Sunday, August 16, 2015

Slow Cooker Nasi Goreng (Indonesian Fried Rice)

Nasi Goreng the National dish of Indonesia can be enjoyed in simple versions from a tin plate at a  roadside food stall or  eaten on porcelain in restaurants or collected from the buffet tables of Jakarta dinner parties.

In 2011 an online poll by 35,000 people held by CNN Indonesian Nasi Goreng was the number two of their 'World’s 50 Most Delicious Foods' list after Rendang.

The trade between China and the Indonesian archipelago flourished from the era of Srivijaya around the 10th century and intensified in the majapahit era around the 15th century. By that time Chinese immigrants had begun to settle in the archipelago, bringing along with them their culture and cuisine. Chinese people usually favor freshly cooked hot food, and in their culture it is taboo to throw away uneaten foodstuffs. As a result, the previous day's leftover rice was often recooked in the morning. Previously, Indonesians probably simply sun-dried the leftover rice to make intip or rengginang (rice cracker).

I first had this dish in a luxury resort in Maldives during my honeymoon. Then in my innocence, I found no difference between the Chinese fried rice and Indonesian rice ( anyways I love fried rice so much,I polished it off). There are subtle nuances in this dish that make it different and so popular then the rest fried rice dishes.

Nasi goreng is distinguished from other Asian fried rice recipes by its generous amount of Kecap Manis (sweet soy sauce), and the taste is stronger and spicier compared to Chinese fried rice. Nasi goreng often includes Krupuk and bawang goreng (fried shallots) or (fried onions) to give a crispier texture.

1 cup boneless chicken 
1 cup shrimp
4-5 mushrooms sliced
1/2 bell pepper sliced half carrot shredded
2 shallots, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp. Fish sauce
1 tbsp. sugar
2 red Holland chiles, stemmed, seeded, and roughly chopped
¼ cup sesame oil
1-4 eggs
Kosher salt, to taste
1 cup white rice
5 tbsp. Soy Sauce
2 small cucumbers, halved lengthwise, sliced crosswise diagonally, for serving
Few coriander leaves for garnish
Few chopped green onions for garnish

Set the slow cooker in high. Take a skillet and put 3 tablespoon sesame oil.Saute the onion and garlic in medium heat until light brown put the chicken, in the skillet and toss a little. after 2 mins or until they are slight white remove it and put in the slow cooker.

Put the Mushroom, Carrot and Green bell pepper in the slow cooker.

Then add the Soya Sauce and Fish Sauce in the slow cooker, add salt and stir the contents.
In most parts of Indonesia, Nasigoreng is cooked with ample
amounts of  kecap manis (sweet soy sauce) that created golden brownish color and the flavor is mildly sweet.  This is an important ingredient but is difficult to get in your local grocery store so just substitute this with soy sauce and sugar which will make it sweet soy which kecap manis essentially is.  

Add 1 cup of rice and two cups of water in the slow cooker.Stir the mixture and cook in high for 1 hr.

After 1 hr, the rice will be almost cooked. Put the shrimp into the slow cooker and carefully mix it.

Make portions on the rice and break one or as many eggs you want. This recipe is for 3-4 people. Cover the slow cooker and cook for 1/2 hr on high.

After 1/2 hr your rice will look like this, now garnish it with coriander and green onions and serve it with slices of cucumber.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Slow Cooker Thai Chicken Curry

I came up with recipe when I was expecting my daughter, I am really fond of Thai food and during those days, the flavor and powerful aromatics increased the cravings even more. However, given the high usage of sea foods and several exotic spice blends, I wondered if consuming Thai food in pregnancy is safe. Although Thai women have given birth to healthy babies for centuries while having their own kind of food in pregnancy, one never knows what is used in all these neighborhood Thai restaurants.So I replaced the fish sauce with few tablespoon of soy sauce and made a simple curry with coconut milk and fresh spices and vegetables without any store brought sauce.

