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. 
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 sauc

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.

HISTORY- Koftas 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.

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


  • 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.

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

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.

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

 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.


  • 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.


    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

    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.

    Slow cooker Thai Mango Chicken

    Thai food is something that my whole family enjoys eating whenever we go out. Everything from the Satey to Drunken Noodle to Red and Yellow Curry dishes.... we love it all!

    Growing up in a tropical country I simply loved mangoes and there’s something about the combination of Mango,Coconut milk and Chicken that just works. 
    This dish is a myraid of colors and flavors. The base of this curry is basically onion, coconut milk and red pepper.


    This recipe calls for yellow curry powder which is easier to make than you think, and the taste is so much better than store-bought powders which, unless you're lucky enough to find an organic blend, usually contains preservatives.  Using a curry powder rather than a paste means the curry is quick and easy to make, and many of the roadside curries I enjoyed in Thailand were made this way. 

    I used boneless chicken tenderlions in this recipe as I had very little time for preparation. I planned to cook this in the afternoon for dinner, thats the only time I get to cook when my baby is taking her afternoon nap!



    • 1 Tbsp. turmeric
    • 3 bay leaves 
    • 3 Tbsp. whole coriander
    • 2 Tbsp. cumin seed 
    • 2 tsp. ground ginger
    • 1 tsp. ground pepper 
    • 2 to 3 tsp. cayenne pepper powder or chilli paste
    • 2-3 whole clove


    If using whole spices
    Place all ingredients in a dry frying pan over medium-high heat. Stir continuously for 1 minute, or until pan is very hot. Then reduce heat to medium and continue stirring 6 to 10 minutes. This will lightly toast the spices, leaving them even more fragrant and tasty.
    Remove pan from heat and tip spices into a bowl to cool. Meanwhile, prepare your grinder.
    Place toasted spices in the grinder and grind well to make your curry powder.

    If using ground  spices
    Use all ground spices in this version, omitting the bay leaf until you cook your curry. Stir together the spices and then 'dry roast' them all together as instructed above. When you use the powder for curry, be sure to add 1-2 bay leaves to your curry pot.



    1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 in. pieces (can also use drumsticks if you desire)

    1 large onion, chopped

    1 red bell pepper, chopped

    2 garlic cloves, minced

    2 Tbsp. fresh minced ginger 

    2 Tbsp. yellow curry powder

    1/2 tsp. ground cumin

    2 ripe mangoes, peeled and diced (try using little firm mangoes which are not very sweet)

    2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar (use any vinegar you have, except wine vinegars)

    4 Tbsp. of canola

    1 can. coconut milk

    Salt to taste


    Take a skillet add the oil in medium heat and put the onions. When the onions turn slight brown add the pepper and fry them together.
    Put the chicken in the slow cooker first and then add all the other ingredients finishing with coconut milk at the end.
    Dont worry about the mango it will be cooked and the pieces will be intact, cut bit bigger pieces so that it doesn't get mixed in the curry. 
    Try to keep few pieces for garnish if you can........ my husband ate them, so I was not able to garnish my dish with mangoes.
    Set your slow cooker on high for 21/2 hrs if using boneless chicken and 31/2 hrs if using drumsticks. 

    I generally make it in the afternoon so I keep it on high, you can cook all night or day long on low for 6-7 hrs on timer.

    Serve it with hot rice and garnish with mangoes.

    ****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.