Mouth-Numbing Fried Chicken

Chilli. Lots and lots of chilli. And fried chicken. Unadulterated fried chicken. Calories and heat and lip-smacking flavors in every bite of it is what I give you all today in the post.

CAUTION: Heat barometer readings extremely high.Though nothing to lose having chillies once in a while in its full galore.

So presenting the Asian-inspired no-nonsense fried chicken of this Sunday.Did I mention it has been raining all day today?

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Mouth-Numbing Fried Chicken


Chicken : 10 bite-sized pieces

Cornflour: 2 tbsp

Black pepper: 2 tsp,powder

Red chilli flakes: 3 tsp

Dark soy sauce: 1 tsp

Hoisin sauce: 2 tsp

Rice vinegar: 2 tsp


Fresh red chilli: 1/2,sliced,for garnishing

Canola oil: 3 tbsp,for frying



Take the chicken pieces in a bowl and add cornflour,salt,black pepper,red chilli flakes,soy sauce,hoisin sauce and vinegar.Mix well so as to cover all the pieces with the marinade well.Ensure that your hands are safe from the chilli heat.I do it with my bare hands but you can use kitchen gloves for this.Cover the bowl and leave it for 30 minutes.

After the chicken has been marinated take a skillet and pour oil in it.Keep the heat on medium and meanwhile in a small plate take some cornflour,black pepper powder and red chilli flakes and mix well.Take each marinated chicken piece and roll it in the dry cornflour mix to coat well and then fry it in oil.Put all the pieces in hot oil at once.Fry each side for 3 minutes and take them out when they are rich golden-red in color with crisp skin.Drain the excess oil off the fried chicken on kitchen tissue.Serve in a bowl with sliced red chillis.

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I served it with sweet and sour green mango chutney.I definitely recommend this as the sweet and sour tang of the chutney amalgamates the fiery red chilli flavors of the chicken.

Happy weekend everyone!

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Kung Pao Noodles

Who would have thought peanuts and chicken would become one of the most famous take-out stars of Chinese-American culinary fusions and Kung Pao rules for that matter. The authentic Sichuan Kung Pao Chicken (宫保鸡丁) or Gong Bao Ji Ding made with mouth-numbing Sichuan peppercorns has been heavily improvised (modernized would be the correct term here) by adding vegetables,sweet sauces,other condiments,nuts etc. catering to tastes of different people from different countries.

I made my own version of Kung Pao noodles sans chicken.The power of peanuts and Sichuan peppercorns.


Kung Pao Noodles


Hokkien noodles: 1 cup,uncooked

Canola oil: 2 tbsp

Dark soy sauce: 1 tsp

Light soy sauce: 1/2 tbsp

Green onion: 1 medium,sliced

Green bell pepper: 1 medium, julienned

Dried red chillis: 2,halved

Fresh ginger: 1/2 inch, julienned

Garlic : 2 cloves,chopped finely

Scallion: 1 stalk,chopped

Sugar: 1/2 tsp

Black vinegar: 1 tsp

Peanuts: 2 tbsp(I used plain peanuts,but you can always used roasted)

Salt (adjust the salt keeping in mind the soy sauces you are adding)



Boil the noodles in a pot of water as per packet instructions,drain and keep them aside .For the sauce mix both the soy sauces,sugar,salt and vinegar and whisk until the sugar is dissolved. In a wok put one tablespoon of oil and add the red chillies to it.When they start to give away the aroma take out the chillies and put it on a kitchen tissue to soak the excess oil.To the hot wok add the rest of the oil and to it add the ginger,garlic,onion and bell pepper.Stir fry until they are tender yet crunchy.To this add the boiled noodles and mix well.Add the sauce and fried red chillies to it and stir well.When the sauce coats the noodles add the peanuts and mix.The sauce should coat the peanuts and noodles evenly. Take out the noodles from the wok and divide in serving bowls.Sprinkle scallions and peanuts on top and serve hot.

I like eggs with almost everything.So I had a crisp fried egg as a side with the fiery noodles.

CHILLI ALERT: Try not to crush the red chillies while cooking.

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Dark Chocolate Chunk Brownies

Baking has been an area I have been wary about since a long time.Specially the measurements.Conversion of ounces to grams and cups to milliliters.It is hard,challenging but fruitful if you keep pushing yourself to perfection.There will be glitches and successes too.But a smart cook starts with small steps.Smaller incentives boosting your confidence.

So what can go wrong with chocolate,flour,cocoa and butter.Simple,eh?

This is how it turned out.

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Dark Chocolate Chunk Brownies

Makes about 14 brownies


Unsalted butter: 1/2 cup

Granulated sugar: 3/4 cup

Large eggs: 2(at room temperature)

Canola oil: 1 tbsp

Vanilla extract: 2 tsp

70% cocoa containing dark chocolate bar: 2 squares,approx. 1.5 inches,chopped into chunks

All-purpose flour: 3/4 cup

Cocoa powder: 1/2 cup

Baking soda: 1/2 tsp

Salt: 1/2 tsp

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Rule 1:


Rule 2:

Do not overbake the brownies.They are meant to be chewy and fudgy and not cakey.

Rule 3:

Dark chocolate accompanied with salt makes it sweeter.

Now that the ground rules have been established let us move on to the recipe.Take a mixing bowl add melted butter,sugar and mix with a hand blender.Add vanilla extract and oil to it and mix well.To this add the eggs and your wet mixture is ready.Now in a separate bowl sift the flour and to it add the cocoa powder,baking soda and salt.To the wet mixture add a little amount of the dry mix and blend until all of the dry mix is incorporated in the wet mix.

