Bell-peppers Are Versatile. Yes They Are.

I have always been a fan of bell peppers. Capsicum. Whatever.

Anyways, I have always been a great fan of bell-peppers. Red, yellow, green.. sometimes orange.. they make any dish bright, zingy and add tremendous flavor. Fry them, steam them, saute them, grill them, stuff them – versatility, thy last name is bell-pepper. Or wait, is it bell-pepper, thy last name is..?

Umm never mind.

The point I am trying to make is that are just simply awesome. My mum used to stuff them with paneer (cottage cheese) for a healthy vegan kick, or grill them with chicken for the days when we kids needed something non-veg.

However, I am going to post a recipe – a two-in-one recipe – which is my sister’s contribution. Its a warm salad, with tri-colored bell-peppers and onions, and for protein either shredded leftover grilled/boiled chicken or crumbled fresh paneer. You could also used feta cheese. It goes great anything.

Here it is now, my warm bell-pepper salad with chicken/paneer.

Warm Tri-Pepper Salad With Chicken Or Paneer (serves 2 to 3 people):


  • 1 green bell-pepper, sliced into long thin strips
  • 1 yellow bell-pepper, sliced into long thin strips
  • 1 red bell-pepper, sliced into long thin strips
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 full tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon coriander or parsley, chopped fine
  • Salt and pepper-powder (both black or white pepper can be used)
  • For non-vegetarian version,  2 about 300 grams of grilled or boiled shredded chicken. You could buy boneless chicken breasts, cut them into small bite size chunks, and saute them in 1 teaspoon of oil, 2 tablespoons of pepper and salt to taste.
  • For vegetarian version, 200-300 grams of paneer (cottage cheese), cut into chunks and slightly browned in a frying pan in 1 teaspoon of oil, pepper and salt, or alternately, just fresh home-made cottage cheese crumbled into bits.
  • About 2 tablespoons of grated cheddar cheese (optional)


  • In a saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add 1 teaspoon pepper powder and a pinch of salt. Add the onions and saute till translucent.
  • Now add the three types of sliced bell-peppers/capsicum. Mix well and cover with a lid – let it heat up and cook till the bell-pepper slices soften.
  • Remove from the heat. In a mixing bowl, add the cooked bell-peppers and chicken or paneer, whichever you are using.
  • Add salt and lots of black or white pepper powder. Mix well.
  • Now sprinkle coriander/parsley and grated cheddar cheese on top.
  • Serve warm.

The capsicum/bell-peppers along with the pepper powder is also a great salad in itself. But of course, a bit of chicken and cheese never hurts. :)

So there you go, two recipes in one post. Enjoy!

Game Night Grub – Beer Battered Chicken Strips

In any gathering, ask the question “What is the best thing in the world?” and (most of) the men in the group will say “Beer!”

Not to forget the large chunk of my dear ladies who will go “But of course!”

Friends, meet-ups and beer go pretty good together. Add a game-night to this and what you have got is lots of fun, laughter and of course, finger food! Deep fried goodies are always welcome, but never more so than when watching an interesting match on TV. And for me, the bestest yummiest of all is beer battered deep fried chicken strips – who can say no chicken and beer together in one happy marriage.

So this is what I made recently for M, a couple friends and soccer reruns.

Beer Battered Melt-In-Your-Mouth Chicken Strips:


  1. Boneless chicken (about 250-300 grams), cut into thin strips
  2. Good quality beer, about 160-170 ml
  3. 1 cup sifted plain flour
  4. Salt and pepper to taste
  5. Vegetable oil for deep frying


  • Mix flour, salt and pepper in a medium size bowl.
  • Beat in cold beer with a whisk until smooth. Let stand 30 minutes-1 hour in the refrigerator.
  • Pour enough vegetable oil in a large saucepan to a depth of around 1 inch. Heat it till a drop of batter sizzles and golden within about a minute seconds.
  • Dip chicken pieces into beer batter a few at a time, allowing excess to drain back into bowl.
  • Fry chicken pieces, turning once, until chicken is done. (Test the first couple to check the done-ness).
  • Dig in! Add a dash of tobasco sauce for that extra punch :) Over A Sausage Lunch

Recently I got to know about a Wiki project called ( Their tagline says it all – “A Traveler’s Guide To Local Cuisine”.  As they mention in their site, this is a project to create a free, reliable and up-to-date guide to the most original and tasty traditional foods from different countries of the world.

