Category: Starters

Chicken roast


This blog has been gathering dust for more than a couple of years now. Although my passion for food has not deteriorated I have been too lazy to update the blog with recipes. My passion for food has infact increased by manifolds after moving out of India and trying out global cuisine. I have been experimenting a lot with food, clicking pictures as always but they never made it to the blog. Some time back I uploaded the pictures of food in Facebook and received a lot of recipe requests. I thought why not update the blog and share the link?

The first recipe that I jotted down after ages was this Chicken Roast flavoured with loads of Curry Leaves. This recipe has been adapted from the Kerala style chicken fry I learnt from a friend who is an awesome cook himself.

Half kilo chicken – cut into small pieces preferably bone in

Oil – 2-3 tbsp for frying

Grind together:

  • Red chillies – 5-6 ( add more if you like it hot)
  • Ginger – 1″ piece
  • Garlic – 5-6 cloves
  • Onion – 1 small or 1/2 medium (optional)
  • Curry leaves – 2 large handful
  • Salt


  1. Soak chicken in salt water overnight (in fridge)
  2. Next morning drain the water out, pat dry with kitchen towel and marinate in the ground masala.  Leave the chicken marinated in fridge for 1-2 hours.
  3. Heat 2-3 tbsp oil, add a few curry leaves, marinated chicken. Cook till all the chicken is cooked and dry.


  • You can completely skip the overnight soaking bit, and just marinate for half an hour in freezer if you are in a hurry. Still tastes great!
  • Instead of curry leaves, you can make it with kasuri methi.
  • If your chicken pieces are with skin and fat, add less oil initially as extra oil will ooze out while it’s cooking.

Chicken Tikka Kabab

This is a very easy peasy recipe for non veg appetizer. It consumes time but manual intervention is very minimal. What I generally do is hang curd in a muslin cloth while cooking lunch on a weekend. Marinate chicken with the curd and some masala after lunch. Just before dinner, I put the pieces on skewers to grill in the oven and sniff around the most amazing Tandoori smell that fills the entire home 🙂 The amount of oil / butter used is also so less yet the kababs turn out amazing…



  • Boneless chicken pieces – 500g, cut in 1″ dices
  • Lemon juice – 1 tsp
  • Salt – to taste
  • Hung curd – 3 tbsp (Curd – 1 cup)
  • Tandoori chicken masala powder – 2 tbsp
  • Ginger paste – 1 tbsp
  • Garlic paste – 1 tbsp
  • Red food colour – a pinch (optional)
  • Melted butter / oil – 1 tbsp
  1. Hang curd in muslin cloth and let the excess water drop away.
  2. Marinate chicken pieces with lemon juice and salt. Keep aside for 15 mins.
  3. Marinate the chicken pieces with rest of the ingredients except butter. Keep in the refrigerator for 4-5 hours.
  4. Put the pieces on a bamboo skewers, brush lightly with melted butter or oil all over and grill in oven for 20-25 minutes. (I have an auto menu option for tandoori in my oven)
  5. Serve hot with onion rings, lemon wedges and / or green chutney.

Marinated chicken pieces

Chicken 65

Talk about origins of Chicken 65 and there are so many stories which narrate the reason this dish got it’s name. Well, what’s in a name? Chicken 65 is a famous appetizer mostly in Southern India. And personally I prefer it to Chicken Manchurian as I love the flavour of curry leaves in this dish.
Recipe Source:
Ria’s Collection, her recipe source was Monica Bhide’s Modern Spice

Thick plain yogurt – 1 cup
Cornstarch – 2 tbsp
Ginger garlic paste – 1 tsp
Red chile powder – 1 tsp
Lemon/lime juice – 1 tbsp
Red food colouring – 2 drops
Salt to start – 1/4 tsp
Boneless chicken – 1 lb, cut into 2” pieces (Please avoid chicken breasts, use boneless skinless thighs or chicken tenders)
Oil for deep frying
For tempering:
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Green chilies – 4 small, finely chopped
Curry leaves – 20
Oil – 2 tbsp

1. In a large bowl, combine yogurt, cornstarch ,ginger garlic paste, chile powder,lemon juice, food colour & salt. Mix well. (The marinade will look pink now which will turn into a luscious red when the chicken is fried.) Add the chicken pieces and mix to combine.
2. Heat about 2 cups of oil in a deep saucepan. When the oil is hot but not smoking, add a few pieces of chicken and fry till they are crisp on the outside and cooked on the inside, 2-3 mins. Remove the pieces using a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel. Continue until you are done with all the pieces.

3. Place chicken on a serving platter.

4. In a small pan/skillet, heat 2 tbsp oil and when it begins to shimmer, add the mustard seeds. When the seeds begin to sizzle, add the green chilies & curry leaves. Fry for about 30 secs. Pour over the chicken and serve.

