Category Archives: Sandwiches

Tandoori Chicken Burger

It’s that time of the year again when the sun’s shining bright and we welcome the season wholeheartedly with barbecues and backyard parties.

I love spring and summer! No matter how hot it gets, I love this season because it’s all about the outdoor life. The late sunsets and balmy evenings are perfect for outdoor parties. Our new home has a beautiful backyard and deck space so can’t wait to have friends over for some great food and conversations.

And when we speak of barbecues, burgers are a hot favourite especially if you have kids around. I like to make the burgers from scratch as there’s more control of the type and quality of meat and also the flavour and seasonings that go into it.

While I have experimented with pork, lamb and beef burger before, this is the first time with a chicken burger; a recipe I wanted to perfect as a lot of our friends do not eat other meats except chicken. And of course my love for spice blends came to the fore with this one too and hence a ‘Tandoori Chicken Burger’

Tandoori Chicken Burger - thespiceadventuress.com

Now the tandoori masala is a wet marinade which does not really work with a burger. So I made a dry spice blend incorporating many of the spices and herbs that traditionally go into making a tandoori masala. The dry spice blend was added to the chicken mince to flavour and season before being shaped into burger patties.

This dry tandoori blend is a really versatile one. Of course you can add it to yoghurt and make the tandoori marinade for grilling veggies, fish or meats. But I end up using this dry marinade as a seasoning agent for so many dishes including curries. And when it comes to this particular recipe, the flavoured mince can again be used to make meatballs, koftes etc….

Tandoori Chicken Burger - thespiceadventuress.com

Since I wanted to keep the flavours on the traditional side, the accompaniments were tomato chutney, mint coriander chutney, pickled onions along with sliced tomatoes and butter lettuce.

Note – Recipe for mint coriander chutney can be found here.

So let’s get grilling these delicious Tandoori Chicken Burgers….

Ingredients:

Tandoori Spice Blend:

(The excess can be stored in an airtight container; keeps fresh for 3 months)

  1. 2 tsp turmeric powder
  2. 4 tsp red chilli powder
  3. 2 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
  4. 2 tsp coriander powder
  5. 2 tsp cumin powder
  6. 2 tsp chaat masala
  7. ½ tsp dried mango powder
  8. 1 tsp dried garlic granules (or use garlic powder)
  9. 1 tsp dried ginger

To prepare, mix all the ingredients together and store in an airtight container. No salt has been added to this spice blend unlike most commercial ones so keep that in mind while using it as a spice rub or marinade.

For the burger patties:

  1. 500gms chicken mince
  2. 1 ½ tbsp tandoori spice blend
  3. 2 tbsp fresh coriander; finely chopped
  4. Salt, to season
  5. Oil, for grilling
  6. 4 Brioche burger buns
  7. Tomato chutney
  8. Mint coriander chutney
  9. Pickled onions
  10. Butter lettuce
  11. ½ Lebanese cucumber; sliced
  12. 1 tomato; sliced

Method:

  1. In a glass bowl, add the chicken mince, tandoori blend, coriander and salt. Mix well to combine and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
  2. Shape into 4 large patties (you may shape into smaller sized patties based on your preference) and keep aside.
  3. Spray oil on a stove top grill (the burgers can be cooked on a barbecue too) and place on medium to high heat. When the grill is really hot, place the burger patties and hold down with the spatula for a few seconds. Repeat for all four.
  4. Flip over after 1-2 minutes and repeat till the burgers are done. Remove and keep aside.
  5. Cut the brioche buns in half and grill.
  6. To assemble, spread tomato chutney on one side and mint coriander chutney on the other side. Place the butter lettuce leaves and then place the burger on top, followed by the tomato slice, cucumber and pickled onions.

Tandoori Chicken Burger - thespiceadventuress.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hot Cross Bun Sliders (with Sausage, Fried Egg and Garlic Aioli)

Hot Cross Buns are everywhere!

I mean, it’s practically impossible to walk into any supermarket, bakery or fresh food store without catching a glimpse of beautifully arranged packets of these, right at the counter. And to think, ‘hot cross buns’ was only a childhood nursery rhyme for me till five years ago.

