November 15, 2012

Mughlai Chicken Kebabs - A Guest Post by Shema George

Once again a delicious guest post visits this space. I became friends with Shema George of Life Scoops through a blog event she hosted recently. She has such a wonderful collection of recipes from all over the world, making it such a pleasure to cook from them. We have one more thing in common apart from our culinary obsession. A very active and energetic toddler. So we know exactly what it is to have such a bundle of energy around us whilst we try to whip up new food to cater to different taste buds of the family. Presenting to you, Shema George! Thank you Shema for accepting my request.
I first got acquainted with Serah and her absolutely beautiful blog with some drool-worthy recipes, while hosting the DMBLGiT food photography contest on my site a couple months ago. Through our subsequent online interactions we have become good friends :)

She recently invited me to guest post a recipe on her space and I settled on these Mughlai Chicken kebabs that I had recently prepared for an office potluck party. A few weeks ago my company decided to relocate and consolidate our geographically diverse MIS team to a new office location. As an ice-breaker to get the teams to interact, we thought it would be a nice idea to have a potluck party and of course, food just has this uncanny knack to break down social and cultural barriers. I prepared these Chicken Kebabs as bite-sized Hors d'oeuvres, each set on toothpick with some colorful grilled bell peppers on each side. The Kebabs came out juicy and succulent, marinated in Cashew-nut paste, yogurt and spiced with a hint of garam masala. Some fresh lemon zest was also added for a fresh citrusy kick.
 You will need:
Chicken breast, cubed - 3 lb. (1.3 Kg)
Butter melted - 3 Tablespoon
Ginger, grated - 1 Tablespoon
Garlic, grated - 1 Tablespoon
Cashew nuts - 1/2 Cup
Lemon zest -2 Tsp
Pepper - 1 1/2 Tsp
Cumin Powder - 1/2 Tsp
Garam Masala - 1 1/2 Tsp
Yogurt - 1/2 Cup
Lemon - ½
Tooth picks or skewer

1 - Big Red Bell Pepper (Capsicum)
1 - Big Yellow Bell Pepper (Capsicum)
1 - Big Green Bell Pepper (Capsicum)
Add the ginger, garlic and cashew nuts into a blender and grind into a smooth paste, by adding little water.
Melt butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Add the ground paste along with pepper, salt, yogurt, lemon zest, cumin powder and garam masala and mix well.
Stir in the chicken pieces and coat them with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Thread one chicken piece onto a toothpick with 2 pieces of bell peppers.
Heat the grill (indoor or outdoor) and cook the chicken pieces until cooked. Please note that if you are using an outdoor grill or exposing the skewers to direct flame, you will need to keep the skewers immersed in water overnight prior to grilling.
Sprinkle some fresh lemon juice and serve warm.

November 5, 2012

Shepherds Pie

Another keeper for my recipe collection. Shepherd's Pie!!! The name comes from the theory that Shepherds are mainly concerned with Sheep and hence we use lamb for the same. It was earlier known as Cottage pie where any leftover meat was used for the filling. A friend of mine recently made her version of this pie for a potluck lunch and ever since I have been wanting to make it for my husband. So this time when he returned home after his voyage, this wonderful Shepherds Pie awaited him. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
You will need:
Oil – 1 Tbsp

Big Onion , finely chopped - 1
Carrot, finely chopped – 2 medium
Green peas – ¼ cup
Celery leaves – a bunch
Minced Lamb – 500 gms
Plain flour – 2 tbsp
Beef stock – 500 ml
Bay leaf - 1
Worcestershire sauce – 1 tbsp
Tomato paste – 1 tbsp
Salt & freshly ground black pepper - to taste
Potatoes cooked – 500 gms
Butter – 40 gms
Hot Milk – ½ cup
Garlic Seasoning or any seasoning of your choice – to taste
Melted butter, to brush
 Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
Add onion, carrot, peas and celery and cook, stirring for 5 minutes or until soft.
Add lamb mince and stir together for about 5 minutes.
Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until combined.
Add stock, bay leaf, Worcestershire sauce and tomato paste.
 Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes or until sauce thickens.
Season with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, use a potato masher or fork to mash the cooked potatoes until smooth with butter, milk and seasoning.
Preheat oven to 200°C.
Spread the lamb mixture at the bottom of a baking dish and top it with the mashed potatoes.
Brush with the melted butter and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Serve hot.