Category Archives: Meat and Chicken

Chicken Souvlaki or Gyro – III


This post is related to the last 2 posts – I and II.

Now that you have both the recipes for Chicken meatballs and the garlicky tzatziki sauce, lets go ahead and make the gyro


Chicken Meatballs

1 Pita Bread warmed

Sliced red onions

1 tomato deseeded and cubed

Shredded lettuce

Garlicky Tzatziki sauce

Coriander leaves for garnish


Take a Pita Bread – large or small depending on what you want to eat, cut in half. Take one half and seperate the two faces of the bread pocket keeping the ends intact.

Now take one meatball. slice it into medium thick slices. Keep aside.

Taking the pita bread,  fill the pocket between the two sides with the onions, tomato and lettuce. Once it is 3/4ths full, add the chicken meatball slices on top, then add the sauce. garnish with corainder leaves.

Eat and Enjoy!

Note: Alternately, you can take a warmed large pita bread, add the salads, meatball slices and sauce and roll it up like a wrap!


The ‘Oh My God, I dont believe it is so yummy!’ Chicken meatballs -I


Oh well, I had to give this name to the post. Though I have been making lamb meatballs for a while now which are tastier than anyone else’s I have had or from any restaurant, I recently made these based on a recipe on a show called ‘Diners, Drive Ins and Drives’ on food network. This show follows the host Guy Fieri all over America as he goes to drives, drive ins and diners which are recommended by viewers. They show food of all types cooked all over America and luckily for us, give out the recipe too!

My favourite channels being Spike and Food Network – though one has no connection to the other what with spike being all about action movies and the other, well – food!, I always try to catch up on this show. Depending on how easy the recipes seem to be and whether I have the ingredients at home, I do try and experiment on some of those.

And one of the days I watched this show, they were featuring this Italian Diner Place in NY or some other place (forget the name) where the cook made these baked meatballs which just looked too tempting. So I duly made a note in my head on the basic ingredients that go in and decided to make them one day.

Around a month later, hubby got some minced meat home and my immediate thought was – lets make meatballs! But he wanted a curry, so we compromised and he got me some minced chicken instead to try. And we ended up making it this weekend. 

These meatballs are seriously so moist and tender but at the same time so well cooked, that I did not want to stop eating it! And it actually tastes really good as a souvlaki or gyro with salads and tzatziki sauce which I was in the mood for that night.


500 gms chicken mince (or any mince of your choice)

1 egg

salt to taste

1.5 tspns cumin powder

1 tspn chilli powder

1/2 cup of breadcrumbs

2-3 cloves of garlic finely minced/crushed

1 red onion finely minced or grated

2-3 chillies sliced very thin and fine

2 tbspns oil

A deep baking dish oiled on all sides

Aluminium foil to cover the dish for baking


Mix all the dry ingredients in a dish. Add the egg and then the chicken mince and mix it together. Do not overmix otherwise the meatballs will get a bit tough after they are cooked.

Add a tbspn of oil to the mix and also rub your hands with the second tbspn of oil. Chicken mince is very sticky and the oil will help you make the ball easily in your hands. Make medium to large sized meatballs and place it in an oiled baking dish. Cover the dish with an aluminium foil and bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes. After 40 minutes, remove the foil and cook for another 5-10 minutes depending on how your meatballs look. I like mine a bit browned on top and hence I cook it this way at the end.. If you think they need to cook further, bake it for 10 minutes more by flipping the meatballs. This way, both sides can get browned.

Remove and eat it in a Gyro or sandwich or even as a burger! You can even make smaller balls and serve it as an appetiser for parties. Believe me, your guests will be happy to kiss your fingers after having one of these!!!!!!!!

Note: The original recipe called for milk to be added along with italian spices like oregano and parsley. I decided to just go with cumin and chilli powder. Since chicken mince is very fine, I did not add milk or there could have been a chance that the mix would have been thinner than I wanted.


Authentic Hyderabadi Chicken Dum Biriyani (Mom-in-laws recipe)


I was in India recently for a long due vacation. And since this being the first visit home after our wedding, I got to stay most of the time at my inlaws. And was’nt it an eye-opener? There were so many traditions and words that were new to me. Fascinating to learn of course! I also visited a few places of which I had never heard of before!

One of the specialities of Hyderabad is the various biriyanis you get! Each of them taste different based on the spices that go in them but they usually get cooked by something called as the dum method. So this mixture of raw meat and spices and rice gets cooked in steam. It is unlike anything you would have ever tasted before! And the best part – I got to eat the biriyani cooked by my mom in law. And man, what can I say? If she was a man and I was unmarried, I would have asked her to marry me right then and there! It was unbelievably tasty!!!!!!!!!!

In all my travels through Aus, India and now Canada and US, I always try to taste the biriyani at the local restaurants or even made by me. And I make a mean biriyani myself! But the biriyani she made was just awesome!

I made sure I saw how she made it and got the details written down before getting back. So here goes for your pleasure-


2 kg Chicken – In India, you get the whole chicken cut. But here you can use thigh pieces or drumsticks. Breast is usually not recommended for this dish.

2.5 kgs Basmati rice – Any other rice will not make the dish taste good at all!

Water to boil – should be double the quantity of rice. More if required.

3-4 sliced and fried onions (fried in a mixture of oil +ghee)

25 gms garam masala (a ground mix of cardamom, cinnamon, shah jeera, cloves)

1/2 litre yoghurt – slightly sour would be good! If not, use regular

2 lemons juiced

2 bunches coriander leaves sliced

2 bunches mint leaves sliced

6 spicy indian or thai chillies

150 grams ginger garlic paste

1/2 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp MSG  or aji-no-moto(optional)

3 tspns chilli powder

5 Bay leaves

salt to taste

5-6 tbsp oil +ghee mixture for frying the onions – More if you want to!

