Wednesday, April 8, 2015

slow cooker thai chicken and peanut butter 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!



Ingredients

  • 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
Directions

  1. 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.
  2. Add the mushrooms, red bell pepper and rice noodles and cook until the noodles are tender, about 30 minutes.
  3. 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!








Ingredients:



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 Tbsp.fish sauce* 
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 cup fresh spring oion, roughly chopped


Direction:
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. 
Substitutions that Work:
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



 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.




HISTORYKoftas were introduced to India with the Muslim conquests. Koftas in Indiancuisine are normally cooked in a spiced gravy, or curry, and sometimes simmered with hard boiled eggs. Vegetarian koftas are generally eaten by Hindus, with the exception of Kashmiri Hindus who by and large prefer meat koftas. 

 The British dish Scotch eggs may have been inspired by the Moghul 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.





Ingredients
For Meat Balls
  • 1 1/2 lbs ground lamb
  • 1 tbsp minced green chili (you can use jalapeño 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

Direction



  • 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 made it last week for my Sister - in-law and her family, received  hugely enthusiastic review from them. As for me, it refreshes many happy memories  eating out with my friends during regular hang- outs and  road trips.

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. 


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




Ingredients
2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs 
1 onion, sliced
6 garlic cloves, chopped
4 tablespoons butter

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup half and half
2 big tomato (grind it yourself)

1 tbs can tomato paste
1 cup cashew nut paste
1/2 tbs fenugreek powder
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup plain yogurt 

Ingredients for marinade
1 tbs cardamom pods 
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2tbsp cumin powder


2tbsp coriander powder
2tbsp cinnamon powder
1tsp pepper powder
1tbsp anise powder


Direction:
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.


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 crock pot, 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 4. 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 Cicken 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 has 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..... Suprised!! but believe me this is not spicy and kind of soupy, so its a feast for your taste buds.







Ingredients:
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 - 1 tbsp
Mustard Oil - 1/3 cup
Mint leaves/ Coriander leaves

Direction
 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 flavour.
Serve with a cube of  butter and hot rice.

















Sunday, July 7, 2013

Slow Cooker Tom kha Gai (Thai coconut milk and chicken soup)

 It’s the soup I crave when I’m sick in bed or when I’ve had a very busy day and need something comforting or a delicious comfort food on any chilly day.




This generally is made in my slow cooker when I know it will be a long and busy day for me either with my daughter or my household shopping. Having a hot bowl of soup,sitting beside my window after a busy day is total bliss for me.






This classic Thai chicken soup gets its rich flavor from quintessential Thai ingredients: coconut milk, lemongrass, fresh galangal, lime juice, chile paste, and cilantro.









A flavorsome Thai coconut chicken soup. Tom Kha Gai, among Thailand’s most popular soups, may be served at the beginning of a meal or even as the entrée, perhaps with noodles. One thing about the foods of Thailand – they all have a sense of taste balance, including sweet, salty, tangy and savory references all together. This unique Thai coconut chicken soup is bursting with exotic flavour.

Tom kha kai or Tom kha gai  literally means chicken galangal soup is a spicy hot soup in Loa Cuisine and Thai Cusine.  The fried chilies add a smoky flavor as well as texture, color and heat, but not so much that it overwhelms the soup.  Thai-style tom kha gai does not use dill weed, whereas Lao-style tom kha gai usually uses it, which is a common herb used in Lao cuisine. Cilantro is used in the Thai soup instead of dill weed.


Ingredients





  • 6 cups chicken  stock
  • 2 cans (or 28 ounces) full fat coconut milk 
  • 1 tomato cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup shredded/ boneless chicken
  • 6 Shitake mushrooms cut in half
  • 4 stalks fresh lemongrass, lower white part chopped into 1-inch chunks, then smashed with knife 
  • 6 red shallots, peeled and chunked (Sub: 3 smashed cloves of garlic plus a bit of red onion)
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 4-5 fresh red bird’s eye chili peppers,smashed with knife (Sub:Siracha sauce or red chilli powder 1/2 teaspoon)
  • 3 inch chunk of fresh galangal root, sliced (Sub: ginger, but galangal is really what makes the flavor of this dish authentic.) 
  • 8-10 fresh kaffir lime leaves, remove stems and tear and bruise by hand (Sub: zest of two lime and four bay leaves) 
  • 2 teaspoons coconut palm sugar (Sub: 3 teaspoon brown sugar)


  • Direction:



    1. Place all ingredients, except the fresh cilantro and mushrooms, into the slow cooker, and cook on high for 3-4 hours, or on low for 6-7.

    Add the mushrooms during the last 20 minutes of cooking, and top with cilantro when serving.




    I generally enjoy my Tom Kha Gai with noodles, so I made some. Now I am ready to sip, slurp, and enjoy!

    Friday, May 31, 2013

    Slow Cooker Afghani Lamb with Spinach



    I find Afghan food to be very flavorful -- accented with subtle spices. Afghan food is not as spicy as Indian food. Some Afghans love spicy food so they make various kinds of accompaniments to add the extra zing.


    Onions are the base for most Afghan dishes. Sabzi Challow is a traditional Afghani NewYear’s Eve dish, made with spinach (sabzi) and lamb with rice (challow). This particular dish with lamb and spinach only is called Sabzi-e- Ghoste (means vegetable and meat).



    I had sabzi -e-ghoste in an Afghan friend's wedding and wanted to try the dish since then. According to me the subtle spices in the spinach combined with lamb and basmati rice is a perfect dinner for a rainy day.

    Ingredients


    2 pounds lamb meat
    1 cup olive oil
    2 onions, diced large
    4 teaspoons chopped garlic
    2 teaspoons turmeric
    1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
    1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
    1 teaspoon crushed red pepper or to taste
    1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    1 can (32 ounce size) tomatoes, drain and chop
    8 oz water/ beef stock
    1 pound fresh spinach, wash and drain
    1/2 cup yogurt
    1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
    salt, to taste
    1/4 cup roasted pine nuts


    Directions
    Sear lamb in the olive oil in a cast-iron skillet or Dutch oven. Add the onions; saute them for 2 minutes; then add the garlic and saute it for 1 minute. Put this mixture in the slow cooker 

    Put in all the other ingredients except lemon peel, spinach and pine nuts.

    Cook for 5 hrs on low then add the spinach and continue cooking for additional 3 hrs.

    Add the lemon peel and salt to taste. Sprinkle with roasted pine nuts.

    Serve over rice pilaf.
    ****** If you refer my recipe and make  them today,Please leave me a comment how it turned out. It will motivate me to write more recipes.