Buddhism and Thukpa – Keep it Simple

The fundamental precept of Buddhism is Interdependence or the Law of Cause and Effect. This simply states that everything which an individual being experiences is derived through action and experience. From this understanding are derived the Buddhist theories of consciousness and rebirth”. That’s how the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso explains Buddhism in his autobiographical book “Freedom in Exile”. If I were to simply decipher those lines written above, it’d be – whatever you do, its consequences will follow you. If you do good, then you’ll meet good and if you do something bad, then of course you know what. It’s Karma. Since this blog is about food – well I should say since I am a foodie – we’ll diverge slowly towards food.

Thukpa Recipe

Thukpa Recipe

The way he described Tibet and its beauty is exceptional. Though I have never been to Tibet but I can somehow get a feel of that place – Mountains, snow, people still living that simple life contrary to their neighbor. Though Tibet has changed, thanks to China. I won’t get into political things. Tibet’s temperature – which is quite cold – gives it a unique cuisine. It’s mainly meat and butter – you need calories, a lot of calories and heat. Being Dalai Lama is about being simple, keeping simple and at times eating simple and healthy recipes. As a kid, the 14th Dalai Lama loved the visits from her mother to the Potala Palace. This is a palace where he was kept separated from his family to become a spiritual leader in the future. Apart from motherly love, there is one more reason he loved such visits – Thukpa. Best part is that you can add in veggies of your choice. Let’s make this Tibetan noodle soup and try to make it good else Karma will haunt us!

Ingredients:

For Thukpa:-

Salt as required,

Pepper as required,

Coriander as required,

300 gms Rice Noodles,

100 gms sliced Carrots,

½ sliced Red Capsicum,

1.5 litres Chicken Stock,

300 gms diced Chicken,

2 pieces Green Onions,

1 tablespoon Lemon Juice,

1 tablespoon Vegetable Oil.

For Spice Paste:-

1 chopped green chilli,

1 chopped small onion,

2 chopped garlic cloves,

1 teaspoon ground cumin,

1 pinch asafoetida powder,

1 teaspoon chopped ginger,

½ teaspoon ground turmeric,

200 gms chopped tomatoes,

¼ teaspoon ground timur powder.

Preparation Method:-

  1. First of all make spice paste. Combine all the ingredients in a blender. Set aside.

  2. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add spice paste and cook, stir for 7 minutes. Pour in chicken stock. Bring to boil. Simmer for 15 minutes. Add chicken thigh and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from stock and shred roughly.

  3. In the mean time bring 2 litres of water to boil in a large saucepan. Add rice noodles. Cook for 2 minutes. Place in huge strainer and pour cold water over it such that noodles don’t stick to each other. Drain water and set noodles aside.

  4. Add carrot and capsicum to stock. Simmer for 3 minutes until vegetables are a bit tender. Add lemon juice and season to taste.

  5. Divide the noodles in bowls. Top with chicken. Ladle stock and vegetables over the noodles. Serve!

Kathmandu Temple

Kathmandu Temple

Healthy and Happy Eating!

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Healthy Recipes for Kids Birthday Party

Angela is my neighbor and we spend a lot of quality time together, especially on weekends. Yesterday was her son’s birthday party. Kids await for their birthday party throughout the year. The joy on their face for this special day, makes us forget all the pain and stress in life. Tom turned 11 this year and just as all the birthdays, Angela wanted to make it special for him and so I. Since on weekdays we hardly have anytime, we have to go for quick and easy recipes keeping health into consideration as we all love our children.

Yummy Burrito!

Yummy Burrito!

Burrito – Kids love to pick this Mexican and Tex-Mex food. Whole wheat rolls with tempting filling such as diced grilled chicken, tomatoes, grated carrots and greens make an excellent healthy snack loved by people of all age groups. You can also stir-fry these veggies. Serve it with your favorite sauce. I usually pair burrito with my fav dip recipe, Vegan Walnut and Red Pepper Dip. You must give it a try as well.

