Thursday, April 29, 2010

Fish Cutlets

After making the Fish Biryani I still had a lot of fish left to cook with and decided to make these cutlets. This recipe is also from my mom and while making these I realized that the recipe is very similar to my chicken cutlet recipe. These cutlets are absolutely yummy and no they do not smell fishy at all!! These are very easy to make and freeze very well. After shaping the cutlets, line them in a tray or a freezer box. After one layer, line with plastic wrap and repeat with another layer. Cover completely with plastic wrap and freeze. To cook, simply remove from the freezer, thaw for a few minutes and proceed with the dipping and breading. Since all the ingredients are already cooked they just need to brown on the pan. My colleagues told me that they make fish cutlets with canned tuna. Though I have not tried it, I think that would also work well here.

Recipe - Makes 24 Cutlets


For the Marinade
2 Tsp Ginger Garlic Paste
Salt To Taste
1 Tsp Turmeric Powder (Haldi)
2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
For the Cutlets
500 Gms Hamour
400 Gms Potatoes (Boiled)
1 Cup Bread Crumbs
1 Cup Onion (Finely Chopped)
4 Green Chilies
1 Tsp Red Chili Powder
1 Tbsp Chat Masala
1 Tsp Black Pepper Powder
1/2 Cup Coriander Leaves (Finely Chopped)
1/2 Cup Mint Leaves (Finely Chopped)
Salt To Taste
For Frying
2 Eggs (Lightly Beaten)
Bread Crumbs For Breading
Oil For Frying

  1. Mix the marinade ingredients in a small cooking vessel and keep the fish pieces in it. Coat thoroughly with the marinade and keep aside.

  2. Peel and mash the potatoes. Flavour with salt and pepper.

  3. Sauté the onions and green chilies in a pan with a little oil. Remove and add to the potatoes. Add the bread crumbs, coriander and mint leaves and all other spices. Mix very well and taste. Adjust seasonings as per taste.

  4. Place the cooking vessel with the fish in it on low heat and let the fish cook. There will be some liquid in the marinade. Once the fish has cooked let all the liquid dry up and then turn off the heat and cool the fish. Remove all the bones, skin and fat from the fish. Flake the fish using a fork or your hands. Mix with the potato mixture and taste. Adjust seasonings. 

  5. Keep ready a tray to prepare and place the cutlets. Have a small bowl of vegetable oil to grease your hands while forming the cutlets. Take a small amount of mixture (the size of medium lemon) and roll it into a ball. Gently press between the palms of your hands to get a flat patty with neat edges. After every cutlet, grease your palms with the oil to prevent the mixture sticking to your hands. I generally prefer to work in an assembly line way and do each step with all the cutlets before going to the next step. Keep the bread crumbs in a small plate and next to it keep the bowl with the beaten eggs (season the eggs lightly with salt). Dip each cutlet in the egg (hold to remove excess) and then gently coat with the bread crumbs. Place it back on the tray or start frying. I prefer to dip and bread all of them before starting the frying process. To fry the cutlets, heat a frying pan with a little oil and shallow fry on low heat till golden brown. Turn once to brown both the sides. Serve hot with ketchup.
Happy Eating!!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Fish Biryani with Hamour

I work in the marine department of a real estate company and although my boss is an avid swimmer and diver I am the last person who will ever go in the water (I can’t swim!!). I am extremely scared of the water and wont even go in a boat without a million thoughts running in my head (all similar to the fate of the titanic). However, I do love all things that come from the sea (fish, prawns, crab.. yum!!, and was thrilled when one of our divers brought a fresh catch for the sea for me!! Yay! I got an excellent fillet of Hamour (Grouper) fish (all nicely cleaned and de-boned) weighing almost 2 kgs! When I was younger my mom used to make Hamour Biryani and that was the first thing that came to my mind. I gave a quick call to her and got the recipe. This was my first attempt at making a fish biryani and when I told Latif what I was making he made a face coz he had never eaten it before and thought it would taste fishy!! This fish is meaty and has a great flavour to it. Even after cooking for long it didn’t become rubbery. It is important to use a fish with white, firm flesh (King fish will also do) here as it needs to stand up to the cooking and not dissolve in the masala. Since the biryani was only for the two of us I used half of it to make the biryani and the other half went for fish cutlets (recipe coming soon!).

