Friday, June 25, 2010

Starters / Snacks..Non-Veg

Murg Malai Kabab ::::

The special ingredient of this kabab is cheese and also, cream or malai which makes the chicken kebab , what we say in India , Murg Malai Kebab / Kabab more tender, soft and mouth-watering adding creamy flavor and texture and that is the difference from Tandoori Chicken. Moist chicken pieces marinated two times with yogurt, cheese and fresh cream adding appropriate amount of spices is a simple Mughlai dish and one of the best appetizers for you and special guests. I have followed VahreVah recipes with little modifications.
3 lbs chicken breasts, boneless
3 tsp black pepper powder,
2 tbsp ginger-garlic paste, squeezed to take out water
2 tsp garlic powder,
1 tsp cardamon powder,
1/2 tsp meat tenderizer / grated raw papaya,
one big cheese , mozzarella or 3 cheese Mexican,
1/2 cup non-fat yogurt,
2 tbsp sour cream,
one cup finely chopped green chillies n coriander leaves,
1 tbsp corn flour, optional
salt to taste.

Method :::
1. Wash properly and then pat dry chicken breasts and then cut into 1' cubes.
2. Take a big bowl or vessel and add black pepper, salt, ginger-garlic paste, garlic powder, cardamon powder and grated raw papaya. Mix everything and then add chicken pieces and rub the spices nicely to coat all the chicken pieces. Keep it for minimum one hour inside refrigerator.
3. Now take cheese in a bowl and rub with both of your palm nicely to make dry paste. Add yogurt, little salt, sour cream , finely chopped green chillies and coriander leaves and mix thoroughly with marinated chicken pieces again.
4. Keep again back to refrigerator for another 1-2 hour.
5. Now add little oil to marinated chicken pieces and place it carefully into the skewer keeping little space in between pieces. You can spray oil after putting into skewers instead of mixing oil.
6. Keep the oven temperature as high as possible or broil mode and then keep the skewers for 10 minutes. Turn the skewer once and then keep it for another 5 minutes. Serve hot sprinkling lemon juice or chaat masala.
Now the whole marination process is important part and water is not allowed at any step. But still if you see little watery then you can add corn flour at the second marination. But try to skip that. Adjust your spice level and salt too. And while mixing cheese at step 3, avoid any lumps.
Generally this kababs / kebabs are served with mint-coriander chutney, but if you don't have the chutney then squeeze lemon juice or chat masala onto the kababs and salads.

Chicken 65 :::

This is the first thing we used to order in Hyderabad as appetizer and biriyani for dinner. After coming here in USA we never found that quality in Indian restaurants. When I was in st Louis some one brought chicken 65 for a BBQ party with the same taste. After 3 years I tried this preparation for our appetizer party and everything was vanished in no time. I don't want to go with the discussion why and from where the name came from. There are loads of websites where you can find the answer. I will share the healthy version of this delicious and spicy appetizer with all my friends.
Ingredients ::::
1 lb boneless chicken thighs , cut into medium pieces, 
for marination..
1 tsp turmeric powder,
1 tsp red chilli powder,
1/2 tsp black pepper powder,
1/2 cup lemon juice,
1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste,
1 tsp oil,
2 eggs, beaten 
1 tbsp corn flour,
salt to taste,
for tempering /  seasoning... 
10-12 nos. fresh curry leaves,
2-3 nos. dry red chillies,
1 tbsp grated ginger n garlic each,
1 tsp red chilli powder,
1 tsp coriander powder,
1/2 cup fat-free yogurt / curd,
4-5 nos. slitted green chillies, optional,
salt to taste,
oil for frying.

1. Take a big bowl, mix nicely chicken pieces with all the ingredients mentioned for marination except egg and corn flour. Keep it covered for minimum 4-5 hours. You can keep it marinated for overnight also. In that case, keep it inside refrigerator.
2. Now preheat oven for 375F and then mix beaten eggs and corn flour to the marinated chicken pieces.
3. Take a baking sheet and brush or sprinkle little oil and then place all the chicken pieces and bake for 10-12 minutes. Use a toothpick or fork to check whether chicken is cooker or not. If needed keep it for another 7-10 minutes.

