Sep 26, 2015

Sunday style Chicken Curry...a taste of the Past!

Food and nostalgia go hand in hand together.Just the smell wafting from the kitchen is transporting me to those childhood Sundays when my Bappa ( father) would religiously leave the house early in the morning with a bag to the fresh produce market to grab the best,fleshy,tender chicken and to avoid the long queue at the butchers.In his opinion the more the crowd at the butchers the less wasthe chance to get good quality meat.With the Mahabharata blaring in the TV set in the drawing room my mom would marinate it with curd and spices, to be cooked in an hour. It's funny how nostalgia clouds the mind.The mere sight of the spicy, colourful,bubbling chicken curry on the stove is all that's needed to recall positive,childhood associations you would rather hold on to.Every Odiya household had a chicken or mutton curry sizzling in their pots on Sundays for their larger than life Sunday lunch....infact I call it Sunday style Chicken Curry.
The nostalgia inducing chicken curry or Kukuda Jhola in Odiya is a rich, spicy gravy with big chunks of potatoes and curry cut chicken.It tastes best when pre marinated and the authentic taste comes from the mustard oil used for preparation.Back in our household in Odisha our house help grinds the spices and masalas on a heavy grinding stone called Sila Bata or Sila Pua.I have always felt that 
traditional ways of preparation of recipes imparts much better flavours and taste to the dishes.This 
Jhola goes very well with steamed rice and an Indian salad of cucumber, tomato, onion rings sprinkled with rock salt, pepper and lemon juice.What beautiful, chicken filled, delicious memories!!

You require
1kg Curry cut Chicken
02  Potatoes,cut in big cubes
03 big Onions ,grated or ground
02 tomatoes,chopped
2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
1 tsp cumin seeds or jeera
2 slit green chillies or according to your taste
1 tsp each cumin,coriander and garam masala powder
2 tbsp chopped coriander
2 tbsp mustard oil
3-4 green cardamom or choti elaichi
1 inch pc cinnamon stick or dalchini
3-4 cloves  or laung
2 bay leaves or tej patta
1 1/2 C hot water
For the marinade
3/4 C curd
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tbsp mustard oil
Salt to taste


  • Marinate the chicken with the marinade for at least 1-2 hours before cooking.
  • Heat the mustard oil in a wok till smoking point and lessen the flame.
  • Fry the potatoes in the oil till light brown and keep it aside.
  • Fry the cumin seeds and the whole garam masalas in the remaining oil till it splutters,add the sugar and let it brown.This gives a nice caramelised colour to the curry.
  • Add the grated onion,fry till transparent.
  • Add the ginger garlic paste and fry till the raw smell goes away.
  • Now add the chopped tomatoes and cook till the oil separates or till the masala attains a nice dark brown colour.
  • Add the marinated chicken to the masala and cook on medium heat for 3-4 mins and then add the potatoes and fry for 1-2 mins more.
  • Sprinkle the coriander and cumin powder and mix thoroughly.
  • Add the hot water to the chicken and potato and cover the wok and cook for 5-7 mins more.
  • Lastly sprinkle the garam masala and give one nice boil to the curry.
  • Turn off the flame and garnish with chopped coriander.
  • Serve with steamed rice and enjoy.

Sep 22, 2015

Carrot Cake with a Cream Cheese Frosting

I have been baking cakes since my college days and those days vanilla cakes were a hit and that too in a basic round electric oven which was ubiquitous to every baking household .I stuck to vanilla and chocolate till I got married and all the time thinking of myself as a baking queen. When I entered into the baking arena with a hand mixer and OTG and few sophisticated foreign author cake books I discovered that there was a world of cakes that I had never ventured into.Since then I haven't looked back,baked cakes after cakes  and have carved a place for myself as an expert baker baking from simple pound cakes to towering layer cakes.My passion for baking has made me bake at 1 in the night too and savouring a warm ,fluffy piece before retiring to bed.There is nothing like the taste of a cake you make in your own kitchen.Measure your ingredients properly, mix it with lots of love and bake it with utmost care ...that's my secret to a perfect cake.Here is my favourite Carrot Cake recipe with a hint of walnuts and cinnamon and a tangy cream cheese frosting.Simple,Sweet,Moist and Flavourful...adapted from Joy of baking.

You Require:-

For the Cake
1 C All purpose flour
1 1/4 C grated raw carrots
2 eggs
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 C fine sugar
1/2 C refine oil( vegetable,canola or safflower)
1/2 C coarsely crushed walnuts
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt

For the frosting
2 ounces unsalted butter
4 ounces cream cheese
1 C icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest.


  • Preheat the oven to 180 deg C
  • Line a round 9 inch pan with parchment paper.
  • Whisk flour baking powder,baking soda,cinnamon and salt in a bowl.
  • In a separate bowl with a electric mixer whisk eggs till frothy and then add sugar gradually  till the batter is pale and thick and then beat in the vanilla.
  • Add the flour mix to the batter and mix till incorporated.

  • Add the grated carrots and walnuts and fold in with a spatula.
  • Bake for 25-30 mins or till a toothpick in the centre comes out clean.
  • For the frosting beat the butter with cream cheese with electric beater just until blended.
  • Gradually add sifted icing sugar to the mix and beat on low speed until smooth.
  • Lastly add the vanilla and lemon zest and beat.
  • Spread the frosting on the cool cake and decorate with walnuts and refrigerate the leftovers.

P.S. Always ensure to sift your flour before measuring.

I am sending my entry to Bake of the week held by Helen of Casa Costello.

Casa Costello

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