Hot Cross Bun Sliders (with Sausage, Fried Egg and Garlic Aioli) - thespiceadventuress.com

That’s true. I have never seen or eaten a hot cross bun in my life till I moved to Australia. And I clearly didn’t like it the first time I ever tasted it. It was too sweet for me and I didn’t really enjoy the idea of intensely sweet bread with hints of spice.

Fortunately, the dislike didn’t last too long as I discovered better tasting hot cross buns. But still, it was not my favourite and not something I bought to celebrate Easter.

But this year, I was challenged with the task of creating a hot cross bun recipe for another website. I wanted to do something interesting and if possible savoury since there were so many baked/dessert recipes using hot cross buns that were all over the internet.

Quite a bit of research later, I decided to take inspiration from NoshOn.It and came up with these utterly delicious Hot Cross Bun Sliders!

Hot Cross Bun Sliders (with Sausage, Fried Egg and Garlic Aioli) - thespiceadventuress.com

In the process of creating this recipe, I must say that I fell in love with the brioche style hot cross buns from Woolworths. So much lighter in texture than the regular buns, these were not excessively sweet, more buttery which made it absolutely delicious when toasted.

So getting on to the recipe today, I was looking for a recipe that is an answer to the hot cross bun leftover situation that will happen in many households around the world. And these sliders are just perfect for that. Savoury, so that you have a respite from all the sweet treats and also works great as a brunch or Easter morning breakfast.

Using sausage meat to create the burger like patty is a brilliant idea because it is often so flavourful especially if you buy the varieties which have herbs and spices in them. I picked up some Angus beef sausages which were absolutely perfect. All that you need to do is remove the skin, roll and shape the stuffing into patties.

You can use just toasted hot cross buns for making these sliders or make it extra indulgent by going the French toast route. Dip the buns in French toast batter (minus the sugar and spice) and toast to perfection. Believe me, this step changes the game altogether….you will know how delicious only if you make it guys.

Add a fried or poached egg and a drizzle of garlic aioli to finish this absolutely divine rendition of Hot Cross Bun Sliders. Happy Easter folks!

Hot Cross Bun Sliders (with Sausage, Fried Egg and Garlic Aioli) - thespiceadventuress.com

Recipe developed, styled and shot for Stuff Mums Like, so head over to the website for the full recipe.

 

Back to School with Smash + a Recipe for Paneer Veggie Wraps

Not sure about all of you, but I am terribly late with my ‘back to school’ shopping.

As I have been away on holidays, I did not really have a chance to take stock of what are the new purchases I will need to make for Adi to get ready for school. And now, I just have a week left.

And while I will be scrambling to get the uniforms, shoes, bag etc…. I am so glad that the lunch box situation has been sorted, all thanks to Smash Enterprises.

My association with Smash began 2 years ago when I was introduced to the brand at a bloggers’ conference and I haven’t looked back since. And for the past two years, I have been reviewing their products and new launches during the ‘back to school’ period.

Check out my earlier posts here and here (there are some easy lunch box recipes too).

Back to School with Smash + a Recipe for Paneer Veggie Wraps - thespiceadventuress.com

Smash Enterprises is an Australian owned brand; and all their products are not just reliable and durable but designs that focus on reducing wastage. Moreover the products are BPA free, which is an extremely important factor for me.

There are so many choices when it comes to picking out the right type of lunch box for your child, based on individual needs and eating habits. Highly customizable products in varied sizes and shapes, that’s what I like best about Smash.

Smash products are sold at most of the big retailers like Coles, Woolworths, Officeworks, BigW, David Jones, Masters and Target. You can view the latest product catalogue, to see the entire range and also find out where the products retail as some of the designs are unique to certain stores.

One of my favourite products (and Adi’s too) is the Smash Box, also called the dual lunch box.

Back to School with Smash + a Recipe for Paneer Veggie Wraps - thespiceadventuress.com

It has a very simple yet practical design that is not just durable but also easy to dismantle and clean everyday. The twin compartments make it easy to segregate the different food items and there is also a sandwich belt to hold those unruly ones in place (how much I need that!). It also comes with a yoghurt container which we use a lot and also plenty of room to hold other nibbles like cheese, biscuits, fruits etc…

Smash also stocks small add on, multipurpose containers in several shapes and colours that can be used to pack food items like dips, pasta etc….

