Thursday, December 31, 2015

Mulled Wine

Christmas has just passed and already the new year is upon us! Seems like yesterday that we were ushering in 2015, and now its time to bid it adieu! But there is no sorrow in that. The year has been fair and the new one just offers more to look forward to. For now, I sit back and enjoy the festive air that warms the chill in the wind. I love the happy, carefree feel that comes this time of the year. When we all shed our baggage and Ho Ho Ho our thoughts and speech. It is also the time of year when the vodkas and martinis and sangrias gave way to the more traditional. Tis the season to be jolly... with mulled wine warming my belly! The warm spiced wine gently making its way down my throat. Clearing that lingering cough and cold. Enveloping me in the warm, fuzzy Santa hug. And of course, the best way to use up all that cheap wine languishing at the back of the cupboard! So mull yourself some wine. Pour one for you and yours and wish everyone with all the cheer. Happy New Year guys! Make every moment count!

Water                             2 cups
Sugar                              1/2 cup
Cloves                            12
Cinnamon                       2 inches
Nutmeg powder              1/2 tsp
Dry Ginger Powder         1/2 tsp
Lemon                             1/2
Red wine                         750 ml
Brandy                            1/4 cup

Heat water in a pan. Add sugar, spices and lemon. Reduce heat before it comes to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Add wine and heat till just below boiling point. Now add the brandy. Turn off the flame. Serve warm in goblets and inhale the festive spirit!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Oil Free Chicken Raja Mircha

  • Those who have been following this blog would have realized that I am rather partial towards food that is light, wholesome, simple but packs a flavourful punch. This new recipe is no exception. I found the original on soulkitchendiaries and knew it was just what I needed to kickstart the winter weekend on a healthy note. I tweaked the recipe a little, playing around with the flavours from the North eastern part of India. It's an addiction I cannot curb! The result was sublime. Need I say more?

Chicken                  750 gm
Water                      1 litre
Onions                    3, large
Tomatoes                4, large
Raja Mircha            2
Green Chillies         3
Ginger                     1 inch
Garlic                      6
Coriander leaves      1 cup
Mint leaves               1 cup
Coriander powder     1 tsp
Garam Masala          1/2 tsp
Turmeric                   1/2 tsp
Bamboo Shoots         1/2 cup

Grind the onions to a paste. Puree the tomatoes. Grind the mint and coriander leaves coarsely. In a mortar and pestle, coarsely pound the ginger, garlic and green chillies. In a heavy bottomed pan, bring the water to a boil. Add all the ingredients, except the chicken and bamboo shoots. Add salt and bring to a boil once again. Add the chicken and bamboo shoots and cook on high flame for ten minutes. Reduce the flame to sim. Cover and cook till the chicken is done. Serve hot with steamed rice, and do invite me over to slurp some!

1) Raja Mircha (King Chilly/ Boxer Mirchi/ Naga Chilly) is rare to source and also too hot to handle for most palates. So feel free to substitute with any regular dry red chillies,
2) Bamboo Shoots are an acquired taste. Also, like Raja Mircha they are hard to find in the mainstream markets. You can easily substitute with fresh green beans or even potatoes for an equally tasty dish.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Super Simple Pumpkin Soup

Winter is Coming! No, Wait! Winter is here! Not in the Stark way. But more of the 'dilli ki sardi' kinds. And how do I know winter's here? Well, the nip in the air and the extra layer of clothes, sure. But what positively heralds the onset of winters at my place is Soup Dinners!
It is another ritual that harks back to my childhood. The moment the weather turned, Mum would chop up those pesky veggies and dish out some awesome soup. Teamed with hot buttered toast and a baked casserole, this was the perfect weekday comfort food. Luckily, hubby dear is also quite the soup fan. Or maybe mum's soups have converted him! Either way, Soup Dinners live on in my household as well. With the toddler yum yumming every warm sip!
Mum's soups were always made fresh, light and flavourful. No gloopy cornflour from a packet for us. Infact soups are so quick and easy to make that it never ceases to amaze me that people choose the pricey preservatives to the fresh route! So, this winter here's my request. Give my soups a try. I promise to convert you! And come summers, your bikini bod will thank you ;)

Pumpkin, chopped                1 cup
Onion                                     1
Peppercorns                         8
Nutmeg powder                   1/4 tsp
Ginger, chopped                   1 inch
Water                                    4 cups
Salt                                        to taste
Butter                                    2 tsp

In a pressure cooker, heat the butter. Add the onions and saute till translucent. Add the pumpkin and saute for another minute. Now add the rest of the ingredients and pressure cook for 4 whistles. Cool. Run in the blender till well mixed. Heat on low flame just before serving. Super Simple, didn't I say?!