Mint margarita

During summers, we all want to drink some refreshing and healthy juices which reduce body heat and keep you cool during the hot season. Pudina or mint juice is one of the most common and healthy summer drinks. It is very tasty and easy to prepare as well. The green mint leaves are mixed with spices like chaat masala, cumin seeds powder and salt or sugar. Having pudina juice is healthy as the leaves have a set of health benefits which make it an ideal summer drink.

A refreshing lemon soda infused with mint leaves

Ingredients
  1/2 cup Water 
  1/2 cup Sugar
  1/2 tsp salt
  3-4 Sprigs of mint
  3 medium size lemons juice
  3-4 Ice Cubes
  1 Can Sprite/7up

Method
1. In a food processor, blend the water, sugar, salt, mint, lemon juice and ice cubes together, pulsing until the ice is crushed completely.
2. Fill each glass up to half with the Sprite or 7-Up and pour the mint mixture into it until the glass is full.
3. Stir the two liquids to combine the tastes.
4. Garnish the ridge of the glasses with a slice of lemon each or place mint leaves on top of the drink for decoration.
5. Serve immediately.

Mint Jelly

Mint is a popular herb that can be used fresh or dried in many dishes and infusions. Mint oil is often used in toothpaste, gum, candy, and beauty products.

The herb is one of the refreshing and cool leaves which acts as a natural mouth freshener. During summers, pudina or mint leaves are very popularly consumed due to its cooling effects.

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups fresh mint (packed, and stems)
2 tbls lemon juice
2 1/4 cups boiling water
1 drop green food coloring
3 1/2 cups white sugar
3 fluidounces pectin (liquid)

Method
1. Rinse off the mint leaves, and place them into a large saucepan. Crush with a potato masher or the bottom of a jar or glass. 
2. Add water, and bring the mint to a boil. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand for 10 minutes. Strain, and measure out 1 2/3 cups of the mint.
3. Place 1 2/3 cups mint into a saucepan. Stir in the lemon juice and food coloring. Mix in the sugar, and place the pan over high heat. 
4. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Once the mixture is boiling, stir in the pectin. Boil the mixture for a full minute while stirring constantly. Remove from heat, and skim foam off the top using a large metal spoon. 
5. Transfer the mixture to hot sterile jars, and seal.
6. Place a rack in the bottom of a large stockpot and fill halfway with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then carefully lower the jars into the pot using a holder. 
7. Leave a 2 inch space between the jars. Pour in more boiling water if necessary until the water level is at least 1 inch above the tops of the jars. 
8. Bring the water to a full boil, cover the pot, and process for 10 minutes.

SERVINGS: 2

Popcorn Chicken

KFC Style Popcorn chicken is a tasty, crispy way to enjoy juicy, white meat chicken. Cut into bite size pieces that you can easily pop in your mouth, they're ideal for dipping in your favorite sauce or condiment, such as barbecue sauce or honey mustard. But instead of running out to a fast food restaurant for popcorn chicken, you can make it at home, where you can customize the seasoning to suit your tastes.

Ingredients

Marination:
  Chicken cubes (boneless and skinless) – 1/2 kg
  Salt – To Taste
  Black pepper – 1/4 tsp
  Soy Sauce – 1 tbsp
  White pepper – 1/4 tsp
  Red chili flakes – 1/4 tsp
  Chili Sauce – 1 tbsp
  Vinegar – 1/2 tbsp

Breading:
  Milk – 1 cup
  Egg – 1
  Water – 2 tbsp
  Maida – 1/2 cup
  Corn flour – 1/4 cup
  Salt – To taste
  White pepper – 1/2 tsp
  Black pepper – 1/2 tsp
  Red chili powder – 1/2 tsp
  Paprika – 1/2 tsp
  Cayenne powder – 1/2 tsp
  Garlic powder – 1/2 tsp
  Parmesan cheese (shredded) – 1/2 cup
  Oil – for deep frying

