own style of presentation and recipes. I have mentioned a few blog links below which I frequently visit to have a look at their recipes, to learn about food, food photography, and their food culture. 

https://www.africanbites.com/

https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/

https://pinchofyum.com/

If you love baking, then sallybakingaddiction is the best webpage to visit and learn more about baking. The recipes are easy to understand with a detailed explanation. And of course, there are loads of mouthwatering baking goodies :) 

I hope you all enjoyed my today's post. Take a time to view my recipes and send me your feedback. You can reach me at priyasmenu@gmail.com or Instagram page - @priyas.menu 

Few of my culinary creations... 














August 31, 2020

Chicken Mole / Mexican Cuisine

 


Chicken Mole is a delicious and deeply flavoured Mexican dish which is prepared using a variety of spices with an addition of chocolate. 

Yes! you heard it right, this chicken dish has chocolate in it. The addition of chocolate gives a mild sweet and mild bitter taste and also, in addition, gives a rich texture to the dish. Mole is a traditional marinade and sauce originally used in Mexican cuisine. The sauce is prepared using a mix of spices like cinnamon, cloves, fennel, cumin etc along with the garlic, onion and tomatoes with the addition of melted chocolate. This combination gives a unique flavour to the dish and also, pairs perfectly with the grilled or baked chicken. Instead of serving chicken aside, the chicken pieces can also sautéed first and then cooked along with the gravy. In this way, the chicken absorbs all the flavour from the gravy and gives a delicious taste. Though the dish looks and sounds complicated, it is quite easy to prepare. 

This is one of the dish which I wanted to try for long time but I was very sceptical because of the addition of chocolate along with the chicken. Finally, got a chance to try this dish and to my surprise, everyone at my home loved it including my kiddo. 


This chicken mole can be served with a plain steamed rice or brown rice or Mexican rice. Apart from serving with rice, we can also include shredded chicken to the gravy and serve it as tacos. 

Looking for more chicken recipes ? Then, try these....

Thai Basil Chicken Stir Fry 

Creamy Butter Chicken using Macadamia nuts 

Chicken & Walnut in Spinach gravy 

Chicken & Betel Leaves Soup 


About the event... 

Sending this Mexican delicacy to an event "Shhh Cooking secretly challenge" which is happening every month among food bloggers with an interesting theme. This group is managed by an amazing blogger Mayuri di who blogs at Mayuri's Jikoni. Every month, one of the blogger will get a chance to select the theme and followed by bloggers getting paired with each other. Sounds Interesting right ! Likewise, for the month of August, the theme of chocolate was suggested by Mayuri di. She is a wonderful, dedicated blogger and her blog page has loads of amazing recipes in all categories like Gujarati Khana, Kenyan Cuisine, Gluten free, Fasting recipes etc. Especially I liked her Beetroot blueberry pops, Maharage Ya Nazi, Pan de Yuca and Kansar. Head to her page for more interesting recipes. 

For this month, I was paired with a lovely blogger Pavani Gunikuntla who blogs at Pavanis Kitchen. She page is loaded with many mouthwatering recipes like Rasagulla, Tawa chicken tikka, Nutella brownies which is made using 3 ingredients, Instant Malpua using condensed milk etc. And also, I just loved her food pictures which is so tempting and appetizing. For more delicious recipes, do visit her page. Coming to the secret ingredients, Pavani gave me Cinnamon and Fennel seeds as my secret ingredients. So, I have used those ingredients along with the chocolate and prepared this delicious Mexican dish. Likewise, I gave Eno and milk as secret ingredients and using those, she prepared a delicious biscuit cake. Click HERE to get a detailed recipe of her cake. 

Here comes the recipe for the Chicken Mole... 

Recipe adapted from vahrevah

Ingredients :

For paste :

2 Tbsp Oil 

1 Tbsp Coriander seeds 

1 Tsp Jeera / Cumin seeds 

3 Cloves 

1 inch Cinnamon stick 

1 Tsp Saunf / Fennel seeds 

6 Almonds 

8-10 Raisins 

1/2 Tsp Dried Oregano

3 Garlic pods, chopped 

1 Big Onion, Finely chopped 

6 Medium sized tomatoes, chopped

For Gravy :

2 Tbsp Oil 

2 Tbsp red chilli paste 

1 Cup Chicken stock or water 

1/2 Cup Melted Chocolate 

Salt to taste 

For Air fried Chicken :

3 Chicken breast 

2 Tsp red chilli powder 

1/2 Tsp Turmeric powder 

Salt to taste 

Method :

Heat pan and add coriander seeds followed by cumin seeds, cinnamon stick, cloves, fennel seeds, almonds, oregano and raisins. 

Dry roast all the ingredients and add garlic pods followed by the chopped onion. 

Add oil followed by the chopped tomatoes and saute well.

Cook until the tomatoes turns soft and mushy. 

Once done, remove from the flame, cool the ingredients and grind into smooth paste. Keep aside. 

Now heat oil in a pan and add the ground paste followed by red chilli paste. 

Cook it until the gravy starts bubbling. 

Now add salt followed by the melted chocolate and cook it again for 5 - 7 minutes. 

Remove from the flame and keep aside. Mole is ready. 

To air fry the chicken, marinate the chicken breast using red chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt for 30 minutes. 

Then air fry them for 20 - 30 minutes in batches. Flip the chicken for every 15 minutes. 

Plating :

Serve the steamed rice on the plate, place the air fried chicken and pour the mole on it. 

Serve with lemon wedges and coriander leaves.


Serving Options :

Serve with grilled or air fried chicken and rice. 


For more chicken recipes, Click HERE

If you try this recipe, please don't forget to share with me :) Do send me your feedback to priyasmenu@gmail.com or tag me @priyas.menu on instagram.