Anyways, so now, MyCityCuisine is looking for contributors. I am sure some of you might be interested in contributing to this project – I urge you to please do so! Help making this resource as unique and diverse as possible.

As I was going through the project, I noted that, somehow, I was reading up a lot about – sausages! Lentil soup with bacon & sausage, Boudin sausage and what not. And before I could read any further, I just wanted to dive into a plateful of sausages. I just had some plain skinless chicken sausages lying in my refrigerator, some fresh Italian basil thriving in a vase in the kitchen, and a wonderful bottle of extra virgin olive oil in the pantry cupboard. Throw in some lovely fresh ground pepper & some sea salt, and what you get is this:

Sausages Sautéd In Olive Oil & Tossed In Basil & Ground Pepper:


  1. As many sausages as you want, chopped into bite size bits.
  2. 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil.
  3. Bit of onions, cut into long slices.
  4. A handful of fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped.
  5. Fresh ground pepper, to taste.
  6. Salt, to taste.


A very simple process. Just lightly heat up the olive oil in a pan, saute the onions, toss in the sausages, basil, pepper & salt and let it simmer till sausages are slightly crisp on the outside. For a variation, use a bit of garlic oil instead of plain olive oil.


That Jerk (Chicken)!

What a misnomer! There is no way I’d ever call it a jerk. But, who am I to argue with attention-grabbing names?

When I first came across this intriguing recipe, I just wanted to try my hand at it. Everything about it reminded me of the Caribbean - the spices, the fresh ingredients.

A couple of days back, I finally got around to trying it out. And then ended up making again last night. I did not use a single recipe – I combined two recipes from here & here to make this a bit unique. One thing to remember when grilling the chicken – make sure you bast the chicken pieces with marinade to avoid dryness.

This tastes mindblowingly good, trust me on that one. So, what are you waiting for? Just run to your kitchen right away!

Jerk Chicken:


  1. 1/2 cup canola oil – or just plain vegetable oil should do.
  2. 1/2 cup lime juice.
  3. 4 tbsp sugar.
  4. 2 tbsp vinegar – I used apple cider vinegar the first time, and white wine vinegar the next time. Both will infuse different yummy flavor into the chicken.
  5. 2 tbsp soy sauce.
  6. 2 tsp cinnamon powder, 1 tsp nutmeg powder, 2 tsp cardamom powder – use 4 tsp all spice powder if you have that instead of all these, with interesting results.
  7. 8 cloves garlic.
  8. 2 green chilles. For the strong hearted, you can substitute this with 4 fresh red chillies.
  9. 8 scallions (spring onions), roughly chopped.
  10. 2 shallots, roughly chopped.
  11. 1  piece ginger, peeled and roughly chopped.
  12. 1 tsp whole black peppercorns.
  13. 2 tbsp tomato paste or 1/2 cup tomato puree.
  14. Salt to taste. I used sea salt.
  15. 8 whole bone-in chicken legs and thighs. I used skinned the first time and skin-on the second. Yummy.


  • Put ingredients 1 to 14 into a blender and blend into a nice paste.
  • Slather the chicken with this marinade and keep aside for an hour.
  • Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees centigrade.
  • Grill the chicken for about 30-45 minutes or till the outside is nicely charred and succulent & the inside is all moist and juicy. Alternately, just pan-fry the chicken pieces till done.

Dig in!


Don’t be chicken! Roast a whole chicken…

… I did. I dared. And my, did it work out or what.