Method
1. Marinate chicken with salt, white and black pepper, red chili flakes, soy sauce, chili sauce and vinegar. Marinate for at least two hours.
2. In another bowl, mix the dry ingredients together. Add maida, corn flour, salt, black and white pepper, paprika, cayenne powder, garlic powder and Parmesan cheese and mix well.
3. In a separate bowl, add milk, water and egg and beat well.
4. Now, coat the marinated chicken with the dry ingredients. Add the coated chicken in the milk and egg mix and then coat it once again with the maida mixture.
5. Layer your coated chicken on a tray and put it in the freezer for two to three hours.
6. In a pan, add the oil and heat it up to medium high. Now add your popcorn chicken one by one and let it cook till it turns golden brown.

Serve hot with ketchup or your choice of dip.

CHICKEN CHILLI

Some people wish to have hot and spicy food to add taste. This tastes in turn can bring back their good mood. When we think about spicy food, it cannot go without chili. You can find different categories of chillies, but green chilies are healthier alternatives. Along with providing you with good taste, there are various green chilies health benefits.

INGREDIENTS
  4 chicken breast halves
  1 jar salsa
  500g crushed tomatoes
  1 (450g) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  1 (300g) can corn kernels
  2 tsp garlic powder
  1 tsp ground cumin
  1 tsp chilli powder
  1 tsp ground black pepper
  salt to taste

METHOD
1. Lightly brown the four chicken breasts (both sides) in one tablespoon of oil.
2. Add salsa, tomatoes, garlic powder, ground cumin, chilli powder, salt, and pepper then cook covered on low heat for one hour.
3. Shred chicken with two forks, then return the meat to pot, stir in corn and beans, and continue cooking covered on low heat for one more hour.
4. Serve with grated cheddar cheese, chopped cilantro, and green onions.

VEGETARIAN CHILLI

Chilly winter weather affects more than just your wardrobe and heating bill. Your body also experiences changes in energy levels, metabolism and even food prefer

Green chilly which is the one among the best to bring spicy taste to the food. Capsaicin or green bell pepper is the chemical compound that makes chili peppers taste hot; most of the people will eat chilies in raw, fried or roasted form along with salads and as a side dish in the main meals. 

INGREDIENTS
  2 tbls oil
  1 large onion, diced
  2 green peppers, diced
  2 carrots, diced
  3 stalks of celery, diced
  4 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  1 tbls chilli powder
  2 tbls cumin
  1 tsp oregano
  Salt to taste
  1 tsp chilli flakes
  1 1/2kg crushed tomatoes
  2 cans beans, drained and rinsed
  2 (300g) cans corn kernels

METHOD
1. Heat oil in a large pot, add onion, and sauté for about three minutes.
2. Add garlic and sauté one minute more.
3. Add spices and cook stirring for about 30 seconds.
4. Add peppers, carrots, and celery and cook for about five minutes, or until they just start to soften.
5. Add tomatoes, beans, and corn then bring to a boil.
6. Once the chilli begins to bubble, reduce to low heat and let it simmer with the lid on.
7. Serve the chilli on its own or with sour cream, cheddar cheese, cilantro, diced avocados, green onions and flour tortillas.

NIHARI

This is a traditional brunch item from Pakistan served with Naan bread.

Nihari is one of most favorite and traditional dishes of every Muslim home. Be it mutton, chicken or beef nihari, it can be relished with any kind of meat. Traditionally nihari made with the bone marrow meat. It’s a deliciously smooth flour based stew with slow cooked mutton and a myriad of spices.

Ingredients
  1 Masala
  1¼ cup oil
  5 lbs veal or beef shank with bone
  Salt to taste
  3 tsp garam masala powder
  3 tsp red chili powder
  4 tsp coriander powder
  1½ tbls ginger
  1½ tbls garlic
  1½ tsp turmeric powder
  6 tbls white flour
  2 medium onions, sliced (1/4 to 1/3 cup oil for frying onions)
  2 Nihari Masala Spices
  2 sticks pipli (long pepper)
  2 ½ tbls coriander seeds
  ½ tsp mace powder
  ½ tsp nutmeg powder
  2 bay leaves
  2 cinnamon sticks
  4 black cardamoms
  20 cloves
  10 green cardamoms
  1 tsp cumin seeds
  1 tbls black peppercorns
  4 tbls fennel seeds
  ¼ tsp anise seeds
  Grind all these to a fine powder
  Garnish (chopped)
  Fresh cilantro
  Fresh green chillies
  Ginger
  Lemons
  Fried onions