Thai food is  also healthy. The cooking style makes use of simple yet effective and healthy preparation techniques like stir-frying, stewing, steaming, grilling, and salad making. Traditionally deep fried foods are used in limited quantities in a meal and emphasis is given to stir-frying. This ensures that nutrients and flavors of the food are not destroyed by heat. In addition, there is little or no addition of oil in most of the dishes making the food light.

2 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts or chicken thighs, cut into cubes
5 large carrots, peeled and diced
1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
2 cloves garlic, peeled
Slivered ginger slices
1 large green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup peas
5 to 6 broccoli pieces
1 large tomato or 4 to 5 cherry tomato
1 (14 oz) can coconut milk
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp peanut butter
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 dried jalapeno chili seeded ( removed the seed to reduce the spice level)
2 tbsp water
1/2 tbsp cornstarch
Mint or cilantro leaves for garnish

Grease your slow cooker with olive oil. Place the chicken and carrots,bell pepper ,tomato and broccoli on the bottom of slow cooker.
Saute the onions,ginger and garlic in a pan until light brown and transfer in the slow cooker.
Mix peanut butter and soy sauce and pour this and coconut milk in the slow cooker and mix well, then cover and cook on low for about 6 hours.
An hour or so before serving, mix cornstarch and water together in a small bowl until cornstarch is dissolved. Pour mixture and peas into the slow cooker, stir to combine, and continue cooking for another hour.
When the sauce is to your desired thickness, turn slow cooker to warm setting until ready to serve.
Serve over rice,  and garnish with cilantro or Mint leaves.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Slow Cooker Thai Chicken Noodle Soup

I am a huge fan of Thai cuisine especially of the spicy peanut sauce which I am guilty of eating by the spoonful.  My mother always used to make chicken noodle soup for me, but I particularly like this one with peanut sauce and endamame beans. 

This soup is super basic but sometimes simple is best. The process of making the soup  is a comforting process in itself and it smells great in your kitchen. Although the cooking time is long, the hands on work is not too much. What is it about chicken noodle soup that truly warms the heart and soul? It heals the sick. It soothes the soul. It’s cheap and filling and nutritious. Make a big pot, eat some for dinner, bring some to work for lunch, take some to your friend who just had a baby and freeze some for later when there’s no time to cook. A pot of chicken soup feeds many and is meant to be shared! So go ahead, slurp up!


  • 1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup red curry paste
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 pound boneless and skinless chicken breasts or thighs
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind concentrate or 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce or soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons palm sugar or brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 6 ounces rice noodles
  • 2 cups edamame beans
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup peanuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • 2 green onions, sliced

Add the coconut milk, chicken broth, chicken, sweet potato, peanut butter, tamarind, fish sauce, sugar and turmeric, cook until the chicken is cooked and the sweet potato is tender, about 2 -2 and  1/2 hrs in high in a slow cooker.

Add the mushrooms, red bell pepper and rice noodles and cook until the noodles are tender, about 30 minutes.

Mix in the bean sprouts, remove from heat and serve garnished with cilantro, chopped peanuts and green onions.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Slow Cooker Thai Seafood Soup (Tom Yum Talay)

This Thai Seafood Soup is authentic and incredible tasting - The Thai word talay or taleh means 'sea' and of course refers to the mixed seafood in the soup. I love the combination of shrimp and other seafood's together with  coconut milk, and lime. This soup soothes and uplifts the spirit as well as the body. In Thailand, Tom Yum Talay is known for its health benefits and is the Thai equivalent of chicken noodle soup when you're feeling ill. It's also remarkably easy to make once you have the ingredients. And if you have any trouble finding these ingredients, don't be put off making it - just try my recommended substitutions (bottom of recipe) and it will still turn out great! Make this soup on a chilly fall or winter day and you'll soon feel thoroughly warmed from the inside. ENJOY!