Don’t believe me? Here’s a sneak peek ->

Ah, I got you hook line and sinker now, haven’t I! :)

It all started with swimming. Yes, you heard me right – s w i m m i n g. M & I are finally starting our first ever swimming lessons together next weekend. Finally! It took ages to find the right place, the right instructor, the right timings. But, we enrolled last evening. It was then, our way back home, when I took one wrong turn and poof! There it was. That little hole in a wall. With the smell of something yummy roasting over coals or whatever it was roasting over. And what was that heavenly smell all about? M saw it first. One roasted chicken sitting pretty on the counter. Brown, juicy, buttery – I think it was all that. I don’t know for sure, we din’t stop there. We just drove by, dreamily whiffing the yummilicious smell of dozens of chickens being roasted to perfection. And M knew we just had to try this out at home. You can’t just have a food blogger wife and not try a roasted chicken at home, can you?

So here we were, on a Friday night, when the rest of the world is usually heading out for parties, buying the best freshest poultry and planning what would go into the marinade. And today, all that effort did not go to waste, I tell ya. It turned out just right. Just as M wanted.

I feel very brave today. I finally roasted a whole chicken and it turned out great. And I want to share this easy recipe with you – it takes very little effort, most of the work is done by the oven.


My Orange Honey-Roasted Chicken:


  • 1 whole chicken, cleaned and skinned.
  • 1 teaspoon roughly ground pepper.
  • 1 tablespoon all natural honey.
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil.
  • Few potatoes, scrubbed with skin on, cut into halves and parboiled.
  • 1 orange, cut into halves.
  • 1 lemon, cut into halves.
  • 1 teaspoon store bought ginger-garlic paste.
  • Salt to taste.


  • The night before the big day, take the whole chicken, rub it with the ground pepper, salt & ginger-garlic paste. Then squeeze out the juice of the orange and lemon and pour over the chicken. Stuff the peels into the cavity of the chicken (that gives off extra flavor during the roasting process). Marinate this whole mixture in a zip pouch overnight. If you are in a bit of hurry, let this rest for about 30 minutes before starting the cooking process.
  • Pre-heat the oven to about 200 degrees. Now, place the marinated chicken breast side up into a roasting pan, place the parboiled halved potatoes around the chicken, drizzle the rest of the marinate over the whole thing, let it all roast in the oven for about an hour, loosely covered with a tin foil.
  • After an hour, take the dish out of the oven, drizzle olive oil over the chicken and a bit over the potatoes, scoop out the gravy at the bottom of the dish and bathe the half roasted chicken with it and put the pan back into the oven at about 180 degrees now for around 30 more minutes with the tin foil still on.
  • After half an hour, take the pan out again, remove the foil, drizzle the honey over the chicken, and put it back into the oven for another half hour-forty five minutes till the meat is cooked and a fork inserted into the chicken goes through without any resistance.
  • After it is cooked, take the pan out of the oven. Let the chicken rest for sometime before carving. Also, before serving, do not forget to remove the orange and lemon peels from the cavity.

Depending on the oven, it might take longer than the time specified here for it to cook to perfection. The chicken we bought was about 1 kg weight and took totally about 2.5 hours of cooking time. Also, in the last step, if you think the chicken is browning too fast, just place the foil back on top.

Gorge away! Happy weekend, people.


Meeting old friends, and home made satays…

Last couple of weeks have all been about reunions and reunions, and then some. School friends, best friends, college friends – its realllyyy nice to catch up with people who know you so well, there is no pretense. Just plain old friendship, unadulterated love, and lots of conversation. And when you are having such a great time, how can you spend hours toiling in the kitchen for lunch? But then, isn’t food an expression of love?

Dilemma this wasn’t. I just had the perfect recipe tucked away in my mind for this. No frills, but yummy. Satay, anyone?

Home Made Asian-Style Chicken Satay:

Now that I got your attention with this picture, here goes the recipe.


  • 2 skinned chicken breast or thigh pieces, boneless.
  • 1 teaspoon sugar.
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic.
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger.
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce – I used mushroom soy sauce.
  • Sprinkling of 5 spice powder – if you donot have 5 spice powder, just grind out some star anise, cinnamon, peppercorns to a fine powder.
  • Dash of vinegar – I used rice wine vinegar.
  • Salt, to taste.
  • A number of satay sticks, dipped in a bowlful of water.
  • A couple of teaspoons of oil.


