Basic Roasted Vegetables

2 large carrots, peeled, sliced into ½ in rounds, halved into half-moons
2 parsnips, peeled, sliced into ½ in rounds, halved
1/2 – 1 onion, cut into 1/2 inch wedges
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1 inch chunks, or wedges
1 sweet potato cut into ¾ inch cubes
2–3 tablespoons olive oil
generous, 5 finger pinch of salt and pepper
optional additions: other veggies of course, fresh herbs -thyme, rosemary, sage

Pre-heat oven to 425F.

Cut veggies and place on a parchment-lined sheet pan. If your sheet pans are small, use 2 pans.
Cut veggies and place them in rows.

drizzle lightly with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and using tongs give a light toss.
Place in the middle of the oven for 15-20 minutes, rotate, toss again, and continue cooking until fork tender, another 10-15 minutes.

Place in a serving dish and cover to keep warm.

Tips:

Choose veggies that take roughly the same amount of time to roast. Root veggies (vegetables that grow underground) like carrots, parsnips, beets, and potatoes, are relatively dense compared to other veggies and take the longest to roast, 30-50 minutes, depending on what size you cut them. Winter squash are medium-dense so take less time, when peeled and diced.

If someone were to ask me which veggies are best to roast? I would say, hands-down, root vegetables! Their natural sweetness and earthiness both get enhanced and elevated through roasting.
Cut veggies so they are the same thickness. This ensures they roast quickly and uniformly. I try to keep root veggies at ½ inch thick.

Roast vegetables on a parchment-lined sheet pan – and use an extra-large one! Or use two! They like space.

Group different veggies separately on the sheet pan (instead of mixing them all together) just in case you need to remove some and not others.

Keep it simple, with a light drizzle of olive oil, sprinkling of salt and pepper. This allows the flavors of the veggies to really shine.

Use a hot, 425 F oven, middle rack.

Check at 15 minutes, rotate pan and give a quick toss, continue cooking 5-15 minutes or until fork tender.

I always like to include an onion and bell pepper for flavor. (Just a personal preference)
Of course you can add a herb – thyme, rosemary, sage- all work well.

Chimichurri

1/4 cup red onion
2 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon fresh chilis, diced (jalapeno, red chilies, or feel free to omit for a milder version)
1 cup Cilantro, tiny stems OK
1 cup Parsley, thin stems OK
1 tablespoon fresh oregano ( or 1 teaspoon dried)
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (1–2 limes) or use red wine vinegar (or use half lime and half vinegar)
3/4 cup olive oil, add more to the desired consistency
1 tsp kosher salt
1 teaspoon pepper
½ tsp smoked paprika– (optional –only if you like smokey flavor)
1/2 teaspoon chili flakes, more or to taste

Finely mince everything and place it in a medium bowl along with remaining ingredients. (Or, alternatively, use a food processor: Place onion, garlic, and fresh chili if using, and pulse several times until very finely chopped. Add cilantro ( tender stems are fine) Italian parsley, and oregano, pulse again until chopped. Add olive oil, lime juice, smoked paprika (optional), salt and pepper. Pulse a few more times, until well combined (but not too smooth). If the mixture seems thick add a little more oil to loosen it up.)

Taste, adjust salt, lime and heat ( add more chilies or chili flakes) to your liking. If it tastes bitter, check your olive oil.

Sprinkle with chili flakes and few cilantro leaves.

This will keep up to 4 days in the fridge, or freeze.

notes

For a spicier version add fresh jalapeño!

Grilled Vegetables with Agrodolce and Burrata

FOR THE AGRODOLCE SAUCE:
1/4 cup chopped raisins, preferably golden, or dried apricots
2/3 cup white wine vinegar or cider vinegar (or a combination)
2 tablespoons honey, plus more to taste
1 tablespoon fish sauce or colatura (optional)
1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
Pinch of fine sea salt

FOR THE VEGETABLES (USE ANY OR ALL):
Extra-virgin olive oil
2 to 3 bell peppers, quartered, stems and seeds removed
1 to 2 zucchini or summer squash, sliced diagonally 1/2-inch thick
1 small eggplant, sliced diagonally 1/2-inch thick
2 to 4 ears yellow corn, shucked
8 ounces mushrooms, trimmed and halved or quartered
1 bunch thick asparagus, ends snapped
8 ounces cherry tomatoes, preferably still on the vine