1 can chicken stock
12 medium raw shrimp, shells removed
Other seafood of your choice: fresh mussels, scallops, crab (up to 1 handful of each)
2 kaffir lime leaves*
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. galangal OR ginger, grated
1-2 sliced red chilies OR 1-2 tsp. Thai chili sauce*
 handful of fresh mushrooms, sliced thinly
1 medium tomato, cut into thin strips
4 oz chopped carrot
1/2 can (14 ounce) thick coconut milk 
2 sauce* 
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 cup fresh spring oion, roughly chopped

Pour stock plus lemongrass and lime leaves in slow cooker. If using fresh lemongrass, also add the upper stalk pieces for extra flavor. 
Add garlic, galangal/ginger, chili,  mushrooms, the shrimp, any other seafood you're using, and tomato.
Then add the coconut milk, fish sauce, soy sauce,  and sugar. Stir well to combine and gently. Cook in low for 6 hrs or high for 3 hrs.
Serve in bowls with fresh spring onion sprinkled over. 


If you can't find lemongrass: try 3 slices fresh lemon (boil in the soup)
Instead of kaffir lime leaves: 1/2 tsp. lime zest
For chili: 1/2 to 3/4 tsp. cayenne pepper OR dried crushed chili (chili flakes)
If you don't like the smell of fish sauce: 1/2 tsp. dark soy sauce + 1 Tbsp. regular soy sauce

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Slow Cooker Lamb Kofta Curry

Asian Slow Cooking

 Kofta is hindi name for meatballs. Then difference between italian meatballs and this is the Indian spices and milk/cream which is added to form layers of flavors that burst in your mouth. The most important spices according to me are Cashews,Milk and Fenugreek. This gives the sauce its creamy and rich taste.

Asian Slow Cooking

Asian Slow Cooking

HISTORY- Kofta's were introduced to India with the Muslim conquests. Kofta in Indian cuisine are normally cooked in a spiced gravy, or curry, and sometimes simmered with hard boiled eggs. Vegetarian kofta are generally eaten by Hindus, with the exception of Kashmiri Hindus who by and large prefer meat kofta.

The British dish Scotch eggs may have been inspired by the Mogul dish nargisi kofta where hard- boiled eggs are encased in a layer of spicy kofta meat.

Variations of Kofta is in many cuisines:

In Lebanese cuisine, kafta is usually prepared by mixing the ground beef with onion, parsley, allspice, black pepper and salt.

In Moroccan cuisine, kufta may be prepared in a tagine.

In Greek Cusine their name is keftede and they are usually fried and eaten with yogurt.

They are very popular all around Albania and there are many small shops called Qofteri which offer Qofte and also serve beer.

Asian Slow Cooking

For Meat Balls
  • 1 1/2 lbs ground lamb
  • 1 tbsp minced green chili (you can use jalapeƱo as well)
  • 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 cup boiled and mashed potatoes. (It helps in binding and keeping the meatballs soft)
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • Salt

For Curry Sauce:

  • 1 cup chopped onion paste
  • 1 ½ tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 ½ cups tomato puree
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 ½ tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 ½ tbsp kasuri methi (optional)
  • 1/3 cup cashews (blanched and turned into a paste)
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 ½ tbsp. cooking oil plus 1 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
  • Salt


  • Mix together all the ingredients for the meatballs.
  • Wet your hands and make small lime-sized balls out of them. Put them on a baking sheet, cover with a plastic wrap and let it sit in the refrigerator for at least ½ hour and, at most, 1 day.
  • Heat oil in a pan and cook the onions till brown and then mince it in a grinder. Add all the ingredients in the slow cooker.
  • Mix it together and throw in all the meatballs.
  • Cook in high for 3 hrs or low for 6 hrs.
  • Serve it with hot rice or hot Indian bread.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Slow cooker Butter Chicken

This rich, buttery, creamy chicken needs no introduction. Most probably the best known of all Indian dishes  loved by all age groups from 8 to 80.

Butter Chicken is a heartwarming favorite at my home, I make it in family parties and always receive hugely enthusiastic reviews from them. As for me, it refreshes many happy memories eating out with my friends during regular hang- outs and road trips.

