Saturday, October 26, 2013

Home style Chinese - Five Spice Chicken

We all love Chinese. It is one of that versatile cuisine that can lift up your mood anytime. These days with easy availability of ingredients its so easy to cook up some great Chinese food at home. I personally like experimenting when cooking Chinese at home and sometimes just throwing things in together impromptu can deliver yummy results. Like the other day I made this unbelievably easy Five Spice Chicken and served it with some home style egg fried rice. The result was a very happy husband and me!


Boneless Chicken - 300 gms - cut into small pieces

Baby corn - 7-8 small sizes

Mushroom - 1 cup - diced

Onion - 1 large - diced

Yellow bell pepper - half cup - diced - optional

Green chillies - 5-6 - chopped 

Garlic - 4-5 pods - crushed

Light Soy sauce - 2 tbsp + 2 tbsp

Five spice mix - 1 tbsp

Cornflour - 1 tbsp

Black pepper - 1 tsp crushed

Rice wine vinegar - 1 tbsp + 1 tbsp - you can use normal white vinegar too.

Refined oil - 1 tbsp

Salt - to taste


Wash and clean the chicken , cut into small pieces and marinate with 2 tbsp light soy sauce,1 tbsp white wine vinegar, cornflour , Chinese five spice mix and crushed black pepper. Mix well and keep aside for half an hour.

In a non stick pan add the oil. Once it heats up add the diced onions ,crushed garlic and the green chillies.

Once they turn lightly brown , tip in the marinated chicken , baby corn,yellow bell pepper and the mushrooms. Fry for 2-3 mins and then add the remaining soy sauce , rice wine vinegar and give it a good mix.

Once the chicken is cooked through remove from heat and serve hot. I served it with some egg fried rice and it tasted superb.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Happiness on a plate - Grilled Aubergine on Garlic Toast with a Tomato Salsa

Brinjal/Aubergine is a very versatile vegetable..well I could be biased when I say that because I simply love it. Begun Bhaja and Baingan Bharta are my absolute favourite.But sadly the boys in my house are not fond of the vegetable at all.I am however always on the lookout for new and innovative way to try out the brinjal.On my last trip to Delhi , one of my fave aunts took me to a quaint little cafe somewhere in GK( sorry I don't remember the name ) for some coffee but the hungry (or greedy maybe) wanted to eat something. A dish on the menu appealed to me instantly - an open sub sandwich with grilled aubergines.The dish was innovative but it lacked flavour and was not seasoned right. I had thought of recreating the dish but forgot about it for a long time and remembered it again now.So today I made it at home my way - Grilled Aubergine on Garlic Toast with a Tomato Salsa. If brinjal appeals to you , you are surely gonna love this dish.


Brinjal/ Aubergine - 1 medium round - cut into thin round slices

Tomato - 1 large - finely chopped

Yellow/red bell pepper - 1 small - finely chopped

Garlic - 3-4 pods- crushed

Onion - 1 medium - finely chopped

Tomato puree - 2 tbsp - I used Dabur Homemade

Basil leaves - 4-5 - finely chopped + few for garnish

Olive oil - 1 tsp

Feta cheese - 2 tbsp - crumbled

Oregano - 1 tsp

Chilli flakes - 1 tsp or more if you like it that way

Black pepper - 1 tsp  - crushed

Salt - to taste

Sugar - 1 pinch

Garlic bread - few slices


For the salsa:

In a pan heat the olive oil , add the crushed garlic and the chopped onions. Saute till translucent.Tip in the chopped tomatoes and the bell pepper. Add the tomato puree , oregano and the red chilli flakes. Cook till the mix gets mushy , remove from heat and keep aside. Let there be a crunch in the salsa.

  Now getting on with grilling the  aubergines and the toast. Just season the sliced aubergines with salt and pepper and grill them on a very hot pan. Also slightly toast the garlic bread slices along with it. This takes about 2 mins on each side.

 Take the grilled aubergines off the pan and assemble on top of the garlic toast. Put a spoonful of salsa on the top and garnish with a generous crumble of the feta cheese.

Serve hot with a side of some extra salsa.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Chingri Maacher Chorchori ( Spicy Prawns)

Let me start by wishing all my readers Shubho Bijoya. I am sure each one of you had a splendid Durga Puja / Navratri celebrations. As for me I had a beautiful time with folks at home. There was a lot of bonding, adda and of course a lot of great food. The four days of Puja we eat vegetarian food but on Doshomi - the last day after bidding farewell to the goddess we simply binge on everykind of non - veg dishes. There is an array of fishes that is being cooked with prawns being one of them. This year I decided to cook a spicy prawn curry that would go well with rice and ended up making a chorchori. A chorchori in simple words would be a mish mash of spices.usually a mish mash of veggies..but there are many non- veg variants as well. Its very easy to make and is a bit spicy in nature. Here's my Chingri Maacher Chorchori recipe.