  1. Cut the chicken into thin long strips, and mix it well with all the other ingredients. Keep aside for at least an hour, or longer if you are a patient person (unlike me :()
  2. Now thread the chicken strips through the wet sticks, taking care not to break the sticks. Prepare a number of satay sticks and keep aside.
  3. Now, there are two ways you can cook this – (a) In a pan, heat some oil and place the satays side by side and cook evenly on both side till nicely cooked though and a bit crispy. Or (b) place the satays in a preheated oven at about 180 degree centigrade till cooked through and browned. Note the crispy bits in the pic below:

Gorge on this with a lovely salad and some chutney. Bon Appetit!

The great comeback…

…and tonnes of food.

Yes, I know, I have been missing for quite sometime. Blame it on the weather, the work, life.

Aaah well. No excuses. I haven’t been cooking anything good, and even M pondered over the lack of any interesting smell wafting from the kitchen. So I decided to salvage the situation. And to start off this comeback, I present to you, Asian-Style Chicken Legs, with a cold Cucumber Salad. Sounds interesting?

Asian Style Chicken Legs with Cucumber Salad:


  • 8 chicken drumsticks, with or without skin on. I considered skin on for this comeback dinner, in true asian style.
  • 1 tablespoon ground start anise.
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon.
  • 1 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste. I used store bought, you can make fresh.
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce – I usually use dark soy sauce.
  • Sprinkling of sugar and some rock salt to taste (be careful with the salt – remember you are already using soy sauce).
  • 2 tablespoons oil – I used regular vegetable oil, you can use peanut oil for added flavor.
  • 1 fresh cucumber, cored & peeled and cut into french-fries style fingers.
  • 1 teaspoon of white wine vinegar.


  • In a bowl, combine the ginger garlic paste, soy sauce, sugar, salt, cinnamon, star anise & half the vinegar and mix well with the chicken. Use your hands if needed – you want the spices to permeate the meat.
  • Leave aside this lovely chicken & marinade for about an hour or more if you have time, or at least for 10-15 minutes.
  • In the meantime, toss the cucumber fingers in a but of salt, sugar and the rest of the vinegar. Rest aside.
  • Fire off a wok or something similar, and heat the oil in it. Toss in the chicken and fry it in this till the chicken is nice and golden outside and completely cooked inside. Lower the heat if needed.
  • Plate the chicken with a serving of the cucumber salad. DIG IN!

Mid-week blues? Eat a piece of pie..

As if a 5 day week isn’t long enough.

Coming Saturday is a working day. A Saturday. Work on a Saturday. Office on a Saturday.

I almost wept with grief when I got the email. My weekend siesta, weekend drive, weekend ‘date’ with M…

Oh well.

After a totally crazy day at work, after re-doing the project plan umpteen number of times (I even missed my lunch!), I wanted to unwind. Sometimes, M and I go out to this neighborhood supermarket pretty late in the evening. I espcially like this one because it has a counter where they sell freshly baked stuff – I am talking chicken puff, lovely breads, hot oven fresh cakes, muffins. You can smell all that food from about a mile away. Makes the tummy go ‘gro-w-w-l’. And I really love their chicken pie – its peppery, onion-y, buttery – and the sole reason I forced M to drive me there was for a bite of this warm meat stuffed pastry.

Well, mid week blues wasn’t about to leave me alone as yet.

No pie. All sold out. Blue-washed again.

So we came back home and I still wanted a pie. Off to the kitchen I went, and, hold your breath, actually made one. My first pie ever. All peppery buttery and onion-y… Just the way I wanted it.

Mid week blues no more.