Method
1. Heat oil, braise meat evenly on high heat for a few minutes.
2. Add ‘masala 1’ ingredients to the meat, with the exception of flour and onions, and cook on high heat until meat is evenly coated.
3. Pour 10 glasses of water to the meat, dissolve flour in four glasses of water and add to the meat, ensuring that the meat is covered with water, adding more if required and bringing to boil.
4. Add finely powdered ‘nihari masala 2’ to the boiling mix. Lower heat to medium and let the nihari simmer for six to seven hours.
5. Fry onions until golden brown, add to nihari and cook for another 15 to 20 minutes. Garnish and serve with hot naan. Serves 10-12.

BEEF CHILLI

Chilly winter weather affects more than just your wardrobe and heating bill. Your body also experiences changes in energy levels, metabolism and even food prefer

Raw, fried, roasted in your tadkas or added to curries, this little spice is not only delicious but also rich in so many vitamins. It comes with a pack of health benefits that it almost seems unbelievable.

INGREDIENTS
  1 kg ground beef
  1 onion, chopped
  1 small green bell pepper, chopped
  1 medium zucchini, chopped
  2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  3 450g cans red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  1 kg diced tomatoes
  2 250g cans corn kernels
  2 to 3 (levelled) tbls chilli powder
  1 tsp salt
  1 tsp ground black pepper
  1 tsp ground cumin

METHOD
1. Combine ground beef, onion, and garlic in large stockpot. Cook and stir over medium heat until beef is brown. Drain.
2. Stir in chili powder, salt, oregano, tomatoes, and tomato sauce; break up tomatoes while stirring. Heat to boiling, reduce heat to simmer, and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour.
3. Stir in beans. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes; stir occasionally.



****************


CHICKEN CHILLI

Some people wish to have hot and spicy food to add taste. This tastes in turn can bring back their good mood. When we think about spicy food, it cannot go without chili. You can find different categories of chillies, but green chilies are healthier alternatives. Along with providing you with good taste, there are various green chilies health benefits.

INGREDIENTS
  4 chicken breast halves
  1 jar salsa
  500g crushed tomatoes
  1 (450g) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  1 (300g) can corn kernels
  2 tsp garlic powder
  1 tsp ground cumin
  1 tsp chilli powder
  1 tsp ground black pepper
  salt to taste

METHOD
1. Lightly brown the four chicken breasts (both sides) in one tablespoon of oil.
2. Add salsa, tomatoes, garlic powder, ground cumin, chilli powder, salt, and pepper then cook covered on low heat for one hour.
3. Shred chicken with two forks, then return the meat to pot, stir in corn and beans, and continue cooking covered on low heat for one more hour.
4. Serve with grated cheddar cheese, chopped cilantro, and green onions.

SPICED CHICKEN WITH TOMATO AND CREAM

If the ones you've got in the pantry smell musty or you can't remember when you bought them, restock.






INGREDIENTS
3 tbls butter or vegetable oil
6 chicken legs (drumsticks with thighs; about 1/2 kg)
freshly ground pepper
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely grated
2 tbls finely grated peeled ginger
2 tbls tomato paste
2 tsp garam masala
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground turmeric
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
3/4 tsp black pepper
3/4 tsp ground cardamom
8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3/4 cup canned tomato purée
1/2 cup heavy cream
250g small potatoes, sliced 1/4" thick
Plain yogurt 
torn fresh mint 
naan, flatbread, or cooked rice (for serving)
salt to taste