FOR SERVING:
2 small burrata or fresh mozzarella balls, or 2 cups fresh ricotta
Flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Basil or mint leaves, for serving
Crusty bread slices

Make the sauce: Put raisins or apricots in a small heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan, combine vinegar, honey, fish sauce or colatura (if using), red-pepper flakes and salt. Bring to a boil, then let simmer until the mixture reduces slightly, about 3 minutes. Immediately pour over the raisins and let cool. Taste and stir in a little more honey if the sauce is too harsh. (Sauce can be made up to 1 week ahead and stored in the refrigerator.)

Prepare the vegetables: Oil the grill grate and light the grill. Have a serving platter at the ready.

Grill the peppers, zucchini, eggplant and corn directly on the grate, in batches if necessary, and turning them as needed. Move them around the grate so they cook evenly. Cook until they are lightly charred, watching them carefully, 5 to 12 minutes, depending on the vegetable.

To grill the mushrooms and asparagus, place them in a grilling basket if you have one, or put directly on the grill. (Arrange the asparagus perpendicular to the grates so they don’t fall through.) Grill, turning as needed, until charred all over, 6 to 10 minutes. Grill the cherry tomatoes, using the vine as a handle if possible, for 1 to 2 minutes, until they start to burst and char slightly. Transfer all the vegetables as they cook directly to the serving platter.

Add the cheese to the platter next to the vegetables. Immediately drizzle everything with some of the sauce, stirring it up to get the raisins, and with olive oil. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt and pepper and scatter the herbs generously on top. Serve the extra sauce and the bread alongside for making crostini with some of the vegetables and more of the tangy sauce.

Tip:
To make this using a broiler, spread the vegetables on a rimmed sheet pan, drizzle with oil and broil until browned on top, then flip and broil until browned on the other side. The timing will depend on the vegetable, so stick with one kind per baking pan. You’ll need to do this in batches. You can also use a grill pan.

Indian Chicken Kebab

250 grams chicken boneless cubes
2 to 3 tbsp thick curd or greek yogurt or hung curd
2 tbsp oil (olive oil or sesame oil)
salt as needed
1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
3/4 tsp garam masala or a mix of ground cumin, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, pepper, coriander

1 to 1 1/2 tsp ginger garlic paste
3/4 to 1 tsp red chilli powder or paprika
1 medium onion cubed and layers separated

Ensure chicken is free from excess moisture. Drain it completely.

Mix all the ingredients in a mixing bowl.

Taste the marinade and add more salt & spice if needed.

Marinate the chicken well and rub each piece for few seconds.

Cover completely. Refrigerate for over night or at least 4 hours. Resting tenderizes the chicken and it absorbs flavors well.

If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for a while. Line the chicken and onions alternately on the skewers.

Making chicken kebab:

Preheat the oven to 240 C for minimum 15 to 20 mins.

Place them in a tray and grill for 15 mins. After 15 mins, flip them and grill for another 15 mins.

The last 5 mins, move the tray to the top rack or broil.

At this stage you can brush some butter or oil over the kababs if you prefer.

Serve chicken kebab hot with mint raita or chutney.

Tandoori Chicken

1/2 kg chicken (or 500 to 700 grams)
1/2 cup greek yogurt (or hung curd)
3/4+tbsp ginger garlic paste
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp red chilli powder
1/4 tsp pepper powder
1 tsp coriander powder (or daniya powder)
1/4 tsp salt (taste marinade & add more)
1/4 tsp Turmeric (or haldi)
1 tsp kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 1/2 tbsp oil (preferably mustard oil)

For grilling:
1 tbsp oil

For color:
1 tsp red chili powder
1 to 2 tbsp oil (preferably mustard oil)

Marinade for tandoori chicken:

To a mixing bowl, add greek yogurt or hung curd (thick curd). If you do not have it make your own following the notes below.