My Very First Savory Chicken Pie:


For the pastry -

  • 400 grams of plain flour
  • 250 grams butter or margarine
  • Pinch of baking powder – about 1/2 teaspoon
  • Salt to taste
  • Cold water to mix

For the filling -

  • 400 grams chicken – I used boiled and shredded breast pieces
  • 1/4 cup of boiled peas
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 1 tablespoon oil to saute
  • 3-4 tablespoons of cream. If you do not want to use cream, use equal amount of thick chicken soup
  • Pepper and salt to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin


  1. In a bowl, mix the flour, salt, baking powder together.
  2. Now, add the butter to this mixture and rub everything between your fingers to mix lightly.
  3. Now add a little cold water at a time to form a nice soft dough. Knead this dough lightly and leave to rest in the refrigerator for a few minutes.
  4. In the meantime, heat the oil in pan and fry the onions. When they turn golden, add the shredded chicken and peas and fry for a few minutes.
  5. Now add the pepper, salt, cinnamon and cumin. Mix and fry for some a couple of minutes more.
  6. Now add the cream or soup and let it all simmer for a little while. Don’t let this dry out – you want it to be juicy and creamy. Once it is done, set it aside to cool.
  7. Now, roll out a bit more than half of the dough into a round-ish shape. Don’t thin out the dough too much. Place this into the bottom and overlapping the sides of a 20-cm greased round pie dish.
  8. Place the cooled-chicken mixture into this crust.
  9. Roll out the remaining dough into a 20-cm round circle to cover the top of the pie and place it over the top of the chicken mixture. Trim the extra edges of the pastry, then pinch the sides of the bottom crust and the top-cover-crust together to seal it up.
  10. With a fork, gently poke the covering of the pie to create small pores for ventilation.
  11. Bake in preheated oven at 180 degrees centigrade for 20 to 30 minutes or until pastry is done.
  12. Remove from oven and cool a bit before serving.

Here’s how it looked like after it was cooled:

Notice the little holes on top. Cute!

This is M’s piece of the savory pie. One solitary pea..

It was a good pie…

I ate almost all of it.

Well, M ate a bit too.

But, this was my share…




What a week this has been… M has not keept well the entire week, I had a gazillion things to do at work and off work, a couple of drafts to work on, and in between all these, I had to fix up some time to complete my last couple of driving lessons. By Friday, I was ready for the weekend to come and rescue me.

And here it is, finally (and almost about to be over :()! I was ready for some real good food. With M using the H(hungry)-word after an entire week, I wanted to make something really yummy as well as wholesome. Looking through madonnadelpiatto, I got inspired to try out something Italian-ish, with my own twist of course. If its Italian, it has to be spaghetti for us both (but, whole wheat :)). Not meatballs though, its been done to death at my house. I decided on shredded chicken with olives. And what about some fries… ummm… home made sweet potato fingers, oven fried, crisp? Of course, with garlic!

K’s Spaghetti with Shredded Chicken & Olives, along with Oven Fried Sweet Potato Fingers:


For the Spaghetti:

  • 1/4th a packet of Spaghetti, cooked and drained as per packet instructions. I used whole wheat spaghetti as that is all I had lying around, but of course you can use anything you want.
  • 1 boneless chicken breast, boiled and shredded. The breast piece I used was about 300 grams in weight.
  • 5 to 6 pimento-stuffed olives, drained. You can get this in any supermarket.
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, chopped finely.
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil. I used extra virgin olive oil coz I love the flavor.
  • Crushed pepper and salt, to taste.
  • Lots of Parmesan cheese, grated.
  • 1 cup Chicken stock: I used the stock leftover after boiling the chicken breast.
  • 1 teaspoon cornflour.
  • 1 teaspoon wheat flour.

For the Sweet Potato Fingers:

  • 1 medium sized sweet potato, peeled and cut into fingers, parboiled.
  • 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil.
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic paste.
  • 1 teaspoon paprika or chilly powder, as per your preference. I used paprika, chilly powder is toooo strong for me.
  • Salt to taste.


For the Spaghetti:

  • In a pan, pour the olive oil and add the chopped garlic to it. Stir for a minute.
  • Then add the shredded boiled chicken and cook for till lightly browned.
  • Now add the olives, salt and pepper. Let it all cook together for a little while like so:

  • In the meantime, mix the chicken stock with the cornflour & wheat flour. Add salt and pepper to it. When the chicken looks nice and browned, pour this mixture over the chicken and let the stock thicken and cook. Let the gravy reduce to almost 1-2 tablespoons.
  • Once the gravy reduces,  sprinkle Parmesan on it & mix it with the cooked spaghetti, and serve.
  • Sprinkle more Parmesan over each serving.