The lunch boxes also come with suitable bags which have the unique BLUE iQ mould resistant and antibacterial lining. It is free from BPA, Phthalate. lead and PVC. Also has an easy swipe clean design which is so practical for easy daily maintenance. Also available in so many colours and designs for that fun factor for children. Adi has chosen the ‘Camo’ design this time; apparently he is done with cartoons and Camo is the new cool!

Apart from the dual lunch box, some of the other popular designs are the bento box and this year’s launch, the Bento switch up which has removable dividers  that make it all the more easier to customize your child’s lunch box.

Back to School with Smash + a Recipe for Paneer Veggie Wraps - thespiceadventuress.com

Smash also has a great collection for adult lunch boxes and I love the grown up designs and colours. Again really practical and reliable solutions for everyday use.

And now for the recipe….

Wraps are one of our go to school lunches. Adi loves the convenience of eating these while out and about on the playground; it’s non fussy and convenient. And I love the fact that there are a zillion fillings that I could think of for the wraps so that it does not become boring and repetitive.

I also find that wraps are an easy way to get him to eat all sorts of veggies; as long as it’s flavourful, he is not picking out ingredients. So today, we have this super delicious but easy veggie wraps using paneer or the Indian cottage cheese with assorted veggies.

Back to School with Smash + a Recipe for Paneer Veggie Wraps - thespiceadventuress.com

A really rich calcium source, paneer is often used in traditional Indian dishes but it is equally great to be eaten raw. Just make sure that you get good quality paneer and soak it in lukewarm water for 5 minutes to get super soft texture that is great as a salad topping or in wraps like this.

The only seasoning I have used is a touch of cumin and dukkah; both of which adds loads of flavour.

Do share your back to school experiences, any great brands you have discovered and your child’s favourite lunch box recipes.

Back to School with Smash + a Recipe for Paneer Veggie Wraps - thespiceadventuress.com

Paneer Veggie Wraps

Ingredients:

  1. Whole meal Wraps (substitute with tortillas/Indian flat breads/pita pockets)
  2. 100 gms paneer (soaked in lukewarm water for 5 minutes); sliced lengthwise
  3. 1 yellow bell pepper; sliced lengthwise
  4. 1 tomato; remove the pulp and slice lengthwise
  5. 1 Lebanese cucumber; sliced lengthwise
  6. ½ tsp crushed cumin
  7. 1 tsp dukkah
  8. Salt; to season
  9. 1 avocado
  10. 1 lime

Method:

  1. In a bowl, add the paneer, cucumber, tomatoes and bell pepper.
  2. Season with salt, cumin and dukkah; toss gently to mix.
  3. Scoop the avocado into a non reactive bowl; add the juice of half a lime and mash well using a fork. Season with salt, taste and add more lime juice if necessary.
  4. Heat a whole meal wrap and spread the avocado smash on top.
  5. Place a handful or two of the paneer veggie mix and roll tightly into a wrap.
  6. Cover the bottom half with some foil which makes it easy for your child to eat.

Back to School with Smash + a Recipe for Paneer Veggie Wraps - thespiceadventuress.com

Chicken Fajita Tacos with Minty Cucumber Yoghurt

What a newsworthy month it has been! And while the headlines continue to shock and stir us, the social media is filling up with delicious treats that promise us much joy and hope this festival season.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I have no plans whatsoever for Christmas or New Year; in fact we haven’t thought or discussed about it as a family. There will be some sort of celebration and most likely a quiet one with just a couple of close friends….that’s our style of entertaining.

I have always been picky and choosy about my friends. And while during my teens, that was seen as a disadvantage (my parents used to get a tad bit worried that I walked around lonely with a book in hand most of the time), it eventually turned out to be the biggest strength of my life. My ability to choose just a handful of good people as friends ensured that I was always surrounded by positivity.

And luckily I am married to a person who shares that idealogy though it took him a while to get that. He had a zillion friends only to discover that when life dealt him a series of blows, there was hardly anyone to turn to. So now we have our chosen few, friends who are non-judgemental, accept us the way we are and shares a common thread of mutual respect and understanding not confined by social norms. And I know, plan or not, we will celebrate this holiday season with a couple of them.