Next add in ginger garlic paste, garam masala, red chili powder, salt, turmeric, kasuri methi, pepper powder and coriander powder.

Pour oil and lemon juice as well.

Mix everything well. The marinade has to be thick and not of dripping consistency. Taste it and add more salt and chili powder if needed.

Make deep gashes over the chicken and add it to the bowl.

Marinate the chicken well into the gashes.

Cover and set aside for at least 6 hours. If you reduce the marination time, chicken will not turn soft and juicy. It may not get cooked well if making on tawa.

How to make tandoori chicken:

For the stove method, please follow the step by step instructions after the recipe card. Preheat the oven at 240 C for at least 15 mins.

Place a foil on a oven tray to collect the drippings.

Then keep a greased wire rack on the tray.

Place the chicken pieces over the wire rack.

Grill the chicken for about 15 mins.

For spicy version mix together 1 tsp red chili powder with 1 tbsp oil.

After 15 mins of grillling, baste the red chili oil over the chicken. You can also baste the left over marinade over the chicken.

Flip the chicken to the other side and baste the red chili oil or marinade.

Grill for another 6 to 10 mins or until the chicken is cooked through. You will need to adjust the timing as it depends on size of the chicken pieces.

The last 5 mins, you can move the entire tray with wire rack to the top most rack. This gives the charred effect. You can also burn a char coal piece and place it in a small cup. Keep that in the chicken tray. Cover with a large utensil. Allow it to smoke for 5 to 7 mins.

Brush the dripping all over the chicken. This keeps the chicken moist.

Restaurant style tandoori chicken is ready. Serve with onion and lemon wedges.

Chipotle-Maple Sweet Potato Mash

4 large sweet potatoes (2 1/2 to 3 pounds)
1 cup milk
1 chipotle pepper in adobo
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup sour cream
4 tablespoons softened butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Wash sweet potatoes and fork prick all sides. Microwave until cooked through. Once cooled enough, remove the skins. Then put the cooked sweet potatoes in a large bowl.

In a food processor or using an immersion blender (my choice) pulse the milk and chipotle together. In a saucepan bring the milk and chipotle mixture to a simmer on low. Then add the maple syrup, sour cream, butter, and salt and pepper to the milk mixture.

Pour the milk mixture over the cooked sweet potatoes and again use the immersion blender or a hand mixer to mix the ingredients together.

Carne Adovada

3 ounces New Mexico chilies, stemmed, seeded and torn into pieces
3 ounces guajillo chilies, stemmed, seeded and torn into pieces
4 cups boiling water, plus 1 cup water
5 pounds boneless pork butt, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1½-inch cubes
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
2 tablespoons lard or grapeseed oil
2 medium white onions, chopped
6 medium garlic cloves, minced
4 teaspoons cumin seed
4 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican oregano
3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon molasses
Lime wedges, to serve
Sour cream, to serve
Fresh cilantro leaves, to serve

Place the chilies in a large bowl, pour in the boiling water and stir. Let sit, stirring occasionally, until the chilies have softened, about 30 minutes. Transfer half of the mixture to a blender and blend until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the remaining chilies and water and blend until smooth, scraping down the blender as needed. Measure ½ cup of the chili puree into a small bowl, cover and refrigerate until needed. Pour the remaining puree into a medium bowl and set aside; do not scrape out the blender jar. Pour ½ cup of the remaining water into the blender, cover tightly and shake to release all of the puree

Place the pork in a large bowl. Add 2 teaspoons salt and the chili-water mixture in the blender. Stir to coat, then cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Heat the oven to 325°F with a rack in the lower-middle position. In a large Dutch oven over medium, heat the lard until shimmering. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, cumin, coriander, oregano and cayenne, then cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the remaining ½ cup water and the chili puree. Add the pork and any liquid in the bowl. Stir to combine, then cover the pot, place in the oven and cook for 2 hours.

Remove the pot from the oven. Uncover, stir and return, uncovered, to the oven. Continue to cook until the pork is tender, another 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours. Remove from the oven and set on the stove over medium heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened slightly, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the reserved ½ cup chili puree and the molasses. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve with lime wedges, sour cream and cilantro leaves.

