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Tag Archives: F-word

Chicken Stir fry (with Chilli, Garlic and Coriander)

‘Time Flies’ is an age old adage but the supersonic speed at which the flying is happening in my life currently leaves me so lazy to cook. Too many work and personal assignments that leave me completely drained of time and energy that the everyday meals has become such a chore.

And more often than not, it is not the actual cooking that takes time but rather than the planning of ‘what to cook’! So I decided to pull out my cookbooks (the few that I have) and find inspiration amongst the pages.

Today’s recipe is adapted from ‘The F-Word’!

Chicken Stir fry (with Chilli, Garlic and Coriander) - simple and delicious - thespiceadventuress.com

Yup, you heard it right. This fantabulous book by Mita Kapur is one of my most treasured ones because it is more than just recipes. It is a glimpse into Mita’s food crazed family and her constant juggles as a working mother. The recipes are from around the world with no borders whatsoever and perfectly suit my style of cooking. I have written more about this book here, if you would like to have a read.

And one of my all time favourite recipes from the book are these Malai Kebabs (minced chicken patties with spices, aromatics and cream).

This time, given the time situation, I chose a simple chicken stir fry. Just a handful of ingredients stir fried in a wok topped over rice or noodles; makes an amazing dinner in no time at all.

Chillies are a key ingredient and I have used both Thai red chillies and large green ones. The original recipe has much more heat but with a 7 year old at home, I had to tone down the heat factor. But it depends on what you like; adjust the number of chillies accordingly.

Always use boneless thigh fillets for making stir fries as the meat is much more tender and juicy while the breast meat often tends to go dry. And of course the wok, never undermine the importance of this cooking vessel in getting that perfect stir fry. A good quality wok is a must have in your kitchen!

Ingredients:

  1. 500gms boneless chicken thigh fillet; cut into bite sized pieces
  2. 3 Thai red chillies; chopped
  3. 3 sprigs fresh coriander leaves (with roots); chopped
  4. 4 garlic cloves
  5. 2 large green chillies
  6. 2-3 tbsp fish sauce
  7. 2-3 tbsp oyster sauce
  8. 4-5 tbsp vegetable oil
  9. Salt; to season

For garnish:

  1. 2 sprigs fresh coriander leaves; chopped
  2. 1 spring onion (leafy part); sliced

Method:

  • Using a mortar and pestle, pound the red chillies, garlic and coriander leaves into a coarse paste; keep aside.
  • Heat 3-4 tbsp oil in the wok and add the chicken pieces. Stir fry the chicken pieces on high heat till 3/4ths done and remove.
  • In the same wok (add a bit more oil if necessary), add the pound chilli mixture and sauté on low heat for about a minute. Add the oyster sauce, fish sauce and whole green chillies; also return the chicken pieces to the wok.
  • Stir fry on medium heat till done; add salt only if necessary.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves and spring onions
  • Serve hot.

 

Chicken Stir fry (with Chilli, Garlic and Coriander) - simple and delicious - thespiceadventuress.com

 

 

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The F-Word by Mita Kapur – a Review

One of the best cookbooks I have read so far……

I don’t claim to have a great knowledge of cookbooks nor do I have a library full of them. But I have read quite a few of these to arrive at the above conclusion.

The F-Word by Mita Kapur is a food lover’s dream come true, especially more if you love to read. It is a treasure house of recipes, each one better than the other and I have cooked a lot from this book by now.

The F-Word by Mita Kapur - a detailed review on thespiceadventuress.com

 

Mita Kapur is a freelance journalist and a well known member of the Indian literary scene. Also the founder of Siyahi, an organization responsible behind many literary festivals both in the country and abroad. Mita’s unique way with words is perfectly captured in this book which beautifully showcases her relationship with food and its importance in an Indian household.

If you are an Indian or understand the workings of a large, joint Indian family, you will enjoy this book more because the book unfolds as a story of Mita’s and her family’s everyday life, the food they cook and eat, the experiences they enjoy etc….By the end of the book, you would have formed a personal connection with each member of her family, it’s as if you have always known them.

With plenty of humorous anecdotes and witty comments, Mita brings out her family’s love and craze for food. The book is a joy to read, often bringing a smile to your lips and sometimes, making you burst out into laughter. A very good exercise!

The recipes are from around the globe, so this book is a keeper for everyone. Unlike most cookbooks, there aren’t any fancy pictures or glossy photographs. Instead, there are plenty of illustrations and doodles by Prabha Mallya which adds a shine to the book. Very refreshing!