Boneless chicken pieces lying in the freezer are life savers at times. It’s when I’m in no mood to chop or sauté and sweat in the kitchen for a long time. I just let rice and dal cook on stove top, while the frozen chicken pieces left to thaw. Spiced chicken meat balls like these add a special touch to the otherwise bland meal. I am absolutely in love with these balls ever since I first caught sight of them in Sailu’s blog. According to her, these balls could be grilled as well but I have always deep fried them. Try these, they are too easy to prepare and the blend of spices that go in are sure to create an outburst of flavours in your mouth when you munch on these balls!!!
1/2 kg boneless chicken pieces, cleaned and washed
8-10 fresh green chillis
1/4 kg onions finely sliced
8-10 fresh green chillis
5-6 dry red chillis (adjust according to your choice)
15-20 garlic flakes
3″ piece ginger chopped
small bunch coriander leaves, chopped
4 tbsps coriander seeds
1 1/2 tbsps cumin seeds
2″ cinnamon stick
3 green cardamoms
5-6 cloves
20 cashewnuts or you can add peanuts as well
salt to taste
oil for deep frying

1. Heat oil in a pan. Add the cumin seeds, coriander seeds, cardamom, cloves, cinnamom, red chillis and cashewnuts and stir for a minute till a nice aroma emanates the whole kitchen. Be careful not to burn the spices. Cool.
2. First grind the roasted ingredients along with ginger, garlic and green chillis to a coarse paste. Next add the chopped raw onions, coriander leaves, chicken and salt and grind further to form a smooth paste like shown in the picture above.
3. Add a tbsp of oil to the ground mixture and mix thoroughly before shaping into small lemon sized balls.
4. Heat oil for deep frying. Once it’s piping hot, reduce flame to medium and place these balls in the oil and fry them to a crisp, golden brown color.
5. Serve hot with tomato sauce or green chutney.

Chicken Anonymous

Whenever we bring home Chicken, I neatly classify the pieces under different heads. Chicken legs are separately placed for kids as they will turn into lollipops. Chicken breasts or the boneless pieces are kept aside for them to be later used for making appetizers. Liver and wings for making stew for children, and the rest of the pieces will be dunked into a spicy curry…
Boneless chicken pieces lying in the freezer come very handy during times when I have to rustle up good food in less time. I frequently go for Chicken Masala balls which require grinding few spices along with chicken, making balls out of the ground paste and deep frying them. Recently when I wanted something easy, tasty as well as something new. That was when my mind went through a flashback where Sindhu (sis) and I had made a starter out of prawns after watching it in a Kannada cookery show. I went ahead to prepare it by substituting prawns with boneless chicken strips (No idea what else I substituted). Abbas was bowled over by the taste. But when he asked me what was the name of the dish, (which he rarely asks) I was taken unawares. I am unable to recollect the name of the dish! Hence I christen it ‘Chicken Anonymous’??? Bless the lady who invented this, I only remember her face vaguely, but she had curly hair!!!
Boneless chicken – 1 cup (cut into bitesize pieces)
For marination:
Egg – 1
Cornflour – 1/4 tbsp
Dark soya sauce – 1 tsp
Pepper powder – to taste
Salt – to taste
For the sauce:

Garlic – 4-5 cloves, finely chopped
Green chillies – 2-3, finely chopped (as per spice tolerance, increase or decrease)
Curd – 1 cup
Curry leaves – 15 sprigs
Kasuri Methi – 1 tbsp

Green chilli sauce – 1/2 tbsp or as per spice tolerance
Soya sauce – 1 tsp
Maggi Cube – 1 nos
Green chillies – 2-3, finely chopped (as per spice tolerance, increase or decrease)

Green food colour – a pinch (optional)
Oil – for deep frying + 1tbsp for sauce

1. Marinate the chicken pieces with egg, pepper powder, salt, soya sauce and keep aside for 15 mins.
2. Deep fry in oil till golden brown and keep aside.

3. Beat together curd, green chilli sauce, soya sauce, maggi cube, kasuri methi, salt (soya sauce and maggi cubes have salt, so add salt after checking), colour(if using) and keep aside.
4. Heat a tbsp of oil in a pan. Add chopped garlic, green chillies, curry leaves and saute for a while.
5. Remove from flame, add curd mixture and fried chicken pieces. Combine. Place back on flame and cook until u get a desired consistency.

Wanted to make lentil fritters in a different way than the usual! Sneaked in a pinch of mozzarella cheeze in the center. Crunchy golden balls could be made ahead and deep fried just before serving.