Tip: Don’t use just one type of dried chili. New Mexico chilies provide a mild earthiness and subtle sweetness, while guajillos add a fruity quality and hints of smoke; the combination gives this stew a deep, complex flavor. Make sure to seed the chilies, as the seeds won’t break down in the blender and may add unwanted spiciness. Also, don’t use blackstrap molasses, which has a very potent bittersweet flavor.

Hatch Chili Cornbread

4 long green chiles, such as Hatch or Anaheim
1/4 cup bacon grease or vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups finely ground cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 eggs
2 cups buttermilk

Roast the chiles under the broiler until blackened on both sides, about 10-12 minutes, turning once. Once blackened, place the chiles in a paper sack or plastic food-storage bag, close it tight and let the chiles steam for 20 minutes. After the chiles have steamed, remove from the bag and rub off the skin. Remove the stems and seeds from both the chiles and chop. You should have about 1 cup.

Preheat oven to 450° F. While the oven is heating, put the bacon grease or oil into a 10-inch cast-iron skillet and place in the oven while the oven preheats.

Meanwhile, mix together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk together the eggs and buttermilk and pour into the dry ingredients. Stir until well combined.
Take the cast iron skillet out of then oven, and pour the hot oil into the batter and stir until well combined. Add the Hatch green chiles to the batter and gently stir until evenly distributed.

Pour the batter back into the hot skillet and bake for 18-20 minutes or until the top is lightly browned and an inserted knifes comes out clean. Serve warm.

Pica Pau (Portuguese Steak with Olives and Pickled Onions)

Kosher salt and ground black pepper
2 12- to 14-ounce beef strip steaks, each about 1 inch thick, trimmed of fat and gristle, patted dry
1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 cup pitted Kalamata olives, roughly chopped
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
6 medium garlic cloves, finely grated
1 jalapeño chili, stemmed and sliced into thin rounds
3/4 cup dry white wine
5 bay leaves
2 tablespoons salted butter, cut into 2 pieces and chilled
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Piri-piri oil, to serve (optional)

In a small bowl, stir together 2 teaspoons each salt and pepper. Season both sides of each steak with the mixture, rubbing it into the meat. Set aside. In a medium bowl, stir together the onion, olives, vinegar and 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Let the steaks and onion mixture stand for 30 minutes, stirring the onion mixture once halfway through.

In a nonstick 10-inch skillet over medium-high, heat 1 tablespoon of oil until barely smoking. Add the steaks and cook without disturbing until well browned on the bottoms, 4 to 5 minutes. Flip and cook until well browned on the second sides and the centers reach 120°F (for medium-rare), another 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a large plate.

Pour off and discard the fat from the skillet, then wipe out the pan. Set over medium-high and add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, the garlic and chili. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the wine and bay, then bring to a simmer over medium-high. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is reduced to about 3 tablespoons, 2 to 4 minutes. Off heat, stir in the butter until melted.

Transfer the steaks to a cutting board. Cut each steak lengthwise into 4 strips, then cut each strip crosswise into ½-inch pieces. Return the meat and any accumulated juices to the skillet. Add the parsley and toss to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Drain off and discard the liquid from the onion mixture and transfer to a platter. Pour the steak mixture over the onions, then drizzle with piri-piri oil, if using.

Note: The dish, eaten with toothpicks, is served as as appetizer or small plate with crusty bread and cold beer as accompaniments. Pickled cauliflower and carrots are often, but not always, included. The bed of vinegar-marinated red onions and olives balance the beef’s richness.

Mexican Grilled Pork (Cecina Enchilada)

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons packed brown sugar
4 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 1/4 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed of silver skin
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
2 chipotle chilies in adobo, chopped, plus 2 tablespoons adobo sauce
1/3 cup lime juice
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro

In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the oil, cumin, paprika, coriander, sugar and garlic. Microwave on high until the garlic is softened, about 1 minute. Measure out 3 tablespoons of the seasoned oil, including some of the solids, into a large baking dish.