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The book, from beginning to end, is a riot; a chaotic celebration of food at its finest. There is a recipe for everyone in this book, from traditional Indian ones to fusion to global cuisines; food is celebrated with pomp and gaiety in The F-Word.

Divided into nine chapters, with interesting titles like ‘Papad, Peanuts or Pepperoni’ and ‘Steaming Hot and Subtly Flavoured’ to name a few, this cookbook is sheer culinary delight and a food lover’s dream come true. While the chapters do have a central theme, there are plenty of cross over recipes to keep the story interesting.

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One of the recipes that I have tried from this book is the Malai Kebabs. And I cannot stop gushing about it. Thoroughly enjoyed by my family and a great conversation starter at any party at home, this recipe is now part of my blog also. Find my version, here.

Malai Kebab (Minced Chicken Patties cooked in Spices, Aromatics and Cream) - thespiceadventuress.com

 

Well, I could go on and on about this book but then that would spoil your experience of discovering it for yourself. So head to your nearest book store or get one online. Like I mentioned before, this one’s a keeper.

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Malai Kebab (Minced Chicken Patties cooked in Spices, Aromatics and Cream)

When the head’s gone blank and you have no clue how to start a conversation, you talk about the weather. And that’s what I am going to do…..

Summer is almost over; it was a peek-a-boo show this year which was rather disappointing. The cold, winds and rain are almost setting in which deports me to a hibernous mental state. I have started craving for hot, spicy food; my fiery curries, rich stews and all things warming.

Having readers from around the globe is a heady feeling but a lot of work. Often, I have to keep in mind the climate of the rest of the world and try to put up recipes and dishes that would suit them too.

And since summer has not hit hard yet, these malai kebabs are perfect as these are rich and heavy, drenched in cream, spices and a whole lot of deliciousness.

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The recipe for this Malai Kebab comes from one of the best cookbooks I have read in my lifetime – The F-Word by Mita Kapur. The only cookbook from which I would cook every single day of my life. The book is a beautiful narrative of the culinary adventures of Mrs. Kapur and her family, the food they like to eat and cook daily in their home. A review of this book will soon follow, so I am not saying more here.

Tikka, Kebab…the name is much interchanged these days. History states that kebabs first came into being during the Ottoman times when travelling soldiers used to roast chunks of meat on their swords over the fire; this continued till someone invented skewers thus making this dish a household one. And with time, the kebabs travelled to the Mughal kitchens where minced meat began to be used instead of chunks of meat for the old, toothless emperors and this came to be called tikkis or tikkas. But today, it is much interchanged and you simply cannot go by the name.

Any type of meat can be used for the kebabs, though lamb is used traditionally. I decided to go with chicken for its mass appeal. Good quality mince would make a lot of difference to the texture of the kebabs, which should ideally be melt-in-the-mouth. So select the boneless chicken pieces and ask your butcher to mince it separately for you.
To prepare these malai kebabs, you need to make the flavourful patties first resplendent with aromatics and spices; followed by drenching it in sour cream and finished off with chillies and coriander.

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Delicious and indulgent; these malai kebabs are definitely conversation starters!

Ingredients:

1. 250 gm chicken mince
2. 1 slice white bread, soaked in milk
3. ½ onion, finely chopped
4. 2 green chillies, finely chopped
5. ½ tsp red chilli powder
6. ½ tsp garam masala
7. 1 tsp coriander powder
8. ½ egg
9. 1 tbsp fresh coriander, finely chopped
10. ½ inch ginger, finely chopped
11. Salt, to season
12. Plain flour, optional
13. Ghee/clarified butter, for shallow frying the patties/kebabs
14. 150ml sour cream
15. ¼ tsp garam masala
16. ½ tsp red chilli powder
17. 1 green chilli, finely chopped
18. 1 tbsp fresh coriander, finely chopped

Note – With the above proportions, this dish is medium spicy; so adjust the quantity of spices and chillies to suit individual taste.

Method:

1. Mix the first 11 ingredients and knead the mince well till combined. Divide into equal parts and shape the mince into roundish, flat cakes and keep aside. The mixture will be slightly wet and if shaping is an issue, dust the cakes in plain flour. But this is optional; I did not use the flour.
2. Heat ghee in a flat non-stick pan and shallow fry the kebabs till browned on either side. Make sure to turn over only after one side is done well to prevent breaking. Drain on kitchen paper.
3. In the same pan, add the sour cream, garam masala and red chilli powder. Place the kebabs carefully back in the pan and cook covered on low heat for about 6-8 minutes, turning once in between. Season with salt if necessary.
4. Remove from heat and garnish with chopped green chillies and coriander just before serving.
5. Eat this hot!

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