Some say that the British came up with this recipe and some believe the recipe is said to have originated in a restaurant called Moti Mahal in Delhi, India.

Kundan Lal Gujral, a Hindu, originally from the undivided India’s Peshawar in Punjab, fled to India following the partition. He was ingenious enough to overcome the times of political upheaval and open a restaurant in Old Delhi. This restaurant, became internationally acclaimed for its tandoori creations—apparently Kundan’s inventions. Tandoori chicken, butter chicken, and dal makhni were served by elegant Peshawaris dressed in pathani suits to desi and foreign diners who stopped by for its celebrated dishes. The restaurant became a landmark in Delhi, and was sought after by famous visitors including world leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Bhutto, Kennedy, and the like. Thus began the popularity of Butter Chicken.

Asian Slow Cooking

I generally cook from the scratch but if you don't prefer cooking with these many spices, may add garam masala powder and curry paste for the marinade.


2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 onion, sliced

6 garlic cloves, chopped
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup half and half
2 big tomato (grind it yourself)

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tbsp cumin powder
2 tbsp coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tbs can tomato paste
1 cup cashew nut paste
1/2 tsp fenugreek powder
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup plain yogurt
1 tbsp cardamom pods
2 tbsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp pepper powder
1 tbsp anise powder

Cut the chicken in bite size . Mix all the spices for marinade. Keep two tsp aside.Mix the chicken, lime juice, salt and the spice mix in a large, non-metallic bowl. Cover and allow to marinate for 1 hour.

Slow Cooker
Heat the oil in a deep pan on medium heat. When hot, add the onions. Fry till a pale golden brown in color and then grind it to a paste.
Put chicken in slow cooker, and add onion paste.Add all the other ingredients including the 2 tsp spice mix except milk Plop in the butter .
Add the milk gradually with stirring continuously. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, or high for 4hrs. The chicken should shred easily with 2 forks when fully cooked.
Serve with white Basmati rice or Naan.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Slow cooker Bengali Chicken Curry

This Bengali Chicken curry is very close to my and many bengali's heart. It is a soul food for us and I have very fond childhood memories related to this chicken curry. Meat on Sunday afternoon was a done thing for most  families when I was growing up, All the nieghbourhood uncle's along with my father queuing up at the local butcher  and waving each other with a black plastic containing the meat was a sight every sunday morning. 

Chicken with potatoes, cooked and marinated with mustard oil, garnished with fresh cilantro/mint from the backyard was generally a common dish in all bengali households lovingly termed by us bengali's as 'Robibarer Murgir Jhol'

The Potato and Mustard oil is basically the difference that Bengali chicken curry as compared to other chicken curries in India.
The spice factor in this curry depends on you, some regions make it spicy and hot while others make it very light and watery.
I am used to the later one and this is such a stress buster for me that I actually ate this prepared by my mother before going to the hospital to deliver my first baby..... Surprised!! but believe me this is not spicy and kind of soupy, so its a feast for your taste buds.

Chicken - 1,skinless, cut in medium pieces
Onion - 2, finely sliced
Potatoes - 2, peeled and cut into medium pieces
Ginger Garlic Paste - 2 tbsp
Turmeric - 1/2 tbsp
Green Chili - 3, sliced
Cumin Powder - 1 tbsp
Coriander Powder - 1/2 tbsp
Cardamom (small) - 3 to 4
Cinnamon sticks - 2 Cloves - 4 to 5
Fried Cumin Powder - 1/2 tbsp
Salt to taste
Mustard Oil - 1/3 cup
Mint leaves/ Coriander leaves

Wash the potatoes and keep them aside.
Heat oil in a skillet and fry ginger garlic paste, green chili, cumin powder, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves for about 45 seconds.
Add onions and fry it till golden brown. 
Add all the ingredients in slow cooker except the coriander/mint leaves. 
Add one cup water and cook on slow for 6-7 hrs.
Garnish with coriander/ Mint leaves. 
My mother always used mint leaves because we loved the flavor.
Serve with a cube of  butter and hot rice.