Recipe – Serves 4


1 Kg Hamour (Fillets Cut Into Serving Portions)
For the Marinade
2 Tsp Ginger Garlic Paste
2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1/2 Tsp Turmeric Powder
1/2 Tsp Salt
For the Masala
4 Large Onions (Thinly Sliced)
2 Medium Tomatoes (Sliced)
4 Green Chilies (Slit Vertically Halfway)
1 Cup Yogurt
2 Tbsp Ginger Garlic Paste
1/2 Cup Hara Masala*
1 Tbsp Red Chili Powder
2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1 Tsp Coriander Seeds Powder (Dhanya Powder)
1/2 Tsp Turmeric Powder (Haldi)
1 Tbsp Garam Masala Powder
Salt To Taste
1/2 Cup Cooking Oil
For The Rice
2 1/2 Cups Basmati Rice
4 Cardamom Pods
1 Cinnamon Stick
2 Bay Leaves
4 Cloves
Salt To Taste
For The Garnish
1/2 Cup Fried Onions (Sliced And Deep Fried)
Coriander Leaves (As Needed)
Mint Leaves (As Needed)
1/4 Tsp Garam Masala Powder
1/2 Cup Milk
Food Color (Yellow, Red or Orange)
Saffron Strands
1 Tbsp Ghee

*To make the hara masala, grind a bunch of coriander leaves, a bunch of mint leaves and 10 green chilies along with some water to a smooth consistency. This masala can be used in any chicken or meat gravy.

  1. Wash the fish with water and pat dry with paper towels. In a plate, mix the marinade ingredients and marinade the fish in it. Cover and keep aside. Wash the rice changing the water two-three times and keep for soaking.

  2. Heat the ½ cup oil in a wide bottomed pot; add the sliced onions and green chilies. Fry on high for two to three minutes then turn the heat to low. Keep stirring every few minutes to ensure the onions do not burn; we want to get them to a golden brown color and not dark brown. When the onions become golden brown, add the tomatoes. Turn the heat to high again; add the salt, ginger garlic paste, red chili powder, coriander seeds powder, turmeric powder, and garam masala powder. Mix it well and lower the heat. Cook till the tomatoes are soft. Add the Hara masala and yogurt and mix well. Add the lemon juice, mix well and taste. Adjust all the seasonings as per taste. Lower the heat and gently nestle the marinated fish pieces in the masala. Lay each piece separately ensuring not to overlap. Do not touch the masala surrounding it. Pour all the marinade remaining in the plate along with the fish on top. Do not stir. Cover the pot with a lid and let the fish cook on low heat. The fish will cook very quickly so keep checking. We will be cooking it once again in the dum so be careful not to overcook it. Once the fish is done, turn off the heat and gently remove the fish pieces from the masala and keep on a separate plate. Stir the masala well.

  3. In a separate pot, heat 6 cups of water; throw in the whole garam masalas and salt. Keep a wide colander ready in the sink to drain the rice. When the water comes to a boil, add the rice and let it cook on high, uncovered till the rice is almost done. It is very important to watch the rice closely at this point as we want it to be cooked but not completely. There should still be a bite to the grain and must not be easily squished between your fingers. Once the rice reaches this point, turn off the heat and drain the rice in the colander.

  4. When the rice is boiling keep all the garnish ingredients ready near the stove. Wash and chop the coriander and mint leaves. Dissolve the saffron and food colour in the milk. We want to layer the biryani while the rice is still steaming. We need a big bottomed as well high pot for this. Place the pot on the stove, and begin with a layer of the rice. We need three layers of rice and two layers of masala so divide accordingly. Add a layer of masala and sprinkle some fried onions, coriander leaves and mint leaves on it. Add another layer of rice followed by a layer of the masala. Add the last layer of the rice and Pour the colored milk on the rice evenly. Sprinkle the garam masala powder on the rice and place the ghee on top. Gently keep the cooked fish pieces on top of the rice and garnish with all the fried onions, coriander leaves and mint leaves.