While I am getting busy developing, testing and photographing new recipes leading to the festive season, the reality of everyday dinners is always on the horizon. So when Maraya, who is one of the super moms behind the popular blog ‘Stuff Mums Like’ reached out to me for a guest collaboration, I was thrilled.

While there were a zillion ideas buzzing in my head, I zeroed in on tacos….I mean, who doesn’t like tacos. I am sure it’s a fave at every home. And this recipe is bound to be a big hit with the kiddos; my 7 year old adores it. And if there are any leftovers, you can convert it into a wrap or add it to the salad bowl for a delicious lunch the next day.

Chicken Fajita Tacos with Minty Cucumber Yoghurt - simple, easy to make and feeds a crowd - thespiceadventuress.com

Chicken Fajita Tacos with Minty Cucumber Yoghurt - simple, easy to make and feeds a crowd - thespiceadventuress.com

Also, don’t forget to make an extra batch of the fajita seasoning; a very handy blend in your spice cupboard.

Fajita Seasoning - food photography - thespiceadventuress.com

Ingredients:

  1. Mini wheat tortillas
  2. 500gms skinless chicken thighs; cut into thin strips
  3. 1 orange bell pepper; cut into strips

This is a guest post in collaboration with Stuff Mums Like, so kindly head over to their website for the full recipe.

Chicken Fajita Tacos with Minty Cucumber Yoghurt - simple, easy to make and feeds a crowd - thespiceadventuress.com

Chicken Fajita Tacos with Minty Cucumber Yoghurt - simple, easy to make and feeds a crowd - thespiceadventuress.com

Smash Box – a Product Review + a Recipe for Mushroom Bacon Wrap

Another two weeks to go for the school to re-open!

Little Adi is excited and so is his mom. I mean it was great spending time with each other, having play dates, workshops and a whole lot of fun but seriously, both of us need a break from each other.

Most of you would have begun the Back to School shopping. Luckily, no need for uniforms but have to get everything else, especially new shoes (they cost a bomb!). While thinking about a new lunchbox, I received a mail from SMASH asking if I would like to review their brand new lunchbox products launched for the season. Yay!

What got me even more excited is their new lunchbox range for the grown-ups. The hubby is forever complaining about the lack of choice for adults, especially men. So I decided to review both the products and read on to know what I think.

And yes, there is also a recipe – delicious mushroom bacon wraps. Easy and ready in a jiffy!

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A bit about the brand…Smash Enterprises is an Australian brand! And this speaks volumes to me as I am a great believer in promoting local brands and products. The products are not just reliable and durable but the brand also focuses on reducing wastage and is BPA free.

The coolest thing about the new ‘Smash Box’ is that it comes with an insulated jacket for the lunch box. For me, this is an extremely important feature. Adi loves his ham and cheese but it’s always a worry packing it for his lunch box especially during the hotter months. So this insulated jacket is great when I need that extra chill factor. The jacket can be removed easily so great while washing or for days when it is not required. Insulated bags are also available for the office range – a beautiful blue for the guys and a vibrant green for the ladies (it can easily pass off as a handbag).

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Made from durable plastic, the Smash box is sturdy and designed to be a great companion to your child’s school meal times. I loved the fact that the design is well thought of; the twin compartments make it easy to segregate the different food items. There is even a sandwich belt to hold those unruly ones in place (how much I need that!). A special yoghurt container which will definitely be used a lot and also plenty of room to hold other nibbles like cheese, biscuits, fruits etc… Individual containers of varying sizes and shapes are also available for multipurpose use.

A practical yet simple design, the lunch boxes are easy to clean and dishwasher safe.

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Smash products are sold at most of the big retailers like Coles, Woolworths, Officeworks, BigW, David Jones, Masters and Target. The new Smash Box is sold only at Coles and the adult range (pictured in this review) can be found at Officeworks; these are a limited release so make sure to get your hands on it before it is sold out.

There are also several other designs and styles, so make sure you take a look at the website for more details.

And to inaugurate the brand new Smash box, I decided to make a mushroom bacon wrap – a recipe I make quite often for Adi’s lunch. It’s easy, high on protein and delicious; the filling can be made ahead of time so assembling the wrap is the only job for the morning. The filling is so robust and delicious but I add that extra bit of nutrition in the form of baby spinach, cucumber and tomatoes. For the adult lunch boxes, I bulk up with a mixed salad on the side.