4. Mix red chilli powder and coriander powder with yogurt without any lumps. Keep aside. 
5. Now heat oil to the kadai / wok and add dry red chillies and curry leaves and saute a little and then add grated ginger and garlic. Fry on medium flame for 2 minutes and then add spice mixed yogurt and let it cook for 3-4 minutes adding little water.
6. When yogurt starts boiling , add baked chicken pieces and mix with yogurt to give nice coating to the chicken pieces stirring continuously on high flame. Once it becomes dry ,garnish with fresh coriander leaves and curry leaves. Serve hot.
For this preparation, always use chicken thigh meat only. Try to make little big piece  also.
While baking chicken pieces, please be careful not to overcook or put more temperature. Oven temperature varies so keep an eye while baking for the first time. Lemon juice makes chicken pieces tender so it wont take much time for baking. Alternatively, you can deep-fry too.
For step 6, you have to be very careful while frying chicken pieces as all the pieces should get nice coating with yogurt mixing and don't stop stirring to avoid burning. Please adjust the spice level according to your taste.

Fish Tandoori :::
This is one of the fastest and simplest snack preparation I have ever made. You have cleaned fish pieces inside freezer and then you need to spend very less time for this marination and the rest of the work will be done by your oven or you can shallow fry on stove-top too.
Ingredients :::
5 medium size fish pieces, washed and cleaned
5 tsp tandoori chicken masala , 
1/2 tsp red chilli powder,
1/2 tsp dry mango / amchoor powder,
salt as per your taste,
1 tbsp oil.

Method ::::
1. Take a big salad bowl, add all the ingredients except fish pieces and mix nicely and then add fish pieces to the mixture and mix with the mixture and cover the bowl for 30 minutes.
2. Preheat the oven 350 F and then place the fish pieces and let it cook for 15 minutes and then increase the temperature to 450 F and then let it cook for another 7 minutes to give nice brownish color on the top. Serve hot with any salad or chutney.
Please attend your oven while cooking for the first time as every oven varies with temperature and keep it warm before serving. You can spray little more oil while cooking to give nice deep fry touch too.

Fish and Cabbage Balls :::

When my husband bought Surmai fish from market, the first thing I asked whether he knows how to prepare. That fish is very popular in coastal region of India specially in Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu areas. As I predicted, he could not make it properly and all fish pieces were in freezer. I just wanted to get rid of those fish pieces and that's why I tried this recipe and it really came very good. A very good preparation for starters or snacks but it needs early preparation. Just make the balls and keep it inside freezer covered and whenever you want to serve just fry or bake and your starter is ready.

Ingredients :::
6-7 pieces of surmai fish / king mackerel fish ,
one big cup shredded cabbage,
3 nos. green chillies, finely chopped,
a very little finely chopped onions,
1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste,
1/4 tbsp turmeric powder,
1 tbsp red chilli powder,
1/2 tbsp coriander powder and cumin powder each,
1/2 tbsp corn flour,
salt to taste,
oil to fry.
For Deep-Frying :::
4 tbsp of all purpose flour
1 egg beaten,
2 tbsp milk,
1 cup of breadcrumbs,
oil for deep frying.

Method :::
1.First clean the fish pieces and then marinate with turmeric powder and very little salt. Keep aside.
2. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a skillet or kadai, add ginger-garlic paste and saute for a minute. Then add finely chopped onions and slitted green chillies.Sprinkle salt and fry nicely for 2-3 mins.
3. Now add fish pieces and add red chilli powder,coriander powder and cumin powder and fry untill fish pieces are half cooked or at least for 10mins covered with lid on medium flame.
4. When nice aroma starts coming out, add chopped cabbage and mix thoroughly and again let it cook for another 10-15 mins .
5. Let it cool and then sprinkle corn flour and then make 5-6 medium size balls out of the mixture.Keep aside.
6.Take a large bowl, whisk egg, milk and all purpose flour and very little salt nicely and dip the fish cabbage balls one by one and then immediately roll over breadcrumbs and place on paper towel.
7. You can keep these balls inside  freezer and before serving, heat sufficient oil in a deep bottomed pan, deep fry all the fish balls and serve hot with ready made sauces or tomato ketchup. You can preheat oven at 400'F and then bake for 15mins and then put the oven for broil mode and then keep for 4-5 mins to make the fish balls crispy. 

If you don't want to use egg then mix corn flour with water nicely without leaving any lumps and use it instead of egg and milk. While frying cabbage and fish pieces, mash the mixture with spatula. I generally make breadcrumbs at home using normal bread pieces, preferably old leftover breads. Just toast them and then grind them to make coarse fresh breadcrumbs.