Ice Cream Salad

Ice Cream Salad

Fruit Salad with Ice cream – Fruit salad with Ice cream is a good way to make your kids eat seasonal fruits. The recipe is quite flexible. Add in diced fruits (seasonal fruits) like watermelon, mango, grapes, bananas, cantaloupe etc. Take scoops of ice-cream and top on the salad. I usually use strawberry and butterscotch flavor. Serve in ice-cream bowls as shown. The bowls will be empty in no time. Kids will go bonkers over it!

Baked Meatball Curry!

Baked Meatball Curry!

Sweet and sour Meatballs – Ah! Here it comes. I love meat recipes. Do not make this recipe too spicy. You can prepare the meatballs in advance. Prefer baking the balls rather than deep frying them. Also you can fry the paste a day before birthday party. I prefer Italian style of preparing the sauce for meatballs. It consists of onions, carrot, celery, parsley, garlic, tomatoes, basil, black pepper. Enjoy the yummzz!

Vanilla Strawberry Cake!

Vanilla Strawberry Cake!

Strawberry Cake – The classic combination of plain vanilla cake, fresh strawberry and smooth cream never fails. I love bakery products, especially when they are homemade. The aroma of the bake is simply irresistible. Nevertheless, cake can be prepared a day before the birthday to save time, it all depends on our resisting power that we don’t eat it the moment it is cool. Kids love it.

Vegetable Rice Noodles!

Vegetable Rice Noodles!

Vegetable Rice Noodles – Rice noodles is a good way to treat yourself instead of the refined flour noodles. It’s an excellent meal for birthday party. It is gluten-free recipe as well. Mix in the seasonal veggies with bit of Vinegar, soya sauce, sweet chili sauce (kids will avoid chili sauce) and tomato sauce. The bowl of noodles will be over in no time for sure.

Cheers!

Cheers!

Happy Birthday!


Novak Djokovic and his Gluten Free Journey

These are hard times for all the health conscious people, including me. I say hard times because almost everything can be harmful for health, so what should we go for or not go for? I won’t answer for ‘what should we go for’ as I’ll end up a mentioning a lot of recipes, ironically making the whole meal “NOT” so very healthy. As far as ‘what should we NOT go for’ is concerned, a diet containing Gluten should be avoided. I haven’t implemented this yet but was simply thinking why not including gluten free diet twice or thrice in a week (whenever I can), so that even if I or you have to turn on to a complete gluten free diet, it can be done hassle free. This world number one tennis player, Novak Djokovic, suffered a lot before going for a gluten free diet. Gluten, which is found in wheat, barley and rye was affecting his metabolism. Eventually he was diagnosed as gluten intolerant and shifted to gluten free diet.

Gluten-free Curry Noodles Soup

Gluten-free Curry Noodles Soup

Consider someone whose parents own a pizza restaurant but son is sensitive to gluten. Sad! But his hard work and results after going gluten free are evident enough to make me think twice. I was going through a book, Serve Serve to Win, wherein Djokovic says – “What amazed me the most was how simple these changes were to make, and how dramatic the results were. All I did was eliminate gluten – the protein found in wheat – for a few days, and my body instantly felt better. I was lighter, quicker, clearer in mind and spirit. After two weeks, I knew that my life had changed. I sprang out of bed, ready to tear into the day ahead. And I realized that I had to share what I’d learned with others.” I can’t recall when was the last time I sprang out of bed, but let me try this healthy gluten-free recipe. Anyone, anytime may require turning to a gluten-free diet. Let’s practice now onwards.

Gluten-free Curry Noodles Soup

Ingredients:-

1 fresh Red Chilli,

200 ml Coconut Milk,

3.5 cm sliced Ginger,

1 teaspoon Turmeric,

1 litre Chicken Stock,

150 grams Rice Noodles,

1 teaspoon Brown Sugar,

2 tablespoons Lime juice,

1 teaspoon Tamarind paste,

2 tablespoons Thai Fish Sauce,

250 grams stir fry mix Vegetables,

150 grams cooked diced Chicken.