If you are a vegetarian, replace the bacon with paneer (Indian cottage cheese) or tofu.

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Ingredients:

  1. 150 gm bacon; diced
  2. 7 brown mushrooms; diced
  3. ½ onion; finely chopped
  4. 1 tbsp chives; finely chopped
  5. ½ tsp paprika
  6. Salt, to season
  7. Black pepper, to season
  8. To assemble:
  • Whole meal wraps
  • Baby spinach
  • Lebanese cucumber; sliced
  • Ripe red tomatoes; sliced
  • Aioli/tomato sauce

Method:

  1. Add the diced bacon to a pan; cook on low heat till the bacon pieces are beginning to brown. (No oil is added as the bacon fat gets rendered down).
  2. Once the bacon pieces start to brown, add the onion and sauté for another minute or two. Then add the mushrooms along with the spices. Season with salt and continue to sauté till the mushrooms get cooked. Remove from heat and mix in the chives.
  3. To assemble, place a few baby spinach leaves on the wrap followed by sliced cucumber and tomatoes. Then spoon the bacon mushroom mixture on top. Finish off with the aioli and tomato sauce. Wrap into a roll tightly with a foil.

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How are your ‘back to school’ preparations going? Would love to hear your stories…..

 

Disclaimer – This post was bought to you in association with Smash. All the products were sponsored but the opinions and remarks are entirely mine. 

 

 

 

 

Indian style Pork Burger with Caramelized Pineapple + Winner of the Cookbook Giveaway

I cannot contain the excitement any longer, so let’s announce the winner before we get to today’s recipe.

I decided to go old-school for the draw, not trusting any software to pick my winner. So all the names got written down onto individual chits and then the most important job of picking the winner – gave it to my son to do the honours; oh my, wasn’t he excited!

And yes, we have a winner and it is…………..Sarah Moss. Congratulations Sarah, hope you enjoy cooking from this book as much as I did picking it for you. And please do inbox me so that I can send it over to you at the earliest.

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Now, I am equally excited about today’s recipe too…..it is a hearty, indulgent pork burger with an Indian twist.

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Pork and pineapple is a classic combination, a match made in heaven. And just to spice things up a bit, I added some familiar Indian flavours to the burger.

The secret to a delicious, succulent, juicy burger lies in mainly in the quality of meat. Instead of going for a store-bought mince, it is best to get good cuts of meat from your local butcher and ask him to mince it up for you. This way, you get to choose how much fat goes into the mince. For this, I chose the pork shoulder and the ratio of fat to meat in the mince was 1:4.

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Minced onion, aromatics and a freshly roasted and ground spice mix was added to the pork mince to infuse the classic Indian flavours. The caramelized pineapple adds the hint of sweetness and brings the spices to life.

The best thing about homemade burgers is that these are healthy as you are in control of all the ingredients that goes in and is a great way to get your family to eat veggies too. My hubby would eat tomato in a burger sandwich but would throw it out if I put it in a curry. Got the point?

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So, here’s how you make Indian style pork burgers with caramelized pineapple, tomatoes, onion and coriander.

Ingredients:

Makes about 8-10 patties (these freeze well so you can make batches and stock away for later use; another idea is to make meatballs and use it the next time you make spaghetti).

For the burger;

1. 1 kg pork mince (use any meat that you want)
2. 1 large red onion, finely chopped
3. 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4. 1 inch ginger, finely chopped
5. 1 large green chilli, finely chopped
6. Indian spice blend
• 2 tsp Coriander seeds
• 2 tsp Dry chilli flakes
• 1 tsp Cumin seeds
7. Salt, to season
8. 1 egg

For the final sandwich;

9. Burger buns
10. 1 pineapple, cut into thick slices
11. Cos lettuce, shredded
12. 1 tomato, sliced
13. ½ red onion, sliced finely
14. A few sprigs of fresh coriander leaves
15. Barbeque sauce

Method:

1. To prepare the spice blend, dry roast the coriander and cumin seeds. Cool, add the chilli flakes and grind to a fine powder. I used the entire blend as I was wanted a good kick of the spices but you can add just enough to suit your taste preferences.
2. If you are using a food processor, throw in all the ingredients for the burger including the spice blend; or finely chop the onion and aromatics and then mix all ingredients together for the burger patties.
3. Form the mince into circular patties and keep aside. Again, the thickness of the patty is entirely upto your preferences; I make thick ones and for a kilo of mince, made 10 patties.
4. Heat a grill pan, brush with oil and grill the burgers till done; flip around after giving a couple of minutes on each side to get the char grilled marks. Rest the burgers for at least two minutes before preparing the sandwich.
5. Grill the pineapple slices (make sure the grill is smoking hot to instantly caramelize the sugars which keeps the crunch intact and seals the juices inside; on low heat, the pineapple slices go limp and soggy).
6. Cut the burger buns in half and grill for that extra crunch.
7. To assemble the sandwich, place shredded lettuce on the bottom half of the bun and layer up – patty, barbeque sauce, pineapple slice, tomato, onions and coriander leaves.

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This giveaway is now close and the winner is Sarah Moss.

Jamie Oliver’s Moroccan Spiced Lamb Burger

It has been a while since I had a post up; been very busy with the Easter and school holidays – 2 weeks well spent with family and friends. I had also taken up another freelance project which required my total attention and focus. But now I am back – raring to go with a head full of ideas!

Today’s dish is a no-brainer; the ultimate comfort food for the young and old alike. And the recipe created by the much loved and respected celebrity chef – Jamie Oliver.

In my list of culinary inspirations, Jamie’s name features right on top. He believes in healthy but not boring, hardly on the plate food – but hearty, home cooked, nourished meals. The kind of food our mothers (and sometimes, fathers) fed us; and the reason that we managed to stay sane and healthy one half of our lives. Things took on a bad turn when we started feeding ourselves!

For a good chunk of my life, I relied on frozen instant burger patties grabbed with much gusto and pride from the supermarket freezers (till I started reading what all could have gone into it!). But with this recipe, officially, I am done with that. Jamie, in less than 10 minutes, taught me the secret to amazing burger sandwiches with unlimited possibilities.

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The key aspect of a good burger is the quality of meat. A mistake most people make while attempting homemade burgers is to use readymade store-bought mince. Instead, the best way to get juicy, succulent and healthy burgers is to choose a lean cut of meat at your local butcher and ask him to mince it for you. This ensures that there is no unwanted fat or sinew which detracts from the flavour of the meat, makes it chewy and loaded with calories.

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Another tip I picked up is to keep the flavours of the burger simple but layer on more flavours with the sauce used. Here, it is the harissa flavoured yoghurt sauce which makes it very flavourful, very Moroccan. A simple Moroccan spice mix was used to add a dash of heat to the patties. And to freshen up the whole sandwich and lend it the ultimate Meditteranean feel, fresh Romaine lettuce shreds and lemon soaked mint leaves. Heaven on earth!

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Ingredients:

Moroccan spice mix:

1. Freshly milled black pepper – 1 tbsp
2. Coriander powder – ½ tsp
3. Roasted cumin powder – ½ tsp
4. Harissa paste – 1 tbsp
5. Garam masala – 1 tsp

For the burger patties:

Makes 5-6

6. Lean lamb mince – 1 kg
7. Salt – to season
8. Moroccan spice mix

Harissa flavoured yoghurt sauce:

9. Thick plain yoghurt – 1 cup
10. Harissa paste – 2 tsp
11. Lemon juice – 1 tsp
12. Olive oil – 1 tbsp
13. Salt – to season

To assemble:

14. Burger buns
15. Lemon soaked mint leaves
16. Romaine lettuce – shredded
17. Red onion – sliced finely

 

Method:

To make the lamb patties:

1. In a bowl, mix the lamb mince with the moroccan spice mix, season with salt and shape into thick patties.
2. Grill the burgers on both sides till done.

To make harissa flavoured yoghurt sauce:

3. Mix all the ingredients till smooth and without lumps.

To assemble:

4. Lightly toast both sides of the bun, place shredded lettuce, red onion, add the burger patty and drizzle generously with the yoghurt sauce. Add 2-3 lemon soaked mint leaves to finish.
Eat and enjoy!