METHOD
1. Heat butter in a large cooking pot over medium heat. 
2. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Working in batches, cook chicken, skin side down, until golden brown (do not turn), 8–10 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
3. Add onion, garlic, and ginger to pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is very soft and golden brown, 8–10 minutes. Add tomato paste, garam masala, cumin, turmeric, coriander, cayenne, and cardamom and cook, stirring often, until tomato paste is beginning to darken, about 4 minutes.
4. Add chicken, broth, tomato purée, and cream to pot; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, partially covered, skimming occasionally, until chicken is almost falling off the bone and liquid is slightly thickened, 1 1/2–2 hours.
5. Add potatoes to pot and cook, partially covered, until potatoes are fork-tender, chicken is falling off the bone, and liquid is thick enough to coat a spoon, 30–45 minutes. 
6. Remove skin and bones from chicken, if desired, and return meat to pot; season stew with salt and pepper.
7. Divide stew among bowls, top with yogurt and mint, and serve with naan, flatbread, or rice.

DO AHEAD: Stew can be made 3 days ahead. Let cool; cover and chill.

YIELD: Makes 6 servings

Devilled Eggs

Deviled eggs (US) or devilled eggs (UK), also known as stuffed eggs, Russian eggs, or dressed eggs are hard-boiled eggs that have been shelled, cut in half, and filled with a paste made from the egg yolks mixed with other ingredients such as mayonnaise and mustard.

If you’re pressed for time, devilled eggs are your best bet. You’ll most likely have all the ingredients you need at home, and they can be ready in less than an hour. For texture, try adding chopped spring onions or finely diced pickles to the yolk mixture.

Ingredients
  Eggs 4, hard-boiled
  Mayonnaise 2 tbsp
  Mustard 1 tsp
  A dash of hot sauce (optional)
  Salt and pepper, to taste

Method
1. Peel the eggs and cut them in half lengthwise. 
2. Remove the yolks and add to a small mixing bowl. 
3. Add the mayonnaise, mustard, hot sauce, salt and pepper to the yolks, and mash together until the mixture is smooth. 
4. Carefully spoon the yolk mixture back into the egg whites. Sprinkle paprika powder on the eggs, and serve.

Serves four to six

Bihari Kabab

This is a truly melt in mouth kind of kabab !! Though Sheekh kababs are authentically made with mince meat, but you can use any other boneless cut as well. Just marinade it more than 6 hours.

You can substitute chicken for beef but the papaya paste should be eliminated and it should only be marinated with the spices for one hour.

You will need skewers and a grill. If you are using wooden skewers, you may want to soak them in water beforehand so they withstand the heat of the cooking flame.

Ingredients
  1 ½ kg. veal chunk/beef chunk, thinly sliced and pounded
  ¾ cup yogurt
  6 tbsp. finely grated raw papaya with skin
  ¾ cups fried onions
  4 tsp. freshly grated ginger
  4 tsp. chopped garlic
  1 tsp. nutmeg powder
  1 tsp. cinnamon powder
  1 ½ tsp. cumin powder roasted
  2 tsp. paprika powder
  2 tsp. red chillie powder, or to taste
  2 tsp. poppy seeds
  4 tsp. bihari kabab garam masala
  ¾ cup mustard oil (optional)
  Salt to taste
  (Mix in food processor and marinade meat)

Bihari Kabab Garam Masala
(Use coffee grinder to make powder, and store unused portion in tightly sealed jar for future use)
  2 tsp. kabab chini
  2 tsp. fennel
  2 star anise
  4 tsp. whole back peppercorns
  2 cloves
  ½ nutmeg
  1 tsp. mace
  10 green cardamom
  6 black cardamom
  2 tbsp. coriander, whole
  2 tbsp. cumin seeds
  12 dried red chillie

Method
1. Heat a large pan with a heavy base, pour a little oil and heat, set meat chunks on pan, cover and cook for 10-20 minutes, flip and cook for another 10-20 minutes.
2. Transfer into an oven safe pan, broil for 15 minutes to dry moisture.
3. Heat coal, sprinkle with oil and set in oven for a few minutes to infuse kababs with smoke from the coal.

Serve with imli chutney, sliced onions, paratha or naan. 

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