Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Chapli Kebab (Spicy and Succulent Flat Chicken Kebabs)

Kebabs!!!! Delicious, succulent and juicy meat so tender that it melts in your mouth with every bite 😌. It is every non- vegetarians favorite at any given time. Same goes with me. There are so many varieties and recipes out there when it comes to kebabs and I realized this only after coming to US. Yup!!!!That's right...Its only after moving to US that I have gotten the opportunity to explore so many cuisines from different parts of the world. It was on one such outing with hubs when I came across "Chapli Kebab" at a Bangladeshi restaurant in Queens. 

Chapli kebab is a pashtun styled flat, patty like kebab traditionally made from ground beef but you can also find variations which uses minced mutton, lamb or chicken. The one I had at the restaurant was made of chicken. The word "chapli" is derived from the pashto word "chaprdikh" or "chaprdit" which means flat hence the name. You can eat it as is with some chutney or pair with hot naan. I think this kebab will make an excellent patty for burgers.

So after trying out the delicious chapli kebab made of chicken at this restaurant, I knew that I had to give this one a try at home. Usually these kebabs are made of ground beef but instead I used minced chicken. After some online research and trial recipes at home, I think I finally have the recipe that tastes very much close to what I had in the restaurant 😊. These are fairly easy to make at home and can be served as a very delicious appetizer for parties and get togethers.  






Makes around 16 - 18 medium sized kebabs

Ingredients:

1 1/2 pound ground chicken (I used chicken thigh as it makes very tender and juicy kebabs)
1 medium sized onion chopped finely (place it on a paper towel to remove any excess liquid)
1 medium sized tomatoes chopped
1 small green chili chopped
1 egg (lightly beaten)
1- 1/2 tsp of garlic grated/paste
1- 1/2 tsp of ginger grated/paste
1 - 2 tbsp of chopped cilantro/coriander leaves
Salt to taste
Oil for shallow frying

For the masala:
1 tsp of cumin seeds
1 tbsp of coriander seeds
1/2 tsp of fennel seeds
2 small black cardamoms
6 - 7 cloves
5 - 6 black peppercorns
1 tsp of crushed pomegranate seeds (anardana)
1/2 tsp of red chili powder
1 tsp of dry red chili flakes

Adjust the chili powder and chili flakes as per you liking. This recipe will make medium spicy kebabs.




Method:

1) Dry roast the cumin seeds, coriander seeds and fennel seeds for few minutes until it gives out a nice aroma. Once done set this aside to cool.

2) In a spice grinder add the roasted cumin seeds, fennel seeds, black cardamom, cloves, peppercorns and grind it to a coarse powder. Try to grind the coriander seeds separately to keep it a bit more coarser in texture than rest of the masala. And then mix it with the rest of the masala. 

3) In a bowl add the minced chicken. To this add the chopped onion, green chili, ginger and garlic paste, the prepared masala, crushed pomegranate seeds, red chili powder, red chili flakes, the beaten egg, chopped cilantro and salt. Add the tomatoes later on. Mix everything together until nicely combined. 

4) Let the minced chicken marinate in the masala for 1/2 hour to an hour. Add the tomatoes towards the end and mix right before you are about to make the kebabs. We are doing this so that the liquid from the tomatoes do not make the kebab mixture too mushy. 

5) Heat enough oil in a wide frying pan for shallow frying the kebabs. Make sure it has a lid as these kebabs do splutter while cooking. I used a non-stick frying pan and so didn't use too much oil for frying. You know trying to be healthy and all. 😜

6) Once the oil is hot start making the kebabs. Wet your hands with very little water and take a handful of the kebab mixture place it in your palm. Press gently to make a patty and make it as flat as possible and then carefully place in the oil for shallow frying. (I usually do not make it too big and keep it medium sized. But do remember the size of the kebab will shrink after cooking. So make it as big as you want to). Also I always make one small kebab at the start and then give it taste test for seasoning. 