Fish Chop :::

Fish chop with a hot cup of ginger tea is one of the favorite snacks or starters for Eastern parts of India on rainy day or winter evenings. I was planning to prepare the day I had at Romi's house when I visited in India. It was so yummy that I wanted my husband to taste.So at last I took the recipe from Romi, my sweetheart buddy and of course followed our beloved Suchismitadidi's recipe and did in my way.

6-7 medium size fish pieces,
2 big potatoes,
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste,
4-5 green chillies finely chopped,
1 medium size onion finely chopped,
1/2 tsp roasted cumin powder,
1/2 tsp turmeric powder,
1/4 tsp red chilli powder,
a pinch garam masala powder(Optional), 
1 tsp lime juice,
2 tsp of corn flour,
2 eggs beaten,
half cup bread crumbs,
1/2 cup coriander leaves chopped,
salt as per taste,
oils to fry .(preferably vegetable oil). 

1. First wash and clean the fish pieces and boil with 1/4 tsp of salt and turmeric powder for 7-8 min. Now smash the fish pieces when little warm taking out all the bones from them. Keep aside.
2. Boil the potatoes with water putting a little salt on stove top or in microwave for 8-9 minutes.
3.When done, smash potatoes with fish pieces again nicely and smoothly.
4. Take a skillet / kadai, heat 1 tsp oil and add ginger-garlic paste,chopped onions and chopped green chillies and saute for some time.Now add potatoes and fish mixture and then mix nicely.Now sprinkle roasted cumin powder,red chilli powder,turmeric powder and garam masala powder. Saute everything nicely.
5. Adjust salt and spices and then when done ,take off from flame and let it cool.
6. Add lime juice and coriander leaves and corn flour to the mixture and knead smooth. Now make balls from that mixture and dip in beaten eggs mixed with salt and little red chilli powder(if you need more spicy) and roll them on bread crumbs one by one and Keep aside for some time.
7. Deep fry them on medium flame and keep on paper napkin to absorb extra oil. Serve hot with tomato or coriander chutney or tomato ketchup and salads. 
Make sure there is no water / steam left into the mixture then while frying it will break . Here I lightly fried the fish pieces after marinating with turmeric powder and salt instead of boiling. I used corn flour to absorb extra water from the mixture. Some people use roasted peanuts and tomatoes too.

Kebab/Kabab recipes :::

Kebab,as everybody knows, is a meat dish where minced or small cubes of meats or chickens are marinated with different spices and then wrapped on a skewer and finally grilled or broiled.You can use different vegetables also and sometimes,kebabs or kebabs are deep fried too. Here's I have shared some of Kebab preparation which I have learn from my friends and some of the websites.

Mutton Sheek Kebab ::::

Mutton Sheek or sheesh kebab is a preparation where keema or mince goat meat mixed with different spices and wrapped on a sheek or skewer and then grilled on oven.This goes well as starters or snacks.After going through vah re vah chef's recipe and the recipe given by Kaushik , I have prepared this dish.

1 lb or 1 kg Goat / Lamb keema(minced)
1 big onion sliced,
1' inch chopped ginger,
4-5 nos. green chillies chopped,
2 cloves garlic chopped,
fresh coriander leaves chopped,
1 1/2  tsp garam masala powder,
1 tsp coriander powder,
1 tsp red chilly powder,
1/4 roasted cumin powder (optional),
half cup lemon juice,
1 tsp chaat masala (available at Indian grocery),
1 tsp oil,
salt as per taste.

1. First heat 1/2 tsp of oil in skillet and fry the sliced onion until rawness gone.Keep aside.
2. Wash and keep keema / minced meat on a colander to take off extra water.and spread on a paper napkin.
3. Now take a big bowl(preferably salad mixing bowl),mix all the ingredients and knead them very well using half spoon of oil. Be careful it should not be watery as that will break while grilling or baking the kebabs.Keep the mixture aside.
4. Make balls from that mixture and then take little water on your palm and wrap these balls on a skewer to give nice kebab shape up to 4-5 inch length.
5. Now preheat oven at 400'F and then place the skewer on a baking tray and keep inside the oven for 10mins at 300'F. Then brush or sprinkle rest of oil on kebabs and turn the skewer and keep for another 10-15mins.
6. Now take out and serve hot sprinkling lime juice and chaat masala with salads.

Here kneading all the ingredients is very important or kebabs wont come smooth and juicy.I used mixer to mix all the ingredients and then knead them well. Again I must say check the spice level and your oven temperature as it varies .So first time keep an eye while baking to avoid burning and tough dry kebabs.