  5. Cover the pot with a tight lid to ensure no steam escapes from it. Keep the flame on high for a minute or two to ensure sufficient heat is generated in the pot. Turn the heat to low and keep cooking till steam starts forming on top and the rice is complete cooked.

  6. Once the rice is done, turn off the heat and remove the fish pieces to a separate plate. Mix all the layers together and serve in individual plates with a piece of fish.
Happy Eating!!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Chilli Chicken

Fried Rice is a regular on my menu and I always make a side to go with it. I usually make a gravy as I find plain fried rice a bit too dry for my taste. Yesterday I made this chicken and loved the simple taste of it. It is a perfect accompaniment to the rice although it is a bit time consuming. The quantities of the seasonings given below are as per taste and can be increased or decreased according to personal preference.


Ingredients - Serves 4

500 Gms Chicken Breasts (Boneless and Skinless)
Oil To Fry
For the Marinade
4 Tbsp All Purpose Flour
4 Tbsp Cornflour
1 Egg
Salt To Taste
1 Tsp White Pepper or Black Pepper
1 Tsp Soy Sauce
1/2 Cup Water
 For the Gravy
1 Cup Diced Onion
1/2 Cup Chopped Spring Onion
1/2 Cup Diced Capsicum
1/2 Cup Chopped Baby Corn (Optional)
1 Tbsp Finely Chopped Garlic
1 Tbsp Finely Chopped Ginger
3 Green Chilies (Slit Halfway Vertically)
3 Tbsp Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp Vinegar
Salt To Taste
White Pepper or Black Pepper To Taste
1 Tsp Cornflour
1 Cup Water
2 Tbsp Oil

  1. Clean and wash the chicken breast. Place a chicken breast in a Ziploc bag and seal tight. Pound with a rolling pin or mallet to flatten the breast. Repeat with all the pieces. Place on a cutting board and rub salt and pepper on the breast. Cut into two inch pieces. Keep aside.

  2. In a big bowl, mix all the marinade ingredients. It will be thick so add water till everything is well mixed. If needed add extra water. Add the chicken to the marinade and keep aside.

  3. Heat the oil for the gravy in another pan. Add the ginger, garlic, green chilies, onion, spring onion, capsicum, baby corn and saute till the onions are soft. Add the soy sauce and vinegar and saute for a minute. Add the salt and pepper and taste. Adjust seasonings accordingly. Turn off the heat and keep aside.

  4. Heat oil in a frying pan and shallow fry the marinated chicken on a medium flame, turning once, till golden brown. Check for doneness and remove on a kitchen towel to absorb excess oil.

  5. Dissolve the cornflour in the water. Place the gravy mixture back on heat and once hot add the cornflour. Mix well and cook for a minute. Add more water if you prefer a thinner gravy. Add the chicken and lower the flame. Cover and cook for a minute.

  6. Serve hot with fried rice.
Happy Eating!!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Chocolate Pistachio Biscotti

Biscotti means twice baked and this cookie is actually baked twice to get the hard, dry texture. Dunk it in coffee or tea and you have a perfect snack. I had made this the first time for a family picnic and everyone loved it. I had never eaten biscotti before and not knowing how it would turn out was very pleased with the results.  The crunchy biscuit with the melting chocolate pieces in between is yummylicious. I halved the quantities in the original recipe as this makes a lot and didn’t use the sanding sugar. Given below is the original recipe from Brown Eyed Baker.