For Garnishing:-

2 Curry Leaves,

1 chopped Red Chilli,

1 piece chopped lemongrass.

Preparation Method:-

1. Take a pan and heat the chicken stock.

2. Boil the noodles in another pan. Drain water and set aside.

3. Add the remaining ingredients, except the vegetables, to the pan and bring to a boil.

4. When the chicken is hot, add the vegetables. When they are tender, add the drained noodles.

5. Divide the noodles between bowls. Pour the soup over them.

6. Serve sprinkled with curry leaves, red chili and lemongrass.

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic

The Gluten-free diet can be so yummilicious!

Jazz and Jambalaya – Guide to Ecstasy

It’s been two years since I have been to New Orleans Jazz fest. My love for jazz goes long back when I was in college and used to roam around with my huge discman, playing – ‘Hold me close and hold me fast, The magic spell you cast, This is la vie en rose– by Louis Armstrong. I have even mentioned Jazz a few times in this blog too with my cocktail recipes, the Mulled Wine, Peppermint Patty etc. New Orleans has this history of people coming and going. Let it be French, Spanish or African. But thanks to this process of people passing by this city, New Orleans gave birth to a lot of new things. African workers found comfort in music after a hard days work. They used to sit in groups, sing and play instruments and create music – they were creating Jazz. This city has been celebrating this festival since 1970s. But there is a reason why a lot of people pass by this city – its port. Now if you are in a city with one of the largest ports in America, you can expect this ‘port’ on your plate.

Jambalaya

Jambalaya

People pass by but leave their cuisines behind. New Orleans has a mashup of various cuisines and Jambalaya proves this right. Jambalaya is a popular rice dish, especially at family get together or events like this. Even huge quantity of it is simple to make. The best part is that you can play around from seafood, sausages to red or white meat, or mixture of all. There is a small story behind the recipe. Many years ago, a traveler arrived at New Orleans, in an inn, long after the dinner time. He asked the cook to throw in the available ingredients and this gave birth to the famous Jambalaya recipe, which is a staple of New Orleans. Jazz fest begins on April 24, 2014 and this combination of Jazz and Jambalaya might be too overwhelming for you.

Ingredients:-

1 Bay Leaf,

1 chopped Onion,

2 cups cooked Rice,

1/2 teaspoon Thyme,

1 cup Chicken Broth,

2 teaspoons Oregano,

1 teaspoon Hot Sauce,

1 stalk chopped Celery,

1 pound diced Chicken,

1/2 pound diced Sausage,

28 ounce canned Tomatoes,

1 chopped Red Bell Pepper,

2 teaspoons Cajun Seasoning,

1 pound cooked thawed Shrimps.

Preparation Method:-

  1. Take a slow cooker. Combine in it, chicken, sausage, chicken broth, tomatoes, onion, pepper and celery.

  2. Now add in bay leaves, thyme, oregano, Cajun seasoning and hot sauce of your choice. I prefer red hot sauce.

  3. Cover it up. Cook on high for 3 hours. Stir in thawed shrimps. Cover and cook until the shrimps are heated thoroughly. This will take around 5 minutes.

  4. Spoon the mixture over cooked rice. Serve hot!

Jass Music Fest, New Orleans

Jass Music Fest, New Orleans

Enjoy the Jazz Music!

MS Dhoni’s Love for Butter Chicken Masala

Cricket is the national sport of England but a religion in India. This religion follows Sachin Tendulkar and these days its Mahendra Singh Dhoni. ‘World Cup’ in Indian cricket has two names- Kapil Dev and Dhoni. Kapil is retired from cricket while Dhoni is still there as the captain of Indian cricket team. Looking at India’s winning streak in 2015 World Cup, Dhoni might become the only Indian captain to win two world cups. There are a lot of things which are “only” to Dhoni – most wins by an Indian captain in ODIs and Tests, first captain to win all three ICC limited over trophies and the ‘Helicopter Shot’. He excelled at badminton and football in school. Once sent to play cricket by his coach, he boarded a different flight altogether.

