Chicken Kathi Rolls

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It is always hard for me to figure out a weekend lunch. Eating out has become a drag, really nothing very appetizing around town. One of the questions that I hear often, that makes me go crazy sometimes is ….What’s for lunch? What’s for dinner? Sometimes I wish I could just do the asking and the other person would do the hard part and come up with something.

Well here is one I came up with to the age old question of What’s for lunch. These Kathi rolls ( also called Kati or Katti rolls) are usually made by street vendors in India and is filling and tasty. Some add an omelet in these rolls filled with the meats. You can make the vegetarian version with panner, tofu, veggie burgers, grilled veggies, etc. At Taco Bell in Bangalore, India they serve a version called Kathitto and in NY and London there is the famous Kati Roll Company http://www.thekatirollcompany.com/index.html.

I made abut 50 of these for our recent Indian community picnic and it went like hotcakes. One dear aunty grabbed an extra one and hid it under her arm to give it to her son-in-law who was showing up later. She finally relinquished it to a friend who lamented that he didn’t get one. We kidded aunty saying before she leaves we will need to frisk and shake her to see if any kathi rolls will fall out :-))

Here is a video from Nizam’s in Calcutta where these rolls are to said to have been created

Chicken Kathi Rolls

Ingredients:

6-8 Uncooked Indian paratas (found at any Indian store or can make your own or use tortillas)

6 Chicken thighs, each cut into about 3-4 strips

Marinade:

handful of cilantro leaves

1 tsp Turmeric

1 tbs Cumin powder

1 tbs Coriander powder

1 tsp Chili powder (or to taste)

2 tsp Garam Masala (or meat masala of choice)

2 tsp salt

1 tbs olive oil

lemon juice from 1/2 lemon

Accompaniments:

Romaine lettuce leaves

3-4 green onions, julienned

handful of cilantro leaves

3 Roma tomatoes, sliced

1/2 large Red onion, sliced

Sauce:

3 tbs Tamarind Chutney (can find Maggi brand in Indian store)

1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt

Method:

Step 1:

Take all marinade ingredients and puree together in a blender. Add little water to help blend. Add this to washed and sliced chicken thighs. Mix well and refrigerate a minimum of 1 hour. Can leave overnight. Take chicken out of marinade and grill until cooked. (Can do this in a frying pan as well adding little oil.)Set aside

Step 2:

Prep all accompaniments to get ready for assembly of rolls. Mix sauce ingredients together

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Step 3:

Prepare Paratas on a skillet until cooked and light brown. Place in aluminum foil to keep warm

Step 4: Assembly

Place parata on a plate. Starting at one end, add 1 large piece of romaine lettuce then 2 pieces of grilled chicken, add a few sprigs of cilantro, 2-3 slices of tomato, few slivers of green onion, few slices of red onion, and then top with sauce. Roll up tight into a roll and wrap in foil. These can be warmed up as is in the oven if planning to serve this for any get together.

They are ready to eat! Can have some extra sauce on the side or serve with mint/cilantro chutney, tomato sauce or chili sauce.

Chicken Kathi Rolls

Chicken Kathi Rolls

* A Sweet Treat * Beet Root Halwa

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This is a recipe for my sister who liked it when she came over one day. It is quick and easy dessert. Halva or halwa is Arabic for sweet and served for special occasions. There are different types of halwa made from flour, dhals, some vegetables like carrot and bottle gourd. Some cities that specialize in a specific type of Halwa lend their names such as  Bombay Halwa, Kozhikode halwa etc.  Gajjar halwa or carrot halwa is fairly common and you can find this on most Indian restaurant buffets. The key for success in making these sweets are constant stirring to aid in evaporation of as much liquid as possible and lots of ghee. The sugar combined with the ghee produces a glistening texture to the sweet. Halwas are super sweet so a little goes a long way.

Beet Root Halwa has a rich color like no other and can be made with fresh beets. The drawbacks to using fresh beets are that they can taste muddy if not fresh, they are harder to grate and takes longer to cook. The canned beets work perfectly every time and are so easy to grate. This sweet tastes especially good when topped on plain vanilla ice cream when still a little warm. An impressive dessert for any guest!

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Beet Root Halwa

Serves 6-8 if serving by itself, serves 8-12 if topping ice cream

Ingredients:

A must—Plastic gloves

3 cans of Small Whole Beets ( 15 oz ea)

1 to 1 3/4 cup sugar (according to taste)

1/4 cup Ghee (clarified butter)

3/4 cup milk

1 tsp ground cardamom

1/4 cup dedicated coconut flakes (can use sweetened coconut but then reduce the amount of added sugar)

1-2 tablespoons cashews or slivered almonds

Method:

Drain the canned beets. Put on rubber gloves and grate medium fine. The gloves are a must as it will stain. Squeeze out any excess water. In a large frying pan add a tsp of ghee and toast the nuts until golden brown. Remove and set aside.