Grind together:
a cup of soaked lentils – I used channa dal, and kept spoonfuls of dal aside before grinding
1″ piece of peeled and chopped ginger
2-3 garlic cloves
2-3 cloves
1/2″ cinnamon
3-4 green chili

and mix with:
1 small onion chopped
a handful of coriander leaves chopped
a tsp of chopped curry leaves
salt – to taste
rice flour – just enough to absorb the extra moisture and give the balls a crunchy exterior

Stuff in small bits of mozzarella cheese as shown below:

Deep fry to indulge in these golden beauties.

It was ManTam’s 2nd birthday. I had a self-imposed rule of baking two cakes myself as I did on their first birthday. I don’t want them to complain after growing up saying “Ek cake se hi kaam chala liya”. Had they not been twins, we would have celebrated their birthdays on separate days and would have cut two separate cakes, right? When we have rest of the affair confined to a single day 😀 why not vest some extra energy in baking one more cake? Anyway, apart from the cakes we had Ghee Rice, Kosha Mangsho, and Payesh on the platter. Thought one more dish would make the main course complete. But was looking for something easy and delectable. Marinated chicken legs with a few ‘always present at home’ ingredients and placed in the refrigerator for more than an hour while the rest of the preparations were on. When one of the gas stoves was free, placed the marinated chicken in a kadai, spilling some oil on top of it, put the lid on, flame on sim and all you have to do is infrequent stirring. I did not know what to name this. My dear readers, its left to you. I had seen this recipe long long ago in one of the Kannada TV shows but didn’t remember the exact ingredients or the proportions. Just instinctual ingredients and eye ball measurements did the magic. Try it by varying the recipe (please don’t skip curd) if you like, but don’t forget to name it…

Chicken Legs – 4, make small slits all over
Curd – ½ cup
Ginger Garlic paste – 2 tbsp
Red chilli powder – to taste
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
Salt – to taste
Tomato sauce – 2 tbsp
Soya sauce – 1 tsp
Oil – 1 tbsp
Browned onions – ½ cup Optional

1. Marinate the chicken legs with all the ingredients except oil and keep in refrigerator for atleast an hour.

2. Place the marinated chicken legs in a kadai, add oil, cook on a low flame with lid on.

3. Due to curd’s presence, water would automatically ooze out sufficient for chicken to cook. No need to add water.

4. Once the chicken is cooked, increase the flame and cook till there is no water content left.

5. You may garnish with browned onions if you wish. Could be served as an appetizer.

The title must be confusing, isn’t it? Well, this dish was born out of confusion. Being a Capricorn, I take pride in organizing my work efficiently, plan things well ahead of time and try my best to stick to the plan. Every day I plan what I am going to cook the next day (sometimes even next week) and make calculations in my mind as to what ingredients I need and whether I have them at home, if not I buy them on the way back home from the local grocery store. There are times when I give my mind a break and feel myself very relaxed. Today was one such day when I didn’t know what to cook. I had got 4 chicken leg pieces in my freezer which as you may guess had a purpose to be there. I had “planned” to prepare Chicken leg roast during the weekend. As per my plan, I would marinate it on Friday or Saturday night. (See I make flexible plans too.) But I was in a mood to break rules after all rules are meant to be broken. My heart hummed ‘Kal Ho Na Ho’ and there I was all set to prepare Leg Roast then and there. But hey hold on, panic! panic! panic! My heart sobbed “Yeh kya hua! Kaise Hua! Kab hua! Kyun Hua!” There was no hint of ginger or garlic in my entire chicken. My heart hooted “Chale Chalo…Chale Chalo” I was suddenly very determined to have those chicken legs no matter what. While I quickly scanned my pantry to PLAN instantaneously my next action, I saw a packet of Thai Red Curry Paste that I had bought on a whim some time back and it was lying there reassuring me – “Tu chal…. Main aayi”. I tasted the paste and found it sour. The instructions called for using coconut milk and palm sugar in the curry. Well that was hint enough for me to add something sweet to balance the flavours. I began thinking at a different level to add very unusual ingredients. I came up with Sweet Chilli sauce and Demerara sugar. I added curd to give body to the roast. Talking about unusual ingredients, I added some fresh sprigs of curry leaves too.
Prior to marriage, Sindhu (my sis) and I used to experiment in the kitchen and my dad would encourage us with kind words – “Don’t worry about the results of your experiments, girls. No matter how it turns out there is always someone who would eat it without blurting out a single word”. For all those who thought the guinea pig was my dad, you are wrong. He referred to our pet dog!
This recipe was an experiment of the sorts and if you are curious to know how this turned out, scroll down to the last pic in this post.