Cut the tenderloin in half crosswise, then cut each piece in half lengthwise. Using a meat pounder, pound each piece to an even ?-inch thickness, then place in the baking dish, turning to coat on all sides with the oil mixture. Cover and refrigerate while you make the sauce and prepare the grill.

Into the remaining oil mixture, whisk 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, the chipotle chilies, adobo sauce, lime juice and cilantro. Set aside.

Prepare a charcoal or gas grill. For a charcoal grill, ignite a large chimney of coals, let burn until lightly ashed over, then distribute evenly over one side of the grill bed; open the bottom grill vents. For a gas grill, turn all burners to high. Cover and heat the grill for 5 to 10 minutes for charcoal or about 15 minutes for gas, then clean and oil the cooking grate.

Place the pork in a single layer on the grill (on the hot side if using charcoal) and cook until well browned, about 2 minutes. Using tongs, flip each piece and cook for 1 minute. Transfer browned side up to a platter. Stir the sauce to recombine, then drizzle 1 tablespoon over each cutlet. Tent with foil and let rest for 5 minutes. Serve with the remaining sauce on the side.

Tip: Don’t grill the second sides of the cutlets for more than about 1 minute or they will overcook. Aim to get charring on only the first sides, then serve the pork charred side up.

Jerk Chicken with Pickled Bananas

MARINADE:
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 cup soy sauce
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
8 ounces Guinness stout
1 medium red onion (about 9 ounces), finely chopped
8 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup Tabasco sauce
1 large nutmeg seed, freshly grated (about 4 teaspoons)
1/4 cup whole allspice berries, ground (about 3 tablespoons)
6 large garlic cloves, minced (about 3 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns, crushed
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 jalapeño, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
2 habanero chiles, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
3 dried bay leaves
12 boneless, skin-on chicken thighs

FOR THE PICKLED BANANAS:
6 cups white vinegar
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 branches fresh thyme
3 tablespoons kosher salt
2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 habanero chile, split, seeds and stem intact
6 cloves
6 just-ripe bananas

PREPARATION
In a small skillet, toast the coriander and cumin seeds over medium heat, shaking the pan, until fragrant, 2 minutes. Let cool, then grind in a spice grinder until pulverized.

Add to a large bowl along with all other marinade ingredients (everything but the chicken). Add 1 cup water and whisk to combine. Alternatively, working in two batches, place all marinade ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse 2 or 3 times to combine.

Place chicken in a large container big enough for all pieces plus marinade. Reserve 3/4 cup marinade for later use, and pour remaining marinade over the chicken. Refrigerate 1 or 2 days (chicken can be stored for up to 5 days).

Prepare the pickled bananas: Add all ingredients except for the bananas to a nonreactive saucepan and boil over high, 10 minutes. Chill completely. Once brine is chilled, peel and slice the bananas on the bias. Add to the brine and chill, at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.

Heat grill to medium-low. Remove chicken from marinade and temper at room temperature for 15 minutes. Place chicken on the grill, skin-side down. Every minute or so, rotate the chicken a half turn so that the skin develops a deep, dark mahogany char and has been slightly crisped and rendered, 8 to 10 minutes total.

Turn chicken over to finish cooking, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter, skin side up. Brush the reserved marinade on the skin side. Remove bananas from brine and serve with jerk chicken.

Salpicón Taco

3 medium plum tomatoes, diced
3 medium radishes, finely diced
1/2 cup finely diced red onion
1/2 cup peeled, seeded, and diced cucumber
2 teaspoons fine sea salt, plus more to taste
2 medium habanero chiles, halved
3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 pound 3/4-inch-cubed cooked skirt steak, flank steak, or pork shoulder
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 medium avocado, diced
8 (6-inch) white corn tortillas, warmed

Stir together tomatoes, radishes, onion, cucumber, and salt in a medium bowl; let stand until juicy, about 5 minutes. Stir in chiles, orange juice, and lime juice. Stir in meat and cilantro. Gently fold in avocado. Add salt to taste. Serve with corn tortillas.