Butter Chicken Masala

Butter Chicken Masala

A sportsperson is supposed to maintain a diet which is something hard for Dhoni. He loves food, especially homemade. Once, one of his team mates got Indian recipe, Biryani from his place but the hotel staff didn’t allow the outside food. Dhoni left the hotel with the whole team. People do get emotional when it comes to food, I do too. Currently in New Zealand for world cup he made sure that he goes to this kebab restaurant in Hamilton. His favorite is home cooked Chicken Butter Masala. Let’s get emotionally involved and try his favorite dish.

5 Steps to Enjoy Finger Licking Good Butter Chicken Masala

Ingredients:-

1 lb. Chicken

½ cup Yogurt,

2 chopped Onions,

1 tablespoon Vinegar,

14.5 oz Tomato paste,

¼ cup chopped Ginger,

2 tablespoon BBQ Mix,

½ cup Whipping Cream,

1 teaspoon Chili powder,

2 tablespoons Mustard Oil,

1½ teaspoon Cumin powder,

1 tablespoon Clarified Butter,

¼ cup chopped Garlic Cloves,

½ teaspoon Indian Hot Spice,

3 teaspoon Ginger Garlic paste,

1½ tablespoon Coriander powder.

Preparation Method:-

1. In a bowl, combine the yogurt, 2 teaspoons ginger garlic paste and BBQ mix. Let chicken marinate in this mixture for 30 minutes. Cover and refrigerate.

2. In a pan, over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of mustard oil along with the butter. Saute the onions till brown. Add 1 teaspoon ginger, garlic paste. Cook till brown. Add tomatoes, chili powder, coriander powder and cumin powder. Cook for 5 minutes. Turn heat and cool the mixture.

3. Meanwhile take a pan and heat it medium. Add 1 tablespoon of oil. Now add marinated chicken with all the yogurt. Cook for 5 minutes.

4. Blend the mixture set aside to cool. Add mixture to the chicken and cook for 20 minutes. Also add the whipping cream and hot spice in between.

5. Serve with boiled rice or naan, the Indian flat bread!

MS Dhoni

MS Dhoni

Enjoy the World Cup with Yummzz!

Celebrate Labor Day with American-style Fried Chicken and Beer Dip

Summer in America ends-up with the Labor Day. This certainly calls for a family picnic. The occasion is accompanied by coleslaws, corny dogs, salads, baked beans, lemonade and of course the authentic mouth-watering fried chicken. The thought is making me hungry. Yummzz! Hope you enjoyed my barbecue recipes for picnic. I will love to pair up this fried chicken with my favorite cheese dip and french fries. What would you pair it with? My mom always prepares aromatic fried rice, which serves as an equally great combo with any kinda chicken. So here I bring you with my favorite fried chicken recipe and Cheesy Beer Dip.

American-style Fried Chicken

American-style Fried Chicken

Authentic Fried Chicken

Ingredients:-

1 teaspoon salt,

2 cups buttermilk,

2 cups all-purpose flour,

1 tablespoon garlic powder,

1 tablespoon onion powder,

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard,

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper,

1 tablespoon baking powder,

5 cups vegetable oil for frying,

1 whole chicken, cut into pieces,

1 teaspoon ground black pepper.

Preparation Method:-

1. Whisk together buttermilk, salt, mustard, pepper and cayenne in a large bowl. Pour it into a plastic bag. Add the chicken pieces and coat with the marinade, squeeze out excess air. Seal the bag. Marinate in the refrigerator for 8 hours.

2. Before frying the chicken, combine the flour, garlic powder, baking powder and onion powder in the other plastic bag. Mix thoroughly.

3. Add one marinated chicken piece at a time into the dry ingredients mixture  bag. Coat the dry mixture completely. Complete this process with all the pieces.

4. Now heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, fry chicken in batches until golden brown on both sides, till the chicken is completely cooked.

5. You can serve the dish with various options like French fries, fried rice etc. I prefer having this with my favorite Cheesy Beer Dip.