To the same pan add few tablespoons of ghee and add sauté the beets for a few minutes. Keep stirring until most all the water is absorbed. Then add the milk . Cook for a few minutes until the liquid has evaporated. Add sugar, and continue stirring. The liquid may increase so keep stirring until most has evaporated. Drizzle a little more ghee and add the coconut and cardamom powder. The coconut will absorb the rest of the liquid. The mixture should be somewhat dry and glistening. And the toasted nuts and remove from stove. Serve hot or cold, can also serve with ice cream.

Summer Spring Rolls

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My daughter has gone back to college (boo hoo! ) my son is with his friends at their lake houses ( wish I had more friends like that!) and my husband is away for a week at a conference.These rolls are a perfect meal for one that entails minimal cooking dish. These Vietnamese spring rolls are a family favorite and a make a nice party appetizer, especially in the summer. It is low fat but very filling. You can find the Vietnamese Spring Roll wrappers at any Asian grocery store. They are wafer thin, stiff round sheets that can be stored in your pantry for years. The wafers are softened by dipping them for a few seconds in hot water.

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Summer Spring Rolls
Ingredients:

6 Spring Roll wrappers

1 large handful of rice noodles

1 cup steamed shrimp, seasoned with salt and pepper

1 cup grated carrots

1/2 large seedless cucumber, julienned

4 green onions, julienned

a bunch of cilantro leaves, left whole

Sauce- 2–3 tablespoon peanut butter, 2 tsp Soy Sauce, chili paste to taste- microwave together for a minute or so

Method:

In a bowl, place noodles and cover with hot water. Cover and let it sit for 10 mts. It should be soft by then. Drain off water.

Set out all ingredients to start assembly of wraps.

In a flat plate add few tablespoons of hot water. Dip the wrappers in the plate and flip over until moist ( only a few seconds) and transfer to a flat surface. It will continue to soften as it sits.

Starting at one end of the wrapper, smear some of the sauce and then arrange 3-4 shrimp. Top with the approx. 1 tbs cooked rice noodles, then the grated carrot, cucumber and a piece or 2 of green onion and a few sprigs of cilantro. Before wrapping add a little more sauce on to one side of the wrapper and roll, tucking in the edges into a roll. It will stick to itself and stay sealed. Slice on the bias and serve with more sauce for dipping.

NOTE: You can make this vegetarian by adding any veggies that you like. For non veg- can add any meat you like.

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Rice papers to make spring rolls
Rice papers to make spring rolls (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Aloo Parata and Chicken Tikka Masala

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This past week was my daughters 21st birthday (Where did the time go!:(….,) so this post is one of her favorites—Aloo Parata and Chicken Tikka Masala ( also can be called Butter Chicken/Chicken Makhani)

Aloo Parata

Ingredients:

2 cups chapathi flour or Atta ( can use whole wheat flour as a substitute)

1 tbs oil

1 tsp salt

Water to make a dough

1 large Potato, boiled and mashed

2 green chilies, minced

1 tsp grated ginger

1/4 tsp cumin pdr

2 tsp chopped cilantro

Salt to taste

Method:

Combine flour, salt water and oil and knead well. Coat dough with a little oil and cover with a wet paper towel. Keep aside for 20-30 mts. Into mashed potato add green chili, grated ginger, cumin pdr cilantro leaves and salt.

Take dough and knead again. Make golf ball size balls. Roll out into a 2 inch disc, add a spoon of potato filling and pinch ends together to encase filling. Apply little oil to rolling surface and roll out gently into a flat round disc. Heat a skillet and grease lightly with oil or vegetable spray. Cook parata on both sides until slightly brown. Press with spatula to make it puff up slightly.Top with a little butter and serve with any curry.

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 Chicken Tikka Masala

Ingredients:

4-5 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, chopped into small pieces

2 tbsp.  tandoori masala ( usually can find in the international section of grocery store)

1 cup plain yogurt

2 tomatoes

2 tsp ginger-garlic paste

2-3 green chilies

1/2 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp Hing or asafetida (may omit if can’t find it)

2  tbs butter + 2 tbs oil

1 large onion, chopped

2 tsp chili powder (or to taste)

2 tsp Paprika

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp garam masala powder

1/2 tsp turmeric

Whole garam masala-5-6 cloves, 2-3 cardamom, 1 cinnamon stick, 1 tsp cumin seeds, 1 bay leaf

salt to taste

2 tbs Methi leaves (can substitute with cilantro leaves)

pint of whipping cream or half and half

Method:

Into chicken add tandoori masala and yogurt and set aside for 15 mts. The place on a flat baking sheet and bake  at 35o for about 15 mts. The switch to broil and let chicken brown a bit.

Puree tomatoes, ginger-garlic paste, green chilies, sugar and hing. In a sauce pan add butter and oil then add the whole garam masala spices. Then add chopped onions. Sauté for a few minutes and add tomato puree mixture. Allow to cook well. May take 10 minutes. Should see the oil rising to the surface a bit. Add spice powders, salt and methi leaves. Fry for a minute and add chicken. Cover and cook until done. Add half and half/cream at the end and heat. Remove from stove. May sprinkle a little garam masala at the end and chopped cilantro leaves. Serve with Parata or Rice