Chicken Stuffed Paratha


Stuffed Parathas are  great all-in-one meals, specially to pack for kids’ lunches. Easy for us to make, easy for the kids to eat, its a win-win situation. This recipe uses chicken filling. However, veggie fillings are equally (if not more) delightful. My favorite  is grated cauliflower stuffing. You can check out the cauliflower filling recipe in my Gobi Sliders post.

To make the parathas , you will need :

  • Whole wheat flour /Atta – 3 cups (makes about 12 stuffed parathas)
  • salt – 2 tsp
  • oil – 3 tsp

To make the filling, you will need :

  • Minced Chicken – 1 lb
  • Onions – 1 chopped
  • Green chillies – 1 chopped
  • Cilantro –  handful
  • Ginger Garlic Paste – 2 tsp
  • Fennel – 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
  • Red chilli powder – 3 tsp
  • Garam Masala – 1 tsp

Here are the steps:

  • Mix the flour, salt and oil and then add water and knead it to a smooth dough. Cover with wet cloth or wet paper towel and set aside for 2 hours.

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  • To make the filling : In a pot, add 2 tsp of oil, fry the fennel. Then saute the chopped onions, green chillies and cilantro. Also add the ginger garlic paste and saute until the flavors come out.

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  • Add the ground chicken and sprinkle some salt.

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  • When the juices come out, add turmeric, chilli powder and garam masala.

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  • Cook until the chicken is thoroughly cooked. This won’t take long, may be 7 – 8 minutes. Set the filling aside.

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  • Make even sized balls out of the dough that has been rested.

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  • Roll out 2 balls to about 2 inches in diameter (like puris). Place the filling on one.

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  • Cover the filling with the other puri and twist and press the edges together for sealing.

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  • Now roll out this stuffed puri gently to about 4-5 inches in diameter. Make sure the filling is evenly spread, and not clunked up on one side.

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  • Heat a skillet and cook the parathas.

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  • Cook both sides until brown spots appear. You can rub with little oil or dab with a butter stick.

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The chicken parathas are ready, serve hot with your favorite curry. ( I served it with a simple egg white curry).

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Chicken Vindaloo ( Replace chicken with tofu for vegetarian version)


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As much as I love cooking, I am very much intimidated by recipes that call for 25 ingredients and 30 steps 🙂 I have been cooking long enough to understand that good food can also be simple food. But there are exceptions to every rule. Chicken Vindaloo is one such recipe, involves more steps than normal, but completely worth all the efforts. A staple in Indian restaurants’ lunch buffet, this curry with chicken and potatoes is quite spicy. Its not the kind of heat that makes you reach for water after the first bite, but with all the different layers of spices, you will definietly start to sweat before your are done eating 🙂  I don’t mind spending an hour in the kitchen for this, because this could be the only thing I cook for the whole day. Make chicken vindaloo and steam some rice… lunch and dinner are taken care of (with no complaints :))  (The flavor profile closely matches with  chicken chettinad).

  • Step 1 (Making the spice blend)

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  1. black mustard seeds –  2 tsp
  2. cumin – 2 tsp
  3. black pepper – 1.5 tsp
  4. cardamom seeds – 2 cardamom (remove the pod)
  5. fenugreek – 1 tsp
  6. cinnamon –  three sticks (about an inch each)

(These quantiies are for 1.5 lbs of chicken)

  • Heat 1/2 tsp of oil in a pan and fry the spices. Add the mustard seeds first and the fenugreek at the very end. Image
  • Allow them to cool down for a bit and pulse them in a spice blender.

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  • To this add :
  1. 1 tsp of turmeric powder
  2. 2 tsp of red chilli powder
  3. 1 tsp salt
  4. 3 tsp of brown sugar

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  • Mix everything with 2 tbsp of vingear. Image

This concludes the making of the vindaloo spice blend.

  • Step 2 (Making the onion paste)

Chop 2 medium size onions. Image

  • In a big pot add 2 tbsp of oil and saute the onions. Image
  • The onions have to caramelize and turn brown. This will take approximately 8 – 10 mins in medium heat. Image
  • Cool them down and grind to a thick paste. The paste has to be brown in color, if not , the onions have not caramelized enough and that will definitely affect the taste of the gravy. Image
  • Step 3 (Marinating the chicken)

Clean and cut the chicken into cubes (preferably boneless). Marinate the chicken with the spice blend (step 1) and the onion paste(step 2) and set aside for at least 30 minutes.  Image

  • Step 4 (Making the Vindaloo Gravy)

The rest is quite easy. To make the gravy you will need :