Cheesy Beer Dip

Cheddar Beer Dip

Cheddar Beer Dip

I like having this chicken with tomato chili sauce, but if time permits, I surely go for this dip. If you really wanna have a relaxing holiday on the soothing summer evening, enjoy this cheesy beer dip. Though you can pair this dip with chips, nachos, french fries and other veggies, I’d like pairing it up with my fav fried chicken.

Ingredients:-

1/4 cup beer,

1/2 cup chunky salsa,

½ teaspoon garlic powder,

2 cups shredded American cheese blend.

Preparation Method:-

1. In a small saucepan, combine all ingredients over medium heat. Cook for 5 minutes, or until smooth and the cheese is melted. Stir frequently.

2. Serve immediately!

Happy Labor Day

Happy Labor Day

Happy Labor’s day!

Celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr with Biryani

Hi friends, hope you liked my blog, “Celebration with Eid-ul-Fitr Recipes”. Today, I’m going to tell you the exact method for preparation of Biryani, the most popular dish eaten on Eid. Biryani is a rice dish that originated from Persia. It takes a lot of time to prepare, and more time spent implies the tastier fest, isn’t it? Biryani is made up of beef, chicken or lamb and Asian spices that strongly dominate the taste and flavor.

Traditional Mutton Biryani

Traditional Mutton Biryani

Ingredients for Mutton:-

6 Cloves,

5 sliced Onions,

1 kilogram Mutton,

4 sticks Cinnamon,

2 Black Cardamoms,

6 Green Cardamoms,

1 teaspoon Garlic paste,

1 teaspoon Ginger paste,

1 teaspoon Cumin seeds,

1 teaspoon Turmeric powder,

1 ½ cups beaten Plain yogurt,

2 tablespoons Red Chilli powder,

1 teaspoon Whole black peppers,

2 inches piece ground Raw papaya.

Ingredients for Rice:-

3 Cloves,

Salt to taste,

2 Bay leaves,

1 large lemon,

2 Cinnamon sticks,

2 slit Green chillies,

A handful Coriander,

2 Small Cardamoms,

1 Big Black cardamom,

500 grams Long grain rice,

5 tablespoons Clarified butter,

1 handful chopped Mint leaves,

2 pinches of Saffron dissolved in warm water.

Additional:-

Whole wheat dough for sealing heavy-bottomed pot.

Preparation method:-

1. Take a bowl enough to toss whole mutton comfortably. Add all the ingredients except onions, falling under the category, ingredients for mutton.

2. Allow the mutton to marinate for 6 hours for flavors to blend in completely, covering the bowl at room temperature.

3. In a wok, fry the onions till crisp and brown. Keep aside.

4. Now parboil the rice, in a rice bowl, adding some salt. Drain the water and set aside.

5. Take a heavy-bottomed pot. Add ½ of the melted clarified butter. To this add marinated mutton.

6. Cover with chopped mint, coriander, fried onion, slit green chillies and juice of half a lemon. Spread half of rice rice over this. Sprinkle the remaining clarified butter, saffron and lemon juice.

7. Again add remaining marinated mutton. Add the remaining rice. Cover and seal the pot with whole wheat dough. Place over medium heat for 25 minutes.

8. Lower heat and cook for another 45 minutes. Serve with raita!

Basic Raita (Flavored yogurt)

You cannot enjoy biryani without Raita. So here’s an easy recipe.

Raita (Flavored yogurt)

Raita (Flavored yogurt)

Ingredients:-

1/4 cup diced red onion,

salt and pepper to taste,

10 chopped mint leaves,

1 cup plain whole milk yogurt,

1/2 peeled and diced cucumber,

Few Coriander leaves for garnishing.

Preparation Method:-

1. Blend the yogurt, adding salt and pepper.

2. When smooth, add cucumber, onion and mint leaves. Serve with hot biryani!

Eid Mubarak

Eid Mubarak

Wish you a very happy Eid-ul-fitr. Enjoy!