 

 

 

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Shredded Chicken with Trio of Bell Pepper Sandwich

I have become a big time ‘sandwich eater’ after coming to Melbourne. In fact, we have sandwiches for lunch on most days as it saves time during the week especially when I have to pack my hubby’s lunch right in the morning. With sandwiches, you can do a lot of the prep work the day before which makes it a super fast and filling food.

I try and make different kinds of sandwiches using various ingredients to keep it interesting as sandwiches can get boring if you stick to the same filling, day in and out. This dish is the result of one such experiment.

Whenever I buy chicken, I store a few boneless pieces in the freezer to use during the week as a sandwich filling. Here, I shallow fried the chicken pieces, shredded it and tossed it with different coloured bell peppers/capsicums. The seasoning I used for the chicken is the Nando’s peri-peri salt but if you cannot get this one, you can also use a dusting of smoked paprika, Kashmiri chilli powder or simply black pepper and salt. Choosing different coloured peppers not only keeps the dish interesting and pretty to look at but also makes it a healthier one.

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So here’s shredded chicken with trio of bell pepper sandwich – a simple, colourful, highly nutritious and delicious sandwich which is perfect for lunch boxes.

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Ingredients:

1. Boneless chicken pieces – 250 gm
2. Nando’s peri peri salt – to season
3. Red bell pepper/capsicum – 1 cup, cut into long strips
4. Green bell pepper/capsicum – 1 cup, cut into long strips
5. Yellow Dutch bell pepper/capsicum – 1 cup, cut into long strips
6. Vegetable oil – to shallow fry the chicken pieces
7. Salt – to season
8. Pepper – to season
9. Tabasco hot sauce
10. Hot dog roll – 2

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Method:

• In a bowl, rub the chicken pieces with Nando’s peri peri salt and keep aside for 15 minutes.
• Heat oil in a nonstick pan and shallow fry the chicken pieces till cooked well. Remove and drain excess oil by placing on paper napkins
• Cut the chicken pieces into long and thin strips.
• Drain excess oil from the pan in which you cooked chicken leaving about 1-2 tbsps behind.
• Add the bell peppers and sauté on high heat for 30 seconds. Season with salt and pepper.
• Return the chicken pieces to the pan and sauté again for another minute. Remember not to overcook the bell peppers to retain freshness and crunch.
• Slit the hot dog roll and fill the stuffing. Drizzle Tabasco for the extra hot punch or use any sauce of your liking.
• Serve with a fresh leaf salad on the side.

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Do you make sandwiches at home?

Chicken bezule……….wrapped up!

I have been seeing a lot of food bloggers post a recipe for Chicken bezule on their blogs and my first thought has always been, ‘arre, that is our chicken pakoda’.

Chicken bezule is a famous Mangalorean street food and what I call chicken pakoda enjoys the same cult status on the streets of Tamil Nadu. Now, I have made chicken pakoda before but my marinade incorporated more of the Kerala flavours (my twist basically). While there are plenty of recipes for this dish on the Internet, the one that caught my fancy was from the blog, http://www.theredchillies.com/– do check out this blog for some awesome recipes.

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Now coming back to chicken bezule aka pakoda, I loved the fact that there is no thick and hard outer coat but just a thin, crispy layer coating the juicy and succulent chicken. There is an explosion of flavours in this yoghurt-based marinade with the aromatics and spices which works best if made fresh each time. Though the recipe did use red food colour for that rich red hue to the chicken pieces, I didn’t use any. Instead I used Kashmiri chilli powder to get the red colour without the heat. But if you must, it is always advisable to use organic food colours.

Usually served as an accompaniment or starter, I wanted to convert this into a full-fledged meal and the best way to do it was ‘wrap it up’!

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Layered up on a wheat wrap with the succulent pieces of chicken and added a good measure of fresh salsa, cucumber slices, avocado dip, squeezed some lemon over – the result was culinary perfection! A filling, delicious sandwich that is perfect for a weekday meal or a party.