7) Cook the kebab on a medium flame. Let the kebab cook on one side till it turns golden brown. Flip  and turn the kebab to cook the other side and cook until its nicely browned and completely cooked. Use the lid to cover the pan to avoid all the splutter. Make kebabs in the same way with the rest of the mixture and once done place it on a paper towel to remove any excess oil before serving.

Serve hot with yogurt and cilantro chutney or with hot naan or buns and salad of your choice. 

Do give this a try and let me know in comments below. 




Till then Happy Cooking 😀.


Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Hot Cocoa Recipe

Winter is here and the temperature outside is quickly dropping with each passing day😩. Gosh I can't believe this year is over already!!!!. With cloudy skies and a gloomy weather these days, all I want to do is make a cup of hot cocoa and curl up on my sofa with a blanket and good book or binge watch Netflix 😝 . Yes!!!! It is that time of the year when you see jars of ready cocoa mix in every grocery store and almost every coffee shop selling hot cocoa. And you know what you don't have to buy ready cocoa mix always. Why?? Because it is very simple and easy to make your own hot cocoa at home. 



Hot cocoa is one delicious hot beverage that is loved by children and adults equally. It is an instant remedy for the harsh winters. I have noticed that at many places hot cocoa is sold as hot chocolate and both the names are used interchangeably quite often. On the contrary, both of them are different. Hot cocoa is mixture of cocoa powder, sugar and milk flavored with vanilla and some other spices like cinnamon. While hot chocolate is literally chocolate that is melted with the help of little hot water, milk or cream. So hot chocolate is much more rich, thick in consistency and decadent that hot cocoa :P. It will be impossible for me to finish off a cup full of hot chocolate...that will be a little too much for me hahaha....but hot cocoa, ohhh that definitely I can..on second thoughts I can even finish off 2 cups if I want to 😏. 

Hot cocoa is very very easy to make at home. And I am quite sure you might already have all of the ingredients available in your kitchen right now.  So in this post I will be sharing the two methods (stove top and microwave) that I use to make a quick cup of hot cocoa at home.



Serves 2

Ingredients:

1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 cup of whole milk
1/4 cup of half-and-half or 1 tbsp of heavy cream (optional)
1 tbsp of dark chocolate chips or semi sweet chocolate chips - add more if you like 😜
1/4 tsp of vanilla extract

Stove top Method:

1) In a saucepan add the cocoa powder and sugar. Gradually mix in the milk and half-and-half using a wire whisk. Cook and keep on stirring the mixture on low to medium heat. Initially the cocoa powder will be floating on top. Cook till the mixture is nicely combined and thoroughly heated but do not boil it. 
Some recipe calls for adding hot water to cocoa and sugar and then adding milk. I avoid this step. It doesn't taste rich enough and tastes a bit watery which I don't like. :(

2) Switch of the flame and add the chocolate chips and stir it with the wire whisk until all the chocolate chips are completely melted and the mixture looks smooth. Add the vanilla extract and stir. 

Hot cocoa is ready to be served. Top it of with fluffy marshmallows or whipped cream, shaved chocolate or chocolate syrup and enjoy while its hot. 😋 😋 

Microwave method:

Simply divide the cocoa powder, sugar and chocolate chips into two microwaveable safe mugs. Add very little water or milk about 1 to 2 tsp or so. Microwave for 10 secs. Remove and stir the mixture until smooth (if the chocolate chips are not melted microwave for another 5 secs). Now add the milk and microwave for 1 min to 1 and 1/2 mins or until the mixture is nice and hot. Stir in the vanilla extract and serve hot. 

Thats it. Your delicious hot cocoa is ready to be served. This recipe serves two. Double the recipe as required. This recipe works good even without half- and- half. If you want it to be a bit on the lighter side you can use only whole milk. If you are calorie conscious use fat free milk and fat free half-and-half instead.  




So until next time....Happy Holidays!!!! :D


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