June 16, 2015

Watermelon Rind Salna

Salna is one of the famous n flavorful curry which is served along with parotta in Tamilnadu. Generally salna is prepared using mixed veggies, mutton, egg or chicken but my today's post is with a twist of using my favorite veggie "Watermelon rind". Watermelon rind is nothing but the white part of watermelon which is generally threw away by most of them. As it is a water content fruit, the rind part is also very healthy. So, I love to use it in my kitchen with interesting recipes, instead of trashing it. The ingredients and preparation looks lengthy as it also includes grinding but the freshly ground masala enhances taste of this curry and gives a lovely aroma. As I have mentioned above, this is an excellent side dish for parotta and apart from that, this curry tastes very delicious with dosa, idly and chapati.

Check out my previous recipes using Watermelon Rind...

Watermelon Rind Mor Kuzhambu

Watermelon Rind Puli Kuzhambu

Watermelon Rind Kheer

Watermelon Rind Dosa

Watermelon Rind Kurma ( No Coconut )

Ingredients :

2 Medium sized Onions, sliced
2 Small Tomatoes, chopped
2 Cups Watermelon Rind, Finely chopped
3 Green chillies, slitted
Handful of curry leaves
Salt to taste 
2 Tbsp Oil

To Roast and Grind :

1 Tsp Jeera
1 Tbsp Saunf
1 inch Cinnamon stick
2 Medium sized Onions, sliced
2 Small Tomatoes, sliced
8 Garlic pods
1 inch Ginger, peeled
Few Coriander leaves
1/4 Tsp Turmeric powder
2 Tsp Chilli powder ( Adjust according to taste bud )
3 Tsp Coriander powder
1/4 Cup Coconut, Finely chopped
1 Tbsp Oil  

To Garnish :

Few Mint leaves
Few Curry leaves

Method :

Heat pan and add Saunf followed by Jeera and Cinnamon stick.

Dry roast them and remove from the flame.

Now, add 1 Tbsp oil in a same pan and add Garlic followed by ginger and sliced onions.

Fry them for a minute and add the chopped tomatoes followed by coriander leaves.

Saute till the tomatoes turns soft.

At this stage, add Turmeric powder, Chilli powder and Coriander powder and fry till the raw smell goes off.

Add finely chopped coconut pieces and fry it for a minute.

Remove from the flame and cool it.

Add this mixture along with dry roasted masala ( saunf, jeera and cinnamon ) and grind into smooth paste by adding little water. Keep aside.

Heat 2 Tbsp oil in a pan and add curry leaves followed by green chillies

Add the sliced onions and saute till it turns translucent.

Now, add the chopped tomatoes and saute till turns soft.

Add the chopped Watermelon rind pieces, Turmeric powder, salt and little water.

Close and cook for couple of minutes.

At this stage, add the ground masala and cook for a minute.

Add 1 1/2 Cups of water and mix well.

Close the pan and cook the salna for 10-15 minutes in a low flame or till the oil separates from the curry.

Once done, Remove from the flame and garnish with mint leaves and curry leaves.

Serve hot.

Serving Options :

Serve hot with Dosa, Chapati and Parotta.

June 11, 2015

Foxtail Millet Chicken Pulao / Thinai Chicken Pulao

The worst part of dieting is sacrificing our favorite Pulao or Biryani because of the key ingredient "RICE". I agree that Brown rice is an excellent replacement for regular rice but the recent awareness of millets made me to include all type of millets in our regular menu. Apart from regular style of cooking using millet, I wanted to try it with chicken to satisfy our chicken Biryani/Pulao craving. So, started cooking with an easy method which I follow at times for basmati rice. Thank god ! It worked out perfect and finally my experiment ended up with an mouthwatering aroma all over my home.
Foxtail millet chicken pulao is an easy one pot meal with a minimal ingredients and the best part is no chopping required ;) I can assure that, there is no compromise in taste and flavor, it tasted exactly like chicken pulao or chicken biryani. This goes excellent with an Onion raita and Chicken gravy.

The above picture is a Foxtail millet which was widely used in olden days. Foxtail millet is known as Thinai in tamil, Korra in Telugu and Navanne akki in kannada. According to wikipedia, this millet had been a staple food in south India for a long time during sangam period. This is also commonly associated with Lord Muruga and his consort valli. The nutrient value is high as it is gluten free and also this has low glycemic index than rice.