So let’s get wrapping, oops cooking, Chicken Bezule…

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Ingredients:

Chicken bezule:

1. Chicken (boneless pieces) – 500 gm
2. Ginger – 1 inch
3. Garlic – 4 cloves
4. Coriander leaves – 1/3rd cup
5. Curry leaves – 2 sprigs
6. Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
7. Kashmiri chilli powder – 2 tsp
8. Garam masala – ½ tsp
9. Lemon juice – 1 tbsp
10. Curd – 2 tbsp
11. Rice flour – 2 tbsp
12. Maida/bleached wheat flour – 2 tbsp
13. Salt – to season
14. Vegetable oil – for deep frying

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Avocado dip:

15. Ripe avocado – 2, mashed well
16. Juice of one lemon
17. Salt – to season
18. Chilli flakes (optional)– ½ tsp

Salsa:

19. Ripe red tomatoes – 2 large, chopped finely
20. Red onion – 1, chopped finely
21. Green chilli – 1, chopped finely
22. Salt – to season
23. Juice of ½ lemon

To finish off:

24. Cucumber – cut into thin slices
25. Wheat wraps

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Method:

To prepare chicken bezule:

• Grind the aromatics i.e. ingredients 2-5 into a fine paste.
• In a bowl, mix yoghurt, spice powders, rice flour, wheat flour, lemon juice and salt.

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• Add the chicken pieces into the marinade and mix thoroughly. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours (the more the better)

chicken bezule

• Heat oil in a large, deep pan and deep fry the chicken pieces.

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To prepare avocado dip:

• Mix mashed avocado with lemon juice. Season with salt and chilli flakes.

To prepare salsa:

• Mix together ingredients 19-23.

Note – What I do to get the perfect salsa is put all the ingredients in a large bowl with a tight lid. And then its shake baby shake. Open up for a perfect juicy salsa.

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To assemble the wrap, spoon the salsa, place the chicken pieces on top and then add the avocado dip, sliced cucumbers and a dash of lemon.

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Happy eating!

I have tried to re-create this age-old Manglorean street food and given it a new avatar. And hence sending it to the South Indian cooking event hosted by http://nandooskitchen.blogspot.in/2014/01/south-indian-cooking-event.html and http://anuzhealthykitchen.blogspot.com.au/ (2 amazing Indian food blogs)

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KFG Chicken Wrap

If you have read my post yesterday, you would know why I could have chosen this name for the dish. Actually, I made this chicken wrap a loooong time ago but never got around to posting it. When I made it, I had no intention of putting up or naming the spice blend. But somehow, one thing led to the other and now, I have a rather special spice blend and this wrap is the first dish that I created in a moment of culinary inspiration. (I know I have to stop pre-fixing the KFG tag all the time lest the novelty wears off due to sheer repetition!)

This is a simple, easy fix and hearty sandwich that can be made in a jiffy if you have the KFG spice blend stocked in your pantry. The choice of filling is totally individualistic; I used alfalfa sprouts for its nutritional goodness and paired it with the classic onion/tomato combo. A bit of crushed haloumi and a good drizzle of mint-coriander chutney really helped to lift the flavours.

kfg chicken wrap

Ingredients:
1. Wheat wrap – 2 large
2. Egg – 1, beaten well
3. Chicken breast fillet – 1, sliced finely
4. KFG spice blend – ½ tsp (recipe at https://skinnychefdecuisine.wordpress.com/2013/09/24/kfg-spice-blend/)
5. Salt – to season
6. Black pepper – to season
7. Alfalfa sprouts – ½ cup
8. Onion – 1, chopped finely
9. Tomato – 1, chopped finely
10. Haloumi – 1 cup, crushed with fingers
11. Mint coriander chutney (recipe at https://skinnychefdecuisine.wordpress.com/2013/08/25/mint-coriander-chutney/)
12. Vegetable oil – 3-4 tbsp

Method:
• Marinate the chicken pieces with the KFG spice blend, salt and pepper. Keep aside for 30 minutes or longer. Shallow fry the chicken pieces and keep aside.
• Place the wrap on a flat girdle or tawa, warm lightly on both sides. Spread 1-2 tbsp of the egg mixture seasoned with salt and pepper on one surface and flip it over so that the egg cooks and coats the surface.

with egg coating

• Place the egg coated side up on a plate and spread alfalfa sprouts and the fried chicken pieces on top.

alfalfa sprouts, kfg chicken

• Then add the chopped onions and tomatoes followed by crushed haloumi. Finally drizzle with mint-coriander chutney for a yummy delicious wrap.

onion, tomato, mint coriander chutney, haloumi

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