Monday, February 9, 2009

South Indian Chicken 65

I realize that being Hyderabadi, it would be a crime for me to keep my knowledge of south Indian food to myself. :) That being said, here is one of my personal favorite south Indian recipes. The origin of chicken 65 dates back to early 60's. There are different stories behind its name, but regardless, it's the taste that makes this dish an all-time favorite. While extremely popular in restaurants, with the right use of spices, the same restaurant quality can easily be achieved at home. :)


-1 lb. chicken breast cut into small chunks (or legs and thighs if you prefer)
-4 tsp. red chili powder
-2 tsp. coriander powder
-1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
-1/4 tsp. garam masala powder (available at any Indo/Pak grocer)
-5 tsp. lemon juice
-2 tsp. plain yogurt
-1 tsp. ginger garlic paste
-About 3 drops of red food coloring
-1 tsp. salt (or to taste)
-2 cups oil (for deep frying)
-Small handful of coriander leaves (for garnishing)

*In a large bowl, mix red chili powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, salt, garam masala, food coloring, ginger garlic paste, lemon juice, and yogurt and make a thick paste.
*Add chicken pieces to this and rub all over to thoroughly coat chicken with masala all around. Allow to marinate for at least 1 hour (covered) in the refrigerator. (The longer it marinates, the better)
*When chicken is ready to be cooked, heat oil in a deep sauce pan or wok and deep fry over medium high heat for about 6 minutes or until it turns dark brown on all around.
*Drain excess oil and garnish with coriander leaves.

Serve with lemon wedges and onion slices and eat with rice or by itself!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

A Big Bowl of Love in the form of Chili :-)

I got a recipe for chili from my friend Julie and added a few of my own twists to it. This was the first time I ever had chili because growing up, my mother only made Indian, Arab, and occasionally Chinese food. Also, since I only eat zabiha meat, I wasn't able to eat it out at restaurants. Alhamdulillah, I absolutely love it. I think it has quite possibly become my new favorite comfort food. It's slightly time-consuming, but overall pretty easy to make. And a big old potful will last you a while. This is a great recipe for a cold day and is sure to warm you body and soul. :)

*Note: This would also be the perfect dish for vegetarians--just leave out the meat! ;)


-1 large onion, diced
-2 medium cans stewed tomatoes
-1 large can diced tomatoes
-1 to 1 and 1/2 lbs. ground beef (or turkey, lamb, or chicken if you like)
-1 red, 1 green, and 1 yellow bell pepper diced
-2 cans kidney beans
-1 can black beans
-1 can corn
-2 to 3 tbs. vegetable oil
-1 packet chili seasoning (I use McCormick)
-1 to 2 tsp. taco seasoning (not necessary, but a good addition if you have some)
-Salt to taste (I don't use any)
-Pepper (to taste)
-3/4 tsp. chili powder
-Pinch of cayenne pepper
-1/2 of a small jalapeno pepper diced (optional)

*First, begin by sauteing onions in an open-faced pan. Add vegetable oil.
*When the onions start to caramelize, add your ground meat and cook thoroughly until brown.
*Drain any excess liquid after meat is cooked.
*Add meat and onion mixture to pot (or crock pot) and add all remaining ingredients. Allow to simmer over medium-low heat for at least 30 to 40 minutes. (The longer you let it simmer, the better it will be).

*Serve with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkle with shredded taco cheese. Enjoy!