Prawns (medium sized) - 500 gms - washed and deveined

Onions - 2 medium - finely sliced

Tomato - 1 medium - quartered

Potato - 2 medium - cut into cubes and lightly fried

Ginger paste - 1 tsp

Garlic paste - 1 tsp

Red chilli powder - 2 tsp - use more if you like the heat

Turmeric powder - 1 tsp + 1 tsp

Salt - to taste

Sugar - 1 pinch

Bay leaves - 2 nos

Coriander leaves - a handful - finely chopped

Green chillies - 3-4

Mustard oil - 2tbsp + 2 tbsp


Wash , clean and devein the prawns. Marinate with 1 tsp turmeric and some salt and keep aside.

In a heavy bottomed pan add 2 tbsp oil and saute the marinated prawns for 5-7 mins till they turn opaque in colour. Don't fry for too long or else they get overcooked. Drain the prawns and keep aside.

In another pan add 2 tbsp mustard oil. Once the oil heats up add the bay leaves. Add the sliced onions and the ginger garlic paste. Fry till the mixture gets a golden brown colour.
Now add the tomatoes , turmeric powder, red chilli powder , salt and sugar. Fry this mixture for 7-10 mins.Also add the fried potato cubes at this stage. Add a cup of water and let the gravy simmer for another 5 mins.

Lastly tip in the prawns and give it a good mix. Add the chopped coriander and the green chillies and serve hot with rice.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Know your Kolkata Food Blogger - My Favourite "A Homemaker's Diary"

Today I have a task at hand. This week at the Know your kolkata Food Blogger event it's Sayantani of A Homemaker's Diary. To begin with she is my most favourite blogger! Her blog is is truly an example of finesse and excellence. Long before I even knew her personally, I have been a fan of her blog.Her recipes , her photographs , her posts everything inspires me. And now that I know her personally I am more in awe of her. She is a fabulous human being - she's a powerhouse of talent but so down to earth. Always the one to encourage you, drop a line or two on every post that I publish - these are the little things that makes Sayantani the person that she is. 

Her blog is a treasure trove of recipes,amazing recipes and many other creative things that she does like pretty crochet work and painting too! The recipe that I have chosen today is a very easy one - the reason for choosing this being egg is a family favourite and a bit of a time crunch to try another recipe. But honestly I will keep trying her recipes regularly because there are so many of them. I have recreated her Dimer Dalna exactly according to her recipe and it was a big hit with the boys.
Here's my Dimer Dalna /Jhol for you all to try.

Eggs: 4
Potato: 1 large
Onion paste: 3 tbsp (If you are using white onions then please chop 1 medium onion very finely or sauté roughly chopped white onions in a tsp of oil for 2-3 minutes and then make a paste. The reason being raw white onions when made into a paste tastes quite bitter)
Ginger-garlic paste: 1 tbsp
Tomato: 1 large
Chili powder: 1 tsp or as per your heat tolerance
Coriander powder: ½ tsp
Garam masala powder: 1/3 tsp or chopped coriander
Turmeric - a pinch

Salt - to taste
Oil: 4 tbsp (mustard oil or a mix of that and white oil)
Whole cloves: 2
Cinnamon: ½” piece
Green cardamom: 1
Wash and cut the potato in quarters. Boil the eggs and potatoes with a pinch of salt till the potato is cooked through. Drain the water and let it cool down in fresh cold water for 5-7 minutes. Peel carefully without breaking the white part and with a sharp knife make 3-4 cut marks on the eggs. Sprinkle salt and turmeric on both and keep aside.

Heat the oil and fry the potatoes and eggs till golden. Take out with a slotted spatula and keep aside.
Temper the same oil with the whole spices (lightly bruised to release the aroma). Once they start to splutter add the onion paste. Fry on low heat for 5 minutes or till you see oil oozing out from the onion. Mix in the ginger garlic paste and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Mix in the coriander and chili powder in 1 tbsp water and add in next, cook for 30 seconds and then add chopped tomato and little salt.

Cover and cook till the tomato is soft and mushy. With your spatula mix the tomato to the spice paste to get a smooth consistency. Cook for a minute and then add the eggs and potatoes. Give it a good mix and then pour in 11/2 cups of water.  Check the salt and adjust as per taste. Cover and let it simmer for 5-6 minutes till the eggs and potatoes takes on the flavour and taste nicely.

Sprinkle chopped coriander or garam masala powder and serve hot with steamed rice or roti or paratha.
Thank you Sayantani for such a wonderful easy recipe. This is what we need for busy days. My dear friends you MUST visit A Homemaker's Diary  if you haven't already! Till then...bye.