For Garnish

3 tbspns ghee for coating the rice

1-2 pinches saffron colour/saffron mixed with 3-4 tspns of warm milk

Coriander leaves for garnish


Wash the chicken thoroughly and squeeze all the water out. Marinate the chicken with all the above spices, mint, coriander, chillies and yoghurt. Use only half of the garam masala and fried onions. You will need the rest for later. I have found that the wetter the marinade is, the better for the flavour and also more gravy to mix the rice with. So I add a bit more yoghurt and adjust the spices accordingly. Keep it aside.

Note: The amount of spices will seem a lot to you but as this flavours the rice too, you do need to add it. Again, go easy on the chilli powder if you cannot handle the heat. Or you can start adding the spices bit by bit and stop when it is 2 levels higher than what you will normally have. This way you will end up with a dish exactly how you want. And because everything keeps well for a few days, you can save it in the fridge for the next time!

Now we need to cook the rice until it is half done. For this, take a cooking pan and boil water in it. The water should be double the amount of the rice. If you think you need more, go ahead and add it. Add the rest of the garam masala, salt to taste and the bay leaves. Once the water starts to boil, add the just washed rice to it  (Do not wash the rice in advance and keep it aside). Add a few drops of oil so that when the rice starts to cook, the flakes do not stick to each other. Stir the rice and water together and let it cook. Keep an eye because it is critical to have the rice half-cooked. Once it is, immediately drain the rice and keep aside. If you have a sieve, drain the rice using it, immediately pour some cold water to ensure that the rice does not cook further.

Now take a wide deep vessel with a close fitting lid. Layer the marinated chicken at the bottom. Pour 3/4th of the oil mixture used for frying the onions on top of the chicken. Layer the half cooked rice on top of the chicken. Pour the remaning oil on top of the rice. Then add the ghee too. Now pour the soaked saffron colour on top of the rice in swirls all over.

Cover the lid with a thick cloth – no cheese cloth here for you need to trap the steam in the cloth helping the meat and rice cook. Now keep the clothed lid on top of the vessel. Make sure that no steam leaks by putting a heavy dish or pan on top of the lid to hold it down.

The next two steps can be done in 2 ways

1. Keep the vessel on the stove and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes. Reduce heat slightly  and cook for 5 minutes. Again increase the heat to medium again and cook for next 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 5 minutes. By this time, you should start seeing steam trying to escape from the sides of the lid. You can smell the biriyani already but just a little patience – dearies….. Cook for another 5 minutes on low heat. Then open the lid and check if the chicken is cooked through. If not, cook for another 5 minutes on low heat. Check if Chicken is cooked. If not, repeat the steps till chicken is cooked through.

2. I keep the vessel on a flat cooking pan and then cook it using the same procedure detailed above. This prevents the chicken from getting burnt at the bottom of the vessel.

Once the biriyani is ready, let it cool for 10 minutes and shift it to a wide baking tray – easier to mix the rice and chicken together giving an evenly coloured rice. Garnish with coriander and the remaining fried onions.

Now all you need to do is enjoy! And what makes it taste even better is my onion raita!MMM……………. Writing this has made me want to eat biriyani again!!!!!!


Chicken Kurma/Butter Chicken


We had a half tub of sour cream in our fridge which hubby happened to find! I usually use it in Panneer(Cottage Cheese) Makhani  and this was leftover from the last time I had made it. My partner always wants Chicken gravy dishes and finding the tub of sour cream in the fridge, decided that he wanted to eat Butter Chicken/Chicken Makhani. So after googling on it and checking out a few recipes, I decided that I should just modify my Panneer recipe by substituting chicken and just go with it. If it comes out good, then worth repeating it. If not, find a better recipe! As usual experimenting my way through it!!!!!!!

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To Marinate:

2 chicken breasts cubed into bite sized pieces

3 tbspns yoghurt

1/2 tsp lemon juice

salt to taste

1 tspn ginger garlic paste

1/2 tspn chilli powder

1/2 tspn dhania or coriander powder

1/2 tspn cumin powder

Marinate the chicken with the ingredients above and let it rest overnight or atleast an hour.

For the Gravy:

1 onion diced very small

2-3 chillies cut very fine

1/2 tspn ginger garlic paste

1 medium sized tomato diced into very small cubes

1 tspn tomato paste

salt to taste

1tspn dhania (Coriander) powder

11/2 tspn garam masala

1/2 tspn kasoori methi

1/2 tspn chilli powder

2 tbspn oil

1 cup water ( Adjust according to required thickness)

2-3 tbspn sour cream

Coriander leaves for garnish


Take a non-stick kadai or wok or deep frying pan and heat 1 tbspn oil. Add the finely diced onions and chillis and fry till the onions are lightly browned. Add the ginger garlic paste and fry for 3-4 minutes. Then add the tomatoes and fry for another 5 minutes. Then add the tomato paste and fry for 5 minutes. Add the rest of the spice powdersexcept for dhania powder. Fry for another 5 minutes. Add the kasoori methi and fry for 5-10 minutes. Remember that at all times, the heat should be low to medium.

At the same time, take another non-stick kadai and heat the remaining oil. Once it is heated, add the marinated chicken and fry the chicken till it is cooked through.

Now add the chicken to the gravy and mix it thoroughly. Add half a cup of  water. Check to see that the gravy is not too watery. If required add the remaining water and close the lid. let it cook for 10 minutes. Check the taste and add more salt if needed.  Now add the sour cream and mix. Let it cook for another 5 minutes. Garnish with coriander leaves.

Serve with rotis/rice.

Note: I love my food spicy so I would strongly advice you to experiment with the amount of spices you put in. If you prefer less spice, put in less amount than what is specified above.