Recipe Source – Brown Eyed Baker

Ingredients (Makes 4 Dozen)

2 1/4 Cups All-Purpose Flour, Plus More For Dusting
1/4 Cup Dutch-Process Cocoa Powder
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Teaspoon Salt
12 Ounces (About 2 Cups) Semisweet Chocolate Chunks
1 1/2 Cups (About 8 Ounces) Pistachios, Shelled
4 Large Whole Eggs, Plus 1 Large Egg White, Lightly Beaten
1 1/2 Cups Granulated Sugar
Sanding Sugar (Or Granulated Sugar), For Sprinkling (Optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. In a food processor, pulse the flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, 1 cup chocolate chunks, and pistachios until chips and pistachios are the size of peas. (I don't have a food processor so I chopped everything by hand and mixed with other ingredients).
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the whole eggs and granulated sugar until the mixture holds a ribbon-like trail on the surface for a few seconds when you raise the whisk. Switch to the paddle attachment. With mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture and remaining 1 cup chocolate chunks, and beat until just combined.
3. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface, and divide into three equal pieces. Shape each piece into an 18-inch log. Transfer to prepared baking sheet. With the palm of your hand, gently press the logs to flatten slightly. Brush egg white over logs. Sprinkle with sanding sugar, if using.
4. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until logs are just firm to the touch, 20 to 24 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack to cool slightly, about 20 minutes.
5. Place logs on a cutting board. Using a serrated knife, cut ¾-inch-thick slices on the diagonal. Place a wire rack on a large rimmed baking sheet. Arrange slices, cut sides down, on the rack. Bake until biscotti are firm to the touch and completely dry, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove pan from oven; let biscotti cool completely on the rack. Biscotti can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Happy Eating!!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Perfect Grilled Cheese Sandwich

If you are on a diet then stop reading right now! Yes, please stop reading. What? The picture is asking you to read all about it? Ok then. But don’t tell me that I didn’t warn you. Coz after you read this you are going to want to make this sandwich. This is adapted from Pioneer Woman’s favorite sandwich and is now my favorite sandwich (only if it wasn’t laden with so many calories!). I added a few more veggies (does potato count as healthy?) to make it more filling but I guess it doesn’t need any of those things. This is so good on its own. This is exactly the kind of thing I would serve in my sandwich bar (did I tell you that I have secret dream of opening a sandwich bar? No? Well next time then). The original recipe called for Dijon and I had only regular mustard so I went with that. I also used mozzarella instead of provolone coz I don’t buy any fancy cheese and who has time to go to the store? So, let’s make a mean grilled sandwich folks!

Recipe Source – Adapted from The Pioneer Woman

Ingredients (Makes 1 Sandwich)

1 Tsp Mustard
1 Tsp Mayonnaise
1 Whole Tomato (Small)
1 Whole Onion (Small)
1/4 Cup Boiled Potato (Diced)
2 Tbsp Grated Carrot
1 Slice Cheddar Cheese or 2 Tbsp Grated Cheddar
2 Tbsp Canned Jalapeno Peppers or 2 Whole Green Chilies (Canned)
2 Tbsp Grated Mozzarella
2 Slices Bread
2 Tbsp Butter

Mix the mayonnaise and mustard and apply a thin layer onto the inside of both slices of bread. Place one slice on a flat surface and start with the fillings.
Slice the tomato and place two slices on the bread. Place the cheddar cheese on top of the tomato. Slice the onion thinly and place two slices on top of the cheddar. Spread the potato evenly over the onions and then add the carrots. Sprinkle the grated mozzarella evenly over the carrots and in the end add the jalapeno peppers or the green chilies. Lay the other slice of bread on top of all the deliciousness and prepare yourself for the next step.
Spread a good amount of butter on top of the bread (the outsides not the insides!!). Cover the bread completely, flip the sandwich over and butter the other side as well.
Meanwhile, heat a pan (non-stick is preferable here) over LOW heat. Place the sandwich in the pan and cook it for at least 5 minutes to melt the cheese. Flip and continue cooking for another couple of minutes, until golden brown. You can also use your sandwich maker if you have one. Remove to a cutting board and slice in half. Eat and feel guilty for the rest of the day. Or make yourself another one. I won’t tell.

Happy Eating!!