Chicken Legs – 4
Onion – 1 medium sizes, finely chopped (optional)
Curry leaves – 8-10
Oil – 2 tbsp

For Marination:
Thai Red Curry Paste – 1 packet
Sweet Chilli Sauce – 2 tbsps
Demerara Sugar – 1 tbsp (You could use ordinary sugar too I guess or smiply omit it)
Curd – 1/2 cup
Salt to taste


1. Marinate the chicken leg pieces with the ingredients called for in the ‘For marination’ section. Leave it aside for 30 mins, the more the better.

2. Heat oil in a pan, add chopped onions and curry leaves. Saute till onions turn light golden brown. Strain and remove them from the oil.

3. In the same oil, add the marinated chicken legs and leave it on a low flame covered. Stir occassionally.

4. Once the chicken pieces are cooked, increase the flame and cook without lid till there is no water in the pan and the entire masala is sticking on to the legs. Add the caramlized onions and combine.

5. Serve hot as a starter/appetizer.

This dish had a very unique taste which I had never ever tasted before. Felt good to be the originator of this recipe. If anyone of you tries it out, do let me know. I would be very glad to hear from you. Kids could nibble on the legs easily coz it was not spicy at all.

Chicken Manchurian

I’ve been working in night shifts continuously for the last couple of months. Initial days had taken my health on a toll. I would pop in Saridon after Saridon every alternate day due to lack of sleep. Mondays and Tuesdays would be kinda OK. With Wednesday’s onset I would drag myself hard to reach Saturday. There were days when I had no interest to cook whatsoever but then simply HAD to. The outcome from my kitchen those days had to tolerate the tied eyebrows, wrinkled noses, disgusting looks and forced consumption for the sake of survival. Abbas, being in Bangalore, would come to Chennai on alternate weekends. His visits earned me nasty comments which were not unfair (honestly) considering the kind of fare I was presenting them with. When Ma finally declared one day that ‘Seema, you have forgotten how to cook. You would soon need to hire a cook!’, that hit the ego of the cook in me. Since that day, even though I was strained and drained after coming home in the morning, I would put my 100% in cooking to earn compliments as before. When my sincere efforts didn’t bear fruits, I assigned myslef to Root Cause Analysis. Root Cause of the disaster was these spice powders I had recently bought which would spoil anything and everything that I cooked. When I filled my masala dabbas with new masalas, I was Sooo back in the game! Well, why am I discussing all this instead of talking about Chicken Manchurian???. That’s because this is the first dish that brought me my first compliment after that phase. All thanks to Sailu for the marvellous recipe. Abbas told me after having this that it was even better than any other restaurant’s version that he had ever had! The recipe is simply foolproof. I have cooked this several times after that and it has turned out great everytime Yipppeee.

1/4 kg boneless chicken, cut into fine pieces
6-7 tbsps spring onion whites
3-4 tbsps spring onion greens
1/2 tbsp chopped garlic (I used garlic paste)
1/2 tbsp chopped ginger (I used ginger paste)
2 tsps soya sauce
1 tbsp chilli sauce
2 tsps vinegar
1 tbsp corn flour + 5 tbsps chicken stock or water (I mixed Maggi’s Chicken Stock podwer in water and microwaved on high for 30 secs)
1/2 tsp brown sugar (I omitted this as I didn’t have at hand)
2 tbsps tomato sauce
1/2 tsp red chilli pwd (preferably Kashmiri)
salt to taste
1 1/2 tbsps sesame oil (I used sunflower oil)
oil for deep frying

For marinade: (marinate chicken with below ingredients for at least 15 mts or 1 hr)
1/4 tsp pepper pwd
1 egg white
salt to taste
1 1/2 tsps ginger-garlic-green chilli paste
1/2 tsp soy sauce
1 tbsp maida/all purpose flour
2-3 tbsps corn flour
1-2 tbsps of water, if required

1 Heat oil in a heavy bottomed vessel, make small balls of the marinated chicken and carefully drop into the hot oil. Cook on low medium flame and towards the end of the cooking process increase flame to high and deep fry to a golden brown shade. Drain with a slotted spoon and place on absorbent paper. Keep aside.

2 Heat a heavy bottomed vessel, add oil, add the chopped garlic and saute on high flame for about 30 secs. Add the chopped ginger and green chillis and saute for a few more secs. Add the spring onion whites and saute for 3 mts on high flame.

3 Reduce to medium heat and add the brown sugar, soya sauce, tomato ketchup, chilli sauce and vinegar. Combine well and cook for 2 mts. Add 1/4 cup chicken stock or water and cook for a mt. Add the deep fried chicken balls and cook for 4 mts. Adjust salt, if necessary.

4 Add the cornflour water and cook, tossing the contents, for 4-5 mts. You will find that it becomes thick due to cornflour.

5 Add the chopped spring onion greens and combine. Garnish with more spring onion greens. Serve hot as a starter/appetizer.