  1. Medium tomatoes – 2
  2. Cilantro – a generous bunch
  3. Curry leaves – few
  4. Ginger garlic paste – 1 tbspImage
  • You will also need 1 large or two medium potatoes. Peel and cut into big cubes and leave them in water until needed.Image
  • In a big pot, add 2 tbsp of oil, and fry the ginger garlic paste.Image
  • Add the tomatoes, cilantro and curry leaves. Sprinkle salt to sweat the tomatoes.Image
  • When the tomatoes soften, add the marinated chicken.Image
  • Add the potatoes.Image
  • Cover and cook. There is no need to add water.Image
  • Usually the restaurant vindaloos are more like thin curries.  But I prefer a thick gravy. Remove from heat when the chicken is completely cooked and your preferred consistency is reached.Image
  • For thicker gravy, cook until oil separates.Image

This goes extremely well with rice or naan. It is a flavor packed dish, so just this and rice makes a sumptuous meal.

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Indian Finger Fish (Fish sticks)


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I grew up in a small coastal town, Tuticorin. My parents were busy doctors (still are..) and the earliest they would come home is 10 at night. It was our routine that we went out for dinner every Saturday night, and we always went to this particular restaurant called “Sugam”, coz’  it was the only restaurant that had most items in the menu still available at 10:45 p.m. ( Yeah, in our town, in the 80’s , night life ended in the early evening 🙂 ). As a child , there is not much to look forward to a late night dinner, as by then, hunger would have arrived and left and sleep was fast approaching. One of the few things that kept me awake and interested in dinner was the amazing “finger fish”  in that restaurant, crunchy on the outside and super juicy on the inside with the perfect blend of spices. That was my standard order every week. I will stop by the restaurant during my visit next month. I won’t be eating finger fish anymore, neverthless, I just can’t wait to relive the memories.

  • I am using Tilapia for this recipe. Any mid fish can be used. Clean and cut the fish fillets into finger shaped pieces. I used about three fillets today.

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  • Mix turmeric powder, chilli powder, black pepper, salt and garlic powder with a little water to make a paste. If you do not have garlic powder, you can use garlic paste.

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  • Marinate the fish with the paste and set aside for 30 mins.

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  • Beat an egg for the egg wash.

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  • Dip the fish pieces in egg wash and roll in bread crumbs. I prefer regular bread crumbs. Breading should be minimal, so I avoid panko.

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  • Prepare all the fish pieces this way.

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  • Heat oil for deep frying and fry the fish to golden brown. Once oil becomes hot enough for frying, lower the heat. If your fish sticks turn brown as soon as you drop them in the oil, it means the oil is too hot. The sticks should gradually turn from light brown to golden brown.

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  • As you know, fish cooks quickly. However, make sure it is done.

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  • Serve with ketchup. This is usually a big hit with kids.

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Fish Curry ( Chettinad style)


These days its quite easy to make fish curry by simply adding “fish curry masala” or some other instant powders and convince ourselves that “well, its not too different from what my grandma used to make ” 🙂 . It  is different from what grandma made. Here is the recipe for the traditional fish curry, definitely will be worthy of the efforts.

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Fish cleaned and cut and rubbed with turmeric powder and salt. (I have Tilapia here, Mackerel and King fish are better options.)

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shallots (or onions), tomatoes, garlic and curry leaves

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spice blend (Not taking any shortcuts today)
red chillies
coriander seeds
fennel
cumin
black pepper
raw rice (helps to thicken the curry)

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In a spoon of oil (I am using sesame oil – which enhances the flavor of this curry), fry the spices.

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Grind them with some curry leaves to a smooth paste.

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Dilute the masala and add tamarind and jaggery(vellam or brown sugar) to it. Add turmeric powder and salt to the mix and set aside.

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Add sesame oil to the pan and fry some mustard seeds. Sauté the onions, garlic and curry leaves.

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Sauté the tomatoes.

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when the tomatoes soften, add the masala.

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Let the curry boil and reduce.

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When its almost done , place the fish in the curry. reduce the heat, cover and cook without stirring.

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The fish will  cook in 5 mins , cover and set aside for 30 mins before serving.