Note: For all those of you who do not like bits of garlic in their food, just use garlic flavored oil instead. How to get garlic flavored oil? Simple! Heat the oil, add a couple of cloves of garlic to the it. When the aroma of garlic comes wafting through the kitchen, it is time to remove the garlic cloves from the oil. There you go: quick garlic flavored oil is ready.

For the Sweet Potato Fingers:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees centigrade.
  2. In a baking dish, drizzle in the oil, add the garlic paste, paprika (or chilly powder) and salt, and finally, the sweet potato fingers. Mix well.
  3. Arrange the potatoes in one single layer in the baking dish before going to the nest step.
  4. Bake the parboiled and spiced sweet potatoes in the oven uncovered till crisp and golden. It took me about 25-30 minutes to get to the correct crisp and for the potatoes to cook completely. Make sure to turn the potato fingers once in between, for it to crisp out evenly on both sides.
  5. Serve!

Note: Here too, instead of the garlic paste, you can use garlic flavored oil.

Check out the crispy bits:

The sweet potato fingers were amazing, especially with the gentle heat of paprika coming through the garlic-y yumminess. Don’t be afraid of garlic – it is not too strong if used in moderation & it is very good for you too. Sweet potatoes too are a healthier alternative to potatoes. When my husband suggested sweet potato instead of the usual, I was a bit apprehensive. But, try this one out, I promise that you will LOVE it, because I am hooked.

And yes, for dessert, I had my gooey jam hearted muffins.


Grilled Chicken, anyone?

Well. Not much of a story here. It was a Friday morning. We woke up early, got ready for office, decided to have breakfast together before rushing off. Over omelets, toasts and OJ,  we discussed dinner plans. “What about grilled chicken at Empire’s? We could walk around Brigade Road too”. I had my own idea: “Why don’t we make it at home and watch Seinfeld reruns on tv!” Guess whose idea was voted :)

I got the marinade ready and on the chicken legs in about 5 minutes. And then we were on our way, visions of yummy morsels of white meat in our heads.

Back home around 7 PM.  I let M take the marinated chicken out of the refrigerator (so, we basically let the meat soak in all the goodness for about 10 hours). He started the grill while I prepared the salad. In about 30 minutes, here’s how it looked straight out of the oven and onto my plate:

And here’s what I ate it with…

I think I got your attention now ;) Without much further ado then, here’s the recipe:

K’s Special Grilled Chicken with Tomato Salad:


For the chicken:

  • 4 pieces of whole chicken legs
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 0.5 cup yogurt
  • 1.5 tablespoon paprika or red chilly powder
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 0.5 teaspoon pepper powder, white or black
  • 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
  • 0.5 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • Little oil for brushing over the chicken when they are grilling away in the oven

For the salad:

  • 1 big red tomato, chopped
  • 0.5 cups of chopped cucumber
  • 1 big red onion, chopped
  • Crushed pepper and salt, to taste


  1. Mix all ingredients for the chicken together (except the chicken legs!). Your marinade is ready.
  2. In a glass bowl, mix the marinade with the chicken legs. Let this rest in your refrigerator for about 10-12 hours or preferably overnight.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade.
  4. Place the whole chicken legs in the oven and grill for about 20 minutes on each side (that is totally about 40 minutes). Once every 10 minutes, brush a bit of vegetable oil over the chicken legs. Make sure the chicken is cooked through, but do not let it burn.
  5. In the meantime, for the salad, chop all the ingredients, add crushed pepper and salt to taste, and toss. Salad is ready!
  6. Now, EAT!

M and I were in heaven. The well marinated chicken was so tender and yet juicy, and the salad provided just the right crunch. Here’s one more picture of the last chicken leg before it was devoured in like 1 minute:

Farewell, last chicken leg! May you rest in peace in M's tummy.

Try it out and let me know, guys!



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