Crispy Nutty Chicken Cutlets Recipe for Christmas

It’s Christmas time!!! Definitely you’ll not like to be in the kitchen all the time. Hope you liked my recipe Sweet and sour fish balls. Kids will love to help tenderize with this quick and easy Chicken Cutlets recipe. One can make batches of them in no time. Time saving yet delicious and healthy snacks. Keeping in mind the health of our folks and kids, this time we will rather bake the delectable appetizers.

Baked Chicken Cutlets

Baked Chicken Cutlets

Almonds provide healthy fats and aid in weight loss. It’s very helpful for nervous system as well. Chicken is natural antidepressant and high in protein. It’s good for bones as well. Trying a bit of variation with the cutlets, here we present Crispy Nutty Chicken Cutlets Recipe on the auspicious occasion of Christmas.

Ingredients:-

4 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts,
1 Cup chopped almonds,
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter,
1 Minced shallot,
1 Cup bread crumbs,
2 Teaspoons finely grated lemon zest,
1 Teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves,
1/8 Teaspoon cayenne pepper,
3 Large eggs,
2 Teaspoons Dijon mustard,
1/4 Teaspoon ground black pepper,
1 Cup flour.

Preparation Method:-

1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and turn on oven to 350 D F. Using fork, poke each chicken breast 6 times. Evenly sprinkle each breast with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Uncover and refrigerate.

2. Process nuts until they resemble coarse meal. Heat butter in skillet over medium heat, add nuts until they turn golden brown and have nutty aroma. Add shallot and 1/2 teaspoon salt, stirring constantly until just beginning to brown.

3. Simmer heat, add bread crumbs and ground nuts. Cook until golden brown for 12 minutes. Transfer bread crumb mixture to shallow dish. Add in lemon zest, thyme and cayenne. Lightly beat eggs, mustard, and pepper together in separate dish. Place flour in third dish. Pat chicken dry.

4. Dredge each piece of chicken in flour, then coat with egg mixture then coat all sides of chicken with bread crumb mixture. Transfer chicken to a baking dish. Bake for 25 minutes. Let rest 5 min before serving.

5. Serve with lemon wedges, your favorite dip and drink.

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

Enjoy perfect bitings on your Christmas Eve!!!

Peppery Pineapple Christmas Chicken Recipe

Tangy, sweet and sour pineapple chicken will definitely make a hearty main dish, this Christmas. It’s not only about taste, but health is equally important. Chicken is one of the richest sources of proteins, vitamins and minerals. It tastes amazing whether it is stir fry, grilled or baked.

Pepper Pineapple Chicken

Pepper Pineapple Chicken

Chicken breast is low in fat. Sweet and juicy pineapple keeps gums healthy and strengthens bones. Here we present Peppery Pineapple Christmas Chicken Recipe with richness of honey. Impress your loved ones with this luscious dish, this Christmas and add some more taste to your life.

INGREDIENTS:-

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves,
1 teaspoon dried thyme,
1/2 teaspoon salt,
1/8 teaspoon pepper,
1 tablespoon canola oil,
20 ounces sliced pineapple,
1 tablespoon cornstarch,
1/4 cup Dijon mustard,
1/4 cup honey,
2 minced garlic cloves,
1 teaspoon soya sauce (Optional).

PREPARATION METHOD:-

1. Sprinkle chicken with the thyme, salt and pepper. In a large skillet, brown chicken in oil.

2. Meanwhile, drain pineapple, reserving the juice. Cut pineapple rings in half and set aside.

3. Combine cornstarch and 2 tablespoons juice until smooth; set aside. Combine the mustard, honey, garlic and remaining pineapple juice.

4. Add to pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove chicken and keep warm.

5. Stir cornstarch mixture. You can add soya sauce, if desired. Gradually add to pan; bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.

6. Return chicken to pan. Top with pineapple; heat through. Serve with steamed rice!!!

Santa Enjoying Chicken!!!

Santa Enjoying Chicken!!!