On a chopping board chop the dark chocolate and add the pieces in the batter.Mix well.Pour the batter into a greased square baking tin.Put it in a pre-heated oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes at 160 degree C.

Do not overbake it.Once you prick the brownie with a needle and it comes out clean without any batter it is done.Take out the baking tin and let the brownie cool.Cut into squares and serve with dollop of vanilla ice cream.

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Cucumber Mint Yogurt Dip

It is soaring over forty degrees here in Calcutta.So yogurt is the hero of the season.One of my favorite dips to go along with rice,naan,chapatis or any cereals or crackers.

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Cucumber Mint Yogurt Dip


Homemade yogurt: 1 cup

Cucumber: 1,chopped finely

Tomato: 1/2,chopped finely

Mint leaves: 2 sprigs,chopped finely and made into a paste

Green chilli: 1,finely chopped

Red chilli powder: 1tsp

Black salt: to taste


In a mixing bowl add the chopped cucumber,tomato,chillis,red chilli powder,salt and mint leaf paste.To this add the yogurt.Mix it all.Adjust the consistency using water.If you want it to be runny to be had with rice add  about two tablespoons of water to the mix.Taste and adjust the seasonings as well.Refrigerate it for about 15 minutes before serving.


Cajun Potato Hash with Fried Egg

Veggie hash is becoming one of my favorite breakfast recipes.They are quick and flavorful and can be made with a variety of spice families.Here I use the Cajun seasoning.

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Cajun Potato Hash with Fried Egg


Potato: 1,diced

Cherry tomatoes: 1/2 cup,sliced in halves

Green bell pepper: 1,diced

Egg: 1


Olive oil: 2 tablespoons

For the Cajun Seasoning:

Paprika: 2 1/2 tbsp

Salt:2 tbsp

Garlic powder: 2 tbsp

Black pepper: 1 tbsp

Onion powder: 1 tbsp

Cayenne pepper: 1 tbsp

Dried oregano: 1 tbsp

Dried thyme: 1 tbsp

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For the cajun seasoning combine all the spices and store it in an airtight container for months.

In a pan heat a tablespoon of oil and toss in the potato,tomato and green bell pepper dices and fry until tender.Add 2 tsp of the cajun seasoning to it and mix well.Transfer the hash on a serving plate.Fry an egg with runny egg and top it over the hash.Season the fried egg.Serve hot.

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Shahi Paneer

So the word Shahi is Indo-Persian term for royal(rather the royal court) and Indian cuisine has so many recipes that have roots in the royal kitchens during the Mughal period.Being one of the center stage of spice trade the royal chefs invented,acquired and improvised delicacies using rich ingredients that were easily available in that age.

Spices are synonymous with the word exotic around the world and thus are the recipes which embrace them. Shahi paneer is a decadent curry using cashewnut paste as its thickening agent.The nutty flavor amalgamates with the spice of the cinnamon,cloves and nutmeg in this recipe.A wonderful curry to enjoy with herby flatbreads,naans or even pulao.


Paneer(cottage cheese):250gm,diced
Green capsicum:2,diced
Cashewnut paste:2 tbsp
Ginger paste:1/2 tsp
Garlic:3 cloves,paste,1/2 tsp
Green chilli paste:1/2 tsp
Tomato puree:2 tbsp
Garam masala:3 tsp
Cinnamon stick:1/2 inch
Salt to taste
Paprika:2 tsp
Turmeric powder:1 tsp
Coriander powder:1/2 tsp
2 tbsp oil

For Garnishing:
Coriander leaves:1 sprig

Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a pan,add the cinnamon stick and cloves.When the cinnamon turns darker after frying add the onions and saute till they turn transluscent.When the onions turn golden brown add the ginger, garlic and chilli paste, mix well.To this add the capsicum and potato and cook until the spice mix exudes oil in the sides of the pan.
By this time the potatoes should be tender.Add the tomatoes and the tomato puree and mix well.Stir for 5-6 minutes.Add salt,dry spices and cashewnut paste to this.Now add half a cup of water to the pan and let it simmer for 6-7 minutes until the gravy thickens.
Just before serving add the diced cottage cheese into the gravy.Mix and garnish with coriander.Serve with naan and a side of raita with it.









Tortilla de Patatas

Lately I have been cooking more and blogging less.So quite a lot of recipes need to be updated for fellow readers.This version of tortilla de patatas is thin crust,light and delightfully tasteful for meals.

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Tortilla de Patatas


Potato:2,sliced thinly using a mandoline

Onion:1.sliced thinly using a mandoline


Paprika:1/2 tsp

Cumin powder:1 tsp

Black pepper:1 1/2 tsp,ground


Extra virgin olive oil:3 tbsp

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Wash the sliced potatoes in running water until there is no more frothing.Put 2 tbsp of olive oil in a skillet,let the oily surface shimmer and then add the potatoes and onions to it.Fry them until the potatoes are almost tender.We do not want them to be overcooked since they are going to go into the skillet again with the eggs.Sprinkle some salt and stir until the onions are translucent. Set aside the potato-onion mix on kitchen towel to drain the excess oil.Meanwhile in a small bowl,beat the eggs,add the paprika,cumin powder,salt and black pepper powder and beat until the spices are mixed evenly.Go back to the skillet and pour the remaining oil in it. Arrange the potato and onion slices neatly in the skillet to form an even layer of about an inch thick.Pour the beaten egg mixture on the top of it.Even out the surface using the spatula.Let the eggs cook for 2-3 minutes.You can put a lid on the skillet to cook the eggs faster but I have a habit of watching the eggs cook on their own.Let them breathe you know 🙂

Place the serving plate on the skillet and flip it over so that the omelette comes on the serving plate.Serve with roasted tomatoes or just plain.

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