Ingredients :

1 Cup Foxtail Millet
2-3 Tbsp Oil
3 Dry red Chillies ( Adjust according to spicy level )
2 Onions, chopped
8- 10 Garlic pods
Small piece of ginger ( approx. 1 inch )
1 Elachi
1 Lavang
1/2 inch Cinnamon
1 Tsp Saunf 
1 Bay leaf
1/4 Turmeric powder
Salt to taste
Fresh Mint / Pudina leaves 
Half of lemon, juice
2 - 2 1/4 Cups of Water

To Marinate :

250 gms Chicken, Boneless, chopped into small pieces
Less than 1/4 Tsp Turmeric powder 
1 Tbsp Curd
1 Tsp Ginger garlic paste

Method :

Wash chicken pieces and marinate with the above "To Marinate" ingredients.

Keep aside for 15- 20 mins.

Meanwhile, add the chopped onions along with Red chillies, Ginger, Garlic, Saunf, Cinnamon, Elachi and Lavang in a mixer grinder.

Grind into fine paste by adding little water and keep aside.

Heat oil in a thick bottom pan and add bay leaf.

Add the ground paste and saute till the raw smell goes off.

Add Mint leaves followed by Turmeric powder, marinated chicken and salt.

Simmer the flame, cover the pan and cook for 5 minutes.

Add 2 - 2 1/4 cups of water along with lemon juice and let it boil in a simmer flame.

Wash millet and drain the water completely.

Now add the millets, close the lid and cook it for 10-15 minutes or till the millet gets cooked.
( Cook only in low flame )

Once done, switch off the flame and garnish with mint leaves.

Serve hot.

Serving Options :

Serve hot with Onion Raita.

Note :

1. I have used Guntur chilli (spicy) in this recipe. And that is the reason for  adding only 3 dry red chillies. So adjust, red chillies according to variety and spicy level.

2. Be careful with the water measurement or else it might turn soggy.

3. Always cook in a simmer flame to get the correct texture of rice.

June 10, 2015

Chicken in Soya Sauce Gravy

Chicken in Soya sauce is an Indo-Chinese gravy in which chicken is marinated and cooked in soya sauce. This is a perfect side dish for fried rice and also can be served along with plain Basmati rice. To get a juicy chicken, shallow fry the marinated chicken till 3/4th and cook the remaining in gravy.
As soya sauce contains salt in it, be careful while adding extra salt in a gravy.

Ingredients :

To Marinate :

500 gms Chicken, Boneless, cut into cubes
1 Tsp Ginger-garlic paste
2 Tbsp Corn flour
1 1/2 Tbsp Soya sauce
1 Egg
1 Tsp Pepper powder 
Salt to taste
1 Tbsp Oil 

For Gravy :

2 Onions,chopped into cubes
1 Big Capsicum/ Bell pepper, chopped into cubes
5-6 Garlic pods,finely chopped
1/2 inch Ginger piece, finely chopped
10 Red chillies, dry 
1 Tbsp Soya sauce
1 Tsp Vinegar 
1 Tsp pepper powder
1 Cup Chicken stock 
1 Tsp Sugar
Salt to taste

For Garnish :

Finely chopped Spring onions

Method :

Marinate chicken with the above ingredients for half an hour.

Heat 5-6 Tbsp oil in a pan and shallow fry the marinated chicken.

Reserve the marinated juice.

While frying, turn both the sides and when chicken gets 3/4th cooked, remove from the flame and
keep aside.

Heat 1 Tbsp oil and add cubed onions.

Fry them for a minute or till it turns translucent.

Add finely chopped garlic followed by ginger and dry red chillies.

Saute for a minute and add bell pepper cubes followed by 3/4th cooked chicken. Mix well.

Add pepper powder followed by vinegar, sugar, salt, soya sauce and chicken stock.

Be careful while adding salt, as soya sauce contains salt in it.

Now add the reserved marinated juice and let it cook for 5 mins in a lower flame or till the gravy becomes thick.

Once done, remove from the flame and garnish with chopped spring onions.

Serving Options :

Serve hot with plain Basmati rice or Fried rice.