Thursday, December 27, 2007

Chicken Tikka

This is one of the dry dishes I learnt first. I always thought cooking chicken was a lot of work, since any non-vegeterian meal at my home would be prepared on a Sunday and I would see my mom toiling in the kitchen for a long time. So my idea of any non-veg dish was first it is elaborate to make, second it was so hard so never try it on weekdays. These two myths were burnt in my brain so hard, that I did not even attempt to cook a non-veg dish after I moved out of home for sometime. But my craving for chicken made me try something and this was a simple recipe I learnt from a book. I made my own very small improvements to the dish and now one of my favorites. It is one of the dishes I always prepare for a party or a get-together, because most of the preparation is done the previous day.


Chicken breasts – 2 lbs

Oil - 2 Tbsp

Curry leaves – 1 sprig(optional)

Sliced onion and coriander leaves – To garnish

For marinade:

Chilli powder – 2 Tbsp(as per taste)


Garam masala – 1 tsp

Ginger garlic paste – 2 Tbsp

Curd / yogurt – ¼ cup

Lemon juice – 2 Tbsp

1. Cut the chicken breasts into small bite sized pieces and set aside.

2. To prepare the marinade mix all the ingredients listed for marinade in a large bowl.

3. Now add the diced chicken pieces in the bowl and mix it well. Then transfer the chicken pieces to a Ziploc bag or an airtight container and store it in a refrigerator. Allow it to marinate for overnight preferably, if in a hurry 2-4 hours of marinating should also be okay. But longer period of marinating betters the taste of the dish.

4. Now take a heavy wide bottomed vessel and heat 2Tbsp of oil and then add the curry leaves. Add the marinated chicken pieces and cover it with a lid. Allow it to cook on a very low flame for 15- 20mins. The juices from the chicken and the marinade should be enough to cook the chicken.

5. Once the water from the chicken starts to evaporate, stir the chicken every few minutes and cook until each chicken pieces are separate, dry and light brown in color.

6. Garnish the chicken tikka with onion and coriander leaves. Enjoy it as an appetizer or side dish.

Tips for marinating the chicken:

In case of meat/poultry never fork the meat prior to marinating. The holes thus created due to forking allow the marinade juices to flow out of the meat.

Do not prepare or use excessively thick marinades for marination. The thick marinades cannot penetrate very well and thus the final flavors of the main dish get affected.

To marinate inside a Ziploc bag- Place the chicken into the bag and pour in the marinade. Remove as much air as possible from the bag and seal it. Make sure that the chicken is well coated, by massaging the chicken in the stock. Fold the bag in half.

If marinating time is longer than one hour, place the marinating chicken in the refrigerator.

Reduce oil in the marinade for more flavor. The best marinade (unlike the best salad dressing) is about half oil and half acid.

Chicken shouldn't be marinated longer than called for in the recipe. The chicken can become mushy if marinated too long, as the acid breaks down the flesh.

You can marinate an entire chicken or chicken parts. Piercing the chicken with a fork, or cutting it into smaller pieces will help it absorb marinade.
Removing the skin from the chicken will help it absorb marinade

In general, two hours of marinating is long enough for the meat to soak up the flavor, but poultry can marinate for up to two days in the refrigerator, according to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service. Very acidic marinades can actually toughen the meat over time, so follow the recipe or package directions.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Arisiyum Parupu Satham

Yet another delicacy from the kongu region and my second entry for JFI - Toor dal. This is a simple, no-nonsense one-pot dish and really easy to make. I make this dish when I need a quick fix for a no-compromise meal and neither in a mood to cook, nor to eat out. This meal has different versions and this is how my grandmother / mother make it at home. I remember the taste of dal and rice with ghee melting inside my mouth. A pretty impressive meal when you are back from school and hungry. I wish someone cooks for me now when I am back from office. My aunt prepares it with moong dal and I will post the recipe sometime later.

The consistency of the completed meal is somewhat mushy and somewhere between bisi bele bath and plain steamed rice. It tastes heavenly when had with ghee or yogurt. You can also have it with kathirikaai kara kuzhambu / brinjal curry.


Rice – 2 cups
Toor dal – 1 cup
A small sized onion – 1
Tomato – 1
Dry red chillies – 2 or 3 (According to the spice level)
Curry leaves – 1 spring
Turmeric – 1
Sambar powder – 1 tbsp
Garlic – 2 pods

Optional ingredients :

Cinnamon – 1” bark
Clove – 2

Click here for the complete recipe