Grilled Flank Steak Carne Asada

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
Juice of 1 orange
Juice of 1 lime
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 1/2 pounds flank steak

In a medium bowl, combine cilantro, olive oil, soy sauce, orange juice, lime juice, garlic, jalapeno, cumin and 1 teaspoon pepper; set aside 1/2 cup of the mixture in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

In a gallon size Ziploc bag or large bowl, combine steak and remaining cilantro mixture; marinate for at least 4 hours to overnight, turning the bag occasionally. Drain the steak from the marinade.

Preheat grill to medium high heat. Using paper towels, pat both sides of the steak dry; season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Add steak to grill, and cook, flipping once, until desired doneness, about 6 minutes per side for medium rare. Let rest 5 minutes.

Thinly slice steak against the grain and serve with reserved 1/2 cup cilantro mixture.

Kandhari Murgh Tikka (Chicken with Pomegranate Molasses)

850 gms skinless boneless chicken thighs cut into bite size pieces
300 mls thick yoghurt/ Greek yoghurt
2 tbsp gram flour/ chickpea flour
1 tbsp garlic paste
1/2 tbsp ginger paste
1 tsp kashmiri chilli powder (or less if you want a mild heat)
110 mls pomegranate molasses
1 tbsp dried pomegranate seeds
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
Salt to taste
Butter for basting

Add the gram flour and the yoghurt in a bowl. Mix well to get rid of any lumps to form a thick paste like consistency. Gradually add the ginger and garlic paste, chilli powder, molasses and pomegranate seeds along with the garam masala powder & salt.

Tip in the chicken pieces and mix well making sure to coat them well in the thick marinade. Leave to marinate overnight.

Preheat the oven to 200c/ Gas mark 6. Thread the chicken pieces onto wooden skewers and place them on a wire rack. Roast the pieces for 7-10 minutes.

Turn them over & baste with melted butter. Put them back in the oven for 5-7 minutes until they are cooked through and slightly charred around the edges. Serve the kandhari murgh warm with roti or parathas, lemon wedges and an onion salad.

Tandoori Chicken Tikka

450 gms skinless boneless chicken thighs cut into bite size pieces
2 tbsp thick yoghurt/ Greek yoghurt
2 tsp chickpea flour/ gram flour
4 cloves garlic
1 inch piece ginger peeled
1 green
1 tsp mild paprika
1 green chilli
1/2 tsp chilli powder (or a little more if you’d like it spicy)
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
1 tsp coriander powder
Pinch cinnamon powder
Pinch of saffron crushed
Salt to taste
Butter for basting
1 tsp chaat masala
Juice of 1/2 a lemon

Salad & chutney to serve

Add the ginger, garlic and green chilli in a wet grinder and blend to a smooth paste. Mix the yoghurt with the gram flour in a bowl to get rid of any lumps to form a thick paste like consistency. Add the ginger, garlic chilli paste, paprika, chilli powder, garam masala and coriander powder. Also mix in the ground cinnamon, saffron and salt. Stir well and tip in the chicken pieces and mix well making sure to coat them in the thick marinade. Leave to marinate for a few hours or even overnight if you prefer.

Soak wooden skewers in water. Preheat the grill on medium. Shake off the excess marinade and thread the chicken pieces onto the skewers and place them on a wire rack. Cook under the grill for 15-20 minutes. Turn the skewers every 5 minutes & baste with melted butter until the juices run clear and they are cooked through slightly charred around the edges.

Serve warm over roti or parathas sprinkled with chaat masala and lemon juice along with mint chutney and salad.

Kali Mirch Murgh Tikka (Indian Black Pepper Chicken)

500 gms skinless & boneless chicken cut into bite size pieces
5 cloves of garlic
1 green chili
200 gms hung yoghurt/ Greek yoghurt
1 1/2 tsp corn flour
1/2 tsp black peppercorns
1/2 tsp white peppercorns
1/2 tsp green cardamom powder
1/4 tsp garam masala powder
Salt to taste
Green peppers (optional)
Melted butter for basting

Add the garlic and chilli in a wet grinder with a splash of water & blend to a puree. In a mortar and pestle add the black and white peppercorns grind coarsely & set aside.

Add the yoghurt to a mixing bowl along with the corn flour. Mix well making sure there are no lumps. Now add the paste, ground peppercorns, cardamom powder, garam masala powder and salt. Marinate the chicken pieces in this mix for a couple of hours or preferably overnight.