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Serve with steamed rice. The curry tastes even better the next day ( there are movie songs written about the taste, if you won’t take my word for it 😉 )

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Chicken Noodle Soup


Traditional chicken noodle soup with Indian flavors.
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Carrots, corn, celery, onions , tomatoes, chopped cilantro and a spoon of ginger garlic paste.
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4 cups of chicken broth and chicken breast cut in cubes.
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I am using campanalle pasta for the noodle part. You can use any pasta or noodles. Cook the noodle/pasta as per box instructions.
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bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon, fennel, cumin, black pepper and cardamom
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Give a quick crush to the spices to release the flavors.
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Tie the crushed spices into a bundle, I have used a bounty paper towel. A clean cloth can also be used.
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In the pot, add a spoon of oil, and sauté the onions, ginger garlic paste, carrots and celery.Add the chicken, tomatoes and cilantro. Sprinkle some salt to sweat the veggies and sauté until chicken changes color.
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Add 4 cups of chicken broth and 2 cups of water.
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Place the spice bundle in the soup. Cover and cook in low heat for at least an hour.
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After an hour, remove the spice bundle.
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Add the cooked noodles/pasta. Season the soup with salt and pepper.
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To make the vegetarian version, replace chicken with chick peas or black beans and chicken broth with vegetable broth.
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Chicken Kola curry


“Kola”s are the Indian meatballs.
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Minced chicken (If you don’t get minced chicken, just grind boneless chicken without adding water).

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Roasted channa dal (pottukadalai) and fennel. grind them together and make dry powder. Or you can use besan and fennel powder.Image

This will be used to bind the kolas.

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chopped onions, chillies, coriander leaves and ginger garlic paste

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Sauté the onions, chillies, ginger garlic paste and cilantro.

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Add them to the minced chicken.

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Add turmeric powder, chilli powder , a pinch of garam masala and salt.

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Add the roasted channa dal+fennelseeds powder to the chicken and mix well.

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Make even sized balls (kolas) out of the meat and set them aside.

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Now for the gravy:
red chilies
coriander seeds
fennel seeds
cumin seeds
raw rice

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Fry the spices in a spoon of oil.

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Grind them with 3 tbsp. of grated coconut.

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Make it to a smooth paste and dilute with water.

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chop some onions, garlic, chillies, tomatoes and curry leaves.

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Use a shallow pan(so that all the kolas can be placed in a single layer). Saute the garlic, curry leaves ,chillies  and onions.

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Add the tomatoes and sauté until they soften.

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Add the prepared masala.(Picture 14)

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Add some tamarind water and salt.

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Bring the curry to a good boil and then place the meat kolas in the curry. This is how its traditionally done. If you are concerned that the kolas might break, you can shallow/deep fry the balls first before adding it to the curry. But then the kolas won’t be as juicy as the traditional way.

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Once you have placed all the kolas in the curry, reduce the heat, cover and cook until the kolas are done..

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Make sure the kolas are cooked all the way before removing from heat.

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Serve with rice. For the vegetarian version, make kolas by grinding soaked thur/moong dhal .
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Fish in cocount curry


My hometown is a small fishing town in the southern tip of India, so my love for fish shouldn’t be a surprise. Nothing compares to the taste of freshly caught fish cooked within hours. I became a vegetarian few years back and I have to say it would have been impossible if I am still living in my hometown. This curry is a traditional recipe and brings back memories of my school days, sharing lunches with friends, I had a couple of friends whose moms made awesome versions of this curry 🙂

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Fish – cleaned , cut and rubbed with turmeric and salt. (I have Tilapia here)

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Tamarind water (Even after all these years of cooking I can’t rightly judge how much tamarind I will need. I usually make a good amount of tamarind water and add to the recipe as needed and save the rest in the fridge and try to use it within 4-5 days).

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chopped onions, diced tomatoes and a generous amount of curry leaves.

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In a pan, add 2tbsp of sesame oil. Fry 1 tsp of mustard seeds and 1/2 tsp of fenugreek.
Saute the onions and curry leaves.

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When the onions lightly brown, add :  2 tsp of turmeric powder and red chilli powder (according to your heat preference) directly to the oil. This will instantly cook the chilli powder and take the raw smell out of it.

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Once the oil separates, add the tomatoes.

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When the tomatoes soften, add the tamarind water.

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Add about a cup of water and salt. Allow this to boil and reduce a little bit (until the raw taste of tamarind goes away).

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Add the fish pieces and allow it to cook for 5 mins. That’s all it will take for the fish to cook.

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While the fish is cooking, we can make the coconut paste. You’ll need :
grated coconut – 3 tbsp.
chopped onions – 1 tbsp.
garlic – 2 cloves
cumin – 2 tsp
curry leaves – some
(If you like a little punch, you can also add 1 tsp of black pepper. )
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Grind them all with water to make a paste.
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Add the coconut paste to the fish curry, stir in without breaking the fish .
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Sprinkle some more curry leaves, cover with lid and simmer for 10 mins. Allow the curry to stay in the pan for at least 30 mins before transferring to the serving dish.
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Serve with rice. You can drizzle a tsp of sesame oil in the curry before serving. Fish, curry leaves and sesame oil are like soulmates, they work very well together 
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