What's on Menu?

by - September 23, 2011

Hello everyone, hope you guys are enjoying your weekend. Since I caught the 'scrapbooking' bug, I haven't posted any recipes here and wanted to share a couple of simple recipes with you today. :)

Murg Palak (Chicken with Spinach)


Palak (spinach) is one of my favourite veggies. Surprised? Why? It's not only super nutritious, I think it's super easy to cook with and gives you plenty of options. You could chop them up and make a simple thoran for lunch (as shown in the picture above), you could add them to your chicken / mutton dish AND you could even use it as a topping for your homemade pizza!

The recipe I'am sharing is a basic chicken curry with some chopped spinach leaves. This is a great way to get your kiddos and hubby eat some spinach. ;) I read this recipe in a magazine long time ago and have made it many times. I love it and I'am sure you would too.

Ingredients
1 kilo small chicken pieces
2 bunches of spinach - wash it thoroughly, chop and keep aside
2 onions roughly chopped
2 tomatoes roughly chopped
1 tbps ginger and garlic paste (you could also used crushed ginger and garlic instead of paste)
2-3 green chillies
Generous pinch of Garam masala
Generous pinch of Ground black pepper
1 tbsp chilli powder
2 tbsp coriander powder
Pinch of turmeric powder
Salt to taste
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp cooking cream or heavy cream (optional)
(Note - I'am not strict about measurements and go with my instinct. Keep checking your sauce for seasoning and feel free to add your own spices.)

Method
Heat a saucepan and add oil.
Once oil is hot enough, add the ground garam masala and stir. Make sure it doesn't get burned.
When the powder is sizzling add onion, ginger, garlic, green chillies and tomatoes. Saute for four to five minutes. You could add a pinch of salt so that moisture from onion oozes out and it gets cooked easily.
When tomatoes looks squishy and starts oozing out its juice add other spice powders - black pepper, chilli, coriander and turmeric.
Add a couple of tablespoons of water and stir. Leave it on a simmer for two to three minutes so that the powders get cooked properly (if not, you would get a raw bitter taste of the powder when you have the dish).
Once the sauce thickens, add the chicken pieces. Add some salt.
Once it starts boiling, cover with a lid and let it simmer for about ten minutes.
After ten minutes (or when the chicken is half done), add the chopped spinach and continue cooking. Stir once in a while so that the sauce doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan.
Also, check your seasoning - spinach tends to suck up all the salt in the sauce. 
After ten to twelve minutes of cooking, it's yours to enjoy.
This dish goes well with chapati and rice.

Ayla Porichathu (Kerala Style Fried Mackerels)

There's something about mackerels.. I love them in any form - fried, curried, dried gravy... Eating mackerels brings back fond memories of my childhood in India. *sniff sniff*


Ingredients
2-3 Mackerels cleaned (we keralites do not bone our fish ;))
2-3 tbsp of chilli powder
Pinch of turmeric
Few cloves of garlic - crushed or finely chopped
Salt to taste
Few curry leaves (I personally use 'loads' not 'few' :D)

Method
In a mixing bowl or a deep bottomed vessel, mix chilli powder, turmeric, garlic and salt. Add drops of water and mix until it's a smooth paste.
Cut your mackarels into two-three pieces (depending on the size). I usually use tail for frying and the rest for making curry.
With a sharp knife make slits on the fish (as shown in the photo above).
Marinate the fish pieces in the above paste. Throw in some curry leaves and leave it aside for ten to fifteen minutes.
In a frying pan or iron karahi, add some oil. Oil should be enough for shallow frying.
Once the oil is hot enough, add the fish pieces. Fry them until both sides are golden brown. Please remember that fish cooks easily and you shouldn't leave it on the pan for too long.
Enjoy!

I would love to hear your thoughts on the recipe - after trying it at home. :P





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2 comments

  1. I love spinach too! In fact I love green leaves chopped and added to chicken, as well as beef/mutton. My fave is methi (fenugreek leaves) with either chicken/beef/mutton. Gives a beautiful, mildly bitter and very wholesome,earthy taste to the curry. the pic looks delish! Good Job :)

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  2. Oh man, that chicken curry recipe looks good. I'm going to have to bookmark it for when I cook next time.

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