Soak wooden skewers in water for 15-20 minutes this prevent them from burning. Preheat the oven to 200c. Thread the chicken pieces onto skewers along with the green peppers. Brush a wire rack with a little melted butter. Place the skewers on the wire rack and cook for 15-20 minutes until slightly charred around the edge and cook all the way through. Turn the pieces half way through the cooking process and baste with butter.

To serve place the chicken on warm flat bread with a sprinkle of chaat masala, some mint chutney and onion rings.

Stewed Black-Eyed Peas

2 pounds dried black-eyed peas
1 sweet onion, such as Vidalia, peeled and halved through the root end (keep the root attached)
4 whole cloves
1 garlic head, cut in half
10 black peppercorns
2 dried bay leaves
1 chile de árbol or other small dried chile
1 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
Hot sauce, to taste

Put the peas in a large bowl, add water to cover by 2 inches, and soak overnight.

Blacken the onion: If you have a gas stove, turn one burner on high and place the onion halves directly on the grates next to the flame and cook, turning occasionally, until the onion is charred on all sides, about 5 minutes. Otherwise, heat the broiler and broil the onion on a baking sheet a few inches from the heat, turning occasionally, until charred, 1 to 2 minutes. Set aside to cool.

When the onion is cool enough to handle, poke 2 cloves into each half, and add the onion to a large stockpot. Drain the peas, discarding the liquid, and then transfer the peas to the pot.

Place the garlic, peppercorns, bay leaves and chile on a 12-inch square of cheesecloth and wrap tightly, using twine to seal the packet.

Add 6 quarts water and the spice packet to the pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Skim any foam that collects on the surface, then reduce to a simmer. Stir in the olive oil and 1 tablespoon salt and cook, stirring and skimming occasionally, until the peas are fully cooked and the cooking liquid has thickened, 1 to 2 hours.

Discard the spice packet, season with the remaining 1 tablespoon salt (or to taste) and the hot sauce and serve.

Ham and Cheese Scones

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/3 cup diced ham, bacob, or pancetta
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat; set aside.

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, garlic powder and salt. Add cold butter, using your fingers to work the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles coarse crumbs.

Stir in buttermilk, cheese, ham and chives until a soft dough forms.

Working on a lightly floured surface, knead the dough 3-4 times until it comes together. Using a rolling pill, roll the dough into an 8? circle, about 1-inch thick, and cut into 8 wedges.

Place scones onto the prepared baking sheet. Place into oven and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until firm to the touch and lightly browned.

Serve immediately.

Basic Cornbread

1 1/2 cups cornmeal
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 egg
2 cups buttermilk

Mix it all together until smooth. Pour into a black iron skillet that has been greased with butter or bacon fat. Bake in a 425-degree oven until top is brown and firm.

A little more elaborate (from Simply Recipes):

1 tablespoon bacon drippings
2 cups cornmeal OR 1 1/2 cups cornmeal and 1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
1 large egg (optional)
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Preheat pan with bacon drippings: Put the bacon drippings in a 9 or 10-inch well-seasoned cast iron skillet and put the skillet into the oven. Then preheat the oven to 400°F with the skillet inside. (If you don’t have an iron skillet, you can use an uncovered Dutch oven or a metal cake pan.)

Make the batter: Whisk together all the dry ingredients (cornmeal, baking soda, salt, sugar if using) in a large bowl. In another bowl, beat the egg (if using) and buttermilk until combined, then mix that into the bowl of dry ingredients. Stir in the melted butter.

Pour batter into hot skillet and bake: When the oven is hot, take out the skillet (carefully, as the handle will be hot!). Add the cornbread batter and make sure it is evenly distributed in the skillet.

Bake at 400°F for about 20 minutes, or until the edges are beginning to brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean.

4 Rest bread in skillet, then serve: Let the bread rest for 10 to 30 minutes in the skillet before cutting it into wedges and serving.

To store, let the cornbread cool, then remove from pan and wrap in plastic wrap or transfer to an airtight container. Store at room temp for 2 to 3 days